Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Book Review....And Sweet Maddie Grace

If there is one thing I've fallen in love's reading.

I can't say that growing up I was the 'reading' type of person. I would much rather go shopping, watch a movie, or flip through a fashion magazine. Well....times have changed.;)

Don't get me wrong...I still love shopping!! BUT....reading has become a wonderful past time for me. I have learned so much, and I wish I had started this hobby a long time ago.

You can leave the novels & fictional books on the shelf....that's not my cup of tea. I could care less to get lost in a fantasy world of romance, magic, or tragedy. Maybe that's what you enjoy reading, and that's great. It's nice that there are so many options out there for us to choose from, but my reading addictions consist of biographies (mostly of heroes of the faith, missionaries, great preachers, or preacher's wives) & books on marriage or child rearing.

I'm very cautious when choosing a book. As a Christian, I base my beliefs & way of thinking on the I look for authors who base their advice that way too. There is so much liberalism saturated within the pages of many books, even among Christian authors, that you have to do some research on the author if it's not a name you recognize.

There is a lot of wisdom out there from many wonderful sources, but if I can remind myself & others that the best wisdom we'll ever find comes from the pages of Scripture itself.

As I've buried my face in over 20 books in the last year of so, my husband has lovingly & very wisely reminded me that I should never read more of my books than I do of THE book...the Word of God.

Wisdom is something I pray for every day. Most often before my feet hit the floor. I ask God to empty me of myself & fill me with his we are by nature very selfish people, I pray every morning that God would empty me of give me wisdom that day when training my children, and help me be the mommy they need me to be.

I long for wisdom from God, like a thirst that is never quenched...I want Him to fill my cup each day with wisdom, and I won't get that if I'm not in his word & on my knees.

So, to my book review. I've had several people ask me what books I recommend, so I thought I'd talk about a few of them in some future posts. The one I'm reading now my husband bought for my birthday. It's called 'I Will Carry You' by Angie Smith. It had been on my Christmas wish list too....but came at I think the most appropriate time. One of my best friends in the world lost her little baby girl just two days after she was born. Baby Maddie (pictured at top of post) was perfect & precious in every way, but God's ways are not always our ways.....and she went home to be with Jesus.

These kinds of tragedy's can not be explained. There truly are no answers to fill the ever aching questions of "Why Lord?"....but God has been faithful to our dear friends, Natalie & Rick, and he has showered them with grace. You can read of their baby Maddie here. I'm sure you will be moved with love & tears for this dear family....and I pray that it will impress you to worship the King. Maddie may have been small in size, but her impact for the Lord has been big!
She was created to bring glory to her Creator, and she is doing just that...and so are her sweet mommy & daddy. Please pray for Natalie & Rick as the are so heavy on our hearts.

The book, 'I Will Carry You' is the story of Audrey Caroline. Maybe you've heard of the blog 'Bring the Rain' is baby Audrey's story. Her mommy has done an amazing job at sharing it, and encouraging me to love my Savior more. You MUST read this book! If you are single, don't have children, have children, or married....doesn't matter....if you are a women, you will be touched! I've followed the blog since it was started & rereading it all in the book has still touched my heart.
Angie has a way of making the Bible come to will enjoy it, I'm sure. I have one chapter to go, and part of me doesn't want to finish it yet as when I open the pages I'm drawn to the beauty of the Savior.

Those are the kind of books I look for. Books that convict me to do more for God & keep me falling in love with Jesus.
Thank you for stopping by!;)

Next book on my list to read is: "A chance to die: The life of Amy Carmichael" by Elisabeth Elliot~~~ I'm looking foward to it!;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bind Me Again, Dear Lord...

I recently read a friends facebook status that read, "Having children is like going to jail."-her college professor.

"How Terrible!!" my mind thought. Do people really think like that? I guess out of the sinfulness of our hearts comes a lot of wicked things...and that my friends, is a wicked statement!

Children are a blessing from the Lord. They are a wonderful joy & reward! I can't imagine our lives without our children.

Our house would be so empty.

I love the crazy chaos that my little people bring to me each day! They are so much fun, full of love, and precious in every way!

If having children is like going to jail?....then I say,

"Bind me again, Dear Lord!"

Bind me with their newborn skin,

Bind me as I'm nursing them.

Bind me when I wash them clean,
Bind me in our sweet routine!

Bind me as I sing them hymns,
Bind me as I speak of Him.

Bind me as I watch them play,
Bind me as they learn to pray.

For I don't want to miss a moment.
I'm so thankful I was chosen.

