Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Prodigal?

Luke 15:11-14 11. Then He said: A certain man had two sons. 12. And the younger of them said to his father, "Father give me the portion of goods that falls to me. So he divided to them his livelihood. 13. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together journeyed to a far country and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

I’ve blogged about our foster parenting and ultimate adoption of two children. Our two children were officially adopted in June, 2009. They had been with us three years so adoption was the natural thing to do. We had lived through some tough times getting adjusted to one another. Children that are taken from their parents obviously have emotional issues. Low self esteem is usually a given and our kids were no different. We dealt with some unfamiliar territory. We are not gifted with being “mercy givers”. We hold our children to pretty high standards and require them to follow rules. A child that has not had a full time parent for most of their life does not really like authority. We were told that it takes three times as long to change habits and thoughts as it does to create them. So…..fifteen years of a particular lifestyle may take 45 years to change. Hmmmm – yep thinkin it’s not going to happen unless the person chooses to make the change. We knew that God was in control and that we would stay the course. We had no desire to separate the children so we were willing to give it our best shot. We had some serious growing pains learning to live with one another, but nothing we didn’t feel we could overcome. After all, the children had to learn to live in our home just as we had to learn to live with them. We are far from perfect parents. Ashley and Spenser could certainly attest to that. But we love our children and do our very best to provide for them. We go the distance to protect them and defend them against the world. As I stated earlier, we do expect a lot of our children. We want them to be independent, successful and first and foremost spiritually solid. We have cried with our children over their short comings, their hurts, their sorrows. When a child of mine hurts, the pain I suffer is some of the worst kind.

We had our concerns about adopting a teen ager and a young child. We had countless conversations about looking for biological parents when the time was appropriate. We knew from experience that it would disrupt Owen’s life to deal with them. He had adjusted well and did not handle the past very well. He needs time to accept life as it has been dealt him prior to dealing with the biological mother. R agreed with us over and over that she would never do that to him so we trusted her. We trusted that she would not attempt to contact them. She was allowed to use the internet, to be a normal teen age girl. At one point they found her and she immediately told us. We knew then we could trust her. She was doing everything to make us believe that she was here for life. That she was adopting us has her family just as we were adopting her. Often we felt that we were paying the price for their parents crimes. But we pressed on.

Once a boyfriend entered the picture, our world turned inside out. We gave him the benefit of the doubt. We supported them until we felt that it went against everything we believed. We prayed for a clear answer and knew what it was. We still tried to allow it even though we were completely frustrated. This was however a deal breaker. Apparently there would be no compromise by either side on this situation. I will lay my life down for my children but I will never lay down my principal values. I will never go against my Heavenly Father for them. He is my Creator. He is their Creator. He made them and loaned them to me. I must honor Him in raising my children. I’ve often wondered how a parent can say that their children won’t do something they want them to do. My thoughts have always been “who’s the parent, who’s the child?” I have allowed things I was not comfortable with and lived to regret it. God lets me know quickly when my decision is not in line with His Will. No one ever said parenting would be a piece of cake. No one ever said the discipline in any form would be easy. Tough love is just that - tough. Raising children is tough. Raising teenagers is tougher.

In December, 2009, our daughter R packed a bag and had her boyfriend pick her up and move her out. This decision was told to me over the telephone, not in person. I immediately said that we won’t have a revolving door, and that she was going to cause hurt to her brother – she promptly told me she knew what she was doing and if it was a mistake she would live with it. She was willing to hurt him and us in order to have her happiness. She honestly felt this was the only possible solution. This was a very bitter pill to swallow. We tried to get there in time to stop them. We had family get there first and try to talk to them, but her mind was made up. Her boyfriend stated that no one could live under our rules. She left that day and has not returned. Once again, we were in unchartered territory.

