Friday, July 23, 2010

Can I Trust You, God?

You know, sometimes I just can't wait to sit down & write this silly blog! Years ago, when I was in high school (MANY years ago...), I rather excelled at writing. I took advanced English courses, was the editor of my school newspaper, won a letter jacket in writing for the newspaper....etc. Anyway, I really enjoyed it. I haven't really had much of an outlet or need for writing in a very long time til I started this blog. Maybe that is one reason I really put off starting a blog for so long, I knew I'd get hooked! :)

I have been pondering the meaning of life this week. LOL! I know, that sounds rather...shall I say...obnoxious, doesn't it? Seriously, though, God has really been working in my heart on the issue of faith & trust.

This is an area where I feel that I have truly grown in the last 18 years. Fear has always been a biggie for me. I have heard so many wise & pithy sayings regarding fear and the life of the Christian, and, try as I might, I just couldn't get past it. I feared all sorts of things: financial ruin, death- of my hubby and each of my children, not pleasing God, being wrong, not being accepted...oh, the list goes on & on.

I remember one time in particular when I woke in the middle of the night paralyzed with fear. I couldn't even reach over to wake my hubby. I had to talk because I was too afraid to move. I asked him to turn every light in the house help. I asked him to peace. I could literally FEEL the fear trying to take hold of me as I lay perfectly still in my bed. Finally, he called our pastor & he prayed with us both & helped us to rebuke that spirit of fear that was trying to suppress me! Finally, I received relief & fell asleep.

The Bible says that fear is NOT of the Lord.

Makes perfect sense, and yet....HOW, with our feeble minds do we learn to have blind trust?

The only way I know of is: experience.

And yet, that doesn't seem right.

A baby is born & has blind trust that it's parents will take care of it, and, if all goes well, they do. However, if the parents are neglectful or abusive, then the child slowly learns to mistrust them.

Is our God like that?


Maybe it is this human nature. Maybe by the time we are old enough to know better, we have been let down enough times for us too be wary of an unseen God. How can you trust that which you cannot, at the very least, SEE?! So, we make Him "prove" Himself to us.

"Well, if God helps in THIS way in this situation...THEN I'll trust Him".

What if He doesn't?

What if "THIS" way isn't HIS way?

So often, I find that I have wrapped God up in a nice little box with a tidy little bow (red, of course) on it & said, "Here's how You need to handle, I'm 'trusting' You!"

How He must laugh!

Through the years, He has been oh so good to me. He has gently turned my fears in to falsehoods, time and time again. And, when my fears have been realized as truths, He's held me & helped me through them with such grace & mercy.

Not so long ago, I truly struggled with a situation that I felt God had "done" to me. I flat-out told Him, "I am too mad at You to talk to You right now!" I went for quite awhile giving God the "cold shoulder", and, as I think back, that was such a lonely time for me. I knew my anger was misplaced, but I really didn't know where else to place it. I didn't feel that I could trust Him to take care of me through what was about to be required of me. Because I didn't feel adequate for the job He had given me, I didn't trust Him.

Let me say that again: Because I didn't feel adequate.....I didn't trust Him!

Imagine that! I was mad at God because He hadn't asked me if I could handle it first! I wasn't in control, therefore, I didn't trust God. Sounds rather warped, doesn't it?

"I will trust You as long as You do it my way." hmmm....

When I look back at all the times I've cried. All the times I've fretted & obsessed. All the times I've ranted & panicked. And then how, with the greatest of ease, God has "handled" it, I am ashamed of myself. Embarrassed, even.

Fear is NOT of the Lord! It isn't. It is a product of our own mind. I put God on the same level as a fallable human because, well, I really can't fathom anything else. Does that make me right?


I have been trying something different for the last few "trials" *chuckle*. I think about the situation, then consider the worst outcome. Next, I think of what would happen if God didn't take care of it the way I think it should be handled. Then, I just consciously....let it go. I remember all the times He's brought us through a seemingly impossible time. I remember how He's held us. Then, I swallow my fear, and, everytime it rises up, I just remember. Sometimes, I sing a faith-building song or recall my life's scripture (which God was so wonderful to give me during the time I was 'mad' at Him), "I can do ALL things throught Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillippians 4:13.

