Life is whizzing by at our house. For once, I had a few minutes to write because 3 of the kids are at a jump park with a friend, two are watching a movie and Tim took Rhett in the stroller for a run. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL here. We went to the beach with friends for Fall Break but "red tide" was there when we were and made us all sick. Especially Lake. It triggered his asthma so we were inside doing breathing treatments most of the time. Lake had a severe asthma attack there once which was very very scary. He collapsed in the ER and had an allergic reaction to an IV antibiotic they gave him so we got to go by ambulance to the nearest Children's hospital. Tim and the rest of the kids stayed in the Ronald McDonald house while I stayed with Lake praying my brains out. That memory is still fresh in my mind. It probably always will be so I really just wanted to come home when his asthma flared again down there. But, we stayed and made the most of it. I think my favorite place is home. Traveling with 6 children is stressful. Especially when you are prone to crisis... like we seem to be.
That's why I made our bedroom as pretty & romantic as possible so we could "pretend" to be on vacation instead of actually going somewhere. :)
My beautiful friends who are still crazy enough to go on vacation with me and my family!
Yes, I kiss his face off.
They actually just had birthdays!
Both of them were born on October 12. 2 years apart!
Crew turned 4. Rhett turned 2.
Every year, God reminds me that He doesn't just give life... He gives ABUNDANT life.
Last year, their birthday really ministered to me after my dad died.
This year, it reminded me once again that there is LIFE after death.
That, as believers in Jesus, we are PRISONERS of hope.
We can't escape hope. And God restores TWICE as much to us...
"Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you."
I like this version a lot...
"Come back to the place of safety,
all you prisoners who still have hope!
I promise this very day
that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles."
So, we had a SUPERHERO birthday party...
Tim really is a super-hero.
He protects us and fights battles that only I (and the Lord) see.
He gets more handsome every year.
Still can't believe I'm the girl that gets to hold his hand and kiss him. :)
No doubt I am his damsel in distress.
I praise God for these 2 little boys. They seem to be more attached to me than any of my older ones. Maybe they subconsciously know how much I fought it out in prayer for THEM TO BE HERE! :)
Oh, the battles I have fought for my children. There is so much opposition in the spiritual realm to having children and training them up in the Lord.
I know we walk around with a bulls eye on us.
Not because we are super-spiritual.
Simply because of Jesus in us and in our children.
But PRAISE GOD HE LIVES IN US!
Have you ever seen one of those blow up toys that you can't knock over? It always pops right back up? That is what having Jesus in me feels like. I will get CLOBBERED by an attack from the enemy and think it was a mortal blow and then (by the power of Jesus) I stand up again.
I have thought I was knocked out of the race dozens of time.
I have told Tim, "I won't recover from this one".
And, somehow gravity pulls me back up.
We are being pulled UP by the Holy Spirit. Up toward heaven.
"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me."
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will HIMSELF restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
1 Peter 5
God is really proving His power to me lately. He is showing me that His Word is true when it says He is a shield around us.
"My shield is God Most High"
The other day, God really spoke to me through Lake. Lake was playing with a bug and the bug flew off his hand and flew straight into a spider's web. Then it just flew right off of it. Lake came running to me, "momma, that bug flew right into the spider's web and just flew off of it!".
Immediately I thought of the Christ-life. It's like the enemy has cast this huge web to trap people and destroy their lives but if we are walking in the Holy Spirit's power, it cannot trap us.
His web has no power over us.
"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.
To Him be glory for ever and ever.
2 Tim 4:18
"the One who was born of God keeps them safe,
and the evil one cannot harm them."
1 John 5:18
If you are not a believer in Jesus, it DOES have power over you.
Cry out to Jesus tonight to be your Savior! You will receive power and protection from God. You will be kept safe under His wing!
Confess your sins and ask Jesus to save you.
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and
believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved."
This doesn't mean life is going to be a walk in the park.
Jesus said, "in this world, you will have TROUBLE".
Since I gave my life to Christ, I have been through some DARK valleys.
My flesh still gets aggravated with people who don't seem to have trials in their lives (beyond a sinus infection).
God has allowed me to have much SORROW.
He has allowed me to endure pain for years.
Physical and emotional.
I have had to learn how to FIGHT depression and oppression.
Is 53 tells us that Jesus was a man of many sorrows.
