I took a break!

I shouldn’t have taken a break- but I took one anyway. Call it writer’s block, call it laziness- but that isn’t what it was really. It was disobedience- plain and simple! God called me to write my experiences as a Christian stay-at-home mom. I guess I let my Christian stay-at-home life get in the way of what God called me to do.

Has that ever happened to you? You know you are supposed to do something for God’s glory- but you come up with excuses. Maybe you think that you are not up to the task. Maybe you just don’t think you have the time. Or maybe you don’t think it is important enough to waste your time.

I think in my case I thought “no one could possibly be interested in what I have to say”. But I guess that is not the point or the purpose. The purpose for doing something for God’s glory is just that- “for God’s glory”. And when I put my feelings first- then it ceases to be for Him and becomes all about me.

So- this blog is for His glory and His purpose. Which is what it really was all along.

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Peacekeeper or Peacemaker?

I have been thinking about the concept of peace lately.  I love reading about the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5.   Around this time of year, many people get so caught up in  planning for the holidays, they lose the peace they should be experiencing.  I clean houses for a very sweet lady and some of the people that we clean for are very wealthy (something I cannot relate to).  Around the holidays, these women go into party mode and lose there ever lovin’ minds about decorating, catering, cleaning, preparing (another thing I cannot relate to).  They not only lose their minds, but they lose their peace.

It’s also the time of year when relatives visit.  There are those who have- let’s say- difficulty with members of their family.  I am blessed that I do not have that problem.  But in some families there are two types of people: peacekeepers and peacemakers.  If you tend to compromise and do whatever it takes to make peace in your household, then you may be a peacekeeper.  Peacekeepers want peace at any cost- even compromising their values to not “rock the boat”.  But, this is a false sense of peace.  Jeremiah 8:11 says this:

“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly. Saying “Peace, peace!” When there is no peace.”

But, peacemakers, on the other hand create peace amid the chaos.  The peace they have comes from within.  Matthew 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God.” I did a Beth Moore bible study a few years back.  (Let me just say that I think Beth Moore rocks!)  In this study she states this profound thought:

“We have the power to affect our environment- either good or bad- depending on whether we are filled by ourselves or the Spirit”

Being filled by ourselves (peacekeepers) or filled with the Spirit (peacemakers), we can control how we deal with situations and holidays and relatives we don’t like.  Christ ministers peace where He is in authority.  Fill yourself with the Holy Spirit this holiday season.  Be a peacemaker and be called a Son or Daughter of God!

How cool is God?!

My husband is a taxidermist.  Some of you reading this may find that repulsive.  I really don’t care for the “work” that goes into his projects before he gets to the artistic part, but he is very talented.

But, as much as I love Jake and his work- he is not the one I want to boast about.  I had quite an epiphany today as I watched Jake score a buck that someone brought in and realized some awesome things that God does in my own little microcosm in Alto, Texas.  Here is what I realized:

First, God made the male deer (bucks) with antlers.  These antlers grow to full size for that deer in about two months.  One thing I noticed was that these things grow, barring any accidents or mutations, symmetrically! The number of points, the positions, the lengths, everything!  They grow independent of each other, yet arrive at the same place.  I thought that was cool!

Even more amazing to me is this: At the end of the season, the antlers are shed (fall off) and all the bucks and does for a period of time look alike.  When they grow back they are covered in what they call velvet.  This velvet has the blood supply for the antlers.  When the antlers are done growing, they look pretty much like they did when they first came in with maybe a few added points.  They completely died off and came back looking like they did before they died!

This may have been a “so what” moment for you.  You may not appreciate the fine art of taxidermy or Big Game Scoring.  But God’s amazing attention to detail astounds me!  Especially in the animal kingdom. 

I watched a great video series called Creatures that Defy Evolution.  God’s creations are here because God has absolute authority over everything He created.  God did what He did to the deer, the bee, the elephant, the cuttle fish, because He is God and He can.

