Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I recently came across a book at the blog "The Time-Warp Wife". I fell in love with her blog immediately. She was a definite kindred spirit! (Thank you, Anne Shirley for that phrase!!) So when I had a chance to get a copy of her ebook for FREE, I snagged it up immediately.

I was in the middle of reading another book so I didn't read it right away. I finally started it last night, and let me tell you, I wish I had done so sooner! It has already changed my life, and I haven't even finished it yet! 

One of her points really stood out to me. It was about changing the way we think. I felt like God was speaking to me through that. Then, this morning, the verse of the day in my Bible app was Romans 12:2. It says, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Emphasis added.)

God confirmed to me, this morning, through His Word that it truly was Him speaking to me through the book last night.

Like I said, I haven't finished the book. However, I'm recommending it anyway. It is written for wives - stay-at-home, work-at-home, go-to-work - but I think it could be helpful for those who even WANT to be wives. It's better to learn this stuff now than to wait and learn it after it should already be being put into practice! It is called "The Good Wife's Guide". It is written by Darlene Schacht. It is not still free, but the eBook is only $2.99. You can get it in print through Amazon, but it is a little more costly. 

Here is the link:

Sunday, August 25, 2013


My Sweet Jennifer,

I don't know if it is because I'm paying closer attention or because your personality is coming out more and more, but I'm finding myself learning a lot of things about you recently.

The first thing has been noticed by everyone who has met you. It's no new revelation to me. Your Aunt Chelle calls you the happiest non-compliant child she's ever met! Even when you're disobeying, you are always happy. You smile through your tears! Your joy is contagious. Your smile is a ray of sunshine in the midst of the dark clouds of life. Your laughter rings out through the thickness, the heaviness of the air on a rough day. You have been given a gift in this. You see the positive in every situation. Your cheeriness causes even the grumpiest of people to smile - I've experienced it firsthand! Proverbs 17 teaches that a cheerful heart is good medicine. It's good for you and for those around you. I pray that no matter what hardships you face in your lifetime, no matter what trials, no matter what struggles you walk through, you won't allow your heart to become hardened. Keep laughing sweetie. Keep your joy. Keep being an infectious ray of sunshine. BUT remember that your joy, true joy, can only come from one place. It's a "Fruit of the Spirit". So, in the midst of those trials, run to Him, and you'll keep that fruit.

I'm learning also that you are terribly OCD! You are a perfectionist to the very core of your being. You come by this honestly so I'm preaching to myself here as well! Being a perfectionist can be a good thing. You'll probably always be neat and organized. You'll be on time and always meet your deadlines. Everything will have a place, and everything will always be in its place. These are not bad things. In fact, they'll most likely make your life easier. Being a perfectionist can be a negative thing too. Don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake - sin. Repent, and turn back to Him who died for your soul, but don't hate yourself. Give yourself and others a little grace. I'm not saying you should let others walk all over you, but realize that no one is perfect. Everyone messes up now and then. Learn to let it go instead of becoming bitter. Oh, and it's okay if your bed isn't perfectly made up while you're sleeping in it! Learn this now at age 2 you'll save yourself a lot of heartache!!! :-)

This letter is already longer than it was when I was writing in my head, but I have one more thing before I end. It's okay to be stubborn. That trait will help you hold fast to your beliefs and convictions. You'll be be like a tree firmly planted along a riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water (Jeremiah 17:8). You won't be easily swayed. You'll be more likely to stay on course. It can be a bad thing too though. When you do get off course, it'll be harder for you to be convinced of the error of your ways. Be teachable sweetheart. Learn to listen to correction and criticism. Find godly people that love you and that you trust, and accept their advice.

I love you very much precious girl. You mean the world to me. We've had personality clashes before, and there have been times when I didn't feel suited to raise you because I didn't understand you. I still don't. However, God entrusted you to me. So I am committing to seeking His face and His guidance each and every day for direction on how to be the mother and leader you need. 

Keep smiling baby girl. Keep laughing. Let God shine through you.

