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Showing posts from 2013

Promises

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Before kids I had all the answers.  You see the kid in the store throwing the tantrum and think, "That parent has done a terrible job training her child. I would never let my child get away with that behavior."  Then you birth the child and realize how little control you actually have.  They have their own personality, their own gifts, their own preferences, their own idols.  The good, the precious, and the downright ugly. 




You reflect on all the ideals you had before you had kids.  All the ways in which you would train them - all the scripture they would memorize, all the healthy foods they would eat, all the methods of discipline that would train them to be good citizens and make them polite to other humans.  Then you begin trying these methods out.  The battle begins.  The spiritual warfare wages heavily in your heart and in your home.  And you think, "nothing I do seems to work; where are the results that I was promised in all the books?"





Nothing has challenged …

Equality

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This week on the way to vacation Bible school, my son would read the Bible text for the day's lesson to me in the car.  Our theme was "Jesus is the only way to the Father" so all the Biblical texts were from the gospels.  In simply listening to him read I was struck again with the fact that Christ Himself was ministered to by women.

Women were a vital part of His ministry.
Women are amazing. I know I'm of that gender, but I am fascinated by the creativity and gifts of women.  Women are so nurturing and empathetic, complex and multi-gifted.  Women wear so many different hats and can master many talents.  I have never seen a woman I didn't think was beautiful externally.  God created each of us an ambulatory work of art. Look how many artists painted beautiful paintings of women of different varieties in many different settings!
Women are nurturers by nature.  God created us, "male and female, in His image" giving women an intuition, or sixth sense of sor…

Mysterious Grace

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I sat with a friend over tea this week - both of us reflecting on God's sovereignty in our journeys.  We discussed the grace of many joys in the journey and the crooks in the path.  But the mystery that drew our hearts together was the grace of pain in our lives.




We are apt to say a resolute, "God is good!" when our prayers are answered according to how we have prayed.  We are apt to give thanks when all is going swimmingly.  But what about when "tragedy" falls from heaven into our hands?  What about an answer to prayers that brings our human hearts grief and pain?  What about the removal of a gift, talent, resource, person, or something good in our lives?  Are we actually grateful FOR the tragedy itself?  Is God praiseworthy then?


I don't see too many of us announcing, "My dad died today, God is good!"  Maybe that seems harsh and uncompassionate.  For the pain associated with grief doesn't move us to respond with immediate joy.  Nor should i…

The Bitter-Sweet Taste of Grace

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At the end of the day -

After I've read the kids to bed -

After I've tickled backs -

After I've pleaded with the Father on their behalf to cause them to worship Him with all their hearts, minds, and strength; and to have sweet dreams -

A dark companion knocks on the door to recap the day the with me.  He reminds me of all the selfish ways I pushed the children aside to fulfill my needs; of all the times I was impatient and offended by their wiles and complaints; of all the things not checked off the list and buttoned up.  The accuser is quite persuasive and I so want to wallow in his words.

My shortcomings are countless.  Truly.  I failed.  I fail.  I am a failure, everyday.  As a Christian, as a person.  And, as a Christian with a few decades' walk with the Lord now, I know to go Him with all matters and cling to Him.  I also know that the accuser, as is his proper title, can only accuse.  He can come to court with substantial evidence against me, BUT CHRIST.....The Judge…

As Long as It is Called Today

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I don't always recognize it, but there it is....the back-talking, "But mom, I did it because...," "Mom, don't ever say that to me again!"  And then the dreaded {sigh} -  you know, with the eyes making their way across the ceiling....that's when I realized, wow, I haven't been nipping this disrespectful behavior in the bud.

Hm.  When the "sigh" happened last night, I was sincerely trying to help my son; to listen and give him sage advice on how to remedy his vexing situation.  I became sad because I realized I needed to deal with the disrespect, in spite of his frustrations toward me.  To my discredit, it was well past bedtime, dinner was late that night, the routine: out the window the entire weekend, and well, tears began to flow (his too).

"Son, that earns you a reminder.....do you know why?"

(Through the tears) "But mom, you don't understand what I'm saying."

"Son, how did you just dishonor mommy?"

&q…

The Marriage Bed

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How many times have I heard well-meaning Christians counsel that sex is most beautiful in the context of marriage?  That God created sex to be a loving act between a husband and a wife and that it is the purest form of pleasure?  This is ideally true...and because it's true, then why aren't Christians counseling on HOW to achieve this beautiful union?

A couple of years ago I was in a mommy Bible study and the leaders wanted feedback on what topics would be helpful to study.  When I mentioned discussing "sex after children" you could hear a pin drop....then....well, how about "creative play ideas?"  {Sigh}  Why don't we want to go there?  What's the mystery?

Statements made regarding marital sex being God's design for a husband and a wife are true, but seem short-sided.  They leave me feeling that marital sex should be magical transporter to bliss and perfection.  And maybe that is what it was for Adam and Eve before the fall.  But we are fallen a…

True Food, True Drink

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All I needed was to hear the sermon.  I rushed to get three small children fed, dressed, and out the door.  Shoot.  Missed Sunday school.  Ok, we’ve just got to get to the service!  I need to hear from God’s word!  Yay!  We’re here!  Ok, everybody get in and find Grandma….Thanks, Grandma, for taking the two boys while I deal with the baby…..I am finally walking through the sanctuary door after starting the service in the cry room and the pastor says, “Ok, let’s pray.”

WHAT???? I MISSED IT?  THE SERMON IS OVER?  Let’s PRAY?????  I am almost in tears now.  It’s been a hell of morning, literally.  I feel my soul being smoked out by the fires of Hell.  Let’s at least sit with Grandma for the communion hymns.  The baby just won’t cooperate and sit quietly….I’ll stand in the back and wait for the family’s turn to go down to the Lord's table.

I now am standing in the back, keeping my eye on our pew to know when to walk down front, tears cresting to the top of my soul, trying to erupt in…