Saturday, June 25, 2011

How terrible am I that I am loving a little break from being a wife? Steve is fishing like a mad man with buddies, and I am free to do ANYTHING I want ALL DAY LONG. I sometimes forget how much I really like being by myself, and being irresponsible!

I suppose in reality I have still had home and parenting responsibilities, but I have also had the time to trail ride for 2 hours, read some Ted Dekker books, and just stare at my flowers and thank God for the mercy He has for this sinful daughter of His.

As we were talking last night, God just gently encouraged me that it is ok to tell Him how unfair I think life can be. Watching families around me come apart at the seams breaks my heart, and I just feel so mad about it sometimes. And that makes me think I don't have enough faith. Which I hate. But then God showed me this Psalm and I suppose if David, a "man after God's heart", King of all Israel, mighty man of faith; had the same apprehensions, I am not in such bad company. And my favorite part is at the end- where we ultimately put our trust is all that matters.

"How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me." (Psalm 13:1-6)

God bless you with some sunshine today, friend. May He comfort and quiet your heart with the knowledge that He LOVES you, and is GOOD to YOU. Even when you can't see it right off.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Promotion Day!

Goodbye Middle School!

Jasmine is finished with 8th grade and it has left the most surreal feeling in my heart. I feel so GLAD to be done with this part of parenting, and so proud of my girl...but at the same time, it's a sad thought to truly have said goodbye to everything that marks childhood. She really is a teenager now, on the verge of womanhood and all that entails.

I know I am being dramatic- my girl is still going to sit on her roof and write stories, and play silly childhood games with her best friends who don't care that she's suppose to be "mature". She will still want to ride bikes to the country store to buy disgusting candy and play Littlest Pet Shops with her cousin. But it is different now, and I can tell the changes are going to stay.

Today was a milestone, and a special one. Here's to not looking back and focusing on all the wonder of what lies ahead. It reminded me of when Jasmine was just a little girl, about 7 years old. I was having a terrible day- Nursing finals, homeschool testing, my car broke down when I was on my way to clinicals, just life. When I came home and was cleaning the dishes, my Jazz came up and handed me a card she made. She had written our memory verse from Bible time and a sweet note to me. Oh, how she blessed my heart that day:
"I love you, Mama. Always remember "With my God, I can scale any wall!" 2 Samuel 29:30

Oh, how I still treasure that card, spelling errors and all! Never forget, my friend- with our God, "we can scale any wall!"

"You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." 2 Samuel 22:29-31

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Spray and Pray"...Machine guns and love, what a combo!

Have I mentioned lately that I love my husband? Even though half the time I drive him crazy (alright, alright- 75% of the time), he never fails to give me exactly what I need.

I was fretting as usual last week when Steve calmly turned to me and said plainly, "Spray and pray, baby. Spray and pray." Say what? Momentarily speechless (it does happen), I just stared at him and he just looked back at the road and continued driving along his merry way.

Well, really. I had to ask for an explanation and once I got it, I just laughed out loud. Apparently, Steve had hear this phrase years ago about epic machine gun battles. When you are pinned down and have nothing else you can do, you just stick your arm out of the hideout and "spray" bullets and "pray" you hit something. Steve felt that this would be the most appropriate thing to say to me in the midst of my rantings, and it worked. Now, I haven't decided if he just wanted to startle me into silence so he could turn up the radio without being rude- or if he actually had thought it was the perfect motto for me. I never can tell with this guy. But what I can say...was yet again, it was just what I needed to hear.

As we talked about the idea, he reminded me that ultimately all my worrying for others was doing no one any good. Myself, my family, or the hurting. He said that if I would just "spray" all the love that I COULD out on every person I connected with each day, and "pray" that God would do what He wanted with that love...guaranteed everything would work out just dandy. I love that burly man. Leave it to him to identify heavy gunfire with love and kindness! So good.

Oh, the peace that settled on my heart that day. And ever since, when I start to panic and try to plan WHAT I need to do to make a difference, God just gently reminds me to "Spray and Pray, baby."

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves....Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need." Romans 12:9-13

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First thing of value I ever found on Tumblr...

