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Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Do "They" Know?

"They" said it may never happen...012

"They" said it would probably take a long time...013

It did take a little longer than most... 016 (2)

But never under estimate the power and determination of a girl who wants to achieve!

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Eventually... she WILL get there.... 017

And the pride that she will feel will be one that shows "them" that she CAN overcome!

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"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Obedience First Then the Blessing

Over the past several months I have taken a Precept Bible Study that has really been one A-MAZ-ING wake up call to me. The fact that I have grown up in church and had Bible stories read to me since I was conceived is wonderful and I am glad that I have that heritage. I have known, since I was a little girl, that Adam and Eve were tempted by that mean old snake in the Garden of Eden. I have known that Noah built a big boat and that all the animals came two by two to board the cute little vessel that people hang on nursery walls.

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I say that it has been a wake up call because God has used this time to show me that LEST I THINK I KNOW EVERYTHING... I TRULY KNOW NOTHING!

So many attitudes that I have had about my knowledge of God's Word have been revealed to me over the course of the past few months and, honestly, I have loved it!

One of the biggest, and most practical, lessons that I have learned has been through the life of Abram. In Genesis 12:1 it says:

"Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house to the land which I will show you."

Then in verse 5 of that same chapter it reads:

"Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated..."

 

For the longest time I was really impressed with Abram. I thought that his obedience and willingness to leave his land and go where God had commanded was truly amazing. A blind faith that is to be commended, no doubt. The problem is that Abram didn't obey fully! God told him to LEAVE his relatives, but Lot was tagging along! It wasn't until Lot was separated from Abram in Genesis 13 that God was willing to show Abram His full blessing for him.

Abram had to fully obey first and then came the blessing.

Last week my daughter wanted a pop-cicle after dinner. My husband kept saying "Eat your supper first and then you may have it." After the third or fourth time of reminding her to eat we stopped. She didn't finish her food and so we just said, "Let's head to get our bath!" With tears in her eyes she said, "BUT! What about the pop-sicle?" As clear as a bell I heard the Lord whisper, "Obedience first and then the blessing!"

In my own day to day life when I get frustrated with things I have had to ask myself why I am frustrated. Did I have my time with the Lord? Did I seek Him in prayer about things that are on my heart? Have I taken time to be in His presence? Those are all things that He has called me to and they are much easier than leaving my home and family! So He's challenging me too! I can not expect the blessing unless I am obedient first!

We often  hear people say that God's Word is the same and yet different every time we read it. I have to say that that could not have been more true about this particular study! God has worked in so many ways through familiar stories to show me His character and His grace and His provision.

Lord, THANK YOU that Your Word is alive and active and true! I love that You have a lesson for me every time I open it! I pray that You would speak to my heart and change me. Help my attitude to be one that represents You. Show me how to love others and give me wisdom as a mom and wife. Help me to walk in obedience because I don't want to miss ONE of Your blessings! I love You Father! Amen!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Last night was an extremely tiring night. To be honest, for the last several weeks I have kind of dreaded night time because of recent pop up storms that we have had in our area. It has rained on an off, here and there, for the last couple of weeks which means that when we approach the evening hours those "pop up thunderstorms" are likely.

Personally, I love the storms. I love hearing the rain hit the windows and hearing the distant thunder. It is such good sleeping weather! Oh, I love it.

Our girl, on the other hand, not so much.

So the bed time routine is peppered with conversation about rain. Will it rain? Will it thunder? Will it last long? How much rain will we get? How loud do you think it will be, mom? Wait! I hear thunder! Oh, just an air plane.

One night she said, "Mom, tonight's just going to be a sunny night, right?!"

Oh, heavenly days! Deliver me.

So last night we ate dinner on our deck. It was an awesome day and I thought it would be fun (after a couple of days of rain) to be outside for dinner. We ate dinner, my husband cut the grass, we did the whole bath thing... and just as my husband walks in to our daughter's room to read a Bible story... you guessed it! The heavens opened WIDE! There was no thunder or lightening, but rain it did!

"I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM! I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATH! ROOM! REALLY! I DO! I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!"

For Pete's sake. Just 20 minutes before the "MONSOON" girlfriend had been in the shower getting all kinds of wet!

We finally convince her that the water will not hurt her and neither will the sound of water hitting our house so she might as well hit the sack! A couple of hours later we do the same only to be awakened by this quiet little... "Dad... can you come sleep with me? It might rain!"

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

It MIGHT rain.

MIGHT!

You know, they say that you should not minimize childhood fears. Kids get scared of the dark and storms and monsters under their beds... I get that... BUT SERIOUSLY!!?!?

I love her, I will pray with and for her, I will hug her and remind her that she's ok. I will lie with her for a while until she calms down and she might be in my bed for a bit when IT ACTUALLY RAINS!  I am not sleeping in a twin bed, with my arm and leg and half of my body hanging off,  just because there is a 20% chance of precipitation!