Shortly after this event a guest speaker was at our church and spoke on the Prodigal Son. He gave me insight that I needed. I needed clarity from God’s word and it was given that Sunday morning. He pointed out that this story included such things as the Request, the Response, the Return and the Reception. He discussed the one's that stood by and were spectators. What I learned from scripture was that (Luke 15) the father did not go after the son. He allowed him to make his decisions and to lay in the bed he made. Even when that bed was a pig stye. The father allowed his son to use his free will just as God allows us to use our free will. The son’s decisions were based on greed. Our child left our home stating that she wanted nothing of value. But what was of value to her was her freedom. Freedom to make her own decisions and not live under authority. We (our family) did not approve of her decision. I personally asked her to wait and allow me to help her do this without destroying relationships. She was angry with me and ready to leave. We know God created her just as He created us. He loves her more than we could ever love her. We’ve asked others to pray for her since we may not pray for what’s best for all. We simply lay her at the cross and know that God is in control. We rest in His promises. We know that joy and resentment cannot co-exist. We have had very little contact and that contact is only via text messaging and not pleasantries.

I received a text message after that sermon asking me if the prodigal could come home. The message was to check my heart not a literal question of her wanting to return. “Can the prodigal come home?” The prodigal son did return home. He returned home in an attitude of humility. He was more than willing to return home and work as a servant. He came home with a much different attitude than he left with. The father was waiting for that return. He loved both of his sons equally and he loved them unconditionally. He loved the prodigal son even though he brought shame and humiliation to him. The other son could not understand his father’s attitude because he knew the hurt and humiliation. Just as we protect our children –they also protect us. They feel our pain and suffering. We are not at a "return" point. We don't see that in the forseable future.

I can’t answer the question yet. I’m not sure our child will return home. I can’t say there will be a reception. I don’t have answers. I have Jesus. I have a family to take care of. I have a young impressionable son who is angry and hurt. He is confused as to why his sister would leave him just as his mother left him. He understands and has dealt more than most people ever will. He believes her actions are all about her. What I do know is that God’s grace is greater than our circumstances. His grace is sufficient. I don't have regrets. I know that we fostered and adopted according to God's call. I know that all of our lives are better for having done that. We pray only success for her and her future.

Love you all.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Wow - what a weekend. I stole away Friday morning for a much needed pedicure. I don't get one very often - but I needed some pampering. I got my haircut and a pedicure all in the same day. I felt rather special and was looking forward to a lazy weekend at home. HALT! - My cell phone rang while in the chair and it was my mom. That is always an alert since she usually only calls when there is an emergency. It was urgent - but not an emergency. My brother decided Thursday night that he wanted to get married Sunday afternoon. HELLO - It's Friday morning. Hmmm what is life without a challenge? So - phone calls were made - plans put into place and a wedding was had. Not nearly that easy - but it did happen. But not before Saturday morning brought panic. Mom could not get out of bed. BP was too low and she was dehydrated again. She thought she was gone. We put our knowledge from previous experiences to use and got her juiced up with some fluids - held the lasix and other heart meds and was able to get her out of bed on Sunday morning. In the mean time Spenser journeyed home to help clean and care for the little guy who arrived (a day early) on Wednesday night. Food was bought and prepared and a lunch was held after the wedding. It was small and private and super sweet. We were even serenaded by the bride's father and sister. They are full of talent and we truly enjoyed it.

(Mr. & Mrs. Malcom Bunch)

(Malcom, Linda & mom)

(good food)

Brenden enjoyed a new gadget. The mesh paci filled with watermelon was a favorite for him. He was a sloppy, sticky mess and pleased as punch with his watermelon. Good investment.

Spenser brought home her dog to gift to her dad. He is super talented (the dog). She apparently taught him to text. As you can see - he is quite good with the cell phone.

Time for bed and a long nights rest. Those have been few this past week, but with mom feeling better and Brenden back to his mom - I expect to get a much needed slumber tonight.

Love to all.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

First born Son

We recently participated in a feature article for our local newspaper. May was Foster Care month. We were asked why we became Foster/Adoptive parents. The answer was an easy answer for us. We became Foster parents because God called us to. We were not sitting at home discussing that we were getting ever so close to an empty nest and needed to fill it up. Quite the opposite was on our minds. We were counting down the days until one certain someone graduated High School. Suddenly our world was rocked by a young boy living in a group home and in need of a sponsor. He didn’t have anyone that spent one on one time with him or took him places as special treats. He was well cared for, fed, clothed and educated. He had his very own room and lots of special people to care for him. What he didn’t have was a forever family. The courts were deciding if his mom would be able to return to his life. The odds were not in her favor. She was not able to do what was asked of her and it appeared she would be losing her parental rights. We entered the relationship with lots of uncertainty. God did not ask us to take the easy road. He asked us to step up to the plate and give this child some love and attention. Spending time with him began as going to the group home and playing video games with him. That meant we sat in a room and held a control while he played. More specifically, he played Mario Cart and drove the car backwards. I honestly believe that he went backwards so that the game would never end.

