Aug 10, 2015
As a mother, my heart is that my children will love others and be a blessing. I don't think this comes naturally, as we often as humans think of self before others. However, God wants us to love Him with our whole hearts and to love others, self coming way down the list of priorities.
From Jesus use of the word blessed in the Sermon on the Mount it was the Greek word makarios, mean happy or blissful. It is also is understood as a self-contained kind of happiness.
Whatever our age, our life situation, we can choose to not be directed by the external around us, but to live out of the internal happiness we have as a beloved child of God. When we live our lives applying His truths, we find joy, bliss and happiness!
How do we teach this to our children?
Let's decide to purposefully talk to our children about how Jesus came to show us the way to live. Jesus told us that He is the way, the truth and the life. If we ask Jesus into our hearts, then the Holy Spirit resides inside us.
We don't have to be moved by circumstances in our day to make us blessed (happy), but by reminding ourselves that God has given us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit goes with each of His children all day- we can live out of that truth! It is so much easier to be a blessing if we get that we are blessed ourselves.
Jesus lived to show us how we should live a life that reaches out and blesses others. It is something He actively did while He lived here on earth. We need to actively live to do the same. How can we do that today? How do we then take this and begin applying it to our children's hearts?
We can show them first off by doing it ourselves. You know what they say, more is caught than taught. We need to be in the Word of God each day, and teaching our children to do the same. We need to be asking Him for opportunities to live as Jesus did in blessing others. We need to train our ears to hear His voice and allow our children to tune the ears of their hearts as well. Practice in this makes perfect!
Challenge our children to count the ways that we can do this in the hours we have been given today. As you sit together around the dinner table, or head out somewhere in the car, talk about ways God has opened your eyes to see opportunities to be a blessing to people.
The Holy Spirit will be so excited to join us in this blessing adventure. And how great it is when we activate our children's hearts to live a life that aligns themselves in following after their Father's heart!
Jesus began and ended His ministry in blessing people.
Aug 9, 2015
Aug 7, 2015
Here is my five minutes of thoughts, unedited to share.
Our word is HERE:
In the midst of the weeds, here we find ourselves in the final stretch of summer.
Stores are beginning to send out their notices, reminding us it is time to gather our back to school items once again. Then they will begin to batter us with the next holiday or event and continue to try to entice us to live for that, instead of being fully here in our today. Here it is summer in all of it's glory and we are beginning to once again look at the
'What's coming next.'
'What's coming next.'
How often do we live in what is not the HERE? I know so often in my life I have got caught up in the very dangerous trap of looking ahead (or behind) instead of staying present in today.
I am not saying planning or setting goals isn't good. What I am trying to remind myself of (and you if you need a pep talk too) is that being HERE is important. Living in today is what God is asking of us. Doing His will NOW and His work today is what is required.
Here I am. Pondering simplicity. Happy to enjoy today. Glad that homeschooling doesn't require much shopping. Not wanting to push it aside and hurry into something that isn't here right now.
Often one finds it hard to stay in the here and now. So often we look back, or look forward and forget that today counts. Today, is a full 24 hours of God given time that we can be. It's a choice. It takes effort to remain here, but I am finding that as I simplify life, it becomes easier. Less clutter of life grabs at you when you can choose to live fully in today.
breathe:: HERE I am Lord!
I am present and waiting for You!
breathe:: HERE I am Lord!
I am present and waiting for You!
Glad to be here and glad to breathe deep in the now of summer. Hope you find time to breathe deep too!
Jul 31, 2015
What rose in my heart when I saw Kate's word prompt for this week's Five Minute Friday was;
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
It made me think of parenting.
It made me think of how it came to be that I am the mother of 8 children who call me Mama.
It made me think of how the road to motherhood was paved by a call of God on my life to adopt. I heard God calling me when I was only 13 and just newly saved by His marvelous grace. How I had to step out in faith to follow Him into it.
Now I love adoption, let's be clear on that upfront. It is a call of trust, not just for the money involved, but for all that will come, once that child becomes yours.
Parenting is hard. It isn't anything that one has practice on before one becomes one. Sure you can read books, sure you can look to your childhood (good and bad) and of course you can look around and see others who have gone before you in it.
you will make mistakes.
You will need to try and try again at this thing called parenting. It is not a one time and done kind of thing. Each child is their own little person, made in the image of God. They all have their own bends, gifts, talents and need I say troubles. We are all sinners who fall short and need to humble ourselves and come again to you to be forgiven and set about right.
In the road of parenting, it doesn't matter if they are homemade or adopted, you will need to keep putting your hand to the plow and trying to till the soil of their hearts while you can. Trying to reach the broken places, trying to show them the narrow road to walk as they follow the One who made them and has a unique plan for their lives.
You will try to show them by your own life, by the words of your lips and the actions you take up daily; so as to point them like an arrow at the heart of Jesus.
Some days it seems so easy, others not so much~ to the point of wondering how you might have entered into this madness you call life.
But ultimately, we are not the source or the solution for our children, it is Jesus. So when I empty myself and follow Him, letting Him shine through me, I find success at this thing called parenting. But when I fail, when I doubt, when I get to the edge and want to jump...well, guess what? I need to again fall on my knees or on my face and tell God that I need Him. Tell Him that though I have tried, that still it seems in the natural to not be working. Tell Him that I need a spirit boost and a soul tune-up. I call out to Him knowing that my success comes from Him and Him alone.
