Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bedtime Blessing

Tonight I was reading Jacob's bedtime story and Zac asks if he can sit next to Jake and listen too.

Jake says, "Sure." Then he scoots over to make room for his brother.
Zac says, "Thanks, brother. You're my best friend."

Mommy's heart melts!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Zac's Laugh

Zac has a great laugh! It makes everyone around here smile. Enjoy!


video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting Along

Some of my happiest "mommy moments" are when my kids are playing together contentedly. Yesterday they all put on their winter gear and played together in the snow for over a half hour. It was wonderful to hear them helping each other, being creative and imaginative together and enjoying each others friendship.






video

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week #3 Gentleness

Well, I didn't start the day off exuding gentleness so I'm hoping God gives me tomorrow to start this challenge over. I was a little less then welcoming when Zac came in at 6 am to snuggle.

I am excited for this week's challenge though because I've always desired to be more and more gentle with my tone of voice, actions, instruction to kids and the way that I love and respect my husband, parents and kids. One of my dear friends, Lindsey, has always been a woman that I dearly love and respect for the gentleness I see in her life. You can even sense it when you read her blog at: http://denneyfam.blogspot.com/. .

One of my favorite verses in the Bible that seems to be the antithesis of gentleness is, "A quarelsome wife is like a constant dripping faucet." Psalm 19:13

I picture a woman that gives endless advice and suggestion under the disguise of being helpful but really nags at her husband. I see her doing this with words but also body language and sighs of exasperation. I know I've done it and although it is not outwardly aggressive it certainly is not gentle. I can do, and have done, the same thing with co-workers, kids and my family. YUCK! I do not want to be remembered for this, but rather a gentle, giving spirit that reflects the forgiveness and grace of my Savior.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This week at work

This week at work was somewhat depressing. Three of my patients (and I only work two days a week) told me that they had recently learned about their spouses marital unfaithfulness and were pursuing divorce. My heart was breaking to hear and see the pain that each of these patients was going through.

I came home and thanked my husband for his faithfulness. I thanked God over and over again for a loving, fulfilling, faithful marriage. Have you thanked God or your spouse today?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Summer?

My Nebraska kids celebrated the 46 degree weather today by playing outside for well over an hour in shorts and sandals! Below is a picture of them in front of a patch of snow that has not completely melted in our backyard!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Faithfulness Week

This week is dedicated to faithfulness.  Faithfulness can be defined as someone who is thorough in regards to a duty or obligation; true to one's word, promises and vows; loyal and constant; reliable, trusted or believed.  In fact, "the faithful" are considered people who belong to the Christian Church.  Proving myself faithful is key to my witness for Christ.


To me, obvious areas of faithfulness are daily time in God's word and fellowship with Him and faithfulness to my marriage vows.  My heart's desire is not to have the most minimal amount of loyalty that still qualifies as faithful but be excellent in my faithfulness.  So, what does that look like...
...time in God's Word even if I'm tired...self-control to go to bed earlier so I am not tired...loving my husband in sickness, even when he has a cold and is whining (kindness is coming)...enjoying and embracing my role as my husband's helper...being honest and self-controlled about my spending and with our family's budget...

This is only possible by the Spirit and that is what makes daily time with the Lord so important.  

So, how can I show faithfulness in other areas...being reliable at and loyal to my employer...be on time to work...consistancy with working out to take care of my body...standing up for God's truth, compassionately, when faced with opposition...staying in touch with friends and praying for them every time they ask...sticking to my word as a parent...no white lies...

My prayer is that one day others would see my faithfulness and the faithfulness of all Christian believers and be drawn to the Lord as a result.

3 John 1:3 "It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth."


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Self Control Update

It has been so good for me to focus on self-control this week. I realize that so often an extra cookie, driving 65 in a 55 and snapping at one of my kids happens without any thought. Unless I take the time to think about areas I need to have more self control and pray for the Spirit to show and help me I don't even think about it. I can make excuses all day long for why I don't have self control (the other drivers are going that fast, I'm late, the kids are whining all day long, it tastes good...) but the reality is that I am responsible for me. And, it's not all about living a life of drudgery. In fact, there is joy in taking your time, showing love and patience and certainly my body works and feels better, and isn't as tired with less sugary carbs.

