I am sitting in a hotel room using Tim's work IPad. We had a chance to get away with the baby and be together. I crave time with Tim and time to think. Since Crew's last croup episode, we have been hiding at home away from germs. I am so excited to see something other than the walls of my cute house for a few days.
The kids and I have been busting it to get school finished before the holidays. My older two finished 5th grade which blows my mind. They will start 6th grade in Jan. I don't know how long we will home school. So far, it has been a huge blessing. I am able to teach them the Word of God, our family gets to be together, we don't have to be in a hurry all the time, we can go at our own pace while wearing our jammies! It is hard to juggle it all though. I couldn't do it without Abeka DVDs (which I highly recommend!) and a very supportive husband.
I am spinning so many plates. Yet, I am realizing that Christ will keep them...and ME... from falling. The longer I parent, do ministry, and serve my Savior, the more I realize it is ALL FROM GOD. He does the lasting work. I am to be diligent but the burden is not mine to carry. Jesus took the heavy one and gave me the feather to carry. I am convicted by how I am constantly trying to do what only Christ can do.
Yet, I press on with everything in me to do what God has called me to do: raise godly children. I have to go back to the basics or I start to SINK. When I feel myself sinking, I remember the night I received Christ . I repeat part of the same prayer I prayed that night, "I have nothing to give You but I give You ALL that I am". God knows I am an empty vessel that He has to re-fill every day.
And, then, I continue to fight the good fight. It isn't easy. The other day I was jogging.( I am very out of shape so it isn't fun at all. ) I saw a big hill and the theme song from Rocky came on my headphones. I was at a crossroads. I could take a left and go down a hill by a peaceful pond or a right and go UP a never-ending climb straight up a hill. I mustered up the 1 ounce of energy I had and took on the hill. The lyrics to Rocky were in my ears and I was relating to every word. That hill felt like motherhood to me... Impossible. But, somehow, I kept going. I know that Christ will empower me to do what He has called me to do. But at the end of the day, He gets all the glory. I am just a very ordinary girl that God does His extraordinary work through. I think that is why people like to read what I write... Because if I can do this, ANYBODY can.
Some WORDS that have been on my heart lately:
"Deny"- that is the word I tell myself throughout the day when I look at my yucky toenails or vacuum goldfish for the 23rd time. "Deny yourself , Deny yourself".
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
It isn't about me or my ugly toenails. True joy is found in ugly toenails and a vacuum. ( Hoping to paint my toenails today though! :)
"Image"- The Bible says Jesus is the image of the invisible God. I am so thankful He came into the womb of a young girl to save me and show me what God looks like. It is His image we should worry about- not our own through social media. I do not want to pretend to be someone I am not. What is the point? People can see through the phony stuff and it is a trap. I will gladly admit I am a "phony". Anything good in my life is because of Jesus Christ. He has given me a salvation I didn't deserve, a husband I didn't deserve, and children I didn't deserve. I don't know how to be a good mother unless God teaches me.
The world wants to portray their image. I want to portray Christ's image.
"Christ is the visible IMAGE of the invisible God."
(Colossians 1:15 NLT)
" Don't pretend to be something you are not. Stop wanting what others have."
(1 Peter 2:1 NIRV)
********* "Repentance"- the buzz word in Christian writings lately. The Biblical definition of this word is to "change one's mind". When our minds are changed, our actions will change. It is a process- not a one time decision. As God through His Word changes my mind, my actions follow. If you continue to stumble, get in the Word and let it renew your mind instead of "trying harder". God's Word and His Spirit will give you the power to TURN from sin and have victory over that area of sin you have struggled with for years. Start serving and get your mind off yourself. Just watch the power of true repentance begin to bear fruit. You CAN have victory over your sin. Whether it is sexual sin, alcoholism, eating disorder, gossip, greed, etc... You ARE powerless apart from God's Spirit and His Word.
Praise God that He did not leave us powerless.
"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." (Matthew 3:8)
************** "Duck Dynasty"- I have never watched this show. We don't watch TV at our house (unless it is football) and we don't have cable. I have read about everything that went down on-line. This guy reminds me of John the Baptist. He is on a mission and doesn't seem to care what people think of him. I respect that. I think there are way too many believers hiding in the basement instead of speaking truth. The basement is the comfortable place. Believe me, I prefer my bubble over the spiritual attacks and slander that come with speaking forth the truth of the Word. I totally believe the harvest is ripe and the workers are few. There is a very real battle going on out there for souls. God didn't give us weapons for "the basement". Now is the time to "armor up" and GO instead of taking a left turn to the downhill jog with the peaceful pond. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!!!. There TOO MANY Christians preaching the gospel to themselves in the basement. It's GO time. Don't shrink back. You don't have to go to the basement to pray.
There's nothing wrong with praying in your basement unless you are doing it because the raging war above seems too scary. It is scary!!! That is why He gave us our weapons and His strength. " Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16)
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:14, 15)
Time is running out. Speak the truth in love.
Who is ready to be brave enough to enter the warfare? "Then I heard a voice from The Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send Me." Be careful if you are feeling really comfortable. God doesn't usually ask us to do things that are comfortable. Why? So we will rely on HIM.
Pray and GO. Speak! Shine your light!
This post was kind of a stream-of-thought journal on an IPad I don't know how to use. I hope something encouraged you to KEEP GOING! We are in this together!
Be Blessed! Steph