Loved this when I saw it. Love that it's written in a teenager's print, and I can't help but wonder what a heart God is creating in this young person...

It's funny how when God keeps you up late to pray, He never fails to teach you something. Oh, how I love our Jesus. My peanut brain can not fathom His ways.

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:8-10

I've posted this verse before, but since it's one I have been working on, it bears repeating. :) God just keeps reminding me to TRUST Him. To believe Him, and to rest in His plan. Such a comfort when I see the peeps around me that I love so much hurting and trying to "do" this thing called life. Help them to believe Your "trustworthy saying", Lord.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Great poem for this generation!

Thinking about all the lies that attack our teens, and this kid has a fantastic way of putting it. I hope they hear it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joy in the Morning!

Joy in the Morning

As we make it to the top of the hill
and look behind at where we've been,
It's hard to believe we made it, but here we are at last.
Taking a look at what awaits us beyond the next ridge,
Helps us to realize that our lives have been extremely blessed,
by the lives we have touched and the lives that have touched us.
Knowing that the places we will go
will far exceed the places we have been.

So look to the mountains from them we will get our strength,
The places that we have been can scarcely hold a light,
To the joy that will come in the morning from the tears we have shed tonight.

Grace M. Jordan © 2001 poem

Such a promise to know that even when we can't see the end- we know it is "just around the bend". Worry has been a significant part of life the last few weeks, and yesterday evening was a much needed reprieve for an hour. Thank you, Ned with Vision NW Photography for giving of yourself and taking photos of my beloveds. I see their faces every day and sometimes forget to enjoy the wonder of how amazing they are, and how fast they grow up. Lord, thank you for my children- for all our children who are growing and changing...hold them close and show them who You are!

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, LORD my God...But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me." Psalm 13:2-6

My kids are great sports! Picture after picture they "grin and bear it", so there had to be SOME silly moments!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Identifying the beginning is easy...

but when you are in the middle of Depression, the end is almost impossible to see." -Aaron Chidester, President, Executive Director- Unite4Life

We had the opportunity to see a presentation for Unite4Life this week and I am so glad we did. We knew that depression was something that could effect the teens in our life, but we had no idea how frequently or how severe it can be. Look at the stats:
1 in 4 teens will struggle with a bout of depression this year.
1 in 7 will seriously consider suicide.
1 in 12 well attempt to commit suicide this year.

In the last 10 years, approximately 50,000 teens have taken their own life.

If that doesn't wake us up, I don't know what will.

Take some time and go to the link so you can educate yourself on the signs of depression and how to handle it. I think the speaker's biggest point was we all HAVE to go out of our way "to show we care".
He did a great job sharing stories and making the talk relevant to the teens in the room, and I am praying he can get into the schools and share truth on that level. Our kids need to hear that they are NORMAL when depression happens, and it WILL pass. That is the hardest thing to see in the midst of it.

Chidester also spent time explaining what types of depression teens can struggle with and the role drugs and alcohol play on their systems. We have to fight for the next generation, friends. Don't let them walk around feeling alone and in despair. Doesn't matter if you are too busy, too awkward, or too old- find a teen and let them know you care. This is a matter of life and death.

I have been so ticked at the Enemy of our life, for the way he deceives and steals hope. Then I was reminded of Nehemiah. In the beginning of this book, Nehemiah was moved to rebuild Jerusalem, as big as the task might be. As things start to pan out and the gaps in the wall are being repaired, Sanballat, a Samaritan leader, gets angry that the Jews should prosper and get their city back. In the midst of the heat of the day, with sweat and exhaustion as their constant friend, the people find out that Sanballat and the Samaritan army plan to come and attack them and destroy their work, if not take their lives! Listen to what Nehemiah says to his friends, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” Nehemiah 4:14b

That is our charge, dear ones! This chapter also says "During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water." 4:23 Are we willing to be that prepared? That tired? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to makes sure the teenagers in our lives know how special they are and that the "Great and Glorious Lord" loves them and died to save them? Oh, how I pray it will be so! That our community would wake up and "fight" for them!

God bless you and keep you. Above all else,
"I remain CONFIDENT of this:
I will see the GOODNESS of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and WAIT for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14