Friday, August 24, 2012

Be Alert!

I felt God speaking to me a while back that I needed to stop defending myself with others. I didn't totally understand what He meant at the time. I felt Him saying that if I had a problem with something someone said or I wanted to snap back, I needed to come to Him with the issue and figure out why it was bothering me so bad or just why it made me so upset.

Recently, I realized my first form of communication is to fight, to defend myself. Some of those who know me may say, "No way. You're being dramatic." However, if you ask anyone who has ever lived in close quarters with me, most of them will agree with me. I will think through conversations and come up with my "comeback" if the other person starts to give me if that is going to solve the problem!

I have felt like it has been hard for me to "come into" who I am as a mom. The authority I have as the mom and wife of this house. My husband kept telling me, "You are the woman of this house." I thought I felt that way because I am much younger than him, 9 years, and still kind of felt like I was "playing house" instead of actually "living house". But my defending tendency partly stems from low self-confidence in general, something I'm working on.

This week I realized I do it in my parenting. One of my sons disobeys and my first thought is, "Oh yeah, how about this...I'll just reprimand you. And, I guess if this is what you want to do all day I can play that game." I'm realizing it's not a fight with them. I am the parent. I am in charge. I can say, "No you do not behave that way," and then discipline without getting so emotional.

Also, that form of communication puts me at odds with my kids. I get frustrated that they won't just obey so we can have a good day. When really it's the devil I am fighting because he would love nothing more than for our family to not be happy. He would love nothing more than for me to think my children are the problem. He would love for me to not gain self-confidence in who I am as their Christian mother and my husband's Christian wife.

As I journaled about this the other day the Lord brought to mind the passage in Ephesians about putting on the armor of God.

Ephesians 6:10-18 says:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Being alert. I like that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God speaks through Duplos

Kids do and say some of the cutest things.

I remember when I was little, years ago now, I would listen to shells and try to hear the ocean. We've all done it. It's so facinating to listen to. Well, my oldest son, Wayne, went to Preschool Camp last week. They studied the ocean and were listening to some shells. On the last day of camp, Wayne showed me the shells and wanted me to listen, so I did.

The next morning, he comes to me with a Duplo (big Lego block) up to his ear. He says, "Mom, I hear Jesus." He hands the block to me so I can take a listen. I said, "Oh, what is He saying?" He said, "I don't know."

After taking his picture tonight for the blog, we were trying to get him to do a video about his "Jesus speaking to him" experience but he was doing the potty dance and didn't want to do a video. His dad said, "I think Jesus is saying, 'Wayne needs to go potty.'" Wayne looked at him as if to say, "Really? He knows I need to potty?" It was so cute!

So, if you feel like you're not hearing from the Lord, start playing with blocks. He will speak to you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chocolate Doesn't Solve Everything?

The other day I was stressed about a situation. After dinner I told my husband I needed a dessert-when a pregnant woman says this she means business! He mentioned that he had just had a handful of chocolate chips and maybe that would take the edge off for me. They did. We went to the store and were driving back home when I told him I still wanted something sweet. It could have just been the food yearnings of a pregnant woman, but I wanted it like my next breath depended on it.

So, we decided to have me go into the grocery store and get some frozen yogurt and whatever toppings I wanted. I was on the lookout for that Reese’s or Reese cup shell stuff. You know the chocolate goodness that hardens not too long after pouring it over your ice cream. (or frozen yogurtJ) I wanted peanut butter and chocolate.

As I was looking for the shell goodness I felt the Lord speaking to me that I really just needed to go home and pray. I felt Him saying that what I was really craving was something to fill the hole I was feeling that the stress had created. I thought, “I don’t have time for that. There is so much to talk about it will take forever for me to work through my stress.” So, I went ahead and bought the frozen yogurt. I got some fudge topping too thinking I would have that with a little peanut butter.

Well, I did put my sundae together. And, it did not taste good at all. I mean, at all. I realized I was trying to find a substitute for time with God and it was not measuring up. Sadly, I still didn’t ask for prayer time that night. My husband was getting ready for a big project at work and I didn’t want to interrupt.

However, the next morning-a Sunday, I woke up about 6am. My children do not wake up until around 7:30a. At first I thought, “Seriously. I just want to go back to sleep.” Then, I realized that this was the time I could do that praying I so desperately needed. It was great. The Lord showed me some areas of my life I was letting fear creep back in. I was on a spiritual high.

Then, I totally manipulated my husband. I hate it when that happens. I blame something on him only to figure out later that it was really all my fault. Oops. That’s why God woke me up on Monday around 6a. He knew we had more work to doJ

Thank you Lord for your wonderful grace. Thank you for loving me enough that you don't just leave me the way I am but you mold me into who you created me to be. The taste of your love is much better than chocolate. (and peanut butter)