Friday, November 5, 2010

God is Faithful in His Love

When we take a walk through the neighborhood, I am careful to keep Caleb on the sidewalk. I started teaching him to stay off of the road before he could even walk, even as I pushed him in the stroller! I wanted it engrained in his head. The road is off limits without mom or dad.  Period.  Now that he not only walks but runs through the neighborhood, he is really very very good about keeping to the sidewalk. He'll stop and wait for me when he wants to cross the street, holding out his hand because he knows he's not allowed in the street without holding hands. We check for moving cars together before we step into the road (I had to add moving because he used to always respond "yes" when I him if he saw any cars in the street because yes, there were cars parked on the street.  He would remain planted on the sidewalk because there were technically cars in the street.) 

But what if he took a detour one day? What if he decided the street looked more enticing? What would you do as his parent? Well, this mom would fly to his rescue, or more like huff and puff to his rescue but I'd get there for sure! I'd return him to the sidewalk where we could continue (and safely complete) our walk together.

By now, you've already noticed the trend to my blog. Here's where I make the connection to God. Remember, He's our Abba, Father. :)

So why do I act as if God is not as good a Father as I am a mother?

I have taken that detour onto the road and chosen the wrong direction. I have chosen to walk straight into oncoming traffic instead of alongside Him. There have even been times I've chosen to walk right up the ramp onto the highway instead of keeping to the sidewalk like I knew to do!

It doesn't take long to realize what I've done as I'm standing in the midst of speeding traffic wondering how I'm gonna get out of this mess. So I turn to God. He's my Father. He'll help me.

I tell Him I took the wrong route. I ask for His forgiveness and of course He gives it.
But, here's the kicker. Here's where I lose sight of God, my Father. I don't really receive His forgiveness. Oh, I thought I did. But, I imagine myself still standing in the street, stuck on the wrong path because of my poor decisions, unable to go back to the beautiful sidewalk. I'd love to get back, but I messed up and ruined that pleasant walk with God and can never truly get it back.
Oh, I believe He's still with me and helping me on my new path, but I never believe I can get back onto the IDEAL path He set out for me originally, the one we were walking together before I so royaly screwed up. I'll never get that closeness back with God, I'll never be used as well by God, I'll never...
Well as it turns out there's lots of off-ramps on that highway. We're not stuck up there.

I've heard Jeremiah 29:11 quoted all my life both in church and at home.  "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future."  It's incredibly inspiring to know that the Creator and Giver of life has plans for ME. 

BUT, what if we make our own detour?  What if we KNOW we moved away from Him and His plan?  Have we destroyed all attempts at His plan that gives hope and future? 

Wait!  Jeremiah didn't stop with verse 11.  God wanted us to know more than the fact that He has great plans for us.  Look at what follows...

"'You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you' - the LORD's declaration - 'and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you' - the LORD's declaration. 'I will restore you to the place I deported you from.' Jeremiah 29:12-14

Hmmm... that sounds more like a Father to me. He will restore your fortunes. He will gather all the scattered together. He will pick me up out of that street and return me to the blessed sidewalk. Just like I run to help my little boy and return him to his rightful place by me, to enjoy the rest of our morning walk together, My Father runs to help me AND He returns me to that rightful place by Him, just as He's always wanted, just as He originally planned. 

Sure as the mom, I now recognize that my little one is in need of a few more lessons, but he's still MY little one.  I will be the one teaching these lessons, I will be the one helping him along the way.  And admist the teaching and lessons learned, we'll have a great deal of joy, conversations, and love. I can do both.  My love for him and my joy with him doesn't pause until he's learned his lesson.  Now God's not going to force us, but if we're willing, He'll teach and reteach all those lessons we need.  And while He's teaching, while we're learning, we get to enjoy day after day of joy, conversations, and love with and from Him. 

He says "Call to me... I will listen... seek Me and find Me." 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just so darn cute!