My God is amazing!!

Image

Jake at Texas Taxidermy Association Competition 2012

And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;  the whole earth is full of his glory.”- Isaiah 6:3

In A Relationship

My daughter changed her Facebook status to “in a relationship”!  She’s 13 years old! How much of a relationship can you be in at 13 years old?  I remember when I was 13 and a relationship consisted of handholding, meeting at recess and circling “yes” on the notes that say “Do you like me? Circle one”.

This juvenile relationship got me to thinking about the relationship we sometimes carry on with Jesus.  Sometimes I think that we don’t treat it with the holiness that it requires.  Think of some of the things He asks us to do to be followers of Him.

He tells us to “deny himself and take up his cross”. Three of the gospels quote Jesus saying this.  But, I like the way Luke 9:23 says it.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross dailyand follow me.”(1)

He uses the word “daily”.  Do we actually do that?  The only way we could know that is if we understood the rest of what he said: deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

What does it mean to deny ourselves? What cross do we need to take up?  What sacrifices do we need to make to follow Him? They are going to be different for everyone.  I know what these things are for me and I can honestly say that I don’t do what I should do daily.

Jesus requires a complete and total commitment.  He doesn’t want a casual relationship with us.  He doesn’t want to be one of many or even the most important one.  He wants to be the only one.  He wants a commitment from us every day and not just Wednesdays and Sundays.  How much of our lives do we really give to Him?

Kyle Idleman says this in his book “Not a Fan”:

One way fans try to follow Jesus without denying themselves is by compartmentalizing the areas of their lives they don’t want him to have access to.  They try to negotiate the terms of the deal… And instead of following Jesus with their financial life, they follow Money magazine.  In their relationships, instead of Jesus they follow Oprah.  In their sex lives, instead of Jesus, they follow Cosmo. (2)

We shouldn’t be shocked and saddened if we don’t see the blessings in our lives that God wants to give us if we are not willing to turn that life over to Him. How can I not be willing to sacrifice a little comfort, or some friends, or some habits for Him?  Look what He did for me.

(1)Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 Holy Bible ESV

(2) Idleman, Kyle, Not a Fan  pg 146

My Family- we are unique!

I love my family.  That is the bottom line.  Now, here are some quirks about this family. Their names are Jake, Julia, Jordan, Jayda and Justice!! They are what make my family my family and not someone else’s.

My husband, Jake, is a godly man.  He loves to hunt (to the obsessive point in my opinion), but he was like that when I met him so I can’t complain.  He is trying to instill this obsession into his daughters (something he was not successful in doing to me) and they are very receptive to this.  They love their Daddy.  And he is a Daddy.  He loves his girls with everything he is. He is funny, crazy, goofy, whatever they need to see.  He hunts with them, plays games with them, bakes with them.  How awesome is that!  He reminds me a lot of my Daddy.

Julia is the teenager.  I don’t want to think about that.  In her sister’s opinion, she is boy crazy.  I knew it was just a matter of time, I just thought there would be more time before this whole thing started.  I wish I could say that I am looking forward to the adult conversations, the hormonal changes, teenage angst.  But, I am not.  I would rather watch endless episodes of Monster Bucks or Duck Commander.

Jordan is… well… different.  She seems to love pain.  She and Jake can play a hand slapping game until both of their hands are beet red.    And she will laugh and laugh.  None of the other girls are brave enough to go against Daddy.  I guess it’s their thing.

Jayda got all my good and bad qualities.  She wants to do the right thing, but is quick to point out when others, including me and Daddy, are out of line.  She remembers everything- even the things that I didn’t think she was paying attention to.  She also has a temper.  We lock horns- often.  She makes me imagine that God is having the very conversations with me that I am having with her.  I hate those reality checks!!

