Sunday, December 12, 2010

When The Baby’s Not Such A Baby

We passed another milestone this week.  Caleb had his first “solid” food.  Josiah gave him his first bite.  He wasn’t so convinced, but as the days have passed he’s gotten better and better.  I’m pretty sure that now at least half of his cereal gets to his tummy.  The other half ends up on the bib, but I think that’s pretty normal. 
As with every milestone we pass with Caleb I have to come to grips with the fact that this is my last baby, who with each milestone becomes less and less a baby.  With Josiah and Matthew I can easily say that I met each new stage of their lives with the joy of seeing them grow.  To be honest, with Caleb it’s probably 90% joy and 10% wanting him to stay a baby.  I even waited a few extra weeks instead of giving him cereal the day he turned 4 months like I did with his brothers.
As parents it’s easy to want to keep our children little, but it’s not God’s plan, or His idea of parenting.  Our children are born to grow and fulfill a purpose.  If they stay small they won’t be able to do that.  It’s better to celebrate and embrace their growth than to dread it. 
Are you celebrating your children’s growth?  Or are you wishing you could keep them young forever?  Celebrating and looking forward to their futures will help us live more contently, but it will also encourage us to pray with purpose.  If our hearts are to keep them with us our prayers will be along those lines, but if our hearts are to see them fulfill God’s purpose we will pray for them with more direction. 
When we see our children grow it’s obviously silly to try to keep them babies.  When it comes to spiritual children it’s another story.  Do you have spiritual children?  People you’ve ministered to?  People who have worked under your leadership?  What is your heart for them?  Growth?  What if they surpass you?  I think that’s where our hearts are truly tested.  Would you think yourself less of a leader if your followers surpass you? 
Think of it along the lines of parenthood.  Would you think yourself less of a parent if your children surpass you?  Of course not!  That is our hope for our children that they surpass us.  And if they do it’s a sign of a job well done.  It’s the same in leadership.  If your followers, students, or spiritual children surpass you it shows you’ve done a good job.  Even Christ said that we would do even greater things in His name!  He never wanted us to stay babies.  He took joy in our rebirth and salvation, but His hope for us is the same as our hope for our children.  That we will do even greater things in His name.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
John 14:12

Friday, December 10, 2010

Go To The Doctor

The icky sickies have arrived at our house.  A couple of weeks ago the boys started coughing.  I kept an eye on it and we were praying for them constantly throughout the weekend.  They got better every time we prayed.  Monday morning came and they seemed to be much better. 
A few hours after they woke up, Matthew started crying and screaming.  I tried everything I could to calm him down and nothing helped.  He started hitting his ear and yelling Stop!  Ouch!  So I called the Doctor.  And waited and waited on hold.  Once they answered the phone, Matthew was crying so loud that they couldn’t hear me.  So, even though I felt terrible about it, I ran into the bedroom, shut the door, and left him crying and screaming in the hall. 
While I was making the appointment, Samuel got home.  Early!  Praise God!  If there was ever a time I really needed him to show up unexpected it was then. 
We got the boys ready and headed to the doctor.  When I got Josiah out of the car, he had a red rash on half of his face.  I thought it was very odd, but Matthew was still the priority.  The nurses and doctor checked Matthew and said he had an ear infection and cold. 
I asked if a cold could cause a rash like Josiah’s and she said no.  She checked him to and turns out he had strep and scarlet fever.  My reaction.  Scarlet Fever?!?!?!?!  Wasn’t that a plague from history where people died?  The good thing was that the reaction was entirely interior and I didn’t say any of that out loud.  We picked up some meds from the pharmacy and were on our way home. 
A few days into caring for sick kids and administering medicine and I start coughing.  NO!  I can’t get sick!  I have a four and a half month baby to care for.  I have to take care of his sick brothers.  Not me!  But as the days went by I got worse. 
Until Saturday when I just didn’t get out of bed.  The cough was terrible, my throat was so sore it was difficult swallowing water, my body ached and I had a terrible headache.  Not to mention the abundance of mucus that I’m sure you don’t want to hear about. 
So I was in bed all day Saturday and Sunday basically only waking up briefly to nurse Caleb and order food.  Yes, that’s what happens when Mama’s sick in bed.  The Sanchez family eats take out.  Again Praise God that Samuel wasn’t sick and didn’t have to work. 
So Monday morning my father in law came over and took the older boys to his house while Caleb and I went to the doctor.  So now I’m almost halfway through my dose of antibiotics and although I still feel icky I can at least function and care for my family.
So what do I learn from all the ickies?  I think about how it could have been an entirely different story if I hadn’t recognized the illness for what it is.  If I had said well, Matthew’s crying and screaming because he’s misbehaving.  Or hmmm Josiah’s rash is odd, but nothing to worry about.  Or if I hadn’t recognized that I myself needed to go to the doctor. 
Ok, so really I’m sure we would have survived.  But there’s a sickness that’s MUCH worse.  I’ve heard it said that we all have a terminal illness and it’s name is sin.  It’s true we aren’t perfect, we aren’t holy, we aren’t righteous.  We have this illness and we NEED a doctor.  There’s only One who can cure us.  There’s only One who can do His perfect work in us.  There’s only one who can make us holy and righteous.  But if we don’t recognize the illness, we will start to believe that we don’t need Him.  And that is truly dangerous. 
So go to the doctor!

