Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's new.

It seems as though I have stopped blogging for about 6 months. There are days when I get a hankering to start again. Always with the intention of keeping up with it. But, life happens and distraction happens and summer happens, you blink and time passes. Lots of time.

I have begun canning again. I guess canning could happen anytime of the year but for some reason, it's the end of summer that draws me back in, what with the fresh produce abounding. Maybe it's the cooler temps at night. Maybe both. Either way, I love it. I made a low-carb version of eggplant parmesan a few weeks back and had a few tomatoes laying around and thought I'd try to come up with a marinara sauce. It worked, my husband loved it. So I decided to can marinara. Easy enough for pasta dishes, chicken or eggplant parmesan, maybe even pizza, if we're feeling froggy. And there's nothing quite like a dish made with farm fresh, organic produce. So awesome. Soon enough, we'll be getting bushels of apples and start canning applesauce too. May even try freezing some corn.

It's been an awesome summer. I've spent some wonderful time with the children. They've had so much fun together and I feel that we've all grown as a family. I'm so grateful to be able to stay home with them. There are days when it's frustrating, but all of the frustration in the world is worth enduring for the time we get together.

So, another summer passes by, school starts next week for Bailey, the Monday after for Nick and Alex. The time is fleeting. They're growing up so fast. I pray that some of the memories shared this summer will last through their lifetime. May my priorities be what they should be and may I not take for granted these precious lives...

'Show me, LORD, my life’s end
   and the number of my days;
   let me know how fleeting my life is.'  Psalm 39:4

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Please. Help Tamara Slack get well.

Please check out the following website of a dear friend and consider contributing to help her get well. If you are unable, I understand. Instead, spread the word. Post her website on your own blogs, on your Facebook page, on Twitter. Please help in anyway you can. Thank you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

For the sake of clarification.

There is something I need to clarify. You see, for my entire life until I was saved, by the world's standards, I hated myself. I felt awkward, unimportant, unnecessary, disposable, etc. i.e: lowest of low self-esteem. Because my focus was always myself, ME, I was quite self-centered and in turn became depressed and paranoid. I always thought if another person got to know me, the real me, they would reject me. Ironically, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy for me, for years. Then, God saved me, by His grace alone and I saw myself for who I really am. And I'm humbled. And I continue to be so. defines humility as: modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc..

But Philippians 2:3 commands me to put others before myself while also defining humility this way:

'Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.'    So, when I as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ began to practice this, and I started to thank God for saving a terrible sinner such as myself and I realized how deceitfully wicked my heart really is, as Jeremiah 17:9 tells me, 

                      "The heart is deceitful above all things,
                              And desperately wicked;
                                  Who can know it?"  

and this attitude spilled over into every area of my life, it seemed a bit like I was still that girl who felt terrible about herself, similar to who I was before I was saved.

But I, as a believer, am supposed to have low self-esteem.  I submit to you however, that this kind of low self-esteem is much different than the kind of low self esteem that causes depression and sadness. No, in fact it has the opposite effect. I have noticed that seeing myself the way that I really am naturally - selfish, proud, arrogant of heart - is really quite freeing. Challenging and painful sometimes too, but freeing nonetheless. I think the freedom that is spoken of in John 8 includes this liberation:

'So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'  (John 8:36)

The ability look at myself in the mirror, see the blemishes, the ugliness and then realizing the joy I can have because when the Lord sees me now, I am no longer covered in dirt and muck as I was when I was steeped in my sin, no, He sees the blood that He Himself shed on the cross, so that I might be saved. He saved me. Not because of anything that I had done,as it is written in Ephesians 2:

'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.' (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So, do I always esteem others better than myself?  No.  But I am growing and changing into a woman who does. This gives me hope. Do I hate myself? No. I hate my sinful flesh that wants to lead me astray, but I love the Spirit that always directs my paths for me, when I put my trust in Him first, and not myself:

 'Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
      And lean not on your own understanding;
        In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He shall direct your paths.'             (Proverbs 3:5-6)

And who better to direct my paths than the sovereign Lord, the Creator of the universe? There is none greater than He.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A prayer.

Change me, Lord. Break me. Mold me into the woman, wife and mother You want me to be. Show me what that looks like. Let me see who she is and strive to be her everyday. Break down these walls of hurt and anger and frustration and protection that I’ve built around me for 33 years. Let me be surrounded not by walls, but by You. By your promises, your Word, your truth, your love. Please, Lord. Please. I need You.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How do you measure a decade?

