Friday, August 31, 2007
"We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. May of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.
Do I believe I need to be holy? Do I believe that God can come into me and make me holy? If through your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I then resent you preaching. The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it is designed to reveal my unholiness, but it also awakens an intense yearning and desire within me. God has only one intended destiny for mankind - holiness. His goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity - He came to save us because he created us to be holy. Atonement through the Cross of Christ means that God can put me back into perfect oneness with Himself through the death of Jesus Christ, without a trace of anything coming between us any longer.
Never tolerate, because of sympathy for yourself or for others, any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means absolute purity for your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and every thought in your mind - placing every detail of your life under the scrutiny of God Himself. Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me this is being exhibited in my life."
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Joshua & Abram...... 2 of the most amazing brothers any person could have & I yet again find myself thankful for them in my life! They bring me laughter, love, and sweet joy! I would not be who I am without them and my life is much fuller because of their love. They have loved me for as long as I can remember, they love my husband and took him in as another brother, and love my children as if they were their own. They are a true blessing.
I remember when my brother Joshua went off to college and I never knew how much your heart could hurt at missing some one so dearly. You see, Joshua is only 2 years younger than me and he was my best friend and buddy growing up. We did everything together & where you found Earen...you found Joshua and vice versa. He's now a grown man and making a wonderful life for his own and I'm so glad he's back home with us and apart of so much that we do.
Last week we all sent my younger brother Abram off to college. Even not being around for Abram as much, the heart still aches and hurts at missing him. You see, I'm 13 years older than Abram and he has just been a delight to have! My parents long ago felt like someone was missing from our lives and I'm so thankful they decided to try one more time. It was a step of faith and trust in the Lord as I have a handicapped sister who was born years before Abram, so going forward to "try again" was a moment of complete trust in the Lord and has become a lifetime of total dependence on Him.
I watched as Abram crossed that stage to graduate from highschool this last May and I can't express my feelings of complete pride in him. To watch the man he's grown up to be and the man of integrity & passion for the Lord at that. I watched his first steps, his first words, his first school days, his first baseball games, his first sledding moment in the snow, his first basketball game, his first girlfriend...I was there for so much of it. It's almost as if he's my own. I guess in a way, he is my own...he's my own & dear brother.
My brothers...what would I do without them....they are a huge piece of who I am and my heart is filled with complete joy.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I wonder what Mary thought knowing she bore the Son of God. I wonder what she thought as she gazed at her son lying fast asleep, not knowing the road ahead for her precious son. I wonder how her heart felt as she gazed upon her Son's tiny hands only to one day know the piercing that would cause him to give his life for us. Can you imagine her love...not only for her Son, but for us. Not realizing that some day, those tiny hands would never be the same again.....
Our Benjamin...he's always been much smaller than his older brother Caleb. And I'm sure that his younger brother Levi will out grow him as he's on track with his older brother! But, Benjamin is our athlete! He loves throwing balls, kicking balls, hitting balls...anything that has "ball" in it! He also enjoys his brother Caleb so. His favorite verbal method of choice with him is screaming at the top of his lungs, then causing Caleb to cry because it hurts his ears. Oh yes, it's so fun! Benjamin is definitely his own & he doesn't like being told what to do by his older brother! I am convinced that the Lord gave me two 1st born children & I'm thankful....
Ok, so I had a break in this blogging because yet again my boys are fighting & hitting each other. ARGG! I know they are boys & siblings at that, but I refuse to have fighting in our home...I pray the peace of the Lord be over my home & between my boys...but, this is a whole other blog day!
Anyway, as I was saying.....Benjamin. He truly is a sweet heart. With his curly hair & chubby cheeks and what melts my heart most is the way 2 year olds talk. Sentences don't quite yet flow & words aren't 100% accurate, but there's just this sweetness in the way he talks. I just love it!
Right now with Benjamin though, here's what touches me most....He comes up to me and says, "Hold you?"...which translates into "hold me?". Then upon my lifting him up into my arms, he wraps his arms around me & says, "My mama." Sigh...talk about melting a mama's heart. It's nice to be needed & loved by a 2 year old.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Every Sunday my husband takes our older two boys, Caleb & Benjamin to Sunday School while I head into the nursing mother's room. Then usually after the service, I'm wrapping things up with Levi and my husband picks them back up. There's nothing sweeter than when I walk down the stairs & see my children's face light up as they see me & run to hug my leg. Oh, it melts my heart. My second son Benjamin has this curly hair & cute cheeks and how can I resist! Caleb's smile and laugh capture my heart!
They immediately show me their very creative crafts they accomplished. Benjamin has just recently started to be very proud of his work & wants me to hang it up on the refrigerator every week. At this point in his life, he makes a few scribbles and puts a couple stickers on it and thinks it's the best thing since slice bread! He holds the picture with both hands and extends his arms up my way and says, "Look mama!"
