AAAHAAAA!

Yesterday, I had one of those moments~ you know, that AAHAA! moment, when the thing you have been struggling to figure out, just seems to come into focus and you get it. I have been preesing into God and begging for a break through in regards to our joblessness, and seemingly endless closed and closing doors. I was sort of having a “where are you ” moment , and this is the conversation I had with God:Why are we still here?!?!

Why are you asking to be somewhere other than where I want you?  

Wait, WHAT? God, you really want us HERE< really? Why? This is soooooo hard?

Why? Don’t you believe that I made you and numbered your days and knew FULL WELL that this would be a part of your life? and maybe perhaps, it is a GOOD thing? Do you believe that my Word is truth?  Do you believe that I am who I say I am?   Jehovah Jireh~ God Provider . That I will do what I say I say I will do? Provide your every need. Have I lied?

Uuuuummmmm, okay,yes I believe you to be my provider and you have been faithful in every area of life.

So, what’s the problem? You must submitt to the tests and learn to rest in me ALWAYS. Not just when it comes easy, even when I am not working the way you want me to. Believe that I am building a testimony and shining thru your brokeness.

Brokeness hurts God, I feel pretty shattered right now.

 Great, that is the point. The more cracks the more I spill out, and do you not trust the potter to put it all back the way it should go?

Hmmm, maybe I need to get past my pride,and admitt that maybe, this isn’t all about me. Maybe God is doing something bigger than just working ON us, maybe just maybe, He is working THROUGH us.
I had a picture of a shattered clay flower pot that a child was gluing back together, when what I should have seen was that by God’s glorious foreknowledge and design, this whole process of being broken is just the next step towards becoming the vessel He intends me to be, with just enough brokeness to spill Him out on those around me.

I have a whole new level of trust and acceptance of circumstances as they are( not as I want them to be) , understanding that trying to escape this place before He is done with me, only means I will have to come back again, to be reshaped. 

 In Psalm 139~ He says he knew me before the foundation of the world, and all my days were layed out before him~ He saw it all, the good, the bad, the ugly and he loved me anyways. He planned my days to include the trials that would strengthen me, knowing that first they would break me.

 So , my aaaahaaa moment was realizing this ~ Brokeness is not a bad thing, it is where we finally reach the place of acknowledging that we need the master to put us back together, not just patch the cracks.

 Enjoy the journey folks, accepting the brokeness that comes with trials, knowing it will make you stronger.

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Where is my patience hiding?

I have been at the end of my rope, the one called patience, lately. I mean, why must my children, ALL 7, go at warp speed and at top volume from wake-up to bedtime? Arguing, fighting,playing games that require MUCH noise, etc. I can usually accept a bit of chaos, but lately, that “bit” has grown in to full fledge craziness. What does it take to have a “Duggar” like family, where the kids are kids but they are kind and considerate to one another, they aren’t demanding of their parents attention ALL OF THE TIME, and how in the world are JimBob and Michelle so darn calm all of the time. If I could smile half as much as she does, and handle my children with her grace and mercy, maybe they would behave in a more peaceable manner.

Hmmmm, maybe that’s the key. Peace in ME, produces peace in my family.
 I am determined to make this year one of PEACE for our family. If I can rest in the peace of the Father’s love, and maintain that peace externally, model it for my children, I pray it will produce in them the same peaceful spirit. The last 6 or 7 months have been incredibly stressful, with Martin loosing his job,us moving to cut expenses, beginning to home school, etc etc etc, and whether I want to admit it or not, it has had an effect on my ability to cope with the normal every day stressors that are inevitable with a family of 9. So, I am starting NEW, with a fresh outlook, and am committing to give up my need to understand the whys, and stay focused on the WHO! Only in pursuing Him, can I find true peace. And that is my hearts desire. I am not there  yet, and am not even sure what the road that leads there looks like. I am, however, promised that if I seek Him with all of my heart, I WILL find Him.

Let journey begin!

Living fully aware

I have been reading “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, and have really had to search my heart and motives and, well, really, EVERYTHING, about me. The book is a compilation of stories and descriptions of her process of learning to live in the moment with a heart of EUCHARISTEO ( grace, thanksgiving , and joy all rolled into one). Grace being the gift, thanksgiving is naming the gift and being TRULY grateful, and joy is what is produced. In the book, her journey begins with a challenge, or dare, from a friend, to name 1,000 things she loves ( things she is grateful for), and how, in looking for those things, she became aware of how much of life just goes unnoticed if we don’t live the moments on purpose. Living fully aware of life around us, of the things that make our lives what they are, and expressing true gratitude to the Giver of all good things.

