Thursday, July 12, 2012

Guest Blog - "Lessons in Wifehood: The Chains of Shame"

When Elizabeth first posted on her Facebook page about wanting to delve more into marital topics and perhaps even begin an endeavor to write a book, I applauded her and began instantly praying for her and her family in this endeavor.  When she asked me to share a story from my testimony where God has worked in my marriage, I was and am humbly honored to be a part of what she is doing over there at  

My story is a twisty one, but God has done miraculous works in my life.  When I look at where I was to where I am now, I am awed by HIS mercy, grace and acceptance.  My husband and I are like any other young, married couple, working hard and holding on, for dear life, to what is very important to us: a marriage that honors God and brings glory to HIS Kingdom.  

My guest blog deals with past sin and redemption, shame and freedom, and beauty from ashes.

Please go Go check it out, and while you are there, check out other great marital wisdom and encouragement, inspired by the God we serve, written by His servant, Elizabeth!!!

Love In Christ,

Thank you Elizabeth - you are doing God's work well!  
Warrior Wives is a breath of fresh air in a much needed time!  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hopeful Parenting...

I am about to admit (probably for the trillionth time) something that no one else reading this, does.  I am about to tell you something that would make you judge me, talk about me, tell your friends about me, pray for me (that wouldn't be so bad), and discuss me.  

....This woman.....WORRIES!   

That's right, I worry.  At times I am anxious, fearful and downright scared.  Pathetically, I sometimes even worry I worry too much!  I am being facetious, of course, but honestly, this is my thorn, and prayer is my only place to go. 

One of the things I worry the most about is whether or not my children will grow up to love Jesus.  I realize that by the advent of free will, the choice will be theirs, to follow Jesus or walk away.  I feel, however, it is mine and my husband's job to see to it that they have a Godly, loving home of which to base their decision.  I believe, and scripture backs my belief, that if my husband and I work to establish a firm foundation, we give our children a strong, very good fighting chance against Satan's constant attempts to cause harm.  

So, in a desperate attempt to make this happen, coupled with my limited experience/example of a loving home, I am embarking on a parenting "study", and I have decided to share my findings and growth with you, whoever you are.  I picked up a book from the Library entitled, "hopeful Parenting" by David Jeremiah.  Besides my rockin', smokin' hot hubby, he is my favorite pastor.  The thing I like most about David Jeremiah's teaching is the humility that shines through.  He has done a pretty fantastic job raising his four children, but still claims no fame or recognition for himself.  He gives ALL of the credit to God, the Father!  I love that!  

Jumping in!   

One of the most fragrant reminders to me, as a fearful parent, raising little ones in the world today, is that, "despite frightening headlines and cultural pressures, our God still sits firmly on His heavenly throne and promises to give us the strength and wisdom to build Christian households filled with Godliness and laughter" (Jeremiah, p 14).  What an amazing reminder we must never forget!  I must never forget that "With God, all things are possible" even the seemingly impossible task of building thriving Christian families (Mark 10:27).  

One of the scariest things, for me, is to raise children, "in today's world".  You hear that statement so much.  I believe I am guilty of saying that once or a million times.  It sort of has become and subconscious default for me; one to protect myself from feeling guilt if something in my parenting goes terribly wrong.  However, God does not care what world we live in.  Well, let me clarify....he cares, but He doesn't want me to use that as an excuse.  He is not surprised by the tabloids, the mass quantity of girls who throw up their food to meet the media's standards, the parade of porn and half dressed women flying before your son's impressionable eyes, and the millions of people suffering from an HIV/AIDS epidemic because of promiscuity and UN-safe sex.  He has not been caught off guard by the content of the character of those entrusted with our little ones, the manner at which our children's minds are twisted to believe the newest theories about religion, or the way in which the sanctity of marriage has been dragged through the mud.  Furthermore, He is not stunned or shaken by the fact that He is not allowed to be spoken of in a public school setting.  He isn't nervous, He isn't fearful, He isn't worried....He is God; the same God who helped parents, parent children in the 1950's!!!  I MUST remember this and I MUST hold onto the fact that,
"God is able to make all grace abound to [me] you, so that in all things, and at all times, having all that [I] you need, [I] you will abound in every good work"  (2 Corinthians 9:8).

"But, what if I can't figure it out until it is too late?"
"What if I fail first and realize it second?"

What if, what if what if???

I have this ongoing conversation with the God of the universe.  I am often so relived He doesn't just walk away, because even I would walk away from me.  I know, at times, I hear Him saying, 

"Well, what if you just trusted me...?"   

