Monday, March 30, 2015

His Proposal 2015

Spring Fling from Stephanie Blackiston on Vimeo.

I made that fun video tonight on our walk. :)
I LOVE Spring Time.
Light and LIFE!
 "For with you is the fountain of life; 
in your light we see light."
Ps 36:9

I am so far behind on blogging. I am trying to cut out time-wasting activities and do more journaling/blogging because I never want to forget all God is doing in my life as a (not-so) YOUNG
mother! Being a stay-at-home mom is the most EXCITING thing I have ever done. Watching my children grow in their relationships with God and develop into the person God has created them to be is AWESOME!
My older 3 are diligent in school. They are getting independent. (sniff, sniff). Don't get me wrong, I still teach, review, grade papers, help with homework but things have definitely changed. 
It used to be me, them, and the Bible. That was it. 
This has always been my goal in teaching my children at home...
"I am teaching you today—yes, you
so you will trust in the Lord."
Prov 22:19

We still do "Bible-time-with-momma"  but their Christian school curriculum teaches them more than I do now.
My main focus is the 3 little ones. 
Trying to keep them from killing themselves. 
AND teaching them the Word.
Teaching little kids the Word is NOT EASY. It takes a lot of time and patience and I have very little of either of those!
I definitely feel like my younger kids are getting the short end of the stick with a tired and older momma. Tim says they are getting the better version of us because we are older and wiser now. I hope that is true. 
Our lives have been UPSIDE DOWN for 5 months with our home remodel.
It really was so much worse than I was prepared for.
It took 3 times longer than anticipated.
We had workers in our house everyday. Like in my kitchen for breakfast and painting outside my bedroom while I am sleeping 5 feet away. If I wasn't out of bed yet, I would just pull the covers over my head when they would get here and hope they didn't see me.
Inches of construction dust settled on everything.
Everything was chaos. It really got to me. I don't know how the kids and I made it through that but we did and I am very glad it is over.
Funny because you think material things will make you happy and they don't.
Worldly stuff is HIGH MAINTENANCE.
It's beautiful and I am super duper thankful for it but it hasn't made our lives simpler.
I have more to clean. More to worry about the kids wrecking. More money to spend to make it feel home-y, etc...
I told Tim that if you aren't careful, the things you own will begin to OWN YOU. Our conversations, thoughts, time, energy was going into remodeling our house.
Our dream and vision was to have a home that our family loved and a home where we could do significant ministry. So we built on a huge room off our kitchen in hopes of having a place where we could minister to people. 
I purposed in my heart to share the gospel with the workers before they left. They knew I was a Christian already from being stuck in our house for 5 months. Being a stay-at-home mom means you don't get to see a lot of people during the day so here was my chance! A mission field in my own home! 
I had already fed them a big sloppy joe lunch a few weeks back. They all like me in a "she's-kind-of-weird-but-nice-and-she-feeds-us" kind of way. So, I made about 30 hotdogs and started praying. The kids prayed for me. 
When it was time for them to come and get lunch, I wondered how in THE WORLD, I was going to share the gospel with a bunch of big tough tatooe'd guys. I know all their names and they are for sure my friends but how do you make the segway from hotdog to gospel?

There is no segway. You just have to grab your dry-erase board and write the Romans Road on it and GO FOR IT. :)
I told them they were going to get a sermon with their hotdog.
They were all so sweet and they listened to me share my story of when I gave my life to the Lord.
I gave them Scripture. I told them God knew what they had done and still loved them and that He had a plan for their lives that was bigger than painting.
I encouraged them that today was the day for salvation (while I cried) and that they needed to get right with God through Jesus Christ.
The ending was just as awkward as the beginning.
One guy said "amen" a lot and thanked me for sharing.
He said he was a Christian... just not a good one.
I told him he needed to read his Bible everyday.
I'll never know what all happened that afternoon in the spiritual realm but I was obedient and it was really FUN for me to get to share the gospel.
We can't change hearts but we sure can obey and share the GOOD NEWS!
I am so thankful that God does the real work.
I just cast my net (full of God's Word) out there, and He brings in the fish!

"Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
Mark 1:17

"He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” 
When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."
John 21:6

Our house is getting cozier.
It still needs lots of help to feel "lived in". I'm sure my kids will make that happen fast.
(Hope spilled chocolate milk all over my brand new chair and it won't come out.)

 We are very busy here with life. I am so grateful that we all lived through the horrid winter and remodel. It was long... and dark... and cold.

 One of my most favorite things in the WORLD is when one of my kids brings me flowers. Especially a pure-hearted little boy named Crew. He tells me (out of the blue)... 
"you are BOO-tiful".

 It is baseball season. Fun to watch the boys play. I have 2 pitchers and a few first basemen. I grew up on the ball field so it is very fun for me to watch them play.
Getting everybody there and managing them once we get there is INSANE.

 Hope is growing up in a boy's environment. She is tough, loud, adventurous, & friendly.
She is definitely the wildest of the group. Rhett is a close second.
She has on heelys in the above pictures. I try so hard to teach etiquette and how to be gentle and quiet but it just isn't really working (yet). 