Seeing the same relationship the Father desires to have with us, I find myself in thought again. Does the Father feel from me the way I feel when my children run up to me? Do I melt the Lord's heart as I run His way? My life is his creation. Do I run up to him with undying passion in showing Him my masterpiece - my life?
I think of the masterpiece He showed me so many, many years ago....He stretched out his arms in complete sacrifice in a way that only death & resurrection can accomplish. I hope I always run up with my face lit up & hug my Father's leg & then show Him my life as His masterpiece, extending my arms and saying, "Look daddy", only to capture His heart.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thankful for the breath I breathe
Thankful for the gift of friendship
Thankful for the gift of family
Thankful for the love of a man
Thankful for the gift of my "little loves"
Thankful for freedom
Thankful for the sweet whispers of the wind
Thankful for the timeless beauty of His creation
Thankful for the cherished memories of love
Thankful for my soul that belongs to HIM.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I cherish the way he longs to be with me & I with him...the way in which he supports our family so wonderfully...the way in which he is passionate about the Lord...the way in which his touch still makes me light as air...the way in which his heart speaks kindness constantly...the incredibly handsome man he is....the way in which his love is never ending.
His voice speaks compassion, love, & humility. His tenderness speaks strength of heart. His "daddy-ness" speaks of his passionate love for his children. His heart speaks to me...My love.
This man of mine...an honor like this only comes once in a lifetime and my humbleness comes in that he chose me. What more cherished gift could I be given but the gift of my sweetness...MY love...
Friday, August 24, 2007
All these are now memories - cherished of course, but days have passed and now he's 4 1/2. On September 4th, my son will enter pre-kindergarten and I find myself so happy for the experiences he'll have, but sad in my heart that we are already to this stage in life. How does life pass us by so quickly? It was a last minute decision and one in which we really prayed about, asking for the Lord's peace. In which we had.
It's hard to let go of your children..remembering that I gave them to the Lord even before conception. It's hard not knowing what he'll be doing from moment to moment. It's hard knowing he doesn't need me as much. I know it's the process of life and we all went through it...but, he's my first.
Chuck Swindoll said, " The cautious faith that never saws off a limb on which it's sitting, never learns that unattached limbs find strange unaccountable way of not falling."
My sweet boy....an everyday releasing Him into the hands of the Father. I love my Caleb so....
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I'm so very thankful to the Lord for the friendships I have in my life! For several years now I've been involved in a girl's accountability group. We meet usually weekly over a cup of coffee and share our deep thoughts, desires, and prayer requests. Sometimes I can make it & there are some weeks I can't & I find that even in the busyness of our lives we still all find the time to realize the importance of women in our lives. I'll be honest with you, after having a third child things change and I can honestly express that I've had an odd sense ofloneliness amidst an amazing group of friends...nothing done wrong on their end, but just the busyness of myself and all my friends having several children or just life being busy and I find myself missing themdesperately . And God completely brings me back to Himself. Stripping me of all that I thought I needed and reminding me that all I need is Him.
The girl's group that I meet with is a breathe of fresh air for me. It's a spiritual breathe of fresh air. One in which I can share my true thoughts & know I won't be judged...one in which I can lay my heart on the line for prayer needs I might have and know I'll be prayed for....one in which at times they gather around me tointercede on my behalf right then & there not caring what a single person in that coffee shop might think...one in which I'm encouraged in the Lord & even challenged....one in which I know I have their friendships for life.
Friendships I believe are a vital role in who we are - at least I can say they have been for me. After years of having just "surface" friends (except for my one friend Anna), the Lord finally answered years of prayer & brought my dear & best friend into my life - Sharalee. I am constantly amazed at how perfect God knew she'd be for me & she was definitely worth the wait! We are so much alike & she's the sister I never had. Then I met my dear friend Keek who has been a source of constant support, encouragement, & love to me. Then there's my mama - who at one time was my "mom" figure and now has become such a lovely and sweet friendship. And the Lord has just continued to bless me amazingly with the incredible friends that I have who show me love & that unconditionally. You all know who you are & I'm very, very thankful for you! I've even met some new friends blogging and some friendships have even grown deeper through this blog and I'm very grateful.
So, I dedicate this blog to my friends. To my sisters in Christ. I want you all to know the deep depth of love I have for each of you & I wouldn't be who I am today without you. Thank you for investing in my life and allowing me to know how important I am to you. I hope you know that the feelings are mutual. I cherish you....
