Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You are Strong!

Yesterday, the time had come and I had to face it..... the mountain of laundry that had grown on top of our washing machine.  Many people wash a load or two in a day to keep us with the need and demand of their family.  However, I am not like most people apparently!  I like to do all our laundry over the span of a day (or two.... or three) because I can have full loads and it works better for me.  I can focus on just that task for that day.  Anyway, the day had come and the mountain seemed larger than normal.  I realized that I needed to move the basket out of our very small laundry room into an adjacent hallway for sorting.  So, lifted the basket with all my might as I moved it as avalanches of clothing items fell on my head and floor.  Just about the time I am realizing this might not have been the best approach to move all this, I hear Kendall exclaiming, "Yay Momma!  You are strong!"

The funny thing is..... it was more of an encouragement than a declaration.  He saw a strength in me and exclaimed it more as a way of keeping me going despite the weight of the load I was carrying.  The Father reminded me that is what I am to do for others- speak encouragement and hope to others carrying a weight that seems to hard to bear.  My friend, we are stronger than we seem- not because of anything we are or abilities we have- but, because we have the power of the resurrection within us as believers of Christ.  The power of the resurrection which brought forth life from death- that is the power we have from our Savior within, my friend!   His strength becomes ours and the load becomes lighter. 

Plus, we have friends who stand up cheering us on through the task- believing that with Him we can endure to the end of that trial.  I want to be that for you- the friend seeing all that He can do in you!  The friend who comes along praying desperately with you in tears of longing and compassion.  The friend that exclaims.... "You are stronger than you can even comprehend....because your strength is His."..... The friend that walks that trial with you and rejoices in the victory at the end of it. 

Can I be that friend for you?  What can I pray for you?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Searching for Things Lost

In a house full of activity, flying balls, and the occasional wrestling match, it is not uncommon to lose things. Too often it is my patience as well as calm, cool, and collected reasoning that gets "lost" first. Ha!  No, seriously, in a house full of boys we lose things often and our resident search and rescue expert is Caleb. That boy will search without end until the item is found. It becomes a challenge that he cannot back away from.

Case in point- last week, Kendall bought him a cross necklace for $.25 at a local pizza place. Before we left, it had become untied and slipped off. Caleb could not leave until the necklace was found- the 25 cent necklace. The rest of us were loaded in the car waiting on him because we did not feel the same passion as he did for it. Finally, I called him- from the car- and offered to replace it if we could just leave. At that point, I was not beyond bribery especially when it is in denominations of quarters. 

The thing is, as passionate as he is for lost items, he is the same for lost people. Those who are struggling in hurts and disappointments... Searching for purpose and meaning to this life. He finds them. He finds them because he searches ever so desperately for them. Part of the passion in his search are the pain and struggles he has also endured. He knows  how it feels to be lost and the joy of finding redemption. 

Am I as purposeful and focused at finding the lost ones in my life?

If Christ is to be our example, then by his own words we are to seek out the lost in our world. "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10 NIV) 

So, thoughts swirl about my mind.... Am I being intentional in my seeking out the hurting in my world? Do I search for those needing His redemption as I do for earthly treasures? What legacy do I want to leave behind?

I don't think I am alone in this struggle? How about you?


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Faith of a Child

Over the past few weeks, Kendall has loved this song by David Crowder.  He listens to it several times a day and when he isn't listening to it, he is singing it.  Several times I have been in the midst of a task to hear his toddler voice singing, "He loves us.  Oh, how He loves us!" and my mother heart fills to overflowing.  This morning he asked to what the video again and in the midst of the song he jumped up off the floor, lifted both hands to the sky with eyes closed tight singing to God.  I literally caught my breath in my chest.  He is a child- one who has not experienced much life- and is too young to make that life changing faith decision to live for Christ at this point.  Yet, his heart knows whom it is to praise! 

This verse hit me.....

"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:2-5 NIV)

What Jesus is teaching us is to have the faith like a child...so, what does that mean.

Children love completely.
Children trust whole heartedly.
Children believe all is possible.
Children worship without fear.

