Thursday, February 28, 2008

"We miss you, Daddy"

I videoed our girls tonight with my digital camera. Tim is in Tennessee til tomorrow night and we emailed this to him so the girls could tell him they love and miss him. Press play and check it out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Temptation of Self Rewarding

So I've been pondering today about this tendency to want to reward myself. Unfortunately, this is how I usually want to respond when I feel like there's been a victory in an area of my life. Just a little example of a victory as vaguely as I can put it, there were some great steps I took yesterday with how I interacted with my kids. So when the day was over, I initially was saying thanks to God for helping me be a better mom, and helping me take those little steps forward toward my goal that he has set before me so clearly over the past week, because it was the Holy Spirit giving me the "want to" in that area. I wouldn't have ever done that stuff with my kids in my flesh.
But here's the kicker: After I've thanked God for a victorious day, I begin to want to tell others right after only one good day. It hit me today that that probably is really the flesh wanting to shout it out, because in the end, I want a pat on the back for a job well done. And in the end, God gets very little glory for that. Therefore, I'm not giving God a chance to keep working on me. Because after that victory is passed and I've told everyone under the sun what a good day I had, I feel like I owe myself something, hence "self-rewarding". And what I go to, to do that, is usually a nice big fat fountain coke, or a dessert, or a break the next day from giving my kids the same discipline they got the day before (because that's easier to do in the present). My flesh is then happy again, then I'm back to square one again, feeling like a failure. Hello!!! I'm not even giving God a chance to keep working with me. I can just see Him telling me, "It's not time for a celebration with others quite yet! That will come! But we still have work to do, many more steps to walk." "Abide in me continually, talk to me about your "good deeds" in secret and watch me pour myself out on you in a way that you can't imagine. And others will just see it without you even uttering a word. And then they will know the Holy Spirit is workng in you. Therefore, the flesh has no place there." It's been resonating in my mind all day, and I just had to share.
It is a good thing to rejoice with others about God moments. There are many verses in scripture that back it up, but what are your motives. To give God all the glory, or just some of it. Because we will give ourselves the other half of the glory if we aren't careful. And that's when the sin cycle continues.

God Bless!

Monday, February 25, 2008

On a More Serious Note...

I have been studying this book in my devotionals for the last month or so. I received this book from Shelly as a gift for Christmas and it was just what I needed. Each week covers a Name of God that is described through scripture and Bible stories. And as a result, I've been getting to know my God so much through this study as I learn about His character, His promises in my life, and am working out the belief (or lack thereof) I have in who He says He is. It's been a great experience so far!

It's been a great discussion topic for our Tuesday morning prayer/bible study time as well with Cindy, Karen, and Kara who are such a blessing to share this time with. We worship together, pray together, and encourage each other in our walk each week. I've also been putting together some worship songs that apply to the "Name" that we studied for that week for us to worship with when we meet.
In this book, Ann Spangler challenges the reader each week to:

Reflect on scripture
Praise God (in application to that name)
Offer Thanks (for things that He has done in accordance to the name we are studying)
Confess (any unbelief or doubts that we feel toward God's character in our circumstances
Ask God (requests change through each week's study)

Names of God we have covered so far:

Elohim - "God, Mighty Creator "- Genesis 1; Psalm 102:25-27a

El Roi - "The God Who Sees Me" - Genesis 16 (the story of Hagar); Psalm 33:13-15,18-19)

El Shadday - "God Almighty" - Genesis 17; Psalm 91

El Olam - "The Everlasting God" - Psalm 90; Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

That is one of my favorite passages!

Something the Lord has me reflecting on right now. I have been convicted of how I spend most of my days during the week. Whether it's working on how clean I can get my house, or making sure I'm up to date on my emails, or just on the computer too much (grin), when's my next time away from the house, etc. Oh, and my children are with me all day, but do I give them the quality time that they need? Over the past year or so, the answer is no. I have gradually drifted from the whole reason I quit work 9 years ago. To be with my children. My eyes have been taken off of my sole purpose of being with my kids and that is to give them the time and attention that only a mommy can give.
I have asked the Lord to give me a defining thing that will completely change my heart back toward my kids. And after studying on "The Everlasting God", it made me realize that my eternal perspective has been very skewed.
I am too determined to satisfy the flesh by doing things with immediate results, instead of working to fulfill eternal acclomplishments, which never involve immediate results. It requires patience, diligence, consistency that I'm never good at. But mostly patience and trust that they are really doing something that will end in a good outcome. So I just throw in the towel and do things I am good at, which really is just sending me into an endless cycle. I'm not saying I need to completely ignore my household duties, or stop using my compter, or stop watching any tv, etc. But if that's all I do, then I'm way out of balance. And unfortunately, that takes alot of my time daily.
Ultimately my relationship with God is top priority, but I believe my kids' walk with Christ is just as high of a priority over all those other things, because it all comes down to this, do I want them to live in heaven with Jesus eternally and for me to be able to live eternally with them? Do I want them to experience the joy and excitement of being in an intimate relationship with God here on earth? Yes! Then what am I waiting for?
Am I finding too much value in things that are sure to pass away and stay here on earth once I go to heaven? I have to say yes. And that needs to change.
Lord, grant me discernment and an obedient heart over the choices I make each and every day. Give me wisdom and a heavenly perspective from You, O Lord. And may I walk in the Truth that everything I do will ultimately bring an eternal outcome, whether that be contributing to Your eternal purpose or whether it be hindering it.
In the Power and Glory of Jesus Name, Amen.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

At the Zoo!

We took a trip to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco today. Shelly, Ethan, Serah, and my mom went with us. This is our second time there and we prefer this one over the others we've been to. Highly recommend it! We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather today and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves! And the animals put on a fun show for us too!

Faith's Birthday Party!

Some pics from Faith's party that consisted of 13 kids. It was chaotic but fun! Faith has gotten the award for the most photographed child this week! I figure she'll only turn 5 once.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Proud 5-year-old

See anything missing on this bike?
Yesterday, after the tea party, Faith said "Mommy, now that I'm 5, I want to take off my training wheels". With much hesitation, I took them off anticipating that I would be putting them back on within 10 minutes. Faith has always been my more timid, fearful one and combined with being a perfectionist who gets very easily frustrated when something doesn't go the way she wants right away, I thought this would be over quick!
But surprises never cease. After just a few rounds with me holding her bike up, I decided to try to let go, and off she went without a hitch. Of course within the half hour, she got her "token" skinned knees from a few falls, but that hasn't seemed to slow her down. She of course won't leave me alone now about riding her bike.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The song that inspired my header

The song "My Beloved" by Kari Jobe is what inspired my blog title. I linked her website on here where you can play 4 songs off her recent CD, which include the song "My Beloved". You can pull up the lyrics as well. If you need some soothing worship music to bring you to rest in God's presence, give this a try. Her whole CD quiets my mind and helps me rest in Him when I need it most. God has truly annointed her ability to bring one into His presence. Enjoy!

Pics from Faith's b-day tea party

We had a tea party for Faith today using my great grandmother's real china and all. Today is her actual birthday. The girls all dressed up in their frilly dresses along with cousin Serah, Gramma, Aunt Shelly, Grandma, and I. And yes, Hannah was home too. Partly because she's under the weather, but I wanted her to enjoy this time with us for her sister's birthday.
This might just have to become a yearly birthday tradition for as long as the girls will allow. It's sad though to think that they will grow out of this some day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet daughter!

To my sweet princess and my little deep thinker! I love you so much and am praying that this year brings you many joys and sweet memories that last a lifetime. Mommy loves you so much!