Monday, April 30, 2012

Sad today, and something about movies

It's been a long day. I am sad for so many people who are suffering. Losing a husband, a 7 year old daughter, a baby. Just this morning we heard on the news of a man who shot and killed his girlfriend while she was driving and as a result killed her two small children as well. It makes my heart cry out to the Lord, "How long?" I am so grateful for His answer in Revelation...judgement is coming. All will be's coming! He doesn't leave these crimes unpunished, either the person will pay eternally or Jesus will pay for it on the cross. I am comforted by this truth.

On another totally unrelated note, Tommy wrote an excellent blog today about good guys vs bad guys. Hope you are encouraged to think deeply and discerningly, even about entertainment.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Small Group

Tonight we enjoyed a time of fellowship with five other couples from our church. I can't tell how much of a blessing it was. We sang praises to our God and worshiped. It was beautiful to WORSHIP God with these other believers, brothers and sisters at the Throne! Then we had a time of sharing our struggles and praying together. The blessings overflowed. Filled with laughter and a few tears we were able to share our hearts with each other, encourage each other with Christ focused thinking and then carry each other before our Creator. Not all Saturday nights are the same. Tonight God encouraged me with two specific thoughts. One being that it really doesn't matter where or how large a group you are or when it is believers can truly worship together. I don't konw how else to put it. The second thing is what united us. We, in that room, are all broken. We, in that room all struggle with sin, shame, fear and doubt. We are all on even ground. We are broken people in need of a Savior and seeking Him, trusting Him, together. What a blessed night!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Long day, good day

Today was Project Faith for Christian and me. Faith Christian School students send out support letters to raise funds for the gap between operating costs for the school and what is brought in by tuition. I was able to volunteer to work with Christian at the Rescue Mission downtown. It was a good but hard day. Christian was excited and joyful as he worked and his classmates were too. I learned about the work that they do there and was able to get to know his teacher and some other parents.

The day began for me at 6:30 and I was working with Christian by 9. We scrubbed base boards and walls , stairwells and fences. We finished and came back to the school about 12:30 and the students played on the field for a celebration enjoying inflatable games, cotton candy and pizza. I would have liked to join him but God's agenda again ordains my way. Tommy graciously gave up study time to watch the kids while I was with Christian so he came to pick me up right away and I dropped him off at the library. Then started the craziness. Lack of food and tiredness aggrivated my headache but the kids and I went home to pick up library books to return, get a snack, and grab a few more items needed for errands. Two dirty, very dirty diapers, and 30 minutes later we piled back into the van to go pick up Christian. Then we headed off to the library to check out books, pick up Tommy and finish our errands.

It was busy. It was crazy and I hardly had time to think. I had started the day off right though, in Romans and in prayer, knowing today would be rough. God blessed again, as he always does! We came home at 4:45 and I laid down for 30 minutes. When I woke up the dishes were done and kitchen was clean. The kids were playing happily outside and there was peace in our home. Dinner turned out well and we enjoyed a quiet, restfull night at home. The kids finished picking up as a requirment for a Friday night movie.

A very BIG THANK YOU to my dear husband for his hard work today and enabling me to get out and serve outside our home.

God is good!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Project Faith

Tomorrow I get to spend the day with Christian cleaning stair, floors and walls at the rescue mission here in Roanoke. I am looking forward to spending that one on one time with him that I have been missing so much since he started going away for school. The irony is that I have this dread of "getting behind" on all the things that won't get done while I am gone. Didn't we already go through this one? God ordains my days, not me! Thank you Tommy for reminding me to see this as a blessed time with Christian and to not worry about what is going on here at home. If it doesn't get done, it will later. I am the only one putting any expectations on myself and the house anyways! Praying for fruitful time, conversation and bonding with my son.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

