Saturday, November 27, 2010
I am an imperfect wife.
I am an imperfect mother.
I am an imperfect daughter.
I am an imperfect friend.
I am an imperfect teacher.
I am an imperfect cook.
I am an imperfect couponer.
I am an imperfect blogger.
I am an imperfect house-cleaner.
I am inconsistent.
I have an imperfect tongue.
I am an imperfect follower of Christ.
(that was the first thing that came to my mind when I had all those thoughts)
Ephesians 2:4-9- "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
That's it, I'm imperfect, but HE is perfect. He loves me and died for me and my imperfections. I like to appear perfect, you know, like I have is ALL together. I like to pretend, I even teach my children how to pretend.
Let's take today for a good example. We've been planning on getting our family pictures taken. Well anyone with a large family knows how difficult that can be. I have literally been praying about it for days. My mother in-law made the girls dresses, I made Tabitha a pretty bow to match, and I even got a haircut. I wanted this picture to be perfect. That's not too much to ask is it? I worked so hard to make us all look perfect, I waited until the last minute to put the picture clothes on.
Well we got ready to take our pictures and guess what, one of our "little blessings" didn't want to take his picture. Remember, all I want is ONE good picture with everyone looking and smiling. (it would also be great if we were standing straight, our clothes were not bunched up, and my hair wasn't in my face) That's not TOO much to ask is it??? I want to appear perfect.
Well the reality is, I'm not perfect. Neither is my husband and neither are my children. So for us to take a "perfect" picture is IMPOSSIBLE. That is just something I am going to have to live with. But how did I react to the imperfections? That's the real question.
I would like to tell you that I didn't let the picture fee bother me, or the nice couple that took the time to take our picture, or our extended family that was being so patient. I would like to tell you that I excused myself and my "little blessing" and addressed his heart. I would like to tell you how I reminded my "little blessing" that we are to be a blessing. I would like to tell you that I didn't get so frustrated that I could hardly smile myself.
BUT, I would be lying. I got frustrated, I spoke unkindly, I was impatient. I was so consumed with the "perfect picture", that I ignored sin. See, the root of my sin is selfishness. This day was all about me and what I wanted. When one imperfect person let me down, I reacted. Now that I have taken a step back, I am repenting. I can't wait to show you all my imperfect pictures. (hahaha)
Today, I was so concerned with a picture, that I allowed sin to enter in and take over. Not only did I allow sin to take over, I didn't see what damage I was doing to my witness. (to my children and others) Today I wanted to "play God." Well, God reminded me tonight that HE is God, and that He is working. I need to get my armor on and stop letting sin entangle me.
Ephesians 2 reminds me of who I am and my job here on this earth. Ephesians 6 reminds me that we are at war. I forget that, I avoid thinking about that. It scares me!
1 Corinthians 1:26-31-"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29so that no man may boast before God. 30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”
Here I am Lord, broken. But trusting in You for everything.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I took the children to the Eno today to do some "school" outside. My dad lives right near there, so we were blessed to have him join us. This morning I started reading Pilgrim Voices. We did geography at home. We looked at several maps and traced out the path the pilgrims traveled.
The Tee Pee was the first stop. Andrew has been begging to go. Our family loves hiking at the Eno. We then searched the area for sticks. We made a toy that children in the 17th century used to play with. Then we made a bow and arrow for Taylor, Ethan, and Andrew. They also enjoyed walking on the logs, digging up a brick, and they spotted two deer.
Then we set off for the "real" hike. Ethan was so awesome protected his mommy and sisters. He used his bow to hold back the vines for us. We stopped a couple of times and I read some more from Pilgrim Voices. I will continue to read this all week. Science was done by discussing which trees were Deciduous trees and which were Coniferous trees.
We hiked some pretty tough trails, and the kids all did wonderful. It was so beautiful. Fall is becoming my favorite season. I love all the beautiful colors of the leaves. Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Just looking at His creation gives me reason to worship.
We got to the end of the trail which lead back to where we started. My dad knows these trails forwards and backwards. (it's one of his favorite places) As many times as my most "graceful" child (Tabitha) fell, she didn't bleed until the very end. She tripped over a little rock and skinned up her elbow. :( I cleaned her up, put on a band-aid, and she was off again.
We had a little time left, so I had the boys collect some leaves and we did a little math. :) I was able to squeeze in all subjects and have so much fun doing so. The kids all slept well in the car on the way to the Y. Long day but so worth it. I am so thankful we were able to spend this day outside, with beautiful weather, and with my dad.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Wow! 13 years old! Really??? Yeap, it was exactly 13 years ago today that I had my first baby girl Taylor Alise. I was only 20 years old and totally clueless. I think that's why God granted me the most perfect labor and delivery. I remember waking up around 5-6 in the morning because my water broke. I got to the hospital and began laboring. I had a completely natural labor and she was out by 3 that afternoon. It was truly a "perfect" labor!
I checked out of the hospital the next day, right around 3. I remember being showered and packed sitting on the bed ready to go home. The nurse kept telling me, "We have to wait for the 24 hour mark." Oh wow, how things have changed for me.