To my Lord, who's my dearest & best friend. Please forgive me for the times I don't communicate with you. If I ignored my friends the way I sometimes forget or don't take the time in spending with you, I'd have no friends. Forgive me for not seeing that you are the most amazing friend I've ever been given & you desire the communication & even more time than I give anyone in my life. I give you all my joys, hurts, thoughts, feelings, desires. I give you all I am & ever hope to be.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
So, by 9:30am yesterday morning I was at a point of screaming! My dear, sweet older boys are going through a stage of enjoying fighting with each other. We work on things everyday & thankfully they are getting better, but there are moments when I feel like an odd remembrance of knowing that..hmm...I've said these words before..."Stop fighting with each other. God wants us to love each other, you are best friends.." Stop the madness!
After putting them in their rooms to just have some play time by themselves, I immediately proceeded to have a conversation with the Lord! I found myself just expressing my thoughts of feeling so unhappy with the moment of this day. Disliking so much the constant fighting & asking the Lord to give me the strength to keep going & keep up with the constant consistency of the day. In the Lord's sweet way, I feel like He spoke directly to my heart in regards to my happiness. The sweetness of his voice spoke to me that He doesn't desire me to be happy. What?! You don't want me to be happy with the life I have? "I want you to have joy & sweet contentment in me & that alone." So, I thought about this all day & finally had a moment to really take a look at what the different meanings are between joy & happiness. Being happy is temporal & based on "things" or even your circumstances. Joy is great delight found in something exceptionally good or satisfying. Things don't ultimately satisfy..only God does & in that is joy.
Finding joy in the mundane, everyday things we have the blessing of doing. Finding joy amidst the fighting of my children or the sweetness of the chaos. Finding joy when all I really want to do is run away for the moment. Please don't get me wrong, I love my life...I love my husband so dearly....I love my children so dearly...I love the blessing of being at home with them...I am truly blessed by the Lord!
The sweetness of the Lord's voice to me yesterday convicted me that I am striving towards my "happiness" being on the next fun thing we do or circumstances that I might enjoy in my life. I need to yearn towards the "joy" of just being...just being in the Lord. The precious knowing that all He desires is us & all we should desire is Him....that it overflows into every area of our lives....anointing us with His joy. Happiness is a thing of the past....I'm moving on to joy.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
For birthdays, my whole family comes together to celebrate together in having a nice dinner, opening gifts, & having birthday cake! For as long as I can remember, birthdays have been a big deal in our family and we've always celebrated as if we were a king or queen! Even after 32 years this coming September, I still absolutely LOVE my birthday. My parents really wanted to celebrate the life the Lord had given us & boy did they do a good job. The night before our birthday, my daddy would take just us out to have special time with him. As little kids it started as a visit to McDonalds, but as we got older we went to dinner, movies, bowling, etc. I still remember so many of those times with my daddy - especially my 13th birthday in which he took me to get my ears pierced! The day of our birthday was filled with whatever we wanted to eat for each meal. Oh, was that junk food heaven! Marshmellow puffs for breakfast, hoagie sandwiches & chips for lunch, hamburger & fries for dinner. Then my favorite was my "cake" of choice which for me was usually brownies with ice cream & chocolate syrup on top. Lately for me it's banana splits...YUMMY! Anyway, my family made every moment special for me and looking back & still is a very fun day for me.
As we were celebrating my Grandma's birthday last night, with everyone around the table I was so thankful for family. It's such a gift from the Lord and more meaningful to me is that they all know the Lord & serve Him. We weren't quite complete as my dear, brother Abram headed off to college last week, so our hearts were a bit empty & missing him.
I think about traditions and already enjoy passing the birthday celebration tradition on to my own children. Even at our boys young age, my husband takes them out the night before & we make the day of their birthday very special for them. As a mama, I am now filled with joy at seeing the true excitement in their eyes! Have we forgotten life through the eyes of a child?
Family and Traditions...a true blessing. I'm so thankful for my dear family and even more thankful that I'm apart of the family of God. That's the most important tradition and family to be apart of.....
Monday, August 20, 2007
As so many of us know, time alone is a very, cherished gift. We don’t get it often, but when we do it’s like a slice of heaven…at least for me anyway. When you have little children your time is much demanded of, not to mention when you have a newborn who is nursing every 3-3 ½ hours.
Yesterday my dear, sweet husband encouraged me to go out by myself. It was his last day off before going back to work (he’s a teacher) and he wanted me to enjoy some time alone. He’s an absolutely wonderful & thoughtful husband! So in between feeding Levi, I headed to what has become my most favorite thing to do & that’s to go to a bookstore, get a cup of coffee, sit there & look at People Magazine. Yes, I admit it…I have a real liking for the magazine that keeps me up to date & informed about the important stars in our culture! Ha! Do you as a mom remember the last time you got to sit for more than 1 hour and just relax? Ahh…it was sweetness!