That is the kind of faith I want to have...but....Life gets hard and complicated doesn't it?  The blessing of childhood is being blissfully unaware of the heartaches and strife that so overwhelms us as adults.  Yet, this morning God reminded me that no matter the situation, He is in control.  Therefore, I can believe that ALL is possible and worship Him without fear.  The Father reminded me that He always has my best interest at heart and that allows me to love completely and trust whole heartedly.  Life will still be hard and problems will continue to exist- only in heaven will those things pass away- but He will walk with me through it all.  Such knowledge causes peace to flow freely within and I become overwhelmed by His great love.   Come to think of it, maybe the blessing of childhood is not being blissfully unaware of such problems, but rather knowing that it is not in their hands.  Children know problems are there, but it is in the hands of their parents.  In the midst of our problems, our blessing is in knowing it is all in the Father's hands- not ours.

Today, what do I need to lay at His feet in complete trust, love, faith and worship knowing that it is all under the care of my perfect Father?  How about you?


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dressed for the Day

Earlier today, we were rushing off to a meeting for homeschool kids and I realized that Kendall was not dress appropriately for going out.  Thankfully, the temperatures have dropped and it actually feel like fall here in Texas- Yay!  So, his "awesome" shorts would not work.  I ran back to his room and threw out a pair of jeans as he put on a different shirt.  Still in a hurry, I left him to finish getting dressed while I gathered what we needed to take with us to the meeting.

All was good..... or, so I thought......

After our meeting, we made a quick stop by a local grocery store in order to grab some stuff for dinner.  We were almost finished shopping when both of the older boys expressed a need to go to the restroom.  So, they went and as soon as they returned, Kendall realized he needed to use the facilities as well.  Don't toddlers have impeccable timing?  It is always when you are ready to leave- or at least that is how it feels.  So, I leave the other two in charge of the basket of groceries and take Kendall to use the restroom.  When, I am quite surprised to find that he did not pull off his shorts when getting dressed to leave.  Instead, he just put his jeans on over the shorts...... crazy!?!?

First, he had to be hot and uncomfortable.... and, I am just a little jealous that he can fit his jeans on over a pair of shorts because that is NOT an option for me anymore......  The thing that really got me is that by all appearances, he was dressed correctly.  He looked just right for what was needed and expected at that time, but he was being a little bit of a rebel underneath .... literally.  Now, in his defense, I do not know if he really intended to be mischievous this time or was just in a rush, but, still he was not dressed correctly.

Then, this thought hit me..... how many times does my outward appearance look "right" while my heart isn't....  Maybe we just put on our "happy" face and dress the part while inside our minds and attitudes are struggling with sin or hurts.  To be honest, I think that is part of what turns others away from a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Many have witnessed "Christians" that dressed the part on Sunday, but did not live that way during the week.  Have those individuals really had a life-changing experience with our Savior?  Only they know, but it absolutely turns others away from a faith that they deem hypocritical. 

I also think this hampers our faith as we do our best to "put a happy face on" while struggling deep within.  As believers, we are to come alongside each other and help bear the burdens together.  However, if we are too afraid to share our weaknesses, then we bear them alone in silence.  Plus, this too, turns others away from our Savior because they think they have to get their lives straightened out before coming to Christ.  Yet, the opposite is true as only He can truly redeem us from ourselves.

Today, I am really taking a look at myself- am I being genuine?  Am I truly living the faith I profess?  Am I transparent in my life- sharing my struggles as well as victories?  By doing so, I may not realize the impact that will have on others.  How about you?  Take some time today to really think through and evaluate how you are doing in this area because you never know who you might impact for eternity- including yourself!


Monday, October 14, 2013

On Mission

Many of you may already know this confession about me, but I am a crier.  Honestly, if anyone within a half-mile radius of me begins to shed tears, I "catch" it.  I just can't let someone cry alone- that is just what friends do- we weep buckets together and keep the tissues handy.  To be honest, nothing drives me to tears faster than seeing God alive and active in the lives of His people.  Those moments are so precious, tender, and unique to each person that I easily become overwhelmed by the intensity of His great love for us.  This weekend, we had the privilege of witnessing the baptism of our niece as well as the commissioning of her entire family as they prepare for the next journey God has led them to.... London.  Their life-story of how God has brought them to this point is incredible and I strongly encourage you to journey along with them at Gordon Family Blog. 

