Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas is Here Again

Well, we are about to celebrate our 30th Christmas together. I cant believe it. What a year it has been for our family. We sold our home in January and moved on February 1st. Our daughter was married on June 6th. Our first grandchild was adopted on October 21st. These are just a few milestones that have happened in our family this year. How about yours? With each passing year our circumstances and or place of residence or maybe even number of family members can change. Christmas time for me always marks the end of a year and causes me to reflect on all Gods blessings. I think of past Christmas's and what they remind me of as our family has grown and changed. For example our family of 7 is now 10! Our children now have families of their own. We are grandparents, wow, where has the time gone. Through all of this one thing remains the same. God sent his son to this world through the virgin Mary to live a sinless life and then die on a cross for our sins that we might have eternal life. This is why we celebrate this season. Yes, the presents, lights and parties are all fun but JESUS is truly the reason for Christmas. We celebrate his birthday, the greatest gift of all! It is so important that we teach and share this truth with our children so they can grow up knowing the real meaning of the season. Teaching them to know and come to a saving knowledge of Him is the greatest gift we can ever give them!
Do they see Jesus in us day in and day out? Do we tell them often of His love for them ? Reminding them of how he came to this earth ,lived and died so that we might LIVE! If we do not then we are withholding the the truth of Christmas! Let us be so careful to plan our activities in a way that keep our focus on why we celebrate! This is what our children will remember,not the gifts but the GIVER of life. Happy Birthday JESUS!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am often reminded that our life's journey is about the choices we make. I was once told "It is not the chosen few but the few who choose" We often think that our circumstances are just happen-chance but that is a mis-conception. Our circumstances are a result of our daily choices.
When I hear someone say "I just don't have time to do that" what they are really saying is "I'm choosing to do something else with my time ". You may be asking "where is she going with all this?" Well , I strongly feel that what we deal with day in and day out is a result of our own choices. Our choices whether good or bad don't just affect us but everyone around us. For example love is not just a feeling but an act of the will. It is a choice we make to love our husband, children and extended family members and so forth. After the choice is made the feelings will follow. For instance, you don't just stop loving someone , you choose to stop loving them.
As wives and mothers we choose to love and serve the Lord. We choose to have a servants heart towards our family. We choose to repond in a quiet and patient manner. We choose to put others needs before our own. We don't always feel like making these choices but if we seek Gods wisdom in making the right choices His strength and grace will follow. Lord, please help us ,as women after your own heart , to make the right choices despite our feelings. May our choices be those that are pleasing to you. Help us to live above mediocre happen-chance and instead live "on purpose" lives resulting from Godly choices that will inturn enable us to make a difference in the lives of others. Ask yourself " What am I choosing to do or say this very minute and will it bring honor and glory to God . Remember that our legacy will be a direct result of the choices we make on a daily bases. Start by choosing to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the rest is his-story! John 3:16

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Trusting" when the Future is Uncertain

Trusting, what does it really mean? It is very easy to say but how do we live it out? Over the last few weeks I have been challenged in this area. I went for a regular doctor visit and was diagnosed with thyroid disease. I was sent for a ultra sound in which the doctors saw something they did not like. Over the next few weeks I had another ultra- sound and then a Cat scan and finally a biopsy on a cyst located behind my thyroid. It was difficult at times to not get anxious or caught up in the worry and "what ifs".
I was often reminded in my daily time with the Lord that He was in total control and I need not worry. It was amazing the peace I experienced over those weeks of uncertainty. Trusting our Lord and Savior is not just a feeling, it is the act of not allowing our emotions to swirl out of control. It is realizing His sovereignty and omni-presence in every situation we face. It is an unexplainable joy followed by a strength the world cannot understand. It is knowing that nothing happens to us that is not filtered through Gods hands first. The more heavenly minded
we are the less important these earthy trials seem. As Christians we know the end of the story , we know where our eternal destiny lies and the victory we posses as believers. We are over- comers in Christ Jesus and the things of this world cannot defeat us. Even in these uncertain and turbulent times in our country ,it is important that we live victoriously! We are children of a RISEN LORD who has overcome this old world! 'The JOY of the Lord is our Strength"Neh 8:10. Well, there is a good ending to the story. My cyst was not malignant ,praise God, but more importantly trusting God and giving Him the honor and Glory no matter what the outcome is the real lesson here and as I said before, we know how the story ENDS!! Don't keep it to yourself, go and tell the GOOD NEWS!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The JOY of raising TEENS

Well, as I am writing this I am raising my 5th and final teenager. She is 12 and a full blown "TWEEN". (A term referring to the transition between child and teenager)
What a fun time of life! As parents we must have the right perspective and attitude during this transitional time in our child's life. I truly believe that 90% of the difficulty we as parents experience during this time could be eliminated if our perspective and outlook on this period of life was different. First, let me say that God created this period of every child's life and it is part of His design for a healthy transition into adulthood. One way you can ward off alot of conflict is to "Not sweat the small stuff and save your No's for really big issues". Remember they are testing out their independence so we have to let go and allow them to grow into this next stage of life. I am by no means an expert but simply sharing from my personal experiences. Things I have learned over the years are : 1. Have fun with them, laugh out loud and purpose to stay lighthearted. Plan fun outings together. Time is your greatest gift to your children. 2. Stay consistent in reading Gods word together as a reminder that God and God alone is their source of help and strength and has a special plan for their lives. 3. Help them by memorizing Gods word together. This is a gift that they can draw from for a lifetime. 4. Get to know their friends and have them over frequently. Don't hesitate to restrict time with friends you don't have a peace about."Bad company corrupts good character". 5. Tell them you love them often, physical touch from both father and mother are so important during this stage of life even if they resist it don't stop. If they don't get it at home they will seek it out somewhere else. (This is especially important for girls to receive from their fathers) 6.Be their friend but maintain and re-enforce your role as their "parental authority" responsible for their training and protection while under the same roof. Remember ,as I said in the beginning it is 90% outlook and attitude that will define the outcome of this exciting time in your child's life. Choose to enjoy and embrace it.
I am only 1 child away from an empty nest and I am treasuring each and every day! I pray you will commit this short period of time in your child's life to God and ask daily for His wisdom and guidance in the decisions and actions that will shape your teen into the adult God has designed for him or her to be. Remember that they are "unique individuals" and will make their own choices . We can only do our best then leave and trust the outcome to God. Enjoy the journey for it is all too short!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NEW POST "Seasons of Life"

