Blessed Assurance

cswo_dtgzq4-alex-grodkiewiczI have a really bad habit of being sarcastic too often. ¬†A friend even once told me my death will probably occur from me being sarcastic at the wrong time. ūüėā I really try to work on it around people who don’t know me very well so that I don’t come off as offensive to some. ¬†Family is fair game, regardless of age range.

I am a firm believer of (now that my kids are a bit older) trying to give a punishment that fits the crime.  Sometimes best intentions go out the window.

This week has been crazy. ¬†I’ve been trying to pack up our house to move, while going to tball games, nieces softball games, watching my nephew, and just trying to keep mine clean and alive. ¬†Needless to say, my patience has been a bit thin this week.

Crazy T is 6 and I have two nephews who are 7. ¬†They are a handful when they are together. ¬†When they aren’t trying to physically fight-they are complaining about someone leaving someone out. ¬†(You know how it goes.) ¬†Anyways, after about the 5th time of telling them not to fight I tease them that I’m going to lock them up and leave the house. ¬†(Remember I told you I’m a very sarcastic person.). The funnier thing is that it didn’t phase them. ¬†They laughed and asked who was going in which closet. ¬†They have assurance that their Aunt Tete (yes, that’s what they call me) would never harm them.

I am so grateful that we have a Father who wants our best. ¬†That we can rest easy in Him. ¬†We have assurance that He only has good planned for our lives. ¬†(Although sometimes our good and His may look a bit different.). It makes me think of that old hymn “blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” ¬†What an amazing assurance we have in God!

Zephaniah 3:17: The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

If you stumble, make it part of the dance

IMG_2246.PNGDo you guys ever Facebook investigate? I mean complete strangers that you absolutely do not know? (Thank you Facebook for showing me every time one of my friends “likes” something. ūüėú) Anyways, I happened to be investigating after seeing a post that was “liked” on depression…which led me to other pages, and so on. ¬†You know how the story goes. ¬†So, by the end I had read several encouraging comments of people supporting each other (bravo!) and several discussing their problems with anxiety and/or depression.

I have family members who do or have struggled with anxiety or depression in different forms. ¬†I had some after I had my kids, I think. ¬†I think it’s great we are living in a time where people can discuss all this stuff more openly. Truly. ¬†I just feel like in a lot of situations we are dealing with the effects of the situation and not the causes. ¬†I’m not denying that there are genuine chemical imbalances…but (from my observations) we often aren’t dealing with what brought on these extreme emotions in situations other than chemical imbalances. Time magazine published an article which stated that 65% of people with severe depression are not getting help from a mental health professional. ¬†65% are not getting the adequate help they need! Medicine, therapy, and other techniques that are used to help cope are great. ¬†We all have our coping mechanisms for life. ¬†For me that may look like: running, stretching, or eating a Snickers in 2 seconds flat.

I want to suggest maybe in this time of “do whatever feels right to you” and “whatever makes you happy,” we start helping people think through their situations. ¬†Whether this be a family tragedy, former drug addiction, alcoholism, etc…what if we started focusing on the causes instead of the effects? ¬†What if, in society, (with all this growing awareness of mental health) we began being proactive, instead of reactive.

I am amazed at how young kids are experiencing depression and anxiety nowadays. ¬†There will be situations in life that contribute that no one can control, there will be bad decisions made (because we all have made bad choices before), life just happens. ¬†But let’s start teaching people that they are exactly who they are meant to be (and from a young age!), that their worth isn’t dependent upon any other person or thing, that they will have to make choices in life (and there are wrong and right choices-with repercussions that follow), that life will be hard, that you will have to work hard, that most things worth having take time and effort, that you are not the center of the universe (there IS joy in selflessness), that others depend on you (no your actions do not just affect yourself), ¬†and to endure! ¬†No one-absolutely no one-is here by accident. ¬†God saw fit to bring you into the world and you are here on purpose. ¬†You are loved.

