Dear Lord

You are so incredibly awesome.  And I feel horrible for feeling like this.  For allowing envy to have any place in my life when You have provided so much.  Thank you so much for providing the house that we need and want.  I know that you will provide a way for all of our other needs to be met.

Father God, thank you for bringing this baby safely into the world.  Thank you for keeping her mommy safe too.   I pray that she will be a blessing to all who know her and that she will know her older siblings.

Lord, please remove this hurt and jealousy.  I want another baby of my own so badly.  I want to be a wife again.  I want to be a help meet and I want my children to have a real daddy.  And, God, it hurts so much to watch somebody else with the life that I had.

I don’t want to influence anybody negatively.  I understand and encourage his family to support him and get to know her…but, sometimes, it is still painful.

Lord, right now I am reminded of Your Word.  2 Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Thank you, Father.  Thank you for seeing me and meeting me where I am.  Thank you for allowing me to be weak so that You can be strong.  Lord, I pray now that Your grace would be sufficient.

In Your Name – Amen!

So, this isn’t going anywhere fast. But, I’m not giving up. I’m hoping inspiration will strike soon.

Hello

Have you ever had one of those weeks where life is just a struggle. I am there. I struggle with being single, so much more than most people would ever know. I know in my heart, deep down inside, that I was made to be a help-meet. I want to share my life with someone and to be a blessing to someone. It is my desire and the way God made me. I just need to find the right Christ-centered guy to lead me.

I am blessed to know an older couple at church who provide me with hope that I will find that special someone. For simplicity, I will call the man K and the woman J. J was left a widow with three small boys and K came along, married her, and became a father to these boys (who are now old enough to be my father) and they had a son of their own. I was still married when I heard their testimony and, I think my first reaction at the time was, “Ahhh, how cute!” But now, whenever I see them, I can’t help but think about what God did for her. I love listening to K talk about his walk with God, and he is exactly the kind of man that I am praying will come to lead me.

Is there something that you are struggling with? Leave me a comment, and I would be blessed to pray for you.

I just wanted to drop by and say that I haven’t forgotten my poor blog. I am carefully and prayerfully considering what my next post should be about. I want to offer wisdom and insight, but I don’t feel very wise right now. Maybe, God is calling me into a period of rest, after which I will be able to think more clearly. For now…May God bless you and keep you, May God shine His face upon you and be gracious unto you. May the light of His countenance be upon you. And May He shield you in the palm of his hand! Happy New Year!

I am a facebook addict.  I admit it.  I have tried to walk away, but then I find myself thinking in facebook status sentences.  Here’s the problem with being a facebook junkie.  Romans 12:2 says…”Don’t be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Uh, Oh!  If I spend my day thinking in status lines, isn’t that conforming?  I think I might need a support group!

But, let’s turn this into a positive.  How can we, as those striving to be the Christians described in Titus 2, use facebook for the glory of God?  Romans 12 goes on to say in verses 9-13 …“Be kindly affectionate one to another in brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the LORD; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Well, that’s a pretty big chunk of scripture!  Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on how we can use facebook to follow this description of a Christian.

Be kindly affectionate one to another, in brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another… So, many times I see other believers forgetting the simple act of kindness and what it can mean to someone else.  The world of facebook opens up so many chances for people to see the brotherly love of the church, but are you sharing that love?  When you comment on the status of a brother or sister in Christ, is it with love?  We forget that in a typed out cyber conversation, our tone doesn’t always come across as we mean it.  An inside joke may appear as an insult.  I am certainly guilty of this one.

Not lagging in diligence…do you put off giving an encouraging word in order to check on your crops in the latest game?  Yep, been there!  And more often than not, you forget to give that encouragement at all.

Fervent in spirit… Are you eager to share the news of salvation?  Or is it more important to whine about the line at the checkout?

Rejoicing in hope…So many times, I let my doubt get the better of me and I don’t truly rejoice in the hope of others.  Or, because I don’t want my email to become overwhelmed with notifications from facebook, I simply won’t comment.  I think I should be more liberal with my “like” button.

Patient in tribulation…Ouch!  This one isn’t always easy for me.  I tend to follow my dad’s advice when it comes to tribulation.  He would say “Scratch your mad place and get over it.”  And while it can be good advice, sometimes it is better to accept the things we cannot change and move on to something we do have control over, when dealing with other believers we should have more patience to help them through there trials.  Continuing steadfastly in prayer — instead of wanting to kick them in the rump in order to help them get over it.