Lord, you've called me. Help me to continue to try to do all You have asked of me. Help me to do it with the right heart. Forgive me for wanting to quit and forgive me for when I fail so miserably at this motherhood-parenting thing. I need Your help and I need Your Spirit to love them and to point them to Your heart. In Jesus' name I ask it. amen.
Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.
Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.
Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed
Jul 30, 2015
Today in the grocery store I ran into a man who I went to church with as a child. He was now older (as am I!) and the only reason I recognized him was he asked me where a particular kind of macaroni and cheese was located. I didn't so much as recognize his face, which had changed over time, but his voice made me say, "Are you Dave (I also used his last name)?"
I think it startled him, as he asked me why I wanted to know. I told him who I was, and we began to reminisce.
He was super positive and though he had been facing some pretty big life struggles the past few months, he continued to thank God for his blessings. Sweet Dave and I prayed right there in the aisle fourteen. He slipped his well worn hand into mine and we stormed heaven together for his wife, who had gone through brain surgery and suffered a stroke.
After we prayed his eyes began to twinkle even more. He told me he had but one request before He went home to be with Jesus.
I asked him what that one request was.
Bless my soul,
he said he wanted to read the Bible 100 times!
He said he got saved when he was 30 and had been reading it 2 times every year since then, or trying to. He currently had read it 56 times! I think my jaw dropped down and he told me he wasn't doing it just to do it, but that he loved God's Word and just couldn't get enough. Sigh, me too, but I have only read it 8 or 9 times, and already have lost count.
He encouraged me with his eye twinkle, he encouraged me by his devotion to the Lord and for His Word. Dave also encouraged me, because he has a son that isn't walking with the Lord, but continues to believe that one day Mark will understand who this Jesus is and will say yes to Him too. Not out of fear, but because of understanding how greatly He loves him.
My soul needed to meet this dear man today. Life has been hard this year and I have been feeling more negative than positive as of late. The battles have piled up one upon another for me this year and boy have I been feeling it physically.
Thank you Father for sending me encouragement and helping me to change my perspective.
Jul 27, 2015
Another beautiful day. Summer sure goes faster than winter I find.
Today is rather muggy, but the kids have been outside most of the day playing wiffle ball. I have heard yelling, talking and laughter all afternoon. It is now just post a simple dinner, they are back outside making the most of these lazy summer days.
Oh if only we could bottle it and save it up for the cold days to come.
Hope you are well and that your part of the world is finding spots of rest amongst the busyness of life.
Jul 20, 2015
Jul 15, 2015
I have jumped on the fermenting bandwagon! In my fridge you will find kefir, homemade ginger soda, pickles and sauerkraut! I have been at it for several months now and the only complaint is that there seems to be a lot less space in our refrigerators for groceries. We are all enjoying trying new foods (and drinks) ...LOVE THE KEFIR!
my beautiful crock I found at an antique store for $60!
The first batch of pickles in our new 6 gallon crock was the best so far. Batch two was too salty and batch three which I tried to make from a Hungarian recipe I found online that used only salt was a miserable fail. It seems that the only salt recipe made my cucumbers literally disintegrate after 3 days in the giant crock. Thankfully I only lost about 12 cucumbers and my time.
watermelon pickles (we didn't love these!)
I remember a trip to Maine when I was a wee lass and stopping to visit some friends. They had a huge old farm house that was L shaped (it attached to the barn to help with the long cold Maine winters). On the porch was an old well used crock and the ancient man my father was visiting reached in and handed us a half sour pickle. He apologized that they weren't really ready yet, but in my 10 year old mind I thought it was the most wonderful pickle I ever ate.
So when I saw the fermenting bandwagon begin on Pinterest, I gladly jumped on gathering recipes and ideas to begin my own little adventure!
The old ways take patience and a little know-how, but the result it well worth the time and wait.
I hope to master half-sour garlicky pickles soon.
My family is waiting patiently for the victory!
Jul 8, 2015
I woke up this particular morning in an old country cabin in the Northern Woods, the cabin happened to be mine. Joy rose out of my heart as I embraced this new day that God had given me. As my eyes focused on the surroundings I was drawn to the only area of light seeping into the cabin this early summer morning. Though I had seen this so many other mornings of my life, this morning what spoke to me wasn't the beautiful blue sky or the front yard and its beautiful landscape. It was the cross that became my heart's focus.
How many times in our life do we forget the cross? How many times, whether in seasons of plenty or during the seasons of hardship, do we see the cross? Our soul (our mind, will and emotions) often want to take control and lead us down soulish paths. If only when we looked around us we saw or were reminded of the cross and what Jesus did for us there; things would be so different in our spiritual walk.
We could see so much more of Him in our days if our hearts would begin with the cross. If we would check ourselves to see if we have added Him in to our day or if we enter the day knowing He is already here and waiting for us. He longs for our company, He desires us to walk with Him through our every moment.
How thankful I am that because of that cross and because of God's great love for me, that I can look at life through His window. My soul can be transformed and I can become who it was that He is longing for me to become.
It is a process this life. But perhaps it is easier than we think, maybe it is just what we think on and what it is that is always before us. We need to remind ourselves, we need to follow Him. He doesn't want to follow us, but wants us to see things through His heart and with the view of the cross permeating everything that our eyes and days take in.
My hope is in you Lord.
My hope is in you Lord.