Thursday, August 25, 2011

The View from Here

...is a mixed bag.
 I have a love/hate relationship for this new season of life. 
These "babies" are growing up.
They are off to Kindergarten! 
We've met the teacher. I'm sure she's braced herself. LOL
 It's going to be a great year and the triplets are so excited. 
I am one proud (and sad) mama!
Baby A
 Baby B
 Baby C
And they're off to do just that; learn the A,B,C's of Kindergarten!
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old; he will not depart from it."
  Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Keep Holding On


I'm not sure why. But, today I could feel my insides convulsing. Worse than a "normal day."  I'm taking seizure medication now and it's been helping tremendously, but today was one of those days. I don't know how to describe what an internal seizure feels like. The best way I could tell you is: you feel like all your organs are going to fall out. I've had some pain today that also felt very similar to adhesion/Endometriosis  pain. My last surgery was in February and I DO NOT want to have surgery again.  Please just pray for me that they won't grow back and the seizure medication continues to do it's job.  In the mean time, I just keep holding on.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just Do It

I've had writer's block. And it's been bugging me. I've been wondering why the words just won't flow.  Why my post ideas are just that...ideas. Not sentences. Not paragraphs. Not posts. And it's been bugging me.


Then, I remember. I remember that I forgot. I forgot that I made a promise. And I promised myself I wouldn't forget to be obedient. And apparently, I forgot my promise. I promised God something. I told him I would obey what He told me to do. And I haven't done it.

Sometimes our lack of obedience seems so silly when it's finally written down. Cursors blink like little warning signals that maybe something is off within us. I tend to look everywhere else for my lost joy first before I say, "Ahh, maybe I'm not right with God." Yet, sometimes despite the warnings, we just bulldoze our way right past God's instruction. Then, we wonder why we can't focus, can't move, why we feel blocked in life.

 I so easily forget- not sure how- but I do. I forget that God can't be associated with my sin. Oh, He loves me and He loves you- but He hates our sin. And everytime He tells us to do something, and we just don't; then it is us who have made a choice to step outside of His favor. It's hard to see that face staring back at me in the mirror. The good news?

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.." 1 John 1:9

What has he told you to do tonight? Has he told you to forgive? To start attending church? To change your eating habits? To spend more time with your family? To honor your husband or your wife? If we truly trust Him, and we know His will is best and perfect, then why not just do it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Decades


*My 30th birthday is in a month and 2 days. I thought I would take a look back at my heart as I approached my 29th last year.*

My twenty-ninth birthday is approaching.  In another year, I will wrap up an entire decade of my life.  There is something eerily unsettling and final about looking back on a decade of your life.  I never wanted to be a teacher, but I find myself wanting a grade.  I know how I would grade myself (never give a perfectionist a red pen).  I might give myself an A for effort, and it would probably be down hill from there.  Yet, lately, I wonder how God sees this decade?  When I look back through my twenties the road is marked with change.  Wow. What a decade.  I went to college okay I really went to three colleges.  I married.  I have lived in six cities to date.  I have had eight anniversaries. I have three children that are all the same age.  I got a degree. Chose a career. Started a business. I had labels given to me in my teenage years ripped off and new ones stuck on.  I have gained friendships and lost friendships. My twenties have been wild.  Wildly hard.  Wildly joyful.  Wildly beautiful and scary.  This decade has been just like that hour glass; sometimes I viewed it as empty other times overflowing with joy and contentment.  Mingled in with those hard times have been some of the biggest spiritual revelations of my twenty-two years of knowing Jesus.  Even though painful times beg to brand our memories, overshadowing the joy and triumph in life, I would not trade them or wish them away.  It is in those times that I got to know Jesus more intimately. Before my twenties, my relationship with Christ lacked depth.  In my twenties, His character came alive and He became my best friend. He has been my...
Savior: He saved me from death.
Healer:  He healed me from sickness.
Deliverer:  He delivered me from darkness.
Counselor: He instructed me in the way I should go.
Friend:  He was there, when others did not understand.
This decade has made an impression.  The good news?  No matter how we view ourselves, failures and successes alike, God loves us.  God does not wait with a red pen to mark up the pages of our lives.  He only cares about one kind of red and one kind of footprint.  Do we know His Son?  Are the pages of our lives covered in the red blood of Jesus?  Are our pages redeemed?  Are the footprints merely our own or has our sand been littered by the footsteps of Jesus?  Nothing else really matters.  Weeks turn to months, months turn to years, and eventually we wrap up decades.  We chase dreams, chase people, chase goals, and through all that God is chasing us.  He wants to redeem the bad and turn it to good.  So, put your red pen down.  Open your eyes and look back at your life.  No matter what grades you have given yourself, God has but one grade: Have you accepted His Son, Jesus, as Lord of your life?

