Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The prayers of rightous man (woman) avaieth much!!

How neat it is when we see the hand of God in our lives! I have been struggling so much these last couple of weeks. Struggling to the point of even questioning my salvation. I kept thinking of the verse, "The prayers of a righteous man availeth much, " and I was constantly praying and feeling like I was getting no answers. Hence my thoughts that I wasn't converted. After spending several weeks having quiet times - reading and praying and doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing, I couldn't understand why God wasn't doing what I thought He should be doing. Seriously! ( I had a Job moment after he finished complaining to God!!!) - did I really think that God actually owed me for doing what I need to be doing anyway?? That my friend is the power of sin and what can happen when we let Satan affect our thoughts!!! I thought that because my life wasn't getting easier so to speak, that God couldn't hear me. But praise God, He brought me to my knees and helped me to see things clearly. It wasn't that I wasn't saved (and by thinking rationally - I know I was saved because I would not have been able to make the last 26 years (I was saved when I was 9) if I wasn't) was that I was having unrighteous thoughts. See, my son Alec is autistic. He was diagnosed before he was 3. When he was younger, I took his autism in stride because I was on a mission. He was non-verbal and lived on pedisure from a bottle till he was 5. That I could handle because I somewhat had control over that. I could figure out what he needed even if he couldn't talk and I was the best diaper changer you have ever seen - I could do it blindfolded. We were in every kind of therapy you can think of, etc., etc. I give you all that background to say that with all that going on, I never let myself realize the future. But now...the future is here. The future is here and I had to confess to God that I was mad, angry, bitter, resentful, defeated, tired, etc. Basically, I wasn't thinking on that which is true, honorable, lovely, and commendable (Phil. 4:8). I was not content where the Lord has me(Phil. 4:11). I was however going to bed angry and giving opportunity to the devil(Eph. 4:26-27)l. I was grieving the Holy Spirit because of my bitterness (Eph. 4:30). I was not remembering that through Christ I can do all things(Phil. 4:13), and I certainly was not remembering that God is faithful and He will not tempt us beyond what we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). But praise God He did and does hear my prayers and when I truly confessed my sin- fullness to Him and admitted what was in my heart, I felt the peace of God that I hadn't had in a long time!!! I praise God for His faithfulness and seeking God for righteousness sake is much better and much more spiritually fulfilling than seeking God with a "genie in the bottle" mentally.

When I woke up this morning, my son was still autistic. We still had a rough morning (and we were still late for school - haha), but...In Christ alone my hope is found!

Monday, April 20, 2009

For Today

For Today - April 20, 2009

Outside my window or in my case, my school room door...

the sun is shinning and the birds are chirping. It is a beautiful spring day.

I am thinking...

about the end of the school year and looking forwarded to a simple summer - that is my new philosophy!! I am also thinking about my children, Bailey and Alec, and wondering what the future holds for them.

I am thankful for...

my family, my friends, and my faith.

From the kitchen...

I am thinking about what I will cook for my Church family on Wednesday night. This is my opportunity during the week to be hospitable to the people the Lord has placed in our lives to minister to.

I am wearing...

my favorite color shirt...lime green and tennis shoes because I am down in my back and need the extra support even though it is not very attractive with my black dress pants!!

I am creating...

hopefully godly children and lasting memories with my fourth grade class.

I am going...

to the chiropractor today for my back and then to a wake for a godly lady who kept me in my church nursery and even kept my own children. She had a stoke during the night Friday. She was a precious lady who loved and served the Lord all her 90 plus years, and I know she is in heaven right now saying "Wish you were here."

I am reading...

A Quiet place of Rest by Nancey Leigh DeMoss and 12 Simple Secrets Every Real Mom Knows. I also made a commitment yesterday that I would spend time every day reading and meditating on God's Word - I have found that all other books pale in comparison.

I am hoping...

to honor and glorify God in everything I say and do today...especially in regards to my family. I want to start responding rather than reacting!!!

I am hearing...

the assurance of God's Word in my life and I am mostly "hearing" the necessity to slow down.

Around my house...
things are pretty brutal right now in regards to cleanliness. Being down in my back has prevented me from doing my normal cleaning and my husband and kids just seem to move stuff around. Also around my house, I feel a sense of urgency (no pun intended) to slow down and regroup and focus on what is important - my relationship with my Savior and my my family!

One of my favorite things...
is my lime green Honda Element and my puppy Mo Jo.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I am going to dinner and a play with my mom on Tuesday.
Church on Wednesday!! and I am also taking my class on a field trip to see the new Earth movie and lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.
The rest of my week seems pretty mellow!!!!