As the season begins to change from summer to fall I cant help but think of the seasons of life we go through. I am now in a season of transition as my children are all mostly grown and out of the house, well almost. It is difficult yet rewarding watching them make their own ways in the world. I have a hard time allowing them to soar without strings attached. I guess it is more because I want to feel needed and I realize that I'm not needed like I used to be. Each season brings change and change is healthy and good. It is important that we do not resist it since it is part of Gods plan for our lives. God cannot use us if we are unwilling to change. I have recently started a very part time job in retail. Scary, I know especially since I have not worked a cash register since 1979. By being willing to learn something new I am allowing myself to grow but more importantly making myself available to be a lighthouse for the Lord. Change opens up new areas of ministry to reach the lost and this is where my heart is.
Have I learned how to work the register, well almost , each day I am getting better. I truly believe God calls us to be open to these different seasons of our lives in order for Him to use us in a new and fresh way. Remember our primary purpose for being left on this earth is to further His kingdom on earth. How can we do so if we stay in our comfort zones and refuse to step out in faith and see what He has planned for us. Is it scary? you bet, but the Lord promises to never leave or forsake us and He will not lead you where He has not gone before. We are living in an insecure world which makes us even more prone to want to stay within our realm of security. If we do so we will miss out on all the blessings He has in store.
When the Lord opens a door and we don't attempt to go through it, He cannot close it. SO what are you waiting for? Our life is but a vapor so embrace with excitement change and hold on for the journey ahead!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Building a house or building a HOME

After getting off the phone with my daughter tonight,as we discussed her plans for moving, I thought to myself, moving is such an exciting yet emotional transition. It is difficult to leave a familiar and comfortable space. It is physically hard work to transfer our belongings from one place to another. It is emotionally difficult leaving memories, friends and family behind. I feel very experienced in this area as our family has moved 10 times in 25 years. Coming from a home where I lived in the same house from age five to nineteen I would have never imagined that I would move so often in my adult life. The Lord had other plans though and as I look back I have to say that through it all I have learned a great deal. First of all, a home is not made of brick and mortar, a home is where family resides,where love, laughter and memories are made and shared each and every day. It is family growing in good and difficult times that really build a strong home. I have chosen over the years to focus on the positive aspects of moving and I have to say my favorite is the special relationships we have built over the years. The unforgettable opportunities for ministry the Lord has allowed us to be apart of. I love cleaning out and blessing others with the many things we collect and store and do not need. I have learned how little we can get by on and yet how easy it is to get trapped into thinking a home is made by filling it up with all of the luxuries we can afford. Has it always been easy,no. Have I resisted at times ,yes but I always am reminded of what a home truly is: It is group of unique and special God- created individuals sharing their lives with one another while residing under one roof that make a home. A house is easily replaceable but a home is not. I have never doubted that I would have a roof over my head and three meals a day but I have questioned my ability at times to make sure my children always felt loved and accepted for the individuals they were and would one day become.. This is where a real home built on a solid foundation makes all the difference. Only from laying a foundation of truth can a house become a home or training ground for us to raise up Godly young men and women for His purpose and glory. As my children are now older we often talk about the things we loved about this house or that and the special neighbors we had and memorable times shared, but at the end of the day when it is all said and done my prayer is that my children will not so much remember the physical dwelings they lived in but the home they had. A home that was steadfast and unchanging and solid because it was not made of concrete and mortor but instead a home built on love, forgiveness, acceptence and diciplne,respect and honor that was unchanging, steadfast and secure. A home built on the solid foundation of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He is and always will be the heart of our home here on earth. Even now He is preparing our forever "home" in heaven where we will dwell with Him for all eternity. Is your home built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ? I pray it is so that you too can know what it is to have a "HOME" like no other.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

" Oh Mom, not chores again"

I cant stress enough the importance of teaching your children good work ethics at an early age. As early as they can bend over and pick up a toy you can start training them to put it away.
This begins to teach them responsibility for their actions also. "If you take it out, you can put it away" If we make a mess we can clean it up" This is where the real training begins, not just telling them but training, showing,teaching them how by instructing them step by step until they master the skill. I think so many times children become so frustrated when we as parents "bark out" commands and expect things to be done "just so" without the proper instruction. Remember they are in training so we can't expect them to do it just like we would. It takes time, patience and practice. Practice doesn't make perfect,practice makes progress. We are doing our children a grave injustice when we do not teach them the "how too's" of everyday life skills. You can begin by typing out their daily chores based on age and ability and then put it in a place that is visible for them. It really worked well in our house when dad got involved and wrote out the chores. Something about answering to dad always makes them work a little harder. Children truly do want to please. Whether we believe it or not they do desire structure, organization and boundaries to live by. It is security for them followed by consistency that produces the desired results.
The KEY is that we are fair in our expectations. Don't forget to encourage and praise them as they make progress in mastering each required task. It may be as small as putting a book away or making their bed, whatever it is ,they need to be corrected if need be but always praised for a job well done. This doesn't always have to be verbal, you can leave a note under their pillow or in their lunch box. You will be amazed at how this kind of encouragment will change a childs attitude towards work. All because we as parents take the time to notice and make a big deal of their accomplishments. I also would encourage siblings to offer help when needed and recognize each others efforts by speaking words of kindness. This will build strong relationships between them that will carry over for a lifetime. Remember as parents we are in the "TRAINING BUSINESS". There is no greater job on earth whereby we can watch a life change before our eyes ,knowing that we had a part in shaping this once young child into a responsible, hard working adult that will always be able to take care not only of himself but also have the skills to independently provide and care for his own family in years to come. What a priceless gift we can give our children if we just take the TIME!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Character" Is it caught or taught and whose job is it anyway?

