My 2 Cents

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A few years ago, when we had only had Madi for about a year or so, an older couple with a large, grown family gave us some parenting advice.

They told us we were being to strict.  That we needed to loosen up our boundaries and rules for our child.   They said they had successfully raised a boat-load of kids and therefore knew what they were talking about, so we should listen to their sound parenting advice.  We were doing it wrong and needed to mend our ways.  If we wanted our kids to be godly, we needed to let them be freer and play more and get dirty more and pretty much do what they wanted to do.

Now, 3 or 4 years later, I am so very thankful we DIDN’T listen to them.
We almost did.  We thought, well, they are older, in a position of authority, have a bunch of kids, and they seemed to have it all together.  We talked and prayed and in the end decided that what we were doing was actually working.  The out of control, impulsive, destructive child was slowly becoming calmer, and more peaceful.  She was learning that life has boundaries and needed to be followed.  She was learning right from wrong, how to stop a think for a moment before acting, and that there are consequences for our actions… good and bad.  She was learning that structure and balance was a good thing.   Learning that it’s not all work, but it’s not all play either.  Learning that structure and schedules were helpful.  Learning to have true fun and learning to laugh and have joy.  She was learning that life is good and she was loved and protected and cared for.   So why change that?

As I look at my 12-year-old sweet girl (who, like any child has issues and sometimes has a stinky attitude and still does things she knows are wrong) I am thankful that we trusted the parenting instincts God gave us.  I am thankful we prayed over our child and for her so we would know how best to deal with her.  She loves the Lord, wants to see people come to know Him, and has a heart of compassion that I love.  She’s not perfect, and I know I am FAR from a perfect parent, but with God and my husband, I am striving to be the best mom I can be and raise my child with as much love and care as possible… which does include discipline!

Get parenting advice is sometimes necessary… there have been times I have asked people I trust and respect as parents for advice, and I treasure that counsel.

But unsolicited parenting advice is almost never welcome, and (from my perspective) usually not quite on the mark.

As I look back and think about the couple that gave us the advice, I can see that they didn’t really have it all together and their kids aren’t perfect, not all of them are actively seeking the Lord, but that’s ok.  They did what they felt was best.  They raised their children the best way they knew how and God will bless them for it.

Not every family is the same.  Not every kid is the same.  And unless you have walked a day in someone’s shoes, don’t judge them.  (Especially when you are dealing with an adopted or foster child or a child with special needs… that’s a WHOLE different kettle of fish).

So, my encouragement for you is to trust your instincts about your children.  Pray for them and over them and about them.  Ask for Godly wisdom, and if necessary, seek wise counsel.  You know whats right for your child, even if it’s different than you are used to, or different from your other children.  God entrusted you with one of His treasured possessions… it’s a daunting task, but one He is equipping you to handle!!

I’m not an expert.  I’m not perfect.  I’m just a mom learning as she goes, but I am so thankful I listened to the Lord concerning Madi.

I would still like to learn to yell less, listen more, and have a LOT more patience… so I asked the Lord for that and strive to obtain those things.

So that’s my two cents worth of parenting advice.  🙂

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We NEED You

We need you.
Yes… you.
No, not the guy beside you on the train, or the lady in front of you in the drive-thru.
YOU.
We need you.

Missionaries Need You.

Missionaries aren’t just giving you an opportunity to flex your giving muscles, they are giving you an opportunity to serve. Giving to the cause makes you a co-worker for the truth (3 John 8 ).
An excerpt from a very well written post about why you should help missionaries. And I’m not posting this as a bid to get you give us money… I am posting because I believe this is true and because we do need you. Not just your money, but your partnership, your support, your prayers, and your encouragement.
Paul needed prayer, he needed support from others to help him on his missionary journeys, and he needed encouragement and fellowship. Paul, like all missionaries, needed partners.
We are partners in bringing the gospel to the nations. We’re all in this together. It’s an important work and God calls some to go and some to give (time, money, prayer, words of encouragement, support, etc).

Partner with us.  We truly need you.

http://nathancreitz.net/7-reasons-why-you-should-sponsor-missionaries/

 

Why Now?