I have to believe I can really do this!  I have to believe I can actually raise children who turn into adults, who bless the community in Jesus' name.  Even before I gave my life to Jesus, I look back and reflect on moments where Grace abounded!  He could have left me there in that miry pit, but He didn't!  He could have never shown me how to follow Him, but He did!  It was miraculous that He still wanted me!  

So, I have to believe Him now.  I have to believe Him when His Bible definitively promises that He will never give us a task without the resources to see it through to its' full potential.  When He tells us to "Train up a child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6), He also promises that "if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).


My husband and I often talk about what kind of memory we want our children to have of us.  If you are following my blogs, you know that my husband is a pastor.  This may sound strange to you, but if you ask him, he will tell you that one of his most favorite aspects of the pastorate, is to reside over a funeral of a Godly person with a Godly legacy.  Although it may be sad at times to see the ones you love leave this Earth, having the honor to listen to the legacy of a truly Christ-like person from the mouths of their children, has to be one of the most humbling experiences.  To hear them speak of their mom or dad, and proclaim that Jesus was Lord of their life, that they lived in light of this, and strive to love their children as Christ loves all of us, is a glimpse of heaven on Earth.  Every child of this type of person, have eyes that sparkle when speaking of their parent.  I don't want my children to be forced to make things up at my funeral, they won't be fooling anyone, anyway.  

Put it into Practice

These are some things I am going to work on this week.  If you want to come on this journey with me, feel free to come aboard!    

  1. Begin with the end on mind - Jot down what you hope your children will say of you, at your funeral.  (What eternal values do you hope to leave them as your legacy?)
  2. What things, activities, or ideals do you see as eroding your family?
  3. What can you deliberately do to counter these things?

Leave your comments below - they truly bless me!

Jeremiah, David. Hopeful Parenting: Encouragement for Raising Kids Who Love God.  2008.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hands off!!

The whole world is online.  The whole universe is accessible at the poke of a finger.  The children born in this decade, will never know a time when mommy and daddy did NOT carry a device on their hip, in their purse, in their pocket that rendered them "find-able" at any given moment.  My Nora recognizes when I do not have my phone with me, and promptly reunites me with the device, asking, of course, to play Angry Birds. :)

Everyday, we are given a certain amount of time to impact the little people God has given us. We are given precious fleeting moments to spend time with our children.  During these moments, we can love them, help them feel loved, teach them, influence them, talk to them, ask them questions, hear their answers, show them how to be influential, and show them God's love through our actions.  We have the ability and potential to do these things to create productive, secure, loved children.

We somehow, however, choose to spend this fleeting time much, much differently.  We spend the day on our phones, talking to friends and/or relatives for hours, while the little ones meander about, finding menial things to occupy their minds.  We spend this time snapping at them when they interrupt these conversations, putting them in front of TV sets,  pushing them out of the way so we can finish using the app on our phones, ignoring them when they are calling our name to show us something they are discovering for the first time, tell them "later" every time they ask us to read to them, or treat them like a burden to your ability to enjoy our day.

This realization hit me recently in the, not so pleasant, aptly named, "hard way".  I was in the yard with my two children; Nora was running around and Evan was on a blanket, happy as can be, eating grass.  I was sitting on the porch, phone in hand, reading e-mails and responding to the people who had my undivided attention, when I looked up to see Nora staring back at me.  She had the saddest eyes, and they were on me.  She had been calling to show me something...I was ignoring her....and the moment was gone.  I immediately felt something....shame.  My little girl was exploring the world, discovering the coolest things she has ever seen, and wanting me, her most favorite human, to share them with her, but I was....busy.  I immediately got up, engaged her, played games until we were breathless, came inside, prepared for bed, read, prayed, and sang her nightly songs, and said goodnight.

The moment stayed with me though.  I couldn't shake the fact that perhaps I have missed more moments like this one.  How many times hadn't I looked up?  How many things did she discover without me?  And more importantly, how many more will I allow to go unnoticed?

I want my children to feel important.  I want them to know that they are set apart by the God I serve (The God of heaven, not of Apple), for a purpose.  I have been given the incredible responsibility of preparing well-rounded, fully prepared disciples of Christ, who feel loved, respected and noticed.

These moments were given as a gift.  We can use them productively, filling the minutes with meaningful memories, teachable moments, and lessons that prepare them for the life God has set before them, or, we can spend the precious moments involved in stuff.  Stuff that steals their attention and hugs.  Stuff that steals their tickle fights and butterfly kisses, and stuff that is way less urgent than responding to the latest request on the e-mail account.

God has placed in our hands the tremendous responsibility of raising men and women that could impact the world.  I refuse to allow them to leave my hands ill-prepared because of my need to stay connected!  I will, with God as my leader, put down my phone and my laptop, and fill the fleeting moments with meaningful memories.  Memories that teach, grow and develop people who will change the world.