Well, It is that time of year again where all school age children will start back to school soon.
For many stay at home mothers it is a welcomed relief from having their children underfoot day in and day out. For others it is back to a more structured routine of chores and schoolwork. Summer days are fun but everyone will agree that order and routine are a healthy and welcomed reality. I am a homeschool mom and have chosen to school all of my children through High School. I have 1 left and can then retire after 26 years. It has been quite a journey along the way with ups and downs but through it all I would not take anything for being the primary influence in my children's lives. Whether or not you homeschool we as moms are called to be the primary influential person in our children's lives. Yes, reading ,writing and arithmetic are important but not as important as teaching a child character. This is something that is our responsibility as parents to instill in our children. It begins in the home with loving and nurturing parents that take the time to TEACH what it means to be, truthful, honest, obedient, hardworking, kind,selfless. patient, and the list goes on.
It is a purposeful effort on our part to teach and live these qualities out in front of them each day.
A good place to start is Gods word. Through parables and characters in the Bible you can teach your children how to live a life of integrity and moral conviction. To me this is what truly successful parenting is, not what grades they make in school or how well they preform in a sport. These are all well and good but it is the heart that really measures a successful life in the eyes of God. What comes from a childs heart will overflow into all the other areas of their life. This is just another confirmation of how important it is that this is taught in the home and not expected from teachers and youth and children workers.
I pray this will be a challenge to each of us this coming year as we seek to" Train up our children in the way they should go." I encourage you to seek out resources and plan time in your day to day lives to make this a priority. Men and women of good and Godly character will have world changing influence for generations to come! This is my prayer for my children I pray it is yours.

Ps If you go on the link to the left of my blog and click on the Duggar family. She has a great Character teaching chart you can use with your children. There are also great resources at Lifeway and Family Christain bookstores.

PSS. Check out my daughters blog and pray that these children will be taken into loving and caring familes. http://www.chadamberandjames.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Being Kind "What it really means"

I want to first begin with the definition of "Kindness: The joy of meeting someone else's needs before your own simply for the sake of the relationship." In these busy days and "Its all about me attitudes" even we as Christan's are guilty of not being kind. This tarnishes our witness for the Lord and can sometimes prevent us from ever being able to share Christ with an individual. Kindness is a heart matter and a choice. If we are going to become truly kind people ,we need to have a change of attitude. The false self of self centered living says" I'll be kind to you if you will be kind to me." The true self of authentic love says, " I'll be kind to you regardless of how you treat me." How do we experience a change of attitude so that we are inclined to be kind to others even when they are strangers or when we know them well and they treat us harshly? First we must realize that "kindness changes people" ,it softens a hard heart and tares down walls of hurt and despair. We need to express kindness as a way of life. Picture yourself putting on your coat of kindness each day. When we wear kindness as a part of our clothing, we don't stop to think about whether we should be kind in a certain situation. Wherever we go kindness is our constant companion. Pray that you will touch others with acts of kindness each and every day, expecting nothing in return. Be on mission and ask the Lord to show you specific people in your life that need a touch of kindness. We have countless opportunities to show kindness everyday, on the phone, at the drivethru, waiting in line and in your own home.
Make a point to do some specific out of the ordinary acts of kindness towards your husband ,children, neighbors and yes even your enemies. If acting kindly does not come natural to you it doesn't mean you are an unkind person it just means you need more practice. Be aware of the importance of your words. My mom always said "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" There is a lot of wisdom in that saying. Do your words reflect a kind heart? Be quick to ask forgiveness for unkind words and pray that the Lord will fill you with kind and encouraging words for others. Kindness generates kindness. When we make kindness an intentional habit, we are more likely to see the worth and value of each person. As our new vision of people clarifies, we want to be kind simply because every person we meet has value and is worthy of affirmation. "Use me Lord to further your kingdom through my acts of kindness towards others." "Be ye kind one to another" Eph. 4:32

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marriage "Is it worth the effort?"

As of August 2nd I have been married 29 years to the love of my life. I have to tell you that it has not always been easy or fun but YES it has been worth it. My heart is so heavy today as so many couples are giving up on the most precious relationship outside of that with Jesus Christ. I do realize that there are exceptions but 98% of the time we just quit making the effort. How can we encourage our sisters in Christ to not give up just because they think it will be easier or greener on the other side. First they must see it lived out in our marriage relationships, the good, the bad and the truth. So many times women see other couples as having it all together and perfect. We each know that is far from the truth. We need to be transparent and open about the struggles we each face in our own lives. We need to pray with each other and commit to mentor the younger women as Gods word calls us to in Titus 2. Most importantly we have to be at a place in our Christan walk where we can empathize with and receive one another just as we are without judgement and condemnation. WOW, just think how powerful this could be in saving our Godly homes that the devil is so determined to destroy. Pray with me that the Lord will bring revival in this area and women will see the JOY of having the marriage that God so desires for them. It is work, hard work. It is allowing love to overlook faults. It is realizing that it is not about me but about us. It is serving.It is choosing to love not based on emotion but commitment to a lifelong journey that will bring honor and glory to our Lord! Is it worth the effort? After 29 years and looking forward to 29+ more, YES it is! It keeps getting better and better with each and every passing year! It is a choice. I pray it is your choice too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Relationships that Bring God Glory

