Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Whispers in the Dark

"What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!"
Matt 10:27


(that is Tim and Reece... God taught me this truth a long time ago. I just have to go back and remember TRUTH. I have to be REMINDED a lot.)

Sometimes, God allows us into dark places in order to draw us close to Himself. 
You can't hear a whisper without being close.


I am in a dark place. I'll just say it. It isn't a sin to admit when you are in dark places. It is probably closer to sinning when we are too prideful to admit where we are.  Every believer goes through darkness.

It has been the "perfect storm" so to speak. One that I know God has allowed for my good. Since my sweet baby was born, I have been nursing him every 1-2 hours just to watch him spit it all back up. He got down to the 5th percentile. :( At 6 months, he just started reflux medicine. Now, he is able to keep food in his tummy and he is growing. I praise God for that. He is sleeping better and GROWING!  It makes me think of when we are drinking our "spiritual milk"... are we receiving it or throwing it back up?
 Our hearts have to receive God's Word so that it can nourish us and so that we will GROW.

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation"
1 Peter 2:2

I don't want to have spiritual reflux and reject God's Word. If that is you, please ask God to soften your heart and give you the faith to receive the Word... before you starve to death.

After I have a baby, I struggle. Hormones+sleep deprivation= trouble for me. It has been a very lonely hard season. I miss my family. I don't like doing life without family. Yet, this is where God has us and we have to depend on our Church "family" more than I would like. 

A couple weeks ago, I went home to visit my grandparents and while I was there... mom got the DEVASTATING news that her breast cancer had metastasized and had come back in a new place. Our world started spinning. Now, my mom and my dad are both battling stage 4 cancer.  
(As I am typing this, I just got news from my parents who are both at MD Anderson in Houston that my dad's scans were clear! Hallelujah! God is hearing our prayers. God is healing my dad. It truly is a miracle.)
I love my family. I need my mom. 
My mom led me to the Lord. I watched her read her Bible in the mornings so I knew God was real when my college professors told me He wasn't. It was her breast cancer 20 years ago that God used to draw me to Himself.
She made (makes) motherhood so beautiful. She is full of grace and beauty. She makes everything beautiful that she touches.  She is feminine. She loves flowers, pedicures, and makeup. She loves decorating. She loves baking cakes. 
I want to be like her when I grow up.
Please pray God would heal her. She is in a lot of pain and I can't bear the thought of my mom suffering.

I am so thankful they have each other to fight this battle as a team.
God is drawing them both to Himself.


(mom and dad before dad's scary surgery a year and a half ago)
You would think as many trials as God has rescued our family from and as many miracles as we have seen, that we would be headed into this storm expectant.
God has done so much more than we could have ever asked or imagined.
He is GOOD.
Dad told me that he thinks God healed him so he could take care of my mom.

********************************

In addition to that I have been going through another very heavy trial in my personal life that has left me wounded. A wound that felt too deep to ever heal. I don't know about you but sometimes the enemy seems to sucker punch us when we are vulnerable...
 leaving an injury that will never heal. 

As I wrestled it out with the Lord, He directed me to Jer 30...

 "This is what the LORD says:
“Your injury is incurable—
a terrible wound.
There is no one to help you
or to bind up your injury.
No medicine can heal you...

(it was as if the Lord was saying, Yes... this is a bad one. A real one. A terrible wound that no medicine can heal... YET.... YET......)

 I will...heal your wounds,” says the LORD."

I hope that encourages you as much as it does me. Because we are going to get wounded here. Everybody has been wounded. There is no medicine for these kinds of wounds. (Btw, if you are depending on medicine for healing your heart, it won't work. Figure out how to safely get off of it.)

There is only ONE Who can heal our wounds. Only One who took our wounds upon Himself.
"He personally carried our sins

in his body on the cross

so that we can be dead to sin

and live for what is right.