Our first outing with him was to the Mall to do some shopping and eat dinner. He gave us all a good chuckle when he promptly got up from the table and said he was going back for seconds. Hmmmm – that’s not exactly how it works little guy – so our first lesson on eating out was that you have to get in line and pay for more food. It’s not always a buffet. He also knew how to shop. He only wanted the shirt that had a toy attached. Each time we visited with him he would ask how soon before he could spend the night in our home. Soon after, he was spending weekends with us. We cleaned out our office and turned the room into a bedroom. We purchased him a bed and began filling the room with some guy things. We were parents of teen-age daughters. We were most certainly rookies when it came to boys. And he gave us some true challenges. The first thing he told me he wanted for his birthday was a “transformer”. I was clueless as to what that might be. I knew barbies and baby dolls. I’m pretty sure he didn’t get one on his first birthday with us. I, was afterall, doing the shopping and I had zero experience with what a 6 year old boy might like.

Soon came the decision to become Foster Parents and not just sponsor him. We knew that becoming Foster Parents to him meant that we would be fostering two children. He had a sister that was ten years older and living in the same group home. Once again, we felt this was God’s plan and that we would embrace the opportunity. This was not without concern – lest I lead you astray. We fretted about how on earth we would pay for two in college and two in private school. Holy Cow – we fretted. We knew we had to step out on faith and allow God to provide for our needs. We asked our girls to sacrifice some things at home for these two children. They would be required to share a room and help out with driving. They would be sharing their personal things and likely receiving less. They were on board and accepted this call just as we did.

On December 24 of that same year, we opened our home and our hearts to two foster children. When leaving the home our son told us he was sad. He wanted us to follow him to his home with his mother and all live together. He was told that his mom would no longer be able to see him. This was a very difficult thing for a six year old to digest. He wanted what we had to offer him, yet he wanted his mother. He wanted the lady that left him in a shelter. He wanted the lady that could not stay clean, or keep a job, or provide for him. She was, after all, his mommy. That’s what he knew. Yet he understood that she was not well. He knew that she had issues with drugs and because of that she was not able to return to him. He cried that day, but not for reasons one would think. He cried for her because he knew he would never be able to tell her about Jesus. Yes – he wanted to tell her about Jesus and that drugs were bad. His heart was not broken for himself. His heart was broken for the lady who was letting him down. I thought my heart would explode. I was so very proud of his desire to share Jesus. He got it – at six years old he really got it.

Fast forward through the next few years to adoption time. Parental rights were terminated and he and his sister were able to be adopted. We didn’t have to consider whether or not we would adopt, we knew it was God’s plan. We had accepted God’s plan and would follow His lead. During one of his many visits at the group home he noticed that his bedroom was turned into an office. This hurt his feelings. He told me that he had a hard time with seeing his room gone. I didn’t really understand and asked him if he wanted to sleep there. He quickly said no but he didn’t like it to be changed. It was his room and he felt that he lost something that day. He later told a story of how his bed was taken from him while he lived in a shelter. It was told to us that his bed was taken because he slept with his mom and didn’t use it. What he knew was that his bed was taken away. When the social worker came to our home to interview him and his sister about being adopted he made me chuckle with what he loved about our home. He loved his bed. At first, my feelings were slightly hurt. A bed – the boy liked a bed the best. But after some thought – it occurred to me that his bed was his security. It was HIS. He had a bedroom and he had his very own bed. Wow! How often do we appreciate having a bed? How often do we mourn for someone’s soul? More particularly, how often do we even care about the soul of someone who has hurt us? He has a very forgiving spirit. He loves without boundaries.

