Sunday, January 11, 2015


Gonna post some more pictures from our session a couple months ago. 
I like the top one because I don't think Hope kissing Crew was planned. :)
It is definitely hard to keep "peace" in a big family. Disciplining attitudes is tricky. My kids attitudes can go south so fast. A bad attitude is contagious so if one has it, we all have it.
The flip side is that a good attitude is contagious too!
We are such a work in progress. There are days when we can't go play outside without having to come back in for attitude adjustments 5 minutes later. 
Tim and I always feel like total losers when this happens.
But sometimes I watch them interact with sincere love for one another and it is so pure and beautiful.
They do love each other. God taught them to love one another.
I have seen that by watching how much they loved their baby brother... since day 1.
 "But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, 
for God himself has taught you to love one another."
1 Thess 4:9

 Tim and I know that our love for each other will overflow onto them. They were created out of our love and they will flourish and thrive in it. Our anniversary is coming up and I hope to renew our vows in front of them. I want to do that every year. I want them to know how secure they are and how strong God's love is. Agape love gets stronger. Phileo love gets stronger. Eros gets stronger. :)
Our marriage has been tested over and over and the only reason we have ever passed the test is that we built our marriage on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Between the enemy, the world, and our flesh, our marriage has been hanging on by a thread at times. But that thread won't break! It is actually a CORD. I am so grateful it is 3 stranded because my strand and Tim's strand breaks but His doesn't! He holds marriages together. Sometimes we have to know and rely on the love God has for us because He IS LOVE!

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 
God is love. 
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."
1 John 4:16 

 My kids have always loved that 1 John verse because when I taught it to them, they stand on the edge of the table and fall backwards when they say "rely". They can't look back, they have to trust I will catch them. The definition of this word (pisteuō) is: 
  1. to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
  2. to believe in God, to trust in Him as able and willing to help and answer prayer.
  3. to believe and REST upon
  4. used in connection with the relationship between believing and miracle working
 Antonyms: to doubt, hesitate, to be at a loss

Guess where else this same word is used? 
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes (pisteuō) in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Here's the deal. Once we believe/rely on Christ, we don't stop. 
Just as we received Him, we walk in Him! 
In total dependence and reliance. 

*If you have never relied on Jesus Christ for your salvation, today is the day of salvation. Place your trust in Him. Knowing that as the moment you place your faith in Him, it isn't you holding on to Him, it's HIM HOLDING ONTO YOU... and He will NEVER let go. 
You can never earn your way to heaven. You will never be good enough.
Only by realizing your total inability and receiving Christ, will your salvation be made secure.
I remember when I was in college and fell to my knees and surrendered my life to Christ. One of the biggest blessings was KNOWING I was going to heaven. I was very fearful of death before that moment. I simply stopped trying to run from God and ran TO Him. 
I think back to that moment so often. God spoke clearly to my heart that night through His Word. I had to decide if I was for Him or against Him. There are only 2 options. 

Ask yourself that question. Are you for Him or against Him?
Have you ever fully relied on Jesus Christ to save you and enable you to live a life that brings God glory?
Don't wait another second. Don't waste another day.
He has great purpose for your life.
You can know that God Who created you in a personal way through His Word.
Stop reading my blog and go open your Bible (a real one with pages). Ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Ask for forgiveness. Ask Him to make you a new creation. 

 My older 2 are really growing up. Reece is very busy with sports and babysitting jobs. I have loved having all these years with him ALL TO MYSELF. I have loved not having to share him. I never want to. I tell him I would lock him in the house if I could and never share him with the world. But that is not what God is asking me to do with my children. He is calling them out into the world. 

I just had a great conversation with these 2 about girls. They are entering into a new season. Girls are saving them seats at Church and asking them to sit on the carousel with them. They have really put girls into the "cootie-category" until now. The world tells them to have a girlfriend. That isn't what we tell them. We have taught them that when they are ready to take care of a girl and move toward marriage, then they can date. They don't want to AT ALL right now. They are terrified of the idea of a girlfriend. But, I had to teach them that the Bible tells us what category to place girls in...

"Treat younger men as brothers, 
 older women as mothers, 
and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."
1 Tim 5:1

 The Bible doesn't teach us to treat girls like they have cooties OR to constantly have girlfriends.
 It teaches us to treat girls like sisters with ABSOLUTE PURITY.