By his wounds.

you are healed."
1 Peter 2:24


"He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed."
Is 53:5

You CAN be healed! That is GOOD NEWS! That is the gospel. That God loved you SO much that He sent His One and Only Son to heal you. To heal you from the power of sin...
By the power of the gospel, we are invited into the throneroom of grace to get HELP in our time of need!
He heals us and gives us back our joy. Cling to Him if you are wounded. Imagine His Word as your neosporin. We run to so many wrong places looking for healing. God, alone, can heal you. Run to Him.
*********************
My children are really ministering to me these days. They are so precious to me. I love every moment I get to be a mother.
I have girls asking me some of the same questions a lot so I will try and put some of my thoughts out here for others to read.

Boys and video games:
I don't like most electronics. I don't see value in them. I see them paving a road in my little boys heart to crave things that aren't real and that can never satisfy. In a world where boys are being held captive by video games and porn, I try to avoid it as much as I can.
We have a Wii that they play a couple times a week. They don't have iphones or ipads. I don't want to download most games because they are addictive. I have told my boys that God wants them to be "alert" and "ready for action". The games take you into a world that isn't real while the world around you is dying for the gospel, truth, and love. Boys are made to win battles. I don't want mine to get their fix in a virtual world so that they have no desire to win battles in the real world. Again, self-control and moderation are key but protect your sons and encourage them to win spiritual battles. To fight for the weak and vulnerable. To use their God-given weapons. The most exciting adventure is to fight the Lord's battles and win in His strength. 
Their generation desperately needs warriors whose minds are sharp and ready for action.

How do I know how many children to have?
This one is so close to my heart. I think I would have 100. I love children. I love being a vessel of Elohim as He creates life in my womb. I love raising children. I love big families. 

This is a hard question because each couple has different abilities. We have different callings and different visions given by the Lord. Child-rearing is not a competitive sport. We, mothers, cannot find our identity in motherhood.  
First, pray with your spouse for God to give you and your husband UNITY. 
UNITY in this decision is CRITICAL.
Without unity, you could be looking at years of bitterness and a wedge in your marriage. Seek unity before making the decision to have another child... or not to. Pray that God would move in husband's heart. Husband's tend to have the eyes in the relationship and wives have the heart. Both are needed. Both are good. Ask God to bring those 2 things together.

 "I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."
2 Chr 7:16

I don't want to be a strung out mom with a husband who is spread too thin. Yes, we TOTALLY depend on the Lord but we have to use wisdom too.
We can only give according to what we have. 
This is where you evaluate what you have.
How strong is your marriage? Is your vine (marriage) strong enough to support many branches (children)?
Do you have a support system?
Do you have the ability to provide for the children?
How is your health?
How is your husband doing spiritually?
How are your children doing spiritually?
What has God called you to do?
What gifts has He given you?

We can't give what we don't have.
 "Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. 
And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have."
2 Cor 8:12

Discipleship takes TIME.
Tim and I want to know each child. We want to be available for each child and guide them each in the way they should go.
I want to teach my children the Word.
That is getting really hard with 6.
You should see us at the baseball fields trying to watch 4 play at the same time. This is definitely getting interesting.

I want to be a loving mom.
Not so overwhelmed that I am no good to anybody.
It has started to feel like that at times. I have to trust that God's grace is going to give me the ability to continue. It will NOT be in my own strength. I ran out of that day 1 of motherhood.

We also each have different convictions. I cannot use most birth control because of the chance of it causing an abortion. I also don't like decisions that close the door forever. I don't want to make a decision that can't be undone if God changes hearts. But that is ME. Those are MY convictions. Not everyone has those same convictions. 

Ask God to search your heart and show you what is BEST. Be available to do whatever God is asks you to do. Whether that is submitting to your husband's desires to not have another child or being a vessel for God, stepping out in faith and raising another precious child.

