Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What does it mean to be humble in Christ?

Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all. ~William Temple

Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening! ~Author Unknown

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. ~Benjamin Franklin

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. ~Author Unknown

None are so empty as those who are full of themselves. ~Benjamin Whichcote

These are some great quotes, but lets get serious about this issue of humility. What does it really mean for us to be humble?

Webster defines humility this way: -not proud or arrogant; modest; having a feel of insignificance; low in rank or status; courteously respectful.

Now lets look at 1 Peter 5:5-7 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

So between the definition of humility and what the passage says, what does that mean for us? How do we know if we are really living in a humble way that would please God?

Lets first say what it does not mean:
*It does not mean putting yourself down or seeing yourself as inferior to others.
*It does not mean seeing yourself as not valuable, or denying who you are in Christ.
*It does not mean you cannot accept praise from others, it just means that you know that what you are being praised for is attributed to God at work within you, and not your own doing.
*It does not mean denying our strengths, but being willing to accept our weaknesses.

What it does mean is:
* Do not consider ourselves better than others.
* Do not see ourselves through the eyes of worldly standards, but through Christ.
* Do use our spiritual gifts to serve God, but remember to give Him all the credit.
* Love ourselves, but accept that we are not perfect, and are in need of a Savior.

But most importantly, it means living by the truth, and knowing that only God is in control of our lives and everything in the universe, and that without Him, we are of no value. Our value comes through Him, not through our own doing.

It is so easy to take credit for the things that are good in life. For example, we do great on a project at work, and feel proud of the hard work we put into it. We see our children walking in faith or doing great at a sport or hobby, and feel proud of them. We have a nice house, nice car, and a neatly landscaped yard, and feel proud to have those things.

But do we deserve to be proud? Would we have done a great job on a project, without the good health, intelligence and skills that God has given us? Would we have children who love the Lord, if He had not first forgiven us and embraced us into His family so that we could teach others to love Him? Would our children be great athletes, musicians, students, etc., if it were not for the gifts that God had created in them? Would we have any "things", if God had not chosen to bless us with those things?

All questions have the same answer - NO.

The key to humility, is simply remembering who gets the credit. Being proud is not sinful, but instead it is the act of pridefulness in ourselves that the problems begin.

Thinking too highly of ourselves, our accomplishments, and our successes, is setting us us to be a target for the enemy. Satan loves for us to think that we are "all that". Why would we need God, if we can do it all on our own? Why would we need faith, if we seemed to be succeeding in life just fine because of all we do? Those are the lies that begin seeping into our hearts when we begin to put ourselves on a pedestal, instead of bowing at the feet of the One who gave us everything.

Being humble does not have to seem like a sacrifice, or that we are succumbing to inferiority. It can also be a joy. Seeing the fruits of our humility is what will really motivate us to remain humble. For example, humility preserves peace, instead of conflict; humility considers the needs of others first, before our own; humility allows us to forgive those who have hurt us, instead of allowing unforgiveness to poison our thoughts; humility gives us the inner strength to turn the other cheek, when someone deserves a slap on the cheek instead.

Humility means we are reconciled to God, and willing to put everything in His hands, instead of our own.

Humility characterizes Christ. If you think about it, Jesus never once acted as if He were better than anyone else, or smarter, wiser, more prestigious - even though He was!

He was God in the flesh, but lived out the daily life of a human. A life filled with the hurts of being rejected, criticized, and doubted, even though He did not deserve it. A life without glamour, prestige, or honor, even though He so deserved it.

So to me, humility is simply love. Love that is not selfish or hurtful. Love that does not boast. Love that does not withhold affection or intimacy. Love that considers the feelings of others. Love that is willing to be wrong, even if one is right. Love that is stronger than the harshest words or treatments from others. Love that only comes from God, not from our own heart.

So how do we become humble? Humility has its basis in an honest and realistic comparison of us with God. If we compare ourself to other people, then we will always see the flaws of others and feel better than them, despite our own weaknesses.

Our goal should be to compare ourselves with Christ, and be in His image, not the image of others.

When we compare ourselves to Christ, we can obviously see how much we are terribly lacking in true significance and value. When we do that, we see ourselves for we really are, and any inkling of pride gets immediately thrown right out of the window.

Pride has no place in Gods kingdom, because arrogance turns people off. When people are turned off, they are not open to seeing God at work or seeing Gods light shine through those people who are acting arrogantly. For a Christian, pridefulness is a dangerous thing, because it can lead people away from Christ, instead of towards Him.