This morning my husband made a comment that was so fitting for this blog.  It was a Glimpse of Heaven.  He asked "I wonder if God gets this uncontrollable urge to stoop down and kiss us?" 

I totally got it.  As a mom who is head over heels for her son, I often have this overwhelming urge to hug him or kiss him. When I say often, I mean every day, sometimes every hour, when I'm going through photos or bragging on Caleb to Pen, or sitting here writing this post.  I can't stand it, he's just so darn cute. So precious.  I think Pen's even worse than me.  For him, the urge is pretty much constant.  It's actually rather comical to watch. The neighborhood thinks so too! :) 

We look at Caleb and just can't stand it! He must be hugged, kissed and cuddled. He doesn't have to do something extraodinary. He is extraodinary. No bias there. Caleb is simply extraodinary. God made him and God makes nothing ordinary. 

So if I can't help but reach down for a quick kiss or cuddle, God certainly feels the same way.  He loves beyond measure.  He knows more than any how truly extraordinary His creation is.  He knows that we are beautiful, that we are precious, a masterpiece.  He creates only beauty. Well, maybe he made an exception for spiders... and snakes... and sloths... and West Texas... hmmm.... Despite my opinions on some of the particulars of His creation, He did say "It is good" for them all.

At the risk of sounding completely corny, I wrote a song for Caleb when he was tiny. I remember holding him one night, thinking, I should sing him a song of my own, not borrowed words but my own! So I started singing and this is what came out....

"I love you. Oh yes, oh yes, I do. Oh don't you know I love you. Oh yes, oh yes I do."

What can I say? I was overwhelmed with love :)  I should've copyrighted those lyrics before going public with them, huh! In truth, it was all I could come up with, all I could think about when I was attempting to express my thoughts to Caleb. I have tried adding more to the song since those early days of no sleep.  To this day, I have not been able to come up with anything else. What else is there to say? They are the perfect lyrics!

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
               Zephaniah 3:14-17

I like the thought of God reveling in the preciousness of Caleb. And I'll admit it, I like the thought of God reveling in the preciousness of me too, not because of something I've done but because I am His. 

He is singing over Caleb, over me, over you.  And maybe He's got this irresistable urge to reach down to hug and kiss you right now.  He just can't help it.  You are His baby girl, His baby boy, His child.  You are just so darn cute!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Next Generation of Salt and Light

It's so easy to worry about our kids. I'm not wild about what our current culture practices.  It concerns me that these practices are effecting the next generation, Caleb's generation.  These little ones are all learning from us.  When I look at us, I am not that impressed.

Will Caleb find friends that are being raised to know God, to hear God and to follow God?  Will he find a wife that puts Him first, that seeks Him in all her ways? 

Couple these questions with my general observations and things don't look too promising.


There are shining lights.  The salt of the earth has not lost its saltiness. (Matt 5:13-16)  I'm learning to focus on those beautiful examples.  I get emails from close friends, sharing their news of a growing family and I think "Praise God."  There is a child that will learn well from his (or her) parents.  The light in Caleb's generation is growing. Does that sound a bit selfish?  Hopefully it just shows that I recognize the need for His people.  Those who rely on His wisdom are needed in our businesses and our government, in our classes and on our playgrounds, and certainly to take on the role of mother and father. 

These moms and dads will not just be a treasured gift to their children as they serve.  They are a treasured gift to fellow parents as they serve.  I am so grateful that there are many moms and dads who are truly seeking God in how they raise their kids.  I see them teaching God's Word to their children when [they] sit at home and when [they] walk along the road, when [they] lie down and when [they] get up (Deut 11:19).  They are teaching me by the way they interact with their own kids, how they instill His Word in them, and how they seek His help through prayer. 

