Being faithful

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.~Luke 16:10

This stuck out to me during my devotional. I have read this verse many times and have even heard teaching on it, but it hit me hard this time. Am I faithful in the little things?

We all like to be acknowledged. I love to hear praise. I will be honest. I don't think that is always a bad thing, but is it the best thing? We have to look at the bigger picture. We should be doing something so CHRIST gets the praise. That HE is exalted.

Going back to the question, am I faithful in the little things? I started to go over a list in my head and I realized, there are many things on my "I really hate doing that, so let me hold off for as long as I can" list. No more. I can't be like that. God has convicted me. I need to do everything with the same earnest and the same dedication. It's all important.

I realize that I need to prioritize. I can't clean the bathroom 3 times a week anymore... I have kids to take care of. But it's really about attitude. Why am I doing this? Because it needs to get done? Or because I want others to see what I did and tell me how great I am?

I think about church ministry. So many thankless jobs out there. So many things that people do at church that NO ONE knows about. But God does. And one day it will all come to light. We will see truly who were faithful and I think we may be surprised.

So my prayer is that God helps me with the little things. And that I do them with joy. Knowing, that changing the sheets is a way I can serve God and my family. Knowing, that sending out that note to that someone in need is a way to encourage. And knowing, that taking that phone call, when I really want to take a nap, or read a book, is a way I can love my God.


All is well

How sweet it is to be able to say these words during time of turmoil and testing. I am reminded of the song and it's sweet words:
Come come ye saints. No toil, or labour, or fear. But with joy... We have a living Lord to guide us and we can trust him to provide. All is well. All is well.

It's only to the testimony of our great Lord and Saviour that we can sing this. Not of my strength, but of His. I praise God for His new mercy and grace each and every day.


Your faith is a crutch

I had this conversation with a friend the other day. She was not being hostile, or mean. She even stated that she wished she could have my faith, but couldn't help but feel that my faith seemed like a crutch. I once heard that Christ is not a crutch, but a whole new pair of legs!! Really, this world uses everything else as a crutch. Relationships, work, sex, alcohol, religion.... it could go on and on.

But what I have is REAL! And that is what is so exciting! I say, Christians are not WEAK for accepting Christ, but strong. We see that there is a spiritual need and we embrace the cure. Others try to suppress this feeling of fear and doubt and mask it with other things.

I told my friend that nothing I ever say could turn her heart to Christ. I know she struggles to get past all the miracles and stories of the Bible. And I told her that I struggle at times to grasp it all. But the difference is that I accept the Bible as the true word of God. I encourage her to read His word and let him do a work in her heart.

As for me, I am loving my new legs and am so thankful that the "Good Physician" cured me. :)


My wake up call

Did you ever get hit smack in the face with a big flaw? Like, it comes out of nowhere and takes you by surprise? I got this the past week. It's so hard for me to share this, but in a way, by writing, it's my accountability. It's my way of letting myself know that now that I know where I need to work, there is no excuse.

There has been a series of events that have led up to this point. A couple of weeks ago, I had a really big heart to heart with a friend. I was sharing some struggles with her that she had dealt with in years past. She was honest with me. Blunt in fact. And at the time she was talking to me, and questioning my motives in an area of my life, I was pushing her away. I denied a lot of what she said and tried to steer the conversation back to safe and none threatening ground. But honestly, the Holy spirit was using her to start a work in my heart. Little did she know, I was very quiet during the conversation on the phone because I was crying from being convicted.

I am going to be blunt here. But I first want to say that if I offend some, I do not mean to. As always, we all have made mistakes and God is gracious to forgive. Also, we are all on different paths and the things I struggle with may be a breeze for someone else... bring in Sandra.

If you don't know Sandra and Mike, you don't know that they make a great couple. They fit together just right. Sandra and I laugh at times that Mike and Peter tend to be alike. They both are a little anal about things. They both want to do everything the right way, and have their opinion on how these things should be done. We have spent much time with them as a couple and I will be honest, when they leave our house sometimes, I have this unsettled feeling. Why? I figured it out. Conviction.

Sandra is no dummy. She is a smart, independent lady. And she doesn't need anyone else to think for her. But she has this very submissive, quiet spirit towards her husband that I yearn for. Even though she can figure things our for herself, she always asks Mike for his opinion. She actually WANTS to know what he thinks.