God and migraines

It always surprises me, shocks me, saddens me how much my body can affect my thinking and attitude. I don't mean just a little either. I suffer from terrible migraines. (we are doing what we can to address the issue) Yesterday the morning began with one of these migraines and continued throughout the day. It was horrible. I do not remember clearly what went on yesterday but I do remember losing my temper with the kids. I barked at them throughout school time. They were disciplined more quickly and harshly. I repented often and at one time even told the kids that I was forgetting that God's plan for the day was better then my plan. Of course I meant that in reference to the spilled water and not about the stabbing pain in my head. When evening came around I fell asleep on the couch while the kids entertained themselves playing their favorite computer game. When I woke up I crawled to the shower and asked the older two to put the younger two to bed for me. While in the shower I was convicted about my terrible judgment and bad attitude towards others who go through chronic pain and are selfish, angry, and joyless because of it. I don't mean that they should be given a pass, being able to sin because of their pain BUT they should be given extra grace and patience and PRAYER. It is extremely difficult. The night was long and this morning there was still residual pain but much less.

Here is the good news though: God blessed! My two oldest children folded all the clothes for me after they put the babies to bed. They forgave my sins from the day before. I was able to garden, a very theraputic and healing activity, all morning with the kids. The best blessing was the call from the Holy Spirit in the afternoon. I was feeling pretty good and very motivated to catch up. The kids were sleeping or reading quietly so I saw this as my opportunity to get ahead and I went at it but then I remembered this was my opportunity to be with my Lord. It was hard to stop...I was on a roll...I literally had to tell myself, "put down what you are doing and walk away, pick up the Bible and just read," but I did it.

He still called me, even after a terrible, failure of a day, He wanted to love me through my family and especially through His Word. It is a humbling and encouraging reminder of His grace and love that He still calls, still pursues when I have messed up so badly. Of course the truth is, even on my best day, I fail Him and He still calls me to be with Him.

" but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1

He brings us in and then He keeps us!

Monday, April 23, 2012


I have a huge problem with fear. It is huge. Tommy and I made a critical decision based on conviction for our family and today was the first opportunity to enforce that decision and I was so upset about what others might think that I was sick to my stomach all afternoon. I mean, doubled over, clutching my stomach in pain, fearing and worrying about the outcome of this decision. I know that is not right. I know that is a lack of faith in God and I know that the Gospel is the answer but still I struggle, a lot. There is a disconnect in knowing what the answer is and seeing, trusting, embracing, confessing...KNOWING Jesus as the answer. I want to have faith and be free of this bondage...because that is what fear is, bondage. This is my new pursuit and I am sure I will write again as God moves and strengthens me and opens my eyes to see the truth.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kids day

Busy day. Marathon running (the kids ran 25 miles at home and then finished their 1.2 miles together, crossing the finish line of the Blue Ridge marathon). Healthy Kids day at the Y. Sinus pressure. Chores. Naps. Babysitting night at the church. No time in the Word. :( but I did worship and give thanks for His blessings today.

Tobie getting ready to run her last mile.

Christian ran really fast!
Daniel and Mommy ran together!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Please Pray with Me

It's like the plot line of a movie: a man and his brother succeed in business, move said business to a different country, coming home on the weekends to their loving family enjoying life, when they are shot and killed. It is horrific and awful...didn't I see that in on tv last night? I wish it was a movie but this time it is real. The family was not close to me, we stayed in their home for a few days while on vacation because they were friends of my sisters family, but I knew them and I knew their need.

