Monday, April 28, 2014

Weary Mom, I Feel You

I don't have a whole lot of encouraging words today. I just want to say that whatever you are going through weary mom, you are NOT alone. I feel your pain & struggle.

I know what its like to spend an hour sweeping & mopping the floor only to have someone track dirt all through the house.

I know what its like to open the dryer expecting to find clean laundry only to realize that someone left a whole pack of gum in their pockets...again.

I know what its like to try to go out to eat as a family, but spend the majority of your time fussing at your kids to act like they have some sense. After all, you know you have taught them better than that!

I know what its like to stand in front of a closet full of clothes & not have anything suitable to wear.

I know what its like to repeatedly take the toddler to the potty only to have him poop in his pants 5 minutes later.

I know what its like to have a preteen master the art of eye rolling.

I know what its like to feel like a failure.

I know what its like to feel all alone.

I know what its like to feel like no one is listening.

I know what its like to try on that outfit your had picked out for today, only to realize that its too tight, make a vow to lose 20 pounds, turn right around & eat a handful (or more) of chocolate, then hate yourself even more.

I know what its like to feel like you are in competition with electronic devices.

I know what its like to wake up before everyone else in the house, make a desperate effort to ensure everything goes smoothly, have your husband wake up 30 minutes before time to leave, & you STILL be the last one out the door.

I know what its like to cry for no apparent reason.

I know what its like to plan a family event, only to wish that you had went alone.

I know what its like to have a cabinet full of groceries & have no clue what to fix for supper.

I know what its like to go through your daughters clean clothes only to find just as many dirty clothes too.

I know what its like to want someone to talk to, to REALLY talk to, without the fear of judgement or wonder who else they are telling your secrets to.

I know what its like to forget to eat or to only have time to eat everyone's leftovers while standing at the sink.

I know what its like to balance the checkbook and have to decide which bill is more important to pay right now. I also know what its like to realize that a miracle will have to occur in order for you to make it to payday...again.

I know what its like to wonder "What if?"

I know what its like to need to be in half a dozen different places at once.

I know what its like to have the children aggravate the daylights out of each other just because they can.

I know what its like to be busy & hear "Mom. Mooom. Mom?? MOM!!!"

I know what its like to cook a delicious meal, then hear, "I'm not hungry." "I don't like that." "Do I have to eat it?" Then 30 minutes later hear "I'm starving!"

I know what its like to wake up time after time after time with a little one while everyone else in the house snores away.

I know what its like to dislike my body.

I know what its like to be late...again.

I know what its like to want nothing more than a good book, a bubble bath, & a LARGE milkshake & to be able to enjoy it in peace & quiet.

Someone once told me that the days are long, but the years are short. My days are still long, but I can already see how fast the years are going by. I don't yet know what its like for my life to be clean, quiet, & unhurried. But I do know what its like to realize that NO ONE can fix things quit like mom can. And I do know what its like to be rewarded with smiles that light up your world, rib crushing hugs, & wet sloppy kisses. And for those, I know what its like to keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To Know That I Know That I Know

I just love those spirit filled services. You know, the ones with singing, crying, testifying, & the Holy Spirit moving. I love to hear how the Lord is working in other people's lives. I love to tell people how God is working in my life. But, I usually claim up when it comes to my personal testimony.

I know that most people love to tell how God changed their life, how Jesus saved them. I know that a lot of people can take you back to a day, a time, a place where their life changed forever.

I can't do that & it bothers me!

I have a date that I cling to. I know that I was on the altar March 29, 1992 (the day before I turned 14). It was one of "those services". Fellman Cheek was especially long winded & it was pushing on towards 1pm.

But I also know that I made professions both before & after this time. The first was at a Bailey Smith Crusade on a Tuesday night when I was about 8. I can even see the shirt I was wearing! My mom made her way to the make shift altar the very next night.

Another significant date that stands out was the night before Halloween 1998. Justin & I went with some friends to visit The House of Judgement in Elkin & I just didn't know anymore.

Most of my life, I have questioned my salvation. Not too long ago, I called my pastor in tears. After a heart wrenching conversation, he told me that deep down, no matter the doubts, I knew the answer.

I have times where I "feel" alone. I "feel" confused. I don't read my Bible like I should. I don't pray like I should. I don't witness like I should. I don't "feel" like a very good Christian.

Then I have times where I "feel" joy. I "feel" peace. I enjoy reading my Bible. I look forward to church. I stay in a state of prayer. I "feel" like God is pleased with me.