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Mark 2:17

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Burnt Oatmeal

So the picture above is definitely NOT what I wanted to be looking at this morning, but it is the end result of my burning oatmeal twice.  I never make oatmeal.  Mainly because I’m not a big fan.  Breakfast to me means eggs and coffee.  Anything else can be added, but if there’s no eggs or coffee it just seems like something’s missing.  But I’ve had a cold and Sammy told me that he heard you’re not supposed to eat eggs when you’re sick.  Ok, I’ve never heard that, but since he said it I couldn’t just turn around and make eggs.  Besides, it could be true?  Maybe.  So when I asked him if he wanted breakfast before he left for work and he asked what I was going to make, the first thing I could come up with was oatmeal. 

The thing about burning oatmeal is that even if only the bottom burns, the smell and burnt flavor goes all the way through.  YUCK!  The same thing happens to me on occasion with rice.  So I have to throw it away and start from scratch.  There are a lot of things like that.  Part of it goes bad and the whole thing is trash.

The Bible tells us that our eyes are like that.  If our eyes go bad than our whole bodies are full of darkness.  Yikes!  I find this especially important as a mother of 3 boys.  I want them to have good eyes. 

Thanksgiving morning I was in the kitchen making breakfast and preparing the ham and sides to cook.  I had turned on the Macy’s day parade for the boys and every couple of minutes I heard them yelling “Spider Man!” “Buzz Lightyear!”  “Snoopy!”  Samuel was working on the computer at the kitchen table and at some point he looked up and commented that there was a big Victoria Secret’s ad right behind the parade.  Uhhh.  Really.  I was sure that I had picked something wholesome for my kids to watch!

If I want my eyes and my family’s eyes to remain good, I must be diligent and careful about what we see.  Just like if I don’t want to burn the oatmeal I’ve gotta be careful with the part at the bottom of the pot. 

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.  See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Luke 11:34-35

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Light Always Wins

A few weeks ago we took our boys to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  They loved it!  Josiah especially liked the dinosaurs, and Matthew didn’t want to leave the play area.  There was a light room that was dark and allowed you to play with light and shadows.  There was also this life size Light Bright.  They had fun and so did we.