Please pray for this family. Four children and wife left behind. Pray that God will surround them with people who will lead them to Truth, comfort, and real healing that only the Father can give through Jesus Christ. Pray that God will give them eyes to see and hearts to believe. Pray that this suffering will lead them, running, into the Savior's arms.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Listen and Obey

Tonight was my small group and I spent the evening reviewing this week. It has been difficult, full of fighting for faith and righteousness. Here is the great part though...there was a fight. I realized that God has been working in me and I have been fighting, in His strength, and not giving in to the temptation to give up. One of the ladies I meet with asked, "how does that work? cuz I'd like to know so I can do it too?" I had to stop and think about that because I certainly don't have it down and I don't think I understand it BUT here are some examples of what it looks like in my life:

-reading the Word even when it is just a book and I am not looking forward to it, because I know it is right, and asking God to change my attitude
-praying when I feel the anxiety, anger, and rebellion welling up, ready to rage at whoever is in my way
-listening to the Holy Spirit after I pray, you know, the strange idea that popped into my head about something different to do at school, after a difficult situation with one of the kids and I prayed about it and then had this idea and it no, the Holy Spirit!
-listening to the Holy Spirit when I don't pray, like when I cut off my daughter from talking because I was tired and wasn't interested  so I left to go to bed but then felt guilty because she will stop wanting to talk to me if I reject her like this, so I went back and crawled in bed with her, asked for forgiveness and listened to her talk until she was done (all of 5 minutes). So worth it but definetly from the Holy Spirit.
-allowing God to reorder my day. One of the girls had a fever today and just wanted to be held, so we sat on the couch and I held her. It was great, she slept soundly and I got to read, something I don't usually get to do and no one noticed that the floor didn't get swept and I didn't regret sitting with her instead of sweeping.

It is God in me working His grace and the more I let Him, the more He does. It is still a fight to listen and obey and there are just as many reasons to rebel and freak out and give up but like I said before, it's a fight!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What to do?

I don't want to re post blogs as a normal practice but I read this, Ashamed and Disappointed, just a few moments ago and it perfectly captures my inward struggle with abortion. I do hate it but am lost as to what I can do and yet..
That little girl who went in there was a sinner behaving like a sinner, an unbeliever acting out of unbelief, desperate to rid herself of the evidence of her sin or perhaps the evidence of a sin committed against her. She was wrong, of course, and will have to give an account for what she has done; but I harbor no ill-will for her. It is me I was disgusted with and me I was ashamed of. Disgusted that I could watch that and not do something, ashamed that I have no idea what to do and that I have done so little. I don’t even know what I ought to do. Cry out to God and ask him to intervene? Demand answers from God as to how he can allow this to go on? What do you do, how do you react, when you see someone about to commit murder? I, we, do nothing. We feel disturbed, we feel bad, we feel guilty and ashamed, and we walk away. This atrocity has been going on all around me all of my life and I do so very little about it. I stopped for a moment, felt revulsion, and then went on my way and ate breakfast.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fight! Little by Little

This usually happens. I write a few good posts because God is amazing and doing amazing things in me and then SMACK I get hit with illness or exhaustion or I just can't think or the Word, though I read it, just is a book to me. I don't like this. I am asking for prayer though and I am fighting to not give up. I am counseling myself to trust God and lean on Him and seek Him even though it is difficult. My head hurts and the days are very much like the next. Tomorrow I will read the Word again and serve my family again and I pray that God will...not me...God will keep me fighting to good fight in little ways as well as big!

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tired tonight

Was up early. Spent time in the Word. Accomplished a lot but kind of in a funk. Not sleeping well...I am pretty sure the enemy is attacking. I am going to bed internet world!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bought by blood

Today, I was reading in Acts 20 and came upon a phrase that I love. Paul is preaching and exhorting the elders of the church to watch over the flock, the church of God, "which he obtained with his own blood." I love the truth that is communicated in that phrase. When I my second baby was born God began to show me how much I love sleep, too much. Morning would come after a night of multiple feedings and I would be angry with the world and God. In His graciousness He gave me a verse, I used it as a chant each morning to motivate me to get out of bed. 
 "19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 

I used it more out of guilt then love though. Jesus Christ gave up His life for me the least I could do is get up and serve my family.  

