Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Joy of The Lord is my Strength

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10 This promise has become my very own. I have tasted its simply eloquent meaning. It is just as real to me as breathing. I catch a smile stealing across my face even now as I write. Christ Presence in my life has added such rich dimension. My life is forever changed in Him and I eagerly anticipate getting to know him more. 

This morning I want to share with you, as other mommies or perhaps future mommies.:) We've been surrounded by sooo many lies and I wanted to serve you this morning with the most royal Truth. Its something real, full of life and straight from the Word of our King Himself and something that as His daughter I say, "Yes!! I've tasted it!:)  And its so sweet and authentic and soul satisfying, I wanted you to have it too.:) Remember I'm a mommy and wife also, and so, like you, I have read many books or listened to speakers in my search for a more enriched life. My heart always wanted more and even though I grew up in Christian settings, I found others around me, on near empty. According to the things I've been spoken most of my Church going life, I should be about completely strung out and should have succumbed any eager anticipation by now. :) BUT...I will share with you a secret, I am not strung out and my eager anticipation is heightened:). Everyday, I taste something that is sweet, something that makes me want more. Everyday as I receive my portion of mana from my Father's hand, it's exactly what my soul needs to press on and to press in closer to my Heavenly Prince. This morning as I wrote in my journal, I expressed how hard it is to transfer with pen and paper the things I feel and see with  my spiritual eyes...

     I wanted to BELIEVE the absolute Word of God but so much just really didn't make sense. I loved the Lord Jesus very much, but I couldn't fathom how He could let certain things happen to people. And He said "He would never leave us nor forsake us".  As I would think of little girls all over the world being robbed from by evil men, my heart would be so consumed in pain for them that I questioned my Papa's Word..doubt and unbelief would lie to me.. In my cozy secure world it was easier to understand that God would never leave me or my little family.  Then the tempter would whisper his lie, "What about bad things that happen to innocent people. It COULD happen to you or one of your family. It COULD........." 

    Fear was a Goliath in my heart. He taunted me and mocked my God and I was powerless to do much about it. When I was feeling exuberant and strong, all he'd have to do was make something fearful loom up and I would, in dejected defeat, cower. I didn't want to, but I thought "It is true..I'm smart enough to know..something COULD happen..and if it does would I cave?" My unbelief would surface and the doubts would cloud my vision. Even though for many years I've literally loved being my heavenly Father's daughter, I still battled with fear, belief, trust in my Father God's heart. It didn't seem consistent. I didn't want my fear.  

Something very real and very simple happened. Hearing the undiluted Truth of the Word being preached and reading some powerfully anointed books, I began to lose my life. Not phy but as the Word of God says, "that whoso shall lose his life for my sake shall find it". John 15:11 speaks of our joy being full. John 10:10 speaks of the abundant life that can be ours... And the verse that's constantly echoing in my heart is Gal.2:20 that of being crucified with Christ and my life not being my own, but His. I've grown up with all these verse but they are LIFE to me now. And the monumental milestone for me has been to just BELIEVE the whole Word of God and its effectiveness. 

Whenever I feel doubts even begin to surface I allow the Holy Spirit within me to shut it down. I will not, in Christ, give a fraction of a centimeter to the devil and his horried lies. In order to fear I would need to live and see and breathe my own life again. Jesus is on the throne on my life and even though I can't trust myself to not make mistakes, I can trust in Him. And that is what I am simply and solidly standing on! And my joy is definitely fuller!! And I feel so free in Christ! I don't need to worry about all the tomorrows, He's there already!

       Recently I was at a Christian woman's seminar and I heard testimonies from formerly abused woman. I saw their glowing faces, I saw their completeness, in Christ, even though they were robbed from as John10:10 says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." I saw their abundance of life and I wept. They had years of pain and suffering and yet now their life was restored in Christ! They testify of healing. I see their inner strength shining know, the kind that only comes from being in the healing sweet Presence our our King. It was all so beautiful and I wept... I didn't quite realize what was happening to me. It's been two months now and I see it clearer...I died to myself and am fully alive in Jesus Christ! His mercies are new every day and I can't keep from smiling.:)

        Our life as women in Christ can really be the most precious and soul touching journey. Even weeping tears of sadness as we ache with what causes the Father's heart to ache is an honor. To truly be a part of who He amazing!!! Some will tell you as mommies that these are busy years. These are the years where you can't really spend time in the Word of God and prayer. I'm a mommy and a homeschooling one, I know how busy life is and we are too busy and our role too important to not spend time with God. Getting up earlier is actually one of the biggest blessings I know. It's not's an opportunity to spiritually dress for the day. With the cleansing of the Word and the choicest of Spiritual clothing...without it, it's like stumbling through the day all sleepy and still in pj's, trying to run an energetic household and all the duties it demands. But the quiet morning hours prepare not only my body for the day, but my very soul. And don't get me wrong, I'm not super human, it's hard to get out of our warm bed sometimes, but oh the reward is plentiful many times over! 

