Category Archives: family
So I’m sitting in church yesterday, trying not to critique the sermon. But, I can’t help it! It’s my husband!
Then, the message shifted. And the tears fell. I sat convicted.
Luke 7: 37-39, 44: When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
[verse 44] Then he [Jesus] turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?”
Simon the Pharisee saw the sin, saw the intrusion, saw the problem.
Jesus, the Son of God, saw a woman who had eternity imprinted on her heart.
Ecclesiastes 3:11: He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I’m a Mom of two. Quite often I find myself looking at my beautiful children as problems, intrusions, distractions in my life.
One child in particular (the oldest) is a challenge. She has been from the start.
Here’s part of the story…
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant (with my oldest) I started bleeding. Bleeding so much that I was told I was having a miscarriage. After the ultrasound and viewing an amazing heartbeat, we were told her life was a “coin toss.” NO, I’m NOT joking. That’s exactly what the doctor said.
Later in the pregnancy I woke up with Bell’s Palsy. Due to my “condition”, the Bell’s didn’t heal.
After a very complicated birth, things did not get any better. My mood went from bad to worse. Postpartum depression set in and nearly took my life.
I’ve literally given my life to my daughter. Because she’s a challenge, a handful, a leader-in-the-making, I wonder sometimes if I hold all these issues against her.
Here comes the hard conviction…
In my daily dealings with this child of God, I don’t see her as such. I see her according to her behavior.
Sure, discipline is part of my role as Mom. But discipline in the light of heaven, in the light of eternity on her heart, is needed.
And so the critique ends. My work begins.
Father, you know my heart. Forgive me. Thank you for your Word and for the example set by Your Son. Change my outlook Lord. Give me wisdom to teach, to love, to lead your children. Help us all see each other as children of a Holy God with eternity stamped on our hearts. Amen.
Day 7′s Diet Dose: Colossians 3:1-17
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. ~Colossians 3:2
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. ~Philippians 4:8
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:18
Parenting doesn’t come easy to me. In fact, parenting has challenged and stretched me in ways I never imagined. It seems to point out all my flaws and inadequacies.
Recently my older daughter has developed a sassy (talk back) attitude. As a family, we sat down together and read our diet scripture above, in particular verses 12-14:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
We made a list of all the positive attributes Paul instructs us to clothe ourselves with to help us decide what we each needed to work on.
- Heart of mercy
- Bearing with one another
- Peace of Christ
Preacher-Man said he would try on on patience, daughter # 2 said she would be kind. I chose humility. And Miss. Sass my cherished daughter decided on love.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, God granted us many times during the day to work on our clothing line! The sewing wasn’t as straight as I would like it to be… but I’m not a perfect seamstress either. We’re working on it together!
As mentioned in spiritual weight loss, we can not be holy without God’s power. So, setting our minds to His power, His holiness, His strength is a worthy task.
from The Bible Knowledge Commentary:
Believers’ lives should be dominated by the pattern of heaven, bringing heavenly direction to their earthly duties. [Paul] was saying that life “in this world” will be better if it is lived by a power “beyond this world”, the power of the resurrected, ascended, glorified Christ.
Today’s Challenge: What are some practical ways we can keep our minds on things above?
- devote a particular time in your day to study or be quiet with Christ
- pray for good Christian friends to surround yourself with
- find a church to participate in worship and volunteer your time and talents
- join a weekly or monthly bible study
- memorize scripture or find a passage that helps you deal with your particular situation and write in on an index card and carry it with you throughout the day
- tell others around you what your goal is (memorizing scriptures or a particular prayer request) ask them to remind you of it through the week to help keep your mind accountable
- listen Christian praise music
for further consideration:
Today I’m on my way home from Michigan visiting my new baby… she’s my niece, born April 20th.
My girls oodled over her the entire weekend. So sweet! As always, it was great to spend the weekend at my Mom and Dads, and hang out with my family.
Tomorrow, here at Heart Reflections, we’ll be discussing the great myth – is Christianity all about being a good person. I believe my hubby preached on this topic over the weekend. Check it out. (I will too!)
I’m on the lookout for 3 prayer warriors that can help me this week. Any takers? Thanks!
See you tomorrow!
You’ve shown me life isn’t easy
I’ve seen you work hard to maintain relationships
The world hasn’t always been kind to you
Yet you cared through your own struggles
You seem to minimize yourself to make more of me
Love isn’t easy
You could have given up many times
Still your love remains
You work hard and give much
Your giving knows no end
You live a life centered in Christ
And share it with me
I grew in the knowledge of truth and love
Which continues to this day
Now I carry on your legacy
Thank you for your gift of real love
Now I pass it on
Your love extends to the next generation
Where your love is complete
Mom and Dad!
Our sweet new adoptee is getting into trouble. She has been snapping at my youngest daughter (5 yr old) lately. And quite honestly, I’m getting nervous about the safety of my kids. I hate to give up on this lovable girl, especially since someone else has already let her down. But it’s definitely not worth the risk. I’m hopeful that with training she’ll get better. But is that realistic? Anyone have any experience in this area? Thanks!
Here is a fun story that you may have seen before on my blog. I’m re-running it along with some fun pictures that I made up to give you the idea of what my daughter looked like! Enjoy!
