Monday, July 19, 2010

2 Years Later... Interview with Aidan.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
"Clean up your room right now!" "Aidan, stop eating!"

2. What makes Mommy happy?
"Telling her jokes, giving her a sash" (Massage)

3. What makes Mommy sad?
"telling her lies, and having to spank my butt, and if you get food in her drink... that's all!"

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
"Her funny face!" (hey!)

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
(insert hysterical laughter here!) "Hers liked dolls, I bet. that's a good question!"

6. How old is your Mommy?
...long pause... "that's hard! Really hard! I can't count that many on my fingers." (hmph)

7. How tall is your Mommy?
I think I know this...but you have to stand up. okay, about I right?"

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
"get a massage from me! And eating. you like to eat. laughing.. you laugh a lot. more than you eat." (This is NOT boding well for one's self-esteem!)

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
"well, you like to play games, clean up...I suppose that's all. And if you play games with yourself, you can't cheat at Mario."

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
"Hers sings beautiful!" (He does have hearing issues, folks!)

11. What is Mommy really good at?
"cleaning, that's all!"

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
"Not good at watching actions movies, because I she gets bored and plays with her phone."

13. What does Mommy do for a job?
"She does church"

14.What is Mommy favorite food?
"Salad...its always salad. There are a lot of questions about mom on here!"

15.What makes you proud of Mommy?
"Taking us to church, letting us go with Mr. Dave, what's the next chapter here?"

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
"I would say a princess with a "hindness"

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
"Oh my. That would be eating food. We sit by each other. It's good."

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
"okay, we aren't. Well, I guess we both poop." (Oh wow.)

19. How are you and Mommy different?
"I make the mess, and she doesn't. "

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
"She takes me to Cheesecake Factory for my birthday, we go to the movies, and she holds me when I am crying. Thanks makes me like her a lot. "

21. What does Mommy friends like most about your mom?
"Well, I don't know about that, but I know that they gave her some gifts, and some food the other day. She cried, and then someone gave her a credit card. It was Jesus. He's her friend. So is Derek's mom. She's pretty."

22. Where is Mommy favorite place to go?
"Hmmm...I forgot the name, they have good salads... That's all, your Honor."

Read the initial interview here!

Monday, April 12, 2010


"God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God."--Lamentations 3:25 (The MSG)

Does anyone else feel like the pairing of the verbs 'passionately' and 'waits' is a bit of an oxymoron? A bit contradictory?

In my mind, 'waiting' is like hitting the pause button on life...everything just stops, stands frozen, still, unmoving until the "waiting" is over. It can be agonizing, draining, cumbersome, anything but passionate!

As I walk though life with Christ, I have to continually throw myself at His mercies as I struggle to deal with waiting. To be honest, I feel that I have spent many years in an ugly out-and-out battle to simply...wait. I use the word "battle", meaning it in the full use of the term because I tend to adopt the "Esau-Syndrome" wanting to rebel against waiting. I wrestle with wanting to impulsively react to satisfy a short-term desire, want, or (what I deem!) a need--not even thinking that I am trading away God's blessings and His perfect plan and purpose for me. All because I just can't seem to grasp the concept of waiting. Especially when waiting stretches past a "season" and goes into years, that now stretch into what I call "desert lands" is hard to remember God's timing is better than mine...His ways are higher than mine...and His understanding of my situations and that also of the world. I, to be honest, tend to revert to the Israelite's behavior as I walk through my personal "desert" in life. It is a constant struggle in my heart because I do not want to be so near-sighted that I cannot trust in the bigger plan that He has!

"Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. ... “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all...we wanted!” ...[The Lord directed Moses to tell the people] "...Lord heard you when you cried, “Oh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. ...You will eat it...until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”--Numbers 11:1-20 (New Living Translation)

"But it wasn't long before they forgot the whole thing, wouldn't wait to be told what to do. They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert, provoked God with their insistent demands. He gave them exactly what they asked for— but along with it they got an empty heart..."--Psalm 106:13-15 (The Message)


The more I study the concept from a Christ-follower perspective of waiting, I am fully convinced it is one of the most challenging exhortations of Scripture for me. My natural progression of emotions during waiting periods, I have noticed is I tend become fidgety, fearful, frustrated, anxious, and sometimes even angry. I find myself screaming: "Am I really expected to just to...wait ...keep hitting the pause button, and just sit around twirling my thumbs until God hits the play button and gives resolution?"

