Season of waiting

I am not sure Lord what you have me doing right now. I hope that I am correct in seeing the signs you are putting out for me and that I need to be patient and wait this out. I know that your good will come from which ever direction you take us and I am happy and willing to be obedient. I just ask for confirmation Lord as I wait. I praise you and all the blessing you put upon our family. Holy, Holy, Holy are you Lord. Please just give me peace and calm while we wait.

In your blessed name,
Amen

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Faith building obedience

Obedience is usually a word that makes me think of children. Mine, yours, her’s….it doesn’t really matter. Being obedient is something that we usually expect from children. When our children are not obedient then we have consequences for them. In our home when the kids were younger that would mean some time in the corner, or alone in their room along with an apology to the person that was disobeyed and an lesson on how to be obedient the next time. As the kids have gotten older the consequence may change but the expectation of obedience has not.

Do we ever expect our fellow grown ups to be obedient? I didn’t use to think so. It wasn’t until I began to take my relationship with Jesus much more seriously did I realize that I was going to be called to be obedient to Him and that thought rocked my world. I learned that if I prayed I had better expect Him to answer. Once the answer was given I needed to obey it, even if it wasn’t the answer I was hoping for or expecting. Recently this lesson has played out loud and clear in my life.

Many months ago it was laid on my heart by the Lord that I needed to start learning about homeschooling. He put people in my path along the way that were already involved with this form of education. I sought out people in my community, in my church and eventually on the Internet. I realized that this was no longer an abstract way to raise your children but in my state, it was actually a very common practice.

What on earth was I considering!!!???  I was finally a full time, stay at home mom. This was going to be the first year that both of my children were going to be in school all day long. I was about to have most of the days to myself, to do as I wanted. Whether that was work on blog posts, stamp a new card, take a class at the YMCA or have coffee with a girlfriend, my days were going to me about me and what I wanted. Ha Ha Ha!! Who was I kidding…..I should have known that idea was way toooooo good to be true!

Fast forward to this summer when the decision was finally made that this was the path that God was wanting for our family. As much as I had dreamed of having time each day for God and myself I knew in my heart and from all of the signs and ways God shows Himself that this was what I was supposed to do. And when I realized that, acceptance was easy. This wasn’t some half thought out plan. This was God’s Will for my life and I knew I had to obey.

The big day had finally arrived. We were about to begin this new journey! The kids and I finished our morning routine of breakfast, getting dressed and morning chores. We headed upstairs to the school room and were just sitting down to pray and start our day when the phone rang. I had set a rule that no phone, internet or email during school time but before I could utter a word the kids were running for the phone. On the other end was my dear husband. He was calling to give me the news that it was his first year anniversary at his job and he was going to be getting a raise. The amount of the raise he was given was the same amount that I was loosing by leaving my part time job at the school to be home with my kids. While I’d like to say I was shocked the only words I could utter at that moment was ” I knew it!!! I just knew it!!!” “God had this whole entire thing planned out and he just wanted to see if we would trust Him enough to actually obey His will for our life!”  I instantly felt like we had been rewarded for being obedient.

Now I have to admit that this is the first time I can say that we were ever rewarded monetarily for being obedient to God. Actually this will probably be the first, last and only time this will ever happen to us. And that is just fine! To be given such a tangible reward, for it to be something that we can actually see and use to show how trusting God is worth it being a once in a lifetime event.

Do you feel that God has put something on your heart or is calling you to do? Are you listening to Him and are you willing to be obedient? If you don’t, you may miss out on a great reward, a once in a lifetime reward. It may be something that you can share with an unbeliever and use to show that God is alive and well and working in our lives right now. I wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity. I hope that by sharing this story with you, you won’t miss yours.

Blessings,
Jen

A new journey is about to begin

Summer has been a blast this year! We have not taken any fancy trips, visited family far away or have tons of extravagant highlights to share. It has instead been filled with small blessing and large accomplishments.

D Man learned how to ride a 2 wheel bike AND how to swim under water. Miss A went to her first sleep over camp out of state and is no longer afraid of the diving board. Chris has been blessed to have been working for the same company for a year now and I have a renewed love of Stampin’. We have so many things to be grateful for.

