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Sunday, November 27, 2011

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. One that included time of being truly thankful.

I am thankful hard times push me to my Savior.
I am thankful my children love and forgive me.
I am thankful God isn't finished with me yet.
I am thankful God's plans are good.
I am thankful it's the Christmas Season.

Soon I will put up my tree which draws me to sit quietly in it's light and meditate on the truth of my God. The wonder of the Creator sacrificing for the created. The season when my children will daily remind me to read our devotion and focus on Jesus.

How was your thanksgiving?
How are you preparing for Christmas?
How are you preparing for Jesus?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sure I’m Thankful

There are things I am not happy about, I wish were different, wish hadn’t happened.
I’m not complaining.
I’m thankful.
However I don’t know that anyone can tell I’m thankful because I’m not expressing gratitude.
Thankfulness has been hard this season. Don’t get me wrong. I know I am blessed beyond the majority of the population with the orphans, poverty and wars.
Getting this knowledge out of my lips or finger tips has not been happening.  Maybe this knowledge hasn’t really gotten to my heart.
I have not been giving my thanks, not praising, not expressing gratitude. 
I’ve meant to. 
I’ve tried to think of creative ways to record our thanks as a family as we have in the past. I guess I couldn’t force my kids to list things they were thankful for when I wasn’t doing it myself.
I have thought of things I’m thankful for. There are many. 
Over and over they are lost in my emotions instead of expressed or treasured.

So my challenge to you and to myself is to slow down and let the knowledge of God’s goodness penetrate my heart so deeply that it must flow out in endless praise.

Enjoy your family.

May you be blessed and be a blessing this Thanksgiving!

Do you ever struggle with being thankful?
How have you been thankful in spite of negative emotions? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will I Ever Get This Right?

“You guys! Stop that!”

Unfortunately this was me, sounding just like I do not want my children to sound.

Raised voice, sarcasm and sharpness have been too frequent here lately. Life seems to have gotten the better of me and I find myself short of patience - grumpy, stressed and a bad example. 

I have grown and it happens less often, but I need a refresher on occasion. Yelling: The Cause, The Causalty, The Cure by Lorrie Flem came at such a time.

Slowing down to read Lorrie’s ebook I was reminded of many things I know, but forgot, like:

  • The difference prayer makes. – How can I forget my greatest resource? 
  • Taking time to train my children. – They are children. They don’t know everything even when they try to tell me otherwise! 
  • Prepare for our life – as it is – not as I want it. Being prepared and realistic saves so much stress, thus reducing the tendency to yell. 
  • Give myself grace. I’m a work in progress, just like my children. I will mess up. I will try again. 

I liked this specific, practical idea as well:

  • Schedule a funny movie. – I’m not very good at fun. I need to lighten up. 

If things are a less pleasant than you would like in your home right now pick up a copy of Lorrie’s book for some good reminders. She included a great list of verses on prayer and forgiveness, too.

I'm off with a new commitment to bathe myself, my children, and my day in prayer. I will never get it right, but I m loved by the One who already has.

Here's where to find it as well as Lorrie's many other helpful tools:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Be Strong in Grace

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1

I will be strong, firmly set, grounded, anchored, established, entrenched in grace. Jesus has so fully accomplished and provided everything for my victory I am strong in his grace alone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I really wish I would follow my own advice. I really can be quite wise. I have stores of God’s truth and great teaching to draw from. However… lately I don’t realize it until I hear myself telling someone else. Frustrating!
Frustration is far too common an emotion for me, especially recently. We have had some big changes and losses this year as a family. Dealing with hard things in relationship is my largest weakness I think. 
My son and I often clash. This leads to frustration between us and toward ourselves. He is so much like me in his self talk. It really makes me wish I had done so much more growing before he was born, yet often I fail to do the work to grow now. More frustration. I have grown. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I have grown. Trouble is I can’t pinpoint what changed things for me. I can’t give my son the “fix” for his hurting heart. More frustration.  Worse yet, sometimes I’m still doing exactly the same thing! FRUSTRATION!
I know that living out my growth in front of him will be most helpful. He has to know how to turn to God – no, to abide in God. He will learn it best by seeing it lived out. So I will continue to learn to abide and to grow.
Yesterday I was looking at a personality profile for some reminders on what my son needs. I remembered thinking there was helpful information for my parenting when I had taken it a couple of years ago.  One of the charts shows typical irritations for each personality type. Sources of irritation for my son include: indecisiveness, lack of - discipline, plan, purpose, direction, authority, control, and challenge (this list describes my typical day if I’m not really on top of it!) Sources of irritation for me: incompetence, disorganization, foolishness, dishonesty, inaccuracy, wastefulness, inconsistency, false impressions (the things on this list I don’t do, he does) No wonder I’m frustrated. I do most of the things on my list of irritations! If you’ll look at the list you see that means I do most of the things on his list, too!  
His responses to pressure are also like hair triggers for me and mine for him. It’s helpful just to know, or be reminded. I realized when he was very young that God was going to use my son to shape me into who he wants me to be, who I need to be to fulfill my destiny. I lost sight of that though. All I was seeing was the conflict, the hurt, the suffering relationship. I’m not sure how to keep my focus, but I will learn.  I have to. My relationship with my son may not survive and certainly won’t thrive if I do not. Neither of us would be who God designed for us to be. He will strengthen me and I will soften him. Soften not crush.
Everyone needs tools to be successful, even in relationships. My tool box is far too empty. Even the good tools I’ve picked up over the years have been going unused. My children will only know how to use the tools I use. Lately that’s been yelling, ignoring and talking too much. So it’s time to go tool shopping. As I discover new tools or rediscover old ones I’ll share them here and I hope you will do the same.