These things have been on my mind a lot in the past months.  I have heard from many close friends who are expecting their own little ones.  Women who truly seek Him, who live their lives for Him, who aren't perfect, but place their imperfections in His hands.  These women are beautiful mothers. They will be beautiful mothers. They have chosen husbands who will be wonderful fathers. Their little ones (and future little ones) will be blessed beyond measure.  I am thrilled for them, excited along with them, and so so grateful for them. 
And my son will be blessed because of them.   This world will be blessed because of them.
So there is no need to worry.  I present my petition to God and He answers every time.  He is shaping and preparing a multitude of parents.  He is raising a generation of little ones that will know His name and even more, they will know Him. Caleb will have friends, family that knows He is real. 

There are so many reasons to become the salt and light of the earth.
I so hope that I am shining His light all my life, of course for Caleb's sake, but also for the sake of others.  So that their children can have a good friend in Caleb or maybe so that a girl out there can have a good help-mate in Caleb, so this next generation can know that He is.

Thank you moms, thank you dads, thank you grandparents who let your light shine before men.  [I have seen] your good deeds and [I] praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick info on Seeds Family Worship cds

I know some of you check this blog that don't see Caleb's activity blog. Check out this link if anyone is interested in getting a coupon code (20% off) for Seeds Family Worship cds (I've told lots of you about them, they turn scripture into song for kids and are great at it!).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Growing into our own boots

My last journal about setting expectations for Caleb that encourage him to flourish rather than frustrate him has kept me thinking.  A few things stood out to me while writing that post that I just can't get passed without writing it down.  I guess this is my part two of Tiny Boots. 

The flourishing child (and later man) that I want for Caleb reminded me of Psalm 1.  It speaks of a man very much thriving, a man whose "delight is in the law of the LORD." (vs. 2)  That by the way is an AWESOME statement!  Wouldn't it be great to be described in such a way!! 

Back to the man.  The Bible says ...
He shall be like a tree planted by streams of water... that brings forth its fruit in its season
Psalm 1:3 (emphasis mine)

I have LOVED this chapter since high school, but never noticed until now that the tree itself (aka the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD) has a specific season to produce its fruit.  I have a specific harvest time in my own life.  Hopefully, like any tree, that harvest time with come around year after year. 

God knows those particular moments in our lives.  He nourishes us and He teaches us so we can yield fruit in our season, not too early and not too late. Season after season, year after year. God does have expectations for each of us. He has expectations that He would like me to meet today, some that I won't be ready to meet until tomorrow, next week or next year. We can be confident that the expectations He holds for us are not out of our reach. It's easy for me to get overwhelmed with others' expectations of me, as if they are a burden for me to live up to. Maybe because of that, I can fall into the habit of growing burdened by God's expectations even though they really aren't a burden at all. It's actually pretty AWESOME that God has expectations for me. That means the God of all creation both on earth and in the heavens knows me, believes in me, and has hopes and plans for me. Remembering that makes His expecations inspiring instead of burdensome. I can be sure His expectations aren't out of my reach. I know I can make it to where He wants me to be.

I don't have to look at Holy Harriet down the pew and think, "I'm awful! Why can't I have it all together like her!?!"  I'm on my own track. I'm not running Holy Harriet's race. I have my own season(s) for fruit. Of course this shouldn't be used as an excuse to stay stagnant. I shouldn't be standing still on that track. But like I said in the last post, God is thrilled that I'm on the track, running my race. I don't have to walk into self-condemnation because I'm not up to par. Who set that par?  In truth, none of us are up to the real par on our own. That's the whole message of the Gospel.

When I feel overwhelmed or overstretched, I can know that this tension does not come from God (note I said overstretched, stretching is quite normal!). When we feel underused or incapable, we can know that is not from God either. God is perfect in his parenting... in his preparation of you and me. Maybe we're placing the unattainable expectations on ourselves. Maybe we're attempting to attain them without His help. Maybe we're not trusting Him to enable us. Maybe we're letting our fears or worries overshadow our awe of Him and His faithfulness to complete the work He began.  He who started the work will be faithful to complete it in you.(Philippians 1:6, emphasis mine)

He will not expect more from us than what we are able to give today, this hour, this minute. We can meet His expectations successfully. But go back to Psalm 1, His expectations will not be attained without me, the tree, gaining nourishment from those streams of water.