Relationships with others are the most precious thing we posses this side of heaven.
Of course our number one and most important relationship is with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our first priority is to spend time with our Lord in prayer and the reading and studying of His word. This is so important because every other relationship we have here on earth stems from our relationship with our Lord. How do we keep these earthy relationships with family,friends and co-workers healthy? Well, first and foremost you most resolve in your heart that it takes WORK and a positive attitude. The Lord desires that we treat everyone with kindness,love and respect. Yes, even if they are unloving,unkind and hurtful we are to love them! We can only do that by allowing the love of Christ to flow through us, we cannot do it in our own strength. Loving the unlovable is very difficult but God tells us to love our enemies and be kind to those who persecute us. Even when they hurt us? Yes, I have always told my children to kill them with kindness and love them in the Lord. Forgive them and pray for them. You cannot hate and love at the same time. You cannot speak unkindly of and pray for them at the same time.
So when you have these feelings I suggest you ask the Lord to show you how to love them and then start praying for them right away. It is amazing the way you will start to view those strained relationships and even more amazing how they will begin to change. It has been said that the church is guilty of wounding its own soldiers. How this must grieve the Lord and in turn cause us to be ineffective for the cause of Christ. Decide now to WORK on the relationships in your life beginning with Christ followed by those you love the most and then extended family and friends. Can you imagine the impact we as Godly wives and mothers and young women can have on a lost world if we choose to truly love the unlovely, be kind to those who hurt us and pray for our enemies. Believe me it is worth the effort and God will receive the Glory!

PS Remember it is imperative that you do your part to heal and mend broken family relationships. It is not a choice it is a command. Allow Jesus to love them through you. Ask forgiveness and forgive 70 x70. This effort on your part can be life changing for all those involved and may even change the course of generations to come and their eternal destiny!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Children of Godly Character

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few weeks. We were on vacation in the mountains and it was wonderful,cool,restful and just plain FUN! Thank you Lord for the Peaceful beauty you created.

This is a topic that is and has always been close to my heart! It grieves my heart to see parents get so caught up in making sure their children become academic scholars that they neglect their character. Now here me out ,I am not at all saying that it isn't important to grow academically, I am just saying that it is a small part of a much larger plan for their lives. Building Godly character is more important for us as parents to focus on. Building character does not JUST HAPPEN!
It is not acquired by osmosis or by hanging around the right people. Godly character is not crafted by going to church regularly or even by memorizing Bible verses. Your child's character traits have to be carefully constructed and cultivated purposefully in efforts of developing the godly character that will make your child truly great in the eyes of God.
As parents we are concerned about the food that our children eat. We know that good nutrition equals a healthier body. And the same is true when it comes to food for their character. By "feeding" your child a steady and consistent diet of good and godly character ,emulating books that expose them to a variety of different character building adventures in the material they read, you are ensuring that your child's sense of right and wrong will be fed and allowed to flourish.
I am often asked "What did you do right to have all of your children love and serve the Lord?" Well first I am careful to give the Lord all the glorify because I am just the tool made available to do His work. Godly character has always been at the heart of my child training.
It has always been a purposeful act that took priority in my everyday life as a mother. I would often read good books that were very helpful but more than anything I would read Gods word and teach His character traits of a women and or man after His own heart! This often meant limiting TV, computers and reading material that didn't exude godly character. "Junk in Junk out" We are responsible for guarding their hearts when they are under our protection. Keeping the world and its negative character traits away from penetrating the hearts of these precious lives is a responsibility we must take very seriously as their parents. Seek His wisdom and guidance for we cannot do it in our own strength but if it is the desire of your heart for your children He will provide the tools and strength if you will make yourself available! My prayer is that the Lord will raise up parents across this nation to this all consuming task of raising up mighty men and women of GOD to do His work!
It is a purposeful and planned task that must be a priority in our lives in order for the next generation to be the Godly men and women the Lord so desires. Will we accept this call from the Lord and do our part? Thank you Lord for the JOY of training our children in Your Ways.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Children truly are a "gift from the Lord" a prized possession. As parents we are called to "build up our sons and daughters" We are to lay a foundation of faith, nurturing and undergirding them with prayer and then polishing them with the teachings of Gods word. Children are sensitive and pliable-open to the gospel. They are fresh and energetic with years of service to offer Gods kingdom. Children are the most valued fruit of the kingdom, when we devalue them we cross swords with the Almighty. It is hard to fathom why everyone doesn't long to have such
prized possessions in their care? I believe we have replaced the blessing of children with the temporary things of this world.
It breaks my heart that in this day and time children are often seen as a burden instead of a blessing. They are placed in facilities to be raised by strangers in place of a mother and father. They are so many times treated like animals instead of the precious lives they are. I truly believe that there will be great judgement on our land as to how we have devalued children before and after their birth. My husband has always said that I would have had a dozen more if I could. This is because I see each child as a unique individual, created by God , a gift and reward from the Lord. I have always felt privileged that He would entrust me with such a precious gift. As I think of my children I am reminded of all the many children without loving parents and a family to call their own. I was thinking today how overjoyed our Lord would be to look out into our church congregation's and see children of all different colors and ethnic backgrounds. A church body sprinkled with salt and pepper, black and white, red and yellow. Oh how this would season our lives and glorify our Lord. He has called us, the body of Christ, to care for the many orphans in our land today. I believe it would unite us as believers ,despite our differences of race and religion, if we would all join in this gallant effort to adopt and love the fatherless. Thank you Lord for adopting us into your family. My heart is so full just thinking about it and the difference we could make in so many lives if we would be open to this great need. May we all be in an attitude of prayer as we seek His will for our lives in this area. Will you receive Gods gift of children and commit to raise them in the love and admonition of the Lord? If so, you will be blessed beyond measure and your rewards eternal. Thank you Lord for our adopted grandson James and the wonderful seasoning he has added to our lives.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mom to "Marnie"

