Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
Our season of hardship continues and grows. To add to the stress my husband has officially stopped working due to his health. Life was a struggle on one income, now with 6 children and no income, it's getting a little unsettling. It seems we've been left with no way out, no options but for me to find work. Sink or get off the boat.
But what if you believe God had you build the boat, that He called you to and promised you that boat and that His word confirms that this is true? How long do you stand on that sinking ship, and is it really even sinking? If you jump off will you miss the blessing or the miracle that God has in store for you? And are you missing the blessings now by focusing on your hardships instead?
For today, I'm standing firm on the possibly sinking ship and I choose to do something else instead of jump...count my blessings.
- Having Jesus as a best friend
- The Bible
- There has been an odd peace during this entire season of hardship and I thank anyone who has been praying for that for us in this time, I truly believe it is because of answered prayer.
- Having a Women's Bible Study during it all about counting blessings. It was a wonderful affirmation for us.
- A husband who, though his health is not all it should be, is continuing to try and do his best.
- Time with my husband that we normally wouldn't have at this time of year.
- Six beautiful little blessings
- Finding a beautiful home to rent right on our Church grounds.
- Two of the most amazing pets you'll ever know. (Everyone who's ever met our pets fall in love with them)
- Advice and encouragement from people who understand our desire to live fully for God and who put God first in their words to us and are not ruled by the fears of the world.
- Every blog I've ever read by women who have the same values and beliefs. God has used you to pull us through many hard times and decisions when everyone around us has been telling us to turn to our own means and understanding in all things. Thank you for being a light when the world around has seemed so dark.
- A garden
- A van
- My dad finding us free cute wooden chairs to replace our metal folding ones. (What can I say, I'm a girl, cute things make me happy.)
- Family and a Church Family. Regardless of our differences in beliefs we are still loved by them the best way they know how.
- Hardships that change and grow you.
- Relearning once again the difference between needs and wants
- Songs like this
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25-33
My husband and I had an interesting conversation last night...we've been having some very interesting conversations for weeks actually, but last night was a bit of a light bulb moment for us. Where is your focus?
As a Christian, we know the answer to this..."On God of course!" That's all fine and good but in what aspect are your thoughts on God, and are they really on Him? Maybe you're thinking "God, please help me pass this test" "God, change my circumstances" or "God, I praise you", or even "God, change me." These are all great! God wants us to go to Him in everything, and we should praise Him in all things. But lets be real here, most of us are not focused on God all the time, in fact for many, we're not focused on God most of the time.
Right now my husband and my focus are on a few things. My husbands is mostly his deteriorating health, and mine is mostly the financial organization of caring for a large family with zero income. Yes we believe God is there and working in this situation. We believe something beautiful is happening but even knowing this, our mind keeps shifting to the worldly troubles.
So what happens when you focus so intently on things? You become hypersensitive to them. If it's your health every ache and pain and new discomfort is amplified and means something bigger. If it's finances you risk making it your idol and it can either become about making more and more of it, or stressing and losing hope of ever being able to get out of the situation you're in. Both of these are examples of focusing on negative things, but what happens if it's not a horrible thing you're focusing on. Regardless of how good something is or how good your intentions begin, paired with a human sinful nature, things can go wrong. A strong focus on your children for instance, can become a hypersensitivity to every little whine, and unwanted behaviour and the sinful need for control can take the focus to another level as you attempt to micromanage every little action or quarrel.
Sometimes our focus on things doesn't need to be so intense. Guiding your children is necessary, but some of us need to release control of the idea that it's our job to make them what God wants them to be, that's God's job. Who are we to say what God has planned for those little lives. It's our job to impart wisdom, love and protection, while still allowing them to learn from their bumps, bruises, and wrong decisions, and to give the rest to Him.
So where should we turn our attention then? To God right? Of course, but in what way? Praise, prayer, Bible study? Should we focus on forgiveness, compassion, generosity?
Here is where God is leading us with this in our life and circumstances right now. I can't say this is what everyone needs to do, because what He calls each of us to happens at different times and in different ways, but here is how we are learning (slowly) to take our focus off ourselves and our many problems, and to direct them to God.
FOCUSING ON GOD
Now, here is why these numbers are crossed out. We did this, we got to this point, and we got this:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
Your kingdom come.Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Jesus asks us to seek the Kingdom first, not mans, Gods. So we should just focus on heaven, right? Well what does the second verse say? Are we to just focus on His kingdom in heaven or should we be setting our sights to obeying God and living our lives here and now, as we would expect them to be in heaven? With absolute obedience, love for God and others and praise.