Love, Mommy

Friday, August 23, 2013


To My Precious Son,

I waited and waited for you. Three pregnancies came and went, and each time, another precious girl was placed in my arms. I love them more than life itself, and I would do anything to protect them. I wouldn't trade them for the world. But my heart was yearning for a son.

I wanted a sweet baby boy. I ached for the doctor to place you in my arms. Finally, the fourth time around, it happened! I was ecstatic!

Having a little boy was different from the vey beginning. For a mommy who gets her boy first, the difference may not be so obvious once they have a little girl. But after having three little girls, the emotional attachment of having a little boy is glaringly different. You touched my heart in ways your sisters couldn't. You won't understand this until you're a parent. I barely understand it myself. I definitely have trouble putting it into words. It's not that I love you more than your sisters. I simply love you differently. You're my son. 

Since that first moment when the doctor placed you in my arms, I've done everything I can to protect you. Physically. I have changed your diaper. I have fed you. I have dressed you (or undressed you based on the crazy Texas weather!!). I've taken you to the doctor. I've made sure you've gotten your shots. (Though there are those that would say that I'm not caring for you by doing that!) I have held you. I've comforted you. I've wiped your tears away. I have cared for you to the best of my ability.

As the days slowly, yet oh so swiftly, passed by, I came to realize that while there is definitely an emotional difference, there are other differences as well. 

I realized that, like every other person on the planet, you were born with a sin nature. You are going to sin at some point in your life. There are no two ways about it. It's going to happen. However, again like every other human, when you were born, your mind was a blank slate. There was nothing there. It was perfectly pure and innocent. Your eyes had never seen anything inappropriate. Your ears had never heard words they shouldn't have. 

And it is my job to make sure that everything you're exposed to helps keep it that way. Dear God, please help me!!

Now, we live in a sinful world. You are going to be exposed to ungodly things simply by going outside. Truthfully, with the bad attitudes your sisters and I can muster up, you're going to be exposed to it in your own home. I know I can't shelter you from every negative thing. It would be naive of me to think otherwise. I can do my part though to keep you innocent as long as possible. 

When your uncle was a little boy, his uncles took him out and showed him pornography. When he came home crying, they told your grandparents, "He's gonna see it eventually". (To say that your grandparents were not pleased is a drastic understatement!!!!)

Sure, you'll see "it" eventually. It is my job to do everything necessary to make sure that "eventually" takes place on your wedding night.

So, I'm vowing, here and now, to do everything in my power to help you reach that goal; to help you stay on that course; to help you uphold that standard; to keep your purity - not for the sake of the girls you date, but for YOU! For YOUR relationship with God. (Yes, I care about those girls, but it is just as wrong for you as it is for them. Purity is not just for girls. It's for men too. And it's manly.)

I said I'll do anything to help you, and I mean that. If that means not having Internet in the house, we'll get rid of it. If that means we never turn on the TV, so be it. If that means you need me to go on your dates with you, I'll be happy to assist you! :-) Whatever you need, I will gladly pour my heart and soul into helping. 

Until you are old enough to know what you need, I WILL be making those decisions for you. I know you're only 5 months old. You don't even know what a girl is! That doesn't matter to me. I'm already working to keep your mind sweet and innocent for as long as possible. 

Sometimes your sisters and I would watch "girl" movies - movies where the girls may not have been dressed as appropriately as they should - when daddy wasn't home to see it. No more. We've gotten rid of some stuff already. If I don't want it in your mind at 5 years or 15 years, I don't want it in your mind at 5 months. And neither does God.

Since we all know that females wear underwear and bras, I'm gonna throw this out there. I'll NEVER take you to that section of any store. Your 3 year old sister comments on how immodest the models are. You don't need to see that. I don't buy your dad's, and he doesn't buy mine. You won't go with me to buy even your sister's - unless of course they're still young enough that there are no models on the packaging. 

Your mind and your purity are mine to protect, and I will take my job seriously at ALL costs. I love you my precious son. You changed my life in ways I didn't even know were possible. I'm so thankful to God for giving you to me. 

