Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Thankful Tuesday

So it's been about 3 years since I've done one of these posts. Far too long, but I was in a different season of life. For those of you who are new, I just take Tuesdays to reflect on things I'm thankful for. After the struggle that Monday can sometimes bring, I think that Tuesday is a good day to reflect on what we are or can be grateful for. It's still the beginning of the week and can help set the rest of our week up with praise and thanksgiving. (Plus, I like the play on words....so there's that)

On this Tuesday morning so early that it's still dark and quiet, here are just a few of the things I am thankful for:

-Hot coffee!
-Sleepless nights that teach us that we are dependent on God
-Wax Burners casting a soft glowing light through this quiet darkness
-Hubby's robe (I've pretty much hijacked it in the last year. It's so big and fluffy!)
-Providing Care
-Conflict (Yes, I am thankful for conflict.....maybe there will be a post on that later)
-God's sovereignty
-Learning that comes through life's simple and every day moments
-Sanctification that comes through life's simple and every day moments
-Repentance that comes through life's simple and every day moments
-My little mission's field (And being thankful that this is my mission's field right now...and being content in that especially as our church prepares to send a team over seas this summer.)
-John's sensitive spirit
-Levi's strive to do his best
-Jahs's passion for everything
-Titus's empathetic heart
-Adoniis's content attitude
-Our home that feels much like a home on the inside to me

Some of you may be going through a struggle right now. It may be a serious struggle or some heartbreak. It could be something you view as silly but for you it is a struggle (and no struggle is too small or silly for God!). God knows your struggle and He cares and is there for you. Even in our struggle we can still sing praises to God of thanksgiving; even if it is through tears. Our God is good and loving. So today if you find yourself in a hard spot, sit down and think of the blessings God has given you. There are some, even if you have to go hunting for them. Strive for thanksgiving this day.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mundane Monday

Today is like the quintessential Monday. It is rainy. It is gloomy. It is the start of the week.
We could do like most and whine about this (especially those of us who are affected by the weather). Or we can be joyful in this. How you may ask as you, like myself, are struggling to find joy this seemingly gloomy Monday. Well, instead of complaining about the darkness of the day, revel in it. Rainy days make for cozy days. They are sweater days. They are candle days. They are hot drink days. Pull out your favorite colorful rain boots and put them on today. Also rejoice in the fact that it is a break from the snow that normally adorns this time of year.

They are also good for putting on either your favorite "cozy" music or you favorite upbeat music; your choice. Maybe it's praise and worship music to reorient your mind (My favorites for this are songs that almost directly quote scripture to soak my mind in God's truths especially when I'm fighting for joy).

The world always jokes about how awful Mondays are and I'll admit sometimes they are tough, but they are a chance to be different from the world, even in small ways like finding joy in Mondays. So friends, let's use our Mondays as a mission field. Let's find joy in this small thing and be thankful that God created Mondays. I pray that you continue to fight this fight this day and that whatever you are going through, you strive for God's glory this day.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nose Ring Girl and Angry Cashier

I've often worried that the repetitious prayers I pray (not as consistently as I should) before naps and bedtime are just that, too repetitious. It is often the same things over and over but it is this way because those are things that are really on my heart. Three of the biggest things I pray with them are:

1)They would love God with their whole heart (because I believe if they do, all else will follow)
2)That God would help them obey and convict them when they are tempted or chose to disobey and sin.
3) That we would be a good example and tell our friends about Jesus.

During nap time, Levi and I went shopping. At one store, the cashier had a lip ring which Levi must have never seen or noticed before (he's 6 by the way). He blantantly and loudly asked me "Mom, what on her lip?!" Ha, kids are pretty blunt and honest. So instead of making it more awkward for her and myself, I just simply told him that it was called a lip ring and some ladies get them just like I have earrings....but for your lip. He then asked her, "Do you go home when it gets dark?" She told him that she did. He said "oh, we don't. We go to church at night." (Me trying partly to explain but also so she didn't feel too awkward about the situation, clarified that yes one day a week, we go to night church when it's dark) She told him that it sounds like he goes to church a lot and that was a very good thing.

When we got back into the car I brought it up and asked him about telling her about us going to church. I asked him if he remembers about how we pray for God to give us wisdom and strength to tell our friends about Jesus and told him that him telling her that we go to church was a really simple way to do so. It wasn't long. It wasn't the gospel. But it was something pressing on his heart and he wanted to share that. It's in those seemingly unimportant conversations that seeds are planted in simple ways.

Later, I went out by myself and encountered some of the worst service at a store I think I've ever received. It was so bad, I cried when I got to my car. The cashier was just plain mean and spiteful. I finished my shopping and got in line. Not paying attention I got in a line that wasn't open. She retorted that I was in the wrong line, it was clearly the line with the only light on that was open. Thinking she was joking, I laughed and said oh yeah I see that now. Thanks! Moving over to her line, she made another remark to me then when I went to go pay, she was angry at the way I was paying (using larger bills to break them when she saw I had the exact amount in my wallet). She very loudly without technically yelling, said "Oh so you're just going to take some of my bills then huh?! Sure Whatever" (There were other things done as well but there is no reason to retell everything)

I made sure to look at the receipt to look at the checkout number and time and looked at her name tag. My intentions were to call a manager and file a complaint. As I was about to walk about the door, starting to fume, I was convicted. Levi was able to witness in a small way to the cashier, how much more should I be a good example to this person who could be having just a rotten day. I don't know what had just happened to her, but most people don't just spout out hate to others for no reason. So I stopped myself, took a deep breathe, and said "Jen, I pray your evening gets better for you." It wasn't much and now I can think of a much more encouraging phrase to use, but I was still angry and even that was hard to get out, but I had to muscle past my pride and do so. I still went out to the car and cried and I still wanted to call a manager and complain because that is no way to treat a customer, but then I was convicted again. God sees all. And how deceitful to tell her I hope her evening gets better, then immediately call and complain about her. So I prayed for her and let it be. I don't know her story or what could have happened right before that moment.

My 6-year-old was an encouragement to me and an example. And I am thankful. :)

Also, I have written this whole blog post with a sock on my hand.......Just because I know that sounds crazy (and it was really challenging to type!) I am having issues with my skin cracking and splitting open in the worse spots (my entire ring finger and now onto the palm of my hand making it very painful to do things like wash dishes, bend my finger, etc). So, I have a treatment on it, hence the sock to prevent it from getting it everywhere.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Behind the White Dress Part I: Is This "Normal?"

The door slammed shut as he left angry and hurt and I stood crying and hurt once again. This wasn't the first time.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Mom, help!"

My son asks for help a lot....most frequently when I am driving. My answer normally resembles something like "Buddy, mommy can't right now because of......" There are times where I simply tell him no explaining that I know he can do it himself wanting him to have that personal victory (he gets so excited when he does do it himself). But then there are other times where he does need help, I am available, but it is a really non-important task For example, we are in a hurry to get home because the baby is fussy, as I am putting Levi in the car, his flipflop falls off but we are just driving home; he doesn't need it on. But he thinks he NEEDS it on. So "Ah mom!! Help!!" At first I started to say he was fine and it could wait until we got home, then I was convicted. Not that I was sinning in telling him to wait, but that his request was simple and I need to think of the future as well.

Monday, July 13, 2015

But I don't want to go to church

Okay Everyone, maybe I am the only one who feels like this (though I doubt it very much) but Sunday I just was in a plain grouchy mood and did NOT want to go to church.....at all. John wasn't feeling well and Jahs has had a cough so John thought it would be best if Jahs stayed home with him.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What will Thirty See

Ah, thirty years.

Let's start with twenty. Twenty's saw us meet. Twenty's saw us date (though for a while I had no clue). Twenty's saw us marry. Twenty's saw us have not just one child, but three. Twenty's saw you grow as a friend, father, and husband. Twenty's saw mistakes, but more importantly God's grace, love, strength, and sanctification at work.

Twenty's saw us both learn what it means to be married. How love is selfless, hard, active, growing each day, never easy, but oh so worth it. Twenty's saw lots of changes and moves. Twenty saw how awesomely you provide for your family always looking to better our lives even when it isn't easy. Twenty's saw us growing in Christ and Him using marriage to sanctify us (and still sanctifying us each day). Twenty's saw adventures and Mexico's.

But now at thirty you have grown, you love me better than I love you. You help me grow to be a better person. You are an amazing father who is more compassionate and does not assume with your children, giving them and myself the benefit of the doubt, evaluating the situation first before reacting.

You love me even when I make it hard. When I have a poor attitude, when I forget to make you lunches or breakfast, when your laundry doesn't get done, when I want my alone time over filling your love tank. You love me even when I have been too lazy to get out of my gym clothes before you get home. You love me through all of this and are so selfless, always asking how you can help me.

Now at Thirty, you are an example to me of Christ's love for His church. How He loves selflessly, how He sanctifies them. How God loves me. You are an example to our boys of how a father and husband should act, treat their wife and children. You are an example of leadership, striving to be a true leader who doesn't just give orders, but walks along side those he leads.

Thank you for living out such an awesome example for me and the kids.

I love you very much. I cannot wait to see what thirty will see. :)