Posts Tagged With: life’s little lessons

Call of a Coward by Marcia Moston

This book takes you through the journey of a middle-class housewife and her practical fears of going to the mission field. All the way from traveling on un-developed “roads”, to not drinking the water, to financial struggles, the author is very honest. Through it all, she learns to trust God more and to see that His ways are not our ways.

The author reminds me of myself. Doubting, worrying, trying to tell God how to handle a situation. I can so appreciate her fears, and her honesty! The quote on the back cover sums up my feeling of this book: “It’s difficult to get your mind around trust. You just have to do it.” She has a beautiful way of showing this. There is no perfect formula for trust. Every person thinks differently and learns differently. Many times throughout this book, I was encouraged and convicted. I felt scared as she described her first ride into the village. I felt squeamish as she told of the scorpions and lice. I felt ashamed as she recalled all her doubting. And I felt loving and triumphant along with their successes.

I highly recommend this book. It is an easy and quick read, and very encouraging to the Christian!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Categories: Book reviews | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Cry

I was in my room, catching up on facebook after a busy day. Checking my emails, getting sidetracked… you know.

The boys were still sleeping, my hubby was off to work, Eva was toddling around.

Then I heard it… the cry.

I went to check on Eva to see what was wrong. She loves to climb on the back of the couch and look out the picture window. But she is still so tipsy. So she had fallen over onto the end table beside the couch. It was actually quite funny! She wasn’t hurt, but she couldn’t move. 🙂 I laughed at her, but picked her up and kissed her.

Sometimes we cry to the Father because we are overwhelmed. We aren’t always hurt, but we are trapped. We can’t move. We don’t know what to do, or where to go. So we cry! He wants us to cry! He wants us to reach out to Him when we just have fallen on our faces and need help getting up.

When we cry, He will come. And that makes me feel so loved.

Categories: What I'm Learning | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Live Your Life With Joy!

“But none of these things move me,

neither count I my life dear unto myself,

so that I might finish my course with joy…”

Why do we need joy?

  • The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • When we cease to be joyful in the Lord, we aren’t very affective, are we? Can someone in a bad mood be a blessing to anyone? (the answer is “no”)
  • Does the world want what we have if we are miserable? (I doubt it.)
  • When I don’t have joy, even if I am quiet about it, it affects my family. When I’m grumpy, my family knows this, and my children’s moods often mirror mine!

What hinders our joy?

  • Things “moving us” like our verse speaks of. If something “moves me,” it will rob my joy. When we let life’s circumstances move us, it will take our joy away! Paul, in this passage, did not have much longer to live. And he knew it. His life as a Christian had SO many hardships as given in II Corinthians 11. But all these circumstances wouldn’t “move” him. He didn’t get off course! Life can be hard! If a loved one dies, or is diagnosed with cancer, or walks away from God, I’m not suggesting you walk around with a smile on your face. It’s okay to be sad and grieve . It’s okay to take time to rest. Just don’t let your course be altered!
  • If I “count I my life dear unto myself.” The work of the Lord is more important than myself! The apostle Paul was ready to die! We have to be ready to live a living death. A sacrificial life, where we are more concerned with others, and the Lord…more than ourselves. For me, taking care of my husband and my children is a more important job than anything I want to do. In my life’s course, this is the section of the race that I am in. It has hurdles! (called small children!) 🙂 Whatever season of life you are in, do that work for Christ! I recently read a book called The Stay at Home Mom. In that book, the author did a beautiful job of making me see that taking care of my children is great ministry for Christ! Doing a service for my children is doing it for Him! Remember in Matthew the passage where Jesus told the disciples that He was sick, and they cared for Him, in prison, and they visited Him? He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I am doing it for Him when I take care of my little people. In my life, I am Christ to my children. Until they can see Him for themselves, I am all Him they know. My relationship with them – how I love them, how I deal with them – gives them a picture of the Heavenly Father. My time with them is too short, too important not to live with joy! When I lose my joy, I am useless!

How do we get joy?

  • Jesus is your joy! If you have trusted Him as your personal Savior, He is your joy! You already have Him.
  • “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8) Spend time in His Word, and you will become more like Him, more joyful!
  • Keep your spirits up with practical things – surround yourself with happy people, play refreshing music, read encouraging books! Keep your head full of good things so there is no room for unhappy, discontented thoughts to take over.

Picture your course. How is it laid out? What sections have you gone through? Part of it has been smooth track, part of it has had hurdles, maybe part has gone through a lonely desert with heat and thirst. Now picture an Olympic athlete. Have you ever seen a track runner go through that finish line, the tape breaking across her chest, and NOT smile?! No way!

Let’s finish the course with joy!