Lets face it, comparing ourselves to Jesus is a great opportunity for a serious attitude adjustment. It reminds us that we are empty, weak, and helpless - but that we are filled with hope in knowing that we are strong, and valuable through Christ within us, and that we are precious and priceless because of who He is.

Our level of humility can sometimes set the tone of our relationship with Christ. It is an outward symbol of our inward opinion of who we are versus who Christ is - and ultimately who we are in Christ.

So stand proud in your faith and know that God made you valuable and amazing - but always remember that our actions are not to portray arrogance or superiority, because in the whole scheme of life - we are all very small. But in Gods Kingdom, we are exalted.

Luke 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (NIV)

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Family Is Better Than Cable

"Our family is better than cable!" That is what my son said in the car the other day as he was lauging hysterically and rolling around in the seat. It was so funny! I dont know where he came up with that, or where he heard it, but regardless of where it came from, it was hilarious!

At the time he said this, me and the kids were riding in the car somewhere, which is where it seems like we spend half of our life. The entire car ride, the kids had been laughing, cutting up with each other, making jokes, telling stories about stuff and people at school, making faces, etc.

Basically, just pure silliness. It was great.

Some of the most precious times we have as a family are in the car, believe it or not. Expensive vacations, dinner and movie outings, and special family activities are great, but it is the every- day life events that really mean the most to me. Times when we are just hanging out with each other, doing nothing much to speak of, except being together. Times when nobody is fighting over the remote, calling someone a name, or arguing over whose turn it is to sit beside mom at dinner. Times when life seems simple and carefree, even for just a few minutes. Times when my heart is so full of happiness from sharing life with my kids that I am reminded how much of a blessing they are to me.

Now trust me, there are days when I have to remind myself of that blessing, due to over flowing to-do lists, over flowing laundry baskets, and over flowing mood swings from all persons living in the household. Days when I feel under appreciated, undervalued, and insignificant. Days when I feel like all I do is rack up hundreds of miles on my car in a day, trying to meet everyones varying schedules and still be fussed at for being a few minutes late somewhere. Days when I spend two hours fixing a new recipe for dinner, only to have a bunch of little faces snub their noses at it. Days when my husband and I are not experiencing any marital bliss. Days when I feel like I let God down so much, that He is probably shaking His head and shrugging His big mighty shoulders... again.

Those are days that I recognize my need for God the most, to help me get through the day with grace, and refuel my energy and my spirit with His love and His strength.

And those are the days that I really look to my sweet family to lift my spirits.

Those are the days that I really need some good ol downhome family time, and need something much more entertaining and fulfilling than television can provide.

Yep, those are the days that I dont need any cable. Cable is way over rated.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jesus Loves The Little Children

Thanks for stopping by today! This morning I want to share with you an excerpt from my book, Reinventing Your Rainbow, which goes along with todays Proverbs 31 devotion:

Kaitlyn was officially named the “Boo Boo Queen” when she was just a toddler. This is a title that she does not think fondly of now that she is nine years old, but regardless it is still her nickname (in addition to Katybug!).

Her first boo-boo was actually my fault, and it was worse than the time that I had accidentally clipped Morgan’s fingernails too closely. Kaitlyn was only a few days old, and I was bathing her before we were going out somewhere. I was fully dressed and was preparing to get her dressed as well. I gently lifted her out of the sink, which was her makeshift tub since she was so small, and went to lay her down on her towel. Unknown to me, the remnants of her still attached little infant belly button had become snagged on the button of my shirt, and was ripped off when I laid her down! Oh how she cried and cried as the blood poured out of her little wound, but my wails of sobs and tears far exceeded any crying she could do! But thank goodness her little belly button is perfect today and she doesn’t remember that trauma. Now doesn’t the fingernail episode pale in comparison to this lovely memory! I don’t think I will rank that experience up with there the joys of motherhood.

My husband and I have decided that God gave us Kaitlyn as a special gift, to teach us to learn to handle emergencies with peace and sanity, but also to increase our faith in Him and truly believe what He is capable of doing on this earth. Let me share Kaitlyn’s story briefly which earned her the ‘boo boo queen” title.