My boys needed to know God's heart on the matter. They are going to have to have high boundaries and pure hearts to walk this tight rope of relationships with girls. There is a way to do it that honors God. I am praying they figure that out. They are still pretty awkward and nervous around girls :) so it will probably be a while before they have friends who are girls.
That's ok with me.

But I want them to see them as sisters, learn be kind to them, and to be protectors.

I have told them that they each have a girl out there formed from their own rib and created to be their helper and best friend.
I believe that with all my heart.
I am so thankful for the promise that we (as followers of Christ) can participate in a divine nature and NOT walk as the world does. We can walk differently and to a DIFFERENT BEAT.
Praise God! We don't have to live according the world or our flesh.
There is a better way that we have access to.
A way that few find.
"But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
Matt 7:14
It is only through God's power, my sons will be able to walk differently than the world. He has made His power AVAILABLE to them to live a godly life. They will have everything they need.
Ahhh... what a great and precious promise I can claim as a mother!
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them 
you may participate in the divine nature
having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
2 Peter 1:3,4

I am full of expectancy of what God is going to do this year. He has turned my mourning into joy. Last year was a year of deep grief for me. Deep loss. Deep wounds. 
I wrestled it out in the spiritual realm. I felt the sting of death.  But it has ultimately lost its sting thanks to Jesus Christ!

 "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Cor 15:57,58

God has truly surrounded me with life. Goodness and love are following me around my house all day long. That verse has always made me think of my children. 
I used to call my older two "goodness and love" when they were little. I never dreamed God would give us so many children.
People always comment on how impressive it is that we have so many children. I am quick to say that they should be impressed with Jesus Christ... not us. What is most impressive to me is that God chose me before the foundation of the earth to be HIS. He saved me and changed me. He took a girl with a hardened and rebellious heart and softened her giving her the heart of a mother. This is all HIM. We are just so grateful that He has entrusted us with so many lives. 
They are growing up quickly. It seems like a blink that I was holding Reece in the hospital. I always laugh because Tim and I didn't know how to hold him. The nurse took one look at Tim and said, "All wrong... All wrong" and took the baby and showed him how to hold him.
That is what parenting feels like. That God looks down at us and we are doing everything ALL WRONG but, by His grace, He shows us a better way. A way that will direct them to HIM. 
We don't want them to turn out like us. Our prayer is that they would be so much better. That they will do things much greater. And that they would know Christ in a deeper way than we ever did. 
We don't want to place them in an assembly line trying to produce a fabricated creation.
We want God to call them each by name and have the freedom to develop them and show us the way He has created them to go.
That is a process. Trusting God more than tradition or natural instinct. 
What does God want for our children? How does He desire we raise them?

And when we do things "ALL WRONG", returning to Him and asking Him to teach us.
I love Samson's parents. I have written about them before.
They wanted Jesus Christ to teach them how to raise the child. 
That is the cry of my heart as well. To know how to raise each child He has given us.

"Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, saying, “Lord, please let the man of God come back to us again and give us more instructions about this son who is to be born....

“Why do you ask my name?” the angel of the LORD replied. “It is too wonderful for you to understand.”
 Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to the LORD. And as Manoah and his wife watched, the LORD did an amazing thing.  As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the LORD ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, 
they fell with their faces to the ground."
Judges 13

I relate so much to them. They had no idea what they were doing but they knew Who did know what He was doing. They were reverent and found their source of strength FACE DOWN. I joke that I think Jesus Christ is most near to me in the tile floor of my laundry room. He has met me there in total desperation. He has given me the strength to get back up and try again. 

No matter where you are in life, know and rely on the love God has for you. 
He will save you and teach you how to participate in His divine nature. A whole new world that you don't even know exists. Life in the Spirit. Escaping the desires and temptations of the world and your flesh. Having victory over sin in your life that has kept you bound. You can walk differently than the world.

If you are single, that is such an encouraging promise!
You don't have to do things like the world. 
There is a better way that leads to life.
Stay pure.
Guard your heart.
Serve God.

There is a divine life that God has for you.
Participate in it!

Be Blessed~

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