There is a reason that tree was planted there, the same reason why we must be firmly planted in Him and in His Word. 

We can't expect to flourish in our season if we are not accepting the pruning, the prodding and the nourishment from Him.  And yes, we can certainly deny Him of gardening our lives.  As truthful as my previous statement was "We can meet His expectations successfully", so is this "We can NOT meet His expectations successfully" unless we allow for His help. It's real easy to deny that help. 

In the last journal, I quoted John 15:1 and 2b, I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener...every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

There's much much more to that chapter.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.       John 15:4,5

I guess it's a good thing we have Him then! 
To go back to Philippians 1:6, He's the one completing the work in us.  We're allowing Him to do it. 

So when I know God has placed a certain responsibility or goal in my life, like parenting, and I feel incapable or overwhelmed by the task, when I'm doubting whether I can follow through successfully, I need to stop and look at where my strength and where my wisdom is coming from.  Am I going to His Word for advice, for help and encouragement, for the direction I need to take with a child that is having trouble sharing his toys or throwing himself on the floor in a fit?  Am I grasping at straws, trying anything and everything without much thought? Am I spending time in prayer? Am I responding by instinct, whatever my flesh feels like at the moment?  Am I listening to Him lead?  Am I near His streams of water or wandering in some wasteland?

A friend of mine made such a poignant comment, "As a mom, I feel like I am a little girl learning to "walk" all over again. I trip, I fall - God helps me up, dusts me off and cheers me on to take my next step. I am desperate for His help each and every step of the way."  I love this.  I certainly relate to it.  Isn't it awesome that He is there each and every step of the way?

How relieving that we're both under the same yoke together.  I am not the one carrying the load or even determining where to go, He's right there beside me carrying the bulk of the weight and guiding us right or left with His infinite wisdom.  Together, this tree will produce sweet fruit in its season.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.               Matthew 11:30

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tiny Boots

**I'm finally finishing one of the many posts I started awhile back.  Fortunately we do NOT still have snow boots planted by our front door.  The sun is now out!!**

We've had some crazy snow here over the past couple months so our snow boots were implanted by the front door. Pen's, mine and Caleb's, side by side. It's so cute to see Caleb's tiny boots sitting in between our much larger ones. Just looking at those boots taught me a lesson.  They are a tangible reminder how small he really is.

He is still so small.

He is now talking and running, he climbs, he slides, he wants so much to play like the big kids. But he's still so small. It's easy to forget that. Parents of adults or teens might think I'm ridiculous to have to remind myself of this, but it's true none the same.  I am certainly guilty of treating him as if he's older than he actually is at times, expecting more from him than he is capable of doing and becoming frustrated when he doesn't comply. I have to constantly watch myself to be sure I'm not making these overblown expectations a habit.

In general my husband falls on the other end of the spectrum (it's a good thing too, imagine if we were both prone to the same extremes!). He admittedly loves to baby Caleb. He still wants to spoon feed him each bite of dinner even though Caleb's long been capable of handling a spoon and fork. He just doesn't want to give up those special things a parent gets to do for their baby (except diapers; he is more than ready to give up diaper changing!).

Both my husband's tendencies and my own, if left unchecked, can hinder Caleb as he grows. If I were to place my boots on Caleb's feet, he would not be able to move (well, except face first towards the carpet). If I were to attempt to stuff my feet into Caleb's boots it would be none to pleasant. My bones would be cramped and if kept that way, they would deteriorate. Growth would be hindered.

In the same way we don't want to frustrate Caleb with overblown expectations.  We don't want to handicap him with underrated expectations.  Of course as parents we don't want to do anything at all that might impede him from being who God wants him to be.