I would have never imagined a year ago this time that I would be keeping my soon to be adopted first grandchild for the weekend while mom and dad celebrate their anniversary. My precious daughter and son in law had not been able to conceive on their own yet. Adoption was always something they both desired to do at some point and time, little did they know Gods timing and plan would be greater than anything they could think or imagine. You see, April 25th a year ago a precious life created by God was placed in the arms of a mother that would not be able to care for her son. This was not a surprise to our Lord, who had long before hand-picked a mother and father for this special child. In November of 2008 God brought "Baby James" into our lives. He arrived with only 5 hours notice in a car seat with one bottle and the clothes on his back. Yes, 5 hours. I have often thought how it seemed like he was just dropped out of heaven for such a time as this just for my daughter and son in law in the Lords perfect time and plan. The Lord knew from the day James was created that he would be placed in their arms on this cool November evening. He knew how much their hearts had been longing for a child of their own to hold and unconditionally love. He knew James would need to be placed in a loving family who would receive him as the precious gift he was with curls and warm brown skin and a smile that would melt your heart. How creative the Lord is! You see my daughter and son in law had decided many months prior to this that they would name their first son James. Taken from Gods word in the book of "James". James 1:7 "Pure and undefiled religion before God is this ,to care for the orphans and widows in their time of trouble" God had placed this verse and name deep in their hearts long before they met their son face to face who was given the name "James" at his birth. As my daughter and son in law celebrate their anniversary today my heart is full and overjoyed for them. While at the same time feeling so privileged to be chosen by the Lord to be the grandmother of this precious child. It is an unexplainable love that you cannot understand until you have experienced it for yourself. I am blessed beyond measure to now experience this love as a new grandmother or "Marnie" as I am called. It a new season of life I now treasure each day!
I look forward to playing an active role in the life of James and many more gifts from the Lord like him . When a mothers heart is feeling empty as her children grow and one day leave her care, our creative and thoughtful Lord fills it with the gift of a grandchild!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Father

As I think of "Fathers day", I am drawn to thoughts of my earthy father first. I cant imagine having a more wonderful father. My father was and continues to be such a beautiful picture of my heavenly Father. He is loving, giving, forgiving,compassionate and caring. He loves the Lord with all his heart,soul and mind. He has a heart for the lost and faithfully shares his faith. He is a prayer warrior and joyful giver to the church and others who have given their lives to further Gods kingdom. He is in the word and on his knees daily. He is patient and seeks Gods wisdom before making decisions. He is slow to speak and not easily angered. Yes, he has always been to me a beautiful picture of my heavenly Father. I have often asked the Lord "Why was I so blessed to be given this father?" I quickly hear the Lord responding " Where much is given much is expected, go and do likewise" . What a blessing but also a great responsibility to pass on this heritage to my children so they can in turn pass it on to their children. Fulling the great commission to be a bright light of hope in a lost world for Christ!
I pray for husbands and fathers all over the world that they too can realize this calling on their lives and become a picture of Christ to their children. I realize that many children and families do not have a Godly father in their lives. The beauty is , we have a heavenly Father that is the PERFECT Father and will fill in all the holes that are missing from our earthy fathers. Thank you Jesus that when earthly fathers fail you are there to pick up all the pieces and make something hurt, unloved, misguided,belittled, abused and or fatherless, into a new creature. Old things pass away and behold all things made NEW!
Thank you dad for showing me the way to Christ and living His life out in front of me day after day. I will always be eternally grateful and faithful to pass it on!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Admitting when we are Wrong

Today as we were sharing in Sunday School about children and the blessings and challenges that come with them, I was reminded of the importance to admit when we are wrong. This is often hard for us in general much less to our children. It is so important that they see and understand that we are not perfect and also have to ask forgiveness when needed. This may come from disciplining a child in anger or overruling dads decisions. It is ok to say " Children, mommy made a bad choice I shouldn't have gone against daddy's wishes, will you forgive me?" or "I am so sorry for raising my voice at you God is helping me in that area will you pray for me too?"
It is ok for them to see that we are not perfect parents and depend on the Lord for strength and guidance. Our children need to see us praying and reading Gods word so they will in turn seek Him also. Thank you Lord for sending your Son so that we can come to you for forgivness when we fall. What a sacrfice,what a Savior!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Peace only He can Give

As I was lying in bed last night the thought came to me that our "just married" daughter will not be coming back home. She will not be here for me to tuck into bed ,pray with and kiss goodnight, as I have since the day she was born. I was overwhelmed with emotion. She is a women now and wife to her husband. Have I done everything to prepare her for what she is about to embark on? As quickly as those thoughts and emotions hit me the Lord comforted me with His ever present "peace." "She is in my hands and I will never leave or forsake her, trust me." came that still small voice. I had to let go of that last piece of string I didn't want to let go of. As mothers this is the most difficult thing we ever do. Even though we may feel like our heart is breaking and a piece of it is gone we must remember that the one who created us will replace that piece with HIS PEACE. A peace that passes all understanding. A peace that trusts and a peace that only HE can give!
"Peace I leave with you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled , neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Monday, June 8, 2009