Many other families are gearing up to go off to school for another year, we are gearing up to stay home. We have been feeling the calling for many months now and have made the decision to homeschool the kids. I would like to add that it isn’t because of the school we attended or the staff at the school. We love our neighborhood school. The staff have become like family to me. But like so many other places around the country our district has been hit with big cuts and growing needs. I know the kids would be fine, but “fine’ isn’t enough. So, we are going to jump in another leap of faith and go for it.

I am looking forward to writing about our journey here. I don’t know that anyone will ever read it but a year from now, I will enjoy looking back and seeing how the road has been. A few people have told me that the first year is the hardest, and I can see that. But I am so excited to start this next stage in our lives and am ready to work through those battles.

I hope that you will stick around for the ride and cheer us on!

Summer Update

Happy Weekend! How are things going with you? Here they are fast and fabulous. We have accomplished some major milestones in the last month since school has been out. Wait….school has already been out a month? Wow, how time flies.

Mr D. has learned how to ride a 2 wheel bike…..and it only took about an hour. We are so proud of him and he is a bike riding fool. It is so great to see his sense of accomplishment and has been a good life lesson about how we don’t give up and we keep working towards the things we want. He has also become much more comfortable with the water and in just the last 2 days is now holding his breath and going fully under water. This is a HUGE step for him and we are hopeful that he will learn to swim before the summer is over.

Miss A. has also overcome some fears of the water and has learned how to jump into the pool and swim, which then allowed her to practice for her green ribbon test at the Y. She passed with flying colors and made up very proud. Her next goal was to be able to jump off of the diving board. That has taken a bit of time, a ton of faith and courage but we are happy to report that she is now a low dive fool. She is our fish, wanting to be in the pool as much as possible and it is so wonderful to see her achieve these water goals.

In the midst of playdates, time at the park or the YMCA we are doing a bit of school each day, keeping our minds fresh and even learning a few things. Both of the kids are so smart and we enjoy seeing them grow and learn. Just because school is out should not mean that the learning stops. We are getting to the library each week and just found out that a new library is going to be built even closer to our home. We hope that it will be as fun as the library we currently visit.

6 years ago today, I lost my mom, my best friend. I miss her like crazy and am trying to focus on the fun times, the trips and memories we made. Her death has never gotten any easier, I just get more used to it. I am trying to make the effort to not wallow in sadness over the loss. It is what it is and there is nothing I can do. I try to turn to God as much as I can, because I know that this was His plan for her life, and mine I guess. I don’t understand that…the how and why of it all, but I do know that I have to trust Him in all things.

I hope you are having as much fun this summer as we are. I will try and update more often. Maybe even add some pictures. 

Blessings to you and your families!
Jen

Crazy Summer!

Hello!!! I cannot believe summer is just flying by so fast. We have been having so much fun. We have been going to the park, the movies, the library, playing with friends, taking it easy, sleeping in, watching sunsets and loving the freedom we have with summer.

Tonight I reflect on the message of my Pastor last weekend. We have been studying the book of Joshua for about a month now. It is new material for me and I am really trying to find how the lessons that Joshua faced apply to my life now….thousands of years later. Sunday’s message really hit home and it was easy to see how God’s lessons transcend all time, places and people. His message applies to Moses, Joshua and Jen……

God laid something on my heart months and months ago. It is something BIG and scary and it seems like a totally crazy idea. But what I have realized over this Joshua Study is that sometimes God has BIG plans that make no sense but have a larger and greater plan. If we are willing to take the leap of faith and follow them, the reward will be so BIG we won’t even remember what the fear was!

If God is leading you in a direction that just feels crazy…I urge you to stop and LISTEN. God’s direction doesn’t always make sense to the Human mind but HE is so much bigger and more powerful than we can understand. He knows what is best for us….even when it makes no sense!

