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 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.


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


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


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?