Patience "Not me Lord"

I cannot tell you how many times I have been told. "You are so patient, I could never be that patient with my children. "I guess I am just not made like you" It is not me. It is only through His strength and grace that this can be accomplished. Patience does not just exude
calmness and peace. Patience is an act of the will, a fruit of the spirit. It is revealed in how we react in everyday life and the challenges that come with it. You have heard the old saying "Don't
pray for patience or God will really give it to you" Well guess what? Like anything else it is a choice. It is a character quality that God is continually trying to develop in our lives. Have you ever been in a store and hear a mother screaming at her child for knocking something over or acting out. Her response is lack of self control. You can handle the situation with patience, a purposed controlled attitude that comes from drawing upon the Lord and His strength. Are we sometimes going to loose it? Yes , we are a sinful people who serve a forgiving Savior. But I do promise you that if it is your desire to posses this fruit the Lord will help you and it will get easier. As Christan mothers it is important that we exemplify this controlled behavior not only as an example for our children but to other moms struggling with the same issues day in and day out. Yes. you too can posses a gentle,patient and quiet spirit if it truly is the desire of your heart.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Letting Go" the reward of Parenting

As I come to another "letting go" time in my life I wanted to share with you my heart.

This Saturday we will be" letting go" of our second daughter. As a parent this is what we strive and work towards. Children are only loaned to us temporally from the Lord . They are great treasures placed in our hands to mold and train to love and serve Him. Like the mother eagle pushes her eaglets out of the nest so must we when the time is right let go of our children also. We pray that we have done all we can to prepare them for living out from under our wings of protection. We pray for wisdom and discernment on their part as they head out into this world. Our reward as parents is to release a child like an arrow for the Lord that will penetrate and make a difference in a lost and dieing world for Christ. It is a difficult, yet rewarding feeling, sad yet happy, empty yet fulfilling, time in our lives as parents. Our prayer is that they will successfully fly and soar in years to come in a way that will bring Christ glory and honor. Thank you Lord for the temporary privilege to parent this precious life. As we release her back to you, we pray for her divine protection, health, and your perfect will for her life.

We love you our precious daughter, Mom and Dad

Monday, June 1, 2009

Graciousness: A Complement to True Beauty

      This is an older post I wanted to re-share with you . I pray it speaks to your heart as it did mine today. Thank you for reading.
 A gracious heart is giving heart. A heart focused on helping others. Do you see yourself as a gracious person? Are you sensitive to the needs of others above your own? God's word challenges each of us to be gracious, kind ,merciful and selfless. He know this will bring real joy and fulfillment into our lives.
    We reflect graciousness through our actions and words.  What we do and say speaks loudly to those around us.  A gracious person may seem  polished or refined on the outside but it is what is in the heart that truly matters. Graciousness reflects Christ and a heart committed to His love for mankind.  It happens as we are being conformed to His image through time in His word and prayer.
   What does it look like? It may be watching children for a an overwhelmed mother. Showing up with cooked meals to place in the freezer of a sick friend . Cleaning the home of an elderly person or helping someone who is moving with packing. (LOL , we have moved often so this one hits home with me.)  The Lord will reveal these opportunities if you ask Him too.
   My father has always been a wonderful example to me of someone with a gracious heart. He is always giving.  It may be the time he gives to disciple and encourage a new believer in Christ ( this was a natural and common occurrence  in our home growing up.)or it may be a monetary need. He often goes to garage sales and buys furniture for  new families from overseas or clothes and toys for children. He truly demonstrates  the love of Christ in this way.
 Lord, help us to truly love others through the giving of our time and talents. Help us not to focus on our inabilities but our availability. Create in us a desire to serve others above our own wants and desires.
    Exodus 33:19  "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you, I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our most Important Priority

I am constantly aware of how good our God is! The older I get the more thankful and grateful I become. Everyday and every breath is a gift from God. I am also reminded that we are only left here to serve and love and glorify Him with all our might. I'm saddened at how I allow this world and the ruler of this world to distract me from what is truly important.
When was the last time we shared a gospel track or invited someone to church or prayed for a stranger. I love to prayer walk. I pray for each of my neighbors as I pass their homes. I pray for their eternal security and or needs of which I know nothing about, but the God who created them does.
I am often convicted of the time I spend shopping , cleaning the house or reading a book when there are so many needing to hear about our Wondrous Savior! Oh Lord ,forgive us for losing site of you and making so many other things seem so important that we pass a lost and dying world by. Break our hearts Lord for those around us and may we make sharing you our priority each and everyday. I am thankful for a my earthy father who lived this out in front of me day in and day out. How important it is that our children see this lived out in us!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beauty that Lasts

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of Senior girls this past week from our local highschool. I was really stumped at first as to what to say to them and just began to pray that the Lord would lay on my heart what they needed to hear. Almost right away the thought of "lasting beauty" came to my mind. What truly does make us as girls and women beautiful in Gods eyes. I thought of my precious mother- in -law as she was getting ready to meet the Lord. Even though she had no makeup, her hair was matted against her head and she was very thin, all I could think of was how beautiful and peaceful she looked. What made her so beautiful even though her outward beauty had faded? She exuded a gentle and quiet spirit. She was gracious, always putting others needs before herself. She was quick to forgive and not harbor bitterness. I can't ever remember a time when I heard her involved in idle gossip or speaking unkind about anyone. This truly is the inner beauty God desires for each of us. As women of God, wives and mothers God has called us to live this out in a way that will bring Him honor and glory. We must remember we cannot do this in our own strength. He and He alone is the author of such beauty and it must first be the desire of our hearts to posses it. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a women who fears the Lord she shall be praised" Proverbs 30:31 Lord, Help us to first desire and then rely on you to live out this kind of beauty that truly lasts!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Set Apart Life

