Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Praise Report!

For anyone who has been "keeping up", you may have noticed how God has moved mountains in my life.  I started this blog out of desparation.  I was lost.  I was scared.  I didn't know how to ask my husband if he'd allow raising our kids in The Church.  I hid this fear from my Christian social circle.  I was ashamed.  He had been against it in previous discussions.  I knew I didn't want to defy him.  I didn't want to go behind his back.  I didn't want to take on the battle.  I did not know how to ask him.  I asked HIM, instead, to move this mountain for me. 

I not only found the courage, but the joy, not only to attend church, but to truly believe.  My husband is not only supportive, but he's proud.  Encouraging.  He tells me, daily, how proud he is.  He tells me how he has seen the change in me.  And how it has helped him to change his own perspective.  To gain a perspective of gratitude.  We're less likely to seek, or expect gratitude. We're learning how to appreciate our countless blessings, and appreciate each other.  He tells me about the conversations he has with other people, how he brags about the fact that his wife takes his boys to church every Sunday.  He tells me how envious everyone is.  I used to be envious.      

He believes me when I say "I prayed for that."  Now, he's asking me, "did you pray about that?"  Yes, actually, I did.  I pray often, about everything.  And when I asked him why he thought I go to church each Sunday...he shrugged.  He sort of knew.  I gather he thought it had something to do with our boys.  Or needing to find a place in this life, in this world.  No.  That's not why.  (Although, those are wonderful derivatives.)  This is why:  I go to thank Him.

And, there's more.  My two-year old says, "Thank you, God.  Amen."  He nearly recites a book we read, every night, titled Thank You, God.  (for everything).  He says "God bless you" to Daddy when he sneezes.  He won't grow up, as I did, not knowing if there's a God or not.  God is apart of his vocabulary and apart of his life. 

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

My teenager, a year ago, was a self-proclaimed, 'conformist' athiest. [this is someone who was raised Catholic, and endured the year-plus Confirmation process.  how could i lead him back?]  We fought nearly every day.  I carried guilt over being an "evil step-mother."  I felt like a failure, because he couldn't pass his classes.  I couldn't get him to even care.

Leave it to God to use a cute girl to ask him to come to youth group, one Wednesday night.  Once I saw the willingness, the 'I'm-not-so-completely-against-it' surrender,  I took him to church with me.'s just what we do Sunday mornings.  No questions asked.  No reluctance (well, there's a little reluctance; he is a teenager, afterall).  He wore a rosary to his first day of school.  His senior year.  He's on track to graduate early.  How much more proud can a mother be?  When Pastor's Wife prayed a back-to-school blessing over him that ended with "this will be your Finest Hour," he believed it.  Enough to want a tattoo that says, "Finest Hour." 

We'll see about that.

"As for me and my house, we WILL serve The Lord." ~Joshua 24:15


Sunday, August 28, 2011

...but a breath

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. 
Remind me that my days are numbered--how fleeting my life is. 
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. 
My entire lifetime is just a moment to You; at best, each of us is but a breath."
~Psalm 39:4-5 NLT

Let me live a life You are proud of.  Let me always be grateful for Your blessings.  Your mercy.  Your grace.  Let me inspire, in others, the desire to live a life of grace and mercy and gratitude.  Let me inspire, in others, the desire to seek You, as I desire to seek You, in everything I do, during this breath of life.  Amen.

Monday, August 22, 2011


There are good forces and evil forces at war for our souls.  The enemy is a liar.  He tells you that you are alone.  That you are worthless.  He lurks in the shadows, even while you're doing well, and he waits.  He waits for the opportunity to whisper these lies in your ear.  He waits until you're alone, with only your own self-destructive thoughts. 

We have to be steadfast in our belief that we serve a mighty God, who will never forsake us.  We have to believe that we are equipped for the battle.  Shield yourself with the armor He has fitted for you.  Take up the sword that He has forged for you.  He is only a breath away.  Reach out, and take His hand.  It's never too late.  He is always ready to fight for you.  Now, you have to be ready to fight for HIM.

"Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." ~Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT

*This post was inspired by Highpoint Church Pastor Gary Simon's message "Fighting the Good Fight of Faith".  Listen to it here: 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

one bad potato

i know the saying usually goes, "one bad apple..." but i bought a bag of potatoes the other day, with this one rotten potato that made the whole bag stink!  if i had left it in there, the rest of them would have surely rotted along with it.  i dumped them all out into the sink, threw the nasty one out, and washed the rest of them off.

it made me think.  when you have that one bad person in your life, your business, or your circle, throw him out!  if not in a physical sense, do so mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.  find peace.  don't let his rotteness spoil your day, your mood, or your relationships.  it's not as easy to do with a person, as it is with rotten produce, but the result is inevitable in either case.

"Don't envy evil people or desire their company. 
For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble."
~Proverbs 24:1-2 NLT     

Sunday, August 7, 2011

hope you're well

i read this quote today, "Respect people who find time for you in their busy schedule.  But love people who never look at their schedule when you need them."  it made me think...about my circle.  i don't want to regret having any relationship.  i heard a speaker once explain that everything we need is in a relationship.  whether that relationship is marriage, friendship, blood, or spiritual, God has appointed each encounter.  He wrote our stories to cross paths. 

"God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God."
~Romans 8:28 NLT

i like to give more than i take, but some people make it too easy to give, and impossible to take.  i hate to question whether it's worth my effort, so i normally don't think that far...i just jump right in.  and in the end, i often get hurt.  but i think it's worth the risk.  because when i find that relationship that completes a part of me, i become more of who i am supposed to be. 

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become--because He made us."
~C.S. Lewis

Thursday, August 4, 2011

no time to cry

Each day has gotten progressively more difficult over the last five days, and although it doesn't seem relief is anywhere in sight, I have a peace within me, a "peace that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).  This peace will guard my heart and my mind in Jesus Christ.  

I know God will deliver me from this valley.  He is with me, and He comforts me (Psalm 23:4).   

My body is broken, my flesh is exhausted; I witness the pain of those closest to me.  But The Lord delights in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For His grace is sufficient for me.  His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). 

I am calm.  I am faithful.  Because He is faithful.  For it is in this time of famine and drought that seeds of prosperity will be sown (Genesis 26:1-13).  When else could we reap a hundredfold?

Through this adversity, I am learning what is important:  Family.  Faith.  Prayer.  Perspective.  Gratitude.  Trust.  and Belief.

"You keep track of all my sorrows. 
You have collected all my tears in your bottle. 
You have recorded each one in your book."
~Psalm 56:8 NLT