Thursday, November 12, 2009

More than I can handle

Matthew 11:29-30 (The Message)

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."


Suppose you are going to the gym to lift weights. Let's say your body, your muscles can handle 50 pounds. It is still hard, you still get a work out, but you can handle it. Would it be wise to go to the gym one day and decide to lift 100 pounds? It won't be long before you have to get the extra 50 pounds off of your back.

We do that to ourselves. We take on more responsibilities than we are meant to handle. Making the things that need to be responsible hard, sometimes impossible to handle. It isn't until we take the extra weight off our shoulders that we can breathe, move on, and face our responsibilities without getting burnt out.

For the last few months, maybe even few years, I have felt so overwhelmed, and didn't know why. Then, finally, I lost it, to the point that I thought I was mentally ill. Then it occured to me, I am not mentally ill. I have placed the weight of the world on my shoulders. And to shed the extra weight, and be able to focus on the responsibility that God has given me, my family, feels wonderful!!! I thought that there was something wrong with me because things most people would find cute about my children, I dispised. What kind of mother could feel this way? Only a mother who is so bogged down with unnecessary responsibility. I feel so free.

God is so good! He will never give us more than we can handle. But sometimes we can take on more than we can handle. So let go, and let God! Let go of all of your access baggage so you can live the full abundant life we are meant to live!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't touch the stove!!!!!

Don't touch the stove
Don't play with fire
Don't run into the street
Don't put something in your mouth if you don't know what it is
Don't eat candy before dinner
Don't talk to strangers

These are all rules we give our children. Not to be mean. Not to limit what they can do just because. But because we care about them. We know what is best for them. We want them to be safe. We know that if they do the things we tell them not to do, they will more than likely be harmed in some way. We see the big picture. We can see the consequences. Children can not.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (New Living Translation)
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

1 Corinthians 6:18 (New Living Translation)
 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

Colossians 3:5-6 (New Living Translation)
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.  Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.


Ephesians 5:18 (New Living Translation)
 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit
God does the same for us. He sees the big picture. There are rules that he gives us. But it isnt to take life away from us, but to keep us safe. To keep us from being harmed, or even harming ourselves. We feel so limited because of the things we are told to stay away from, or not participate in. But in reality, if we follow those instructions, we can find such freedom in knowing that we are safe. We don't have to live with the consequences.

James 1:25 (New International Version)
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Galatians 5:1 (New International Version)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

housekeeping

When I go to pick my children at 2:00pm, my house is pretty much spotless. Everything has been cleaned, and I actually have the opportunity to rest and relax while Tyler is sleeping. But it never fails. Less than 5 minutes after we walk through the door, it looks like I had been laying on the couch eating bon bons all day watching tv. Even though I have been working my tail off.

Our hearts are the same way. We may clean them out, and get rid of the junk in there, but we have to keep cleaning it out. It doesnt stay that way without effort.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (New Living Translation)

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”

God knew this. He doesnt say, "Okay I forgive you, I will extend mercy to you, but only once." He shows us mercy every single day. And every single day, we need it. Just like our homes have to be cleaned every day. So do our hearts. We want the Lord's home to be clean, don't we? If Jesus lives in our heart, don't you think he would like his home to be cleaned?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

Okay, this is something that has been on my heart for quite some time now. It has become blatantly clear to me today.

I was a young woman who was desparate for children. I knew I would be the best mom ever. When after a year, it just wasnt happening, I was devistated. I begged for the labor pains, I begged for the midnight feedings, the colic, the messy house. I begged for everything that came with motherhood. Determined of course that all of that stuff wouldn't stress me out because of my unconditional love for my children.

Six years after the journy of mother started for me, my picture is in the dictionary next to the word "stress". I am tired all the time, the kids throw tantrums, break things, break themselves. I wait and wait for Tyler's naptime, only to last a short while before I have to pick up Angelina from school, and then Ryan. As soon as we open the door, my house has been absolutely destroyed. All the work I had done while they are at school.....undone.

I am a far cry from the mother I had imagined myself being. I think somehow, even though I anticipated and welcomed the ugly sides of motherhood, I assumed God would bless me with perfect children (as if those exist) since I was determined that that is exactly what he wanted for my life...to be a mother.

Instead of being so grateful that I have beautiful children to live in my home, I get upset that they can't keep it clean. Instead of being grateful that when they break something that it was something material instead of one of them, I yell at them for not taking care of our things. When they break themselves, instead of rejoicing that it could have been worse, but wasn't, I get annoyed because now I have to stop what I was doing to tend to them. When they ask every 5 minutes for something to eat, instead of being so thankful that we have food to feed them, and that they desire to be nourished, again, I am annoyed that I have to stop what I was doing.

Psalm 127:3
Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.


