Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Struggles I See

So here we are, 120 days from our 2nd trip to Disney, and I can hardly keep my mind on much else! :) It's not really that bad, but there are moments when I begin to see Hidden Mickeys where there is no possibility that they are there...and no, I do NOT need professional help - I get all the support I need through my allears family on Facebook. I am not even the biggest fan out there, and somehow that comforts me!

Even with the excitement of waiting for May to get here, there is a lot of drama going on around me right now. Not in our family specifically. In fact, our family is actually in a very sweet spot, waiting on the Lord and leaning on each other. It's not perfect, and we still don't where He is leading us, but we are finally ok with waiting on Him to show us the next piece of His plan in His time.

Unfortunately, I have many friends who are in the valley of despair and are dealing with very difficult circumstances. It breaks my heart to see anyone I care for suffer, but all the more so when they are totally innocent in the matter and are just victims of other people's selfishness and sin. I wish we would remember that every decision we make has tremendous impact on everyone in our sphere of influence. We are like pebbles tossed in a lake, and our ripples will touch everyone between us and the shoreline. There is no such thing as doing what's best for yourself, because we are all connected; your "personal" decisions affect many.

The injustice of the world is often hard to endure, even when we as children of the Living God have His promises to rest in. I have to admit, it is a HUGE struggle for me to lay my prayers at the throne and just walk away. I'm a doer. I'm a fixer. He knows this. And I believe that He made me this way for a reason! That's why I know He understands my struggle, but He also wants me to grow in that knowledge and know when to be still and know that HE is God.

I have a friend who has a sibling in jail, two friends raising their children while their fathers are in jail. I have friends that are dealing with a teenage daughter in a downward spiral of self-destruction. One dear friend is fighting tooth and nail to save his marriage. And yet another is dealing with the sins of her earthly father and the hurtful judgment of an entire community.

Some of these situations are staggering and unbelievably unfair.But one thing that's in the front of my mind tonight is that they are all so very heartbreaking to God. I know that as much as we are hurting, that He is hurting right along with us. The crazy thing that I often just stand in awe of, is that God sees ALL sides of these circumstances. He knows every party involved intimately, and He loves every one of His children.

We mere mortals tend to want judgment and justice. But more than anything, God wants restoration. Whether we like it or not, and definitely whether we understand it or not, EVERY SINGLE PERSON GETS A SECOND CHANCE. Yes, every single sin is forgivable to the Lord. He will restore the murderer as quickly as the gossip. He will forgive the adulterer as easily as the "little white liar". And He will heal the addict as completely as the overeater.

On the flipside of that coin - and I think the part many refuse to believe - is that God sees every single sin in the same light. Gossiping is a sin as much as is murder. Lying is just as serious as adultery. And gluttony is as despicable to Him as drug and alcohol abuse. People must remember that God is holy, and we are all but filthy rags in front of Him without the blood of Jesus Christ to cover us. And we should not wish for judgment and justice on others unless we are ready to receive it ourselves.

Our God is amazing, isn't He? I hope that some of those I'm praying for read this and remember: He holds everything together, including the most fragile heart.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This generation's workouts

We went to our friends, the Watson's house, tonight for some dinner, games and visiting. It was so nice to have some time with them, we have really missed seeing them regularly. They got an XBox Kinect for Christmas, and we played it right before leaving - we should have started the evening with this - what a riot!
So have any of you seen this? It really was a lot of fun, and I kind of got winded toward the end of the second dance! Kelly and the boys tried out the rafting game, and he said the same thing. So it leads me to this question for you: do you think it is legitimate to use your game console to log PE credits if you homeschool?
I thought it was kind of silly at first when I heard of people doing this a couple of years ago. I thought it was a cop out, and no one would really accept that as exercise. But then I got a Wii Fit board for Christmas last year. I think it is a great piece of exercise equipment. I haven't been faithful to it for months now, but I am planning on getting back into it soon.
There are some games that you don't really have to try hard on, but there are others that will give you a pretty challenging workout. I know I've seen my boys pretty redfaced after boxing each other, and I tell you, less bloody than the old fashioned way! ;)
Now with the Kinect, there's no telling how interactive you can get with these games in the future. I know when I was growing up, I loved watching my mom work out with Richard Simmons. Now I think about my kids watching me work out with my yoga avatar. With what will my grandkids be watching their mom work out?
Now don't get me wrong. I am a big outdoor person. I want to walk on the trail and ride bikes with my kids. I love to swim and play on the jungle gym with them, too. But in the winter months when we can't get out and do those things, I think it's an acceptable alternative. I don't have the money to take them to the indoor pool, or the skating rink, or the ice rink every week. And I don't have the desire to bundle up in 20 degree weather to run on my own, let alone with 4 complaining children. So will I be logging cyber-exercise hours this year? I say, hand me that nunchuk and let's do some yoga! ;)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sick Days

