Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Fun

Since it has been so hot here this week (it was 106 on Tuesday!) the little kids played in the pool in the morning while it was a frigid 83 degrees.

Travis crawled out of the pool and on his hands and feet crawled all around the yard. He was having so much fun! I know he'll be walking very soon.

Today, Brittany and Tyler went with Cassandra to the water park, Timothy, Bethany and Brooke are at camp and David was off today so he took Tristan and Thomas to do some errands. So........I only have Bailey and Travis. And one of them is asleep right now. So quiet around here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We all scream for Ice Cream!

Last Saturdy we went to Blue Bell's Taste of Summer. How can you not pass up all-you-can-eat-ice cream?

Look! It's All You Can Eat Round 1!

Arrgh, Matey! Don't take my ice cream!

Round 2 of All You Can Eat.

Ice Cream Round 3.

Hey David! Let's go sign up for the ice cream eating competition!

Ice Cream with friends round 4.

A fire truck tour.

That what so cool!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Off to Camp

Timothy, Bethany and Brooke left for church camp today. They had the chance to go last year and had a great time. They were so excited to get to go again.

The whole crazy bunch will be back on Friday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

My sneaky daughter and sister in law surprised me with a birthday party!

They had decked out a spot at the park in balloons......

Brought snacks and cake......

And lots of friends!

Spoiled me rotten!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

God's Heart for Mothers Part 4

4. Mothering is.….at the heart of God.

Every tear you shed over your children, every sticky face you wash, every diaper you change, every load of laundry you do is worth it to Him. Mothering is service to God You are emulating, Jesus the one who came here to serve.

Colossians 3: 17
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

When my husband was in the Marine Corps, my friend had a neighbor with 2 small children around the ages of 5 and 2. She had decided to go to nursing school. She said something that really struck me. “I’m just ready for the kids to grow up and go to school so I can get on with my life.”

We are not perfect, even as mothers, but Jesus forgives all sins and restores us. If you’ve made mistakes with your children, it is never too late to humble yourself before God. Ask forgiveness for your sin and start fresh with a heart for God. Ask your children to forgive you. All you need to raise your children is a heart sold out for God.

You have to put God first or every area of your life will suffer, especially mothering. I know sometimes that’s hard. I know what it’s like to have small children and be busy. When my children were 7, 5, 2, 7 months and I was 4 months pregnant, my husband got deployed with the National Guard for a year. I can’t count how many times someone has said to me, “You must be so patient” or “I could never have that many kids, I just don’t have the patience.” God doesn’t require patience, he just requires faith.

When you pour your all into God he can pour Himself out through you into the lives of your children.

If you spend time with God and in His Word, those fruits, patience, kindness, gentleness will come.

In the morning or even at night read a passage , it doesn’t have to be long, and you can pray and meditate on it while cooking, folding laundry or driving. I’m really just speaking to mothers with very small children here, because children are so needy then, and it’s hard to find time. If you don’t have small children and it’s hard to find time to spend in God’s word then you really need to reevaluate your priorities.

Jesus meets people where they are: He met the woman at the well right there when she was doing her chores. He gave her the Living Water. You can meet with Jesus when you are washing dishes, folding laundry, changing diapers, or driving. Even when you are reading and teaching scripture to your children, especially then.

Commit scripture to memory and you can pray and meditate on that scripture anytime. You can memorize verses for every letter of the alphabet . Sing Christian music and hymns with your children and you have a chance to worship together. So those are just various simple ways to find time for God.

I really enjoy my children. Now I am so humbled and grateful that in spite of myself God chose to bless me in this way. I like what Luke writes in his gospel about when the angel tells Zacharias that Elizabeth will have a child (we know that child as John the Baptist). He says, “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”

My children truly are a blessing to me. I think of that young mom who just wanted “to get on with her life” and what joy and gladness she missed out on with her children.

Our children really can be a blessing to us.

Prov. 31:28
“Her children rise up and bless her.”

Her children should rise up and call her blessed.

I like what the Matthew Henry commentary says about this verse.