 Crew is a smart little thing. I wish I had all day to teach him.
He wears batting gloves 24-7.

 Tim pulled Lake's top baby teeth because they weren't coming out and making the permanent ones grow in crooked. That was NOT FUN. I am still sad that his baby teeth are gone. I am not ready for him to have big boy teeth. I love him so much.When he is gone, there is hardly any laughter and singing. It is amazing how much one child changes the dynamic of the family!

We had another girl's conference last weekend in Knoxville. It was amazing to watch God win the hearts of about 100 girls. This is the 8th conference we have done now. Crazy that the whole ministry started from this blog. Serving God is exhilarating.  I joke that there ain't no high like the MOST HIGH. I love serving God. It is getting harder as I have more children and get older but I want to do it as long as I possibly can because it can change a girls entire life... not to mention GENERATIONS after her.

I got new cool pants from Tilly's so they would listen to me. :) I love BLOWING GIRLS AWAY with the love of God. It changes them forever. 
Then they love because they KNOW He first loved them.
The start to say "no" to ungodliness and wordly passions because of GRACE, not law.
That's when a world-changer is born.

I think people are sometimes puzzled by me. Because I am not academic or a great speaker or a seminary graduate yet God does amazing works right in front of me. 
Because I spend time with Jesus and I am willing to step out in His power and not my own.
ANYBODY can do that!!!! 
Do what God is calling you to do! 
You don't have to be super-great at anything...
except spending time with Jesus!

"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."
Acts 4:13

There is a whole BUNCH of other ordinary and unschooled girls involved in the ministry now :). I could bow out at any time and it could continue on. God doesn't need me but I am so glad He still uses me. He can replace any of us in a heartbeat. He has removed me from "public" ministry time and time again. 
Real ministry happens in our daily lives. When we are spending time with God in His Word and doing whatever He asks us to do that day.
Like clean the kitchen or wipe bottoms or homeschool.

There is no way to describe what I saw. 
The first night after I shared John 3:16, girls flooded the altar to confess their sins and receive forgiveness and (one that we know of) salvation.
What is so interesting to me is that the Word says...
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."
1 Cor 6:19,20

"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?"
1 Cor 3:16
Here's the deal! Girls DON'T KNOW.
Somebody has to tell them!

"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? 
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  
And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? 
That is why the Scriptures say, 
“How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Romans 10

"And I will be your Father,
and you will be my... daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.
2 Cor 6:18

 I was so proud of the girls who are THRIVING in their giftings and teaching the girls.
That is Kaysie (Bible-teacher/administrator/tech-girl/friend). She taught the girls how to study the Bible for themselves! Yahoo! 
Kaysie is a Bible-teaching treasure.
Beneath is cutie-Camille. She is super gifted but still gets nervous.
She talked to the girls about dating in one session and then aiming to be "perfect"
in the next. She is a DOLL and I love her so much.
That's Mellette. I cry every time I see all God has done since the first time I met her 5+ years ago.
She just had a beautiful baby girl and has a HUGE impact on the girls when she speaks about forgiveness and holiness. I couldn't be more proud of her.
Below is soul sister in the faith. 
She is anointed, tall and wonderful. She leaves a joy trail behind her and brings the TRUTH. 
She came to the conference for the first time a few years ago and God lit a fire under her toosh. Now she (and God) light a fire under other girls tooshes! She got set on fire in order to set others on fire.
She is a GIFT to this ministry... A Chinese bamboo that grew 80 feet overnight because of her love for God's Word.  :)

Doing ministry with my friend, Jennie (below), is just icing on life.
She and I are running our races side-by-side.
She has 5 girls. I have 5 boys. Surely we can get a marriage out of 2 of them!
Jennie taught on Ps 139 and being a homemaker. She taught them how to organize drawers and how to take care of a home one day. She LIVES to organize. 
She would have a panic attack in my house.
Organization is not my strength.
I love you, Jennie Edwards!!!

Our daughters had the time of their lives coming with us and playing together. I think they changed dresses 284 times in the hall while we were teaching. Who knows what all Hope did or said to people while I was teaching the girls about Jesus. BUT, I know she had a blast being with her BFF, Viv.
Found these pics on my phone....
Jaime Jamgochian rocked the music.
It was a beautiful event. Exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have ever imagined.

Abby and I will be speaking in Mississippi next month if anyone wants to come!

1 comment:

Amy M said...

AMEN! :) Thank you so much for being so willing to what the Lord is calling you to in ministry and for sharing your story! I was able to go the conference with a girl in my youth group and it was such a sweet, refreshing, refilling, renewal with Jesus! My husband and I are just starting in the ministry together and I am so thankful to have such wonderful Godly ladies, such as yourself, to look up to and have inspiration from, as we grow in the Lord and are blessed to have a front-row seat to what He's doing in the lives of others! It is so awesome :) HE is awesome!
I am so grateful that He allowed our paths to cross this past weekend :)
Praying blessings over you and your family!