(this picture says - WHY? Why are taking a picture of me taking out your mail?)

I am so proud to be his mom. He is my first born son. I pray that he always has the desire to want his biological mom to know Jesus. I pray that one day she does get well and comes to know Jesus. I am so glad she gave birth to him. I am so thankful that we didn’t avoid the call that God placed on our lives.

Love you all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

AND ANOTHER UPDATE - Only in Rural America!

If you are keeping up - this is the 3rd post about my bridge and the signs.


Driving home today I had to take yet another picture of the sign at my bridge. It gets better and better and even better. Are you ready??????????

1st update

I returned home one evening last week to this site:

This is the first sight of asphalt I've seen in years - really like 20 or more. No kidding - really. This happens to be in the area of road that will be closed when my bridge is officially closed. I am obviously baffled that they would choose this time to dump something other than gravel in my potholes. The paper says my bridge is being closed - so I wonder what purpose this serves????

Monday morning I get the call that the barracades are going up before and after the bridge. It is officially being closed. My question: "Are they concrete?" My daughter says "No - the man is at least 80 that is setting them up." Ok - I'm thinking I can slide that sucker right on over and drive around it - UNLESS they are really going to work on my bridge in which case I'll gladly take the enless detour to my home.

Tuesday morning - barracades gone - No trucks signs removed and the weight limit sign is taken down and replaced with the below picture. Don't scroll yet. Apparently they had the wrong bridge!!!!!!!!!!! There is an old culvert at the other end of my road that needs repair. Ahem Yes - WRONG BRIDGE! Barracades are now well beyond my house and I am able to come and go freely without breaking any laws regarding barracades. Good news is that I can't and don't think or else I would not be able to travel my road. NOW SCROLL DOWN!

Yes - that sign says "No thought traffic". Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh gotta love my rural life!


I live in rural America. A place where you can walk outside in your night clothes and not fear being seen. We choose to live here and we love our neck of the woods. Living here comes at a high cost. Any modern convenience offered in town costs double to get out in our area. Higher phone bills, Internet service, TV, water, and last but not least Property Taxes. My property taxes are paid annually and without fail. But - they are not paid without grumbling. I recently opened my newspaper to this article.

(Very sorry about the quality - after at least 9,999 attempts to edit this pic - I quit - and I never exaggerate)

So - the bridge leading to my home and the home of a dozen or so others is closed until further notice. SERIOUSLY. You can see with your own eyes. the second line says "no through traffic will be permitted". Curious if someone plans to camp out at our bridge and keep traffic away since it's not ACTUALLY closed. It is ONLY closed to those that don't travel our road daily. The rest of us are allowed to travel to and from our homes on this "closed bridge". What I gather is that my Supervisor (who happens to be mentioned in the ad) has no intentions of repairing our bridge. This is the point that boils my blood. I PAY PROPERTY TAXES PEOPLE! I PAY FOR THESE REPAIRS. Want to see my bridge - I thought so!

As you can see - they added a "no trucks" sign to our sign. WOW - I'm certain no through traffic will travel across our bridge now. Each and every day we cross this bridge we complain. The bump is not nearly as small as it appears. And the large sinking hole to the right makes me a little nervous.

Now to the road itself. I live one mile down this road. This is NOT a gravel road. This is supposed to be a paved road. See from pics? This is how my road is repaired. The pot holes get some gravel thrown in them. I'm not a Rocket Scientist but.........I do know that this is not a FIX. It does not repair my pot holes. Thought you may want to see the road also - so I obliged!

In this day of Stimulus Smorgasbord why is there no money to repair my road and bridge? Why do I pay property taxes for road and bridge repair? I took the opportunity to look up the job description of County Supervisors. Apparently I don't know where to look. Neither does my county have a website. But....another county in my fine state did have some information. These are copied from the site of Madison County.

"Many people think that road construction and maintenance are the only things supervisors do. It is a very important job to be responsible for hundreds of miles of local highways and roads. The board can also set traffic regulations for the county roads. But the board must look after many things in addition to roads."

First of all - I don't think that AT ALL.