“If her children are dutiful and respectful to her they then give her the reward she has earned she reaps the benefit of all the care she has taken of them. Her own works will bring her praise.”

My children are always making me laugh. And I tell them over and over, “I’m not laughing at you, but I appreciate you making me laugh.” So, I have to share with you some things Thomas, my 4 year old asked me the other night. He didn’t want to go to bed, so I told him to lie down beside me while I was nursing Travis, so he laid down and about 30 seconds later he rolled over and said…….

If my eyeballs just pop out will I be able to see?
If we eat ants would that be disgusting? Would we have ant breath?
Is Tony Ironman’s suit real?
When I turn 16 do I have to get married?
If 5 little ducks went outside and over the hill without asking would their mom and dad have to go find them?

I just want to encourage you to seek the Lord’s will for your life. I also want to encourage you to see your own children as blessings. Don’t just wait for your children to grow up so you can “get on with your life”. And, don’t be like the man Christian mentioned on Sunday night that got to heaven only to see a room full of gifts that God would have given to him, only he didn’t allow himself to receive them.

I want to leave you with this verse.

Psalm 1: 1-3
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers,
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night
And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water
Which yields fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither,
And in whatever he does he prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3 (Practical Application)
“Oh the joys of the mother who does not follow Cosmopolitan and Glamour
Or stands in the path of daytime TV
Nor sits in the seat of feminists
But her delight is in the laws of the Lord
And she thinks about Him day and night
And she will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water
Which yields fruit in its season
Her leaves will not wither
And in her mothering she will prosper.”

Made in His image
Obedient to God
Helper Suitable
Every woman
Ruler over creation

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God's Heart for Mothers Part 3

3. Mothering is ….. God’s assignment.

Some mothers complain and ask “Doesn’t being a mother takes away my identity? The answer is no. I don’t think so. I am more compassionate, creative, giving and less self centered. I am more aware of the world, more involved and I learn more in general. Maybe I don’t have time to “do” things that I used to “do”, but doing things isn’t who I am. Being a mother is who I am. It is who God designed me to be. Women will do different things at different times in their lives but who you are will spill over into everything you do. So the question really is: Is our focus on ourselves or on God? What does God have in store for you?

A woman from a church we used to attend about ten years ago had three children. I wasn’t very close to this woman but we were in a group talking at a potluck or something and the topic came up about life with small children and going back to work. I don’t remember all of what she said, but one thing did stick with me, and it made me sad. She said, “After I had to watch Barney for the 100th time, I knew I had to get out of there. “ I just thought what message did that send her to her children? That they weren’t important enough? That they were wasting her time? What is that teaching the younger women of the church? To be discontent in their circumstances. This woman’s 18 year old son was in a terrible state of rebellion and her 16 year old daughter had just found out she was pregnant.

Remember, Satan hates you and he hates your children. And unfortunately he has quite a following even among believers.

Lies from Satan:
-You can’t fulfill your dreams.
-You are “stuck” at home.
-You can’t keep up with the times.
-You can’t have a real ministry.
-You can’t stay alive intellectually because you’re just going to be watching Barney all day.

Would Lois and Eunice have believed those lies when they were raising Timothy. Would Moses’s mother; Elizabeth with John the Baptist? What if Mary the mother of Jesus response had been, “No God, I can’t carry the Savior of the world because that would seriously interfere with my ‘me time’”?

How you treat your children is the framework for their learning how to treat their children. Are you setting up a framework for a Godly legacy? Are you taking your assignment seriously? If you weren’t raised in a Godly home, stop that cycle right now. Start your Godly legacy today with your own children.
Children are not young forever. How are they going to remember you? Are you living out for your children a good, Godly role model, no matter what their age? Children are not just things we dress up, change their diapers, then kick out to the culture as soon as they turn 18. We have to invest in them, love them, teach them, train them. Your children are your primary disciples. It is our children that will carry on God’s word through the generations, but they can’t do that if we are not teaching them.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all might.
And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;
And you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.”

Children will ask questions. If you don’t teach your children God’s word, they will learn something from someone. Satan is right there to teach them if you won’t.