Watch, next week we will have a BIG OL' storm and I will eat those words... you just mark my words!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Title Goes Here...

... and I really wish I knew what it was. Maybe when I am done with this entry it will hit me. Probably not. 

I think part of the reason that I am struggling with a title is because I am sort of struggling with being lonely today. Do you ever have those days? I mean, I've seen people and all and I've talked to a few even... AND I had my quiet time and talked to Jesus too. It's just that some days I get in my own world and people are working and doing things with and for their families and, frankly, I get lonely. Just being honest... and real, is all.

Recently we have had some exciting things going on with women's ministry at our church, though, and when I get my mind on the things of the Lord a lot of those lonely feelings go away. PRAISE THE LORD!

Look at this! It's a little dark, but it's my dining room with stacks and stacks of clothes on it...

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The girls from my Sunday school class did a clothes drive for an un-wed mother's home and, man, did they bring in the goods!!?!? We had so much stuff that we could hardly get it organized and to the home in a couple of cars. The girls seemed to really enjoy "shopping" and we enjoyed seeing their faces as they were able to get some really nice things for their unborn babies.

Many of the girls in our class are new. We've had a recent influx of couples and it has been really  neat to see how God is bringing people together who have similar situations and life experiences. It's like He orchestrated the people to come and then He has used each of them to encourage one another. I don't really know how to explain it except to say IT'S TOTALLY GOD!

It seems that when I sit down to write my brain goes straight to my daughter. This has been quite a year of change and difficult decisions. We switched her to public school in November so that she could have more special needs support. While it has been good it has been HARD!  

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We have had so many appointments with OT and Vision Therapy and we do see slow improvements in her abilities. Every ounce of growth is important so we are not taking one bit of it for granted. I think the hardest part is seeing other kids her age (and sometimes younger) surpass her in many areas. I want so much for her to be able to do what other kids do, and yet it is taking her much longer to get there.

I am very thankful for the therapists who have diligently worked with her and who continue to encourage both of us on a weekly basis. We have also learned of a summer program that may be able to help with some of her written expression and processing needs. I am thankful that the Lord continues to put people in our path who know more about her issues than we do and who are willing to help!

You know, I believe that the Lord allows us to go through things for His purpose and glory. Being lonely is not always a bad thing. It forces me to think, "Ok! What ARE the blessings around you? Are you just seeking the Lord in one place or do you see Him in everything? Who are the people that the Lord has used to encourage you today? Who have you encouraged?"

And then with my girl. He whispers to me, "Melissa, she can walk and talk! She is funny! HILARIOUS! She has come so far and I am not finished with her."

And with the Sunday school girls.. "Do you see what I've done? I've brought new girls that are eager to know Me! I have brought new friendships into your life and I love each one so much! Disciple them. Show them My love!"

Ok, so maybe I have a title now. Maybe it should be "How God Gets Rid of the Lonelies and Makes You Recognize His Handiwork!" Think that will fit in the title line!?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In the Mean Time

Lots of things have happened since I posted last. Really too many things to tell. Here's a little recap to catch you up a little!

Easter with our, now one year old niece, Taylor.

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My little girl is growing up faster and faster it seems.

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Our special needs ministry is changing and growing and it's so exciting to see them involved in their church home! They participated in our church's spring Children's Musical and man did they do a great job?!?!

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The Lord has blessed me with the chance to sing with some sweet girls and we were invited to sing for a women's event in West Virginia.

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We were honored to be asked to sing again (along with other talented folks!)  for a local unwed mother's women's shelter and fund raiser. God is working in this ministry and we are thrilled to see women encouraged and worship through song.

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God has been at work in me in many ways lately. I have been taking a Genesis study and it is rocking my world! God has so much to tell us in His Word and I am sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of information that I have missed because I've lazily read through it. Taking the time to stop and read the details has truly changed the way that I view Him, His Word and my own life.

God is challenging me to look at the REAL reasons that I do the things that I do. Are they because I really have the heart to serve others and HIM or am I just going through the motions because the opportunity presents itself? There for a while I was so busy that I truly felt that it might be the latter and I was very convicted about that! I want to be fully aware of where my time and energy goes and not just spend it doing things that are "busy work." I want to live each day with purpose and so God is showing me that before I rush into things I need to stop at His feet first.

Well, I hope to do better with this blawging thing in the future. I have many thoughts to share. Today is Mother's Day and I am reminded of the blessing of my own mom today. She has always been supportive of me and a listening ear as I have faced my own challenges in motherhood. 022

I am also reminded of friends who have lost their moms or those who have not been able to have children of their own. They have been in my thoughts and prayers today. I know this day is bitter sweet and the Lord has reminded me to lift them to His throne.

Praise the Lord for YOU! So many times I think that no one reads this crazy thing, but God has brought you into my path to say, "I read your blog and I'm praying for you!" Thanks for that! I love knowing that He can use something like this to encourage us along the way.