Maybe not a huge revelation to most. But when God has placed on your heart to start a charity organization for Him (with Kingdom in the title mind you!), and your husband is too ill to work to pay bills let alone take on more physical labour for the charity and you haven't an income coming in, and your focusing on trying to just get by and to survive, these verses take on a whole new meaning.
In all this chaos our hearts are at peace, and we have found a calm in the storm.
We will seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added to us, and I have faith in my God that His words are true!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
How can you describe a roller coaster to someone who has never been on one? How can one fully explain the ups and downs, the sensations of heaviness, of weightlessness, of turns, disorientation, and the feeling of your stomach leaving your body.
If you've experienced this you know. Maybe you can feel the sensations, maybe it fills you with excitement to recall it, maybe it fills you with dread. How I will view this ride when it's all said and done, I'm not sure. It will likely have a great deal to do with how I handle it during the ride itself, and how prepared I was before it came and swept me away in the first place.
My roller coaster has consisted of:
*A new baby BOY!! Well, not so new anymore, he is almost 9 months old. He is our first boy and absolutely precious.
*A five year old daughter who had a kidney infection and was hospitalised and now, going on 6 months with recurring fevers reaching almost 106 and no diagnosis in sight.
*Hubby being laid off all winter.
*Hubby getting a new job paying substantially less.
*Hubby experiencing health issues preventing him from working many days, and now getting so many tests to find out what is wrong he's been missing more work. So far CT scan, lung capacity test, blood work. Next, MRI and scope of his stomach. They have ruled out a brain tumor, but they are still looking into MS, stomach cancer, and other possibilities.
*Moving (praise God our Church family offered us the house on the Church grounds when it came up for rent, and it is the perfect for us home!)
*Grandfather in the hospital with heart problems.
*God nudging us in a direction of service that would mean my husband leaving the workforce and us depending on God entirely for provision. We aren't prepared for this. If my husband misses even a day of work we have to decide between cutting out meals or not paying a bill.
So how do you walk steady when you're getting off a roller coaster, and how do push yourself forward and jump on the next one when your head is still reeling from the last ride? Especially when you feel your eyes stuck closed and you can't see how fast it's going, or how many turns, loops and possible dangers you might encounter. How do you decide to get on, when you so desperately wanted off the last one? Do you plant your feet and say no, or do you jump on, throw your hands in the air and let it carry you through?
Monday, December 17, 2012
*Please take the time to read this today. I wrote it for you.*
But the years, they can make us bitter and jaded. We may not see it, we may not even understand what we`re feeling, but it`s there. The negative influence of the world slowly plays on our hearts and minds. Tragedies, personal hurts, stress, responsibilities, these things can all impact how and if we love. With recent events we are left grasping to understand, we need to understand, we need there to be a reason because we want to fix it. We need to have somewhere to direct our pain and anguish over these horrible things that happen in our world, but where is that getting us? Changing the world is too heavy a burden for a person to bear, and if you have ever tried to tell someone what to do, you know how well that can work out. Jesus wants us to take His yoke upon us. Matthew 11:29
If you are still looking for a reason why these horrible things are happening in the world, if you are still looking for somewhere to point that finger I have somewhere that you can, ME. It was me. I have been wrong, I have not loved my neighbour as God has called me to do. I have not loved my enemy, I have not loved His children. I take full blame for the state the world is in because I have been a part of the problem, and not a part of the solution. I have focused on negativity, instead of finding the good in every situation, I have focused on the darkness instead of looking for the light. I have not been a light, I have not loved. I have been too busy blaming things and people, and I have been wrong. I am sorry for my part in this, but I promise that I will try my hardest to remedy it. I will fail from time to time (probably too many to count) but I know that this is good, and I have faith God will help me to love as I should.
Here's what I know. God is love, and when I fill myself with Him, and show love to others the world does become a different place, in each act of love, I change the world, maybe only to my eyes, maybe to others as well, but it's different. When I love, there is hope, and peace and light, and my prayer is that others will see that, and that the world might be changed for them as well.
I want to show you that I love you today, because I do! It doesn't matter who you are, your religion, your opinions of me, the colour of your skin, the way you dress, your sexual preference, your choice in music, your use of grammar, if you look at me the wrong way, if you believe what I say, if you don't believe anything at all, if you curse, if you stutter, if you're pro-life or pro-choice, if you're a man or woman, if you're young or old, if you're still waiting to be born on this earth, or if you've already gone home to your Father. I LOVE YOU. You don't have to earn it, you don't have to deserve it, you don't have to believe it. But I believe this is what God has called us to do, and I DO, do you hear me? I DO LOVE YOU!