Even as I was sitting there enjoying my time, I would periodically look up & notice the distractions that I would call…people. I love people watching, but as I was sitting there & letting my mind think for a moment, I thought about all the distractions that take my attention away from the Lord & focusing on Him. And isn’t it the truth that even when you are completely alone, in your room, having some sweet time in the Word – your mind is the greatest distraction of all. You might think about what you should be doing, or you think you hear a child in the background, or my favorite…you fall asleep!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
All is quiet in my house this morning, except for the sweet cooing of my youngest son, Levi. He decided after eating that he just wanted to coo & talk with me. As I look at him, trying to figure out what he's trying to tell me I'm amazed at the closeness I feel with him and realize truly what a miracle he is. Every little detail of his body is perfectly created and when I look at him and all that went into creating him inside of me, how could one not believe there is a God.
As the Lord's children, I know that He longs for us to gaze upon Him with that look in our eyes - just like the look you see a newborn give their mama. It's a look of sweet adoration, amazing love, and a feeling knowing that all we need is Him. Even when I talk, Levi's head turns immediately to find me & he recognizes my voice instantly. Do I immediately turn to the Father when I hear His voice? Do I recognize His voice and long to be in His arms? Do I have that adoration & deep love for Him and not only that, but is it a everyday longing?
I find so many parallels to my own children and our Heavenly Father. He wants to listen to "my cooing" and wants me to rest in His arms, but do I take the simple time to talk with Him and just rest. A time that is resting amidst the busyness of the day....a sweet time of intimacy with the Lord.
So now the morning begins and what started as sweet quietness, has moved to all 3 boys talking and ready to start the day. There is a love that I feel when I hear their voices - their simple small talk - and I realize truly, what a gift I've been given. Their sweet laugh, their yelling for Dad, their sweet cooing...it's all a gift.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
After a long search, the Lord led us to a new church that we are just loving. It's such a peaceful feeling when you know you're where God wants you to be! Last week we took communion as they do once a month. Every time I'm given that little cup of grape juice and the broken bread it feels my heart with such humbling gratefulness in what the Lord did for us on the cross so many years ago. Where would I be without Christ in my life?!
As I teach my children how to love the Lord, I pray that they come to know Him as personal Savior at a young age & at times find such overwhelming responsibility in knowing that it's my & my husband's role to encourage them towards the Lord in everything they do. I think back so many, many years ago to the day in which I knelt down in the kitchen with my mama and asked Jesus to come into my heart as my personal Savior. There's nothing sweeter.....
May my every word point my children back to the Cross. May my daily actions be filled with the loving grace of the Lord. And more importantly, may I alway show my children the deep, love relationship that I long to pursue every day with my God and how that's all that truly matters in life.
The Power of the Cross....it can truly change one's life forever.
Friday, August 17, 2007
So, we just got back from Grand Lake, Co. for our yearly family trip yesterday. God's creation is just beautiful as I gaze upon the mountains & view all His glory. I have to admit though, I am kind of a scaredy (is that how it's spelled?) cat when it comes to being up high. We drove over Trail Ridge & OH MY GOODNESS!...talk about high up. Over 11,000ft. high! I could hardly even look over the edge without having some serious fear. Sometimes though I find that with the Lord He desires us to go up high with Him & take some risks and wow, the beauty that we see once we're up there is unimaginable.
I find the Lord is constantly teaching me new things & it's usually through my children. We wake up Tuesday morning to leave and my son Caleb walks up the stairs with 7 red dots on his forehead. Now at first glance my heart sank as I thought, "Please don't be chicken-pox!" Thankfully, we think he just got bit by mosquitoes while watching the shooting stars at 2am the night before with his Dad. Poor guy...will look back at pictures of this trip with 7 red dots on his head. Then we get home & my 2nd son, Benjamin is running a fever & seems pretty out of it. No other symptoms though. Ok, so my children being sick is something I really worry about...I know, the Lord doesn't call us to worry! Let me back up a bit.....
I've really been praying with my 3rd son, Levi that my milk supply nursing him would stay up & I have really been seeking the Lord on not worrying about it at all & giving it over to the Lord. Seriously, I have plenty of milk, I just worry. My husband does a great job of encouraging me in this area of not worrying. Anyway, I felt like the Lord so sweetly reminded me today that with that same mentality, I should be giving my children's health & lives completely over to Him. I'm not in control - He is! Ashamedly, I also admit that sometimes them getting sick causes a break up in what "I" had planned for the day. Isn't that terrible! Getting rid of self is a daily cross to lay down.
Giving our burdens, desires, frustrations, selfishness - over to Him. This is what the Lord desires for us. How else would we grow?! He loves us and our children so much more than we could ever imagine and why would I not think that a God that made such an amazing creation would care for my children 100 times more!
The red dots that Caleb has are going away but still there - Benjamin is still sleeping at 10am & seems a bit out of it - but you know what, my heart is sweetly content in knowing that He is watching over them and in that there's true faith.