What relational tools do you use?
What tools do you wish you knew how to use better?
Is there a need in a relationship you need a new tool for?
Personality information taken from Uniquely You Resources www.myuy.com

13 Random Things About Me

  1. My favorite number is 13. It's like rebelling against superstition I think.
  2. I have a weird perspective on wasting things like tape and aluminum foil.
  3. I think the only time in my life I lived in a finished house was when I roomed with a friends family for a semester in college.
  4. I have never met anyone else with my name, or even anyone who has ever heard of my name.
  5. I love my name :)
  6. I have 3 brothers.
  7. I love to sing. In a castle turned hotel in Germany the shower room had amazing acoustics. I didn't realize everyone in the yard could hear me as well :) I hope they enjoyed my singing at least half as much as I did!
  8. Places I have been around the world: Canada, East Germany, West Germany, Poland, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, China, and Mexico.
  9. States: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Louisiana, and Florida.
  10. Air Supply's Greatest Hits will always remind me of the Red Light District in Calgary, Alberta. We got lost driving through many years ago. I guess that was the tape we were playing.    
  11. I love dark chocolate cover cherries.
  12. I have a very hard time not being productive, though I sometimes get very distracted when I'm trying to be productive. 
  13. I like to create things. The medium really doesn't matter: paper, fabric, yarn, wood, paint, clay - anything to make a mess I guess!
Now you know a few things about me. I hope you enjoyed my list!

Do we share any of the same ramdom things? 

Have you ever done a similar post?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

God of Patience and Consolation

 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.                   Romans 15:5-6 

What a challenging verse this has been for me this week. I keep getting stuck at "the God of patience and consolation". This is the God I need right now.

1. Comfort; alleviation of misery, or distress of mind; refreshment of mind or spirits; 
from Webster 1828 Dictionary

Thank you LORD for being a God of consolation.

3.The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent.4. Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion.5. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge. 
 from Webster 1828 Dictionary

Thank you LORD for your patience with me. Thank you for the fruit of patience in my life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We Will be Hated, but Jesus Calls Us Friends

Pastor Phil
October 30, 2011
John 15:14-16:4
Jesus calls us friends in verses 14, 15

The world will hate us. Why? 
15:18-16:4 uses the word hate several times
word means: intense or passionate dislike
v 18 because the world hated Jesus. Having a Lord challenges the worlds pride, ideas, traditions. Asks the question who is number 1? Me or God?
v 19,20 because we are chosen and set apart. Believers stand out, they don’t go along with the world
v 21-23 because the world does not know Jesus, so it does not know God the Father either. I think this is key in looking at other faiths. Jesus clearly says that if they worship “God” but do not acknowledge him they do not really know the God of the Bible. Even the Jews who worship the God of the Bible do not really know him if they missed Jesus as Messiah.
You can often talk about God, Jesus is far more offensive to the world.

Jesus explained the hatred the world would have for us so that we could be prepared, not discouraged.

v 26,27 truth comes from God and we are called to testify to that truth
Being warned of danger or hard things allows us to prepare. Think of storm warnings, the purpose isn’t so everyone can be scared and miserable that a storm is coming. The purpose is so you can be prepared for yourself, your family, maybe even strangers. You can have peace if you have food, water, and a safe place. You can even share that peace with others.

Jesus warning of hardships is to prepare us in the same way. We know it is coming. We can be ready and have peace and resources to share with others.
We can’t walk away from God when it’s hard because there is nowhere else to go.

Christian and Christianity face challenges in the United State, mainly in free speech and discrimination.

Around the world Christians face far more.

www.persecution.com run by Voice of the Martyrs has much quality and disturbing information. It's sometimes hard to learn about because how can we know of others suffering and do nothing? We must all do something they are our body, our brothers and sisters.

So what can we do?
1.       Pray for strength for those being persecuted2.       Ask “Am I willing to be Jesus disciple?”3.       Be grounded in God, his word and his body.