Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WHY?

Why?

Why did some sicko have to set five bombs to detonate at the Boston Marathon?  Why?

Now, I've never had it as a goal to run the Boston Marathon (or any marathon since I'm only 1/2 crazy) but I have a lot of friends who have either run it, qualified for it or want to run it someday.  I know at least 4 people who were running on Monday. Thankfully they are all safe however, that doesn't change that there are people who aren't safe and people who won't feel safe running events in the future.  And that is sad!!!  I have a 1/2 Marathon in less than 2 weeks and don't you think I am now concerned! I am!  I'm concerned some sick evil individual is going to try to kill people there. But that will NOT stop me from running. 

I think of the little boy who is now dead because some evil person blew up a bomb next to him.  And his little sister who lost a limb and mother who is in critical condition.  And his daddy who is trying to hold it all together while also mourning.  THAT IS WRONG!!  PLAIN AND SIMPLE WRONG!

Our world definitely needs to find their way back to the Lord.  In HIM is peace.

For those who say the next Boston Marathon should be cancelled, I say NO WAY! It SHOULD be run.  And run gloriously.  If we start cancelling things because wacko's hate us and want to kill us, then THEY WIN.  We are Americans.  We do NOT back down.  EVER!

In the coming days there will be people blaming others, calling for more security, calling for many different things that may or may not be logical. What our leaders REALLY need to be doing is calling for us to get on our knees and pray.  Pray. Pray. PRAY.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I HEAR YOU LORD

Wow, two times this week I KNOW the Lord was speaking to ME.  The first was the sermon on Sunday (see the Blog post from Monday) and today I received an email that contained a link to the following devotion:

Devotion comes from:  http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/building-your-childs-faith-2013-04/

Daily Devotion for April 12, 2013 Building Your Child's Faith

By Wendy Blight
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV 1984)
As we stood in the parking lot outside my daughter's dorm, waves of grief washed over me. Lauren hugged her daddy and then her brother. Finally, I held her for what seemed an eternity ... no words, just tears.

When we began the drive home, I prayed for her, just as I had every day for the last 18 years. I knew it was time for the next phase of God's plan for her life. But the ache in my heart was deep.

As time passed, I learned to accept, and even embrace, our new normal. I enjoyed the extra time I got to spend with my husband and son.

But I couldn't get used to not encouraging Lauren in her faith face-to-face. We sent her to college with a Bible and a devotional book. But when she lived at home, we did these activities together. In the mornings, we read a devotion and I prayed with her most every day, from the time she was born till the day she packed her bags to move out.

Questions filled my mind. Without me, who would do this for her? Would she do it on her own? What if she turned away from her faith we'd been building for so long?

My questions prompted me to pray very specifically. I prayed for Lauren to make her faith her own, as I'd been training her to do all these years. I asked the Lord to work in her life in very real and personal ways, just like the times I'd pointed out for her to notice in her childhood. I prayed for His Spirit to stir her heart to read her devotional book each day, and I pleaded with Him to meet her in the pages of His Word.

God answered my prayers in a way only He can do. Lauren had been studying for her economics exam for days. She was worried she would fail because she'd been struggling with some of the concepts. My daughter texted me and a few good friends to pray. I wrote her back my prayer and a verse the Lord laid on my heart, Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (ESV). As it was sending, I prayed for Him to use this verse to encourage her and give her confidence as she walked into her exam.

I woke up the next morning to find this text from my girl:

"I opened my devotional and today's truth was Proverbs 3:5, exactly the verse you gave me!! ENCOURAGEMENT."

God taught me such a powerful lesson that morning. My role as a parent is to pray for and with my children and to model, to the best of my ability, what it means to be a godly woman. I was not perfect and often missed the mark. But when we do those two things, God fills in the rest. I only have them at home to teach, guide and train in God's Word for a short 18 years. But they are His for all their lives.

God showed me through a few minutes of texting that Lauren's faith was still building. On her own, she asked for prayer (which meant she too was praying), and she was reading her devotional book with no prompting from home.

If you have kids at home, pray for them, read God's Word with them and rest in knowing God is with them. You are building a firm foundation. You are paving a pathway that will lead them in the direction they should go.

Dear Lord, help me to train my children in the way they should go. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead me as I lead them. Draw each of us closer to You as we walk together in faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thank you Lord for the encouragement.  I didn't have a full 18 years with my stepdaughter but I hope to have that long with my son. I will train him up. I pray EACH of my kids learns from their faith, makes it their own and remembers that they can do ALL things through the Lord who gives them strength.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Kind of Life

To say my life has changed dramatically over the last year would be an understatement.

My husband has a new job which requires travel.

My step-daughter is away at college.

My son is in Kindergarten.

My travel for work has been cut exponentially.

Now, these may not seem like big changes. But when you are accustomed to a way of life, and having people always around you (and you being the only one in the marriage who routinely travels) it is a big change when these four combine.

Take for instance the last three months.  Hubs has been gone on 2-week trips on more than one occasion and this is different for me.  Only having one other person to take care of makes my evenings different.  I only have to cook for 2(and yeah right, like I "cook" on those nights). I only have to do laundry for 2. I actually can sit down and watch TV(albeit since little guy is usually in my LAP I have to watch SPONGEBOB). 