182 Days

So I have a confession I have to make:I have been wallowing in self pity a bit this week. ¬†I like to think I’m a pretty optimistic person and I am good at picking myself up after falling. ¬†But this one has got me good. ¬†I have been questioning myself all week, up until tonight. ¬†I’ll give you a bit of background…Magnolia is 6 months old on the 29th of this month. 6 months have passed since I held who was supposed to be the completion of my family. ¬†6 months since I met my youngest daughter’s biological sister. ¬†6 months since I left a piece of my heart forever in Wisconsin.

It still baffles me to this day. ¬†We were contacted by first mom because she wanted her baby to be with baby K and for us to raise her. ¬†I honestly didn’t even know if I wanted a 4th. ¬†Tyler and I prayed about it over the weekend. ¬†Truthfully, the answer wasn’t a hard one. ¬†Christians are called to help the orphaned, it was baby K’s sister, and we weren’t searching for a 4th child-the 4th child found us. ¬†So then why did we leave empty handed on October 31st? ¬†We’re we not supposed to attempt to adopt her? ¬†Should we not have gone back the 2nd time? Was this really what God had called us to do? ¬†Are we really still paying payments on a child not living with us?

Dont get me wrong- I cling tight to the truth that God works all things to the good of those that love Him. I also know He, and He alone, gave me peace that no one or nothing could have given me during that time. ¬†That doesn’t stop the questions.

Tonight though, I let something sink it that I hadn’t allowed to yet. ¬†God loved me enough to pay the highest price a person could pay to adopt me into His family. Not only did Jesus die on the cross-but He bore the burden of my sins. ¬†He paid a much higher price to bring me into His family than I could ever do. ¬†God adopted me into His family. ¬†Without the blood of Jesus, my righteousness is as filthy rags. ¬†God didn’t love me because I had something to offer Him. ¬†There is nothing I can give to an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. ¬†It’s by God’s grace and His alone that I can be called a child of God.

Okay, so how does this relate to Magnolia? Like this: of course God would have wanted us to try to adopt her. ¬†We don’t love just because we always receive love back. ¬†We love her. ¬†We needed nothing in return to love her. ¬†We just do. ¬†Because she’s her. ¬†Christians are called to take care of orphans. ¬†Because all life is precious. ¬†Not just the unborn. ¬†Most all Christians will speak out against abortion, but I tell you Christians, we absolutely must care about those children after they are born as well. ¬†Not just in a situation where we can sit comfortably in our chair, telling every one how wrong abortion is. We must care about the child after birth. ¬†Because if those mothers who carry a baby to term, and choose to give it life, still can’t provide a home for that child-we need to be there. ¬†Yes, it’s a bit messier. ¬†Yes, your emotions get involved. ¬†Yes, you may be changed forever. ¬†But can we afford not to? What cost do we put on an eternal soul? We aren’t talking about a car that will die in 200,000 miles. ¬†We are talking about souls that will go into eternity. ¬†We must be able to look outside of ourselves. ¬†We must become more God-minded. ¬†I am grateful that God gave the ultimate sacrifice so that I could be adopted into His family. ¬†Anything I have to pay, give up, do without, to help another person pales in comparison and will time after time.

God is love. ¬†One of the best ways to show others God is to love them. ¬† ¬†Magnolia will never question whether or not we loved her. ¬†Baby K will always know how much we loved her sister. ¬†Yes, I may cry over the life that is not under my roof, however, she is never out of the Father’s hands. ¬†May we not let our fear and worry keep us from acting on God’s truths and promises. ¬†It has been during the hard times that God has drew me close. ¬†Without the hard times, I wouldn’t have learned to depend on him.

Knowing what I know now, would I do it again? In a heartbeat. ¬†Maybe I was never meant to have her in my home. ¬†Maybe we are needed as prayer warriors for her. ¬†Maybe she will end up with us. ¬†Only God knows and those are pretty great hands to leave her in. ¬†“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and dust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor dust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ¬†Matthew 6:19-21

 

 

 

 

Hey birdy birdy…

IMG_2012.JPGWe have a Robin’s nest in our wreath on the front porch. ¬†The kids and I regularly checked in the nest once we noticed it was there. ¬†Soon there were three little blue eggs. ¬†Then there were four. ¬†Our total number of eggs came to five. ¬†Once we realized we were about to become a home to 5 baby Robin’s we waited with anticipation for the eggs to hatch. ¬†(I had no idea how long it takes-and for some reason I never thought to google it.)

