Monday, October 1, 2012

Rain, rain go away...or not!

Talk about a gloomy day! It is one of those day's when the rain has not stopped and it look's like it is perpetually "almost dark." I confess that I do not like rainy days. I love sunshine, sunshine and MORE sunshine! I love beautiful days, warm breezes and open window's. Day's like today do not jive with me. 

However, it is not realistic to expect sunshine everyday. Though it would be cool if it only rained after dark! I could appreciate that. I am reminded that it is also not realistic to think that spiritually I won't experience rain and gloomy day's. Here lately it feel's like it has rained on me a lot spiritually. I would be lying if I told you that every time I embraced it and looked for way's to learn from it. The thing about growth in Christ is that his enemy ( and our enemy) see's our growth and amps up the attack's. He's never sneaky or cunning, he's "same old, same old" and pathetic, attacking the same way every single time. You would think that I would know how to alway's fight back by now, but still there are those day's when he clothesline's me right on my home turf! 

The lesson is in realizing where the attack is coming from and WHY! We have a very powerful God and a very real enemy that doesn't like us because we belong to CHRIST. God has been showing me more and more that my bad day's are usually an attack from the enemy. It is also NOT the people in my life but rather the enemy influencing them. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

I am beginning to understand this game the enemy is wanting to play. It is a game of deception, for if he can convince me that when I grow in Christ and draw closer to the father that I come under attack then I might take off and run. He will leave me alone if I'm complacent in my faith and not striving to mature in Christ. God, being the wonderful Father that he is- he is a lot more concerned about my character then my comfort and my faith rather then my feeling's. He allow's certain thing's to take place in order to mature me. Yes, God does allow the enemy to bother us! Anyone who tell's you different is lying to you.   If we never needed God, we would never need God! Do you get it? The blow's of life are what draw us to the Father and bring's us to our knee's. We can't give him our burden's if there are none to bare. We can't trade our ashes for beauty if there is no fire. He can't turn our mourning into dancing if there is no sorrow. 

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. "

I NEED Jesus! I literally can't stand on these two feet without him! I certainly can't parent these girl's and be Jonathan's wife without him. God continually depletes me of every ounce of myself and all other resources and make's me rely entirely on him! Time and time again I try to do it on my own strength and fall flat on my face! I don't know why I even still attempt to do it without him. I'm realizing that is why I'm in this rainy season spiritually. God is trying to get me to abide, to dwell, to cast on him, to lay at his feet, to worship, to rest in his presence. I am a "do it myself" type personality and God is saying, "you're not made to do it yourself." It might seem elementary to some, but for me I am just now learning what it means to really lay my burden down at his feet and walk away and NOT go back and pick it up again. I have been guilty of returning many time's in the past. I start to think about it again and begin to worry and before I know it, I'm toting it back home.

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

The saying goes, "be careful what you pray for..." I prayed that God would empty me of myself. I prayed that as I draw near to him he will draw near to me. I prayed that he would become my absolute everything and my strength, the one I run to (first) and the answer in my struggle's. I prayed this his presence would become so real and tangible to me. I prayed that he would teach me how to rely on him.

He answered! 

So hello rainy day, I have a feeling that I will get to know you well and see a lot of you in this season. However, the GREAT thing about a gloomy day is that sunshine isn't far behind! 

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do all things without complaining and whining...

I know of someone who constantly complains and mainly about their child. It upsets me, but God has used it to make me look within and ask myself, "do I ever complain like that? Do I have moments when I dwell on how much one of my girls is upsetting me and then complain about it to myself for the rest of the day?" I appreciate how God uses everything in my life to make me look at myself. "Search me, O. God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23.

I am not perfect! I have definitely wasted precious time complaining about something one of my girls is doing. I've allowed time to slip past me that could have been spent cuddling while they watch the same movie for the 39749032571307501 time. At times I've let anger get the best of me and reacted in selfishness and flesh towards them. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I realize that my babies are a gift and even in the MOST frustrating of moments, I can find something to be thankful for! I challenge myself at times to find something to be thankful for and then say it out loud! "I am thankful that we have money to pay for the diaper rash cream for your terrible rash. I'm thankful for the floor that just got covered in spaghetti o's. I'm thankful for the fact that I even have a child that is refusing to sleep. I'm thankful that God is teaching me a LOT of patience in this moment and that's shaping my character." I'm serious, you should try it! :) 

As mother's, we choose to have these completely innocent children in our arms. Our children are 100% reliant on us for their every need! We have no right to complain that they have needs. It is NOT going to be easy! Absolutely every single mother knows how tough it can be, but we just can't go on and on and on and on complaining about it. We are going to loose TONS of sleep and we are going to spend at least three...nah, (definitely more then three) years cleaning puke, pee, poop and slobber up off of ourselves and everything around us! Stuff is going to break and clothes will be forever stained and damaged. A trip out won't ever be easy again and we have to spend every waking moment thinking LESS about ourselves and MORE about the needs and wants of our blessing's. We are their world and they need us all day, every day! This happens when you have a child, there is no sense in begrudging it. Every mother has a hard time with it, no one has it worse then anyone else because each of us walk in a different set of shoes. Even if it is hard that doesn't give us the right to act that way. 

Let's try putting on thankfulness, try on some joy! Please, let's not complain. Our children will know how we feel and it won't take long for them to pick up on it. A child can hear "I love you" 100 times, but they KNOW our heart by our actions and your attitude. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Repentance means...

"Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world whatever the cost, the world in its mind and outlook as well as its practice, and you deny yourself, and take up the cross and go after Christ. Your nearest and dearest, and the whole world, may call you a fool, or say you have religious mania. You may have to suffer, but it makes no difference. That is repentance."

Love this quote and had to share!