Don't loosen me from their grip,
Don't allow my love from theirs to slip.

O Lord, my God, please Bind me tight!
My children are a joy this night!

And may the joy continue on,
So Bind Me, Bind Me, with this love so Strong.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Prayed In My Heart...

The other morning my boys had one of the sweetest conversations. Carter is 4 (almost 5) and Evan just turned 3.

Now don't be fooled, I usually highlight for you the 'sweet' stories & keep the disaster stories a secret! HA! Our home has many little disasters each day, whether it's the boys fighting over toys or jumping up and down LOUDLY on their train table followed by crying, because one of them tried to jump from the table to the couch only missing their mark by a HUGE distance...bless their little rambunctious, boy, hearts!=)

Anyway, back the sweet conversation...I gave them their bowls of cereal & told them to pray as I got their juice.

Evan said, " are eating and I was praying!"

Carter: " I prayed already."

Evan: "Tarter, I didn't hear you pray."

Carter: "I prayed in my heart. Sometimes people pray in their heart & they don't make any sounds. Do it!"

Evan: "Ok. (as he pulls his shirt open & looks down at his heart) Bless the food, Amen. I did it, Tarter! I prayed in my heart!"

They are a blessing, even when I have to clean off their gooey finger marks from the backs of my chairs, I can remember they are a blessing.

They are only this age once, they are only small for a short time, may I cherish each day with them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Child like faith...

The other day while we were finishing our lunch, Carter asked me.."Mommy what is sin again?"

I began to explain, but before I could Evan chimed in, "Tartar (that's how he says Carter;) Sins are bad".... It's interesting putting these things into 'child like' terms. You'd be surprised how well even a two year old can understand them!

I said, "That's correct, Evan, sins are bad things that God doesn't like. It makes His heart very sad when we sin. And you know boys, we are ALL sinners. Did you know that?"

Carter, "No I'm not, Mom. I'm not a sinner."

Me, "Yes Carter. Even you are a sinner. Even mommy, daddy, Evan & Parker. Everyone is a sinner. The Bible tells us that."

Carter, "No I'm not one." shaking his head & taking his last bite of yogurt.

Me, "Carter have you ever lied to daddy?"

Carter, "Um..I think maybe not."

Me, "Carter haven't you been punished for lying before? & Haven't you been mean to your friends before?"

Carter, "That was a long time's ok now."

Me..kindly & with a smile as this little guy was determined to 'NOT' be a sinner..."Carter even if it was a long time ago, it was still sin. And God hates our sin. We have to get forgiveness for our sin to be right with God, and that is why Jesus came. Why did Jesus die for us?"

Evan loudly & cheerfully chimes in, "For our sins! For our sins, Tartar!"....what precious truth that is, even spoken from a babe.

Carter looked at me & said, "Mom, I don't want to have sins. I'll pray now."

He bowed his head & Evan bowed his head..because he does everything Carter does (so cute) and as he began to pray I picked up the pen next to me to jot it down.

"Dear God,
I want to be ok. Help me not to sin. I don't know how not to do it. Please help me. I love you, Jesus. Amen."

If that doesn't melt your heart, well then the oven ain't on, my friend!!

When he finished praying I had teary eyes & told him, "Carter, that is very good. God is pleased with your honest prayers."

I'm praying for the day when I hear my little boys call upon the name of Jesus for Salvation...I wouldn't be surprised if it's very soon. They sure do love the Lord & their little hearts see His goodness & forgiveness when they see their sins.

May we have this child like faith.
Bless you for stopping by!:)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ABC's & Spilt Milk....

I have some pictures I need to post, if I can get my computer to cooperate!;) We have had a busy but great summer! I feel like it's been a long summer too, since it started warming up in April this year & it's still hot out! Amazing for this cold tundra of the North!=)

Daniel has had more opportunities to preach in the last couple of months & for me that's an extra special treat!;)

The boys are thriving & loving life! They sure do keep me on my toes!

Carter (4) is always asking to color, or build something, or adventure outdoors. He loves to ride his little trike & work with daddy's tools in the garage, and sing. He really is a good singer. Sometimes he'll get shy about it, but he has a great little voice & also loves to listen to my music with me. Everyday we sing, sometimes to the point of them asking me if we can recently started humming the prettiest little tune. I added some words & we wrote a new chorus entitled, "I Love to Sing". Hoping to use it in the church children's choir. He also is very much into pretending to hunt, fish, & drive to the mall...wonder where he got that from??? He is growing taller, and such a goodly child to us, they all are. We are so blessed!