It was amazing to me how in a dark room the tiniest light was visible.  Lights that in a lit room wouldn’t be visible shine bright in the dark.  The darkness has it’s power, but it’s nothing compared to the light.  Where the light is the darkness cannot be.  When it comes down to it the light always wins.
When Jesus comes into our lives He gives us his light.  It’s a light that goes into the darkness and eliminates it.  Because His light in us is greater than the darkness that is in the world.  Think you can’t make a difference?  What difference does a tiny nightlight make in you child’s room at midnight?  Be that light and know that Jesus in you is all you need to conquer and eliminate the darkness that surrounds you.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
John 1:4-5

 . . . because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Monday, November 29, 2010


Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has begun!  Christmas music everywhere and it’s become politically correct, ok, maybe not.  But at the very least it’s become socially acceptable to mention Jesus in public.  And we decorate the house!!!  As we were decorating the tree, Josiah looked up at the nativity we have on the mantle.  Then I overheard the following conversation. 

Josiah: look Matthew it's Jesus!      

Matthew: Jesus?

Josiah: yes Jesus. Up high. You can't reach. You're to little. 

Hmmm.  Something in me really didn’t like hearing him tell Matthew that he couldn’t reach Jesus.  I know he was referring to the little ceramic baby and not the real Jesus, but still something about it was unsettling. 

Maybe because that’s actually the opposite of what Christmas is really about.  It’s not about a God that is up high, that we can’t reach because we are to little.  It’s about a God who loves us so much that he sent us his only Son.  It’s about God descending from on high.  Coming down to meet us where we are.  Becoming reachable.  Showing his great love for the little. 

How many of us used to think God was like that nativity.  Up high, and out of reach.  How many people are there living around us who think God is like that?  Who will show them a God of love and compassion this Christmas?  Will it be me?  Will it be you?

Let’s remember as we enter this season who this God is we celebrate.  He’s not a god that’s out of reach.  He’s a God who reaches out to us and those around us offering his love, forgiveness, and salvation. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful In Everything

“Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name”

Matt Redman - Blessed Be Your Name

I woke up this morning with this song in my head.  And I find it very appropriate.  For the past week I’ve been reading blogs about thankfulness, lists on twitter and facebook of things people are thankful for, and to be honest it all seemed a little mundane.  The same thing every year.  I’m thankful for my family, my home, my security, my salvation, my car, my food, my friends.  I am grateful for all those things, but I was also bored.  It bores me to make a list like that.  I’m thankful for those things all year long.  Doesn’t God have something new for me this Thanksgiving? 

Then I got an email from a Pastor friend of mine.  She was having surgery and we were organizing to bring her meals while she recovered.  In the email she said “Thank you so much to all of you who have graciously volunteered to bring me and my family meals.  I didn’t want to be another item on ya’ll’s busy holiday to-do list, but no one seemed to listen to me!  I really appreciate your incredible generosity.”

I thought about it.  Yes, it could be just another thing on my to do list, but for me it was a blessing.  Seriously.  I had been struggling lately to decide what to make for dinners in my house.  It was a relief for me when the day came I had signed up to bring her family dinner.  I knew I was going to make chicken soup.  I didn’t have to stress or think about it. 

I had to go grocery shopping, but we’d been without tortillas for the past couple of days cause I hadn’t wanted to drag the kids to the store.  Seriously, my husband is Mexican and we had no tortillas in the house.  That’s probably why I was struggling so much trying to decide what to cook, no tortillas.  So when on many days I would have complained that I had to go grocery shopping that day I decided to be thankful that I would have tortillas! 

That made me think about the verse in Romans that says that all things work together for our good.  Which ties in the song.  Knowing that God will work things for our good we can praise him and be thankful even for the struggles and difficult times in our lives.  So here’s a little sample of what I’m thankful for this year.
  •  That Caleb woke me up early while everyone else in the house was still asleep. It's giving me a chance to write and spend some much needed time with God this morning :)
  • That I don’t have to decide what to cook today.
  • For the piles of laundry in my house.  It means I have three active little boys and a husband who works.  That’s how the clothes get dirty after all.
  • For the dirty dishes.  Because that means we had food to put on them and that that food is now in our tummies

What can you add to your list that you may not have been counting as a blessing?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

The Stories We Love To Tell

We were headed to Fiesta yesterday to do some grocery shopping.  (For those of you who don’t live in Texas, Fiesta is a hispanic grocery store chain)  I was driving around the parking lot when Josiah asked “Where going Mami?” 

