Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Testimony Tuesday!!!

Often when I read the Scripture, I am encouraged and reminded to persevere. Other times I see the glory and awesomeness of the Lord and am brought to worship. Then there are times, like this week, when God uses His two-edged sword to bring conviction I greatly need.

My reading yesterday brought me to Philippians 1:9-11. When I first began reading it, I fondly remembered a summer or two ago when a dear friend led a Bible study at her house on these particular verses. However, this time when I read them, I found myself being brought back to them over and over as the Holy Spirit convicted me.

"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

The most convicting part for me is the beginning: "that your love may abound still more and more."

It is easy to love those who love us. It is easy to love those who are so lovable. It is easy to love when our circumstances are good. But the lost sinners can love under those situations. The Spirit enables us to rise above those circumstantial variables.

But how often I fall short. Even today, after meditating on these verses for 2 days, I once again saw my shortcomings. I was tired after teaching my children, going to the doctor, and then spending over an hour in Sam's. When yet another stranger made a rude comment about our family size, I let my physical weakness blind me from what I often consider a great opportunity to witness.

Did I let love abound more and more? No, I drove away irritated and bitter. How I need the Lord and His new mercies everyday.

God is good. Even the conviction He brings is evidence of His mercy. Thank you, Lord.

What about you? What is God teaching you?

In the Heart of our Home,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Redeeming the Time

Not too long ago, we were visiting my father. . .who happens to have satellite TV. :-) Since we do not have satellite, cable, or any incoming channels for that matter, it is always a treat to my kids to watch a few cartoons or sometimes Animal Planet.

Now to tell you a little fact about myself---I would be a Fox News Channel junkie, if given the chance. So when we go to Paw Paw's or any other place with digital channels, I love to sneak me some moments in front of the latest "Fair and Balanced."

Well, while we were visiting, I overheard the following conversation between 2 of my girls:

Middle Sister: Do you want to watch TV?

Big Sister: I guess.
Middle Sister: I wonder what we can watch?
Big Sister: I don't know. . .
Middle Sister: (glumly) Probably the only thing on that we can watch is Dora or the news.

(We are very picky about what they can watch. LOL! If it's on Noggin, it's probably OK. LOL! If it's on Disney, it depends (no teeny-bopper, disrespectful, jr./high school junk allowed). If it's on Cartoon Network, maybe if it's Tom and Jerry. :-) If it's on Nick and it's not preschool, don't ask. They do get a lot of Animal Planet. ;-)

Big Sister: Maybe there's something on. . . .

Middle Sister: If you had to pick between Dora and the News, what would you pick?

Big Sister: I don't know, I guess the news. . .

Middle Sister: Oh, no!!!! That means you are really growing up!

When I overheard this, I just chuckled to myself. Middle Sister thinks Big Sister is growing up just because she might choose the news over Dora the Explorer! Of course, I had to restrain myself from calling in there and telling Big Sister, "C'mon girl, let's find Sean Hannity's show!"

But the truth of the matter is that she is growing up, just like all my children are. I just don't always notice it. The time we have with them is so fleeting. One birthday rolls around after another. As I have thought back on their little conversation, I have been reminded over and over to stop and cherish these days and years. We can't get them back.

Consider what the Lord says about our time in Ephesians 5:15-16:
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
We have such precious little time with our children. We should make the most of it, making sacrifices to spend as much time as possible with them, "redeeming the time, because the days are evil!"

What are some practical changes or commitments you have made in order to redeem the time as you raise your children?

In the Heart of our Home,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Testimony Tuesday!!!

I came across this verse the other day and marveled at the wisdom of God!

"How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony" (Psalm 133:1)

If you have sons at home (or daughters), you probably recognize how true this is. My sons are best friends, and when they are apart seem lonely and lost. However, it is not too rare to hear bickering or tattling coming from these "2 musketeers." They are still learning the Christlike qualities of "others first--me last" and so forth. After reading this verse, I am reminded to appreciate the harmonious moments and not take them for granted!

Perhaps some of you have siblings of your own and should apply this verse to your relationships. We should even consider our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Just how much does our Lord value this harmony? Consider the rest of chapter 133:

For harmony is as precious as the annointing oil that was poured over Aaron's head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting."