Evan (2), well....what is Evan NOT interested in??? That little boy has a zeal to learn & will try anything! He is especially good at copying everything his big brother or daddy do. He has the cutest little voice right now. I think he sounds quite french at times. Like a little 'peppy Le pew' walking around..or however you say that little cartoon skunk's name! He loves to sing the ABC's and sings it often, loud, and sometimes throwing his own style to it.;) He is full of joy & keeps us laughing! I'm praying he will be an avid soul-winner for the Lord someday as he is NOT shy in the least, and if you ask him, "How do we get to Heaven?"...he responds boldy, "Ye must be born again!"...only coming out of his little french accent voice it's more like "Bourne' again!"...what a funny little guy he is!

Parker (15mo) little Lovebug. He is such a sweetheart! He has a full head of dark hair, big blue eyes, and such a cuddler bug! The older two are also very cuddly & never turn down my constant kisses, but little Parker just loves to snuggle in my neck, kick his legs, & tuck his arms under mine, as if the excitement of being snuggled is about to burst forth!=) He is learning new things every how to climb on things, getting on the couch, jumping on the couch, copying his older brothers. He adores his older brothers. Watching their every move to join in the fun! Precious memories!

Carter has asked some really sweet questions about the Lord in the last couple of months. Like, "How do we get to Heaven? Do we fly there?"...or "We can't go to Heaven, we're not dying." you could have seen my face & response on that one..."You're right honey, we're not dying. Do you want a cookie??"....hehe....his prayers too are so sweet. He'll ask Jesus to "bless the food, help us to please be good, and fly us to Heaven but we're not dying yet."...that sweet boy I can hardly contain from kissing that soft sweet skin!

They make me melt....I'm so thankful I'm not missing out on their morning fresh skin, their lunch time prayers, their afternoon games, their dinner milk spills, and their bedtime kisses.

With these three & my honey my life is pretty much perfect. We are so blessed & I'm thankful for my sweet family! That is our update & hopefully I can get some pictures up by the end of the week! Thanks for stopping by & don't forget to thank the Lord for His rich blessings!=)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

O Weary Mother...

I was prompted with these thoughts a few months ago as I was speaking with a sweet friend who was 'weary in her well doing'. As we shared stories and similar experiences I drove away that night praying for her and myself. I've only held the position of Mother for 4 years this month, but I learned very quickly that being 'Mother' is full of many requirements.

My prayer is that this post will encourage & inspire the readers to find their fullest potential as mothers through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my source of joy & strength. He is the reason for my title as, Mother, & I thank Him for it!

If we can begin with a verse found in Galations 6:9,

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

This verse has greatly helped me when I find myself at times 'weary' as a stay at home mom. The thing about this verse that I love is that God would not have put it in the Bible if He knew we wouldn't have the problem of feeling 'weary in our well doing'. Sometimes I think I might be crazy for the feelings of discouragement that I've felt, or the thoughts I think at times, but I'm so thankful that God knew I'd feel this way, and so He encouraged me when He inspired Paul to write, "And let us not be weary in well doing:"

It is well doing when I wake each morning to running little feet full of enthusiasm as they start their day full of joy and prepare their breakfast, get them dressed & find their missing train pieces. It's well doing when I correct their misbehavior & instruct them how to behave wisely. It's well doing as I'm picking up their little shoes & dirty socks that I find in the most amazing places! It's well doing to wash their clothes, change their sheets, prepare their meals & clean their home. It's well doing to rock them in the middle of the night and calm their fears. It is well doing to teach them manners, school them, and make their daddy their hero!

For every long lasting never ending job there is for a stay at home mom, it is well doing that will reap great long lasting eternal rewards if I don't let myself become weary and faint. Lord help me!

I hear of so many mommies who stay home with their little ones, but they dread every minute of it. Lord help them to see their well doing & not faint!

Many mommies stay home, but they waste every training opportunity b/c they are simply busy doing other things, while the TV is training the children & then they wonder why their children don't act right or obey. Lord help them to see the well doing of motherhood & not faint!

And the majority of mommies today have altogether given the job of motherhood to their daycare ladies or nannies. As they venture out to their careers & their salaries, because they simply don't see the 'well doing' of being a stay at home mom.

Lord help me as I write, and may this please speak to the hearts of working moms or the hearts of moms who long to be working...

I just recently read the book "Training Kings and Queens" by Mrs.Cindy Schaap. You can order a copy here. Can I say that this book is SO wonderful & it blessed me greatly!