It's such a blessing to homeschool my children, but as in everything, it has its challenges. Being sick, for one. I was up about midnight sick for the rest of the early morning hours. I got to sleep for a couple hours, woke up and helped the kids with breakfast and went to the couch. Then I ended up sleeping till eleven. I felt a little better, but still had a terrible headache and was pretty weak. Needless to say, school did not work out today. I had Connor practice his drums, they all read for a half hour, and they did some math and handwriting. I did get all the homework for the week graded, but I still have a TON of laundry to get caught up on. I hope the weekend brings me some renewed vigor to start next week off well. :) How is everyone else doing starting off the new year?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Going All the Way With God

That was the sermon title Brother Eddie Bumpers gave tonight at Broadway. Boy, I thought he hit it out of the park this morning, but it was a whole new playing field tonight.
He preached out of the book of Exodus, when Moses was called back to Egypt by God and how Pharoah kept refusing. He made so many good points that made this totally amazing story that I've read dozens of times come alive in a new way and be so relevant to my walk today. Brother Eddie warned us to not fall into compromises in our faith journey, and called out 4 specific compromises the devil tries to get us to make. He also pointed out the order in which God pointed out to Moses the steps Israel was to take. They were to sacrifice, then serve, then celebrate. It was God breathed, and I'm so glad I got to hear it.
My heart is still so heavy with all that has gone on last year, but I'm trusting my Father to walk beside us as Kelly and I take our family down a new and unfamiliar path. I'm scared, yes, but more excited than anything. I shed more tears tonight, humbled by the very presence of the Lord and what He was impressing on my heart. I want to step up my game. I want to be a sold out follower of Christ. I want to lead a life full of joy and peace. I want that for my kids, my husband and myself. I know I've been ineffective through this trial for the cause of Christ. The Refiner's Fire has probably not seen such a stubborn piece of metal. :( But I'm praying for God to make me more malleable this year, to let the Holy Spirit bend me and shape me in the way the Lord needs me. It's so hard, but so necessary. And I know the pain is worth it all if it draws me closer to Jesus.
So will you join me in this prayer? Will you ask God to make you more submissive to the Holy Spirit's directing this year? Make you more malleable? The fire will only get hotter the more we refuse to bend. And the outcome is pure perfection when we let him mold us to His image. It's a work that only He can complete, and He'll work on us up to the very day He takes us home. But I know walking with Christ is the most abundant life we can have, and I want more of Him. I pray that you do, too.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Well, I do believe we ended 2011 with a bang - and I mean that literally! :) Living out in the country can bring all sorts of excitement, regardless how secluded you THINK you may be. Apparently, our neighbors across the way wanted to celebrate by shooting rifles from their back porch! LOL We didn't mind, it wasn't a big deal, just a little unexpected. As I said, we live in the country. We don't see our neighbors often, and we have a lot of woods surrounding our place. So to hear all the sudden racket made me jump a bit. All our friends had already left, and we had sent the kids on to bed after the ball drop in New York. Truly a big bang to send 2010 out right!

We had a great time visiting, eating, playing games, and watching our kids have a ball with all their pals. Our friends, Rian & Heather and Jason & Steph, came over with their crews to celebrate together. Eleven kids total between the three families, and let me tell you, it's a PAR-TAY when we are all together! :)

Hope you all had a blessed 2010, and I pray 2011 is even better. God bless!