 

Did you know????

Laughter is good for your health!

  • A good hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. It improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Mental health benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

{I googled, therefore it must be true}

Categories: What I'm Learning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

His Workmanship

I was pondering Ephesians 2:10 today. It says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

I’m not much of a scholar, but as I pondered that first phrase, the Lord really spoke to me. “We are his workmanship.” That word workmanship in the Strong’s means “that which has been made a work.” We are his work. And His work never ends!

When I sew, it takes a while. Think of a quilt. I peruse magazines or pinterest to find a pattern I love. Then I look through many, many boxes of fabric I have stashed all over my house. Sometimes I agonize over the choices. I choose the main colors, and keep adding new fabrics in complementing hues. I take one away, compare, hold up, squint my eyes, take a step back. If I am really patient, I will walk away for a few hours, or even days. When I come back, my perspective is fresh and a decision is made.

Then the cutting begins. Strips and squares, rectangles and diamonds. Then hundreds of pieces are lying there, begging for reconstruction.

Next, the sewing. The most time-consuming part.

The the lining and batting are cut to size, and the quilting or tacking is finished.

Then that finishing binding is placed on the edges – my workmanship! A labor of love!

He works on me in the same way, expect with no edges unraveled, no mistakes to use that dreaded seam ripper on,  no regretting a fabric choice. His work is perfect. And I suspect He puts the final stitch in that binding as a saint crosses over into Heaven through death’s door. Made perfect. Not perfect in ourselves, perfect in Christ!

I’m so thankful He works on me with love, with patience, and with skill. He is making my life into a beautiful masterpiece that is beautiful because Christ lives in me!

When I make a quilt of other gift for someone, I want them to enjoy it, appreciate it, and hopefully they will take care of it. After all, it often takes several hours to make said gift. As Christ works on me, I need to take care of the work He is doing in my life. I need to do my best to make Him glad He spent His life’s blood for me!

“We are his workmanship…” what a thought!

Categories: What I'm Learning | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Practicing Devotion

I’ve struggled my whole life with daily devotions. I would have good stretches, even awesome ones! I would make it halfway through a yearly Bible schedule, only to fail the second half. Then the babies came, and life changed. It became even harder. I needed that sweet communion with the Lord even more, but my body cried out for sleep! Well-intentioned people would say, “It’ll be ok” or “don’t be so hard on yourself.” They meant well and were trying not to kick me while I was down. But I was shriveling, drying spiritually.

I came to a rough point a few weeks ago, crying about everything. How I felt I was failing as a mother, too empty myself to have anything to give my husband, children or Sunday School class. To cheerless to be a good friend, daughter, sister. It was decision time! This was my life! Was I going to rob myself of all the peace and joy that the Lord already promised in spending time with Him? Now don’t get me wrong, I would occasionally pick up my Bible, reading and studying here and there. But no relationship can thrive like that. How would I feel if my husband “hit and miss” with me?

So I made some decisions and here’s how it’s going.

I decided to get up 30 minutes earlier. Just 30 minutes. That put me awake in the quiet of the morning. Once I’m up, I love mornings! It is a perfect fit for me. There are sometimes later nights that make it hard to get up, and I don’t do it. But my problem before has been my attitude of “Oh well, just forget it.” Now if I miss an early morning, I try again the next day. And often if I miss the morning, I try to use naptime, or if necessary, just before bed to get some time in the Word! But I strive for the morning!

I also grabbed a journal out of the closet that I bought after Christmas last year for $1.00. In my journal, it has 3 sections. In the first section, I just write the date, and what speaks to my heart as I’m reading the Bible. Sometimes I write out a prayer, or questions. I copy verses and write what I love about them. In the second section, I have prayer requests. One page for different sections – one for myself (I need lots of prayer), one for my husband, one for each of my children, then other pages for church and extended family. The third section of my journal is a separate place to record answers to prayer. I wrote three in it this morning! When you start paying attention, there are lots of answers! 🙂 The journal has helped keep me accountable. I am looking for things to write down, so I am paying attention to what the Spirit has to say.

One other thing that has greatly helped me over the last few weeks is a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. It has been wonderful! It has convicted me of my relationship with the Savior, and encouraged and filled me with hope at the same time! You see, it has showed me that Christ desires time with me, too! I don’t think of Him in that way – as a Person. He waits for me every morning. He doesn’t scold me if I don’t come. He just patiently waits. He wants to speak through His sweet Word. He wants to listen as I pray. He loves me!