At 18 months old, as she toddled around in an attic while my mother and I searched for something, she fell through a small hole in the 2nd story attic floor and landed in the garage about 15 feet below her, with no injuries; at 2 years old she jumped off the bed and ‘bent’ the bones in her arm but it was not broken; at 3 years old she managed to pull an entire grandfather clock down on top of her but she miraculously ended up inside the clock unharmed, which had gotten caught on the wall and did not crush her, and sheltered from the breaking, falling sheets of glass and the weight of the clock; at 4 years old she fell through a glass table top and had to have 18 stitches in her chin and neck, and although she suffered intense bleeding, the sever just missed a major artery; at 5 and 6 she had many less serious boo-boos which are too many to list, but at least they didn’t involve the annual emergency room visit; at 7 years old she was squatting down on her legs, lost her balance and fell backwards, at just the right angle to slash her head on a chair, then she bled profusely until the liquid stitches were secure.

I would imagine that the littlest angel of our family is thankful that most recently Kaitlyn has been free of major accidents! But it was Kaitlyn’s first serious accident that I began to allow myself to believe in God’s heavenly angels, and that my very own littlest angel was forever in our presence.

Looking back on the very second that Kaitlyn fell from that 2nd story attic at 18 months of age, down a hole which we didn’t know was there, I frantically rushed to where she was toddling around just 2 seconds earlier, leaning over and noticing the hole for the first time. With horror, I looked down as I witnessed her plunging to the hard concrete floor below. But with my own eyes, when her fall came to an end, I saw her literally bounce off of the hard concrete floor of the garage like a big rubber ball. It was as if she had landed on a big fluffy pillow of cotton and just bounced off of it. Kaitlyn had a small bruise on her forehead, but not a scratch, serious bruise, concussion or broken bone in her tiny little fragile body.

How is that humanly possible? Even the doctors could not understand it, and they questioned my husband and I as to whether or not she had really fallen 15 feet. Especially since by the time we got to the hospital, and had calmed 3 ½ year old Morgan down who was having her own hysterical breakdown over the trauma of hearing her mother scream her head off and finding her baby sister laying in the garage, Kaitlyn had stopped crying and was just acting like a normal happy baby – within less than 30 minutes of falling 15 feet onto a hard concrete floor. She was happy and uninjured, and pulling at the doctor’s stethoscope as if she were there for a routine checkup.

There is no other explanation for this phenomenon than God’s hand at work. Our little angel of mercy was with Kaitlyn that day, and there is no doubt that something besides the hard concrete floor stopped her fall. Even to this day, Kaitlyn is my little prayer warrior. I know God has special plans for her life and I can’t wait to see what they are

Do you believe that God is holding your children in His arms? That He cares for them even more than we do as parents? As a parent, I think it is hard at times to consider that God loves them with an intense love, that even our own parental love cannot equal.

This is a scary world we live in. Full of too much tolerance for things that are morally and ethically wrong; full of people who will try to convince our children that there is no God; full of peer pressures; illegal drugs, and legal drugs; smoking; sex; pornography; child predators; kidnappers; texting, and sexting.

The days of constant boo-boos, even those that were serious or even life threatening, seem to pale in comparison to the threats that our children face today. All the more reason to trust in God to love them and protect them. To believe that He knows what is best for their lives, and that His will will always be done. To believe that even when we cant be there with them, to guide their choices or help them choose appropriate actions, that He is with them.

Are you struggling with something today regarding your child? Are you worried or stressed over something that is going on in their life that you cannot control? Do you wish you could take them back in your arms and sing them songs and rock them to sleep? I know I do. But those days have passed. I prayed for them then, and pray for them even harder today.

That is what God calls us to as parents. Love them with all of our heart, train them up to love the Lord, and entrust them into His hands, believing that He is there for them.

We must pray intensely for our children, every day. Prayers that are focused, intense, and specific. Prayers that place the safety and future of our children into the hands of the only One who has control.

The power of prayer is not only in the answer, but in the journey. The power of prayer can provide much needed relief to a worried mothers heart. God will give us a peace that we dont understand, and a strength to persevere. In fact, prayer is the most powerful tool that we have to protect our children and lead them through challenging and often life changing experiences.

We cant always be with them, but God can. Entrust them to Him today.

(If you are interested in purchasing Reinventing Your Rainbow: A Spiritual Journey of Leaving the Dark Shadows of Satans Bondage to Discover The Magnificent Colorful Rainbow that God Holds For Your Life, visit the Proverbs 31 shopping site to purchase it today.)