Distributing to the needs of the saints…I see so many prayer requests and needs posted on facebook.  Are you doing your best to help out?  What needs do you see?  Does someone need a babysitter?  A ride to the store?  A couple bucks for groceries until pay day?

We are in an age of amazing technology!  We joke about how shows like “Back to the Future” and “The Jetsons” were so far off…but yet they are so close.  We may not have flying cars, but we can use our phones (which are no longer painfully slow rotary dial devices attached to the wall with a 2′ cord) to post a status on the internet for ALL to see in only a couple of minutes (or seconds).  Is our faith making use of this technology?

My challenge for you is to take your faith to facebook!  In your head, change it to faithbook.  Post Bible verses, lyrics to your favorite Christian songs, poetry that has challenged your faith.  Share your testimony, as well as your prayer requests.  Maybe, your status will be the only Bible some of your friends ever read.  Shouldn’t we be making the most of this opportunity?  Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep! (Romans 12:15)  This is your chance to be a missionary.

My mom and I had a talk about faith this morning and it left me thinking…how much faith is enough to move a mountain?  Does it take more faith to pray for specific things (healings for example) or to pray for God’s will?  Romans 12 tells us that God has given each person a certain amount of faith.  (Romans 12:3  http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rom&c=12&t=KJV#vrsn/3  )

The control freak that I am, finds it harder to pray for God’s will.  In praying that His will be done, I am leaving the entire situation in His hands and trusting that it will work out for my good.  (Romans 8:28  “All things work together for good to them that love the LORD and are called according to His promise.”)  It takes more faith for me to give it all to Him.  But how do we reconcile this with verses that talk about having the faith of a mustard seed and sending a mountain on a walk across the country?   (Matthew 17:20, 21:21)

I think the key comes in Psalm37:4  “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  When we spend our time trying learning about Him, worshiping Him, talking to Him our desires change.  They line up with His will.  This is one of those “if…then” promises.

Is it wrong to pray for someone’s healing? Certainly not!  But sometimes God has something else in mind.   Sometimes illnesses and injuries come about as a natural consequence of our own actions.  If God took away every owie, would we ever learn the lesson?  Sometimes these things happen to accomplish a greater good.  There are many Christians who were born with some sort of handicap or illness.  They did nothing wrong.  But God allows them to go through all of this in order to accomplish His will on earth.  In Acts 3, Peter and John heal a man who was lame from birth.  Begging was a career for this man.  Beggars had permits that allowed them to beg in certain areas.  Verse 10 tells us that everyone recognized him as the beggar who sat by that gate.  So, here was this man who had been there for awhile.  How many times had Jesus, Himself, walked past this man and not healed him?  It wasn’t his time yet.   God waited until this moment to do the job.  He used Peter and John to further the kingdom through this miracle.  Through this healing, the church grew to include 5,000 men.

So, my challenge today is to give it all to Him.  He knows your needs and He really does want what is best for you.  You don’t have to agree with Him, you don’t even have to like it all the time.  I am sure that He understands that.  But, in praying for God’s will, you allow Him to work.  And you grow!

God has been so amazingly good to me.  Whenever something comes along to test my faith, HE provides a song, a sermon, a Bible study, or a devotion that points me back to the right path.  Most recently, God used James 1:2-4 to remind me of one of the reasons that we, as Christians, face trials.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of any kind, knowing that the trying of your faith works patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you might be perfect and complete, wanting nothing.”

Trials are a chance to grow patience.  And when patience has a chance to work in us, we grow.  We become perfect and complete, wanting nothing.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be perfect!  Now, I long ago figured out that I would never be perfect on my own.  But, when I allow God to work through me, I can become perfect.   That is encouraging to me.  God has a reason for allowing me to go through this trial.  It is to make me perfect.  I can be joyful because whatever trial I am going through, God has allowed to grow me into His perfect princess.