Why now?  Why are we heeding the call now?  Why is God calling us now?  Why are we going now?

Some may say we are running.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going mentality.  Some may say we are just bored.  Others may say this just isn’t God’s timing.

But we know, that we know, that we know that this is the time.  This is it.  God is calling us to GO.  Not next year, not after we served our ministry jail-time (aka pew-warming), not when Madi is older, not when we have our Bible degrees and 2 years of full time ministry experience, not when it makes sense, not when finances are good… NOW.

Why now?
God has been prepping us and stirring our hearts in this direction for almost 2 years (ever since Mike lost his job)… but we have filled our minds, hearts, and schedules with SO much stuff we couldn’t hear Him clearly.

This season is the first time we have been able to be still long enough to hear Him.  The first time we have been able to be quiet and truly wait upon Him.  The first time we have been able to spend time in His presence without the distraction of an insane schedule.  There is no youth meeting, no fine or fun arts practice, no worship team song to learn, no practice to attend, no early morning wake up on a Sunday, no youth function, no worship time to prep for.  Its been just time with Him.  My worship time has been just for Him and I, not in the interest of making a set list.  Our bible study time has been just about going deeper with Him, not finding scripture to share with kids in need, or looking for answers for problems they are having.   There has been an intense focus between us and the Lord in the last 2 + months.  We have had time to dig in and go deeper… and time to just wait.

1 Kings 19 says: A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 19:12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper.  19:13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden   a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah?” 19:14 He answered, “I have been absolutely loyal to the Lord, the sovereign God,   even though the Israelites have abandoned the agreement they made with you,   torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and now they want to take my life.”  

See, Elijah went through the powerful wind, the landslides, the earthquakes, the fire… He went through the loud storms, but it was not until it was QUIET that he heard from the Lord.  It wasn’t until it was still that the Lord’s presence came and He spoke with Elijah and allowed him to ask the questions becuase God knew that that was when Elijah would be able to truly hear God.

No, it doesn’t make sense.  But God’s ways are not our and His timing is not ours.  He knows our hearts and He alone knows that our hearts and lives are FINALLY ready to go.  Finally ready to lay it all down, finally ready to walk in our destiny.

Thinking Globally

Another great word from my wonderful church!!!!

 

Shift from Local to Global Thinking

God is a global God. He has always cared about the entire world. “God so loved the world….” (John 3:16) From the beginning he has wanted family members from every nation he created. The Bible says, “From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be.” (Acts 17:26 CEV)

Much of the world already thinks globally. The largest media and business conglomerates are all multi-national. Our lives are increasingly intertwined with those in other nations as we share fashions, entertainment, music, sports, and even fast foods. Probably most of the clothes you’re wearing, and much of what you eat today was produced in another country.

We’re more connected than we realize and God can use that connectedness as a means for us to fulfill his Great Commission. Jesus gave us a pattern for such involvement: ” You will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” (Acts 1:8 CEV)

His followers are to reach out to their community (Jerusalem), to their country (Judea), to other cultures (Samaria) and to other nations (everywhere in the world). Note that our commission is simultaneous, not sequential. We are called to be on mission to all four groups in some way.

Holding My World

“Holding My World”

And this is Your world, you made it
And all of creation is breathing because You sustain it
Jesus, by your powerful word
You spoke out the earth and the heavens

So I will not worry or fret
My God is the God who will never forget
All of His goodness and all of His promises
He’s holding my world in His hands

And these are Your days, you give them
All for Your fame and all for Your glorious kingdom
Jesus, You have ordained
All things to dwell in Your purpose

So I will not worry or fret
My God is the God who will never forget
All of His goodness and all of His promises
He’s holding my world in His hands

And I am your child, beloved
And all of my days, my future is laid in your promise
Jesus, to the end of the age
I am not alone or forgotten

So I will not worry or fret
My God is the God who will never forget
All of His goodness and all of His promises
He’s holding my world

So I will not worry or fret
My God is the God who will never forget
All of His goodness and all of His promises
He’s holding my world in His hands

You Are Beautiful

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. – Kahlil Gibran

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. – Kahlil Gibran

You are beautiful.  Period.  End of story.  If you are reading this, you are beautiful.  You are a creation of the most High King… your Father is the King of Kings and Lord of everything.  He has made you, called you His own, paid the ultimate price to save you so that He could spend time with you.