I want to encourage you to visit this site. It has been one of my favorite over the years and the books have been a great influence on my girls. I know you will be blessed and allow this ministry to help guide you as your raise your precious treasures!
http://www.setapartlife.com/ A Ministry of Eric and Leslie Ludy
PS. Make sure you read their love story.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shepherding your Childs Heart Part 3

Our goal as mothers is not that out children be happy,fulfilled, and successful. Even though these are things every mother wants for her children, our highest objective should be that our children would repent from their sins , put their trust in Jesus Christ and reflect the gospel to the world around them. We should constantly ask ourselves in all we do "How is this going to affect their heart?" We cannot do this in our own strength we must rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of the gospel to them. However, our tender love can be an instrument in Gods Hands. No one has more potential to influence our child's hearts to receive and reflect the gospel than we do.
What greater privilege could we possibly have in all the world than to lead our children to the Lord? Today if you feel you missed opportunities to read Gods word to your children or pray with them, and even felt as if you were unkind and impatient remember ,2 Cor 12:9 " My grace is sufficient for you,my power is made perfect in your weakness" God will help us in our weakness, we cannot handle the task of mothering in this way if we do not draw on His strength and wisdom daily. God will provide all the grace we need to shepherd these precious hearts He has placed in our care.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Home Treasures Guest Blogger

Guest article by Pam:
Over the past weeks this blog has experienced some "cyber bugs" but we are on our way to working them out. Take a few minutes to catch up on some wonderful blog posts by Stacy that have been here all along but the blog updater was not notifying us that Stacy had updated with new posts. As I read and re-read these posts today, I smiled and thought about how even in this small way, God works in wonderful ways since this was the day that I was really needing some of these mothering messages. God is always on time even when man-made blog updaters are failing. I know that Stacy will love having you comment and it will be so encouraging to her as she begins this very worthwhile ministry focusing on the most important job in all of the world.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shepherding your Childs Heart Part 2

So many times as moms we spend all day being reactive. Changing diapers, bathing, feeding, correcting, cleaning up, just to name a few. I truly feel that when the Lord asks us to "train up"a child it requires proactive action on our part. So many times I felt so overwhelmed by the urgent tasks at hand I couldn't imagine doing more. I will never forget the day when the Lord reminded me that when He created me as a mother He gave me everything I needed to complete the task. He would provide the time,wisdom and patience to accomplish that which He had called me to do. When we rely on His strength, not our own ,we can shepherd and train our child's heart in a way that honors Him. The creativeness and sweet opportunities He begins to provide are so special if we stay in tune to hear that still small voice. Guess what? the scary thing is that if we don't someone else will. We have to be the primary influence and closest thing to Gods heart to reach our children's heart. Will we fail? Yes, but the exciting thing is that "His mercies are NEW every morning". I claim that verse many nights when I feel I have failed as a mom and or wife that day. WOW! How sufficient Gods grace is! I always knew that no matter what ,if I did nothing else that day except take time to read Gods word to the children, God would fill in the blanks. Thank you Lord that when I am weak you are Strong!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shepherding a Childs Heart Part 1

I don't know about you but I love being a Mom! How rewarding it is when you tuck your child in and he or she says "Mommy you are the best Mommy in the world" "Thank you for all you do mom" If you haven't heard those words yet they will come. One of our most important jobs is to Shepherd our child's heart. Instilling Gods word in a childs heart whenever you get a chance.
On of my favorite videos (Now in cd and dvd) when the kids were little was and still is Steve Greens "Hide em in your Heart" volume 1 and 2. It is children singing scripture. My children to this day know all of those songs by memory and I love when I hear them singing and applying them to daily life.
Another way to Shepherd their heart is to teach Godly character qualities. On the Duggar website (on my resource list) she has a character qualities list. I recommend printing it out and picking one each day to go over with your children. This is something you can do over and over for years to come till these qualities are planted in their hearts. What an awesome and exciting job we have.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

Taxi driver, pharmacist, cook, dietitian, teacher,fashion coordinator and just to name a few,are some of the jobs we take on as mothers. A recent survey suggested that if you averaged out a mothers salary it would be around 136.000 a year. Quite impressive for a job where our rewards are limitless. Do you love your job? I hope so because if not you are missing out on the greatest blessing in the world. Molding and training a life for the cause of Christ is the greatest job in the world. Is is always easy? No, but if we embrace it with a joyful heart in obedience to our Lord ,He will equip us with all we need to complete the task.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to have the awesome privilege of training and guiding these precious lives for you. I know I will not always do things just right and forgive me when I fail to seek you each and every morning for guidance and strength. May I see motherhood as a process of sanctification in my own life and yield my all to you to be used for your glory and honor! Thank you for choosing me to be the mother of ____________.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Praising your children to success

What a difference it makes when we speak to our children in a positive manner. My goal was to always speak 3 positive statements to every 1 negative. When your children are small and you find yourself constantly saying "No" this is even more important or before long they will feel like they can never please you. Children ultimately want to please. It is our responsibility to give them that opportunity. Look for things in their character each day that you can praise. Some days it will be easier than others but there is always something positive if you just look for it.
It is harder to praise sometime than to correct them for their faults. This is why we must rely on the Lord to help us in this area. Children will rise to the standards you set for them. For example, "Thank you Sally for obeying mommy the first time." " That was a good choice to help your brother with his homework" "Thank you for being so considerate" " You were so kind to your sister and that pleases the Lord. He tells us in His word to "Be kind to one another" thank you for being obedient to Gods word" These are just a few examples but the more you do it the more natural it will become.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Working at home Part 2

I just want to say that before you are quick to respond to why you have chosen to work outside of the home that I realize that there are unusual and challenging circumstances that give some women no other choice than to work outside of the home, in other words they work outside of the home not in order to pursue selfish ambitions but out of necessity. Matter of fact many of them I have spoke with over the years would have much preferred to be full-time homemakers but for one reason or another they were not afforded that choice.