Me:  We’re going to Fiesta
Josiah:  Where, where?
Me:  Right here, sweetie
Josiah:  Where going Mami?
Me:  To Fiesta, we’re going grocery shopping.
Josiah:  Where going Mami?
Me:  Josiah!  I’m looking for a place to park.  We’re going to Fiesta to get groceries.
Josiah:  Where is it Mami?  Where party?!?!?!

Seriously he thought we were going to a party to buy groceries!  Then when we were inside he saw the cakes at the bakery. 

Josiah:  Mami!  Want one, cake!  Want one cake!
Me:  No, Josiah.  We don’t need a cake.
Josiah:  For you Mami.  Want cake for Mami!
Me:  Oh, you want a cake for me?
Josiah:  Yes
Me:  And who’s going to eat it?
Josiah:  ME!!!!!!!!

At this point the baker laughs out loud and tells me my boys are precious.  And she’s right.  They are.  These are the stories I love to tell.  These are the things that are on the tip of my tongue when my husband gets home.  The moments I wish I had known were coming so I could have the camera ready.  Those stories are the ones I tell with joy.  Because they are adorable!  Because they show my kids at their best.

My mother in law tells a story about Samuel that I’m sure I’ve heard at least 30 times.  She loves to tell it and her eyes light up with the memories of the special moments she experienced with her son.  She tells of when he was going through a growth spurt and he would get hungry in the middle of the night.  She would leave some cookies by his bed and would wake up to the beautiful sound of her little boy munching on the cookies.  It’s the story she loves to tell. 

As parents we take joy in the achievements and shining moments of our children.  We love to recount and relive those sweet times of beauty and innocence.  We talk about the things that make us proud and the things that make us smile.  The longer I am a parent, the closer I get to understanding the heart of God and His love for His children.  I can think of dozens of cute stories I love to tell about my babies.  I’m so proud of all they do. 

It makes me wonder though, what stories does my Heavenly Father love to tell about me.  What is He most proud of.  Does He smile and remember the innocence of my childhood?  Does he look for someone to tell when I conquer my fears or overcome obstacles that I hadn’t been able to before?  Does he have any favorite stories about me?  The thought that I can fill God’s heart with joy like my boys do to me is amazing. 

But after all we are His children.

because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father.  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
Romans 8:14-16

How Do I Handle THIS?!?!?!?!