As for me.... I have a harder time with that. I think I made myself think that I knew what submission was and that I had that with Peter. But lately God has made it VERY clear, especially through my husband, that often I have a bad attitude and want to be in control. It is such a struggle for me.

Peter has really pointed out my lack of respect for him. So many times, people ask me to participate in something, or help them in someway that interferes with our schedule. Peter is very giving of his time, and even though he usually would want me to go help, he would like to be asked. I can not tell you how many times I volunteer, then come to him and say, " Is that OK that I go?" His reply, "Why bother asking me if you already committed?" Why do I want to please others before my husband. I was hit hard today what lack of respect that is showing him.

This is only a small picture of what really is going on in my heart. I know I constantly want to be in control. And I know that if Peter was not as strong of a man as he is, I would be walking all over him and "wearing the pants in the family." I am so thankful that he quietly and graciously shows me my error and waits for me to fix it. He's so patient.

I am encouraged in a way, because at least now I see where I am at. I was blinded before. Not seeing how ugly my heart really can be. But I know that God is willing to change me if only I am willing to let go and let him lead. I think I may be doing more studying on submission... to God and my husband. I can't wait to see what God will show me. And I thank God that he gave me a man with such patience. I could not ask for a better husband for me.

Count it all joy

I am assuming that someone who is reading my blog is going through a trial and being encouraged, or that I have one coming in the near future and God is preparing me. Once again, God has been focusing on trials in my studies.

I am learning very quickly that the fear of the Lord and humility go hand in hand. And without these 2 things, you will have a very difficult time getting through a trial. Proverbs 8:13 says,"The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way..." I believe God uses trials and hard times for many reasons. I think God puts suffering in the lives of his children that are not obeying or fearing him. Read Jeremiah 24:5-7.

We can greatly benefit from the trials of the Lord. Hannah did. As discussed in the last blog, Hannah was suffering with not being able to conceive. But once she surrendered, gave her son to the Lord, the Lord granted her more children! And Job was blessed far above what he had before it was all taken away. Why? Each of them saw that God is still good even when things were difficult. Job praised God for his goodness. He had humility and fear.

Hannah, once she surrendered to God, had a peace. She rose up, and ate. She no more had a sorrowful countenance. She loved her husband. I am learning this in my life. I came to the realization that God is actually in control. I know, sounds simple. But it's hard to accept for someone like me who likes to be in complete control.

My struggle lately has been the subject of deployment. Being careful what I write, Peter could go anytime. He could get called up now, or 6-7 months from now. With only days notice... or weeks. And to top it off, he may not even go. It's been driving me crazy. I can deal with another deployment, but I need to know... NOW! Ha. I always had said that the military decides our future. Then, last week, I got this HUGE epiphany... GOD decides our future. Didn't I think that MAYBE God let's the military know if He wants Peter to go. I'm so silly sometimes.

Soooooo.... here I am. At peace. I still can't think about it too much, because my flesh gets in the way. I start to wonder, to worry. I have to give it to God daily. Along with some other areas in my life. But I am grateful that God has showed me this lesson.


Trials of Hannah

OK. So I am getting a little curious why the Lord has been showing me SO MUCH lately about trials and trusting Him to get us through. There is a piece of me that is wondering if there is something over the bend for me that the Lord is preparing me for. But being that He is teaching me to TRUST Him, I am trying not to dwell on that part. I am trying to focus on the lessons that He is teaching me right now.

The life of Hannah has always touched me in a special way. For those who don't know, Hannah could not have children and she finally gave it to the Lord and promised Him that if she was given a son, she would give her son to the Lord. Lo and behold, Samuel was born! When I was going through a dark time a few years ago, this story got me through one of the biggest trials I have ever had.

We had 4 consecutive miscarriages in under 2 years. In fact, I was pregnant 5 times within 18 months. Each loss was a bigger blow. I didn't understand at the time why this was happening to me. I ached for a child. My every waking thought was on having a baby. So with each loss, I became more and more desperate. More and more heart broken and further from God.

I can't really say I was angry with God. I think I was more confused. And since He wasn't giving me answers (I wasn't really listening anyway) I figured bringing God into this big loss wasn't worth it. Can you imagine?!!!

God was so merciful though. Ever faithful and true to me. He did not forsake me even though for a time I forsook him. He lifted me up still and I believe gave me the strength to carry on. When I was pregnant for the 5th time, with Samantha, I was devastated. I did NOT want to be pregnant. I could not bear another loss. Little did I know what God was going to do.

