Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

"Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"
1 Chr 17:16
I just got back from catching lightning bugs (that is what we call them in the South) with Lake. While I was out there with him I was overwhelmed with emotion watching him run and laugh and jump. He said, "Momma, this is the most fun we have ever had together". 
His innocence. His joy. His love for me. It all overwhelmed me. 
I am his MOTHER. God gave him to me...
 along with 4 others who are equally loved and cherished. 
How did this happen? Is this a dream?
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"
1 Cor 2:9

Standing out on the golf course, my mind took me back to the night I gave my life to Jesus Christ when I was in college. When I told the Lord that I was ALL His and I asked Him to use my life for His glory. I was on my face in repentance begging for forgiveness for years of rebellion and sin. He took that girl off her face and began to teach me His Word. I prayed for a godly husband and after 4 years of God preparing me, He blessed me with a godly husband whom He had kept for me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tim is the "one the Lord has chosen" for me (Gen 24). We met and married within 6 months. On our honeymoon, I had a similar overwhelming feeling. I was in my quiet time with the Lord when I began to weep and say, "Why, Lord?... why have you given me so much? I am undeserving of a godly husband".
Well, that particular morning in Maui, I was in Malachi 2. (I usually just start reading in Genesis and go and then do it all over again.) So, that morning, I read this...
"Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring." Malachi 2:15
I ran in and said, "Honey, I think God just told me we are going to have children!!!". I think we had been married about 72 hours at this point. Tim laughed. I think he just thought I was cute and was still wondering how he was married to a girl he didn't even know 6 months ago.  
I thought to myself, "God, Your GPS is broken. You are zeroing in on the WRONG GIRL. I have never really been a "kid" person. I really never loved babysitting... 
I just did it for the money! I don't know the first thing about raising children!!". 
But, God had placed that promise DEEP in my heart. 
I knew it was his voice.

 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

We weren't married long when we began to trust God's plan for us and we asked Him for children. 

Our firstborn was born almost 9 years ago. 

Since then God has given us 4 more. 

I had no idea the high calling of motherhood. God has asked us to do the impossible. He knows I can't do this. I am constantly begging Him to fill me with His Spirit. 
Being a mom to 5 small children is not glamorous.  It is WORK. I am pouring my life into my children. Teaching them as much as I know about Jesus everyday. We memorize and recite God's Word everyday in school. God teaches us. He meets us there. 
We have been blinded with trials. My life has NOT been a walk-in-the park. 
Blessed? YES.
Easy? NO. 

Tim and I are deeply FLAWED parents and our kids have their weaknesses. There are 7 sinners living under one roof. Most days I feel TOTALLY DEFEATED. And, then, His mercies are new the next morning to help me do what He is calling me to do.
I am passionate about teaching my children the Word. If God is going to use our children in mighty ways, they MUST know His Word. I am also passionate about keeping them from being polluted by the world. Did you realize that is just as important to God as helping widows and orphans?
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

I joke that Jesus has called me SO FAR out of the boat to walk on water (well, dance in my mind) that I can't turn back now. I can't take my eyes off of my Dance Partner's loving face. He is leading me and I am following Him. I imagine myself in a ball gown as my Prince holds out his hand to dance. 
That is my relationship with Jesus.
A dance. 
A dance through darkness and light, a dance on mountains, and in valleys, and along unfamiliar paths. But, He takes hold of my hand and leads me.
I am captured by His eyes. The piercing love..
I am undone by His love as He says the same thing to me everyday....

 "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
SOS 2:10

""I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand....I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth."
Is 42:6,16

My heart feels fragile after Lake's hospitalization last week with a severe asthma attack. God is still healing me. Something inside a mother snaps when she is holding her limp child in her arms screaming for help. I cannot tell you how I have fought for this child in the spiritual realm. I am sure that my other children will be in their own battles but, so far, it is Lake that I have had to fight the most for. I believe that God is calling Him into a ministry of worship and I think it will require FINE oil that is only found in the valley.
So, I ask God to give him the FINEST OIL and make him strong.
My heart cannot bear the thought of losing one of my children. My whole heart is in each of them. It is a VERY vulnerable feeling the more children you have. But, how much more does God, our Father, love us?

 Tim and I have no idea what we are doing. It isn't anything we have ever seen. We are asking God to lead us and show us what is BEST for our kids. We want His vision and His wisdom. 
We work around the clock caring for the kids. Raising in children is our "world". When we recently went to Atlanta and saw all the people dressed in stylish clothes and driving fancy cars to expensive restaurants, I felt so out of place. That is not our "world". Our "world" consists of dishes, baseball, guitar, diapers, spills, breast milk, devotions, oatmeal, laundry, and bedtime stories. It consists of laboring in prayer for our children. That is our "world" and I LOVE IT. I don't want anything else. I have found what I was created to do. When I am teaching my children the Word of God, I feel PURPOSE and God's POWER. 
We don't see *a lot* of fruit yet but God is allowing me to see sprouts of life in the children. My older 3 have given their lives to Christ and they truly do love Him. I am so grateful. I love to hear them pray. I love seeing the gifts God has given them. Reece is a LEADER. Evan is an EVANGELIST. Lake is a WORSHIPER. I know there is seed in there that promises not to return void. So, we keep planting and PRAY for God to pour out His Spirit on our children.

"For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and myblessing on your descendants."
Is 44:3

 For God to raise up my sons to be like well-nurtured plants...
"Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, "
Psalm 144:12

"Comemy children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD."
Ps 34:11
"I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the LORD."
Ps 22:19

And, for my spunky daughter to be a pillar carved in palace style.. 
"May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace."
Psalm 144:12
My daughter has more confidence and spunk than I will ever have. She seriously might change the world. I hope she does. I enjoy every minute with her. I still can't believe God gave her to me. They told me she was the only one dancing in her Church class tonight. She danced and danced all alone.
Oh, may she spend the rest of her life dancing with Jesus...

Crew is called "Crew-buddy". Hope calls him Crew-bubby. He is growing up! He is 7 months old today. He crawls EVERYWHERE. He doesn't have any teeth yet. He has strawberry-blonde hair and looks like me so far. He LOVES me. He wants me to hold him all the time so I do.
The boys pray he will be like John the Baptist. 
I hope he is.

 Who am I that God would bring me this far and allow ME to be a mother?
 I am a sinful girl that God picked up off that floor and set my feet on a rock. I will live the rest of my life thanking Him and serving Him.
Single girls:
If you are in a relationship now with a man who isn't godly, break it off. NOW.
Don't forfeit all God has for you for a little idol.
Let Jesus be your portion. He is ENOUGH. But, He also loves to give good gifts to those who ask Him.

Happy Mother's Day!
'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty." Zec 4:6


Claire said...

Wow....And ALL Gods children said Amen....

The Hardwick Family said...

I just loved this!! I feel the same way about being a mom. I am so thankful God saved me and has given me 10 beautiful children to teach them about Him!! Keep on, you will continue to see fruit. Hunter is going to Uganda this month on a mission trip and I cannot wait to see how God is going to use him there.