“Wow! It's true the Lord gives us what we need to conquer even the craziest challenges.
In the last hour Josiah threw up on Baby Caleb and all over the kitchen. What I would call the "proper cleaning products to clean it up" went missing. An indoor pool was created on our bathroom floor from the boys pouring water from the tub to the floor. Matthew peed before I put a diaper on him wetting the bed and floor in their room, I was just barely able to save their big expensive stuffed lion from the spray. and now they are all bathed in clean clothes the floors are clean, the boys are eating kix, and baby caleb is sleeping soundly in the crib. Wheew!”
That is what I posted to Facebook yesterday morning.  I didn’t even try to fit it all into a Tweet!  Josiah, my three year old who NEVER vomits, did so right on his four month old baby brother!  Then he turned around and continued.  Filling the entire kitchen floor.  He started crying.  He didn’t even know how to react himself.  
Three out of four of us were covered.  Somehow Matthew had escaped the spray, but his feet were getting dangerously close.  
For a second I froze.  I was home alone with a vomiting 3 year old, a curious 1.5 year old, and a baby covered with said vomit.  Surely this situation was over my head.  But I was only frozen for a second.  
I told Josiah not to move.  Grabbed a wipie with one hand cleaning out the baby’s mouth and face while making sure Matthew didn’t get any closer with the other hand.  I sent Matthew to the living room and undressed Josiah right there.  Took him to the bathroom and ran some water in the bathtub to clean him off.  Praying the whole time that Matthew hadn’t made his way back to the kitchen and the mess.  
I made my way back to the kitchen and undressed baby Caleb.  Took him to the bathroom and quickly bathed him with Josiah.  Which, by the way, Josiah loved.  He’d never had the baby in the bathtub with him.  Then I took the baby to dry off and dress, laid him in the crib, ran to the kitchen to get a clean pacifier, and ran back to give it to him.  From there I checked on Josiah still in the tub and Matthew, now standing in the bathroom watching Josiah in the tub.  
I ran to the kitchen to assess the situation, searched high and low for the dust pan.  I called my husband to see if he knew where it was, which he didn’t.  Checked on the boys again.  Found some cardstock in the office.  Pulled the trash bin into the kitchen and used the cardstock to scoop the mess into the trash.  Checked on everyone again and cleaned the floors.  
Then the yelling started.  And the laughing.  It was coming from the bathroom and I knew it meant they were getting into a fun kind of trouble.  I walk in to find the bathroom flooded and Josiah throwing cups full of water on Matthew and Matthew throwing pieces of a waffle into the tub at Josiah.  
So I undressed Matthew, put him in the tub and bathed them both.  Checked on Caleb who was peacefully sleeping through the whole thing, snapped the picture above and pulled the boys out one at a time to dry and dress them.  Which of course is when the peeing incident occurred.  
I went out to the living room, put some cartoons on and told them to stay there.  Then I started the washer, rinsed all our clothes and threw everything in to wash.  Finally I went back to the bathroom and soaked up the water and soggy waffle bits.  
Then I sat down on the couch sighed and posted the picture to Facebook.  Exhausted yet?  
What really got to me, out of the whole ordeal was that moment, that instant when I doubted myself.  That second that I froze and thought that surly I wouldn’t get out of this one unscathed.  I was sure I just didn’t have the capacity to handle a situation like that.  
But I forgot that it’s the LORD who sustains me.  That HE won’t let me fall.  That through HIM I am more than a conqueror.  It doesn’t matter that I’m not capable, because what I lack HE provides.  What it all comes down to is that it’s not about me, my abilities, or my weaknesses.  It’s about HIM.  Life in general is about HIM!  I had lost my focus for a second.  I was focused on myself.  
As a stay at home mom it can be easy to become self sufficient.  To think we have it all covered.  That anything our babies need we can provide.  But if we live with that mentality we will become overwhelmed when we realize we aren’t enough.  We set ourselves up for failure and frustration.  Why?  Because we aren’t enough.  We will never be enough.  They need someone bigger and better than Mommy.  They need GOD!  
He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
John 1:2-4
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Psalms 55:22
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37

Monday, November 22, 2010

I See The Baby

I was playing with Baby Caleb this evening and he was smiling and giggling and eating up all the attention.  But out of the corner of my eye I was seeing the growing mound of clean laundry across the living room on the other couch. 

It was trying to taunt me.  Saying “Hey!  Fold me!  Hang me up!  Put me away!”  I ignored it and went back to playing with the baby.  I wasn’t going to let a pile of laundry ruin my special moment with the baby. 

I chose not to see the laundry, but to see, to REALLY see the baby.  I saw the joy in his eyes when he saw me smile at him.  I heard the giggles bubble up from inside him when I tickled his belly.  I felt the softness of his skin as I caressed his cheek.  I love that baby and no pile of laundry or dishes or any other chore is more important than sharing my love with him. 
I’ve met people who look at my children as a chore.  Sounds terrible, but it’s true.  When they find out that all three are mine and they are all ages 3 and under the first thing they say is, “wow, you must be busy!”  Or, “I bet you have to do laundry every day!”  (which I do, by the way)  Or how do you do it? 