        Here's some practical tips for mommies with small kids who like to rise early. Create a visual and explain that when they see that by their door they can know it's time they can get up. If they awake at it's not by their door, explain they can't keeping calling, "Is it time to get up yet?!" It's hard for mommies to experience a rich quiet time of prayer and Bible reading with little ones calling. Our children have always been very early to wake up in the mornings(that can be a good thing!:) So we did the visual thing for a long time. Now, we've switched to "When the music plays it's rise and shine time!" (Didn't think to word it like that to the kids! I'll have to!:) But we explained that they can then get up. 

We have a cd that is soft and soothing that we play sometimes for quiet time (Be Still by Steve Rosen) and the kids know that when that cd is playing it's our quiet time music and they still stay in bed until another cd plays and then we put a lively one on!:) Some activities for the really early risers can be a stack of kid's books by their bed or a few toys if they play quietly. Or for little older, small kids you could give them permission to play quietly in their room. The added blessing of keeping them in bed a little longer is that oft times they will fall back to sleep and get more rest, then if they were allowed to get up so early just because they happened to get awake.
. May God bless you as you live a surrendered life in Christ.

Monday, July 1, 2013

"A Taste of Grace"

I love the occasional rainy, overcast days, like this morning's. The kids are all still sleeping, snug and warm. I feel the warmth of God, family and this awesomely fashioned world I call home and real life. Sometimes I find a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth and  laughter bubbling from within.  I am so BLESSED to serve and love and feel my adoration to a really big God! It is so neat, I claim God as my Father and many times as my Heavenly Prince. Even though there are similarities, a daddy and a earthly prince aren't exactly in the same category! My dad is in heaven now and he was a really great dad! He took care of us, he spent time with us, he led out in family worship...  And  for 17 years now, I've been married to my earthly prince-my Mike.:) He's the love of my life, my best friend, the daddy of our 5 kids. And I'm continually filled with an excited anticipation of our life together!. So...with heartfelt reverence, I think of my Savior as my heavenly Papa and the Prince and lover of my soul. I've had a couple real heroes in my life and they are my dad and husband. And long long before I even knew there was a little boy growing up somewhere in the little girl heart was completely filled with childish joy and adoration of my "daddy". He represented Christ, protector, provider and the one who loved my heart enough to protect it and guard it from intruders. In my little girl eyes, my daddy was my world! He was my hero-man! Then this little girl grew up and prince charming won my heart....That sweet part of my heart that God created for me to share with the man who would also portray Christ to me, protect me, provide for me.... It's all making more sense why God Himself is my Papa/Prince of my soul!! Jesus is also, SOLID ROCK, HIGH TOWER, ANCHOR, HEALER, NURTURER, REDEEMER....this beautiful list could literally go on and on and on.. I understand more clearly why my heart is filled with awe and wonder and I feel the joy bursting from within!! I am so excited that God changes lives! His Word is so precious...It lives and breathes. It heals and restores.It stretches and prunes. It doubles, triples many, many times over within the heart, intrinsic joy (you know, that inward fountain that keeps bubbling, that's not dependent on external circumstances ). God is faithful, merciful, full of compassion. And He's waiting and longing and drawing us to Himself..Such a sweet benediction on us. As I lighted some sweet smelling candles just now, giving that extra warmth and welcoming touch, on this beautiful overcast day, for our kiddos before I hear their pitter patter of footsteps on the stairs, I had to think, the candle of my heart is also glowing. Sweet sweet benediction-the Savior's song on our life. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 10:10b "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

     "Jesus loved you so much that He died for you , so that He wouldn't have to live without you."

This one reminds me of the Cinderella story..Alaythia with
her Prince Daddy!

The man who holds her heart and life in the shelter of his love
and protection..her daddy:):).

Giggles, a  princess and her daddy...essence of sweetness.

A very sweet family friend captured these adorable,
 memories, unbeknownst to us, when  she was with us,
 taking our family pictures. It was a  sweet surprise!