If we are going to be like Christ, sorrow is part of KNOWING HIM.
But, you know what is cool?
God is with us in all of it.
God is THERE.
Hope often prays,
"God thank you for all the good stuff... but not the bad stuff".
And I correct her:
"Baby, thank God for the good stuff and that He turns the bad stuff into GOOD STUFF. There is no one like our God."
"To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;"
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;"
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose."
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to
accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
God is teaching me that He sees the BIG picture.
He sees a dying world that needs to be saved, and He will use our discomfort to reach them. He will also use our discomfort to purify us and draw us closer to Him.
This verse (below) BLEW me away when I was struggling to understand why I was STILL dealing with something I thought God would have COMPLETELY delivered me from by now.
Then God showed me sometimes His deliverance is
"little by little".
“No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the Lord your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God.
The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you
little by little.
You will not clear them away all at once,
otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you.
But the Lord your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed"
Oh!!!! You mean... God has a strategy? That it's not all or nothing?
You mean... maybe if He delivered me all at once, there would be more danger lurking?
That maybe...just maybe... He is delivering me little by little on purpose?
AND FOR MY GOOD?
This truth is found in Exodus 23 too:
"I will send hornets ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.
But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.
Little by little I will drive them out before you,
until you have increased enough to take possession of the land."
My new prayer after reading this is
"LORD, SEND THE HORNETS AHEAD OF US!!"
We have to believe God is working.
It may not be all at once.
It may be little by little for our safety and our good.
So that we can inherit the land and not get eaten up scary "wild animals" that take over the desolate land before we get there.
God is working all things together in my life and in yours.
Timing is everything.
Believe Him and ASK HIM TO SEND THE HORNETS!! :)
I love watching Tim lead worship with our kids at Church.
Family Pictures are getting trickier every year.
Thankful ours our done!
Thanking God for all these outfits.
Every child is a miracle from heaven.
Our beloved Brooke got married.
She came to a conference and then became a PART OF OUR LIVES.
2 of my kids boo-hoo'd during her wedding.
I call her #7.
She is their big sister.
My little sister.
She loves my kids with God's love.
She has learned how to speak their language and teach them the Word.
Tim performed the ceremony. Its the second babysitter that has asked him.
What an honor! He takes it seriously too.
(that's Amanda and Travis...)
Reece has started working out with the middle school team. It is the BIGGEST BLESSING EVER.
He loves it. The coaches are awesome. He is making friends. He is getting strong.
He is also having to use his spiritual muscles as he is constantly questioned about why he doesn't go to school and why he doesn't have a girlfriend.
This is a scary thing to release my momma-grip on him and let Him begin to walk with the Lord.
I am so thankful I have had so much time with him... and will continue to.
I am also thankful for such an awesome opportunity for him to play sports at a school!
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
Lastly, I cannot encourage you enough to teach your children about the dangers of sexual sin and predators. I have taught the children Titus 2...
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
It teaches us to say “No”
to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age"
Our children need to know what is inappropriate behavior/touch and how to safeguard themselves.
They need to be comfortable saying NO. Talk to your daughters. Teach your sons to be PROTECTORS/DEFENDERS and godly men who honor their sisters in Christ. We are living in evil times where media and over-prescribed drugs have created a very dangerous culture for our children. My friend posted this in their home...
I wish this weren't an issue. I believe the statistic now is 1 in 6 children.
We are living in evil days that remind me of the days of Noah.
We have to use wisdom.
Talk to your kids.
My next blog post I want to talk about some of the strange new books/curriculums that are hitting our kids. Be careful of this new wave of "Finding Jesus in the Old Testament". It is getting really weird. Obviously Jesus can be found in the Old Testament but these teachers aren't using correct Typology. They are using Allegory and mystical strange ideas.
Keep it simple. Teach your kids that the Bible means what it says. That they don't need to look for mystical hidden meanings.
As they get older and have a better handle on rightly dividing Scripture, then we can get into correct Typology.
They just need the basics. Don't get lured in by the promise of secret/hidden knowledge.
It's just high sounding nonsense that looks spiritual.
On that note, I will sign off and tell you that God is FAITHFUL.
Jesus is coming for us soon.
We have to live by faith. Like the people in Hebrews 11.
I miss blogging. I miss hearing from you all.
May God bless you from Zion and give you the desires of your heart.