I challenge you as I was challenged years ago to ask yourself these questions? Are my reasons for considering this opportunity selfish or God honoring? Will this opportunity enhance and enrich the lives of my family? And will this endeavor hinder my role as the caretaker of my home. I hope this will help us to always keep in the forefront of our minds that our primary obligation is to our homes. Remember GOD created us for this purpose and has equipped us with the skills we need to be managers of our homes. GOD will supply the time, energy and ability we need to glorify Him in this area. This is a GOD ordained, honoring, assignment that He has given to us. Embrace it as a source of great fulfillment and JOY!

Working at Home Part 1

`For more than thirty years now the "women's movement" has fed us the lie that we would be happier and more fullfilled if we left our homes and children and went out to work. Feminism has failed to deliver as advertised. Divorce has skyrocketed over the years as women have left the home. Well, this is not the "Leave it to Beaver" or "Father knows best" years we are in , this is the twentieth century and things are different. Are they really?, or have our standards of living changed? Do we live within our means to be supported by one income? I believe this mindset of "You really ought to go out and make something of your life" has cost our nation and family grave consequences. We would expect women who are unaware of the truth of the gospel to be confused and misguided about their identity and calling. But I believe it grieves the Lords heart at how many christian wives and mothers have joined the women of our culture in this mass exodus from their homes. I am not at all pointing fingers I am just asking us to re-evaluate our reasons for working outside of the home. Read Titus 2 and pray that God would enable each of us to approach His Word with a humble heart and listen as He speaks to us regarding His mandate to work at home. May we take seriously the role of training and nurturing our children in the Lord. I believe with all my heart that this is the beginning of reclaiming our Nation for Christ!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Peace in the Home part 2

"Let the wife see that she respects her husband" Eph 5:33. The definition of the Greek word for "respect " is to be in awe of,to revere,or to treat as someone special." Is this how we act towards our husbands? Do we respect them with our words,tone of voice, countenance, and body language? Ouch! I know I always haven't. One thing that really helped me was to begin to focus on His positive character traits worthy of respect. When we esteem our husbands, amazing results will follow which in turn gives our children a visual picture of how to revere and respect our Heavenly Father. Even if you don't feel He has done anything worthy of your respect just remember respect is a decision we make to obey Gods word. Again ,peace in our home begins within the marriage relationship. We must rely on the Holy Spirits help not our own strength.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Phil 4:13

Peace in the Home 1

Do you feel like your home is a peaceful place? Well after observing my own mother for many years I realized that the peace in our home came from her submissive heart towards my father.
I Peter 3:1 says" Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see your respectful and pure conduct. " To me this is where it all starts. In order to teach and train our children to submit to Gods leadership in their lives they must first see it in us.
If you are having trouble in this area just blame Eve! One of the consequences of the Fall for women God tells us in Genesis 3:16 is that their "desire shall be for their husbands" Desire actually has a negitive connotation. It means to manipulate, control or have mastery over. Because of sin we now want our own way and tend to resist our husbands authority. When we do so what kind of picture are we portraying to our children and how they will view Gods authority in their own life. Believe you me , I have been far from perfect in this area ,but the exciting part is that when we take "I" out of the picture, by Gods grace we can conquer this opposition in our own hearts. A submissive wife is far from being the weak-willed woman our culture portrays. It is in turn a model of inner strength. In other words it takes no effort at all to usurp authority and demand our own way. Leading and trainning our children to be submissive to authority begins in our marriage relationship. A thriving marriage is a testimony to your persistent efforts to resist sin and follow your husbands leadership.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Power of Prayer

As wives and mothers we have the awesome privilege of praying for our family. "The prayer of a righteous man is POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE" James 5:16
Are we making the time to pray for each child and there specific needs. No one knows our family members the way we do ,so who better to pray for them than us? As my children were born there were 3 things I consistently prayed for each of them. 1. That they would have a place in Gods kingdom.(Come to know Him at an early age). 2.That they would be a credit to His kingdom. (Exemplify Godly character) and 3. Promote His kingdom. ( Be mightily used for drawing men unto Him ). It is so exciting to watch these prayers come into fruition. I truly believe with all my heart that our prayers play a major role in the molding of their lives! Charles Spurgeon once said: "No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me" Lord, Help us to be consistent and faithful to pray for our husbands and children daily.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Speaking at Mops

What a privilege and blessing it was to recently speak to the MOPS group at our church. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to share my "mothers heart". I am always humbled when the Lord can use me to encourage other mothers. I talked about not allowing the world to cloud our priorities of .1. Our relationship with the Lord (daily quiet time) 2. Our relationship with our husband( planning time together) 3. Our children (teaching ,discipline and fun) It is so important that we "purpose" in our hearts to make time for these relationships first and then everything else will fall in place. There are so many good things but Lord help me to do the WISE thing. Have a purpose filled day, commit all your plans unto the Lord before your feet hit the ground and God will order your steps.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Lord is so Good!

How excited to be doing what has been on my heart for so long! Thank you Lord for enabling me to do what has been on my heart for some time now. For such a time is this! I cant even wrap my arms around His goodness. He always has our best in mind. Why do we try to settle for second best? As mothers we have the greatest job in the world, why to we try to find fulfilment in so many other things? One of my life verses is: Phil 4:11 "Not that I speak in reguard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am , to be content" Lord, Help me to be at peace and content just where I am!