Two of our birds hatched the first day. ¬†One the next day, and the last two I can’t really remember. (Not to mention furry-ness was overtaking the nest by then.) I remember how neat it was to see the babies the first couple of days. ¬†They would just randomly put their beaks in the air waiting for food from their mom. ¬†Their eyes weren’t even opened yet and they trusted that their food would be given to them. ¬†It made me think of ¬†some verses I remember from Matthew 6 “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. ¬†Is not the life more than meat? And the body more than raiment? ¬†Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. ¬†Are ye not much better than they?”

Seeing the baby bird’s blind (literally) faith reminded me of my lack of faith I often have in God. ¬†I would be embarrassed to admit the number of times I have laid awake at night stressing over something that I have no control over. ¬†What a great reminder that God will provide all that I need in life, not all that I want, but every thing I need.

Because it’s true…

IMG_1864“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of Hell.” ¬†-C.T. Studd

In church on Wednesday nights we are studying how to witness to others. ¬†This quote was in a book that was handed out- and I can’t get it out of my head.

If we REALLY believe what we read in the Bible and REALLY believe people who do not know Jesus as their savior will spend an eternity in hell, why aren’t we sharing it more with others? But even further than that-what if we actually lived life like we believe the truth of God’s word on a day-to-day basis?

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.” Isaiah 55:11

What if we lived our lives like we actually believed the Bible were true rather than trying to “make sense” out from it all or trying to stay in our comfort zone? ¬†I know many of Christians who are content to sit in a pew, sing songs in the church that makes them feel comfortable, spend their free time with only those who think like them, and return home to their “American Dream.” While none of those things are bad-I’m not sure the most important work is being completed. ¬†Jesus reminds us through His word that those who are not sick need no physician. ¬†He came to heal the sick, give to the poor, love the unloved, and show them the way to eternal salvation.

We should see Christians helping orphans.  We should see Christians being a safe place for that woman who has been in an abusive relationship.  We should see Christians volunteering at Recovery Clinics.  We.Should.See.Christians!

We have the good news! We have the ultimate example of a servant heart! God’s Word will NEVER return void. ¬†He promises it. ¬†So we need to live like that promise is true.

Intentional Conversations

Can I tell you guys that my best conversations happen with my kids right before bed while laying with them?¬† I know, I know, many of us are exhausted from the day.¬† Some days I can’t wait to not have a little one saying “mom!” one more time.¬† Especially on days they get to bed late (such as tonight)¬† but I really try to be intentional to create a relationship with my kids.¬† Not just an I’m-your-mother-respect-me-’cause-I-said-so relationship.¬† I want them to know they can talk to me about anything.¬† I want them to know their well being is more important than my quiet time.¬† I want them to know I am interested in what they are.¬† (Even if I will never understand Pok√©mon.)¬† I want a relationship with them that I hope will carry into the teenage years.¬† Yes, I am their mother first.¬† No, I don’t call my children my “bffs.”¬† There will come a day we can be more friends, and I am looking forward to that.¬† At this stage in their life I do a lot more mothering.¬† That’s good too.¬†

Random thoughts for a random Tuesday…

Sometimes I feel a need to ramble.¬† Since I currently have no one to talk to other than my two four legged loves, I figured I’d just blog about it.¬† ūüôā So here goes:

1.¬† Is it just me or do people take sports waaayyy too seriously and waayyyy too young of an age nowdays? Don’t get me wrong, I love sports.¬† I love being active, but my¬†6 year old son plays basketball and I see soooo many people taking a 6-7 year old game so seriously.¬† Yes, winning is great.¬† But there is so much more being taught to kids in games at this young of an age.¬† I often tell my son, “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. That’s how you learn!”¬† They are making friends. They are learning their skills, yes learning.¬† Let them have fun.¬† Let them be little.

B. We burned (burnt?) CDs for¬†Crazy T¬†and Princess C while pregnant with each one of them.¬† Actually, someone I worked with burned them for me once I gave him a list of songs for the kids.¬† He was much more computer savvy than me.¬† The kids have reached an age where they ask to listen to these CDs while falling asleep.¬† If that doesn’t bring on the waterworks while laying with them at night, I don’t know what will.¬† I am so glad we did that.¬† Now I need to get one made for baby K.¬† Do people still burn CDs?