Isn't it a relief that God doesn't sway either way! We are not treated in either extreme by our Father. He is the perfect parent. Family and friends may coddle us through our weaknesses or struggles while others beat us up for them. God does neither. He loves and He enables. Others Christians may judge us even as we are learning, seeking and so desiring to grow. God is cheering for us while running the race, not just upon reaching the finish line.

Discovering the correct balance of expectations is pretty difficult as parents. Determining where the line between extremes lies for Caleb at 23 months is difficult. But tomorrow he will be one day older, he will have learned new things, grown in comprehension and physical adeptness... and the line moves again, the balancing act continues. Neither extreme, expecting too little or expecting too much benefits my child. So we continue our mental scale, weighing their current abilities and comprehension, praying that we do what is best for him, that we won't be ones to hold him back, nor ones who push him too far too fast.

He knows exactly when we've hit our quota. He knows even more than the number of hairs on our head. He's aware of the rate at which our brain synapses are currently firing. He knows the maximum weight we can bench press (even if it's just the bar!). He knows the depth of our Biblical understanding, our physical and spiritual stengths. He's fully aware of the growth we've made after a troubled childhood or an untroubled childhood.

Isn't it interesting that the number of hairs that our head holds changes daily (or for some of us minute by minute)!?! If He can keep track of our falling strands, I think He can handle the rest as well.

The Truth God has given us, the directions He takes us, and the cousel He gives will never frustrate our abilities nor will they handicap us.  They may prod us, prune and cultivate us but only to make us flourish. 

That's the kind of parent I want to be to Caleb.  Lord, help our training of Caleb encourage him to flourish!

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."                           Jeremiah 29:11

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener... every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."  John 15:1,2b

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Praying with a child

Over the past year or so, we've had a lot of family needs that have really helped us put prayer and faith into action... and all in front of Caleb.  Some of the prayers are answered within days.  Some of the prayers are repeated for months and months before we see His answer.  Some of the prayers we are still waiting to see His answer.  All this to say that Caleb is consistently hearing us pray for the same people/situations, day after day, month after month.  At times he hears a name and tells us to pray for them right then.  He has stopped playing, and asked me to "pray mommy!"  and then holds his hands together in prayer, waiting for me to start.  Even in the midst of our nightly prayers, if he thinks I'm forgetting something or someone, he will repeat the suggestion over and over until I speak it out loud in prayer.  He's quite persistent. 

But he's learning to pray.

He's also learning God hears us when we pray AND God answers us when we pray.  We often remind him of the times God has answered our prayers in the affirmative and brought healing.  He knows that we prayed for Daddy's foot to be healed for months and now Daddy's foot has "no booboos"!  He knows that we prayed for Mawmaw's back and tummy to get better and that now she doesn't "huwt" (aka hurt).  We prayed for God to heal Caleb's liver and now it's perfectly normal!  Maybe TMI, but when constipated, we pray for God to help him "go potty" and then are sure to remind him how God answered that prayer too.  We repeat these praises with Caleb again and again. 

He's learning.  And honestly, in emphasizing these things over and over with Caleb, I'm being reminded that God really does answer our prayers.  All the time.  Every time. 

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.                                                               Psalm 91:15

How often do we pray something... and then a week or a month later forget that prayer and don't even pay attention when He answers?  We may think "That's great! He got a job!" but we forget that it was on our prayer list a month ago (or in my case even a week ago).  We don't stop to recognize that God did in fact answer our prayer.  Ok, maybe I'm the only one. But it's certainly true for me.  If I don't even realize that He answered the prayer, I'm certainly not thanking Him for answering. 

But teaching Caleb is reminding me what a privilege it is to be a child of God, to have a God that listens to us when we pray, and to thank Him for answering.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him                                                             1 John 5:14-15

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I need to figure out a better system. I am actually journaling a lot more than it seems. I have at least 20 posts started but not ready to officially post (the number could be closer to 40, I just don't want to count them all!)  I just can't seem to get them right.  if this were a regular journal, I would write them the way they initially come out and move on.  Something about pushing that "publish post" button makes me want to review and review until I'm confident I said what I wanted to say.