Being emptied to be filled up again

This morning it occured to me…the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He let me know a little bit of what he has been doing. Why He has been doing all of the wrecking of my heart and the tears for what I thought were no reason and all of the pain and questions of why why why. Today He let me in on His little secret. He is emptying me so that He can fill me back up. He is making me less and less caring of myself and more and more aware of others. Children in poor countries, Women and Men of faith who show them to me. I am seeing that the pain and tears and hurt that I’m feeling aren’t for me or because of my circumstances. It is for them. The lost, the lonely, the sad, the hurt. It’s for my friends who are going through tough times as the man of the family learns a new life from the seat of a wheelchair. The words of a friend whose heart is burdened by the troubled marriages around her. I see this pain and I am taking it all in, making it a part of my world so that I can SEE it and instead of sitting on the side watching it go by, it moves me to action.
I have a feeling this is only the beginning of this being wrecked part. And that is OK. A while back, I don’t remember when exactly, but I asked God to change my heart. Help me be more like Him. Help me be the woman He created for me to be when He knit me in my mothers womb. I see now that is exactly what He is doing. This fall I asked Him to speak to me as I was working through Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God bible study. This winter He gave me a life situation that I cannot imagine happening to my family but I am a part of and am so blessed because of it. God is speaking to me loud and clear. He is wrecking me to fill me up with Him. The only thing I can think to say is Thank You. You are giving me exactly what I want, even though it is hard. Thank you for having so much faith in me.

Wreckin’

God is wreckin’ my heart every single day. I don’t know yet what it is for, or how He plans to use me once He is done with me. But I can tell you this! Each day, as I go through life, read blogs of faith and encouragement, talk to my girlfriends, go to work, go to church, be a mom and wife, life a life of faith as much as I can – I see that God is doing a number on my heart and soul…and I welcome it! I am not sure why I felt led to even Blog. I think there might be 1 or 2 people that read it. And if not that is OK. I do it for me. Or more for Him. Right now it isn’t any big thing. Maybe it never will be. But maybe someday, in some way there will be some other 30-something woman who is trying to find her way in a new place, with a new faith and she reads something here that makes her realize she is not the only one that felt that way. Then, it will be worth it.
Or maybe 20 years from now my kids look back at this and see how much I was trying to life faith out loud, change my heart and my ways so that they would learn to love Him first and follow Him more than anything else. If my kids turn out that way, then it’s worth it.
And if no one ever reads, replies or posts God knows. He sees….this is me, living my faith outloud. Sharing my journey of how He is changing my heart and my ways. As long as I glorify Him then nothing else matters.

Some Great Faith Blogs

I have had a rough few days but think I’m feeling a tad better. I have spent way too many hours the past year reading other people’s blogs. But along the way I have found a few that really move me. I have them also listed in my blog roll but thought I would put them front and center here today. In no particular order, they are

Hester’s Heart
Shaun Groves
We are THAT Family
Jonesbones5
The Gypsy Mama
Lysa TerKeurst

I also have a few others that I’ve only recently found but don’t follow them on a regular basis yet. Since these are probably all pretty well known, do you have others that you visit that I am missing? I would love to hear about them. Please leave me a comment with a link so that I can visit them. Or maybe it’s your own blog that is faith building – that counts too! Just be sure to let me know about it. I am starting to learn how to use Google Reader which I think will cut down on the amount of time I spend in front of the screen reading each day. That is probably a good thing!

I hope you are having a great weekend!
Hugs!

Jen

Feeling Wrecked

I’m sure you have had one of those days where you just feel like a train wreck? Well, that is me today. I am not sure why. I’ve been down and blue for a few days now. Maybe a week actually. I have spent a lot of time in my bible, in prayer and the one answer I keep getting is “Just wait, this will pass.” I think God is wrecking me on purpose. For His purpose. Something bigger, something greater.

I’ve been feeling like something bigger is coming. The good season has been upon us for a short while now and I know it won’t last. It never does. And that is fine. With each dry season I get closer to my Lord. I hear him best when it’s barren. Maybe it’s Satan attacking me and getting the upper hand. I did feel that way about 4-5 days ago. But today is different. Today I feel like an emotional wreck but it’s God doing it and it’s for His purpose.

So I will wait. Be patient. Be still and know that in His perfect time this will all make sense. In the mean time, would you pray for me. Pray that I can sit through this being obedient and faithful. That I can use this train wreck to reach or teach someone else.