"The power to tax and the power to appropriate and budget funds are the two most significant powers the board exercises. With these powers, the board decides which part of county government gets the largest slice of the "budget pie."

That deserves a resounding "duh". Since there is no money to repair bridges and roads they most certainly are deciding to spend my slice on something else. No clue what - but certainly NOT my road or bridge.

So - there you have it. If I disappear one day you'll know to look down the creek and see if I've floated away from the bridge collapsing.

Rural America - Gotta love it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Orange Beach 2010

Oil did not rain on our parade! We drove to the beach.

We watched workers from our balcony.

And from our spot on the sand.

We investigated the oil droplets.

We did not fight for a spot on the beach.

BUT - we did enjoy some things. Good Food - Good fellowship - Good friends

We love our friends.

Even those that don't read well.

And especially those that turn 40!

So - go to the beach. Spend a few dollars and put your feet in the sand. They will appreciate you for it.

Love you all.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Get a grip on my thoughts!

I'm in need of getting a grip- Literally. Sometime last year I spoke at a Ladies Meeting and today I needed to go back and read my notes and be reminded of Who is in control and that I needed to control my thoughts. I struggle with letting others disappoint me and letting that hurt interfere with my faith. Below are some of my notes and current thoughts:

The apostle Paul is very clear in Ephesians 6 that Christians are in a struggle with spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Many Christians who choose to let God fight the battle rather than get involved. It is clear that they (we) feel ill equipped to deal with such a battle and they are not eager to find out. But all through scripture we are commanded to resist our enemy.

Ephesians 6:13 “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.”

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Throughout the body of Christ there is a fear of aggressively resisting the enemy who seeks to rob us and hinder us from attaining what God has called us to be. Part of fulfilling the Great Commission is setting the captives free. In order to do that, we must often confront the enemy in the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t like confrontation even when it is obviously necessary. Often times the spiritual enemy is a friend or family member.

Spiritual Warfare is about having a biblical world view which includes the reality of an ongoing battle with the forces of evil for the souls of mankind. To join this battle one must have faith in the sovereign power of our God, assurance of our identity in Christ and faith in the promises of God. God uses the struggle to strengthen His people in their faith and teaches them to not depend on their own strength or understanding. We learn to be led by the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
Passivity affects people mentally, emotionally and their wills.

Mentally, we need to challenge the thoughts that come to us that are inconsistent to the Word of God. Many of our thoughts have their source in the enemy. We are told to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5

Emotionally, we tend to let our feelings have undue influence in our lives, even at times having more weight than the Word of God. The enemy is very effective in stirring up our emotions with his intimidating suggestions. The will is powerless to take any action or stand firm against what is being experienced. The enemy likes to suggest the hopelessness of our situation and that God will not be there when we need Him. As a result, we get into a fatalistic acceptance of the inevitable. These are some of the dangerous outcomes when passivity is allowed to become a way of life for the Christian. God has called each of His children to an active relationship with Himself and with others. The enemy wants to isolate us into passivity, but we must resist this. Our faith is about an intimate relationship with our Savior and a daily resisting of the temptations of the world and our enemy.

Passivity can provide an opportunity for the enemy. First, we are living in disobedience and lacking in faith. Second, we are not prepared to stand against temptations and persevere during trials. We are not trusting in the omnipotent power of God to enable us and to protect us. We have allowed the enemy to become as big as God in our lives by blaming everything that happens in our lives on demonic activity. That is exactly what Satan wants you to believe. We allow ourselves to become easy prey to fear and stop trusting in the promises of God, the victorious finished work of our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross and His triumphant victory over the enemy through the resurrection.

"Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you - unless, indeed, you fail the test!" 2 Corinthians 13:5

I hope none of you have been trying to live your lives on the basis of an emotional religious experience you once had, but have never really experienced the fruits of inner transformation by the Spirit of God in your lives. Head knowledge of religious truth is never an adequate substitute for heart knowledge that brings about inner joy and faith in God despite the circumstances you experience. Such an experience brings freedom from fear and the desire to glorify God through your lives.
God knows my heart and my hurt. Praying that I will allow Him total control.

