Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A patient life in a Wal Mart kind of world

Wal Mart and I share a love/hate relationship. I both love and hate Wal Mart. They do have the lowest prices, and I get the most use out of my coupons. Plus, I can get lots of things in one place. The problem is that something shifts inside me when I pass that greeter. The moment I walk through those automatic doors, it's like my impatience takes charge. I literally picture a little man inside me with "Impatience" written across his hat. When I grab that shopping cart, he yells, "Take no prisoners!"

Most of the time, my sin is not visible from the outside. But if you cut me off with your cart or linger too long blocking my access to the milk, you can bet your last baby wipe that I'm rolling my eyes and making smart comments on the inside.

James chapter three verse twelve says, "My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

You see, when I have impatience and tension bound up in my heart, it will surface in some form or fashion. Either I respond in a less than Godly way when Jonah pulls a jar of pickles off the shelf, or I take it out on my hubby at the end of the day. In one way or another, my salty heart will produce a stream of salt water in my life.

So how do I put an end to this domino effect? I begin by memorizing scripture. Whenever I find myself boiling on the inside, I can recall James 3:12 or Proverbs 10:19 (It's a good one, look it up). This reminds me in the heat of the moment to stop and do a gut check. Why do I feel this way? What does God say about my emotion? What would be a better way to respond?

Then I pray. I pray for God to change my heart. To restore my joy, renew my patience, and to adjust my perspective. Every time I take the time to allow God to change me, I get a little closer to living a Godly life in a broken world. A little closer to living a patient life in a Wal Mart kind of world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Sing It Out

I believe I can fly
And I will if you continue to cry
I've listened to you whine all day
Im gonna start the mini van and drive away
'Cause my ears are getting sore
You'll see me running through that open door
And when daddy gets home
Tell him not to call my cell phone
Unless he's made you dinner
And the dishes have been done
And you've been tucked into bed
With pajamas and a pull up on
Otherwise I'll run errands all night long
Or at least I will try!

-Hilary Weeks
*Sung to the tune of "I Believe I Can Fly" by R Kelly

If ever you have one of these days, just sing it out! It releases stress, helps you to remember to breathe, and sometimes your kid will stop whining long enough to wonder where your mind has gone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fighting Words

In 1982, Bob Pittman the co-founder of MTV was quoted as saying, "At MTV, we don't shoot for 14 year olds, we own them." Do you think the standards have changed much in the last 20 years? To me, these are fighting words. No one owns my son but the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The fact is, we are at war for the next generation, and I've got a few fighting words myself.

Ephesians 6:13-17 says
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God."

Christ has left us with everything we need to defeat the enemy's tactics and to bring glory to Him. Thank God our kids have a savior! Thank God that He has given us the tools to fight for our childrens' purity, honor, humility, selflessness, and everything else that our MTV culture works so hard to belittle and diminish. So no matter what outlet Satan chooses to use, we can stand firm in the faith and remember our fighting words.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Sweet Heritage

I have a passion. A passion that I cannot contain any longer. When I try to talk about it, my heart beats faster and I seem to run out of breath. Now, I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not talking about dessert. Although, eating half of a cheesecake by yourself will certainly make it harder to breathe. I know.

What is your vision for your child? When I think about Jonah and the dreams I have for him, he transforms from a toddler to a (strong) husband. An (engaged)father. A (spiritual)leader. A man like David, who the Bible says was a man after God's own heart. How do those dreams become a reality? Here's a clue:

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Psalm 127:3 says that children are a gift from the Lord. A gift. Your children were given to you. For a purpose. We have to be intentional about the way we raise our kids. There's no more just closing your eyes and hoping for the best. We have to create a culture in our home that fosters trust, honor, and love. We have to influence our kids with authority now so that we may influence them with trust later.

The passage above from Deuteronomy is one of my favorites. It basically says that you should take every opportunity to teach your children about God. All throughout the day. Take a moment to teach your preschooler that snatching a toy away from her friend is an act of selfishness, which Jesus wants to change into love. It may sound like a lofty topic for a four year old, but its never too early to get yourself into the right frame of mind. When it's too wet outside to ride bicycles, how about explaining that God is taking care of His creation by sending the rain today instead of simply saying, "No, it's too wet outside."

Sound like too much work? Remember that your children were given to you. They are gifts from the Lord that you are expected to treasure, teach, and train intentionally. And the Bible says that its worth it! Proverbs 10:1 says, "Wise children bring joy to their father..."

Do you see why I am so excited about a vision for our children? For the next generation? I want my grandchildren to have a knowledge of and a passion for our creator that far exceeds mine. I want to leave something behind that will impact them to their very core. Not just the way eating two desserts will impact your core. : )

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Great with surrender

I have a new found appreciation for Mary.

The mother of God, I mean. Her story is one of those that you hear often, especially around Christmas, and so take it for granted. But let's break it down for a second.

She was a young girl engaged. What a time of excitement. She was probably giddy with wedding plans and preparing for wifey responsibility. She was a good girl, a virgin. The bible says her betrothed was a righteous man. And then here comes the angel Gabriel to rock her world.

He tells her that soon she will be giving birth to the Son of God, she will name him Jesus, and he will reign forever. I don't know about y'all, but that would just be too much for me to balance with my hormones. And yet, she lays down her plans and reputation to bring glory to God's kingdom. Without a fight!

And that's not all. Let's talk about her trip to Bethlehem. Several versions of the Bible say that Mary was "great with child." In other words, she was big. If you've ever been pregnant, you know this feeling. You were once great with child also. Remember how you couldn't see your feet, but you could feel how swollen they were? Remember the back pain, the heartburn, and not being able to sleep? Unless you are one of those chicks who felt glorious the last weeks before giving birth. In that case, keep it to yourself.

She traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I don't even know how many miles that is, but it's way too far for a pregnant lady.  She probably rode on a donkey to top it off. I found it uncomfortable to ride for two hours in an air conditioned vehicle to my parents' house.

What a beautiful display of surrender. Could I do that for my God and King? Could I risk losing my worldly love, acceptance, and comfort? Could I let Him rock my world? Mary did, and she turned out to be a key player in the saving of the world.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Taste

I want to be a stay at home mom so bad I can almost taste it.

Have you ever had a desire so strong that you could almost taste it? In this sense, to taste means to see, feel, and experience it to a degree. You can picture it in your mind's eye.

On an afternoon like this one, when I have a little extra time at home with Jonah, I can taste it. I feel the stir to sit in our rocking chair and read bible stories before nap time. I gobble those moments up and savor them like the last few bites of chocolate. I feel an alignment with my purpose.

The bible says to "Taste and see that the Lord is good"(Psalm 34:8). Feel it, see it, experience it. This is a call to live relationally with Him. To experience life walking with Him. To let his Holy Spirit stir inside you. Respond to his invitation to step out and let Him love on you.

Can you picture it? What would it be like if we could actually live in perfect harmony with the one who created us inside His perfect imagination? How would your fears change? Your desires? Your motivation?

What if we wanted it so badly, that not only could we almost taste it...but we actually wrestled with it until we grasped it? Tasted it.