My new goal is to be more joyful.  Specifically, to find joy in my trials.  To take a step back and find joy in watching God work.  Turning my life over to His big capable hands.  He is always faithful.  To put this into action, I have started a praise notebook.  At least one day per week, I spend all of my personal prayer time being thankful.  And I write down what I am thankful for.  Sometimes its just a list, sometimes it is word for word as I pray.  The hard part is not adding all of my wants and needs to this prayer.  This  is just a time to tell God how thankful I am for all that He has given me, all that He is doing in my life, and all that I know that He will do.  No requests, no pouring out my woes.  God knows it all already.  Just a time to be thankful!

I want to leave you with this little story from an unknown author.  You have probably heard it before, but I think that is beautifully illustrates the point of joyfully enduring our trials.

The Tea Cup

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup.They said, “May we see that? We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. “You don’t understand,” it said. “I haven’t always been a teacup.

There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, “let me alone”, but he only smiled, “Not yet.”

“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup said, “and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’

Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, ‘Not yet.’

Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried. He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet.’

Then I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’

‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you’d have dried up.

I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.

I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven,you wouldn’t survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.

Today’s post is a practical application  of what I learned while attending a “Love and Respect” video conference.  For more information on “Love and Respect” please see the link to the side.

In the spring of 2009, I was blessed by a good friend with the opportunity to attend the video conference of “Love and Respect”.  Her church was putting it on and not only did she pay for me to go, but her daughter graciously watched my children for free.  It was an amazing day when I learned so much.  If you ever have the opportunity to go, DO IT!!!

What I would like to share with you today is one of the differences between blue and pink.  For those who haven’t attended a conference or read the book, Mr. Eggrichs says that men and women hear differently.  Like wearing different sets of sunglasses and headphones.   BLUE refers to the male way of seeing, thinking, hearing, speaking.  Pink refers to the female way of doing these things.  Neither way is right or wrong.  God made us to be either pink or blue.  Not right or wrong, just different.

I learned that day, that blue and pink need different forms of quality time.  Ladies, we know that when we spend time with our friends we want to be talking to them–face to face, communicating, sharing, building bonds.  God created us to be this way.  And we want this from the blues in our lives.  Our dads, sons, spouses, brothers, pastors, etc.  This is the pink way of interacting.  Mr. Eggrichs uses this example:  When his daughter was very young, he would tuck her in at night and spend a couple of minutes talking with her in the dark.  One night, she was trying to tell him something that she felt was vitally important and said, “Dad look at me.”  In the darkness, she knew that she and Dad were not connecting face to face the way she wanted to.

Blues connect differently.  They are more than happy with a shoulder to shoulder connection where nobody speaks more than a few words.  Somehow, this builds a deep bond and energizes them.  (Don’t ask me how, I am a pink.)  But that is the way God made them.  It isn’t wrong, it’s just different.  Mrs. Eggrichs gives this example:  Once while on a cross-country vacation that involved two vehicles, she found herself alone in one vehicle with her son.  She resolved that this would be a great time for the two of them to bond and got into the car ready to hear about his life and feelings.  But, then she remembered he wasn’t built that way.  So, she sat next to him quietly for nearly eight hours.  She said it was the longest eight hours of her life!  But when they arrived at their destination, he told her “Thanks!”  It had been one of the best times he had shared with her in a long time.

Now, since I attended this conference, I haven’t had the opportunity to use what I learned with a significant other.  But, I do have four brothers, a son, and an ex husband.  And I have to say, its true!  Here are MY examples of seeing blue vs pink in action.

Pookie is my very blue 7-year-old.  At the time that his dad moved out he was 6.  His dad worked at a call center and we couldn’t just call whenever one of the kids wanted to talk to him, but we learned that we could use Yahoo!Chat within the Yahoo!Mail server.  So, I would let Pookie practice reading and spelling by having these chat conversations with his dad.  One day, after the customary small talk, I found Pookie sitting there with my laptop grinning for ear to ear.  Neither he nor his dad had said anything for about 15 minutes, but Pookie was energized by this “should to shoulder” type of interaction.  He knew his dad was at the other end and if he wanted to say something he could.  Later, I asked his dad how he had felt, and he had felt the same way.  It was just good quality time that they had been able to spend together, even though neither one of them were saying anything at all.