After being more consistent for just a few weeks, I am much more peaceful. I don’t lose my temper with my children as much, I am more stable, have less meltdowns. I don’t worry as much because His Word keeps me reassured as I let Him have control. I am happier! I feel so loved! I’m sure there will be other temptations in this area. It is not conquered forever! It will still be a daily battle of getting up and doing what’s best! But it is so important that I believe it is one of the greatest areas Satan would like to see us fail. But who needs Satan to bother us if we battle our own flesh anyway? I’m so glad God has given me this victory. I find myself eager to go to sleep so I can awake and start my day with Him!

I would love to hear things that you do in your daily devotions!

Also, here is a great blog post by a friend about her daily devotions!

Categories: What I'm Learning | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Just Like You

I had a long chat with a friend this morning. Home schooling came up. It always does. Jackson will be 5 this December, so we will start him next fall. My friend had listened to a CD by Debi Pearl about home schooling. As with all things, eat the meat and spit out the bones. That particular CD was depressing to my friend. Debi Pearl was talking about how school should always be fun, and how she didn’t believe in curriculum. My friend did not agree, and neither do I.

Then, my friend told me about a wonderful book she had read by Vickie Farris, wife of Home School Legal Defense president. This book was so helpful to her. She related so much more with her as a mom and could glean so much from it.

Every family works differently. And you grow with it.

I can look at a new mom with only one baby and want to roll my eyes when she says it’s hard to take a shower, and she just can’t get anything done. I think it’s ridiculous. Now that I have three, looking back to one seems SO easy. Until I think back! Back to when I suddenly had this little person screaming at me all day, and I remember what it was like adjusting to that new life. It wasn’t easy! I’m sure moms with 5 or 6 or more children, can look at me and wonder how I could possibly get overwhelmed. But I do! And they did too, at times, when they had ONLY 3. 🙂

The point of all this? We all have our problems and struggles and difficulties. No matter where we live, married or not, children or not, home schooling or not, in the ministry or not, fill-in-the-blank or not. There are easy and wonderful times at every place, every stage, every chapter of our lives. It doesn’t mean one person is more spiritual, or more capable. If I struggle with something and you don’t, then it means you don’t struggle in that area. 🙂 But you probably struggle in areas I don’t.

Having said all that, it is not my intention to make everyone feel good about their failures. We do all have them. We all need to work on our faults.

I also want you to know that we cannot let others pressure us into trying to be something we are not, like home schooling withOUT curriculum. If Debi Pearl did that, more power to her! I am not going to take that route!

Some books you read say you need to get up at 5:30, others will say you should only cook organic foods. These things only work for some families.

Let the Lord, and your husband guide you. God will give you the direction you need, and the strength.

But knowing others struggle, just like you do, just like I do… let’s encourage each other. You may not understand all my struggles, and I probably won’t understand yours. But we all understand that we all have struggles. 🙂

Let’s encourage each other!

Categories: What I'm Learning | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Sermon in the Sink

As I was washing dishes… again… I thought of how often I wash dishes. Not a day goes by that dishes don’t need to be washed. Now, days go by when I don’t wash them, but I could wash at least 1 dish every day! Most days, it’s a couple sink loads!

They are dirty. The forks, the spoons, the plates and bowls. They get used. They serve and hold. If they are not washed, they can’t be used again…ewww…

You know, I got to thinking with my hands in those suds. We are like dishes. We are used daily for different tasks for our Master. We hold and serve. We have many jobs. But if we are not clean, we cannot be used effectively. I mean, you could eat with a dirty fork, but it wouldn’t be sanitary (umm… YUCK!). Can I serve the Lord if I am dirty? Not effectively. I would leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth!

How thankful I am that my Master puts me in that sudsy bath and gets rid of all my impurities. He gets rid of the crusted-on meals, the chocolate milk, and everything that is keeping me from being clean, and being used. It’s usually not comfortable getting in that hot water, but it’s necessary.

Next time God is “washing me,” (without complaining, I might add) may I remember the sermon He taught me at the sink!

Categories: Housekeeping, What I'm Learning | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oh, to Be Perfect!

As 2012 begins, I am contemplating all the things I want to excel at. They are many!

Today as we came home from church, we could hardly get in the door! It is still a mess from Christmas and traveling.

I told Jamin, “Do you ever feel like every area in your life is a mess?”

He understood where I was coming from. I need to practice piano more, spend more positive time with the kids, get more organized in my menu-planning and housekeeping, read the Bible more, work harder at my teaching, exercise more, get up earlier, be kinder, and on and on the list goes…

I love fresh starts. They feel so good! Valentine’s Day is happy, anniversaries are romantic, Christmas is magical. But New Year’s… it’s fresh! I’m excited to get closer to God this year, and let Him improve me! I’m so glad God doesn’t remember all the failures of this past year.

Excited for 2012!

Categories: What I'm Learning | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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