As I have read the book, I too am going to take the challenge. Having 7 little ones, can sometimes blur the vision, or warp my perception of things. So , I am committing to live fully aware at all times, letting myself see the gifts and take the time to immerse myself in them. Whether it be washing dishes, or clothes , playing referee to my children, being the disciplinarian I am called to be, or cuddling with and loving on my children, I want to fully experience all of the joys  that reside in each. You see the Bible says that where He is there is joy,and He is Omnipresent, thus joy is to be found EVERYWHERE. If we seek Him, we will find Him, and in finding Him, we find it~ Joy unspeakable and full of GRACE. We are to be filled to overflowing, and the gift we give or the Grace we shower is what leads others to the source of their joy.

So many incredible lessons is the wonderful book. Highly recommend it. It has and is forever changing me.

So don’t let too many moments fly away unnoticed, or only lived half way. Immerse yourselves in all that you do, looking for God in it, and in the process find true joy.

Mother’s Day and this hearts cry

Today, I celebrated my privilege of motherhood , and the chores that come with it,with my husband and my 7 wonderful  children. I celebrated the fact that I have a WONDERFUL Mother, and Mother-in-law. I celebrated the many wonderful loving mothers that I have the privilege to call sisters, cousins, aunts, grandma, or friend.

This morning though, I woke up with a bit of a heavy heart for those who  don’t have a mom to celebrate. Although, I know it is hard to have a great mom, who passes away, those folks can , while it hurts, still celebrate the wonderful life their mothers lived, how much they poured into their lives and the awesome memories that remain, I am talking about children( and adults too I suppose) who have never had a REAL mom to celebrate. They have been in foster care or orphanages or wherever, and they do not know the love, care, and nurture of a MOTHER. I have recently had such a burden for these kids. I do not know why, but in my heart, I want our family to be that safe home that offers them a family life, and love like they have never known. I know, CRAZY!!! that is surely what you are thinking. 

Working in the boy’s home 13 years ago, left a permanent impression on me, and I really have felt burdened for the “orphans” in America lately. My vision is to one day have a home large enough to take in 4-6 kids and make them a part of our family. I have no idea what God will do with this “heart’s desire”, but I do know that He will give us direction and make provision as we follow Him. I laugh sometimes when I think about it, because I need a new vehicle for the family as it is, and can’t even afford that. It would thrill my soul to have every seat in a 15 passenger van filled with kids that God gives us the privilege to shine a bit of Him into ( that would mean 6 more kids on top of my 7). I can not begin to imagine how it could possibly work out, or be feasible, but this is what I know, my ABBA owns the cattle on a hundred hilltops, and when it is HIS time for this vision to be a reality, HE will make the provision.

So , I suppose, until then, I will watch for opportunities to love on a child,  give a pat on the back , include the kid on the sidelines watching, in our games at the park, and pray that God will use those simple acts, and let HIS love leave an impact in their lives. It is easy to get busy with life and not even notice. Maybe that is why God has given me such a tender spot for these kids, so it will be a reminder to make the effort daily, to find one child that needs a little hug,  encouragement, praise, or even just a smile.

I pray that you have had a wonderful Mother’s Day celebrating all that it means in your life. I know I sure have.

 Be Blessed:)

Love seems to be the theme

I have had an incredible evening, soaking in the love of and for my Heavenly Father. Funny how, when we least expect it, God shows up and lavishes His love on us, and reminds us that He is there, and He truly desires relationship with us. It all started today with my devotions in Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version, ©2011)

 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

I have been praying that God would help me teach my children the importance of love- both for God and for their”neighbors” ( and I guess especially – their siblings). It is my opinion that if you love someone , you place their needs, wants and wishes above your own. So, if we truly love God then LOVE should be the root of all actions , words, and thoughts, since we are told that the greatest commandment is to love God and second to that is to love others.

 HMMMM- children learn more from what they see you do, than what they hear you say….. OUCH! My children see me lack patience, and get upset over spilled milk, and raise my voice, and…. all in all lack a loving attitude and it is clearly demonstrated in my words, and my huffs and puffs and sighs( results of my thoughts).