I am so glad when I finish one.  I love that I can look back through my old lessons/prayers as a reminder (or to act as a progress report).

Maybe the unfinished posts means I haven't learned all I need to learn in those particular areas... or at least enough to write about them.  Surely I'll get them eventually! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Family That Gives a Treasured Gift

I have been overwhelmed this past year with how blessed we are with such an amazing family.  How rare is it to be able to say that about BOTH sides of your family... and on into extended family!?!  It is a treasure for me.  Since having Caleb, that treasure is even more special.  This is a gift for Caleb that I could have never given myself.  It is straight from God and His potter's hands.  It is a gift that parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins give without even realizing it.... simply because they determined to trust and let Him mold them. 

They speak testimonies of faith before they even open their mouths.  They live it first.  Caleb can see their faith, not just hear about it.  He will learn from that.  What a great lesson to be taught from his Uncle Perry, his Lola, his ... oh, I could name everyone!  He has a family that stands firm on the Word, that believes It with all their beings.... teaching Caleb all the while that It is a strong foundation on which to stand!

They live out giving without recognition or credit.... just because there was a need and they could help.   They live out honoring others even when the "others" aren't very deserving at times.  They live out strength amidst one sorrow after another.  They live and breathe prayer.  They are joyful even when busy, tired, or during not-so-joyful situations.  They walk in wisdom, even when wisdom requires uncomfortable actions or difficult obedience.  They know where their gifts and blessings come from, do not take them for granted, and use them to bless others.  They know the Word and use it.  It doesn't just sit on their coffee tables or become stale in their minds.  They rejoice in other's happiness or accomplishments as if it were their own.  All in all, they live God's love in the way it should be lived, without judgement, without condition, but as one who once was lost but now is found.  They were "first loved" so they could love. 

There is not a perfect one in the bunch.  They have not made their way themselves.  They have fallen.  They have needed help.  They have needed hard lessons, kicks in the rear, and welcome arms to return to.  They have turned left when they should've turned right and ended up stuck in the mud at times. 

All this Caleb will see too.  But he won't just see them stuck.  He'll see them pulled up and cleaned off.  He'll see them continuing their walk with God.  He'll see the molding continue.  That is a beautiful lesson. 

I had a similar family growing up.. grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins... all teaching me how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Eph 3:18).  They spoke the words from their mouths, yes.  But they did even better than that.  They lived it.  And I learned beautiful lessons.  His love is not a truth I doubted.  It just wasn't deniable because I saw with my own eyes the Truth through my family.  I was given a most treasured gift.  I know what a difference it makes in my life.  And now Caleb gets to grow up receiving the same gift.  Just as it made a difference with me, it will make a difference with him. 

How do you thank someone for giving this gift? 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.                  John 13:34-35

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Great Teacher and The Great Contender

My Bible study this morning brought me to several passages that are weighty in their description of oppression and relieving in their description of the LORD's loyalty. I listed most of the scriptures at the end of this post, but my point of this post is to write a prayer for Caleb.