The Truth has stayed with me, growing with my knowledge of Him. He paid a great price for me. He obtained me, with his own blood. The truth is beautiful and I have enjoyed meditating on it and worshiping Him today because of the love shown through the price paid, for me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

French food and God's plan

If you know me, then you know that I love to cook and I love to share. The problem has always been that my perfectionism (TRUTH: rebellion of God as sovereign) would get in the way and I would become a monster in preparation for guests that were arriving. It has been so bad that Tommy has stopped inviting people and asked me to stop inviting people too. It just isn't worth it. This was crushing. Not only did I have to give up a service that I loved and thought very necessary to all believers and wives in particular I was no longer being an example of hospitality and fellowship to my children. I wanted to teach them but my own sin was preventing this from happening. I felt sad and ashamed.

I don't know if it is because of what God is doing in my life or if it has nothing to do with anything (impossible) but Tommy invited a family to come to dinner tonight. I was reservedly excited. I asked Tommy what I should make and molded, filled, crepes came up. Sure, I thought, I love to cook french food! The Lord has blessed this week with opportunities to not stress, be restful (because of illnesses) and trust in His plan for our days and week. Friday morning came and I began preparing dinner at 9 am. Worked on a little school with the kids while I made crepes and tried to tell myself I wasn't feeling as sick as I was. By 1:30 all my dishes were dirty and the dinner was ready except for the final heating. Nap from 1:30 to 2:30. Now it was time for dessert to be made and the kitchen, living room, dining room to be cleaned up. If you have small children then you know that cleaning before this time would be pointless. I could feel the stress starting to build. Tommy had to leave to pick up Christian, Tobie (a very capable helper) went with him. The babies were sleeping and I was left with Daniel...who was crying and I was feeling worse then before. Yes, the stress was building.

I gave Daniel a simple task that he has done many times before. He couldn't do it. More tears. I encouraged him, reassured him he could do it and sent him back to persevere. More tears, he just couldn't do it. Empty threats through gritted teeth and an attempt at disingenuous encouragement. Then I sent him back again. More tears. More stress. Here is where the Lord stepped in though. Pray Helen. He reminded me to pray and not just pray in my head, in the quiet of my heart but with Daniel.

We stopped what we were doing, both of us stopped. We talked about who was coming over and how excited we were. I explained that we love these people and want them to be welcomed and serve them well for God's glory and not because we want them to be impressed. We want to work hard out of humility, putting our guests first. Then we prayed, holding hands, asking God to keep us humble and to give us strength to persevere in the hard work. It worked in my heart, changed my attitude but it took a little more "correcting" for Daniel but he did persevere and complete his task...and a few others.

Our guests never did come over. I kept getting worse and symptoms showed up in two other family members...just the stage of life we are in, it will be over soon I'm told. It was a good day though. God used it for His glory again and His purposes. I am encouraged!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

To the Praise of His Glorious Grace

I am coming to realize that there are so many things in my life and in my heart that I say that I believe but my actions, thoughts, desires all point to the opposite. I have talked about it earlier, how I rebel against God as creator when I reject His creation (like my daughter, or husband, or that angry checkout clerk at the store) and I rebel against Him as sovereign when I fight against His plan for my day. The truth is I naturally worship myself. This is another of those truths that I have always said that I believe (I am an idol factory and put myself on the throne constantly) but until recently I have enjoyed my blind ignorance of how deep that worship of myself goes and what it specifically looks like.

A few weeks ago I had a complete selfish, hormonally amplified, me-tantrum, worship service. It was ugly. Tears...lots of tears. I left the house, sat in the car and basically gave up all responsibility of my family for that evening. I took my Bible with me and read it. I cried out to God but really all I could say was that I knew I was wrong but didn't know why or what to do because all I wanted was____. After the kids went to bed, I went back into the house and tried to restore the relationship between Tommy and I. He wasn't buying it but I had calmed down enough to talk and listen and reason. I honestly don't remember what was being said until late into the conversation when I told him my one request. I only want ____. I pray that I will never forget what Tommy said next. He (very gently) said, "Helen, I can do that but it won't be enough. If you look at where your request're asking me to worship you."