Proverbs 1:8 and 6:20 tells children “And do not forsake the teaching of your mother”.

The entire 31st Proverb about finding a Godly wife was written to a King, by his mother.

God tells us when He gives children to us they are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. God uses that war analogy in Psalm 127 because He wants children raised up to serve in His army. God aims those arrows to penetrate a lost world. Shape your children into arrows God can use.

If you have children or have ever watched children you know taking care of children can be hard work. It is hard work to be pregnant, It’s hard work to deliver a baby. It’s not called labor for nothing!

It is hard work to nurse a baby. It is hard work to raise children, and especially hard work to raise children for God. God understands the difficulties with raising children. How many times do we act like them in regards to God; we scream, have tantrums, throw fits when we don’t get our own way. It’s no irony that God calls us “His children”. It’s hard to watch children stumble , to cry, to learn a lesson the hard way. It is hard when you are in a battle with the enemy praying over your child’s soul.

But, God’s grace is sufficient.

Hebrews 4:16
“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Being a mother can be full of screaming, crying, tantrums, dirty diapers, throwing up, scrubbing bathrooms, sticky messes, muddy footprints, washing dishes, load after load of laundry, little sleep, no time for a shower-You are down in the trenches of motherhood, overwhelmed and you think “Is this all there is? Is this all worth it?”

Yes, it is worth it, because….. Stay tuned for part 4.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

God's Heart for Mothers Part 2

2. Mothering is …..for all women.

God instilled in all women the longing to mother and nurture.

Let’s take a look at Hannah, the mother of Samuel….

-1 Sam. 1:4-8
“And when the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, (Elkanah is her husband) he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters;
but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb.
Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb”

(Let me point out that God emphasizes this twice-the Lord closed her womb. -God is the author of Life. He alone opens and closes the womb. Not birth control or whatever. He allows life.)

And it happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she would provoke her, so she wept and would not eat.
Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

Hannah’s husband could not fill the motherly longing Hannah had to have a child.

Proverbs 30:15-16
“There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, ‘Enough’
Sheol and the barren womb
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, ‘Enough’.

Barrenness was considered a curse. Time and time again in the Old Testament God gives his blessing, and it’s to multiply their descendants; as many as the stars in the sky and the sands of the sea or the dust of the earth, or the grass of the field. But when they sinned He brought judgement usually by thinning their numbers.

Deuteronomy 28:62
“Then you shall be left few in number whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because you did not obey the Lord your God”

Leviticus 26: 21-22
“If then you act with hostility against me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins. And I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted.”

Luke 1: 24-25
And after these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant; and she kept herself in seclusion for five months saying, ‘This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.’”

Barrenness was a disgrace. So many women today choose disgrace. Deuteronomy 7:14 says, “Thou shalt be blessed above all people.” What was the blessing that set Israel apart from everyone else? “There shall be no male or female barren among you.”

We made a choice after our second child to trust God to plan our family. And I have to be honest, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. By the fifth child, we thought, “How many children are we really going to have?” I was only 28, so I had a lot of years left, we could have a lot of children. But it was really only my fear of allowing God to work in my life at play there.

God calls children a gift and a reward.

Psalm 127:3
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord;
The Fruit of the womb is a reward
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;

The message Bible translation of Psalm 127:3 is “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb His generous legacy?”

Psalm 128: 3
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
Within your house
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.”

God tells us He wants to give us gifts and we say, ‘Great! God I really need a new car and a new house and a new wardrobe.’ God says, ‘No, I’m going to bless you with a baby.’ Then we think, ‘Um, I’m not sure I want that gift.’ God wants Godly offspring. Malachi scolds the nation of Israel for not bringing up Godly offspring after they returned from exile.

God has reaffirmed our choice many times. So often older couples have come up to me in a store, or where ever, when I have the children with me, and they’ll tell me I’m blessed. And many times they confess that they wished they’d had more.