You are beautiful.

You are a daughter or son of God.  There are no orphans of God.  There are no grandchildren.  You, YOU, are His favorite.

God is light.  And He is all things good and beautiful.  God is love.  When God lives in you, there is a light, a goodness, a sense of beauty and love that resides in your heart.  So beauty is that light in your heart.  Your heart.  You.

You are beautiful.

Post About THESE Things

Think on These ThingsSocial Media has been on my mind a lot lately.  I have been discussing with myself and the Lord whether I should keep up with it.  In fact this has been on my mind since January.

I have to make it perfectly clear though… I love social media.  Facebook helped me launch and grow my business, helps me keep in touch with many of my friends who have moved away, and helps me share moments in our lives with my family.  I love the way I have been inspired by others through blogs, twitter and even Facebook.  I also know that there are times that others have been touched by what I have posted. Sharing prayer requests, or reading about the needs of others is great, and has helped me both know how to pray for people and also has encouraged me knowing so many others are praying for me.  One of the biggest reasons I love social media is because as we have gone through the journey of infertility, foster care and adoption, we have impressed upon others the high calling of adoption and are now seeing our friends rescuing orphans too!  God has been exalted and shared in new ways becuase of the advance of technology, so I know it can be a worthwhile pursuit.

I also see everyday the way Christians miss use this venue.  I have to admit, I myself have not always thought it through before I posted something.  Or I have read things that I had to wonder, is that directed at me… and it has lead me down some paths of wrong thinking.

These are the questions I have had to ask myself…. some I have had to answer yes to, and repent for.  THankfully, I can say no to some!!  (Woot, woot, I’m not as evil as I used to be… Yay for redemption and the power to change in Christ!!!)

Have I liked status’ that I know our directed at others, even while knowing that I would never say that to the person?
Have I posted status’ of my own that are totallty passive aggressive becuase I am a BIG wimp?
Have I used a post I see as a reason to judge someone?
Have I secretly been prideful when I see others being brought so low?
Have I posted things that are not uplifting?
Have I posted things that would cause another Christian to stumble?
Have I caused discension or strife with a post?
Have I hurt anyone with a post or comment?

Have I accuritely represented Christ in what I say, or do, or post on any social media platform?

I am happy to say that right now, I feel God is leading me to keep my social media, and to use it for His glory… this blog, my facebook, and my business page.  In doing so, I have begun to ask myself these questions before every post.  ((For clarification, I do not think every single post absoluetly MUST be related to Christ.  I beleive God gave us humor, and some of those pet memes are REALLY funny, and clean!))  If I were to answer any of these questions yes, the post is deleted before it is sent!

Does this post go against the Word of God?
Could this post hurt any one?  (Not offend… because there were times Jesus offended the Pharisees as a way to show truth or point people towards the Father)
Could this post cause a fellow Christian to stumble?
Would I be embarrassed if my Pastor read this?
Am I writing this post about someone in particular but wouldn’t say it to their face?  (For some, even if you would say if to their face…. is it a good thing?)
Would a non-Christian doubt my love for Christ is real if I post this?

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8

POST ABOUT THESE THINGS.

Don’t Understand?

Another great tidbit from my church…. http://york.ag/

Don’t Understand?

Trust God

You may be facing a dead end right now – financial, emotional, relational – but if you will trust God and keep on moving in faith, even when you don’t see a way, he will make a way.

It will become more understandable as you head down the path he sets before you, but understanding is not a requirement for you to start down the path. Proverbs 4:18 says, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day.” (NIV) One day you will stand in the full light of eternity and view the big picture. You’ll see God’s purpose behind the path he specifically chose for you.

In the meantime, do what Proverbs 3 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Be patient. God knows what He’s doing. God knows what is best for you. He can see the end result. You can’t. All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays — all the things that make you ask “why” — one day it will all be clear in the light of God’s love.

But for now, we’re learning to trust God.