I was broken. It hurt.

It was beautiful. I thank God for using Tommy to show me why my desires were so wrong, evil even. I thank Him that He opened my eyes to see and receive this truth and that through Grace, because of Jesus' sacrifice I could repent and be forgiven. I thank Him also for the resurrection of Christ so that I have hope that no matter how bad and ugly it gets here, this life, this struggle, this flesh is not the end. Glory is to come...glory that is Jesus Christ.

I am free. Free from the curse that condemns and free to worship GOD because I am enveloped into Christ, the vine. I don't have it all down though. That evening was just the beginning of God revealing ways in which I worship myself. I am sure He will continue, in His goodness, to reveal more ways, ways that I am completely blind to right now. Even tonight, I was convicted of being quick to judge and very ungracious deep in my heart to people that I didn't even know. I am curious what that is all about and plan to seek His wisdom about the root of that reaction. I pray that I will continue to fight for purity and righteousness, to not grow weary, to continue to trust Christ and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit...especially since I know there are many more issues and sins to peel away at, one painful, God-glorifying layer at a time.

As I try to decide how to end this there is only one thing I can think the praise of His glorious grace! So here it is, Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us[b] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just a little thought

I have been battling a short but painful stomach bug today so my energy was focused on surviving without destroying my family in the process. I did make some time this afternoon to read in the Word and just wanted to share some thoughts...nothing deep or amazing here.

In Acts 15 there have been Jewish believers who are going to the gentiles and telling them they must be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas are not very happy about this and when logically arguments are not persuasive they decide to return to Jerusalem to sort out this mess. When they stand before the council some of the Pharisees argue that this is a correct requirement. Then Peter stands up. I had to smile, Peter, the same Peter that was impulsive and failed so miserably but was reinstated. This Peter who is now wise because of suffering, age, and failure says, "Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."

There reaction: silence, because he spoke the truth and convicted them of their wrong thinking by pointing to the True and Right way.

This is what I have been pondering today.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Well, today was not a horrible day but groceries, family, work (sewing), sleeping all took priority over the Word today. Sad to admit but I thought of it often and just chose to do something else. Looking forward to tomorrow when I will have food to chew on! Off to bed and a little reading before I fall asleep.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Gospel as recited by Paul

Since, I have been speaking often about Christ promised and shadowed in the Old Testament I wanted to share what I read today from the New Testament. The Apostle Paul preaching sermon about Christ after reading from the Law and the Prophets (aka the Old Testament)

Acts 13:15-39 emphasis added

15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17  The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with[b] them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23  Of this man's offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33  this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you.’
34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’
36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed[c] from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.


Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Friday...

I know this will be a little late for some of you but it is still worth the couple of minutes. Brought tears of joy to my eyes and I couldn't help but praise Him!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Things to come

It is 10:30 and I feel very burdened to share with you what God revealed to me during the two months that I was not blogging. However that will probably be multiple parts and it is too late to get started now. Pray for me as I seek to honor Him in His redemptive work: dethroning idols, filling up with the Holy Spirit, raising me in Christ as I die to myself. He is beautiful and I want to give Him Glory and praise His name.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Even a Threshing Floor

It's late so I just want to share a quick thought. I love how the more you look for Christ in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, the more God allows you to see it. Great lesson from my Dear Husband on 2 Samuel 24 this evening. King David sins against God. King David repents and trusts wholly on the mercy of God to forgive and discipline. God leads David to a threshing floor in Jerusalem. David buys it and builds an altar to make sacrifices and in so doing brings a stop to the outpouring of wrath on Israel.

Good stuff but here is where it gets VERY interesting. The threshing floor? Mt. Moria...the same place that Abraham obeyed God and brought Isaac to offer up as a sacrifice and God graciously provided a substitute. Now David offers sacrifices on behalf of the people to stay God's wrath and the same place where the temple will be built. The temple, a continual picture of what will come, a constant arrow pointing to what will be: a man who is God who will die as a substitute sacrifice for the sinner who believes, to permanently settle the sinners debt and stop the wrath of God.