I look at families like the Duggars (18 kids and counting). Even though, I think that is crazy, I can't help but be envious. Her joy toward her children. I go to extreme measures to make sure I have no more children. Yet she is overjoyed with each new child. I only have 3 and I complain that I hardly ever get a chance to sit down.

Even now, I am feeling guilty by my convictions that I was just complaining that my children dont have school today and I have a new audio book I am itching to listen to. As I type this, my children are being babysat by Whinnie the Pooh. I should be so excited that I get a whole day to spend with my children.

This subject goes way beyond just our children. How many things in life are we blessed with that we just can't see because we are clouded by Satan's negative thoughts. Leave a comment if you can think of a few. You may open someone else's eyes to the blessings in their lives that they can't see.

Lord, please give me an attitude of gratitude. Not only towards my children, but towards everything in life you bless me with that I dont see for it's blessing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

थे sunrise

I don't know anyone who doesn't appreciate a beautiful sunrise. This is something I learned from watching every second of the 30 minute process of a sunrise over a beautiful ocean.



If you think about the sunrise as being Jesus being present in our lives, this is what it looks like to me।Jesus is the light of the world, and we, as Christians, are called to reflect his light to the world।When the sun comes up, although it is so beautiful, it is usually covered by clouds। You KNOW that the sun is there, but the light is a bit diffused. Still, you can see something special, and beautiful about it.

sunrise1



As the sun rises more and more, it is covered less and less by the clouds, beginning to shine brighter and brighter।

sunrise2



Eventually, the sun is past the clouds and is so bright it lights up the entire sky।

sunrise3



Think of the clouds as every day things in life, or things that have happened in your life that you just can't get over, or heal from, basically, anything that causes us to diffuse the light God has meant for us to shine।It isn't until we get past the clouds that we can shine so brightly that the world can't help but know that we are here!So when you see a beautiful sunrise, whether you are catching it at the beginning, when clouds are covering the sun, or at the end when the sun is shining in all it's glory, try to think of what clouds you need to get past to show the glory of God in your life!!

I actually copied this from my notes on Facebook. I realized something after I read it again. Perhaps sometimes we are the clouds. Sometimes we try to save people by our own means, use our own egos, etc. The world needs Jesus, not us!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breaking down the barriers

As I prepare to type this, so many thoughts are entering my mind at once, and I am relying on God's power to overtake my random thoughts and make them make sense to those reading this.

I am one who is respectful of certain boundaries and barriers. If I see a sign that says "Do not enter", I do not enter. The boundary of sin, if I know I am not supposed to do something, I try my hardest to not do it. But I see around me, so many barriers put up by people, organizations...even churches that I simply can not respect. There are boundaries between rich and poor, black and white, liberal and conservative, republican and democrat. Look in our high schools, and you will find so many. We call them cliques. They hang out with the people that dress the same, play the same sports, whose parents make similar incomes, live in the same neighborhoods. We are all created in God's image. That makes everyone the same in his eyes. When will we all start to treat each other the same?

The one that I hate the most is, "What church do you go to?". As if God meant for his people to be separated into different "faiths" as we like to say. Do we not all have the same faith, being our hope in Jesus Christ being our savior? Didn't God create one body of believers? We have put these walls up between certain groups of Christians and what separates us is mostly how we perceive how God is pleased by our worship. Isn't the point of worship to bring glory and honor to our creator and savior? Does God really care if we have musical instruments, or raise our hands while we praise, if we have a Children's Bible Hour or not, if we meet together as a church or have small group studies on Sunday night? Does he care if we dress up in our Sunday's best, or if we wear jeans? I have never read anywhere in the bible that any of those things matter to God. They really only to matter to us. Isn't worship about God, not us? All that he asks is that we offer up our sincere praise and gratitude to him. To sacrifice our lives and live for him, and not ourselves. To feed the hungry, to help the helpless, clothe the naked, seek and save the lost.

I was raised in the Church of Christ, have always gone there. Then my husband decided to try to look for another church. I hesitated for as long as I could. Why? Was I scared? Was I so attached to my church family that I thought that going somewhere else would make me an outcast? Finally, I decided that splitting up the family to go to church on Sunday morning just didn't seem right. So I reluctantly gave in and started going with him to another church. I am still active in my other church, as well as the new one. I go to a bible study comprised of women from churches all over town. One thing that I have learned is that there is so much freedom in breaking down those barriers. I have felt my faith go through the roof. When we have those barriers up, and we limit ourselves, we limit God. We decide for ourselves how God is pleased. I think that God is more pleased with where our heart is when we worship, rather than how we worship. Even Jesus broke the "religious law" because he was more interested in bringing glory to his Father in everything he did.

What is my point? Wouldn't it be so awesome if instead of having different denominations, there really was one body of Christ, the way it was meant to be? If we respected that there is not just one way to worship? I mean, one day, we will all be together in heaven, with no barriers, all worshiping together anyway. Why can't we start here?