Love you guys.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I am a Ramblin woman

Not going to rant today. Mostly not going to rant because I have a really good rant post in the works. Just going to ramble a little bit.

I simply love facebook. I have connected with friends that I would never have gotten to without that avenue. I love my friends as if we never lost contact. The true beauty of real friendships is that you don't always have to be in touch to know you are loved and to know you love them. I love that I can read about their lives and see pictures of their families. Who knew?

I have some friends that need some prayers this week that can use some extra warriors if you can just join with us. God knows who they are and what their needs are. One deals with salvation of some friends - let's get these girls covered and let the Holy Spirit work.

Had my first fresh tomato today. OH MAN!!! It was fantastic! Hmm Hmmm Sorry if you haven't had one. I absolutely love summer time and fresh fruits and vegetables. And I had my first watermelon Sunday. Oh how I love watermelon also - as a matter of fact - think I'll go get me some.

Bad mommy of the year award today - made my son late for Bible School today because I was reading blogs. :(

I am really loving the blogs that are about money saving tips and craft blogs and cooking blogs and mommy blogs and faith based blogs and hmmm did I leave any out - oh yes - GIVEAWAY blogs. Woo hoo - Father's Day Bash is in full swing. I'll be an entering fool! Who knows maybe I'll actually win something.

Off to get me some watermelon! Love you guys.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Monkey Bread anyone?

When I was in high school I loved to make Monkey Bread. It was "my thing" to cook. You certainly don't need lots of cooking abilities to make it so I'm not boasting. I tell you this in order to set up my Money Bread story. I married very young and my cooking ability was limited. We did not go hungry by any means but our variety was rather limited. And throw in the Pizza Hut at least once a week and any other various restaurants and I didn't really need to cook that often anyway. Fast forward about seven years. I was in my humble kitchen pulling out all of the ingredients to make Monkey Bread. It had been on my mind and I decided to treat my girls to my famous treat. While cutting my canned biscuits in quarters my phone rang. It was my sister. She was calling to ask if I remembered that cake I used to make when in High School. You know - that pull apart cake. Ahhh, Monkey Bread. Why yes I most certainly do remember. She wanted the recipe. She also wanted to make a Monkey Bread. That very same day I was making one she was thinking about it and wanted to make one.

So - just in case you are curious - here is my famous Monkey Bread. I'm certain I did not create this recipe - but I did tweek it. I always tweek recipes. I usually tweek because I don't like all the ingredients. Rest assured I like ALL of the ingredients in this simply delicious recipe.

4 cans (cheap) biscuits - Quartered
Cinnamon sugar - enough to roll each biscuit in
1 to 1 1/2 sticks butter (I use the real stuff) Melted
Pecans (if you like them) about two hands full

Spray a bundt pan. Sprinkle some pecans in the bottom of the pan. Roll each of the biscuits in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place in the bottom of the bundt pan . Pour a little butter over the layer and continue with this process until you have used all of the biscuits. Pour any remaining butter over the biscuits. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes (no real clue on the time!) Turn onto plate and dig in - don't cut - just pull apart and enjoy the hot buttery treat!

Cinnamon Sugar - Cost is crazy when you buy it already mixed. I keep an old spice jar labeled Cinnamon Sugar. When I make the Monkey Bread I mix some cinnamon and sugar together - what's left I simply pour into my spice jar and use for cinnamon toast at a later date!


Love you guys.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Free to be Me!

My daughter at a very young age strolled through a friends house in her undies. Her dad and I cringed and asked her to find her shorts. She strolled away saying "Free to be me"! Although she put her shorts on (I think). We still laugh about "free to be me". But what does it really mean to be free to be me?