"If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Romans 10:9-10

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

33

He died young. Wasn't buried in satin, but laid in a tomb instead. Hardly fitting for a King, but God ordained. It wasn't a sharp knife, but spikes driven through His hands. And we'll be wearing white one day. I've had enough time to taste His love to know that Heaven will be sweet. Thirty-three years. It was just enough time for you and I so that we could receive Him into our hearts. So we could be safe under His wings - the sprinkling of Christ's blood- showered on each of us that simply ask for forgiveness. It was the exact amount of days, of breath, and love to accomplish the will of His Father. 

"Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters--their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred--had joined them." Revelation 6:11




Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Adventure of a Lifetime

"I want to go on adventure!" my nephew says enthusiastically. By the twinkle in his eye, we know he means it. He is ready to go somewhere, do something, and I believe he would go anywhere his nearly 3-year-old legs would take him that is if his mommy weren't watching in order to do just that.

I wonder tonight, how many of you are ready to go on an adventure with God? I have to be honest here, I sense God telling me, "I want to take you, Jessica, on an adventure!" But, as sure as I am that He wants to take me on an adventure, there is something else He wants me to do so that I am ready for what He has for me. For once, I'm not spilling it over the www, but could I ask that you pray for me?  Pray that I will be disciplined in His word, discerning, and obedient to the task He has called me to do.  I know I have to be obedient.  I know that God wants me properly prepared for the good plans He has fashioned for my life even before I was born.

So, what about you?  Is God asking you to take His hand? If you don't have Christ in your heart, then a simple YES! to God is all you need to start your adventure. My adventure began at six years old when I realized that I needed Christ to be Lord of my life. I needed Him to wash away my sins, because even at six years old, I felt the weight of sin dragging me down. Maybe you already know the Lord, but like me, He's instructing you to be obedient before your adventure can begin. Maybe you are suppose to give something up?  Reconcile with a family member? Start attending church? Forgive your spouse? Get out of an unhealthy relationship? Maybe you don't know what God wants you to do next. Ask Him.

Tell Him, "Father, don't let the sun go down until you have spoken to my heart. Your word says that where there is no vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18a He hears the prayers of His children. His arm is not so short that it cannot save. I promise that wherever He leads, it will be the adventure of a lifetime.







Thursday, August 4, 2011

Whose side are you on?


She says to me, "Well I guess I deserve it, I knew he was like this when I married him" and my heart sinks. No, you didn't sign up to be the equivalent of a single mother while your husband does as he pleases. You didn't sign up to bear the burden of household duties, financial strains, and the difficult job of being "mom." You signed up for marriage because you loved a man that made you a promise. She deserves a Godly man that fulfills the vows He made to a holy God.

She says to me, "He told me that he doesn't want to be with me" and my fist clenches. And I just don't understand why. Cause she's a great mother, a Godly woman, with a heart of gold.  And he has no idea what he will miss if he chooses to go.

 She says to me, "My husband won't quit partying and he's hanging around bad influences" and I breathe in deep. Cause grown men raising teenagers can't raise them well if they themselves are acting like one. She is grasping at his love and he strays further with each swipe. And I just can't fathom the reason. Cause she has sacrificed her time and her body, she has determined to raise children like her mother taught her. She does it well, but he gives her no compliments just grief. 
 Christian marriages under attack. 

These emails, phone calls, Facebook messages keep pouring in to me. Strangers reach out, friends call with bad news, people hear that I will pray for them. And I feel weak. Weak to hold their burdens, but urgent to lift their hurt up to the only One who can truly change their situation. If this is you, I want you to know that God Himself will fight for you. 


At the conference I attended last week, Lisa Terkeurst was recounting the fall of Jericho found in Joshua 5:13-15. She said something that has answered a question that has burned inside of me whenever I'm in conflict with another Christian. See, I always want to know: "God, whose side are you on? Are you on mine because I haven't done anything wrong?  Or are you indifferent because they are your child too?"  This question has needed an answer. Here is what Joshua 5:13-15 says:
The Lord’s Commander Confronts Joshua

 13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
 14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”
   At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
 15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.

And Lisa said, "When Joshua asked the commander of the Lord's army, "Are you friend or foe?" He asked the wrong question."  Sometimes when we can't get along with our Christian friends, or our Christian spouses, or family members that choose not to show us Christ's love...we often ask God whose side He's on. The angel answered Joshua and said he was on neither side because He was on God's side


That revelation brought chains off of me. And as Lisa said, "God simply wants to know one thing: Are you on his side? If you are a spouse tonight that is hurting because your loved one is indifferent, not listening, uncaring; stay on God's side and He will fight for you. Keep praying. Keep moving forward in God's will. Keep working out your salvation. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.


And maybe you are the spouse who is not listening, uncaring, and indifferent- I challenge you to answer one question. I challenge you to look in and answer the question that Joshua asked the Lord's commander: Whose side are you on? Are you friend (on God's side) or are you foe (allowing the enemy to use you in his scheme to destroy your family). The grass is never greener on the other side. Maybe fear is rooted in every fight you have with your spouse. Maybe pride is there or envy.  No matter what, your battle is not with flesh and blood. And just as God has a wonderful plan for your life and your marriage- Satan has a plan too. It's your choice.