One more story, again, from the amazing Haitian people (this is true, AND recent!)

A man had died and his family was preparing to have his funeral & burial. However, Bro. Josef (sp?) told them to wait. He said, "We have not excerised faith!"

He told them to wait for 3 days & pray & fast (I think) for this man. Would you believe that man is ALIVE today??? Our brothers met him!! No kidding. A modern-day Lazarus! Oh...I serve an awesome God!

Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief!

Monday, July 19, 2010

*Schedules, Menus, & Chore Lists*

I have had a request or two to post some of our family's schedules.
I have not always followed schedules, lists & menus, but, the more chaotic my family life became, the more necessary these items became. I have been making lists, charts & schedules for about 8 or 9 years now. I tweak them about twice a year, at the start of school & the start of summer. Other times that I have made changes includes: birth of a new baby, any type of life changes, or when things just aren't working out.

I will admit that some of these schedules were confusing. Some were too micro-managed. Some chores weren't appropriate for the day or child they were scheduled for. It is important that you keep the following in mind:

Do NOT get so fixated on your schedule that you forget to LIVE your life!!

You may use a schedule as a starting point for your family. Make one up, try it out for a month or so. Keep an extra copy to write in changes that you need to make. Tweak, then go :)
I have tried to post my individual schedules that I have kept through the years, but I am having some technical difficulties in just transferring the files to the blog. However, I would be happy to email you my file, just let me know if you want it.

I would be happy to help you in any way I can.

You might want to check out a site I have found EXTREMELY helpful through the years.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Issue of Faith

I had a photo shoot one morning last week at the rose gardens here in town, and, after I was finished, I decided to capture some of my favorite subjects while they were playing. A few of the results are shown throughout this post. ENJOY :)

I would like to share something that really convicted me tonight in church. Several of the brothers from our assembly just returned from a mission trip to Haiti. Our church supports the Haitian ministry, and, when their world was turned upside down after that horrific earthquake, the men in our church got there as soon as possible. They saw the real needs of the people: food, clothing, shelter. Basic needs of every human. Yet, the stories they came back & shared with us were not sob stories of terrible poverty & human suffering, but of a wonderful all-powerful FAITH! These people had lost EVERYTHING! Homes, clothing, and, in some cases, loved ones...gone. The ones which are affiliated with our church are living in a commune-style camp; several families per tent. Washing clothing in muddy water. Existing on beans & rice. And yet, our men were wakened every morning to the most beautiful sound of singing. As they soon discovered, the Haitian people were meeting at 5 a.m. to start their day with praise & song to their God! PRAISE!!! How contrary is that to our human mind?!? Doesn't it make more sense to grumble? How about that sackcloth & ashes? What about a good ol' pity party--everyone is invited?!?

Nope, nope, & nope!

Can you even imagine? Probably not.

That was soon after the earthquake.

Tonight, we heard about how things are going now.

Has that praise & faith abated as the situation has progressed? NO!!

A story was shared about a woman who had lost everything, including her husband in the 'quake. Her pastor said that she REFUSED to grieve over her husband! She said that, if this was God's will for her life, she wouldn't grieve over it, she would just trust Him! BAM!! Right between the eyes! A real sucker-punch! I mean, I whine when my air conditioning isn't cooling below 78 (it is 110 degrees in Haiti & NO air conditioning)! God really touched my pity-partying, mully-grubbing, whiney-baby heart with this story. I felt so....petty. So...small. God, What? What do you say when you are just slammed with the reality of your gross humanity? I'm sorry? hmmm...seems....small.

Oh, there were many more stories of amazing faith & trust in God by these people who have nothing- really, less than nothing. Each one more convicting than the last.