God has blessed my hubby and I with two amazing daughters. The oldest is now in 2nd grade, and the baby is in Kindergarten. They have provided us with multiple entertaining stories! Many stories make other parents happy that such event didn’t happen within their own 4 walls! But we chose to laugh, often after the event, such as this one. (and we’ve chosen NOT to take pictures… which is why I had to generate them myself!)
My dear oldest, at the terrific age of 3, was coping with the arrival of her new baby sister. So being the kind hearted mother that I am, I decided to cheer her up by redecorating her room. She was moving from a toddler bed to the real big girl bed. I hunted down a great buy for a beautiful quilt and chose to do a handcrafted painting motif on her walls.
My parents helped by taking the kids for a few days so that we could get things settled without little hands and messy fingerprints!
I bought 2 small cans of paint – one pink – one green as well as multiple brushes in varying sizes. Her room was already painted in a beautiful warm yellow. So on 2 opposing walls I painted stripes in both pink and green, all with different sizes. Then on one wall I took a rag, rolled it up, dipped it in the pink and made little rose buds all over, and later went back and crafted green leaves. It turned out really cute.
Of course, the big girl was THRILLED to see her new room. The first night was great! She slept wonderfully. She didn’t even want to leave the room in the morning. But I willingly promised her that she would be able to visit her new room again during the day for a nap!
So when it was nap time I wasn’t surprised to hear her rustling around. Truthfully, I was so tired, I just didn’t want to deal with her. She was happy and semi-quiet in her new room, the baby was sleeping, and I was on my way!
It seemed like I had just fallen to dreamland when I started to hear the pitter patter of a 3 yr old’s feet coming down the wood stairs. When she arrived in the living room I had to blink a few times before I could see her clearly. I thought I saw Pepto-Bismol oozing out of her pores. But when I got myself on my feet I could clearly see that she was head to toe covered in pink paint. SHE HAD PAINTED HERSELF PINK!
Now the details of how she found the paint and actually got the lid off… I just don’t know. But this child was – no lie – a walking pink paint can!
Upon further inspection and numerous finger AND foot prints tracking the way from the living room to her bedroom, I found the finely decorated room had now been turned into a pink washing machine. This child had pulled all her clothes, her blankets, including her NEW quilt into the center of her room and literally washed them thoroughly in pink paint. I was flabbergasted! She was so proud of her new creation (yet at the same time, she knew she was in trouble)! She had decorated just like mommy!
Honestly, she probably looked more like the Blue Man Group in pink!
Make sure to submit your comments by Thursday on Darlene’s interview for your chance at a free book!
(Make sure to submit your comments by Thursday on Darlene’s interview for your chance at a free book!)
The transition from full time teacher to full time mother was not easy for me. I often blame my post partum depression that occurred with baby number 1 more than 7 years ago. But I still find myself constantly struggling to find my place, my role, as a mother.
Motherhood doesn’t come easy for me. I’m not a neat and tidy person. I don’t like cleaning. And I can be very disorganized. I’m a mess! So, when it comes to being the keeper of the house, I often fall short of the mark of a “true” homemaker.
Lately I’ve been struggling with a resurgence in my depression. The doctor prescribed a routine of healthy behaviors which I’ve been faithful to do – but the results are showing yet.
So, when the daily demands of being a mother kick into gear I feel as if I’m being crushed under the pressure. I’m annoyed, irritated, short fused, frustrated and just don’t want to be bothered! All these characteristics lead up to Mother-of-the-Year, don’t they?!
I know it wasn’t a coincidence that my morning devotion time was focused on El Roi – the God who sees. In my study, it gave 2 different Old Testament examples of El Roi. Exodus 3:7-10 when God talks to Moses through the burning bush and the story of Hagar (Sarai’s slave) in Genesis 16. In both situations God reveals Himself as someone who sees the suffering of his prized possession.
Genesis 16:13 She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Exodus 3:7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.”
Now, I am not claiming that my husband or my children are like slave drivers. They certainly aren’t oppressing me, like the characters were being oppressed in the Bible. The point here is that God sees, God cares, and He is working in your life to help remedy your circumstance. He may find a way out for you. He may find a way for you to be changed. No matter what the outcome, we can be assured that He Sees.
A song comes to mind by Lindsey Kane called He Knows. Listen to her words today, and see if they don’t speak directly to your heart.
Princess Buttercup is keeping me busy and away from my computer! Isn’t she cute! I’ll see you tomorrow (Tuesday) with Ms. Perfection from the book Behind the Eyes. Don’t miss my fun stories relating to the “great Sunday morning fake-out” as Lisa describes in her book!
Mary Kassian, an author, speaker and professor says, “In Behind Those Eyes, Lisa Whittle offers an open invitation to truth-filled relationships. Taking a page from her own struggles for authenticity, Whittle writes with a fresh perspective on the impersonating roles we all fall into in and why it is so hard for women to just be real. A message of courage and hope is found in this book; helpful to any woman trying to find out how to embrace her created self!”
How can you even concentrate on reading when Princess Buttercup is looking at you with her sweet eyes and great smile?!
As a Mom I look forward to school pictures. I love seeing my children in a picture that will forever chronicle that school year in history. When I was a teacher, I deeply disliked school pictures. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and find out why! Read the rest of this entry
Today we are talking with Karen Hossink. Karen is a wife, mother, speaker and author. Her ministry, which truly is God-lead, is called Irritable Mother and her blog is called Surviving Motherhood. Would you like to receive a FREE copy of one of Karen’s books? Read on and leave your comments for a chance to win!