It is Sunday afternoon. The older 3 have wrestling practice and 2 are playing and Rhett is sleeping. I actually had a few minutes where I could sit and write! Gone are the days where I could write for hours during nap time. There is no more "nap time" where everybody sleeps and I have 3 free hours in the afternoon. Every second is accounted for now. God has truly given us LIFE TO THE FULL and we are so thankful.
We celebrated birthdays Oct 12 for Rhett (1) and Crew (2). It was such a symbolic day for me on many levels.
The world told us not to have any more children. If we would have listened to them, we wouldn't know these precious children. Has it been hard to have 6 children? YES. It is hard. But we wouldn't trade it for the world. These two little ones have brought so much life to our family. The children beg to hold Rhett or get him out of bed. They are in awe at every new thing he does. Hope especially loves him. She gets panicked when she realizes he isn't going to be a baby forever. She says she wants another baby brother.
It also meant so much to me to celebrate life after death. And not just one life, 2!
2 baby boys born 2 years apart on the same day.
Rhett is wild and tough. Maybe because of being number 6. Hope is wild too and she is the one who is always inches away from him. She bawled at the pediatrician's office when he had to get a shot.
He is strong and I whole-heartedly believe it is because God made him strong. He was so small and puny when he was little. So many tummy issues that caused him to lose weight and get frightfully small. I begged God to make him strong and now he has big, fat, juicy thighs and is constantly moving. He doesn't like to be strapped down. He needs wide open spaces.
I don't complain about how active he is though because he is healthy and strong. I just chase him and my biceps are constantly burning from holding a child who is trying to GET DOWN AND GO.
I am so thankful God gave him to us. Tim went to schedule a vasectomy and had a consultation after Crew and God spoke clearly to his heart IN THE WAITING ROOM that it wasn't His best and he canceled the appointment. Oh, how I praise God that he canceled that appointment. We don't deserve to have Rhett. We would have chosen to not have him unless God intervened in such an obvious way in Tim's heart.
Crew is 3 now!
He is snuggly and sporty and afraid of his own shadow. He is my "leg-baby". He is constantly hanging on to my leg or wanting me to carry him. His personality is so cute because he is very athletic yet he is the biggest momma's boy of the bunch.
He sleeps with his helmet and balls. When he comes into our bed in the night, he brings his helmet.
His name means chariot and my prayer for him is that he would prepare the way for the return of Jesus. I believe our children's generation will see the coming of the Lord. The stage is set His return. These children were born into the fiercest battles. I tell the boys that God saved his best soldiers for the last battles.
It grieves me the darkness they will have to encounter but God knew that when he chose the exact time and place for them to be born.
"From one man he made all the people of the world.
Now they live all over the earth.
He decided exactly when they should live.
And he decided exactly where they should live."
God has a very specific plan for Crew. I can't wait to watch it unfold.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Crew is so cute and so sweet. We love him to pieces.
Hope has had a great year cheerleading. She learned a lot and had fantastic coaches. What a blessing when God brings gifted people into the lives of our children to pour into them!
Kickball at the birthday party is serious. Tim's goofing around in this picture but the adults have been known to TAKE IT UP A NOTCH. Play at your own risk, kids.
I will really miss football. We are in the playoffs now. I am always sad when football is over.
It has surprised me how much I love it.
I love watching the children develop and use their God-given talent. I love to think about how fun it must be for God to watch His children thriving and growing in their giftings. He loves to watch you, His child, as you grow in your knowledge of Him and in your strengths. Every time I watch a football game with the boys and it replays a guy's fumble in slow motion OVER AND OVER, I silently thank God that He doesn't replay my mistakes in slow motion for the world to see and analyze. God doesn't do that. He doesn't desire to humiliate us but covers over our failures and faults. He actually played the game perfectly and then gives us His stats and takes ours. It's the ultimate life-swap.
We are just to trust Him and His abilities instead of ours. And when we fumble, to trust Him to coach us to do better next time and get back up no matter how bad it hurt.
I have started working out in the mornings. It has been a huge blessing. The first time I went to the classes everybody had big muscles and I was using my birthing breathing just trying to survive the class! It has been very humbling to start going back to the gym. I am sore every day. But as I push my body through the pain of the classes and the soreness, I am reminded of how hard LIFE is. That it requires endurance and determination. And, as I push through and continue to go to the gym even when I don't want to... I am getting STRONGER. It has been very therapeutic for me as I have been battling despair and anxiety since my dad died and my mom's cancer diagnosis. By God's grace, I am getting back to a much healthier place.
Sometimes I grieve that I will never be the same after being violated by death and losing someone I loved so much. My sheltered world just got invaded by death and the effects of it.
But, God has seriously come along side me in this valley. I understand Psalm 23 in a much deeper way now. It is God's presence that has sustained me.
I look at the wrinkles around my eyes. I hope they are from smiles and not tears.
But, I am smiling again because God is restoring me and I can feel again because God came and rescued me out of the captivity of despair.
God has used Tim in my life to show me His love.
God has been so kind to give me a godly husband. I had no idea how much I would need Tim when we married. Tim and the children have surrounded me with joy and life. God buffered me with so much goodness because He knew the road would be hard.