Oh God, Thou has taught me from my youth; and I still declare Thy wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy power to all who are to come. (Ps 71:17,18) This is my prayer for Caleb. Teach him even now. Teach him as he toddles, teach him when he runs, and teach him when he drives. In all the days of his youth You, LORD, to be his teacher. What an awesome gift to grow up with. When he is old and gray may he still declare Your wondrous deeds, may he still delight in you. (Ps 18:19) Let him share the lessons you teach him to his generation.
Do not let oppressors control him. Protect him now before the attempts are even made. Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion. It cannot be shaken; it remains forever. Jerusalem - the mountains surround her. And the LORD surrounds His people, both now and forever. (Ps 125:1,2) Under your teaching, help Caleb to grow confident and secure like a mountain, to trust You. Surround him, both now and forever. YOU make him secure, You make him stand like a strong mountain. (Ps 30:6-7)
Do not let those who attack prevail against him. Do not let the plowmen plow over his back. Don't let him be used. (Ps 129:2-4) YOU contend with the one who tries to contend with him. (Is 49:25) Bring him to a spacious place (Ps 18:19), with all the room to grow. Do not let him walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. Let his delight be in the Your law. Teach him to meditate on Your word day and night. Let him be like a tree, planted by your river of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season. Let him be like a tree, whose leaves will not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper. (Ps 1:1-3)
I thank you, Father, that You are the Great Contender. You want Caleb even more than I want Caleb to want You. You protect him with even more power than I could imagine possible. You will teach him even more than you have taught me.... if he will only have ears to hear. Father, let him have ears to hear.


Scripture verses in their entirety:

Since my youth they have often attacked me, but they have not prevailed against me. Plowmen plowed over my back; they made their furrows long. The LORD is righteous; He has cut the ropes of the wicked. Ps 129:2-4

He brought me into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Ps 18:19

Oh God, Thou hast taught me from my youth; And I still declare Thy wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forwake me, Until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy power to all who are to come. Ps 71:17, 18

Thus says your Lord, the LORD, even your God who contends for His people, 'Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling; the chalice of My anger, you will never drink it again. And I will put it inot the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, 'Lie down that we may walk over you.' You have even made your back like the ground, and like the street for those who walk over it. Isaiah 51:22-23

Surely, thus says the LORD, "Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; For I will contend with the one who contends with you." Isaiah 49:25

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 its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just passing time? (part one)

This is a question I ask myself a lot.

Sometimes I feel like I'm just passing time, getting through the day, the week, or maybe just the morning? It's not that I dislike my life or my days with my little toddler. I guess the routine sometimes gets to me. I hate these ruts, yet I still manage to find myself in them every now and then. It typically happens when I don't have a goal or a vision for the day. Caleb and I still play and have fun, but it's a mindless movement from one activity/errand to another. There's no thought as to why I'm doing what I'm doing, I'm just filling time.... until naptime, until dad comes home, until bedtime, until the weekend, until ... My whole heart and soul isn't in my mommy-ing on these days.

I don't think stay at home mom's are the only ones that deal with this. I remember as a teacher, I could easily fulfill all my duties, follow my lesson plan, even engage my students during class, and still just be passing time. Again, my whole heart and soul wasn't in my work on those days.

I believe that as Christians we don't have to live even a single day like this. He didn't intend living to be like this when He creating us. I also believe that making a habit out of passing time is detrimental. It is certainly not benefitting to either myself or to my child. If I'm consistently living life just filling space to keep myself busy with no thought as to why I'm doing what I'm doing, I am not serving Him to my full potential. He won't be able to mold me as He wants. I am turning my ears off to the Holy Spirit, whether I realize it or not. I miss opportunities to serve and therefore opportunities to grow.... and as a mother, opportunities to teach my son how to live as God intended.

If I am just passing time, I am doing a disservice to my child. All his needs will not be met (especially the mental and emotional needs) and I will be offering a poor example of what it means to serve Christ which is my biggest responsibility as a mother. I'm teaching him that's it's ok to pass time every now and then, as long as I'm fulfilling my responsibilities on the outside it should be no big deal. Everyone does it occasionally, right?

Ever read Ecclesiastes? The beginning chapters of this book are written from this perspective. It's actually quite depressing. I remember skipping that book a lot when I was younger. :)

That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will
be done. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Yes, we all have the blah moments, the temptation to just pass time, just continue the day. Those feelings are normal. It is not ok to live those feelings.

I want to teach my son how to respond to those blah feelings, those days we want to just sit in front of the tv until mealtime (or sit our toddler in front of the tv until mealtime). That is a lesson worthy of being taught. Since he will better remember the way I live than the words I speak, living this example every day will be life impacting for him. It'll be pretty life impacting for me too!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

God Loves Me

It's amazing how lessons meant for toddler's are still great reminders for me too! I love this song from Veggietales, of course the adorable Junior Asparagus sings it with his sweet little boy voice!