When I look at them, I don’t see the meals I have to prepare, the floors I have to clean, the dinosaurs and cars I have to pick up, the diapers I have to change, the noses I have to wipe, the laundry I have to do, the dishes I have to wash, or the nails I have to clip.  I see my boys.  I see my babies.  I see LOVE. 

Lord, help us to have Mary’s heart and attitude when it comes to our families.  Let us treasure our time with You, our husbands, and our children the way that she did. 

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"  "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:39-42

Friday, November 19, 2010

One More Reason To LOVE Target

I love Target.  I’m just saying.  I sometimes call it my second home.  I’m pretty sure they designed the store specifically with me in mind. 

Reason #1
Portrait Studio
We get baby pictures done every month there and they are always awesome and cheap!  (You can print out coupons from their website.  We always use the free 8x10 and $3.99 per sheet coupon.)

Reason #2

There is a Starbucks IN our Target!  Technically if I had designed it there would be an ABC (America’s Best Coffee), but hey I can get a peppermint mocha and drink it while shopping so I’m not complaining.

Reason #3

They have recently started printing out coupons with your receipt.  I LOVE this because they give you coupons for the things you buy.  For example, the last time I went I got a coupon for frozen chicken breast, diapers, frozen veggies, and coffee.  All things I bought and buy regularly. 

Reason #4
Free Cookies

If you ask at the bakery they will give each of your kids a free cookie!  This is great for when the boys start getting restless, but I still have shopping to do.

Reason #5
One Stop Shopping

I get everything there and only have to unload and reload the boys from the car once.  They even have a dollar section. 

Reason # 6
Merry Christmas Signs!

And this is my newest reason, and the actual subject for this blog.  Christmas is coming and stores are preparing.  And so begins my annual checking of which stores say “Merry Christmas” and which say “Happy Holidays”.  I’ve heard it said that we vote with our dollars, and it’s very true.  Where we spend our money makes a difference.  My preference is to support Christian businesses especially if they are owned by friends.  But I also think that when given the choice we should choose to support stores that promote Christ.  In recent years many stores have gone back and forth on the Christmas issue.  I remember avoiding Target a few years ago because they said Happy Holidays and avoided the word Christmas.  So when I was grocery shopping the other day and spotted the Merry Christmas signs I gave a sigh of relief.  I love to see secular businesses recognize Christ.  I love to hear music that glorifies Christ being played everywhere.  And I love that Target is saying “Merry Christmas.”
So you may be thinking what I am.  “Wow, this blog sounds like a commercial for Target!  What’s gotten into Christy?”  I know.  I almost deleted it for that very reason.  But I do think it’s important to pay attention to the words used in marketing for different stores.  I assure you they are paying attention to whether their sales go up or down when the use the word Christmas or  Holiday.  So lets pay attention to what we are saying with where our Christmas money is going. 

Let’s vote well with our dollars this Christmas season.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
Matthew 10:32-33

A few links to Christian businesses in the DFW area that I personally know the owners of.
Integra Home Systems
   Home Audio/Video/Media/Security
Bella Bug Boutique - Cositas by Nidia
   Baby and children’s clothing and accessories
Ruby Leon Jewelry
   Original design handmade jewelry
Krimson & Klover Women’s Boutique
   Women’s Clothing and Accessories
SPG Photography
The Rock Countertops
El Guero Tacos
    Mexican Restaurant

Just Love Coffee
    Buy Coffee to help fundraising efforts for a friend of mine’s adoption from Ethiopia 

The opinions and recommendations above are completely my own.  I have not received any form of compensation from anyone mentioned in this email. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Truth About Why I Write

I’ve gotta be straight with you.  I’m gonna tell it like it is.  If you’re reading this right now and think that I write for you, your wrong.  If you are blessed by what I write, if you find insight or inspiration in reading my blog, or if you are encouraged in your walk with Christ that is awesome.  But to tell you the truth that’s just an added benefit.  A little something extra for me.  It’s nice to know that other moms are reading, but if you don’t I won’t stop writing.