This book really put it all into perspective for me. For those of you who are married, your honey should be your #1 priority in your life. I believe my purpose, my most highest calling is to meet the needs of Daniel, and see him reach his fullest potential for the Lord. I get the most fulfillment in my life this way. Do you know that this is God's plan? That is what God wanted when he said of Adam in Genesis 2:18 ,"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."

I am Daniel's help meet. That is what God created me to be. God knew there would be only one thing that would satisfy me fully as Daniel's wife. He knew that one thing would be for me to satisfy the needs of Daniel, of whom He provided for me! I would be frustrated if I tried to find my fulfillment in any other way!

I've seen so many friends try to find their fulfillment through their careers or their children & yet they are still unhappy & have unhappy marriages.

The biggest example of this, I experienced first hand in my own life. When I was young my mom had a very high paying job that caused her to be gone from home for a week or so at a time, and she would tell you herself that this high paying job was not worth the high price she paid of missing time with us, and not being there to meet the needs of my father. We rarely had meals together as a family, and I remember through my grade school years that my dad cooked, cleaned, laid my clothes out for me, and ran the bath water. I don't mean to dishonor my mother in any way, at this time she wasn't even a Christian, but even then she would have told you that the stress of her demanding schedule & the time away from us wasn't worth the nice house, company car, and large bonuses...and I would have rather have had my mother there when I came home from school instead of an empty house.

If you could know my heart as I type my burden out today. Don't let the world or the Devil belittle the title of the "Stay at home mother"...what a beautiful job it is!

If I could share with you an excerpt from the book I mentioned above that had me in tears as I read it the other night. It so richly blessed me.
(Training Kings and Queens by Cindy Schaap pg.217 & 218)
Proverbs 31:10 says, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Rubies are one of the most valuable of gemstones They are precious stones-not one of those semi-precious ones. Proverbs 31 teaches us that the virtuous woman is not just more valuable than rubies; the Bible says she is far more valuable than rubies.
Proverbs 31 goes on to describe the very valuable woman. She is described in a way that depicts that average housewife. Her value is described in terms having to do with working with her hands around the house; food preparation;gardening; sewing; giving to the needy; wardrobe planning for her and her children; selling her wares to help the family financially; and last but not least, consistent kindness and love toward her family.
Somewhere today a godly mother will kiss her husband goodbye and send him off with words of encouragement. She will go about the duties of housewife and mother. She will change dirty diapers and rock her baby and sing lullabies. She will clean dusty corners, scrub floors, and clean toilets. She will do the things that need to be done around the house in order to free her husband to do more important things.
She will spend a good bit of her day playing dolls or trucks and winning the hearts of her children. She will perhaps play the part of the fool while telling Bible stories and singing songs to keep her children's attention. As she sacrifices her time and wonders what she'll do with her college degree she is aware that she is preparing her children to leave the nest and live their own lives serving God, not pleasing her-and she may sometimes ask, "Is it worth is? Do the things I do have any value?"
No one will call her to the platform and applaud her work today. She will not receive an Emmy or a Golden Globe award. Her stage is her home; her pay is her grocery allowance; and her audience may be one toddler-age child. But when God decided to describe the woman of value-He described her.
When I plant my eyes upon the verses of Proverbs 31, I am reminded that God's value system is very different from the world's. In His eyes, the value of a mother is priceless.

Amen, Miss Cindy! Isn't that beautiful?!? In God's eyes my 'well doing' as a wife to Daniel, and a mommy to Carter, Evan and Parker is of great value, more valuable than rubies!!

In conclusion, I'm speaking to my own heart also on this matter of weariness in well doing. Remember that the verse also says, "..we shall reap if we faint not" You and I can see this reaping each day if our heart is right with God to see it! (I know that on the days when I feel most discouraged is a day when I need to spend more time in prayer & my Bible...and God gives me strength every time.)

My reaping consist of sweet things such as hearing Carter say "Sorry Evan, you ok?" when he accidentally hurts him, and wasn't prompted by me to be kind & concerned for his brother. My reaping is hearing them use their manners when not prompted. Reaping I saw even today was Carter coming downstairs with a sticker on his shirt and happily saying, "Mom! See my sticker? Do you know who gave it to me?...Jesus!"

...and no joke just now as the other boys are sleeping and I'm finishing up this post Carter came to me with a little plate and a cold hot dog from the fridge;) on a bun with mustard, relish, and LOADED with what looks like paprika!!!...he said, "Mom, I made this for you."

What precious reaping I've had even today! May God bless you, priceless mothers, as you faint not in your well doing!