There are times that I "feel" sad when others talking about knowing exactly when they gave their lives to Jesus. But then I realized that its ok that I don't know when. The devil wants me to doubt. He knows that when I doubt, I'm not feeling confident in my Christian life. And when I am not confident, then I don't work nearly as hard. He has me right where he wants me.

I have prayed for assurance. I have prayed for God to reveal the exact date for me so I wouldn't doubt anymore. Then God brought a thought by me. Paul talked about a thorn in his flesh. He begged God to remove it from him.

2 Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Maybe, just maybe, this is my thorn. Maybe, just maybe, THIS is my testimony for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else on their journey through their doubts & mine.

I'm thankful that we aren't saved on "feelings". We are saved by faith through grace!

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Stand strong weary Christian. Don't give the devil this victory. Take comfort in KNOWING that God's promises are true! If He promised to save us, He will! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Newest Gateway Drug??

I had to think twice & even three times before publishing this one tonight. I hate to air dirty laundry, but if someone else can learn from an experience then I think it should be shared.

I was literally sitting with tears in my eyes this afternoon praying & thinking about the latest stupid decision my 16 year old niece had made, wondering how I was going to address it, & feeling burdened for our young people when the phone rang.

It hasn't been a grand & glorious few days at our house, and "that moment when.....the vice principle called the house....." didn't make it any better.

It seems that my almost, in less than a week, 12 year old & some of his "friends" thought it would be a smart decision to snort the sugar from a Pixie Styx up their noses similar to cocaine. WHY????

My first reaction, of course, was anger, followed by disappointment, concern, & finally confusion. I had plenty of time for my emotions to run the gambit & to rant in my head before he got home.

He denied taking part in this activity but there's just something about his story that doesn't sit well with me. I HATE not being able to trust him, but he has not been the most honest person lately.

This may seem trivial, & on the surface it seems to be just a silly stunt, but after a little research, I found out that snorting Pixie Styx & smoking Smarties is more common place than we realized.

I can't help but wonder if kids are doing this & pretending its the real thing in order to appear cool, similar to candy cigarettes for my generation. But by pretending now, does that open up that gateway for real drugs later on. And how easy would it be for a "friend" to exchange that somewhat harmless sugar for something much more sinister.

I guess I will never really know if he actually did this, but it did provide yet another opportunity to discuss the importance of honesty, choosing good friends, & making sound decisions.

Talk to your kids. Find out what crazy ideas their peers are having. Let them know that even something that seems harmless can hurt them. Keep the communication open so they feel comfortable actually opening up when something does happen. Most importantly, pray for them!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Leaps & Bounds

I had a parent teacher conference with Makenzie's teacher the other day. I always go into those feeling both worry & relief. I want to know how she is doing, I NEED to know how she is doing, but at the same time, I'm usually scared to find out.

I have seen such an improvement in her lately. She has went from someone who would do almost anything to get out of reading to someone who reads every sign, box, & piece of information that she can. She is the one to remind me that she has homework if I forget. You can look at her & see the pieces starting to fit together!

She is finally getting it!

Realizing that I couldn't teach her to read was so hard for me to accept & admit. We tried. We really tried!

I understand now why some parents make different choices for their children. While homeschooling worked fine for Austin, & me for that matter. It wasn't what my daughter needed & it took me over 2 years to see that.

I believe now that homeschooling was more for me than for my children anyway. I learned to lean on God like I never had before. I learned that I don't always have all the answers. I learned that its ok for the budget not to work out on paper, because God doesn't budget like we do. I learned that some of the best lessons are lived, not taught.

And while some days, I miss my 2 oldest being home with me, I love seeing the excitement when they talk about their friends, when they tell me all about what happened during their day, & even when I have to wade through the drama that is middle school. I wouldn't change my how & why we came to the choices we made for anything. For without those exact choices at those exact times, things wouldn't be what they are now.

I'm thankful that God had another plan! And I'm thankful that I actually listened when I did.

Makenzie's teacher told me that I couldn't have put her back in at a more appropriate time. It seems that there are far more in the same boat as my daughter right now than not.

I want to share our GREAT NEWS - Makenzie has grown a WHOLE grade level in just 5 months!!!! I know we still have some ways to go, but I could n't be prouder of her success! She will get there!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your prayers!! PLEASE keep them coming!

I’m Waiting on the Bigger & Better

Sometimes certain people have been in your life so long it’s hard to remember where they came from, how they got there, & even how you l...