My sweet Savior has listened to me beg for understanding on this subject, and recently He has laid an incredible thought on my heart:

That waiting, despite my impatience and incredible dislike for it, is a essential element in my relationship with God and how I ultimately reflect Him to others, especially my children.

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord"--Psalm 40:1-9 (New Living Translation)

But He doesn't stop with just promises that He will be glorified through my trials. He gives incredible promises to those of us that are waiting...waiting on Him...waiting and trusting in Him.

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." --Isaiah 40:29-31 (New King James Version)

This verse just fills my heart with emotion. If you have ever endured a season that seemed never-ending, I am sure you know the feelings of weariness, a dragging heart, wanting to give up, contemplation of waving the white flag. This verse is like the most pure, clean water a man dying of thirst. It is the air to a woman who can't catch her breath. It overflows with hope!

"Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!"--Psalm 27:14 (New King James Version)

My prayers have been transformed as I have gone through this quest to understand and seek the Lord in this struggle to embrace waiting. I find that instead of begging for His timing to be harried...I am begging that He will strengthen my heart. That He will give me a new song to sing, and He will never let me forget the goodness He provides for me in this desert. Not to say that I do not have days and moments when I do wrestle with feelings of hopelessness in this situation, or wondering if it will be never ending...but I must remember what the Israelites were told just as they were about to enter the Promise Land after 40-years of wondering in the desert:

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. ...For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land...and you will lack nothing....Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God...He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. that in the end it might go well with you." --Deuteronomy 8:1-11 (NIV)

God is leading me in my desert. He is near, guiding us through the tough and "waterless" waiting times in our lives. Giving us exactly what we need to survive and endure it! And the confidence to know that His promises to us will come, but all in His timing. Just as the sun rises and sets perfectly, or seasons come and go in perfect order... I love how confident David is when he wrote Psalm 130:5-6:

"I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what He'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning."-- (The MSG)

One final, maybe random, thought that is massively encouraging that I discovered about the word waiting. The english word "waiting" (as in waiting on the Lord) comes from the Hebrew word "Qavah." There are several definitions to describe this word, all which I expected, except for the last definition:

(1) “look patiently”
(2) “tarry or wait”
(3) “hope, expect, look eagerly”
(4) “to bind together”

As we wait...we are not simply hitting the "pause button" on our lives, like I thought. No! Instead, God is lovingly binding Himself to us! I am a mother of 4-amazing fellas...all whom I would use a baby wrap to carry them when they were infants. So, when I hear the term "binding together," I picture the way a mother (or father) may wrap a new born child around her body to carry the child she will forever, unconditionally loves beyond description, through the day...close to her heart, safe in her arms. Isn't that a precious picture?

God knows some trials or deserts will be too much for us to long for us to heavy for us to bear. So He binds us to Him so that He can carry us through! It totally changes my perspective...the thought of God holding me close, as His child, close to His heart, safe in His arms... is all I need to hear to help me understand passionately waiting on the Lord!

"I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken." --Psalm 62:1-2 (New Living Translation)

"I will thank You and confide in You forever, because You have done it [delivered me and kept me safe]. I will wait on, hope in and expect in Your name, for it is good..." --Psalm 52:9 (Amplified Bible)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eating for God--Month Two!

"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."--Galatians 5:21-23

I wish there were a way that you could step into my life for a moment and experience the incredible change that continues to rock my world. As God works to refine this area of my life, He has opened my eyes to how crushing this sin was to me. I really had no idea how suffocating the box I had put myself into because I was not living as God intended. Looking back even to my first post about my struggle, I am amazed at the freedom I experience now...the peace...and the joy! I am reminded of one of my favorite verses that totally embodies what I wish describe what God has done in my heart:

"...We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."--Romans 5:1 (MSG)

Doesn't that verse just paint a beautiful picture of freedom? It stands in such a stark contrast to the verse that I identified with as I began this journey...and as I reread it, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude that Jesus is leading me further and further away from these burdens I could not stand under:

"It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: ...a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; ...paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on..." --Galatians 5:19-20

I know you must be thinking that I am being a bit dramatic about over-eating, right? But, do you see that it wasn't the food that was the sin, which led to the life described in Galatian was the fact that I had put food before Christ in my life. That, of course, is the sin! So, being dramatic about food--no. Being serious about sin--YES!