A couple more random thoughts... 
My heart broke as one of my favorite Bible teachers fell into sin recently. Very sobering. Was reminded Sunday of when the disciples were having the last supper with Jesus and He said... "One of you is going to betray me". This was their response...
"And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, 
“Lord, is it I?”
Matt 26:22

That should be our posture before Jesus... knowing that we could at anytime be capable of betraying Him. We have to work out our salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING. We need accountability. We need the Word EVERYDAY. 
We need to constantly be asking Jesus, 
"Is it I?"

I brush my teeth every night. 
But every morning my breath STINKS. It is the same with our inner girl. We have to clean her EVERY day. Our sinful natures are constantly pulling us in the wrong direction. We have to renew our minds... every day. Our inner girl needs good hygiene. Remember that every time you wash your hair, cut your toenails, brush your teeth, put on deoderant, etc... Your inner girl needs to be washed and taken care of EVERY DAY. 

Next random thoughts:
I used to be a Version snob. I used to only use the NKJV. I have lightened up so much since teaching children. Be careful not to get so attached to one version of the Bible. 

The Bible does not say we are to preach the gospel to ourselves. It says to go into the world and preach the gospel. The American Church is getting so self-focused, it can't share the gospel effectively. It is a deceptive trick. Turns into self-absorption, self-help before we realize it. SPREAD the gospel. Don't sit around lighting candles, breathing deep, and preaching the gospel to yourself. There simply isn't time for that. We are stewards. If you know that gospel... share it. 
"God has trusted us with the message that people may be brought back to him.  So we are Christ's official messengers. It is as if God were making his appeal through us."
2 Cor 5:19,20

Be careful what teachers are influencing you. So many are turning to man's wisdom instead of God's. Intellectualism has become god. If you want a safe Bible teacher to listen to, click here. Mark raised me in the Lord. He is a good teacher. 
False teachers are so slick. Never obvious. It is a subtle slide when you start following a false teacher. Just like when you are swimming in the ocean current. You don't realize you are being moved until you look up and can't find your beach chair anywhere. Be CAREFUL. I don't want to name names but if they are wildly popular these days, use discernment. 

One last thing...
Single girls, WAIT on God's best. I am so blessed to be able to go to weddings of the girls who have decided to wait on God's best and I am BLOWN AWAY by the faithfulness of God.
I don't care if you have to wait until you are 99 years old.
Do it. 
It is worth it.
Serve while you wait.
Trust God.
Don't settle.
Marrying a guy who doesn't love Jesus is like emotional hell that you can't get out of. 
If you are in sexual sin, get out and save your soul.
God doesn't give us what we deserve. He gives us so much more than anything we have ever earned.
God has a plan for you that is good.
You can choose your husband or let God bring you to the man you were made for.
I truly believe that when I get to heaven I will discover that God used part of Tim's rib when He knit me together in my mom's womb.
I believe there is ONE.
Wait. Pray. Serve. Then repeat.
God knows YOU will fit into a glass slipper one day.
He writes the BEST love stories.

I was so blessed to go to Molly and Josh's beautiful wedding.
A true love story.
A prince sent from THE Prince.
Molly, the ultimate princess.. adorned in grace and beauty.
Their wedding in an airplane hanger. 
God was there. He was glorified.
2 people made into 1... brought together for holy purposes.


video

Pictures of Life... beautiful life!
















 Reece is Nebuchadnezzar.
That's Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego.


"So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire.  Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. 
They didn’t even smell of smoke!
 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God."
Daniel 3:26-28



I hope you are encouraged. Life is hard. God is faithful. 
Jesus is our firm unshakable foundation.
He the rock Who is higher than the waters that we can hang on to while the waves beat against us.
When we go through the waters, He is with us.
The rivers won't sweep over us.
The fire won't burn us.

 Wounds are real.
God is able to heal you. 

Please pray for my mom.

Be blessed~
Steph






2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen on so many good points!!! I pray God will lift you up out of the valley, and praying for your mom, too. Erin Lynn

Anonymous said...

Psalm 91 pray over your mom and family every day.
Linda :)