One brother read from Hebrews 11...what my Bible has titled "The Honor Roll of the Faithful". should read it! If your faith needs a boost, this is the passage for you.

After he read these words, with emphasis on FAITH, the Spirit truly gave witness to the fact that we, as a people, need to step up in this area. NOW!
I feel my need, dear Lord, of a closer walk with you...if I ever make it through. After this race is run, don't let it be in vain! Take my hand, dear Lord, help me the victory gain!

Oh, yes, me, for I am too weak in myself!

"I believe, help thou my unbelief!" I truly want to serve God in such a way that, no matter my circumstances, I know that He is holding me in the palm of His hand, and I am right where He wants me.

"Not my will, but thine be done!" Can I say these words today?


My eyes have been realigned. I can see more of me, and, as usual, it's not as pretty as I thought. Ugh. If I am getting tired of the ugliness of me, I can only imagine how God feels. Well, no, I can't because as a human, all I can think is human thoughts. My impression is that God is sitting up there in the great beyond shaking his glorious head at my pitiful attempts, maybe chuckling at my vanity. Then, getting annoyed, and, maybe even angry. It is nearly impossible to imagine that He is sorrowed by my humanity, and that He loves me to a degree that I cannot even fathom.

It's a new day.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Yes, I believe I will.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Counting My Blessings

Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your many them one by one....
Count your many blessings SEE WHAT GOD HAS DONE!

This morning, I went to breakfast with my mom. We went to Cracker Barrel (bluberry french toast! Yum-O) where they are already putting out fall decorations. Among them were those fabulous "green" shopping bags. You know the ones. They are kinda plastic, but stiff. Anyway, I just LOVE those goofy bags! I have a whole bunch of them because I'm a tote-y kinda person. The one at Cracker Barrel had several things going for it:

1. It is HUGE!
2. It was $.99!
3. It was brown, gold & red with sunflowers on it.
4. It had a snap closure.
5. It said, "Count Your Blessings"

Well, seriously, how could I pass it up? Truly, I am now wondering why I only bought one (so I won't buy so many of them at the same place that I can't buy one at the next place I find them).

You know, if you listen with your heart, you will hear ALL KINDS OF THINGS. This bag "Spoke" to me. Do you know what I mean?

The first thing it said was, "Remember how blessed you are. Don't EVER forget what all God has done for you!"

I hear ya!

Then, it said, "Aren't these colors so warm & comforting? You know that you love this combination...most of your house is done in these colors."

True, true...

And, lastly, it said, "You would be a complete IDIOT if you passed up a deal like this!"

Ok, OK already!! LOL

Really, The bag had me at "Count Your Blessings".

I am SO blessed. Oh, trust me, it has NOTHING to do with ALL. Nope, we ain't got much 'o that stuff. But what we DO have is love. Oh yes, so much love it will make us cry if we start trying to comprehend it.

My hero & I often get misty-eyed when we talk about the depth & blessing of our love for each other and our children. It is just SO much more than we can even fathom. And, when we think there can be no more...there is.

I chuckle when I think back on the days when I wondered how I could possibly love another child, I already loved the 2 I had so very much. I couldn't love another one, so God expanded my heart! I have had so many heart enlargements, that I'm just about full to overflowing! :) Each one of my 9 blessings (my hero + 8 darlings) is so unique & wonderful that I truly enjoy exploring their personalities with them...discovering who & what they are becoming.

Oh, and the life we live. Really, I could go on forever about the things in my life that are blessings.

"I've a roof up above me, I've a good place to sleep. There's food on my table, and shoes on my feet. You gave me your love, Lord, and a fine family. Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me!"

Not to be materialistic, but I have a gorgeous piece of property upon which to feast my eyes daily. I enjoy my house, it is suficient for our needs (ok, I could use more closet space, but ehh...who's complaining?). True, it isn't the dream house we had in mind, but it is a blessing. It came at the right time, and at the right price! Who could ask for more? Not me.