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Exciting News!

Oh my goodness, I am so excited I can hardly write! I just found out today from Lysa that Jennifer Rothschild is going to be our Saturday speaker at She Speaks for our main general session this year!

If you are not familiar with Jennifer Rothschild, then you can visit her site here.

I first heard of Jennifer about eight years ago when I began to participate in some womens bible studies at my church. I went through two of her studies called Walking By Faith, and Fingerprints of God. Both of them changed my heart and truly challenged me to have a deeper relationship with Christ. Since then she has written several books, and a few more bible studies, and also owns and operates a website that has over 20,000 subscribers who are womens ministry professionals, called Wow!

If you dont know much about Jennifer, she has an amazing testimony and it is truly unbelievable what God has done in her life. She lost her sight at a young age, and God has used that experience and her disability to make her a huge vessel for Christ. I hesitate to actually say her blindness is a disability, because it is her loss of sight that caused her to become who she is today. She is truly a shining example of how God can use all things to His glory, and how we are all capable of doing great things for Him, despite the difficult circumstances in our life, if we are willing to serve Him and follow His calling on our life.

Jennifer is a well known face in the Christian community, and has appeared on popular TV shows, magazines, internet sites, Christian talk shows, conferences, etc. She has also been on the Dr Phil show, and on the Women of Faith tour. She is awesome!

If you are not familiar with the annual Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference, which attracts women from all over the world every year, and has become an extremely popular and well- known conference to equip women to serve God in so many ways, then you can check out the conference information here.

If you are interested in attending She Speaks this year, which is taking place on July 31-August 2nd, at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC (right outside of Charlotte), then do not delay getting signed up! We are already half full, and spots will fill up quickly!

She Speaks is a life changing conference, and you will walk away a changed woman if you decide to attend. Thousands of women would agree! And I am one of those thousands who were changed by it. I first attended She Speaks in 2005, completely clueless and confused as to why I was even there. But I left that conference a completely transformed person, and what God has done in my life since that weekend has been a miracle and a blessing.

Hope to see you there! Take the plunge and get registered today! You wont regret it!

(If you want to read more about my She Speaks experience, and my testimony, you can purchase my book Reinventing Your Rainbow, from the Proverbs 31 shopping page.)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One exciting week of doing nothing

My children are all on spring break this week. Whoo hoo! It is wonderful! No alarm clocks, chaotic mornings, homework, sports practices, or after-school activities. Freedom I tell you!

The only bad thing is trying to come up with things to do! Usually we try to travel somewhere for spring break, but we decided to wait until this summer to take our big vacation. So here we are at home.

Monday we went to see Mall Cop, and thank goodness it was at the 'dollar movie', and it was .50 cent ticket day! So I only paid a total of $2.50 for five of us to see the silliest movie ever. Then we trekked over to Walmart to waste time and discover some items that we didnt know, until we got there, that we couldnt live without.

Yesterday we went to an indoor water park, which would have been a lot of fun, if all the kids had not been overtaken by extreme chlorine inhalation! Geeesh - you wouldnt believe the amount of chlorine there. My nephew threw up, my son had a stomach ache, and the rest of the kids were coughing so excessively that we had to leave. Even though I didnt get in the water, my eyes and lungs were burning. That cant be healthy.

Morgan had been begging to do some tye-dying, so that was one of our important purchases at Walmart. So last night, they dyed away! Now I have to go purchase more socks and t-shirts since they tried to grab every loose clothing article in the house to dye. I had to draw the line at my brand new footie socks for tennis though.

They finished up their project with red and purple stained hands, which we will probably get to look at for a week, but their efforts turned out great!

Today Morgans boyfriend, love-of-her life Colby, whose name I hear at least 47 times every day, is coming over for a couple hours, just to hang out and eat my famous buffalo chicken pizza and southern sweet tea. Then Im off to play tennis for a couple hours, while my son plays golf with my husband, and girls babysit my tennis partners kids. What a great arrangement!

Tomorrow morning I have a tennis match, and the kids can just sleep in and watch TV until I get home. Then who knows what amazingly fun things we can do! Ha. Ha. It is supposed to be beautiful, so maybe we will go on a picnic or something.

Friday we plan to go visit my Dad and his wife, who live at the beach, and we will spend the weekend visiting with them and enjoying the spring sunshine. That should be a great end to a great week.

