Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chasing Here... Chasing There... Chasing Everywhere!

Chasing toddlers Here...
Chasing toddlers There...
Chasing toddlers EVERYWHERE!

In the house...
at the park...
in the grocery store!
Chasing toddlers... til I can't chase any MORE!

As if two toddlers weren't enough to keep me running. Now we've added a very eager girl beagle to keep me moving. Yes folks... Lemar has a girlfriend. Her name is Cleo. She's not our dog. We're just watching her for a little awhile, but she just keeps me running just the same. Apparently, she is an INDOOR dog, because she HATES being outside. Every time the door opens... IN she goes! She sits on the top step all day long, just watching the door. The kids go out... Cleo comes in.

I chase the toddlers... I chase Cleo... I chase the toddlers as they chase Cleo... under the bed... into the kitchen... out of the trash can.... away from the toilet... out the door and into the backyard... AGAIN and AGAIN! All day long... over and over. After awhile, the toddlers stop chasing Cleo. They stop... so they can watch ME run. Oh how funny Mommy looks while she chases the beagle all over the house.. slipping, sliding and falling all over the place as the dog scurries along. Finally I've had enough and I set my foot down! "No one goes outside again today. Don't even THINK about opening that door!" The older kids all nod their heads in agreement. They know Mommy means business! A couple of hours go by and all is well. Then later, I walk into the kitchen and spot Serenity standing by the back door. She's turned toward me with her hand perched on the door handle. It's as if, she's just waiting for me to spot her. "Serenity... don't you even THINK about it! Get away from that..." Before I can even finish my sentence, she lets out a giggle and quickly opens the door. Like Lightening.. Cleo flashes through the house. OH GREAT! HERE WE GO AGAIN! Once again, I start chasing the beagle and a giddy Serenity sits back and watches the show.

Did I ever tell you I have one VERY ORNERY little miracle baby? :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Know Your Savior

Number 1 rule of engagement says to "know your enemy." People always say fight fire with fire! But I tend to disagree. Jesus said..."These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus overcame the world. Jesus defeated the enemy. Jesus knew His enemy, but Jesus did NOT fight fire with fire. He could have used satan's tactics. He had the power to instantly destroy all of us and satan himself. But He chose to use a different measure... a smarter measure. Destruction goes against His character. So Instead... He hit satan with a surprise attack. He did something that satan never could have imagined in a million years. Satan's mind could not even conceive the tactic that Jesus used against him, because it was something that went against every fiber of satan's being. Jesus overcame this world with an act of....LOVE! 1 John 5:4-5 tells us that through Jesus we can overcome this world as well.
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
So through our faith we have the power and authority to overcome all obstacles of this world. We will have tribulations but because of our faith in the one who conquered this world we can have peace and be of good cheer. Now... faith is more than just to say.."I believe", because the word tells us that even the demons in hell believe and tremble. Faith needs another ingredient. "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." James 2:17 and in Galatians 5:6 we see that...."...faith works by Love." Faith needs LOVE and all the characteristics there of (1Cor. 13:4-7)
You see.. we don't have to fight fire with fire! We don't have to get inside the mind of our enemy. We don't have to use his tactics. We don't have to think inside his little box. As a matter of fact we need to think OUTSIDE his box. We need to obtain the mind of Christ. We need to become Christ-like. I praise God that in order to have victory we do NOT have to "know our enemy!"

We just need to KNOW our Savior!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

"Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice."
Serenity is part sugar. She has an amazingly sweet side to her. Yesterday morning, she awakened me with such a sweet sediment...
"Yay, It's morning! The sun is waking up and now we can go to church."
Now...If you didn't grin at "the sun is waking up" part. Then you just don't know sweet and the fact that she is just SOOO excited about going to church... well... that just takes the cake! Yes...my heart just melts when she tells me...
"Mom your my bestest friend and the most beautiful Mommy ever."

And If you've ever heard her sing, "Jesus loves me" or "You are my sunshine" then chances are, you know that melted heart feeling as well. Yes... She has a sweet side. Serenity is definitely part sugar!

Now just as sure as I am that she is part sugar. I'm even more certain that she has a much larger part which is Spice. A recent example would be last night. She was taking a shower with her sisters and half way through decided she had enough. So she jumped out stark naked and took off running through the house. Noah yelled at her to get some clothes on and in turn unintentionally invited her into his space. She immediately ran and jumped onto his bed. From the other room, I heard him yell...
"Gross Serenity... get off my bed before you pee on it!"
Now I know my daughter! I know that she is very ornery and smart enough on her own. So if YOU are as smart as she is, than you will NOT give her any extra ideas.... or else! :) A few seconds later, I heard Noah again....
"Ahh... NASTY! MOM!!!!! Reni just peed all over my bed!"
On my way into the room, I heard Serenity's spicy little attitude reply....
"Oh WAAA.... What are you going to do about it, little BABY?"
I entered the room and spotted her from behind. She had her bare bottom stuck out, head shaking left to right and finger pointed. She was sporting the entire.."oh no you didn't" look. Then unknowingly with me behind her, she mouthed off again...
"Oh WAAA WAAA.. little baby boy gotta tell your Mommy about it."

