Saturday, January 29, 2011

Being an Example (for Good or Bad)

A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak at a dear friend’s baby shower. I said yes before really thinking about what that would mean. (If you’ve read my blog before, you know that speaking in front of others is not exactly a gift of mine.) Nonetheless, I made a commitment to share some words of advice. As I thought and prayed about what I would say, God brought to mind some things that He has been teaching me lately. I have been under a lot of stress lately (ok, maybe not a lot, more like a colossal amount of stress). Either way, it’s been eating me up inside, and I haven’t even noticed it. I tend to be one of those people that holds things in until I explode. Kind of like a volcano. The other day, I lost it. I yelled (ok, screamed) at my husband for something so minute, that I don’t even remember what it was. And thankfully, he was gracious enough to show Christ to me by just holding me for awhile and telling me that I’ve just been under a lot of stress lately. I mention this because God has graciously given us marriage as a means of showing us who we really are. He has given us marriage to show us more of our sin, and to allow us to sharpen our spouse. And just as He has given spouses to reveal more of our sin nature, He has also given us children to show us more of our sin nature. The Lord has been showing me more and more of my sin nature through the actions of my daughter. Sometimes she does things for which I look at her in stunned amazement, realizing that she acts the way she does because I act the way I do. And the more I see her mimic me, the more I realize that I need to be living in such a way that is pleasing to the Lord if I expect her to live in such a way. Sometimes it’s so much easier to expect things out of other people that we don’t expect from ourselves. It’s easy, and it’s sin nature to believe that we are the exception to the rule. It’s easy to accept laziness from our own lives, while expecting productivity from another. And yet, as a parent, I have these two little people that look up to me as an example. And what kind of example am I setting? Am I setting an example of Christ in the way I speak? The way I conduct myself? My faith? My love? Am I teaching them through my words, but not through my life? There are so many things to ponder; so many questions to answer and so many things to examine in my life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Content. What is it mean to truly be content? I find myself in a place not many twenty-four year olds find themselves. I am a wife and the mother of two children. I married at 21, and delivered my first child at 22. Not exactly the typical American female. Most of the time, I love my life, but in my “life plan”, I certainly did not expect to be where I am at today. I never really wanted to get married. Well, I wanted to, but certainly not at a young age. I wanted to live my life. I wanted to do missions. I wanted to go off to some obscure place in Africa and work as a nurse helping others before I married and had children. And yet, here I find myself. I still finished nursing school, but instead of helping other people fight diseases, I help littler people eat, bath (hopefully without screaming from the little person), go potty, learn to say “please” and “thank you”, etc. And sometimes I find myself wishing I were in Africa. Not because I don’t love my children, I love them very much, but I find myself getting annoyed with the same routine every day. I find it hard to find joy and contentment in the mundane. Until recently. The Lord has been working on my heart in so many areas lately. I find that as my family grows, it becomes less and less possible for me to do certain things outside the home. At more than one point, I have become angry that I can’t “minister” to other people because I need to clean, or do laundry, or put a child to bed. I have been so blessed that I have a husband who is more than willing to allow me to go out if I want too, even if that means going to the grocery store at midnight. Together, we have been involved in ministries at our church, and we have loved it. With my husband leaving for so long, I see that it is necessary for me to take a step back from some things. And that frustrated me at first. It frustrated me because I am selfish, and I am prideful. I want to do the things that I want to do. I don’t want to be restricted. But I am. And I’ve come to a peace about it. I’ve coming to realize (and am still coming to realize) that my number one priority is my family. It’s not the people outside my family. It’s my husband, my daughter, and my son. And with my husband being gone, my daughter and my son will need me even more. My priority is raising those two little ones to be God-fearing adults. And that starts in the home. It doesn’t start with sending them to Sunday school, or Wednesday night church, or a Christian school. It starts with us. It starts with Dad and Mom. It means giving up what I want to do, so that I can nurture and cultivate relationships with them now. It means stepping back from other responsibilities, so that I can take care of the responsibilities in my home. And I’m ok with that. I’m excited about it. I’m excited to pour my life and energy into these two little ones. What a blessing it is, and what a daunting task it is to raise children to be like Christ. And I know I’m not perfect, I know I’ll make mistakes. But God has blessed me, and equipped me with His Word to teach me how to teach little ones. So amazing. But for those of you who read this, please pray for me. Please pray for me in the coming months. I have good days and I have bad days. Some days I rejoice, and some days I mourn. Most days lately, I mourn. But in my heart, I know that God has planned this for our good. And I am excited to see what He has in store for us in the coming months.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Flu

Today, I am thankful for God's gift of the flu. And I'm truly not being sarcastic. My husband was able to take last week off work, and was supposed to start working out at the Air Guard base this week, but because we got the flu, he took another week off work. :) Because of the flu, we got some much needed time with Daddy before he leaves. We got to watch a movie as a family today, and just spend time together. I never thought I would say getting the flu was a blessing, but this week it truly is.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


"Heal my heart and make it clean,
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like You have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours,
Every thing I am for Your Kingdoms cause
As I walk from earth into eternity."
- Brooke Fraser Ligertwood

