Thursday, August 29, 2013

Patiently Endure

 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.                          I Peter 2:20-24 (ESV)

“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! Come on Mommy! Mommy, you get me ‘nana, Mommy. Come on Mommy! Mommy, I want ‘nana Mommy! Please, Mommy I have ‘nana Mommy? Mommy, come on!”
We’ve all been there right? The desperate please of a three year old greatly in need of a banana or other snack, drink, toy, etc. Of course, we’re on the phone or typing an email or doing something else that requires our attention and some focus when the need arises. No amount of “just a minute” or “be patient sweetie” seems to satisfy the needy child. Then you think to yourself “be patient, don’t lose your cool, she’s just a little one who has to learn to wait.”

Sometimes, I think God uses my kids to show me how I act exactly the same way even as a grown-up. “Lord, Lord, please, Lord, I can’t take this burden anymore! Please, Lord, take it away. It’s not fair, I don’t want to do this, I can’t do this. Lord, please!” I confess, I’ve prayed like that over trials in my life and I can’t seem to hear (or maybe I just choose to ignore) the “be still, be patient, wait, my child”.

I Peter 2 is an admonition to believers being persecuted for their faith to endure patiently. Peter says when you suffer in doing good, do it with patience because Christ endured patiently to the point of death to set us free from sin. If we grumble and complain about our trails, refuse to submit to the authority in our life, or live like miserable grumps we’re no different than the world – that’s how sinners react to tough times. But we have hope in the only one who, after he suffered and died, came back to life by his own power so that by His wounds we are healed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Minute Friday: LAST


Today was the last day of summer. We went to a water park we had never been to before - fun, sun-burned and exhausted, we ended the day on the couch - wiped-out!

Today was the last day of summer. The last weekday my 12 year-old will be home with me - no  longer a homeschooler, now a public school student. She is excited. I am excited for her, for myself - I am sad. I will miss her. Not only because she's great at chores and keeping an eye on the little ones, but she's always been my best friend. I know the dynamics of our relationship are about to change in a major way. I must trust God with these big changes in her life (and mine)!

Today was the last day of summer. As we start a new homeschool program on Monday, my middle daughter will no longer feel the pressure of timed testing and performance based achievement that paralyzed her with fear and OCD symptoms. She will be free to learn in the style the fits her creative, artistic mind best.

Today was the last day of summer. Now my son will start a new baseball league that will challenge him. He needs that. I need him to have that. Something that will refine his arrogance to confidence and help him excel at a sport that he adores, that he can shine Jesus to others in making new friends.

Today was the last day of summer. My baby is no longer a baby, but a preschooler - ready to learn her ABCs and 123s. I pray I will have the patience to teach her and that she will have the self-control to sit still and listen - for at least a few minutes a day.

Today was the last day of summer and the first day of a new season in life - may God bless it as we seek to honor Him with our work, our attitudes and our family.

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and hundreds of others. We write for five minutes. All on the same prompt. No extreme editing. No worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.Unscripted. Unedited. Real.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Secret to a Peaceful Home

Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
 Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
 Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
                         Psalm 34:11-14 (ESV) 

Meet the Grump Family: The kids are fighting, mom is yelling at the kids and nagging dad about the clogged drain, dad is complaining about that drain and that the kids are rude and disrespectful. Everyone is miserable because their words are hurtful and mean. They don’t stop to think about how their words will affect others. They just let their evil thoughts spew out like a poisonous gas filling the house, killing love and respect between them. Family Motto: But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8)

Meet the Peace Family: They understand that the world is evil and mean. Their home should be a refuge from the world. They’ve thought through some family rules to ensure this: obey parents with a good attitude, treat others fairly, if you don’t have something nice to say – don’t say anything, be quick to say "I’m sorry".
Is the Peace Family perfect at this? Of course not, but there is much more peace in their home because they practice control of the mouth and take time to think about the other people in their home. Family Motto: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Do you want to know the secret to a peaceful home? It is right here in Psalm 34. You can’t listen if you are talking. Be quiet, listen to others – that’s how you know what they need. Be quiet, listen to God by reading His word – that’s how you know how to obey Him, how to do good and seek peace.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Behind the Scenes: The Meaning of the Mug

This isn't just a beautiful coffee mug - it was a going away gift from my best friend. Three weeks ago, we moved from Ohio to Texas and my dear friend gave me this mug with coffee, a necklace and a tear-jerking note of kindness and well-wishes. But is has so much more meaning than just a gift. This mug represents our friendship.

For almost 3 years, we got together for coffee almost every week. While our 7 kids (4 mine, 3 hers) played, we talked about everything - marriage, parenting, schooling options, potty training, Bible study: LIFE. With encouragement, accountability, giggles, tears, honesty,  prayer and coffee we saw each other through the ups and downs of life! Her bubbly personality and enthusiastic encouragement gave me the courage to try new things and finish hard tasks. This is true Christian fellowship!

I will miss those coffee/playdates greatly! But I trust God will use our now long distance friendship to still lift each other up. (Besides, we have to stay in touch - our boys are best buds and there is much talk of an arranged marriage between one of my girls and one of her boys.)

We both grew so much spiritually over the last 3 years, I also believe God used our time together to better prepare each of us to encourage other wives and moms who come into our lives to be passionate followers of Christ. Thank you Lord, for this amazing friendship!
Love you & miss you, Kari!

"Behind the Scenes" is a fun link up where we show those photos - but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it. - Crystal Stine