BUT I DO NOT LIKE THIS! 

I MISS my chaotic life(sorta).

I MISS having people always calling my name, asking for things(sometimes).  Even when it's just the three of us (plus the dog) it's not the same.  That same chaos isn't there anymore.  At least, its not AS chaotic.

I also miss my ability to just go for a run....by myself. I mean, I can't just leave the 6 year old home alone. I might come back to either no home, a yard full of police officers or a fatter dog, or all three.

So LJ and I have started taking our dog Molly on LONG walks.  And on short bike rides with her running beside us.

Only one problem with that...I am supposed to be training for the DIVA 1/2 Marathon (in three weeks - April 28) and instead I'm going on long walks and short bike rides with my son and dog. But I find I'm enjoying this...I really am enjoying it but I need SOME running involved.

Okay, so I COULD have trained more and ran more when hubs is home. I was just a bit on the lazy side too...

I have to believe and trust that I will be okay for the 1/2 Marathon and will at least cross the finish line in the allotted time and get my medal(LOL).  I won't be setting any PR's but I will be getting a lot of Mother/Son bonding time in...and maybe drop a few pounds off the dog(and myself). 

Maybe, just maybe this is God's way of slowing me down (temporarily) and giving me a chance to "smell the roses"(or whatever flower LJ decides to pick for me, just have to watch for the bee's). 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Choices, Choices, Choices

The sermon was on Choices. We had a guest speaker at our church this Sunday. Bro. Ted Wright, who is the pastor for the Brazillian services held at our church was speaking on Choices.  Now, mind you, our pastor is going to start a series on Choices next week but this week, our guest speaker is speaking on Choices.

How appropriate!

Have you ever sat in church and REALLY thought the preacher was talking to YOU!  Like he must have had a wire tap on you and known what you REALLY needed to hear?  Well, if there ever was a case, Sunday April 7, 2013 at Crowfield Baptist Church is evidence that God speaks to us when we need to hear!

So CHOICES!  What is this all about? Well, God created us right?  Okay, so when Eve CHOSE to eat of the fruit in the midst of the garden, thereby disobeying what God told her to NOT eat, she CHOSE to sin. See, God gave her free will.  Adam CHOSE to sin by eating of the apple also.

David CHOSE to sin with Bathsheeba.  Now, lets stop right there. Wasn't David,  THE King David mightily used by God? Wasn't he the one who slew the giant with just a stone?  Wasn't he the King of the Israelites?  Sure he was. 

But he sinned? 

Yup! 

But God still forgave him and used him? 

Yuppers! 

So if we CHOOSE to go against our beliefs, can God still use us?  Sure He can. Sure He will.  See, God chooses to use people.  He uses people who aren't perfect (cause really, only one person ever walked this earth who was perfect and that was Jesus).

So now, here we are in 2013 and we have many choices before us.  What songs to put on our mp3 player of our choice, what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, who to hang out with, what pictures to like on facebook, whether we want to work out or not.  All of these things that we choose EVERY DAY.  Some of these choices we may not even realize we are making them when we do make them.

For example, do I hit the snooze?  Do I get up? Do I wash the dishes now or later? Do I go work out now or suffer the consequenses later when I'm in a race and paying the price for not being prepared (um, uh-oh, DIVA 1/2 coming up and I am NOT prepared...and that is no ones fault but MINE).

Each of these things are choices. 

Twelve years ago I married a man who had a daughter.  I CHOSE to love her.  A lot of step-parents have a hard time loving their step-children as their own but I was blessed with an example in my mother and step-father loving each of us like we were their own.  I CHOSE at that point to love her like my own child.  I didn't HAVE to, I CHOSE to.  Do I regret that choice?  NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!  Have I been perfect in raising her?  Nope...no parent is perfect. But have I raised her and our son in a way that I feel is the best?  Yes.

Forty-three years ago a young woman chose to give me up for adoption and another young lady chose to take me as her child and love me, nurture me and guide me as a child. Was she always right?  No.  Was she a perfect mom?  No.  Did she love me and raise me the best she knew how? YES.  Do I think she did a good job with us?  YES.  Do I love that lady? MOST DEFINITELY.  And that's what I've tried to do with my kids. I'm not perfect and my kids aren't perfect either.  But I've chosen the path I am taking for my life and I will never regret it.

You see, 2000 years ago a man chose to love me enough to die for me. And I choose to follow THAT man.  See, Jesus paid the price for our sin. Jesus did His Father's will, not His own. Did Jesus WANT to die on the cross? Probably not. Did Jesus know that at any point He could have come down off that cross? Sure He did. He is God's Son. He sacrificed himself for our sin.  So I CHOOSE to follow Him.

Thank you Bro. Ted Wright for the sermon yesterday. It's what I needed!  And I'm looking forward to hearing Pastor David's series.  But one thing, I do believe that playdoh girl was just a bit wider than the playdoh boy you made...At least that's what Elaine Henderson and I thought!  lol.