Friday, January 14, 2011


Today, I am grateful for every moment I have with my two little ones. I am grateful for the runny noses and the cranky moods. I am grateful for the sleepless nights and the stinky diapers.
Life again was put in perspective for me today. We attended a funeral for a 6-year-old little girl. The last two funerals we attended have been for little ones. The first was for a 4-month-old baby boy, and today, a little girl. I don't mean to write about death so much, but maybe it's just that I have been thinking about what life really means lately. As a believer in Christ, I can be comforted by death. But what about those who don't believe in Christ? How do we comfort them?
So many things to think about today. It makes me grateful for the hope we have in Christ. It makes me grateful for a Savior, but more than grateful. I am in awe that we have a Savior. Awed ... Humbled ... Grateful ... It makes me look forward to being with Christ forever. To know the glory of being with Him for eternity. To worship Him forever. Now, that is comforting, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Wow, what an encouragement this post was to me this morning. I don't pray for my children nearly as often as I should, but here are some great verses and ideas of how to make prayer more intentional throughout my day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Choosing Gratitude

I’m not really a New Year’s resolution person. In fact, I despise New Year’s resolutions. Kind of harsh, I know, but I’ve never been fond of the idea of choosing a “resolution” that lasts 2 weeks. (And please understand, I know that not everyone views resolutions like this.) But this year, I’ve actually made a resolution of sorts, even though I don’t really want to think of it as one. In September, I bought a book called “Choosing Gratitude” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I have only read the first page or two, but I have determined that my goal or my “theme” for this year is going to be “choosing gratitude”. God has blessed me beyond measure, and I don’t ever want to forget that.

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15


I am so thankful that God has given us so many examples in Scripture. He gives us examples of people who are upright and walk in Him, and He gives us examples of those who don't. Sometimes when I read of the people who reject Him over and over, I find myself judging them, even though I am the exact same way. It is so easy for me to praise Him when things are good, or when things are going my way, but it's a whole lot harder to praise Him when things are bad, or when things aren't the way I like. I am so thankful though, that He brings those hard times to make us stronger in Him. He brings them to draw us close to Him. What an awesome God we have who wants us to be close to Him. He wants us to bring our difficulties before Him so that He would be magnified and lifted up. It always amazes me when I read the story of Job. I know it's a familiar passage to most people. In the first chapter, Job loses everything he has. That chapter ends by saying, "In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong" Job 1:22. Wow. One of my worst fears is losing my family. Job lost all of his children, and yet he didn't sin. What an awesome illustration of Christ. And yet, Job remained blameless and upright when everything was taken away from him. What an awesome example. I am so thankful that God gave us these examples in Scripture so that we might have hope. We have hope in a God who knows all things, who plans all things, and who gave us a Savior from our sins.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To Him Be the Glory

Why is it than when I hurt I so often look to myself for the answers? I send that question out, but I know the answer. I know that I look to myself because I am a sinner. And I so wish I wasn't. Do you ever feel like the "chief of sinners" that Paul talks about? I do. I am lazy, I make up excuses not to do things (or to do things), I neglect Scripture, I look to the world for wisdom instead of the Word, I get angry at my husband and children, I am jealous, I am prideful ... All the things the Lord says He hates, I am.
I explained yesterday that my husband is leaving for a few months. It's so easy for me to say on the outside that we'll be ok. It's easy for me to tell others that we don't need help, even though we do. Honestly, I know it's because pride is so deeply ingrained in me, that I want to put up a good front. I want people to think that I have it all together, when I don't. I'm falling apart on the inside. It eats me up that my husband is leaving.
But I also know that I don't have to do it on my own. I certainly want too, but I don't have too. It's so hard for me to give things up to God, but that is exactly what He wants us to do. He gave up His only Son, so that we don't have to carry our sin burden with us anymore. He paid that price for us. How amazing. 1 Timothy 1:16-17 says, "But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever. Amen". He gives us mercy to display HIS goodness. He gives us mercy so that HE might be glorified. I am so thankful that there is nothing I can do to deserve His mercy. I am so thankful that He doesn't look at my life and determine if I am "good enough". I am so thankful that in His mercy and kindness HE saved me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I don't do change well. I never have. I like things in the same spot all the time. I HATE moving. Which probably explains why I've only moved about 3 times in my entire life. Well, our family is going through lots of change in the next few weeks. My husband is in the military, and is going to training for 4 months. I've tried not to think about it too much, because whenever I think about it I start to cry. But today in my devotions I read this, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit" Psalm 34:18 .. I wouldn't exactly say that I am crushed in spirit, but I think it's safe to say I'm in the brokenhearted category. And the Lord is near me. What an encouraging and humbling thought. I certainly don't deserve Him to be near me. I deserve the opposite. And yet, He is near. I am so thankful and grateful that He is here. I don't have to worry about who will take care of us for 4 months, because He will. I don't have to worry about my little girl who won't have a daddy with her for 4 months, because He will take care of her. How awesome to rest in a God who has perfectly planned this for our good.