Wednesday, August 4, 2010

When the flood comes

Somewhere along the way, many Christians have gotten the idea that once they put their faith in Christ, life will go smoothly...things will be a piece of cake.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  There is refining that must take place, a molding....being broken and reformed into someone more like our Lord.  It's a process, and it's often a painful one.  I want to be sure that my children understand the way it really is to serve Him.  The last thing I want is for them to buy into the idea that life will always be smooth sailing and nothing will ever bring them to their knees so long as they confess Christ as their savior.  However, I must be sure that they understand...no matter what they are going through He is still faithful, He can be trusted, and He has not forsaken them!!

One of the ways we can do this as parents is to not coddle them to much.  Don't shield them from everything in your life that is difficult.  We must let them see that their are trials to walk through...even crawl through on our knees in total dependence upon Him.  Show them that you have faith in Him no matter what the situation is...show them that He is to be trusted no matter what.  When we keep our trials from our children we may very well send them the message that bad things never happen when you are walking with Yeshua....that things are always easy and everything goes our way.  I'm not saying we have to give them every detail of our struggles.  But, when the big trials come, the ones that are more like a flood and you have to sink or swim, have faith or give up...you need to let them see you walk by faith and not by sight with a daily reliance upon the only One who can keep your head above water.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Full surrender

I'm just wondering....where are all of the "Christians" who are fully surrendered to Christ?  All any true follower of our Lord has to do is look around and the sad state of the church is pretty obvious.  The church is full of people who proclaim Christ with one side of their mouths, and talk filth with the other....so called believers who act no different than the world and thank God that it's "all under the blood".  Where do people get the idea that they can say, do, and think what they want and take the Lord's grace for granted?  Somewhere along the line, the church lost it's way...the line between holiness and worldliness has been made unimportant!  I believe one of the biggest areas where we have let things slide is in the home...starting with the family.  Believers have stopped discipling their children!

Christ's people should be different, set apart, and held to a higher standard.  We shouldn't try to fit into the world and if we're honest, we shouldn't even like most of the things the world likes.  It's time for a revival...a total surrender of all believers....time to give your whole self to Christ and do what He would have you do.  One of the ways I try to get this point across to my children is something I myself have been using as a standard.  I tell my kids to ask themselves, "If I were doing (saying, thinking, etc) xyz and Jesus showed up, would I be ashamed?"  And then I remind them that He knows about it either way!  Just this one simple question can make a huge difference in the way we behave.  One day we will stand before Him and have to give an account for how we lived.  This should make any believer keenly aware of how they are living...keep us on our toes so to speak.

I want to raise children who will do His will, not their own....who will not try to keep pace with the world but will stick out like a sore thumb!  I want them to understand that there is more to being a believer than just proclaiming Christ with your lips.  You must be changed from the inside out!  You must surrender yourself to His ways, not your flesh.  Our children must understand that they cannot continue to live a sinful lifestyle and take advantage of the grace of God!  Romans 6:1-2 proclaims it..."What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"  Read your bible, study His word in earnest, and it will be clear that being saved isn't a license to sin...but license to give it all up for His namesake.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Raising Godly children

Around here we have been in somewhat of a valley for quite some time.  There have been many, many trials.  Over the past week, the trials seemed to be unending, coming from every direction and usually at the same time : )  However, through it all, God has of course been faithful!  And I give Him all the glory.  With all that has been happening, when my husband found me having a tearful moment yesterday he of course thought I was worried about bills, or the girls' recent illness, or something along those lines.  However when he asked what was wrong, I said something that I never would have said years ago...before Christ picked me up out of the miry clay and washed me clean.  I told him I was far more worried about raising children who love and live for the Lord than I was about paying the electric bill or anything else.  You see, troubles come...it's part of life.  There is no sense worrying about our food, shelter, and clothing because His word says there is no need to.  I know that God will work all those things out as He sees fit.

Now, I know that the salvation of my children is in His hand as well so I'm not really worried about that.  What I was tearful about is the example I set for them....how I live out my life for Christ before them through the years.  I don't want to fail...I can't let that happen.  I must do whatever it takes to give them a Godly example to learn from...I must feed them scripture daily for every situation in life...I must remember to praise and thank the Lord when things are hard instead of complaining!  It's a tough job...no doubt about it.  But it's one that I'm ready to tackle with a fresh determination.  Things have been pretty chaotic around here and I've let things fall by the wayside.  It's time to pick myself up, crawl into the lap of Jesus, pour out my heart to Him daily...and then let Him use me as He sees fit.  Times a wastin' as they say....    Moms who are in the trenches day to day with many children, don't let it overwhelm you to the point that you let things slip away.  Feeding and tending His sheep needs to be the top priority of every day!  Take your burdens to the Lord, and He will work it out.  In the meantime, keep quoting scripture, keep nurturing, keep disciplining.  Do it all for His glory and His namesake.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Falling at His feet

Lately I have found myself feeling the need to run to the feet of my Lord on an almost constant basis.  It's a funny thing you see.....   Raising a houseful of children for His glory is certainly a blessing, but my the challenges that are faced on a daily basis!  Its seems that for the past several weeks there has been constant bickering, a lot of disobedience, and just a general unruliness around here.  I was mulling over some of the problems I've been having with my small army lately and the Lord made me see something....something that was a real eye opener.  The problem isn't the children.  One large part of the problem is sin.  After all, we are ALL born with the sin nature, why should we think our children are any different?  The second part of the problem is ME.  Yes, ME!