"...Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." --James 4:7 (MSG)

And true to His promises, Jesus is helping me "get on my feet!" People keep asking me what program I am following, or what my plan is...truthfully, I am praying every morning that God will just continue to help me make the right choices, and to honor Him above everything in my life. And He is! I am so excited to tell you that as of today I have lost (through God's grace!):

41 pounds!

I have never been able to lose this much before on any quest to lose weight. I have never lasted on a "diet" this long. I think it just affirms God's work in my life, and like what Galatians 5:21-23 promises God is giving to me as a gift: exuberance about life, serenity...a willingness to stick with things...a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people...loyal commitments, not needing to force this way of eating, able to marshal and direct my energies wisely.

God's Word is true...His promises are true...and in His Freedom I will live.

I'm thankful.

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it..." --Romans 12:1-2

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Running with His Grace

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith...let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. ...No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. ...So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

....You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. ...No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God Himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness...

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking...When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain...Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe..."

I don't think many of us cannot relate to weariness, exhaustion...maybe even a fear that a trial or a "season" may be never ending. I totally get it, and have been there many times myself. I know the crushing weight and burden of those fears...and I also understand the temptation to try to come up with a worldly solution to try to speed up or end the trial that is being suffered. Isn't it HARD to wait sometimes? Especially to wait patiently as God encourages us to do in Psalm 27:14 "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."

But do you see the beauty of what God is saying to us in Hebrews 12... He reminds us that those who are close to Him, as well as those that are far from Him are a witness to how we are dealing with these battles. God is telling us that He doesn't want us to just crawl and drag our way through it...He says RUN the race! Run with confidence that Christ has already laid the footwork for us to come behind Him in His footsteps. God's precious Son has already run the same race, fought the same battles, endured the ultimate fight--AND WON!

Wow...being reminded of this is like taking a deep breath of His grace when I feel like I am about to suffocate.

When life is tough, it is so easy to go into our little hopeless bubbles of self, thinking no one understands, no one can relate...and we end up isolating ourselves and try to bear these burdens and trials alone. This is not God's design! It is a tool of evil. So what do we do when we feel like we are losing the race, or we just can't "run" anymore? The answer is right there in Hebrews 12:2..."we do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion..." Sounds too simple to be actually work though, right? But here is the absolute truth of that statements: When we keep our eyes on Christ, we know that we, like Peter in Matthew 14, we can walk on water through the most intense storms of our lives. And when we not only can't "run" but instead we are drowning in the seas of our struggles, unable to endure the crushing waves of life...look up! Jesus is reaching His hand out to us to pull us up, to save us, to walk with us on the stormy waters! (Matthew 14:24-31)

The truth continues on to remind us that when we think we are alone and no one can understand...Christ does! He understands because He humbled Himself from the sitting at the right hand of the Creator of the heavens and earths to endure everything that we would ever struggle with, to conquer every trial.

He knows what it is to be weary,
He knows grief,
He knows betrayal,
He knows heartbreaking loneliness.
He even knows the really nasty uglies of our fallen world... be beaten be spit on be ridiculed be abandoned
...treated as if He were worthless.

He knows our pain, our hurts, our inequities...He suffered them with the knowledge that upon Him winning the battle there would be unfathomable joy, and profound peace that our broken hearts are desperately seek. He had sufferance so that we may have hope and endurance through His victory. And how blessed are we, that since we are called His, that He runs beside us in this race whispering in our hearts,

"You can do this! Keep going! You have already won because you believe in Me...I have seen the wonderful things that are on the other side of this! Keep going!"

There is such powerful hope found in John 16:31 (MSG) when Christ said:

"...The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."

And be encouraged by God's promise of ultimate withstanding victory for you during whatever trial your are in right now:

"...but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain...Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe..." Hebrews 12:26-28.

Be unshakable in trials because Christ is in you...know you will endure, and you will make it through!

Stay on course of this race! Keep your focus on Jesus, and remember He is with you and you are not alone, and He is cheering you on with His promises!

"...In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you. Strength! Courage! ...Give it everything you have, heart and soul. ...Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going. And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed. Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." Joshua 1:1-9 (MSG)

I pray that your heart is overflowing with encouragement and promises from His Word. We serve a God of Good. Our God is a God of Hope and Victory. Be unshakable in Him!