So here are some pieces of love for you today, to get you through the darker times, and to help you remember there is light if you look for it, and if you can't see it, shine yours brighter!
Love from theremix on GodTube.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Rawsrvnt - Love On (Spoken Word) (@Rawsrvnt) from rawsrvnt on GodTube.
A song I wrote as a young child: (If you don't feel the love, at least you might get a laugh)
Jesus is Love, Jesus is Love
I wish I could give Him presents up above,
because Jesus is my friend, Jesus is my best friend.
Spreading the Love here:
Domestically Divine Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Courtship Connection, Titus2Tuesday, Titus 2sday, A Pause on the Path, Raising Homemakers
Friday, June 8, 2012
1. He has taken away the security of a home: We could be forced out of this rental at any time due to the landlords having to sell, and there are no feasible rental options for us. If they are affordable they are too small and won't let us rent, or if they are large enough they are too expensive, and the few that do come along even close to what we need do not allow pets.
2. He has take away our TV. This I'm not too upset about. I knew it was creeping it's way in far too much again recently, and frankly was a little relieved to see it go. No fight there God.
3. He has taken away our van. Now, if we lived in town, or close to family this one might not be such a struggle for me. However, we are a 15 minute drive to town or the nearest grocery store, we are at least 20 minutes from the nearest hospital, and I'm due to have this baby in less than 2 months, this will mean that IF we can find someone to come pick me up and take me to the hospital when I go into labor it will likely take an hour to get there, and hubby will not be able to be there as someone will need to stay home with the kids. My stepdaughter comes up at the end of this month and we won't be able to pick her up let alone do any activities outside of the home as a family this year, no swimming, no camping, no going to my parents for lunch, no getting groceries, picking up milk or diapers, taking the kids to special appointments, getting them to the hospital in case of an emergency, and we will have no way to get our large family to church either.
My husband is refusing to go into debt for a vehicle or owe anyone for a vehicle, (which I get biblically the not wanting to go into debt thing) but is this really a possibility? To live without a vehicle with a family this large (6 and soon to be 8) for years this far from town and in this day and age? We would not be able to save up enough to buy a vehicle with cash for years.
So, is God teaching us simplicity? It seems He is slowly teaching us how to live with nothing but him. He is weaning out the unnecessary, and what we deem as necessary, and leaving us with only the most important things, Him and each other.
If this isn't the lesson I really hope we figure it out soon, this tired mama is wearing out fast.
Any advice or personal stories on how a large family can live without a car these days I would really appreciate it.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
UPDATE ON PRAYER REQUESTS:
FINDING A HOME:
Though a lot has been happening since I wrote last there hadn't been much progress with moving or anything. We now have 2 days to give our notice so that we're into another place before baby arrives, otherwise we'll have to wait a few months so we're not moving while I'm in labor or have a baby a few weeks old to drag through the process.
I have been searching for rentals daily, and there was nothing the size our family needs in our price range, let alone in the location we needed. It was beginning to look like we would never find anything. Then, a week ago we found a place that seemed to fit. It's an old run down home, but with big open living space inside that would suit us great. There's a large yard and mature fruit trees. Even a swing hanging from the branch of giant old maple. There were downfalls too, it would only be for 2-3 years, it has single pane windows (heating the place would cost a fortune and there would always be a draft), far from family my husbands work and where we wanted to be, but it still felt like it would work. Then the day we made the decision that this would be the place I checked the rental ads one last time...my grandparents old home, the property that I grew up on, the place across the road from my husbands work, where I still knew all the neighbors, close to our church, close to friends and family was available for rent. Is this a sign that this is the place or is it an attempt to turn us away from making the right decision? Is it even an option? I go to see the place today and ask a few more questions and then if the landlord agrees to rent to us, we would have to make a decision tonight! So God has blessed us with options, as much as the options seem to make things harder right now. He is teaching us wisdom in all this and we just hope we get the lesson and make the right choice. Prayers for an easy move regardless of where we end up would be much appreciated.
Our landlords grandson is doing great. His weight is way up and last I heard (which was a while ago) he was close to ready to go home! He is without doubt a miracle and blessing to this world and his family. Thank you for your prayers for this little guy!
NEW PRAYER REQUEST:
In all this packing and running around and trying to find a place, my big growing belly is starting to take a toll on me. I'm due July 31st but the way I've been feeling I'm worried this little one may well make an appearance ahead of schedule. I try to take it easy as much as I can, but you can only take things so easy when your packing up a house with 4-5 little girls running around to look after. Prayers for a safe end of this pregnancy would mean a lot, thanks everyone!