Justice is the baby. Well, she’s six, so she’s not a baby anymore.  She is shy and sweet.  She is the spitting image of her Daddy both physically and in personality.  Her nickname since she was a baby is Tooter.  She is really going to hate us for that when she is 18.

Now, here are some facts about our family:

Fact #1 We are a Christian family with conservative Christian values that we pass on to our children. There are movies and TV shows that we don’t watch. We don’t drink or curse and feel a bit awkward around people who do. My husband is the head of our household and I submit to him.  That is hard for some women to hear let alone do.  But that is a requirement of God and, though I have not mastered the concept yet, I work at it.  We also, only slightly jokingly, believe in arranged marriages.  How else can you think when you have 4 daughters?!

Fact#2 The Bible is- well- my Bible!  I believe every word in it.  I read it, study it and LIVE IT! James 1:22 says to be doers of the word- not just listeners of it.  It is no good to read the Bible if you are not willing to do what it says.  I do make mistakes.  But, because I have grace and mercy through God, I will continue striving to be perfect- though I will probably never succeed.

Fact #3 My husband is a taxidermist and I am a stay at home mom.  We are not rich.  This was a decision that we came to that was right for us.  At no time do I ever tell any woman that they must stay home to be the perfect Godly woman.  My view for me was that I didn’t want someone else raising my children.  That is my opinion for my family- period.

Fact #4 Two of my children are homeschooled.  Because of family dynamics, the older two are in public school.  This is not by our choice -it’s just how our family is.  My husband and I believe that we can provide the best environment for at least two of our children.  This was not a rash decision (in fact, we spent years debating it) and, though it is trying at times- we still believe we are doing the right thing.  Again, this is the right thing for our family.

I love my family. I love the dynamics of my family. Sometimes my family makes me absolutely insane!!!!  Sometimes I just want to lock myself in my closet and scream into the pillow that I keep in there to scream into!  But, my Father in Heaven gave me this family with these characters in it.  And he gave me the wisdom and patience and love and everything else I need to handle the different episodes that my family will involve me in.  He gives me these things- plus many more, through the Holy Spirit.  When I listen to that Spirit, I don’t need the closet- or the pillow.  I just need Him.

If you’re gonna worry- don’t pray!

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a]
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

– Matthew 6: 25-33

“If you pray, don’t worry. If you worry, don’t pray”. This was a profound thought that came from a friend in my Sunday school class. I don’t remember where he said he heard it, but it struck home with me. How often do I pray, but don’t leave it to God to work it out? It’s like the child who brings Daddy a toy to fix, but then keeps taking it back to play with it. How can He fix it if we don’t let Him?

Some of the “worry clutter” that fills my everyday life…

How will we pay this bill or that bill?

Am I really ruining my children’s lives like they say I am?

If I don’t clean my house today, am I totally out of the will of God?

So, how do we let God lead and clear out the “worry clutter” that fills our already over-packed minds?

The verse tells us that God takes care of his creations. He takes care of the birds in the air and we are more important than the birds. It says He clothes the flowers in the field and we are more important than flowers. His word says that He knows what we need and that we cannot add anything to our life by worrying.

But what He says in verse 33 is what will keep us focused…”seek first the kingdom of God.” Seek Him first. Then, what is there left to worry about? God’s got this!

Prayers of a child

About a month ago, my daughter’s cat ran away. She was so sad. She prayed every night that God would bring Sasha back.  She asked her Sunday school teacher to pray for Sasha. Jayda believed that God would bring her back.  Yesterday, God answered that prayer! Jayda was so happy! She hugged on her, noticed how skinny she was (this was a very spoiled cat and probably forgot what a mouse looked like- let alone how to catch one!) and just loved on her. It was such a blessing to see how happy Jayda and Sasha were.

Now the hard thing was waiting. See, God didn’t answer her prayer right away. Only He knows why.  I tell my girls that God has three answers for prayer: “Yes”, “Not right now” and “I’ve got something better for you”.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.”- Psalm 34:17 ESV