Oh.. Mommy heard loud and clear alright! :) Now you do remember that she is only three years old right? UNBELIEVABLE! Of course she was punished for her terrible behavior, but I have to admit, not without a few muffled giggles from me.

Serenity may be part sugar, but one thing is certain. There isn't a pepper in the world that can hold a candle to her spice! Then just when you think you can't take the heat... "the sun is waking up." and there's that sweetness again. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Savior Please... Keep Saving Me

So often, I receive emails saying..."You're so strong." People read Serenity's testimony or hear the testimony of how God saved my marriage and they immediately assume I'm a strong person. Each time I read or hear that line, I have to chuckle a little. The thought of someone thinking I'm a strong person is just so funny to me. Truth is... I'm not strong at all. I'm one of the weakest people I know. The only reason I made it through these various trials was because like a limp, unconscious damsel in distress, my hero which is my Savior... had to carry me.
Oh... I try to be so tough, but I'm just not strong enough.

Recently, God used the story of Elijah to remind me of how much I need my Savior. In 1 Kings, we read how Elijah performed many miracles and in the 18th chapter, we read that Elijah stood strong through many tests of faith. God used his faith to open the eyes of those who worshiped Baal. Elijah was up against some mighty spiritual warfare and he stood strong in faith until the rain fell and the prophets of baal were slaughtered. Through his faith many souls were turned back to God and many rejoiced in the name of the Lord. Then soon after in the 19th chapter we read that Jezebel discovered all that Elijah did and she vowed to kill him by the next day.
Now when Elijah heard she was after him, he ran scared. The word says..
"he arose and ran for his life... and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
So after all that he witnessed God accomplish through him, after everything that had happened, even after the impossible was made possible and Victory was celebrated, he still gave up and ran for his life, when he found out a WOMAN was after him. (true, there's a powerful evil spirit behind that woman, but that's a different message)
God spoke to me through this story. Elijah knew God could move mountains. Elijah knew that God would save him again, but Elijah was tired. He had fought until he couldn't fight anymore. Elijah had grown weary.
The fight of faith is tiring. The enemy loves to attack and attack until we grow weary. Sometimes we get so caught up in fighting for others that we tend to forget about our own armor. We neglect our own strength.
Last week, God spoke to me and said... "
You started out this race strong and determined. You allowed nothing to stand in your way. Even when those whom you love, said give up.. you stood strong and watched Me move mountains. Now that the mountains are hills and the problems are small, you're ready to give up... because you've grown weary."
You see in my determined fight to help others, I've allowed my time to become consumed with my ministry. I've noticed lately that every time I try to minister to someone during a trial in their life, the enemy attacks my family in that same area. I minister to someone about standing for their finances, and immediately the enemy attacks my bank account. I minister to couples about standing in faith for their marriage and immediately the enemy attacks my marriage again. Now these attacks are nothing like the mountains I've faced before, extremely minor in comparison, but yet I'm ready to call it quits and just surrender. Like Elijah, I've grown weary.
If we read further we discover how God strengthened Elijah...
"Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God."
Elijah had to get in the presence of the Lord and eat. Now we see in Matthew 4:4...
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

God was telling me that I had grown weary because I had been neglecting my OWN spiritual strengthening. In order for my ministry to flourish, in order for my family to withstand the storms, I need to set aside time for my own growth. Yes, I attend church regularly! Yes.. I read God's word! Yes, I pray, but I need more! I need to forget about all the worries and just bask within His presence. I need to spend time worshiping and getting to know Him all over again. I need to lay everything else aside and just nourish my relationship for awhile. I need to get in His presence... read His word... and let Him feed me.

I'm NOT a strong person... I desperately need my Savior!

I try to be so tough.. but I'm just not strong enough.
I can't do this alone, God I need you to hold onto me
I try be good enough, but I'm nothing without Your love
Savior Please... KEEP SAVING ME!

Everything You are to me
Is everything I'll ever need
And I am learning to believe
That I don't have to prove a thing
'Cause You're the one who's sav
ing me

Savior Please - Josh Wilson

Savior Please... KEEP SAVING ME!