What if you want children but can’t have any? We know we live in a fallen world, and sometimes God allows couples who want children not to be able to have them and vice versa. We don’t always understand God’s ways, but God always works things out for His good and His purposes. If you don’t have children, you are still a motherly role model . Remember, Eve was called mother before she even had children. Stay faithful to God, He still preserves you if you are a faithful woman with a heart for his design.

Friday, June 17, 2011

God's Heart for Mothers Part 1

I had the priviledge of teaching God's word to over 30 women last week at our church. I'm posting the notes on here in four parts if anyone would like them.

In this day of throw away babies, abortions by the millions, children being raised by the culture, pets are given the equivalence of children, and often times a higher importance than children, mothers have lost their sense of responsibility and how important they really are in society.

God uses so many analogies to babies, children and mothers because they are near and dear to His heart.

Psalm 8: 2 “From the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength

Psalm 22:10 “Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou has been my God from my mother’s womb”

Psalm 131:2 “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.”

Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you"

It wasn’t until the last hundred years or so that having many children wasn’t the norm. With the rise of feminism, and women like Margaret Sanger (who started the first birth control clinic in the early 1900s), that viewing children as a hindrance and a burden and preventing them became the norm.

I could tell you that I had always dreamed of having children and having a large family, but that wouldn’t be true. When I was younger I never wanted to have children. At all. Because that’s the way I viewed children. Then I was not a Christian and I didn’t know what God’s design for women was.

1. Mothering is ……God’s design

Praise God, His design is so much better than anything I could have designed for myself.
Let’s take a look at the world’s very first mother Eve and God’s very first commission.

Gen. 1:28
“And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God blessed them (that they would have children). These were the first recorded words spoken by God to Adam and Eve.

“Be fruitful” (the Hebrew word parah) means to bear fruit, to bring forth, to increase

“To Multiply” (the Hebrew word rabah) means: to increase exceedingly, to be many, to be abundant

So when God said to be fruitful and multiply, he wanted them to increase exceedingly.

God also made Eve mother of all the living

Gen. 3:20
“Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.”

God didn’t give the responsibility of bearing children to men, He gave it to women. All women would be givers of life. Even after they sinned, (because Gen. 3:20 is after the fall) God did not take away his blessing, woman would still bring forth life in this world that was now dead with sin.

God says Women will be preserved by being mothers
1 Tim. 2:15
“But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

Faithful women who obey God’s design for mothering will be preserved from deception and from the corruption of society and will find her greatest satisfaction in fulfilling God’s design. Note this: disobedience leads to deception, but obedience leads to blessing.

Eve’s disobedience caused sin to enter the world BUT also through a woman came the Savior of the world who was and is “The Life” itself.

John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Week of Service..............

Brittany and Tyler just got back from a full week in the Smoky Mountains in Greenville, Tennessee with the youth group. They went up to help a family Bible camp clean up after tornado damage. And, let me tell you they worked! They cleared trees and brush like nobody's business. They called me Wednesday night and were just exhausted. But, I'm so glad they went. The youth took over last night's church service and told all about it.

They were such a good example of well mannered, respectful and helpful young people living for Christ that they impacted people everywhere they went. They even helped reaffirm that camp's youth leaders to stay and press on.

Brittany was part of a skit last night and she also gave a brief testimony of how the trip impacted her. It almost brought tears to my eyes. I was so proud of her.

Poor Tyler wasn't feeling well last night. He said he had a headache and felt like he was going to pass out before service was over. I took him out to the lobby and Cassandra got him some advil, and I got him something to eat. I think he was still so exhausted from the trip and hadn't eaten much. But this morning he felt so much better and was back to himself.

Saturday I was at the used curriculum sale all day. I had sorted through and priced over 20 boxes of curriculum that our church had left over from the christian school they used to run. A lot sold and we gave the money to the youth group. The rest we donated to the book benevolence that donates those who need it. They're putting together some stuff for Joplin.

I'm surprised I didn't pass out myself this weekend! Twenty boxes of books are heavy! And I'm telling you I moved that stuff around for days getting it ready. But every bit was worth it!

Saturday evening we went to a birthday party. Travis's little friend turned a year old. She is so cute.

But of course.

I didn't get one picture the entire weekend.
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