Morgan said this was the most boring spring break ever, and I guess I cant disagree really, compared to taking a tropical vacation of course. But as for me, its been great. I got to spend a super Easter holiday with my husband and family, and five straight days with my sweet children, and honestly, that is the best week I could have asked for.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Believing Is Seeing

Thanks for dropping by today. I pray you had a wonderful Easter and that you are still rejoicing over our risen King!

Notice how I put the title of todays post as "believing is seeing", and not the other way around?

If you think about it, we do that every day. We listen to the news on the radio or television and believe what they say is true, even though we did not witness the events discussed or know the people involved. We read about issues and events in the newspaper or on the internet and believe that the words we read are fact, without a doubt. We put faith in the organization or news crew that produced the articles or reported the facts, even though we did not actually see anything with our own eyes.

Why is it that we have a much harder time believing in Gods Word and believing that He is behind all activities and happenings in the universe, even though the Holy Bible says it is so? Why is it easier to believe a story from a news reporter, than what is written in Gods Word?

Our sight depends on our faith.

Faith is not something we can see. There is no visual evidence. In fact, even the Bible is written in words, and not in pictures. It requires us to think, imagine and visualize, instead of being able to see pictures of how things once were.

Most people need to see something to truly believe it. They want to lay their own eyes on the cold hard proof, before they can believe in their heart and mind that what they were told was true - unless of course it comes from a trustworthy source, like the news (ha!). For some things in life, this philosophy works just fine, but not when it comes to faith in Jesus.

The official definition of faith is a "firm belief in something of which there is no proof." Faith requires that we believe, despite not having any visual evidence.

If seeing were believing, then faith would be irrelevant and unnecessary, and Jesus would forever be trying to convince us that He was the Holy One, through signs and wonders and miracles. He would forever be frustrated, since our faith would fade as soon as we felt the need to see just one more example of proof of His existence, His sovereignty, or His power. If we could see Him, we would probably never truly believe in Him.

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Faith only comes by hearing His Word, and believing it. No matter what. Without a shadow of a doubt. Without being swayed by new age religions or practices that seem a little more appealing. Without needing constant proof that He is God.

Living in a fallen world assures us that we will face temptations not to believe.

We will face people who doubt God is real and want us to share in those doubts.

We will face opportunities to turn away from God and believe in other religions, which may seem more popular, trendy, appealing or modern-day.

We will face ridicule for having faith.

But that is where true faith comes in. Faith that is not swayed by new ideas, impressive people, or eloquent preaching.

Faith that will not die just because something easier and more fun comes along.

Faith that is strong, and can hold up under pressure.

Faith that is based on the belief that He was, is and will be the only Savior ever known to mankind.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

We cant see God, but we can see His activity in our life.... if we believe.

We cant see God, but we can see His power working within us....if we believe.

We cant see God, but we see His Words and understand their meaning....if we believe.

If you ask me, we see what we want to see. We can choose to believe.... and then we see.

If you have felt lured to doubt Gods presence, power, and omnipotence as a result of listening to false teachings, being persuaded by others, or dealing with doubts that have been planted in your mind by those who dont believe because they cannot see, pray for God to remove those doubts today.

If you have been doubting God and His omnipotence because you cannot see His activity in your life, pray for Him to open your eyes to His presence. Pray for Him to pour into your life so powerfully that you cannot doubt that He is at work. Pray for Him to make His presence knownt to you.... and never think something is ironic. It is God.

Pray for strong, unshakable faith.

And remember, believing is seeing.

John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter! He Is Risen!

The words of the song Arise My Love are so powerful. If you have never heard this song, click on this link to see the video by NewSong. Lets not forget that Easter is about the risen King.


Not a word was heard at the tomb that day.
Just shuffling of soldiers feet as they guarded the grave.
One day, two days, three days had past.
Could it be that Jesus breathed his last?

Could it be that his Father had forsaken him?
Turned his back on his son, dispising our sin.
Oh hell seemed to whisper, "Just forget it, He's dead."
Then the Father looked down to his son and he said..

Arise, My love.
Arise, My love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you
No more death sting
No more suffering love.

The Earth trembled and the tomb began to shake, and like lightening from Heaven
The stone was rolled away.
And this dead man the guards they all stood there in fright
As the power of love displayed its might
And suddenly a melody filled the air
Riding wings of wind, it was everywhere
The words of creation had been longing to hear.
The sweet sound of victory, so loud and clear.

Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you.
No more death sting no more suffering

Sin, where are your shackles?
Death, where is your sting?
Hell; has been defeated. The grave will not hold, the king.

Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

How to enjoy your chores this week

I admit to being a type of neat freak. I hate clutter, dirty dishes, dirty clothes, and dirty bedrooms (just ask my kids about that one!). Some days I wake up and just wish I didnt have to do any chores, and daydream about the sweet idea of a magic chore-fairy visiting my home.

I often feel like I live in my laundry room, and have even considered putting a television in there. No matter how many times I load the dishwasher, the sink always seem to be full of dirty dishes. I hear the words "whats for dinner" every afternoon, sometimes even before lunch. The carpet always needs vacuuming, the shoes always need to be picked up, the bookbags are always scattered everywhere, and the mud from outside always seems to get tracked in, right after I mop and wax the kitchen floor, of course.

I guess if I focused on the daily chores all the time, I would end up a very grumpy camper, but usually I just operate in autopilot mode and keep plugging along.

However, there are "those days", when my autopilot shuts off and my not-so-wonderful-chore-frustrated-nobody-ever-helps-me-do-anything-around-here mood seems to overtake my personality. Not a good day, I promise you.

Recently my sister forwarded me an email about our daily chores, and a different way to look at them. I typically delete any email that looks like it has made its way around the world twice and is now just making it to my inbox, but this one made me stop and think.

So I want to share it with you today. It gives light to a new perspective about how we should really look at life, instead of only through the eyes of a tired super-mom.

My prayer for this week is that I will remember to pray these short, little prayers each day, instead of focusing on the overload of mommy duty. Each day holds a certain challenge for me, and I hope God will use these prayers to mold me and shape me into a chore-champion!

Monday is WashDay
Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility Through the week ahead.

Tuesday is Ironing Day
Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected through the years, so that I may see the beauty in others.

Wednesday is Mending Day
O God, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.

Thursday is Cleaning Day
Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.

Friday is Shopping Day
O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love.

Saturday is Cooking Day
Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.

Sunday is The Lord's Day
O God, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart so I may spend the day and the Rest of my life in your presence.

Lets get to work! Are you with me?!

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Darn that uppity Proverbs 31 woman

Yesterday I was mom-of-the-year. Yep, unofficially but uneqivocably mom-of-the-year. How did I earn such a prestigious title, you ask?

Simple. I made muffins.

Not just plain ol' muffins, mind you. Chocolate chip muffins, and blueberry muffins, in the little-muffin, muffin pan. So cute baby muffins were everywhere, and the two flavors satisfied all the picky eaters in my house.

I had risen early, pre-heated the oven, and quietly set about my muffin-making task without a complaint in the world, just like a good Proverbs 31 girl should do. As the muffins began to get plump and golden, the delicious aroma began to fill the house. And that's when it happened.

My two daughters came bolting down the stairs as if the house were on fire. One of them jumped up and down and screeched in delight, while the other one yelled "yeah, muffins!". Then they paced around the kitchen until the coveted pastries were done, and gobbled them up. Everyone was happy. I was thanked, appreciated and hugged. Even though they acted like I had never fed them breakfast before that morning, it was still awesome.

Soon after, I realized it was time to leave, and told everyone to hurry up, brush their teeth, get their shoes on, get their bookbags together, and grab a snack for school.

Little Michael suddenly realized that he could not find his coat anywhere, even though he had been holding it ten minutes earlier. The coat fairy had apparently stashed his coat somewhere in an invisible closet, again.

Then in the process of his frantic coat search, he accidentally stepped on Kaitlyns toe - you know, the same one she stumped at school the day before, nearly ripping off the entire end of her big toe. It was not a pretty scene. Much drama, accusations of doing it on purpose, and flying bandaids were everwhere.

While all this was going on, Morgan was now realizing that the coat fairy had also taken her coat, and possibly her shoes. She was having trouble locating them while staring at her incoming text messages, thus threats were shared about losing phone privileges if it continued to interfere with life itself.

To add insult to injury, the fact that Michael was going to now potentially be tardy for school - again - because the girls were not ready to leave on time (primarily due to excessive hair-straightening obligations as opposed to muffin eating) - resulted in a bit of heated discussions before we finally made it out the door.

My wonderful mom-of-the-year/Proverbs 31 mommy award fell to the floor and shattered. Calmness, patience, soothing voices and unshakable joy seemed to fly out the window quicker than those band aids had been flying through the kitchen.