This week we are celebrating in my house. The occasion, you ask?  Why, my baby is turning 10. That's right, the big 1-0. Double digits. I am in disbelief, I must say. 10 years old.
Ten years ago this week, I was about to give birth to a baby. And I was so scared and felt so alone. My mom and Mark were so supportive during this overwhelming time, yet I still felt alone. And even after my baby came, I felt alone. You see, I was so focused on myself and the thing that I'd lost that I didn't see the beautiful thing that I'd gained. I fled from responsibility, and when I felt my freedom leaving me, well I fought long and hard for it. Freedom for me meant going out after work, staying out as late as I wanted. My baby was safe and sound with my parents so it was okay. Right?
I resented for a long time, the responsibility that comes with parenting. How inconveniencing it can be. And maybe some of you think, "How much more selfish can one mom get?" Yep, that was me. The epitome of selfishness.
It's a wonder to me. God's grace. How in the world I would get a second chance at raising this daughter of mine, the right way, is beyond me. It's been about twenty months since my last drink. And I've spent that time trying to make right all the things that I did wrong. And it's a struggle. Every day, I still battle the selfishness, the self-centeredness. The fear. But the difference between who I was then and who I am now is simple. The freedom that I have because of Jesus Christ is so much sweeter than the "freedom" that I had when I could go out and drink whenever I wanted. That "freedom," in all actuality, is bondage, not freedom at all. It was Thanksgiving night of 2008 when I realized how shameful my life really was, how sinful. And I acknowledged that sin before God and realized that I wasn't fooling Him or anybody else. I put my faith in Jesus Christ that night. And I've never been the same.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
        2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Year

So, I have started a group on Facebook that’s going to read through the Old Testament. It should take us about a year to do it. A little bit at a time, a little patience and before you know it, a year will be up and I’ll finally be able to say that I’ve read the entire Bible. Something I consider very important for someone who claims to love it so much. And I do. I love it so much. I’m reading it and learning who my God is. And nothing beats that.

I must be honest that I also, somewhat unsuccessfully, started a FB group and read through the New Testament. We got through it although, the number of members dwindled from about 10 to 3. I’m sure people dropped off for many different reasons. It’s a big commitment, one that can be time consuming, depending on how much you read per day. I think we started out too big, 3 chapters a day. Doesn’t seem like that big of a number does it? 3? It’s not. But I’ll tell you what, it was a struggle to keep up some days! And as shameful as it is for me to admit it, there were days I just didn’t want to read God’s Word (see my very last post for more on this). Didn’t want to. The One who came to earth to die for me. I didn’t want to read His Word.

Listen to me for a moment if you will; it’s not about “if you read a few chapters a day, this will happen,” or “if you don’t read a few chapters a day, then this will happen,” it’s about having an attitude of adoration for the Lord, wanting to get to know Him through His Word. There’s no formula to follow that will make it easy. It’s a choice. Let me repeat it again for me. It’s a choice. And I want to commit to one year of my life as He gave me His entire life as a ransom for many. One year vs. entire life. One year < entire life.

Won’t you join me? He is deserving you know…!/group.php?gid=134606026552348

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On this day.

I need to get my eyes off of myself and on to Him. When my eyes are on myself (not literally, mind you), I'm selfish, self-centered, self-focused, self, self, me, Me, ME!!!!  Ahhh, but when I get my eyes on the Lord, my priorities change, from bringing glory to myself to bringing glory to Him. Our society is all about self. And it is  a daily challenge for me who is by nature very selfish to keep my focus where it ought to be, not where I want it to be.
Where is your focus today? Is your focus on you and your problems, or are you focused on the God you serve, the One who sacrificed so greatly for His children? Does He not deserve more than our hour  a week at church?  How much does He deserve? A day? A few prayers here and there? Or does He deserve much more from us?
Please understand that I do not give God everything that I should. As I write this, I am trying to stir myself up to do the right thing. And I'm not talking about ritual here, or a formula. That if you put in four hours a day then everything's good. And God doesn't need anything from me. He's God. He's perfect. But His Word says, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Jesus Christ gave His life. His life. Should I not be grateful enough to dedicate my life to Him as well?

On this day, Lord.
       Humble me, as I am proud.
       Empower me, as I am weak.
       Love me, as I am me.
       Fill me with joy, when I am sorrowful.
       Give me peace, when I am overwhelmed.
       Help me to have patience, where I lack.
       Help me be kind, when I want to be haughty.
       May I be longsuffering, as you are.
       Lord, I want to be more like you.
       Please, Lord, I can't do it without You.