C. Last night we had pancakes and eggs for dinner.¬† This is our dinner when I have to make something fast and don’t want to eat out.¬† I usually sneak some chocolate chips into the pancake batter for the last couple of pancakes as something fun for the kids.¬† Last night, however; momma was out of chocolate chips so I threw some food coloring into some pancakes. The kids thought it was awesome and were already talking about what colors they wanted the pancakes to be next time.¬† Fun.

4.¬† It’s taco Tuesday.

5. Crazy T called his aunt and myself a “cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater” at lunch today.¬† Why do cheaters eat pumpkins?

Those are just a few thoughts turning on these wheels tonight.¬† It was a long day here- I will be so happy to meet my bed in a few.¬† I hope regardless of the day you have had you are able to find some relaxing and restoration tonight.¬†¬† I’ll leave you with a little quote I love…because I love quotes.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt.¬† Stop comparing yourself to others (in any aspect) and be you.¬† The you God created you to be.

Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

This past week my family and I vacationed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the first time.¬† I fell in love with South Carolina and we had many fun experiences while there.¬† In light of that, I’m fixin’ to (oh yeah, I can now speak southern) share some of our favorite places we visited while there:¬†

Greater Love

Hey y’all from South Carolina! This vacation has been our first for a few years…saving for 2 adoptions in 2 years kind of limits the funds.¬† (Not that it wasn’t worth it!)¬† So, South Carolina has stolen my heart.¬† I’m not a great swimmer so I’ve never spent too much time around water, but I’ve decided the ocean is good for the soul!¬† It has been so relaxing and we have spent most of our time outside-which I love.¬† There is so much beauty and history in the south.¬† We have good friends who are from the south, so their southern accents will have to tide me over until we can come back to visit again!¬† Below is a picture of Folly Beach Pier…is that not GORGEOUS?! That’s enough of that, on to my main subject of this post…

…Even though

I began¬†a Bible study with friends this week.¬† I have been reading in Acts and I am always amazed at all that Paul endured for the cause of Christ.¬† He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and ridiculed for the proclaiming of the Gospel.¬†¬†I know, it’s kind of contrary to the prosperity Gospel that is so widely spread.¬† But sometimes God will allow you to suffer for His greater purposes, because we were created by Him and for Him.¬† Do not grow discouraged during the hard times.¬† My greatest growth has come out of my hardest and darkest moments.

A prophet told Paul what would happen to him in Jerusalem and those with Paul begged him not to go.¬† I cannot. get over Paul’s response.¬† He said “What mean ye to weep and to break¬†mine heart…” Nothing could stop Paul from the mission that had been given to¬†Him by God.¬†¬†I love how I can feel the emotion from Paul at him speaking to his friends when he mentions them breaking his heart.¬† He was not a robot.¬† He felt for his friends but he knew the cause for¬†Christ was his life’s mission.¬† He let them know he cared for them but he also let them know that he was not only willing to live for Christ but to die for Him as well.

This past week I have been tired, folks.¬† I mean like sleepy all day, living on caffeine, nap every day kind of tired.¬† We began our week with a round of the flu.¬† I am also trying to get every thing lined up for our (much needed) vacation next week, on top of the day to day living with three hooligans at my heels.¬† I have wanted to slack with the kids.¬† I have wanted to slack with schooling.¬† I know I must be intentional with my time.¬† I must be intentional with my life.¬† Even when I’m tired.

” And let us not¬†be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” -Galatians 6:9

All Christians will reap the good we did (and didn’t do) for Christ.¬† Paul was able to say in 2 Timothy that he fought the good fight, he finished the race, and kept the faith.¬† It matters how we finish our race on this earth because one day the Son of God will return to this earth and reward every man according to his works.¬† (Matthew 16:27)¬† So friend, if you are feeling tired today, keep fighting the good fight.¬† God sees¬†you.¬† And he loves you.¬† He wants you to experience the freedom and peace only he can give.