Needless to say.... I thought I was prepared for the tears that would fall..... but, I wasn't- not in the least bit.  The weekend began by Reagan's father reading a blessing over his children and grandchildren on Friday night followed by much discussion about what God was teaching and revealing to each of us as families.  Now, this is not uncommon when we all get together, but it was so awesome to realize that He was teaching us much of the same lessons!  The next day we watched and worshiped as Leah, our niece, was baptized following her realization that she wanted to accept the gift of life and help that Jesus offers each of us.  At the family creek, we sang and praised our Savior and then her father, Carl, had the privilege of baptizing her. You know so often we say that we are giving our life to Jesus, but the reality is that He gave His life for us and continues to give us life daily! 

Then, on Sunday, we commissioned them as they make the final preparations for London.  Slowly the tears began to fall and then increased with such furry that I thought they would never stop.  To be totally honest, there is sadness.  Sadness over the changes that are coming and how the family dynamic will be different.  Change stirs fear and there is pain in the moments that we will no longer spend together.  Yet, so much of the tears were out of joy as well- they are choosing to live a life trusting and serving our limitless God.  I can only imagine the mountains that they will see moved as well as lives healed during the next several years as He uses them to meet people where they are.  They have laid down their nets and are following Him wherever He calls them.... and that is BEAUTIFUL! 

Yet, He has the same calling for us all!  If you live as the Redeemed of Christ, then we are to live "missional" lives.  To often, we put discipleship and missions into different categories, but they go hand in hand.  You cannot have one without the other to truly grow and mature in your faith!  We are to live out our faith, searching desperately for what God has for us, and in obedience to His revelations and teaching.  By doing so, others will notice and recognize the difference in us... that is a life lived on mission. It may not be London.... or Africa.... or China.... but, wherever you are is the starting place for your mission field.  It may never expand beyond your city, state or nation, but if you live a life on mission, lives will be changed!  Never underestimate what our God can do with you! Our Father didn't call us based on our merit or abilities.  He called us based on what He can do through us.  Regardless, we ARE called!!!

My friend, what is God calling you to do?  Do you want to see a limitless God working in your life to bless and change others?  Never doubt His purpose for you- it is rich with possibilities because we serve the King of Kings!  There are no limits to His resources, but to truly "see" all that He can do will often take us to the end of ourselves first.  What is holding you back?

Praying for you all my sweet friends- let us live lives of impact and on mission for our precious Savior!  Blessings!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Limitless Father

This morning, as I held my first cup of coffee, the toddler asked me a question.  When I did not respond as quickly as he thought I should, he asked again.  I responded.  However, not with the answer he wanted and in his absolute toddler mindset, if one time did not get the "right" answer perhaps a thousand more times of asking would.  I told him that I would assist his needs after I finished my FIRST cup of coffee for the morning.  In response, he asked the same question after every sip of my coffee.... no joke!  sigh....

Yet, this scripture came to mind.....

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." (Matthew 7:7-11 NLT)

Now, as a parent, if my children ask for something that is harmful or not beneficial to them, then I will always say no.  Our Father does the same for us.  Sometimes what we ask for is just not what is best in the long run for us.  Also as a parent, I sometimes say "yes, but not right at this moment" because I see tremendous positives for waiting- even when they do not.  Our Father does the same for us knowing that He longs to give us what we have requested, but that the timing is just not quite right.  Several years ago, we struggled for three years to sell our house.  We prayed so often for God to draw the right people to our home and long to make it their own.  Many contracts came and all fell through.... but, at the perfect time, it sold.  In His divine timing, we were able to purchase a home that met our needs so much better than all the others we had looked at.  His answer was yes, but we had to wait for the timing that was best.


