Thursday, August 8, 2013


As I am nearing the last lap of this pregnancy, life is going fast. Two boys are playing football, one is playing soccer so we live at "practice".

Hope is in a season that is very demanding with training and Crew is about to kill himself (or someone else) all the time.

We have started back to school although we only took a few weeks off during the summer for camps. God keeps handing me more balls to juggle yet I don't ever remember telling Him I could juggle. 

I have shared with y'all before that when I surrendered my life to Christ in college, I said..."I don't have anything to give but I give you all that I am." It was that night that Jesus Christ called me by name to step out of the boat and DANCE with Him on the water. That has been 17 years ago. In those 17 years, I have sunk so many times and He has pulled me out of the crashing waves that threaten to bury me. He has spoken to my heart,
"Our relationship is a dance. I'll lead. You follow. I won't let go of your hand. Don't EVER let go of mine."
He has called me to do what I canNOT do.

The other day a lady asked me where our kids went to school. When I told her I homeschool, she said "Oh, I could never do that. I don't have the patience." I laughed and said, "I don't have the patience either!!!". 
I am not teaching my kids at home because I am patient. I am not teaching them at home because I am organized or capable. I am doing it because the Lord asked me to and because I want them to trust in the Lord.
"I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the Lord." 
Prov 22:19

"Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power."
Psalms 145:4

Yet,  I continually remind the Lord that He has chosen the wrong girl. That I am unable. That I don't have what it takes. That I am going to fail. That I am going to drown.

The waves seem to get higher the further away from the boat He leads me. I am tempted to look back at the boat yet my heart beckons me to follow the lover of my soul into the dark unknown. That His gentle hand is safer than the boat could ever be. So, by faith, I move forward. Held, kept, led, loved...

"I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely."
Ps 63:8

Yet, I wonder why He chose me? A girl who didn't love Him, who betrayed Him, and ignored His calling for years.
Yet, then I remember... it isn't the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. That God loves to take the dead, bring them to life, change their hearts, do miracles through them... ultimately receiving ALL the glory. Because I don't have any natural abilities to cling to, I HAVE to CLING to Him. He gets all the glory.
I KNOW who I was apart from Christ.
I can't let go of His hand.

"You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him." Deut 10:20
 "Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him." Deut 11:22
"Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him."
Deut 13:4
"Rather, cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now."
Joshua 23:8
"Cling to your faith in Christ" 1 Tim 1:19

What does this word "cling" mean in the Hebrew?
dabaq- to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to

That is the secret girls. 

This morning, as I was walking, tears filled my eyes thinking of how I fail my children. How one always seems to be falling through the cracks. I don't know how to raise these children! I don't know how to do any of this. I am big and pregnant and tired yet my children need me in 5 different places 24 hours a day. 
So, in my living room, I got on MY FACE (which I have learned from Scripture is a place of power for God's people) and begged for God to help me and teach me how to CLING to Him. He has promised that He will live His life through me. That He will give me all I need (patience, love, wisdom, power, joy) to be a mother. 
"God, please give me ALL that you are willing to give! Help me to do the impossible that you have called me to. I am just a "Ye"! A "Ye" with little faith. Make me into a woman of great faith. Give me vision for our family. Show me the path that is best for each child. Hold my hand. YOU teach the children by Your Spirit. Call them by name to walk in close fellowship with you. Fill in the huge cracks I am leaving everywhere and somehow do a mighty work through me."

I will never forget what I learned from Samson's parents and how they BEGGED the Lord to show them how to raise their child. How they fell on their faces in reverence and humility. I believe with all my heart THAT is the "formula". Not the right curriculum, the right co-op, or the most organized house. Jesus, Himself, coming to teach us how to raise the next generation to walk with Him in power.
“Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”
Judges 13:8

"When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground."
Judges 13:20

Tim and I have been shopping for new cars since there will be 8 of us in less than 2 months. We really wanted to stay in a mini-van. To save on gas, to not look as odd as we are, and because that is what we are used to.
But when we all sit in one, there is not a lot of extra space and no room for friends.
So, after lots of research, test driving, arguing, praying, and thinking... we finally found a conversion van that we both like. They are BIG. We aren't even sure if it will go in our garage but it is a 9-seater with tons of space and seems to be best for our family at this stage of the game.
I laughed with Tim about how I didn't give my life to the Lord for years believing the enemy's lie that Jesus would make me "weird". Then, I wake up one day and find myself shopping for conversion vans, pregnant with #6, homeschooling, and teaching the Bible. HA! He did make me weird!! 
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light"
1 Peter 2:9
I never knew how fulfilling weird would be! I love the life He has given me. It is so much more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. I am glad we stick out like a sore thumb everywhere we go. He has given us life and life to the full.
I love to quote this verse to Tim in the NIS (New International Steph) version...

"Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose CONVERSION VAN is full of them."
Ps 127:4,5

We never dreamed we would be shopping for conversion vans together when we got married. We had our plans. We wanted to wait 5 years and then *think* about children. Then, on our honeymoon, God spoke this verse to my heart when I asked Him why He had given me a godly husband I didn't deserve.

"Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring."
Mal 2:15

That verse changed the course of my life. I knew at that moment that God had brought us together, not only to serve Him, but to raise godly children. 
And that has to be my focus. It is so easy to get distracted by curriculum, activities, sports, etc... Yet, God has called me to teach my children ABOUT HIM and HIS WORD.
So that is my target. Academics, sports, music lessons, and everything else fall into this category but they are SECONDARY. It is His Word and His Spirit that they need. I am determined to teach my kids the Word everyday fighting the current of our culture that leaves NO TIME. It has to be our priority.

Just make time for it. If you don't have time, CUT SOMETHING OF LESSER IMPORTANCE OUT.
I am seriously nesting these days. Just painted the baby/guest room a beautiful gray color and Hope's room is now PINK. She is in a big girl bed and growing up before my eyes. Speaking of growing up, her oldest brother just turned 10. He had his first sleep-over party. Wheeeeeew. I may think twice before doing that again. I was exhausted after having 12 boys here and Tim did most of the work!!
Here is a video I made of the weekend.

Reece's party video from Stephanie Blackiston on Vimeo.

I am having a garage sale this weekend. Good grief, that is a huge undertaking. Cleaning out our attic??? A feat that has never been attempted before... similar to a man on the moon. But, we have gone through most things now and I am going through clothes to get rid of. I can't get rid of all the baby clothes. Even though Tim tells me to. I just can't. Not yet. I am not emotionally ready for that. I don't know that I ever will be.
My back hurts from so much bending and lifting and work but I love feeling organized. I got the baby's clothes washed and in his closet last night. That has got to be one of my favorite parts of LIFE. It makes me think of how excited Jesus must be to be face-to-face with us in the place He has been preparing.
"When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am."
John 14:3

My body is doing crazy things. I keep thinking about "stretch marks" and how appropriate they are as a mother. If only I could see my spiritual stretch marks. They would be much greater than my physical ones. God is STRETCHING me. But more than anything, He is asking me to STRETCH OUT MY HAND as He did with the man whose right hand was shriveled. That is what I feel like. Looking at my failures, my handicaps, my inability, yet God says...
"STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND. I will restore it and make it useful. But, you have to step out in faith, my bride."

"And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man,
 "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other."
Luke 6:10

Maybe God is asking you to "stretch out your hand" and home school this year. Maybe He is asking you to "stretch out your hand" in another ministry. But, whatever it is He is asking you to do, know that YOU ARE UNABLE. 
Your hand is shriveled yet He will make your hand whole and you will be restored and made USEFUL in His power. 
God has a ministry for you. It will require faith or it won't produce fruit. If you can do it in your own strength, it probably isn't the Lord. That just isn't the life He has called us into. 
He has called us to be the branches and Him the vine. His power and His life pulsating through us and into others. Seek the Lord's will for your life! If you are single, trust Him to send your prince in His time. Yet serve Him no matter what. If you are married and your marriage is hanging on by a thread, ask God to turn your 2-stranded thread into a 3-stranded CORD that will not be broken. Invite Him into your marriage. He can save it.
"A cord of three strands is not easily broken."
Ecc 4:12
Your strength will come from falling on your face and humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
1 Peter 5:6

 Please continue to help me get the Word out about the girls conference coming up in September. I still can't believe Kay Arthur is going to come and teach US. Get any single girl there you know. This will change her life if she BELIEVES and OBEYS. I have seen God bless girls beyond their wildest dreams OVER AND OVER. 

I always wonder if it will be the last conference I am able to be a part of. Who knows but PLEASE tell girls about it.

Anyway, be blessed!
 I am hoping to have a night of prayer for moms soon. If you are interested in coming, contact me.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

I adore you. That is all.