How can you promote harmony in your home and in your other relationships today?

What has God been teaching you? Can you give testimony to Him this week?

In the Heart of our Home,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Modesty. This is an issue that has been on my heart and mind lately. A friend is going through a book study that covers this issue, and I believe it to be an area all women should consider and keep in mind as they choose their own clothes and as they guide their daughters in the same area.

The Lord (through Paul) instructed Timothy to teach his church "that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation" (1 Timothy 2:9), yet we need look no further than the next church pew (and perhaps the mirror) to realize that the church is failing to teach this Biblical concept. And perhaps many of us are choosing to ignore the plainly written Scriptures.

We cannot rationalize in our mind why we should buy or keep clothes that are too tight or too low or too short or too whatever. Hopefully, most grown women are intelligent enough to discern what is modest and what is not. Our daughters really are, but we as mamas could and should still give them guidance in this area.

Titus 2 clearly spells out what we older women should be teaching out daughters (younger women), and the word "discreet" falls in the list. The world is teaching our daughters its idea of "beautiful" and boldly encourages them to show off in every way. But God's Word clearly teaches a totally opposite way: "rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4).

What are you teaching? What are you practicing?

Hubby came across a great article on this subject last week, and I would like to share it with you. http://www.albertmohler.com/documents/ModelingModesty.pdf

In the Heart of our Home,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"'Honor your father and mother.' This is the first commandment with a promise" (Ephesians 6:2).

Happy Mother's Day!!!

In the Heart of our Home,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Testimony Tuesday!!!

"Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For He loves us with unfailing love; the Lord's faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord" (Psalm 117)!

You are my God, and I will praise You! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever" (Psalm 118:28-29).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Waiting for Hours, Mama"

Isn't amazing to see and feel the seemingly unconditional love a child has for his or her parents? I mean, of course, most parents love their children in such a way, but when I notice the precious signs of love and forgiveness in my children toward me, I really feel very undeserving.

The other night, Hubby took the boys camping. Boy, do they love this! Of course, they always seem to have so much fun camping and fishing and sitting around the campfire and doing guy stuff. Of course, they can have a "guy night" that is practically free, but when they decide to have a "guy night," I have 3 pair of girl eyes looking at me wondering what kind of "girls' night" will we have!?!

Hmmm. . . .we have shopped. We have had arts & crafts nights. We have shopped again. However, it is sooooooo hard to have a "girls' night" that is relatively free (like camping and fishing)!

So this week, when all girl eyes were on me (and I was exhausted from garden work all day), I thought desperately about how I could make this evening special with low-cost and low-energy! Then I remembered, "It's Kids Eat Free Night at Pizza Hut!" Hooray! Let's go eat pizza girls! And then we will come home and watch a movie (from our own private collection ;-)!

Dinner and a movie! The pizza went well, and we returned home for the video. As they were preparing the movie and the "theatre," I was checking my email. Little Sister came into the room to announce that her "baby" was saving our chair for "me and you, Mama."

How sweet. "OK, dear, I'll be there as soon as I finish this."

She came back 3 times to tell me either it was almost time for the movie or the movie was starting. I finally told her not to come back to tell me that b/c I would be there ASAP. :-(

When I finished and entered the "theatre," she jumped up from "our" chair so excited to see me. We snuggled into the rocker and she told me, "I've been waiting for you for hours, Mama."

Well, she immediately became engrossed into the movie, and I thought about what she had said, lettting it sink in. Here I was. . . tired, reluctant to invest the energy into a "girls' night" that meant so much to all of them, and they were eager and excited about just the smallest effort.

How convicting.

Not only did this remind me how our children love and desire time with us and those special memory-making moments, it reminded me of our love for Jesus.

Do we crave time with Him? Do we love Him and desire to spend time with Him?

"And you shall the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).

Does the time away from Him seem like "hours?" Do we yearn for His return?

" 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20)!

I pray I will always value and cherish my time with these little (and not so little anymore) ones even when I am tired and spent and also that my love for Christ will always have the expectant love and desire that longs for Him, His Word, and His return.

In the Heart of our Home,