Back to Hannah. When I was pregnant with Samantha, her story really came to life to me. She finally gave it all to God. She trusted that he would provide her heart's desire and open her womb. I began to trust that God could make my pregnancy work. I gave Him my pain. My aching. My worry. And he delivered... literally! :)

There are so many other things I could pull from the story of Hannah. And I am sure I will share more soon since I am doing a study on her. But I thought I would share this? Why? Well, first off, it was a BIG part of my life. I think to understand me a little better, you need to know my past. I have many friends who have dealt or ARE dealing with similar situations. I encourage them to carry on. Trust in the Lord. I am not saying that God wants us all to physically have children. I do not pretend to know God's will for everyone's life. I am still trying to figure out His will for MY life! But I know this... God wants to grant us the desires of our hearts. It's all in His timing.


All in all

Once again, a song has touched me this week and blessed me with a better understanding of our Lord and Saviour. It came at the perfect time too. Funny how God works that out. During missions conference, two sisters sang and it was beautiful. I later found out that they had a CD, so we bought it. What a blessing. It's so nice to hear siblings sing together. I always loved singing with my brother because we blended so nicely.

One of the songs in called All in all. Basically, as the words state, Christ can be your everything. Backing up, the week before, God showed me this very thing! At time, people fail us. I fail my husband many times a day. And he fails me. We are human. But God is never failing. In my quiet time, it was as if God whispered in my ear, "I can be your husband. I can be your father. Your mother. Your friend." It was so comforting to know this. It's true. Where my husband may lack, God is there to be all I need. Christ fills me up.

Example: So I love Peter. And I knew who I was marrying. He is not very big on words. If you have ever heard of the Love Languages you will know what I am talking about. I am words of encouragement. I need people to TELL me things. Write letters. Give a call. Or say something nice in passing. Peter is not this way. He shows love to me in other ways. So I don't hear sweet nothings from him too often.

Last week, I was having a little bit of a down day. And one silly thing I was upset about was the way I looked. I just needed Peter to tell me I looked beautiful. I know he thinks that, but I wanted to hear that. Well, this woman at missions conference came up to me out of know where... I didn't know her... and she said, "You know, you are so beautiful." Of course I was smiling ear to ear. It was so nice to hear. But better then that, right at the moment, I heard that still small voice say, I can be your everything.

God used someone that I didn't even know to fill my void. I know this is a small example, but that week I had 2 other instances that the same thing happened. I was given what I needed, right when I needed it. I just pray I can be that tool in someone elses life.

The words in the song that has been blessing me say, "When I fall down you pick me up. When I am dry you fill my cup. You are my all in all." How beautiful is that. God promises to be all we need, and more! I definetly get from Him more then I deserve.


Missions conference...

... has been great so far!! I am loving hearing good preaching and teaching every night. I am sure I will share more later on.


Refiner's fire

No matter what I loose, the Refiner's fire is what I chose.

These words stood out to me in a song I recently heard. Is that me? Would I be willing to go through pain, loss, and struggle, so that the Lord can teach me a lesson and I come out the better for Him?

Job 23:10 is one of my favorite verses. He says, "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." I meditated on this verse in my teen years. I even wrote a song based on this verse. But I struggle at times for it to be my true heart. I like comforts. Who doesn't? I like people to like me. I do not like conflict. And I could never imagine one of my family members taken away from me suddenly.

But God promises us that he can transform us during times of trial. Not just come out of a loss alive. Not just make it through. But to actually learn and grow from this trial.

We all have trials. Little ones and big. We had two very big trials this year in our family. One of which was the deployment. But we made it through. And I know that I came out the better. I learned so much. I learned to trust God. I learned to be independent. I learned to pull my joy from Christ alone, not from others. I learned to love my husband better. And I learned that I love my girls and that this time goes by so fast.

So even though I am cautious in actually asking God for a trial, I ask God to continue to change me. To mold me. To make me come forth as gold, so that I may cast it at his feet. He is worthy of so much more then I can give.

I leave you with the chorus to the song I wrote when I was 16-ish.

But He knoweth the way and each step that I take.
He is there in the fire, for my poor soul's sake.
And when the fire is quenched of it's flame,
I shall come forth as gold.


Price far above rubies...