I am so thankful to serve a compassionate God who shelters us in so many ways.
God teaches us how to rely on Him through trial but He truly won't give us more than we can bear.
I didn't used to understand that but now I believe it is Biblical.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now."
I have seen first hand how He has protected me spiritually through this season not letting it take me under. He has carried the bulk of the weight. He has called in angelic reinforcements. I have seen miracles. He has sent people to me to give me the Word that sustains the weary.
I have seen HIS HAND OF MERCY withholding what I could not bear.
He provides just what we need when we need it.
He will bear the things we cannot.
He knows WE ARE DUST.
He knows a human heart is only capable of so much grief.
He will rescue you and me from being crushed by hardship, child of God.
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you...
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Cor 4
I am burdened by the girl who took her own life due to cancer. I have never had cancer but I have definitely suffered in different seasons of life. Sometimes I felt like it was more than I could bear... Haven't we all? To some degree or another, we are all going to suffer. The just and the unjust. If you have no understanding of eternal things or a fear of God, then why not take a pill and end your life?
But, there is more to it than that. God has a purpose for it all and every breath is a gift on this side of heaven. Our country has chosen to end the lives of the unborn now it will seek to end the lives of the "born". We no longer value LIFE or the Elohim (the Creator of all life). We are living in a culture of death where death trumps suffering. But, what does the Word of God say?
It says that suffering has value. That is is pre-ordained. Again, that He will bear the bulk of it. That perseverance must finish its work in our lives. That we have WORK ASSIGNED to us that needs to be completed and that is spreading the good news that Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost!
"But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God."
"Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus...So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen."
2 Tim 2
Suffering does not justify (glorified) suicide. As hard as life may be, we have to press in to the Lord and trust Him that He will give us the ability to endure.
The secret place of suffering is so powerful that is where we have the closest intimacy with Jesus Christ.
|"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death"|
"And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name."
The enemy of our souls doesn't want us to come into the "secret place" so that we may KNOW the Lord. He will offer us every detour or pill to get us away from the secret place of suffering because it is there that we SEE... really SEE Jesus Christ for Who He is. I wonder if when we get to heaven, we will have wished to have yielded to suffering more in order to have known Christ more.
But that is not what our world pushes. It pushes DEATH.
I hope and pray that I will have sufficient courage to exalt God in my body whether by life or by death. I want every last breath to be used for God's glory. Either continuing to spread the gospel (like Billy Graham) or praising Him.
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
My heart breaks for the girl who took her life and for her family. If only she would have known how much God loves her and how He would have held her through it ALL until her final breath. Never leaving her for a second. Empowering her to do what SHE COULD NOT.
Jesus was a Man of many Sorrows. He knows suffering in a way none of us every will.
He would have drawn near to her as she battled cancer. Who knows if He would have healed her? Were angels on their way to help her when she swallowed that pill?
I believe that EVERY ONE of us will get to a point in our life where taking a pill would seem very tempting. Whether its physical suffering, emotional suffering, marital problems, or another a situation that seems crushing. But taking one's own life is not an option for the believer. Our hope is in Jesus Christ. In His ability to meet us and give us the strength (HIS STRENGTH) to keep going for another minute... or another hour... or another day.
We all get disillusioned by trials in life. It can be BRUTAL when you realize you aren't in Kansas anymore.
I have thought a lot lately about Joseph.
How confusing it must have been when his brothers betrayed him and through him in a pit. Then sold into slavery. Then falsely accused by Potipher's wife.
(BTW, I have decided there is something called Potipher's Wife Syndrome.. PWS.
It is when someone wants something they can't have and when they can't have it they turn on their victim and falsely accuse them).
If Joseph would have decided to end his life in any part of his suffering, he would have missed out on SO MUCH. Restoration, redemption, miracles, faith, etc...
If anybody had the right to "die with dignity" and kill themselves wouldn't it of been JOB?
But, no... he stayed the course and was able to say,
"I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth."Job 19:25
"Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life."Job 42:16,17
His Word will be where we find our strength. I look back on my life and grieve over decisions I made simply out of IGNORANCE. I didn't know what the Word of God said. I didn't know how MUCH God loved me and the plans He had for me.
The enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus desires to give you life. He can make a way. He always makes a way of escape.
Stay yielded to Him... seeking His face and His help.
Everywhere in Scripture it says that our troubles are MOMENTARY and last a LITTLE WHILE.
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
2 Cor 4:17
Don't give up. God has a purpose for your life. He has good works for you to do before you spend eternity in heaven.
May we suffer well as good soldiers.
Please don't give up.
Open your Bible... not a bottle.
It is ALIVE and breathing. You will find life there.
Start in John if you have never read your Bible.
God will give you understanding and comfort.
God will help you endure and reward your perseverance.
I love being a mother. I love my children. God has given me more than I ever dreamed. He has given me such purpose.
Tim was a HUNK for Halloween.
We have started remodeling our house. It's exciting. I'll post updates as we go...
We are in a sweet and healthy place spiritually. Our Church is a huge blessing.
God is bringing peace and wholeness.
My life isn't free from trial by any means but God is faithful and like Job,
I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
1 Cor 2:9