So why do I write?  It starts with me.  I need to keep my relationship with the Lord fresh.  I need to pay attention to what He’s telling me, to what He’s teaching me.  Knowing I will write a blog about whatever He shares with me helps me keep my eyes and ears open to His Spirit. 

Some people use devotion books, some use Bible studies, some have a quiet time schedule, or a study buddy.  For me, I have my blog.  It works for me.  I encourage you to find something that works for you.  Make sure you’re not missing out on that essential part of life that is communication and communion with Jesus. 

My other big reason for writing is my boys.  I think of them and I know I’m writing the story of their childhood.  I hope they will read this when they are older and see that from the moment of conception they have been and will always be a blessing to my life.  I hope they will be able to see how the Lord used them even from a young age.  I want my daughters - in - law to read this and to realize and find comfort and strength in the fact that I didn’t always have it all together.  That I’ve learned just as they will, through experience and with His gentle hand guiding me. 

I believe that this is what God has for me.  His best.  To be a follower of Him, a wife to my husband, a mother to my children, and a minister of His grace to women.  In doing the first three, the fourth comes naturally.  But my number one reason is and always will be Him!

and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life . . .
Deuteronomy 30:20

For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
Deuteronomy 30:16

And the winner of the DVD Giveaway is . . . Kimberly Payne Scarborough! 


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Truth About Why I Don't Write Every Day

This is my third blog for the week.  It’s become typical for me to only write three out of five weekdays.  Why?  Well what I tell others, and myself is that with three boys age 3 and under I don’t always have time, I need to sleep sometime, my husband was using the computer, and I just got to busy.  
The truth is that my house and my parenting are not perfect.  The truth is that I tend to write on my better days and not to write on days that challenge me.  The truth is that you can easily tell if I’ll be writing a blog on a certain day by measuring the noise level in my house.  There are days where it seems that at any given moment at least one of the three boys or I is crying, fighting, or yelling.  The noise stresses me out.  But somehow we make it through.  

I may feel that I’ve done nothing noteworthy, or that I have nothing to share at the end of the day, but I do!  I can share my weakness.  And God’s strength.  

It’s incredible to me that after a day full of tears, discipline, and multiple hours of temper tantrums, we all lay down on the blanket with chocolate milks and books.  We read “Goodnight Moon”.  We say our memory verses, pray, sing night night songs, and we say “I love you.”  My boys tell me they love me!  Wow!  And they do love me!  

On my weakest of days God steps in and conserves my relationship with my children.  We love each other, and we say it.  We sleep.  And the next morning we start new.  That’s something that I could NEVER do on my own.  His power really is made perfect in my weakness.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Devotion Mama is getting super close to 100 blogs! To Celebrate I'll be hosting a giveaway! I will be giving away two of the DVDs I received from Thomas Nelson. Look below for details on how to earn entries. I'll announce the winner in my 100th blog planned for Monday morning!

How To Earn Entries

Become a Fan of Devotion Mama's Facebook Page (2 entries)  

Suggest our facebook page to your friends! Let me know you suggested it. (2 entries)

"Follow" The blog (2 entries)

Comment on any of the blogs.  Comments must be relevant to the blog and cannot be anonymous. (1 entry for each comment)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boys In Motion

What a BEAUTIFUL day it is!  As I washed last nights dishes, and made coffee and breakfast this morning I took stock of what we had and didn’t have as far as food was concerned.  I quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to go shopping today.  We were out of coffee and only had a half gallon of milk left.  
As I got the boys loaded into the car (which is an entire process by the way), I couldn’t help but notice how nice the weather was.  Josiah noticed to.  I had given them a little bag of fruit snacks and said they could eat them in the car.  Josiah said he didn’t want to eat it in the car, that he wanted to eat them outside.  So instead of heading to Target, I went through the drivethru at Starbucks (for me) and Chik Fil A (for the boys) and headed to the park.  
From the moment I got the boys out of the car they were in constant motion.  Chasing birds, chasing squirrels, running just to run, climbing the play structure, and stopping from time to time to eat a chicken nugget, or take a sip of lemonade.  They really needed to run around and be boys.  They were made for action.  
We are all made for movement.  Without movement nothing happens.  How did the creation of the earth start?  With the Spirit of God moving over the waters.  These days the Holy Spirit moves in a lot of different ways, but the most common is through us.  If we have received the Holy Spirit, He will work and move through us to accomplish what He wants.  We should move and run constantly and tirelessly like Josiah and Matthew did today.  If we want to see things happen and change come to our world it will require us to move!
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Ezekiel 36:27
'For in him we live and move and have our being. . . 
Acts 17:28

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby Showers

I’ve had the privilege to host two baby showers and receive one in the past two weeks.  I’ve gotta say it’s been exhausting and SO fun!  I love decorating and planning and all of it.  

It’s a small way we can show that we value life.  A new life should be celebrated!  A pregnant woman should be congratulated.  The world would have us think that children were a burden.  The world would have us think that children will slow us down.  The world would have us think that children will suck us dry.  The world even tells us sometimes that children are a punishment.  But God tells us that children are a blessing!

Amidst all the celebration we received news of a woman who is 5 weeks pregnant.  Her doctor recently told her that the baby was only the size at two week old should be.  His advice?  Abort.  Where did things go wrong?  When did the profession that is supposed to protect life become it's attacker?  
Some Statistics To Consider:
In 2005 (the most recent year for which there is reliable data), approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S.  From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S.  Twenty-two percent of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion.  (AGI).

When was the last time you congratulated a pregnant woman?  When was the last time you prayed for one?  There’s so many ways to show you are pro-life.  Why not join me in finding a creative way to do so this month?  When you do post it in a comment on this blog.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate
Psalms 127:3-5

Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die. Don’t try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn’t know about it. For God knows all hearts and he sees you. He keeps watch over your souls, and he knows you know. And he will judge all people according to what they have done.
Proverbs 24:11-12 NLT

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A God Nearby

Matthew was hiding from me.  Yes hiding!  Yes that’s the picture of him hiding.  As far as he knows if he can’t see me, I can’t see him.  Only one problem with that.  I can see him and even when I can’t I usually know where he is anyway.  I’m his mom.  Even if he’s hiding well I know he’s in the house.  I’m a mom nearby.
God calls himself a God nearby.  Even when we feel or think he can’t see us, hear our cries, or understand our circumstances He is there.  He always sees.  He always hears.  He always cares.  He fills heaven and earth and even if we try we cannot go anywhere he can not see us.  There’s just no playing hide and seek with God.  His presence is constant and brings peace to my heart.  He is nearby.  Whether we see Him or not, his Word is true.  He is nearby.
“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away?  Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord.  “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:23-24

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Big Thanks To Thomas Nelson

Wow!  What a day!  In a good way.  I went to a play date this morning that turned out to be a surprise Baby Shower for Caleb!  My MOPS buddies surprised me.  It was beautiful.  
While there I found out that Mama Hall (a mama blogger friend of mine) had nominated me for a prize at Relevant (a blogging conference that I would LOVE to attend).  The contest was for a prize from Thomas Nelson for bloggers that hadn’t been able to go to the conference.  They looked at the blogs and chose a winner.  
And the winner was Devotion Mama!  They sent a big box of goodies for my family with Hermie DVDs, Will the Warrier books and much more!  As I write this Josiah is busy watching his new Hermie DVD.  We LOVE Thomas Nelson.  We were big Hermie and Will fans before, but even more so now.  So thanks to Mama Hall, Relevant, and Tomas Nelson!  Be sure to click on the links below to check out the websites.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16