Let's take a look at the sin nature, shall we?  Oh there is so much to say!  As I said, we are all born with it.  But even after being gloriously and wondrously saved, don't we all still fall short?  How often do we find ourselves crying out for mercy for the SAME OLD THING!  Certainly I'm not alone in this...?  So what of our children who have no sought salvation in Jesus Christ?  Can we really expect them to "get it" the first time, and not repeat an offense?  Is that fair?  And more importantly, is that how the Lord treats us?  I think not.  We must show them the same grace and mercy that our precious Lord continues to show us, over and over again.  Does that mean we don't remind them and discuss their sinful behavior?  Of course not...but it must be done with grace.

Now, let's talk about me.  Ugh...do we have to?  Okay.....More often than not my expectations are too high and my patience too short.  And let's not even mention the times I've been lazy and not diligent in training the children.  Face it....diligently teaching, training, reminding, disciplining etc. a houseful of children is hard work!  It takes so much dying to self that the thought makes my head spin.  Children aren't born quoting scripture, they must be taught the scriptures, led to the scriptures and to the Lord!  If I'm not taking the time to point them to the bread of life and training them with God's holy word, then I am a big part of the problem.  They need a reason why what they are doing/saying is wrong....not just a "because Mom said so".  That won't cut it.  If all scripture is profitable for reproof and correction, then they must be led to scripture if we ever want to see that heart change come about.  Will it still take time?  Absolutely....but at least we will know that we are doing our part.

So, today I have fallen at His feet again, seeking grace and mercy.  I must run to His mercy seat, to His throne room.  That way I can stay focused on His ways, and His word.  That way I can be sure that I have remembered these children belong to Him and in the long run I am powerless to change their hearts without His help.  I need His direction....every day.  Therefore I will continue to fall at His feet and cry out for more of Him, so that I can be more to them.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A peek at new life

I finally made it in to the doctor to have my first appointment of this pregnancy. You know the routine ladies, right? They give you a cup to...well you know : ). Then they lead you to the room, take the vitals, and leave after handing you a very immodest gown and asking you to get completely undressed. I absolutely dread that part of the first visit. However, I was looking forward to the sonogram I knew I would be getting. I wanted to see that everything was okay and going as expected.

After the humiliating exam (ick...did I mention I don't like that part?) my doctor says "okay...lets take a look on ultrasound". When you've had as many little ones as I have, you've probably had a lot of ultrasounds. You pretty much know what to expect and what to look for. As I expected, everything looked just the way a growing baby should look at this point in my pregnancy. What I am NEVER prepared for is how incredibly wonderful and amazing it is to SEE that new little life that God created....with the tiny limbs and beating heart. Even with my 8th baby, I found myself staring in awe at what the Lord has done, and is still doing, with the new life growing inside of me. Tears sprang to my eyes as I watched the screen and looked on in wonder of what the Lord had planned for this tiny new life. It is amazing to think that the Lord already knows everything about this new person He has created....the number of hairs on his/her head, and the number of times that heart will beat. What an awesome creator we serve.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not my will.....

If you had peeked through my window this morning very early, you would have found me sitting at the laptop....crying. I wasn't crying for any one particular reason....sometimes life is just tough. Now that I've shed a few tears, I'm trying to stay focused on the Lord and His plan. So....

  • When the morning sickness gets worse throughout the day, may I say......
  • When I'm exhausted and the baby is wide awake, may I say......
  • When the veins in my legs are throbbing, may I say......
  • When homeschooling is hard, may I say......
  • When the kids need to be disciplined, may I say.....
  • When I'm pulled in 100 directions, may I say.....
  • When I'm weary in well doing, may I say.....
  • When I feel like giving in, may I say.....
Not my will, but yours Lord!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Scented memories

After I bathed the baby tonight, I was getting her diapered and dressed when I sprinkled some baby powder on her and thought "Wow...I will never tire of this smell." Smell is a wonderful sense....it can bring back a flood of memories. There are scents from my childhood that I can almost smell if I concentrate hard enough.

So the baby powder got me thinking....a lot. One day many many years from now, when all of my children are grown and there are no more babies, I hope that I will be able to look back and remember the smell of baby powder instead of remembering all the messes. I don't want to look back and think about all the hard work raising a quiverfull requires, the stains on the carpet, the worn out furniture, the bickering between siblings, or the constant need to clean something. I want to be able to just close my eyes and bring that baby powder smell to my senses....and remember the splashing in the tub, the laughter of siblings playing, rosy cheeks and messy hair in the morning, snuggling up on the couch and reading a good book to the kids, watching the babies grow into young adults, and all the other blessings that a houseful brings.

I want to cherish these years and hold them dear. Unlike so many, I'm in no hurry for them to be over. Children are given to us by God to love and disciple....not rush out the door thankful that our job is done. May we find joy and keep our focus during this season of life. It will be over far to soon.