Woogie is my very pink 3-year-old.  Between the ages of 1 and 2 1/2, she wanted the very closest face to face time.  If we were in the store, she would stand on the seat of the shopping cart and press her cheek against mine, wrap her arms around my neck, and squeeze.  I wouldn’t be able to see where I was going.  If I was holding her, she would do the same thing.  Or else we would be forehead to forehead.  It wasn’t enough to be sitting on my lap or leaning on my chest while sitting in the grocery cart.  She wanted, craved, true face to face time.  And, like any small child, she was relentless until she got it.

I give you these examples to encourage you to try it with the blues and pinks in your life.  Maybe, you have a son that you desperately want to spend time with.  Or a husband who asks you to be with him but then doesn’t want to talk.  Understand that what they want is for you to simply be there.  Quiet, shoulder to shoulder time.  They don’t want to discuss feelings or the days events.  And you may feel like nothing is getting accomplished.  It is the hardest thing in the world, for me to sit still and quiet when the living room needs vacuumed, the dishes need washed, the laundry needs folded, and I still want me time at the end of it all.  BUT, what your blue needs is you.

This is part of Titus 2:4 ~ “…teach the young women how to love their husbands, to love their children…”  Loving our Blues means putting aside our pink way of doing things for a time, and loving them the way they need to be loved.  And you will find that when you are taking the time to build your family God’s way, that everything else will fall into place.  All of the chores will still get done and you’ll still get your time.  God will give you the energy you need.  And you will be blessed in multiple ways.

My friend is getting married on Friday!  She is an amazing young woman with two kids from previous relationships, who has really turned her life around and surrendered to Christ.  And so, to her, I write this post.

My Dear Ham

I am so proud of you.  You are growing into exactly what God would have you to be and are being blessed.  Stebie is a great guy and I know that, together, you will be an amazing couple.  I only have a few things to remind you of, before you begin your journey together.

Remember, he is a guy!  And I don’t mean that to sound sexist in any way.  Men are wonderful.  But, God didn’t design him to be just like you.  God made him different.  And different is good!  Tell him when you want him to fix something and when you just need to rant.  He’s not a mind reader, he won’t know unless you tell him.

Respect him.  If you want him to fix something, let him do it without second guessing every move.  Trust him not to blow you up (remember the furnace?).  I know that you have been hurt before, but this is a new man who loves God and you and loves your kids and wants to take care of you.  He will do what is good for you.  If you show him this respect and trust, he will learn to reciprocate more openly with love.

I love you, My Friend.  Remember that marriage will not solve all of your problems…but God can.  Do your best not to replace God with Stebie.  It is an easy thing to do.  Stebie is here.  He’s tangible.  But he’s not God.  Let God be God and Stebie be Stebie and things will go swimmingly.

God Bless and Congratulations!

You can call me Sasha.  Its the nickname my dad gave me when I was little.   I am a single-stay @ home mom, not by choice but because its the kind of thing our courts allow to happen.  I homeschool my 3 kids (we’ll call them Pookie, Bubba, and Woogie), am an independent contractor for “The Old Schoolhouse” Magazine, and am working on becoming an IBO (Independent Business Owner) with Amway Global.

I love God!  I love all that He has done for me.  I am constantly amazed at the ways in which He provides for me and the kids.  Sending His Son, Jesus, to die for me was more than enough, but His blessings continue.  I currently live with my mom.  We work to help each other and this has removed a lot of my stress.  Amazingly, we are able to live together in peace…most of the time.  I have met the most wonderful man who loves me and my kids and is working to move closer to us so that we can work on building a life together.  My bills get paid, food is on the table, my kids are healthy, my friends are awesome, and I have peace.

That is the jist of the who…now on to the what and why!

My friends keep telling me that I should write a blog.  And I’ve tried before but it just didn’t stick.  I really had no purpose in writing.  But, I think that I’ve stumbled on one.  Titus 2:3-5 gives us a good start.  It says:

“The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things–that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

That’s it!  That’s what I want to do.  What I have felt the call on my heart to be-first to the young women in my church, and now to all of you.  (I hope there will be a you out there reading this).  I am by no means an old woman, but I am one who has searched the scriptures and is trying to build my life on these principles.  I don’t profess to have all the answers.  But I know what I have been taught, what has worked for me, and what I feel sure will work for you.

I will probably refer to several books other than the Bible that I have found helpful.  They are “Created To Be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl, “Wild at Hear” by John Eldridge, and “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs.  I will post links to them later.

So…let’s see where this takes us!

God Bless

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