June 22, 2015

One more thing...

Oh yeah...one more thing.

It seems like I have this thought several times a day right now. Derek has graduated from high school and is preparing to move into the dorms towards the end of summer. Each day I think of some truth I want to remind him of.

This list is not all-inclusive...but these are some important truths we have talked about with our kids through the years that have taken on a new importance during this last summer.

1. You are loved. We will always walk beside you. God loves you most.
2. You are smart, but distractions can affect your future if you will let them.
3. Always treat others with respect and dignity and with kind words.
4. Sex outside of marriage will affect your marriage. Be smart with your choices.
5. Underage drinking and/or excessive drinking can screw up your life and other
people's lives.
6. Don't stay up all night. Our bodies need sleep. Our brain needs sleep.
7. You have the Holy Spirit in you. Listen to that voice that will guide you to great things.
8. Enjoy this time. Make great friends. Choose friends that will help you succeed not pull you down.
9. You don't have to have everything figured out. Enjoy the journey.
10. When you make mistakes go back to number 1.

When I think about moving Derek into his dorm room and driving away I am sure I will have a million emotions but most of all I will be excited for this next step in his journey. As parents we have done our best to raise our children to have good hearts, to be hard workers, not to be entitled, to always see who could use encouragement around them and to love and follow Jesus. Do I wish that I could have assurance that my precious boy will follow all of my advice...yes. But I also know that it was through my mistakes that my heart was made compassionate for others. It was through my mistakes that I learned how blessed I was that I have been given grace through Jesus and then could give it to others. It was through my mistakes that I learned that I really didn't know best for myself, that God is the one who must lead me. God is in control. Into Thy hands I commit my son. Thanks for choosing me to be his mom.

June 06, 2015

Supporting - by God, friends and scripture.


2 Peter 1:3-11
His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by[a] his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust (worldly desires, NIV), and may become participants of the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual[b] affection (brotherly affection, NIV), and mutual[c] affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters,[d] be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

A Sacred Rhythm 

Acknowledge that God is all I need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called me by his own glory and goodness.

He has given me precious and great promises so I can escape corruption and become a participant of His divine nature.

For these reasons I must make every effort to support my faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with mutual affection and mutual affection with love.

If these things are mine and are increasing they will keep me from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If I lack these things, I am short-sighted and blind, and forget the cleansing of my past sins.

I need to be all the more eager to follow the above steps and then entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for me.

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This last year I let worldly desires take the driving position in my car. Desires that took my eyes off God. Life without God in the driver's seat is excruciating. I let the desire to get debt paid off take me to a place that I was determined to "get it done." Numbers became what I measured myself by...once I opened the door then Satan was thrilled to lend me the spirits of anxiety, control and fear. Thanks be to God he has been faithful and allowed me to be restored to a place of peace and rid of the constant torture of anxiety, control and fear and He has taken the wheel that I gave back to Him. He is a much better boss to me than I am to myself.

I am so thankful for the power of prayer and good friends who listen to God and will reach out to me and help me in my journey.




June 03, 2015

My Sacred Rhythm

For the first time in months I have started to find my deep breathes again. It has been a great year, Derek had a great Senior year, Jack and Sophie made the very most of their Sophomore years and did well in school, enjoyed their extra curricular activities, Rob enjoys his job, my new business continues to grow and my photography business always brings me joy. I am just suffering from a bone tiredness that I don't ever remember having since I was chasing a toddler and staying up nights with new babies.

When I started my new business in March of 2014 I would be asked about what my goals were. My first answer was always the same...to keep a balance in my life. God, family and then work. I have not done a very good job of making balance work. Namely work and family edged out my time with God, which meant I was lacking in so many ways. I went from regular time with God every day to trying to remember to say my prayers before I fell asleep at night, and much of the time if I am honest I wasn't successful. I always felt like God was with me and continued to feel close in my relationship with Him and would still call out to Him, but I wasn't making my time with Him my priority which in turn left me depleted of the gifts He so freely gives. Worry became a big part of my day,...starting a new business with overhead can lend itself to a bit of worry. Stress and the effects of stress became more apparent. Over the last 6 months rheumatoid arthritis has been working it's way into my fingers and toes. And places that I would have given over to God I have kept for myself to fix.

God is the one that brings us the fruit of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. But it is my responsibility to till the soil of my heart and make myself ready to receive what He so generously gives. Margins at the edges of my day were non-existent. My chest was heavy and I would worry about tomorrow, next week, next month, next year...

I have tasted God's peace, for years with my priorities straight God had blessed me with an abundance of His gifts through His Spirit. Once you have lived in that peace it is more than apparent when it is gone...or at least seemingly out of reach. Every day my spirit yearned to be with Him, but one more thing, or I'll take time tonight or tomorrow morning to set time aside to be with God were regular thoughts. God is so kind and would offer me Himself but I was too busy and stressed to see to stop and take His hand.

I have seen in myself in this last several years between school and work that I have a drive to succeed that I didn't realize was there before. If I make a mistake I am too hard on myself. I want to be the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be, the best worker I can be... it was hard for me to discern where I was crossing the line, and what was too much to bear. Several years ago we built up debt that could not be helped, I just kept thinking that if I worked harder and longer I could pay off that debt. That is not how it has worked out because of continuous major repairs for our home and cars since last November, so I just worked harder and longer...and I just wore myself out.

This summer, which is a down time for my business, I want the deep breathes to be normal again, I want to read books, I want to watch a movie with my kids and not work on the computer at the same time, I want to prepare meals that take longer than 10 minutes and enjoy the slicing and dicing in the kitchen, I want to take walks, hang out at the pool, drink iced tea, write in my journal, and most importantly find my step with God again, find my sacred rhythm of prayer, meditation, reading my Bible, and just enjoying God's presence.

In a couple of weeks I am going to take some time for a silent retreat.  I need to have some one on one time with God with no distractions. No phones, no computer, no dinners to plan, just me and my Father. I am so ready.