"God Loves Me"

In my bed I start to pray
And tell God all about my day

I woke up in my little bed
And put my hat upon my head
Cleaned my room
And cleared my dishes
Told mom breakfast was delicious
I went to school, learned something new
And tried to follow every rule
I studied my vocabulary
Had some fun with Bob and Larry

And so it's good to know (And so it's really good to know)
How much you love me…it's true
The bible says you do
You really love me
Your love was with me all throughout my day

I some how over looked my bed
Seems my dog is underfed
Forgot to change my underclothes
Watched one to many T.V. shows
I had some trouble sharing toys
And during rest time, made some noise
Walls are not for coloring
Sometimes I'm off key when I sing


In my bed so quietly
I rest in knowing God Loves Me!

What a beautiful lesson! Every child should know this... every adult too. Think how different we would be today if we lived our lives each moment remembering that God Loves Me!

If you want to hear this song...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Growing, Thriving, and Increasing His Joy

I am really enjoying Caleb at this age. I love, love, love that he has started to understand some basic reasoning. I can tell him something that is about to happen, something that I expect from him in the near future AND he understands, remembers and responds accordingly. It's just beautiful. It makes it so much easier for him to solve problems, successfully experience new things, communicate with us,...

It's not that I didn't love the infancy stage or the pre-toddler stage. Those were special and our relationship during that time was special. But our relationship is growing. As he develops, learns new things, and his comprehension increases, we are able to communicate with each other better and therefore understand each other better. There isn't actually more time interacting with him, but more depth to our interaction.

It got me thinking, God wants that same thing with us. When we first accept Him as our Lord, we are babies. There is so much we don't understand about Him, about His character, about His work in our lives, and about His plan for the future of man. Our lack of understanding doesn't mean He doesn't enjoy us or that we don't enjoy Him.

But as we study, as we seek, as we listen, as we practice and therefore grow into Christian toddlerhood, childhood, and eventually adulthood, He can reveal more and more to us. The foundation will have already been built and growth in our relationship can occur. I imagine this is His desire. He created us to walk with Him, we messed it up and He has since been doing everything to make that walk possible again. I'm not talking about just salvation either (though I do believe "just salvation" is quite an oxymoron). As great as salvation is, it isn't the finish line. We don't accept Christ, breathe a sigh of relief and check off the spiritual box on our life's to-do list. At least that isn't what He wants of us.

I get excited about my baby's development because of what it means for his future, because what it means for our relationship, and what it means I can teach him next and what he will be able to do next. As His children, He gets excited about our development too. God wants us to grow in our understanding past the milk to the babyfood, to the finger food, to the steak dinner. Each step of growth we take thrills Him because of what it means for our future, for our relationship with Him and for what He's able to teach us next or where He will be able to take us.

So then why do we stop? Why do we think step A or step B is enough? Why don't we want more when He so wants to give it to us? We would never want that for our child. Why don't we let our Father be our Father and teach us new things? All it takes is time.... and active listening.

Hebrews is a very in depth book. I certainly have yet to grasp it all. One portion stands out in light of this...

"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so." (Hebrews 5:11- 6:3)

The frustration of the author is evident, wanting so much for his audience of believers to now understand in more depth (in this case, how Christ is the High Priest in the order of Melchizadek), but they are still at the point on needing a reminder of "elementary" things. How much are they missing! How much are we missing!?!

If need be, I will remind and reteach the basic lessons to my son. I will do it again and again as needed, but how great it would be for him to learn and move on! God will remind us and reteach of His basic lessons again and again and again, as often as we need to hear them. But how much greater our life will be to enjoy the fruit of that wisdom and move on to eat some more and then some more! And how much greater His joy!