It is often said that we shouldn't worry about what others think about us. I disagree with that statement whole heartily. I have been a bad mommy when I dictate to my children what they are and are not allowed to wear. The horror of that is unspeakable. I have reminded our children more often than not that what they wear in public represents our entire family, our church family and most importantly it represents our Heavenly Father. I firmly believe that what others should see is Jesus. Do we really think that when we have cleavage far and wide showing that someone looks at us and says "oh what a Godly person she is"? I hardly think so. If we are wearing skulls and vulgar language on our clothes do you really think that someone may get saved? Matthew chapter 18 addresses those who cause ourselves or others to stumble. 6 "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

This is also where we (meaning born again Christians) get called hypocrites. Because I believe that we can cause others to stumble and because I believe that I should do my best to live according to God's Will and because I take a stand against things, I will certainly be called a hypocrite when caught in a sin. But big BUT here - I will NEVER say that I don't and won't sin. I am a SINNER saved by grace. I will continue to sin. I will stumble daily and I will repent and I will get back up and try again. I will continue to strive to live according to His Word. Yes, I will most assuredly fail. I will cause others to stumble and I will make bad decisions. Romans 3:23 tells us that For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But His word also tells us that we can have renewal by His word. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and perfect. He knows we are going to stumble but He also gives us the ability to discern right from wrong.

So - Yes I worry about what others think. I can also rejoice if they think I am crazy for my belief. That's OK by me. I can agree to disagree. But I can set my standards and stick to them until God tells me otherwise. And I can have my feelings hurt both when I disappoint you and you dislike me. I'm wired that way - It's who I am. But I don't apologize for that. I am after all free to be me and you are free to be you!

I love you guys!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eye am not seeing clearly today

Do you see things through "Rose colored glasses"? You know seeing only the beauty. Hiding the truth. Listening to the radio recently the song "Rose Colored Glasses" was playing. It made me ponder some of my views and the view of others. A few years ago sitting on the beach with some dear friends enjoying a conversation about our children, the comment was made that one of us (not me) was completely gullible about our children. She immediately said that she did not want to hear the truth - she wanted to believe what she thought. (All good stuff you know?) I am on the opposite spectrum to a fault. I want to know the truth. I need to see the truth. I get very very frustrated when I am deceived about someone or something. I want to see clearly. Websters defines discernment as having a power to see what is not evident to the average mind. My husband, Mike, has this gift. He can see things in people long before I am able to see it. 1 Corinthians 12:10 lists “discerning of spirits” as a spiritual gift. He can often make a swift evaluation of someone or something that was said, that others did not see but yet proved to be correct. It actually drives me insane.

I love Black and White. Either you ARE or you ARE not. Don't ride the fence. Don't tell me one thing, someone else another and yet do something completely different. Jesus doesn't like lukewarm (or grey in this case). The Bible says in Revelation 3:16 that because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. I have thought on this verse many days. I don't want to be lukewarm - but I really really don't want to be cold. But being hot on a consistent basis is very difficult.

I am in a confused state of mind right now. A family member is creating much stress in my life. As is always the case - dear hubby saw through this child long before anyone else. I always had a soft spot for her. And as is always the case it gets me into a situation that is uncomfortable. Heart wrenching actually. Her desires in life are normal - but her effort in reaching those desires is a big zero. We have begged and pleaded for her to seek help - but it falls on deaf ears. She is an adult. She is old enough to understand right from wrong. I have always known that I was being used, but I didn't mind. The benefit that I am receiving is far better than not being used. When I look into the eyes of our precious baby boy and see him smile and hear him giggle when our Owen walks into the room is worth all that we endure.

I'm not wearing Rose Colored Glasses right now. I see clearly and there is no beauty. There is a storm raging and I feel we are in the "eye" of the storm. Hebrews 12: 2-3 tells us Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. I am seeking refuge from the storm in scripture. I am reminding myself that no matter what happens in our lives it pales in comparison to what Jesus endured for you and me. I need to remember this so that I can run this race and not grow weary. Right now I am weary and not sure that I see clearly. If I should suffer for the sake and safety of a little precious baby - then I am doing what I am called upon to do. I just needed to vent and venting is what I am doing here. It is always a risk to involve your heart with a child and your heart gets broken. I can't see the future but God knows it already. He has a plan for our little guy whether that plan includes us or not or whether it includes for a short time or a long time.

So I'm not certain this post makes any sense to you - but if you read it will you take the time to pray about a little baby boy and his parents and for those that care for him. We truly want God's Will and healing for those involved. Spiritual healing and then emotional healing of addictions.

I sure do love you guys and I covet your prayers.

(I couldn't resist the urge to post this)