Sunday, August 30, 2009

Waiting

I thought this was timely as I read it in my devotions today. Kind of relates to my last post.

"Wait on the Lord." — Psalm 27:14

by C.H. Spurgeon:
It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My least favorite word.

Change. Especially when it's used in the phrase, "Change you can believe in." I cringe when I hear that overused, grossly misused phrase. The news is full of this word. Lately it has been used and received in a negative way and normally I don't like change....at first. The term 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is good advice, in my opinion. I like small, normal things to change. Take paint colors, for instance. I love a new paint color every now and then. I like to change up the look of the rooms in my house and move the furniture around. I like some things to change, but when it comes to BIG things - things that affect my future, my family or my bank account, I tend to hesitate at the thought of change. The all-important question relating to change is "WHY?" Why do things have to change? Why do I not want to change? Why should I consider change? Why does anything have to change if everything is working just fine the way that it is? WHY? I'm being vague here on purpose, but I've been having to ask myself these questions lately about some things in my world that are changing. When I look back at major changes that occurred in my life I can clearly remember the feeling I had when those changes were presented to me. Leaving home to go to college. Coming back home after college with no prospect of marriage in my future. Moving away from home to a different state knowing only one person. All of those times were very hard for me, but they all contain one common denominator....God's perfect will for my life. I did not want to leave home for college. I wanted to be near my family and my church more than anything. But God wanted me in Florida at a great college. Then, I had planned to meet someone during college and get married after I graduated. But God did not want that for me at that time. I had many lessons to learn and growing to do before He could allow that. After college, I wanted to find a good, lucrative job and still be near my family and my church. God wanted me to move away from home, live on my own, find my own church and meet new friends. I remember that feeling of distress that I was actually going to leave my family and be on my own and sobbing over that for a long time, but inside having complete peace that I was doing what God wanted me to do. I was torn. Other circumstances come to mind, too, and all of them were just as difficult as the ones I mentioned. Now, I can look back on those changes and see God's loving hand leading me in every difficult step that I had to take. Sometimes I can't see the 'Why' in everything until I just take that next step and trust the One in Whom I have placed my trust. He will never lead me down a wrong path. I know I can count on Him to lead even when my heart feels sad or worried about the prospect of such change. And sometimes, just talking about change causes me to take a closer look into why I do things the way I do or why I like things to be a certain way even if the change never really occurs. Above all else, it causes me to lean closer to God and His will rather than my own understanding. Change can be good. Not always easy, but good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm not ready for this.

I knew it would come sooner or later, but I sure hoped it would be later. I'm talking of the Terrible Two's. Yes, this past week I have been in a battle. It's a battle of wills. This my 3rd time to go through the Terrible Two's with my girls, and although I feel more equipped and more determined than ever to be an early victor in this battle, I was not prepared to go down this path right now. I would much rather wait until my 16 month old is actually 2 years old. Gives me more time to prepare myself mentally and physically. I have said on more than one occasion that I do not like surprises outside of birthdays and Christmas. Believe me. This came on quickly! I was in the grocery store (of all places!) when reality struck. For the past two weeks I had convinced myself that this change in my sweet innocent 16 month old was just because she's getting her eye teeth. WRONG!! The battle is raging. But I WILL win. Just wait and see. I'm up to the challenge. And I'm thankful that God allowed Hubs and I to recognize this change for what it is. I think with our first child we didn't realize it so early. No amount of 'friendly advice' or counsel could have prepared us for that major challenge. I believe you have to experience it to really learn how to handle it. We still aren't perfect at it. I don't think we'd achieve that even if we were the Duggars. HA But by God's grace we have been able to learn from our mistakes and from the wealth of information we've received on this subject through our church and other means. Raising children (natural born transgressors - ha!) is the biggest challenge I've ever faced in my lifetime thus far. There were times I just wanted to raise the white flag of surrender. There still are times that I just cry out to God for his help -ask my kids...they look at me like I'm nuts sometimes. But more recently now, we know what we need to do and by God's grace we do it. Consistency is hard for me with 3 young kids. But I have begun praying that God will just prompt me into action at exactly the times I need to act, regardless of what is going on in my schedule. It works. I just have to obey. So, here I am in the midst of this battle, without a grip on my white flag of surrender and wearing the whole armor. I'm ready. Lord, help me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Million Dollar Question of the Day