And why does this matter anyway? There are many reasons. First of all, living self controlled is a fruit of the Spirit and others are watching to see what kind of fruit a Christian produces. Does it look attractive enough to draw others to Christ? Also, finding excuses for not having self control for little things is a slippery slope to losing self control in bigger matters. And, just like anything in life practice makes us better at something.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spirit Challenge Week #1

I feel the need to start a Spirit Challenge for the next several weeks. As a Christ follower I desperately want my life to look and act like I love Him. God's Word is pretty clear about what that life looks like. It is full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. So I am asking myself, as a mom, wife, neighbor, PA, shopper, driver, cook etc... what does that life practically look like.

If you are up for challenging yourself to pursue excellence in the Spirit filled life then let's start in reverse order with SELF-CONTROL. Here are some ideas of how I can be more self-controlled as I let the Spirit work in and through my life...

1. Don't grab two cookies! Limit my snacks and sweets to one each day.
2. Don't let myself become so easily angered and quick tempered with my children. Be quicker to give myself a time-out. No barking and yelling!
3. Limit my FB time to one 10 minute episode a day.
4. Excercise 4 times a week.
5. Stick with the budget so I don't overspend.
6. Drive the speed limit.

What other self-control ideas do you have? Who's on board with me??

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update on I love you

The past few days Zac has been a little hard to handle (ie. "Zac, please use your quiet voice. Zac, please keep your hands to yourself. Zac, no running we need to walk. Zac, Zac, ZAC!). Despite his behavior he keeps on saying, "I love you, Mama." I am thankful for that, but I realize that along with saying I love you I want him to SHOW me he loves me by acting like it.

So, although I plan on continuing to tell Jesus I love him I need to make sure I am showing him I love him. Words without the action aren't very meaningful!

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3.17-18


I have a missionary friend that knows what it means to show Jesus love. Her blog is so inspiring. Please check it out at: http://www.jessicanatebecker.blogspot.com/.

So, what does God's love look and act like for a mom, on a daily basis, in our house...definitely more grace, less anger, more time and undivided attention, gentleness in discipline, patience, keeping no record of wrongs in my head...you get the idea.




Sunday, January 4, 2009

I love you

Back in April when we first welcomed Zac into our family I showered him with I love you's. I wanted him to know the words and then learn with time what I love you meant by my actions. Of course, as a parent, I longed for him to say those words to me and mean it. At first his I love you's were only given in response to mine. It was like he was just repeating me.

My, have things changed. I regularly get at least 20 unsolicited, I love you, mommy's every day. Usually they are accompanied by sweet, affectionate phrases like, "Mommy, you're cute and adorable," "You are the best mommy forever and ever," or a big kiss right on the lips! Every time my heart is just busting at the seams. Not only is he freely expressing his affection, but he gets what love is. He has experienced it in our family and wants to let us know. His affection is so sweet!

Since this blog is all about seeing and knowing Jesus as a mother, I can not help but see the parallel between my desire for and joy in hearing Zac's words of affection and God's desire for and joy in hearing my words of affection.

I was adopted into his family a long time ago. At first, I had to experience His love before I was convinced about how unconditional it really was. I read His love letter to me and slowly learned more about his love. Even today, Jesus relentlessly tells me how much He loves me every day when I have eyes to see it and take the time to receive it.

I plan on telling Jesus how much I love him a lot more every single day.

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Friday, January 2, 2009

Quiet Time Plus Something Extra

I have always valued my quiet times with God. Learning from His Word, Singing His Word and Reading from His Word ALWAYS centers me and makes me a better wife and mom. Well, lately I have found a new way of spending time with Him that is making me a better wife and mom.

I'm probably going to lose some of you in this next paragraph, but try and stick with me. Lately, I have been spending my quiet times with Him while I excercise. It happens about three times a week (I'm trying for four) and they are the best times for building up my mind, body and spirit.

If I am swimming (which I could not do at all about 3 months ago and now I love it thanks to my awesome husband) I will pray for someone each lap and thank Him for breath and life and just dwell on Jesus. If I am running or biking I will download a sermon or try and keep up the pace of the songs I have downloaded into Katie's Christian Workout playlist. As I cool down and stretch I listen to quiet, peaceful music.

Then, and this is one of the best parts...I get to shower and get ready in the locker room without anyone (kids) walking in on me, interupting me and prolonging the "getting ready" process.

I always, and I mean always, am more energized and ready to handle whatever comes my way after my time with God, and even more so after my excercising quiet times.

Did I convince anyone?