I have eyes...literally & spiritually. I can see all that God has for me to see. Sometimes, there is just too much for me to see, and He so gentle to only reveal what I can handle for the moment.

I have ears...again...literally & spiritually. Music floods my ears. Sounds of joy. Sounds of praise. Sounds of laughter. Sounds of sorrow. Words that cause peace, love, and understanding.

Even the trials, disappointments, hurts & sorrows are blessings. These are the things that cause us to grow. I so want to grow. Growing pains are not fun, but they ARE necessary. I am thankful that God is helping me to grow.

Oh....the blessings. is time to stop for now, but I hope that I have made the impression upon my readers that I am, indeed a very blessed woman.

Have you thanked God for your blessings? Have you sat down & truly thought about the ways that you are blessed?

Go by Cracker Barrel. Have a yummy blueberry french toast breakfast, and buy yourself a tote bag. When you use it, pause a minute & think on your blessings. Go deeper than the obvious ones. Search your heart & there something in your life that you hadn't seen as a blessing before? Look at it from God's perspective...quite possibly, it is a blessing in disguise!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Summertime Musings

My Sweet Lil' Girls on the 4th of July
Our Holiday Weekend

To say that we have been crazy busy would, in fact, be a gross understatement! I do believe that this has been the busiest summer we have ever had. I am beginning to see some relaxation on the horizon, though. WHEW!

Our wonderful friends came for only 1 night last week, but we so enjoyed their company, we followed them to Houston to celebrate the 4th of July! We really had a great time visiting with friends & family that we haven't seen in a while. We went to church, ate, went to church, ate, played @ the church, was everywhere!

Sometimes, going back where you came from gives you such a clear view of what God has done in your life. We both grew up in Houston, and never really had any plans to leave there. However, one day, we decided to move, and we have NEVER regretted it. We love our life here in the country!

Number 7&8 in the field behind our home

Book Recommendations & Reviews Page

I am an avid reader, and I have a stack of books & a mental list of other titles that I want to read at all times. I will admit to really liking a good love story as much as anything else, but, I do try to put other more, shall we say, intellegent information into my head as well. :)
One of the best gifts I have ever received is my Kindle. A Kindle is an electronic library of sorts. It utilizes e-books & I can download any of thousands of books in about 30 seconds from Plus, with free samples of each book, I can try new stuff that I might not have ever tried before. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
Anyway, I have a friend who posts books that her family is reading on her blog, and I have found this to be a great way to hear about new stuff. So, I would like to share with my plethora of readers (LOL) the books that have moved me in some way or another. I hope this will be a helpful feature of my blog. Please, if you try one that I suggest or if you have already read it, put a comment!

Thoughts & Other Stuff

I have truly been feeling overwhelmed recently with gratitude towards my wonderful God! He has made Himself so real to me & my family that I just find myself tearing up while driving down the road.

Why would He choose us?

I was introduced to the idea recently (through reading) that we are physically incapable of understanding God's thinking. For us, we just have to have the faith that He DOES love us. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that, especially when things, seemingly, aren't going our way.
We have been going through something with one of our kiddos in trying to help them rise to the challenges of responsibility. Unfortunately, this hasn't been going too smoothly for them. As adults, we know firsthand the sorrows that will come from not being diligent in your labors, or what slothfulness can do to your reputation. A child has no knowledge of this,and, as a result has real difficulty believing their parent's words in this regard. So, as good parents, we have talked 'til we are blue in the face. Laying it all out, complete with drawings & diagrams.
Cause & effect.
If, then.
Finally, something drastic needed to happen-a 2x4 to the head, so to speak. I tell you, as a mom, I just hate, Hate, HATE to do this to my children! Why can't they JUST BELIEVE my words?

Why can't they just HAVE FAITH??



sounds familiar.

God is the best parent ever, so, of course He would have the same types of thoughts regarding His kids (i.e. me & you). Why, oh why, does He love me even when the 2x4 up side my head doesn't work? Why is He so patient with me? Why are we so lovingly patient with our kids?


I just love God, don't you? :)