So, today is Saturday. Saturday is a good day around here. It's the day I get to spend with my whole family getting 'stuff' done around the house and even get to go out by myself at some point during the day to regain my sanity and run a couple of errands without anyone fighting over who gets to sit in the buggy. It was a very busy day today - cleaning, furniture hunting, cleaning some more, changing diapers, washing dishes, decluttering, dusting, vacuuming, etc. So, I finally sat down for a minute and was getting ready to check my email when the baby spotted me and realized I hadn't held her for the past 2 minutes (which is a long time to her, evidently) and started crying. So, I picked her up and she was pointing at a book about airplanes and saying, "This" meaning "I want you to read this to me." Email forgotten, I began reading to her. Enter Middle Child. "Mommy, what do Mommies do?" Her daddy heard her and just laughed out loud. Knowing I didn't have the time I needed to answer this question and she doesn't have the attention span for me to answer such a loaded question, I just said..."We do just about everything."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Scheduled Life

Well, it's that time again. School is back in session! (And all the mothers worldwide say, "AMEN!") I love this time of year. My big girl is finishing up her first week of 1st grade and so far it has been a success. She has come home very excited every day and I hear all about her day. The things she loves most this year: eating lunch at school, having 'hot lunch', 2 recesses, PE class, her Bible truths workbook with REAL MAPS in it (she loves maps), Spanish, Art, Music...the list goes on. My favorite thing about this year: the neighborhood kids are all back to school!!! No more doorbell ringing during naptime! Yippee!!! Oh, and my Target will not be so crowded now. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Along with the new school year, though, comes a new schedule. I don't have to tell you that a morning person I am not. This began in my younger years. Just ask my dad. On second thought, don't. There are too many stories to tell of how hard it was for me to wake up, get ready, and be at the breakfast table for family devotions by 6:30 so that I could be on the bus by 6:55. I am SO HAPPY to be on the other end of the 'getting ready for school' role. It is much easier being the mom. Of course, for my big girl it's not so hard. She's always been a morning person - since birth. She is usually already awake when her daddy goes in to wake her up at 6:30. Bless her heart. I'm glad for her sake that she's a morning person. Life is hard for us non-morning people. Our new schedule entails getting up at 6:30, Daddy and "M" leaving at 7:30 for school, naptime for "A" 11:45-2:30, naptime for "C" 12:30-2:30, pick up "M" at 2:45, bedtime for "A" 7pm, bedtime for "M" & "C" 7:30pm (later on church night). So far, it's working out, but I still don't like to see 6:30 am. I don't think that will ever change.

What's your favorite part of the school year?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Not I, but Christ

I came across this as I was reading a devotional today. This made me stop and think about who I am...and really, who I am not. Thought I'd share it with you. It's quoting C.H. Spurgeon.

Blue Letter Bible - Devotionals: "'Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name.' — Psalm 29:2
God's glory is the result of His nature and acts. He is glorious in His character, for there is such a store of everything that is holy, and good, and lovely in God, that He must be glorious. The actions which flow from His character are also glorious; but while He intends that they should manifest to His creatures His goodness, and mercy, and justice, He is equally concerned that the glory associated with them should be given only to Himself. Nor is there aught in ourselves in which we may glory; for who maketh us to differ from another? And what have we that we did not receive from the God of all grace? Then how careful ought we to be to walk humbly before the Lord! The moment we glorify ourselves, since there is room for one glory only in the universe, we set ourselves up as rivals to the Most High."

I have been looking for a good system to use for my daily devotions. Something that will help me be consistent. I find that when I have a plan it is much easier to be faithful in my Bible reading, but when there is no plan I don't seem to make time for the most important 'conversation' of my day. I want to do better. I NEED to do better. I have a desire to know God more and have found a great 'system' to help me. If you're looking for a good plan, check out www.BlueLetterBible.com. It has been a great tool for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vacation 101

Just got back from our annual family vacation. Learned a few lessons along the way and thought I'd share them.

  1. A 7 hour road trip on the way to your vacation destination seems to go by much more quickly than your 7 hour return trip. Don't forget to restock your snacks before beginning the return trip. 7 hours will seem like 15 hours if you're running low on snacks and traffic is heavy.
  2. Don't get offended if your husband talks more to the drivers around him during the roadtrip than he does to you, especially on the return drive. (Refer back to #1)
  3. Don't say, "Chill" to your husband if he is engaging in #2. This will not be taken in the loving, reassuring tone in which you said it.
  4. If your husband says "Heaven's to Betsy!" multiple times during the stressful times of travel, refrain from the temptation to say, "I'd just like to know who Betsy is!"
  5. Under all circumstances avoid being a backseat driver! Do NOT, I repeat: Do NOT look up suddenly only to see brake lights a few feet in front of you while going 80 mph and SCREAM or grab the dashboard. This will unnerve the driver, causing him to revert to #4.

More later. This is just the beginning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Caution:

The Freedom of Speech will be exercised here by me, a conservative mommy of three. Feel free to exercise your freedom of speech by leaving a comment or two, but know that I will exercise my right to delete your comment if inappropriate. If you have a problem with that, stop reading now. Otherwise, consider yourself warned.

That being said, welcome to my blog!