A picture I would like to share...
This plant was started by my paw-paw and has been passed on for years and years. My grand-father passed away 3 years ago, but every time a look at one of these beautiful day lilies, I think of my precious godly paw-paw and it makes me smile!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sharing Sunday

As I went to church this morning, I went there very defeated. It has been a long week with LOTS of up and downs, and spiritually, I was not where I should have been. During the song service, the Lord got a hold of me like gravy on rice...and I was sincerely broken. Our song service began with the hymn "Because He Lives." That is when the softening began. Because He lives I CAN face tomorrow - even with an autistic son, even with a hurting back, etc. etc. It was all I could do to get the words out without weeping. The next song we sang was "The Power of the Cross" - As I sang that song and really focused on the words, my heart truly began to break and I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. Here's the chorus - The power of the cross, Christ became sin for us, took the blame, bore the wrath, we stand forgiven at the cross. The chorus alone will do you in when you really focus on what that song is saying. It really put a new light on my petty problems that are really nothing more than inconveniences. Then this verse really broke me - Oh to see the pain, written on your face, bearing the awesome weight of sin (MY SIN!!!) Every bitter thought, every evil deed, crowning your bloodstained brow...What a love! What a cost! We stand forgiven at the cross. Now that is brutal and wonderful all at the same time, and I praise God for our worship service this morning. We ended the song service with "Change my Heart Oh God" and I knew that is exactly what my prayer needed to be. I excused myself to our cry room and out loud recommitted my life to Christ, begged for forgiveness of my harden heart, and praised Him for the power of the Cross and the fact that because He lives, I can face tomorrow!!!!! And I was brutally reminded that the only way for Him to change my heart and for me to be more like Him, was to genuinely spend time with Him in prayer and Bible study. So my commitment starts NOW!! I will soon begin sharing a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss entitled A Place of Quiet Rest - Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life. I have come to a real place in my life where I understand more than ever that that is the key - a personal consistent quiet time with the Lord. I encourage anyone out there to joing me in this commitment. In Christ Alone!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Amazing family

As I continue reading about the Duggar family I am continually amazed at how they live their lives and how they teach they faith to the children. Some may hear about them and think they are a bunch of weirdos, but I say give me weird over worldly any day!!!! I need you to process that this family lives totally debt free and live quite well. What an amazing testimony to praying and seeking God's will for your life. They have convictions, they stick to them, and God honors their endeavors. Wow! Lately,as my husband and I struggle within our own family (and right now we are "struggling" with a hormonal 13 year old who is very impulsive and an 11 year old hormonal autistic son), we have regrets that we did not have a bigger family. He had a vasectomy right after our son was born - our kids are 17 months apart and he didn't want to take any chances. That is a discission we have come to hugely regret. Then 4 years ago I had to have a complete hysterectomy. We have talked of adopting on several occasions and continue to pray about it. When I look at large families as a whole, the kids are always well behaved and they all seem to get along so well. That is very appealing to me right now. And when I look at this family in particular, they are such servants to each other and they have such a love for the Lord and their family.

One of the things that stands out to me about the Duggar family is their chapter on "Training and Correcting Little Ones." They begin the chapter with this verse, "Train up a child in the way he should go;and when he is old, he will not depart from it." -Proverbs 22:6. One of the materials they use in teaching their children is by Bill Gothard, "Operational Definitions of Character Qualities." The first and most important character trait they learn is obedience. In teaching obedience,they focus on why obedience is important. If they learn to obey their parent's voice, they will also learn to obey God's voice. Some day they will here His still, small voice in their heart, and they will know to obey Him. They'll know what's the right thing to do. Isn't that what we ALL want for our kids? I know that is my heart's prayer every single day no matter what else I am praying for - that is a constant!!! - For my kids to realize their need for a Savior and for the Holy Spirit to draw them to Him. Brutal!!! Their goal is to have them understand four different points of obedience: 1. instant 2. cheerful 3.thorough 4. unconditional. Wouldn't the Lord love the same from us adults??

They also have a neat way of doing chores. Their chores are called "Jurisdictions." They do this to stress the idea that these jobs are not just tasks to complete but areas of their family's home and their life together that each child is responsible for. (They use Steve and Teri Maxwell's Managers of Their Home and Managers of Their Chore wall system.)

Another lesson they teach is being content. They teach their kids to be content with the food and clothing they have, using the possessions they have and keeping their focus on the purpose for which God made them. How profound!!!! I'll finish up this chapter in my next post.