The next several days/weeks were another story. Remember, I said that I didn't have a clue. I tried to nurse. But after being up almost all of one night, I cried, and asked for a bottle. Thank God I was living with my dad at the time. I remember him asking, "Did you sterilize bottles?" (Ummmm, no)
I eventually went back to school and back to work. Having Taylor, was a real wake up call. At one point I was working 3 jobs and going to hair school. It makes me so sad that I wasn't at home with her all the time. But at that time I had to do what I had to do, to support me and Taylor. I knew that I wanted to do things "right" for her, but I was still clueless. I did start taking her to church on Sundays. I remember praying earnestly in that church that God would save me, that He would change me, and that He would give me a husband.
Taylor was a huge part of my testimony. God used her to save me, I am sure of it! There is so much more I could share to prove that. I met Martie in 1999. Taylor had just turned 2. He was not "walking" with the Lord. (but he was perfect to me in every other way) I remember asking him to go to church with me. He went, reluctantly. I asked if he had a "problem" with God, and he told me no he just didn't like my church. (huge relief)
We started the search for a church together. That's how we ended up at Cresset. It was "perfect" for us. I liked the music, he liked the preaching, I felt accepted in this church. (which unfortunately was difficult as a single mom) They had a outreach thing one night and Martie and I both rededicated our lives to the Lord. We met with the pastor to marry us. During that time of appropriate "courtship," Martie read the bible and prayed like never before. God grew both of us in a major way.
We were married July 2002. Martie was an answer to a prayer. Taylor was in our wedding and even had special vows with Martie in the ceremony.
It is amazing to see all that Taylor and I went through, to where we are now. God has been so
gracious to us. I often feel so sad for Taylor because she has experienced so much change in her life. I know that God will use her testimony one day. She has grown to become a beautiful young lady. She is so caring and giving. She is not the world's typical "teenager." She is different! Praise God!
To Taylor: I love you baby girl. I learned so much from you. I continue to stand in awe of you and your walk with the Lord. I pray that He continues to mold you and shape you into the image of Christ. I pray that everything you do will be for His glory. He is using you and is going to use you in the lives of many. You are such a great sister and daughter. We are so proud of you!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Once again, I have failed at updating the blog. Truth is, I am too busy. I would love to update you all with the fabulous details of our everyday life. I have thoughts of blogging about our trips to the YMCA, what the children are learning with their lessons, my new sewing projects, my friends kidney transplant... There are so many things to blog about, there are just not enough hours in the day. One day, oh one day, I may blog more consistently, I may finish my children's scrapbooks, I may actually blow dry my hair again... But until then I press on with life. My priorities right now are quiet time with Jesus, teaching my children, housework, being a helper to my hubby.
So for now I leave you with a paper Taylor just recently wrote for her school work. This is a creative writing piece. She simply read the scriptures and gave her input on what she read. I thought she did a great job. More importantly I'm thankful for her ability to read and understand the scriptures.
The death of Jesus Christ was not the end, in fact there is much more to His wonderful and heroic life. One of the greatest things Jesus did was raise up on the third day so everyone could see how utterly mighty, undeniably powerful, and thoroughly pure He truly was. Sadly and helplessly there were some who did not believe until they saw Him with their own eyes, such as Thomas, who was one of the disciples. Jesus also went out to the shore where he saw other disciples. He helped them and then calmly and enjoyably feasted, which all happened before departing the earth and ascending into heaven.
After the terrible and wretched death of Jesus Christ, which many witnessed, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went and visited His tomb. They were startled and scared when they found no body, only an empty tomb. Weeping and screaming they looked up and saw an angel of the Lord who asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” “Go for He has risen!” The women joyfully jumped, literally leaped, and suddenly shouted out with excitement for their Savior was alive! They quickly and frantically ran back to visit the disciples and told them what had happened! Although most did not have faith, Peter believed and he ran to see for himself. Because the Lord was no longer in the tomb, Peter worshipped wholeheartedly.
Soon after, Jesus appeared to his disciples. Pleased and excited they had now seen God, all believed except for one person, who went by the name Thomas. Thomas did not have faith and was stubborn. It did not matter how much the disciples tried to convince and scold him. “I will not truly repent, assuredly admit, or properly proclaim until I have put my hands in His side and fingers in the holes,” responded Thomas. Suddenly and surprisingly Jesus appeared before them and allowed the doubter to touch His body. From that day forward Thomas believed. Jesus, who had appeared, then announced, “Blessed are those who trust in me and have not yet seen!”
Now for the third time righteous and marvelous Jesus, who loved, appeared before the disciples. Because they were at sea, they did not know it was Him. Jesus called and asked out to them, “Have you anything to eat?” Their response was, “no.” So the Lord loudly commanded, cleverly advised, and knowingly cautioned them to throw their nets on the right side of the boat. They willingly and immediately obeyed. The believers who were astonished caught 153 fish and the net had not one rip. The followers came to shore, saw Jesus and were stunned. When God appeared to these disciples, they obeyed, so together they feasted on the fish!
Jesus who rose on the third day, died to set sinners free. He also majestically and joyfully departed the grave and ascended into heaven. Christ gave great and strong faith to those who were faithless such as Thomas. He also generously gave, diligently directed, and thoughtfully shared fish with his disciples when they were not able to catch any. The death of Jesus Christ, wonderful and heroic, was not the end. Jesus was, and is, and is to come!