Our happy, peaceful, muffin-eating, hug-giving, laugh-sharing moment seemed a distant memory. Life had happened again - or should I just say, another typical school morning happened again.

But as we drove to school, the chaos slowly slipped away, and we had some good discussions about loving one another, being considerate, dealing with friends, boyfriends, and other girly-girly stuff and soon I was mom-of-the-year again - after reminding them about their delicious muffin breakfast, of course.

Although it would be great to be the perfect mom all the time; the mom who never gets mad, irritated, impatient or unreasonable... I know in my heart that God does not expect that type of perfection. I know that He forgives our imperfections and renews His mercies for us daily. And I need that new mercy every day, trust me!

As women, we get so hung up sometimes about the Proverbs 31 woman. We think God actually expects us to be like her. But really, she is simply a woman who fears and reveres the Lord, and tries to live a life that is pleasing to Him. She is a woman whom God included in the bible for us to read about, so that we would know His instructions for living, all the while also knowing that we will fall short, and He will still love us just the same.

God does not expect us to be perfect, without mistakes, never losing our temper and winning a mom-of-the-year award every day. Now Im not saying that it wouldnt be great if our children arose and called us blessed every morning - but lets get real people! Until they are old enough to understand the depth of love from a parent to a child, they will never quite comprehend how hard we try to be good moms. But thats okay - the rewards far outweigh the sacrifices, and motherhood is the greatest joy in my life.

Well, I need to sign off now - headed to the kitchen to make some chocolate chip cookies before the kids get home from school. Im in much need of some hugs and appreciation again, and cookies are a definate guarantee that I will get all of that when they get home! Im also going to dust off my mom-of-the-year award too, just in case I need to hang up it for a brief while, until it falls to the floor again.


Darn that uppity Proverbs 31 womanSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Im not feeling all that philosophical today. Not sure why. Some days, or at times weeks, I think God just gives my brain a little rest. So I was wondering, "what can I write about, if I dont have anything halfway important to say?"

While my mind was wandering, I started thinking about things I wish I were doing or enjoying right now, instead of sitting here staring at my computer, and my thoughts drifted off to some of my favorite things. So here they are!


25 of my favorite things:

1. Seeing my childrens groggy faces in the morning after a good nights sleep.
2. Enjoying a sit-down meal with the whole family, instead of in front of the TV, standing in the kitchen, or driving down the road trying not to spill or drip anything.
3. A Starbucks skinny vanilla latte with lots of sugar free vanilla - all the pleasure, not the calories. Or a cinnamon dolce latte, Im not that picky.
4. Shopping. For clothes, shoes, furniture, jewelry, gadgets, games, light fixtures, and whatchamacallits. Did I say I like shopping yet?
5. Laying in the hot sun on a warm summer day, either at the beach or the pool.
6. Taking a cruise.
7. Having my husband do something special for me, just because, not because it was a holiday or a special occasion.
8. Breakfast in bed on mothers day, fixed by little hands, consisting of pop tarts and cereal, with a few handmade cards on the side.
9. The Caribbean, white sand, clear water, palm trees and warm breezes.
10. The smile on my childrens faces when we have spent time together and their love tanks are full.
11. The entire month of December - potpourri, cinnamon and oranges, the scent of evergreen, sparkling lights, holiday music, church activities, shopping, shopping, and more shopping, giving gifts that people love, the manger scene, light festivals, the Christmas Show, Christmas trees, garlands, and bows, cooking and baking, and holiday parties.
12. Summer - not just for the weather, but because there is no school, no friend drama, no teen crises, and no alarm clocks.
13. My church, and my church family.
14. My Bible, and inspirational books.
15. Anything consisting of chocolate content, especially oozing warm chocolate cake and Twix bars.
16. Key Lime pie.
17. Girlfriend time.
18. When my husband makes plans to take me to dinner, or anywhere for that matter, just because he knows that my love language is time with him.
19. Singing praise music.
20. Seafood Fettucini Alfredo - yummy! This dish ROCKS at Olive Garden.
21. Cooking a great meal and seeing everyone enjoy it,without complaining, making faces, or saying they dont like it or it tastes wierd.
22. Decorating my house.
23. Playing Tennis.
24. Working on my message topics and seeing God bring them all together just perfectly.
25. Life.

A Few Of My Favorite ThingsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend