I don't need one more thing to have to remember...even if I forget everything else I'll still be able to blog!
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
College is coming, mom...
My daughter and I were talking about college yesterday and she said, "Mom, this is going to be a tough year for you with my brother (not wanting to use names) and me graduating." I'm not sure I agree -- at least I hope and pray it's not! I think it may be one of the most rewarding. Why? Because we've worked hard for this moment, to gently push them out of the nest and watch them fly! I don't doubt for a moment that they will soar like eagles! God has been gracious and they are wonderful children. They make good choices and they strive to live for Christ. I couldn't be more proud of them, and daily I thank God for giving them the strength to live for Him!
I'm sure it's not always easy, but it's definitely rewarding to grow in Christ and rejoice in the moments of being obedient to the Lord's calling. I think of the scripture where Paul says, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (James 4:12)
This was a lady who was such an inspiration to everyone who knew her. She died at the end of last year, after battling cancer for many years. She is in heaven now, walking the streets of gold with Jesus (imagine her worship service on Easter Sunday!), but I think about her at least once a week it seems. I pray that I can be just like her should I ever be diagnosed with cancer. She always thought of others first, no matter how bad she felt. She loved life! She lived to glorify God and it was evident every time I was with her. She was a good friend to many people. In fact, my mom and her were very close friends for many. many years...something I've found to be extremely rare these days.
It's fun to blog from other people's computers and look at their photo's (and even borrow a few)! It's especially cool when you can sit out by the lake and blog!
Thanks, mom, for the memories! I love you!
To my family - look how little our kids are in this picture!
God is good!
This is a picture of my parents, on a wonderful day for my family...the day my parents renewed their wedding vows (June 24, 2000) after being seperated for 18 months. I am sitting on the back porch of their newly built home on the lake as I write. We were chatting about our son, and their grandson, graduating soon. (They just read my blog from last night.) I'm so thankful I have both my parents together, to celebrate all these wonderful family moments together! Isn't love beautiful! (My mom says, "And it just keeps getting better!")
Look at that smile...
This has to be one of my favorite pictures of my oldest son (on the left), with his cousin and best friend. On May 27th, both will graduate from high school. I'm still waiting for it to really hit me that my first-born is graduating, and moving off to college in just a few short months. It's so weird that we can be happy and sad at the same time. This is definitely one of those times. Happy because he has made it through 12 years of school, and yet sad that he'll be off to college soon and not around as much. One of the things I already think about is how much I will miss him being at church with us every Sunday, worshipping with us (tears are streaming down my face as I write this). I imagine myself looking down from leading worship and thinking, "where is Karl?" Some of the other things that come to mind right now that I will miss is hearing him play his guitar almost every night, him asking for a haircut (except I won't miss being asked to do it when I'm ready to go to bed), long talks about his future or about life here and now, hearing him give advice that sounds so "grown up", listening to him laugh about the goofiest things with his friends, telling me about something funny someone did and hearing him laugh about it-- I love his laugh! Or, telling me about how he shared his faith in class. I'll miss opening his door to tell him good-night and seeing him reading his bible. I'll miss the way he starts to put his arm around me then throws in a little head-lock (not tight - just loving that I am shorter than him and fit there perfectly). I may even miss telling him to clean his room - nah! Well, maybe. But, one thing is for certain, he's in good hands (God's hands) and I couldn't ask for a more wonderful son. I pray college is a wonderful experience for him. He's a very special gift from God and I can't wait to see what God has in store for him.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
There's just something about staying up late at night, all by yourself, sometimes. I think God knows the nights when we just need that time to reflect, do a little housework, take time for ourselves, whatever...
This was one of those nights and I've just been enjoying time to listen to praise music, talk to the Lord, and fold laundry. Until now, that is! Now I just feel like taking the time to write for a while.
This week has been a bit different for me as I decided I would really focus more than ever before on remembering all that Christ did for me, what it was like for Him to give up His life, and what it must have been like to be hung on a cross, beaten and mocked, not for His own sin because He was perfect, but for ours. His love is so amazing to me. I thought about the fact that He could have come down off that cross, but He chose to stay and die a horrible death so that we could have eternal life. Why do we sometimes doubt how much He truly loves us? Why do we sometimes forget that we are a child of the King? Why do we sometimes have trouble forgiving those who wrong us when we've been forgiven for all we've done? Why do we sometimes forget to praise Him for all He does in our lives, or for just the fact alone that He died for us? So many things I ask myself...
I've always loved Easter morning and celebrating His resurrection, but I believe this year will mean even more to me as I've grown closer to the Lord and really taken the time to hear his voice and reflect more deeply on what He did for me. I pray I will never take His love for granted, or become complacent. I want my life to glorify Him in all I say and do, because He is worthy! Worthy of so much more than I can give, but that is what He desires...my love and devotion.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Thank you, Lord
For new life, found only in You.
For eternal life, that comes from placing my faith in You.
For dieing on the cross for my sin. You did not deserve to die for my sin.
For loving me, despite my sin.
For giving me a full and meaningful life.
For caring for me.
For creation, that cries out Your name.
For tears, that express pain, sadness, joy, worship, a repentant heart.
For joy, that nothing on this earth can take away because You give it.
For trials, that make me stronger.
For peace, that only You can give.
For worship, that allows me to express my love for You.
For music, that allows me to express to You in song what I can't find the words to say.
For heaven. I can't wait to worship You for all eternity and be face to face with my Savior.
For Your word, that teaches me, convicts me, brings peace to my heart.
For Your Holy Spirit, who guides me.
For my husband, who loves me all the time and is my very best friend.
For my children, who remind me daily of why it is I love being a mom, who make me smile as I watch them grow, both physically and spiritually.
For my parents, who are so special to me. Thank you, Lord, for restoring their marriage.
For my family as a whole, who are a blessing in my life.
For friends, past and present, who share their life with me.
For my church, that allows me to join with other believers in worship and serve You.
For my job, that provides for my family.
For a home, where we as a family can come together and love on each other.
For everything You allow me to experience in life that reminds me that I am alive!
Friday, April 07, 2006
Basking in His presence
Tonight as I was worshipping the Lord, I had this vision in my mind of him on the cross, arms outstretched, me standing at the foot of the cross, and him looking down at me telling me how much he loved me, telling me that he died for me and me crying out to him telling him I was so sorry for my sin that put him there. Then I thanked him and he smiled. It seemed for a moment to be so real...wait a minute...it was real! He did die for me, and he does tell me how much he loves me and that he died for me, and I was crying out to him and thanking him for loving me despite my sin and for paying the price for my sin. There is nothing in all the earth that compares to knowing Jesus. What an awesome time I had basking in his presence!
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
If I AM is sending you, there is nothing to fear
God reminded me of who He is in my life - the one who set me free from my sin, the one who challenges me to live for Him, the one who calls me to share my faith and help set others free from the slavery of sin. Do you ever get this feeling that God is asking you to do something for Him, yet, much like Moses, you question Him (or make excuses) over and over again? While reading Exodus 3, verses 12-14 jumped off the pages..."But Moses said to God, 'Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?' And God said, 'I will be with you..." Later on God says, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you."
Why do we sometimes fear what God is telling us to do? Why do we need so many confirmations to believe Him? I know in my own life there are times when I think I just need one more sign and then I'll be obedient, when it would be so much easier to just trust Him immediately! How many times have we missed the opportunity to lead someone to Christ because we were more afraid of what they would think of us, than that they are dieing and going to hell? God promises that He is with us! We have the Creator of the Universe holding our hand, and leading us to the promise land, but along the way I am certain he would have us grab everyone we can and take them with us. Don't miss that opportunity today! Remember, I AM has sent you, and will be with you!