Now,maybe I am the only one who is looking over the last week, and seeing some not so lovely moments, but it has made me take pause. I need to remember that my love for God and my love for others is so intricately intertwined, the lines disappear. Hard to do one without the other. Can I truly Love God and yet not love those around me- even if they are unlovely? Can I really love God and lack patience with my kids? Can I really love God and not show kindness to the very rude cashier, who informed me of my “unbelievable ignorance” for having 7 kids? In our minds we separate the two- love for God and love for our fellow man, but somehow, I think the two are very much the same to God. I DO love my God, with an unending, deep, abiding love and I want that love to spill over into and onto everything I think, say, and do. I was really mulling this over and asking God to show me why I sometimes have such a hard time with this whole”love thy neighbor” thing, and I remembered something I heard a long time ago~ We would not have such a hard time being kind, patient and loving if we could just get it through our thick skulls- that we no longer have “rights”.We gave up all of our “rights” when we gave our lives to Christ.  YEP- if somehow, I wasn’t concerned with my “right” to a polite cashier, or “my right” to a few minutes of peace and quiet, or “my right” to whatever, and remember the only “right” I have now( because I willingly chose Christ over “my rights”) is to take up my cross and follow Him. Carrying the cross is not easy, or fun, or pain free for us- Neither was it for Him- and yet He loved us enough to give up His every right, carry that cross, and die a PAINFUL death, so that we may have sweet fellowship with Him. Makes my “complaints” so petty!

Puts true love in perspective .

The fabric I’m made of

Ever heard folks say “that’s just the fabric I’m made of” ? I have heard it many times and just never gave it a thought really. As many of you are aware, I love to sew. Okay, well, honestly, I love fabric, all sorts of fabrics, and so I sew in order to use the  fabrics that I love. And in case you aren’t aware, there are A LOT of types of fabrics. Fabrics for clothes, fabrics for upholstery, fancy fabric, plain fabric, frilly and dainty fabric, rough and tough fabric, and the list goes on. I recently won a GC to an online Fabric store (Skye Reve Fabrics) and can’t decide what to get, even though I have browsed her inventory daily for 2 weeks.So I suppose, as I was looking through the HUNDREDS of choices , my mind began to wander as it often does, and I thought about how we are  all so unique and so individual, and each has exactly what they need for the life God has planned for them. And then it occurred to me, not one thing about my life surprises Him.He chose the fabric that is me, with a specific purpose and plan. He saw the whole picture before I had a name, and wove me into the exact fabric needed for this life. You know, some of us are made of fabric that easily ravels, some are made of the roughest ,scratchiest material , and yet others of the softest silkiest you’ve ever felt. God knew that each fabric would have strengths, and each would have weaknesses, and as each was put to use, He knew what that would mean for each life. Some would need a whole lot of reinforcing, and yet others, stronger than the rest, would need to be “stone washed” to beat in some softness, otherwise, one would fall apart and the other would be too stiff to use.  Just like we don’t ask a garment “so what kind of fabric do you want to be made of?”. neither were we asked our choice. I would have probably chosen something a bit sturdier and a little less wrinkle prone  myself, but alas, He knows best, and I am so glad He made me who I am. Psalm 139 has always been a favorite for me. It is reassuring to be reminded that He knows me, I mean REALLY knows me, and yes, He still chose me, and loves me and lovingly patches my weak spots as they appear.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

 1 You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.

 19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
   Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
   your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
   and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
   I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

So what is the fabric you’re made of?

stressing the seams

 I was working on quilt last night , I was ironing and “stressing” the seams in the blocks, before I join them all as one quilt top. I do this to be sure they are all tight and the stitches are sure. As I was doing this, it occurred to me, that we are very much like quilt blocks, and God stresses our seams to find the weak spots, so that He can “sure them up”, before we get too far into the process. The repairs are much easier and much quicker if done now, and you don’t have to rip any seams out to fix it. If, however you wait until you have joined 20 blocks together to stress the seams, and one right in the middle is loose ,boy what a pain it is to take the pieces apart one painstaking seam at a time. I think life is very much like that. When we rush a head of God and get ahead of the process, we face some “seam ripping”, and it isn’t a fun thing to go through.  I am grateful for a loving , gracious, and merciful Heavenly Father, who takes the time and care to stress the seams of my life, and when necessary, tear out the seams that are inadequate, and sure them up, so that when the normal wear and tear of life comes along, my seams are secured in Him!

 I think, if I can figure out how, the name of this blog will change to “stressedattheseams”. It is a much more appropriate name for where I am.

 Just remember when your seams are being stressed it has a positive purpose, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

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