As I have already said, I have been studying the passage from Titus to really examine what a woman is and who I should be. When doing such a study, of course I have been making much reference to the Proverbs 31 woman. Virtuous woman she is called. Is that me? I have been examining myself hard. I want to be my best for God first. But also for my family, and others around me. I want to be used. I want to shine for Christ.

I have been using a woman's study from James Knox. I highly recommend it. It's how to be a holy woman. One lesson I just finished was comparing the Proverbs 31 woman and her qualities with my own. Where do I fall? Where can I improve? I was supposed to grade myself (A-F) but I found that difficult. Compared to God, I fall short in all areas. So instead I focused on where I can improve. I would like to share this with you. Why? I find it so encouraging when other people share their faults because I know I am not alone. I find strength to get up and try again because I know that "so and so" who I thought had it all together, is also struggling with "such and such". So I pray this encourages you.

What quality does a Proverbs 31 woman possess and how can I work on it?
1.She does not evil: Even though I have changed many things in my life, I have to remember it all comes down to the heart. . If I am laughing at a joke that is inappropriate, or watching something that I would never watch in the presence of Christ, where is my heart? I have been catching myself so much more. Being convicted about things I never even thought of before. So I thank God that he is working on me. But I want more. I want to hate sin as God does.

2.She works hard: I simply need to move around more sometimes. I get in a rut of being bored. Taking care of the girls and just tired of routine. And therefore I sit around during nap time (which is NOT always a bad thing) or I will stick a video in because I just don't want to deal with playing with the girls. (Help me out. Am I the only one out there that does this????) Or the best one. I don't feel like folding the laundry... days later, maybe it's about time??

3. She's a good cook: OK, I may be way off my rocker here, but verse 14 says, "...she bringeth her food from afar." I am probably pulling something out of here that is not there. But it got me thinking. I really could be more creative with cooking. And to add to this, Peter told me for the first time EVER that he was tired of a certain meal. So get out the recipe books.

4. She rises early: Nothing makes my day better then getting up early, having my quiet time with the Lord and even getting some other project done before the girls wake. And they are up by 7am!

5. She is a good steward: I struggle here. I know that I could do better with our money and God has shown me that in the last month. Thankfully, I have a husband that is very wise with money.

6.She is a good Housekeeper: I try. Dirty floors, dirty dishes before bed, and a carpet that is full of cat hair are not allowed in the house. Although, I fail at times. I have tried to balance it though. I used to ignore Samantha to do housework. But I only get to be with her for 18 or so short years. And then she is off. Who cares if I didn't clean the bathroom 2 times this week. But remember... balance.

7.Loves Husband:Oh and I do! But I know I need to pray for Peter more then I do. We pray for his protection every day. But I really want to start praying for more personal things. God knows...

8.Fears the Lord: This one was hard for me. I kept thinking, "How can I fear God more?" Then he spoke to me and made me realize the more I know about Him, the more this will happen. And I am not talking fear as in, there is this God that wants to destroy us all and see us miserable. No. He is a loving God. Just. Gracious. Forgiving. By fear I mean knowing my place in a way. Knowing how small I am in the big picture, and yet he still knows all about me. Knowing he is in control of my life, even if I don't give him control. So it makes sense that the more we learn about God, his abilities, his qualities, his character, the more we are able to fear and love him rightly.

I will stop here. I am sorry these are always so long. I try, but God is flooding my heart and mind with so much lately, it's hard to know where to start and where to end. I did find many more things in the passage that a virtuous woman does possess, like loves her children, resourcefulness, wise in her speech, not idle. But I don't have time right now. Maybe later I will touch on these.



Last night I heard a great study on forgiveness. We have all heard the saying, "Forgive and forget." Of course, that is easier said then done. We all have people in our life that have hurt us in one way or another. The ones that have hurt me, I have forgiven, but there are times I doubt myself because the hurt comes right back up if I think about it. How to solve this? The most profound thing of the night that was said was this: "You can not forget, but you can chose not to remember." What he was getting at is that once we have forgiven a person, we need to chose not to dwell on what they had done. We should not think about it, talk about it, gossip about it (big one right there) or even bring it up to the Lord. We need to CHOSE not to remember.

Just remember, when it comes to forgiveness, that you are forgiven by God Almighty. So how can we go around and not forgive someone for something so small... a unkind word, a lie... when we have done so much more to our Christ. Every time I sin, it's like I am hammering the nail in a little deeper into Christ's hand on the cross. But he still for gives me.