I also wonder just how many times we miss out on blessings because we just don't ask.  Perhaps our focus is on "fixing" the problem or situation ourselves rather than lifting it up to the King of Kings.... yet, we miss out on the blessing of seeing Him work.  One of my favorite praise songs talks about how He is our portion.  I have sung that song countless times with the thought that He is truly all that I need.  If the world around me fades, I have my portion in Christ.  This is true.... but, I recently had the revelation that if my portion is Christ, then my portion is limitless just like Him.  He has no limits in what He can do, but so often, I put limits on Him.  My friend, can you fully grasp that?  He is always capable- no matter what the situation is!!!  So, why do we hesitate to ask great things of Him?

Is it fear?  Fear of getting an answer or fear of not getting one?  Fear of disappointment?  Yet, if He always has our best interest at heart, what do we have to fear?  Remember, too, that our God is not the author of fear.... the evil one is.  He knows that if he can keep you fearful, then he can keep you from seeing all that God can really do for you.  Let's start living lives without limits as the redeemed of Christ knowing that our portion is so much greater than we have ever dreamed. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Today I am reminded just how totally different my sons are from each other.  I have one son that loves likes to get his schoolwork completed as soon as possible in order to have the most free time possible.  I have another son who tends to delay it as long as possible.  One boy struggles with quick flashes of intense anger while another tends to "simmer" in his anger for awhile.  One is passionate about speaking and sharing his faith publicly. Another struggles to ask for a drink refill at the restaurant because he is so shy.  They are a beautifully complicated creation of the Father!
As a parent, I have had to learn what works best with each child in order to parent them best.   It is so easy and tempting to compare them and wish to change them.  To be totally honest a part of me would like to take the best qualities of one and somehow instill that in the others.  Then, I could have three perfect kids, right?  But, then I would miss out on the joy of seeing them make great strides and attain victories.  As frustrating as it is for me, as a parent, it is what is best for them.  They will learn so much more through the process of those journeys than if it all came easily to them.  We all have areas of struggle....every...single... one... of...us.  Isn't the Father patient with us as we walk those challenging times of learning and growth?     
Lord, help me to love and appreciate my boys' differences. Help me to encourage them in their weaknesses as well as their strengths. I want to remember that they are gifts that I have the privilege of holding for such a short time. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


As a mom, I have often heard a cry coming from one of my boys when a toy has been broken.  They bring the remnant pieces to me and place them in my hands all the while looking expectantly at me in hopes that I might be able to "fix" what has been broken.

How many times have I ran to my Savior doing the same thing?  Bringing the broken pieces of my life resulting from bad decisions or responses to His plan for me.  I lay it all at His feet and look expectantly in hopes that He can repair it all..... It is always my hope that he could just restore things to the way they were before.  Yet, so often the Savior does so much more. 

Many times He restores my brokenness to a condition that was far superior than before.  He heals- so completely- that often times others will never know all the damage and hurt that was a part of your journey.  When He heals, it is complete.

Other times, He may look at the broken pieces of my life and say, "My child, this piece right here is perfect for this new journey I have for you. It may feel broken to you, but in my eyes it is exactly what is needed."  In those moments, He takes our brokenness and not only finds them useful, but a perfect fit for His needs.  The brokenness is what makes us useful for His work.  Never be afraid to be broken before our precious Lord!  It is, in fact, the beginning of a new journey for us as we walk with Him.

Where are you today?  Maybe it is a time of praising Him for all the healing and restoration that He has done in your life.  Just start praising Him for everything you can think of- I have no doubt it will overwhelm you to fully recognize all the ways He has been faithful to you.  If you feel "broken" today, lift those areas up to Him in prayer and leave them in His capable hands.  He will either heal or redeem it for His glory because hurts and struggles are always meant to draw us to Him!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Getting Our Way

Yesterday, we had a great start to the day.  It felt like "fall" and my new pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee made me smile.  God had spoken new and fresh words to my dry bones and all was good. 

Then..... we started school.