Amen! Praise God for the sacrifice of Jesus and the hope that comes from the resurrection of Jesus and His triumph over death and this world!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

He Created Her

Today, while being very aware of each time something did not go according to my plan and being aware of my response, God graciously showed me how another common, accepted truth is being challenged in my heart. God is the Creator. I know, you are probably smiling to yourself with raised eyebrows, asking in your heart if I am losing it. No, I am not confessing a disbelief in a basic truth but a incomplete understanding and therefor lack of faith in that truth. God is gracious and patient though and He has sent me two books (one by Tripp and one by Carolyn Mahaney) to help me see in what areas I am fighting Him as Creator.

If God is Creator that means He created each person. He created each specific physical attribute, the shape of my nose, my height, the color of my hair, my ears, etc and He created those traits in my personality as well. He created those things in me and He created them in you and He created them in my family members. Purposefully. Intentionally. With infinite wisdom. He also purposefully, intentionally, with infinite wisdom, created Tommy and gave us five children. Not just any children but the ones that we have. 

I love my children...but they irritate me often. One, irritates me because of how much he is like me. One irritates me because of how much she is not like me. That one God has been using as an instrument of refining lately. God is using this child because I look at her ruining my day, everyday with the same behavior and I am exhausted because I don't know how to respond. She is who God made her to be, we're not talking about sin but who she is and I don't understand. I don't get her and since I don't get it and it's not my way I want to reject it (not her) as something wrong in her that needs to be fixed. How sad. What a terrible confession. I, too often, reject this trait that God has given my daughter, the daughter that He purposefully, intentionally, with infinite wisdom made and purposefully, intentionally, with infinite wisdom gave to me.

How should I respond? With love for her and awe for our Creator. He knows how to respond to her and how to love her and He knows that I think my day is being ruined...but it's not. I cannot make this change in me. I cannot try hard enough to respond rightly, with Christ-like love. I need the Holy Spirit's power in me. Lord teach me to love and delight in the unique and special way you have created this girl and help me to embrace you completely as Creator.

Monday, April 2, 2012

His Perfect Will

Tommy and I have started reading a book on marriage by Paul David Tripp called, "What Did You Expect?" Two chapters in and I am being very specifically challenged and not just in my relationship with Tommy but in my relationship with God. That is a good thing because as Dr. Tripp emphasizes horizontal relationships cannot be fixed or improved until the vertical relationship is right.

I will try to be more specific with how I am being challenged. I like things just-so. I try very hard to make things in my life conform to my will. I call it perfectionism. My desire for this "perfection" and drive to achieve it is becoming more and more evident in the last couple of weeks. Here is the problem. I am not perfect. I know that is a given, obvious and is very willingly admitted but I what exactly does that mean in my daily life? I am not perfect therefore my will, my deisre, my idea of "just-so" is not perfect either. When I have an issue, a frustration, a disagreement with how my day is progressing or how my children are acting or the weather or the traffic get the point, then I have an issue with God's plan for my life in that moment. He is perfect. He is sovereign and He ordained my day, moment by moment.  I cannot ordain my life no matter how hard I try.

I don't want to fight His will anymore. I tend to think that I am not fighting Him because I obey Him in "big" things like being a wife and a mom and being in ministry and not seeking after worldly things but I am realizing that while that is good, I fight Him constantly throughout my day. I complain about my nights sleep. I get militant and impatient when "the schedule" gets off. I am working out what this looks like in my heart on a daily basis. I know anger, frustration, defensiveness and impatience are not part of a heart submitted, moment by moment to the will of God. I want to be full of the Holy Spirit as Stephen was so that when my day, schedule, life is being demolished...large or small...I don't question or fight His perfect will but I worship and pray.

55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together[b] at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.  -Acts 7