I had asked one son to go and get a particular book from the "Homeschool Closet" and when he did not return, I called out again to him.  Finally, after the third time of calling out to him,  I went in search of my lost one.   I found him sitting in the hallway playing..... I calmly went to the kitchen and picked up our "Discipline Spoon".  As I began correcting him, I saw a look of repentance and decided to offer grace to the boy.  He walked off and mumbled something about my being "harsh"..... really, kid???  I offered you grace and you call me "harsh"......  Oh goodness!

Then, I sat him down and explained that I had chosen to show him grace- he fully deserved a punishment for disobeying my directive.  Yet, out of love, I had offered him another chance to change his actions and attitude only to be called "harsh".  The truth is he really wanted his way.... to have the chance to play and not worry about school.  His lashing out at me was directly linked to the disappointment felt by not getting his way on that issue.  Plus, my pointing out to him that he was in disobedience offended him.... but, as his parent, that is my job.

Isn't that what God does for us?  Do we not act in a similar fashion, at times?

God in His great mercy offered us salvation from our sins and redemption through the blood of His own precious Son.  That redemption is daily as He leads, guides and molds us more in His likeness.  Then, there are days when we really want our own way in a situation- and often "our way" is not what is in our best interest.  Yet, when our Father lovingly does what is best for us, we become offended and angry.  We think Him harsh, distant and unable to relate to us.  Why?  We didn't get our way.  We lash out at Him in our anger - often in the knowledge that He is doing what is best for us.

Our God is not a genie in a bottle that will always do as we wish.  He is GOD.  He is HOLY.  He is PERFECT.  Therefore as God, He will do whatever it takes to make us holy as He is holy until we are perfected in His presence.  Temporary disappointments and hurts are a part of the journey because, just as any good parent, He will often do what is best for us over our personal wishes.  That is love, my friend, that is love.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Going Shopping with Kendall

This past Sunday evening, I needed to run a quick errand at a local store.  Kendall wanted to go with me and I have determined that going anyplace with only one child is like juggling with only one ball- much easier, right?  Plus, it gives me some precious one on one time with each child; so, off to the store we went.  Now, Kendall has hit a very strong independent streak which can be so good in many ways.  Yet, when you are in a hurry and just need to get to the car and go, waiting for 5 additional minutes while he adheres the Velcro just right on his tennis shoes- by himself- might just, in fact, drive you CrAzY.  Am I speaking to any moms out there? 

So, as we approached the store, Kendall wanted me to let go of his hand and let him walk beside me.  I reminded him that we were in a parking lot that was full of moving cars and that the danger of his being hurt was too great for me to let him go at that point.  However, as soon as we walked in the store, I allowed him to walk beside me as we shopped as long as he stayed close.  I warned him that at any point if he ventured too far away from me, that I would be forced to hold his hand or carry him. Now, let me share that I dearly love shopping carts..... they hold all my things- purse, items to purchase and my child.  Plus, when we are locked down and loaded in the cart, I can move fast through isles and get all that is needed quickly.  So, to be totally honest, I really prefer to just load Kendall in the basket and get to the business at hand, but he needs to learn some lessons that can only be done through some independence.  Lessons like staying close, keeping his eyes on me and watching out for others......  so, while it took us much longer to finish our shopping, he walked alongside me.

All was good until the time came to return to the car in the parking lot.  I had to grasp his hand because the danger was too great to allow him to walk beside me.  This did NOT make him happy.  He had gotten a taste of freedom and did not want to see it go, but I knew the risks and dangers were too high. 

My friend, the Father does the same for us, doesn't He?  He knows that the safest place for us is right beside Him, but in His great love, He grants us some freedom.  Why?  He knows that we, too, need to learn lessons like staying close to Him, keeping our eyes on what He is doing in our lives, and watching out for others in our world.  He knows that those lessons can never be taught unless we experience them.  Oh sweet friend, just like with Kendall, our Father never holds us back from our desires unless it is for our safety or protection- it is out of love that restraint happens!  More precious than all to me, is the knowledge that in the most dangerous parts of our life journey with Him, He never lets us go.  Never.  Even in the midst of a great storm, you are ever abiding in His precious palm.