You're not our oldest so there will be lessons I've already learned by the time you walk those pathways. You're (most likely) not going to be our youngest so there will be others who benefit from the mistakes we make with you. You are our first boy though. We're learning what it means to raise a son. I will make mistakes and use poor judgment at times, but I'm going to strive and struggle and sweat and run this race with endurance to keep this promise I'm making to you. I'm not keeping it alone though. I'm waking up each morning, begging God, pleading with Him to give me wisdom in raising you to be a pure and godly man.

One day, you'll be that godly man, and I'll continue to pray for you to make wise choices. But you'll be praying for yourself as well. How do I know this? I have a promise from God in Proverbs 22:6. I'm claiming this verse from God. I'm going to do my part, and I KNOW He will do His.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." 

I love you my precious CJ. 

Love, Mommy

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Curve Ball

Sometimes when bad things happen, we console ourselves by saying that God didn't make it happen; that it's just because we live in a fallen sinful world. While God is always in control and must always give permission before things can happen, I believe this way of thinking is partially true. 

Psalm 139:16 says, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, "For I know the plans I have for you."

Sometimes life throws us curve balls. It seems like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong. 

The truth is, it's not life. It's God. You see, God has character traits He was to build up in us, values He wants the world to see in our lives, lessons He wants us to learn. And sometimes He has to send situations into our lives to accomplish that will in us. 

Recently, "life" threw some curve balls our way. I was frustrated and angry and overwhelmed. I told my grandma, only half jokingly, that sometimes I wish God would just write on the wall what He is trying to teach me. I'm willing to learn. I just want to know what it is. I knew there was a lesson for me in these things. I simply couldn't figure out what it was. 

Then, in the middle of our conversation, God spoke directly to me. I heard the words "learn from me", and I recognized them from Matthew 11:29.

Okay, God. What do you want me to learn? I quickly realized that He was pointing me to Scripture. He led me straight to the lesson. I didn't have to do any digging. He basically answered the request I had uttered to my grandma. He wrote it down for me. What is He wanting me to learn?

I'll let James tell you like he told me:
James 1:2-4
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Paul says it this way:
Romans 5:3
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation."

1.) God wants me to learn to have joy in spite of, and rejoice in the midst of, my trials because He is using them to develop me into a woman who reflects His image. That right there should be reason enough. He cares enough about me to let me face difficulties just so I can reflect Him. He loves me enough to walk me through hard times simply so others see Him in me, and so my life brings Him glory. 

2.) PERSEVERANCE is defined (www.dictionary.com) as "steady persistence in a course of action . . . in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement" and ENDURANCE is defined as "the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions". What is the "course of action"? Following God and reflecting Him to a lost and dying world with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength - with the way I respond to these trials. Galatians 6:9 says, "So let's not get tired of doing good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up."

3.) What is this "harvest of blessing"? Maturity. Completeness. Lacking nothing.  Paul says "let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1b) One day, these trials will make sense. One day they won't matter. Face them with joy and endurance and don't give up. The blessing is worth the struggle.

4.) Hebrews 12:28, "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe." No matter the trial, worship Him!

5.) He will give rest for our souls. In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

Hebrews 12:12 - "So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees."

Monday, August 12, 2013


To say that this month has been stressful is quite an understatement.

• Chase has applied for a higher position within the company he is currently working for. We have heard nothing about it. 

• I have been getting about 4 hours of sleep on average every night due to kids with bad dreams or bad attitudes (refusing to give in to sleep and standing in their bed screaming angrily because they don't know how to get out!)!

• Our 18 month old snuck into our room and got my glasses off the nightstand and broke off the ear piece completely.

• The washing machine overflowed. It took 13 towels and 3 twin size quilts (hey, ya use what ya have!) to get it dried up.

• I suffered from a headache for over 24 hours in spite of taking medicine.

• The water heater in our apartment broke. Actually, it didn't just break. The bottom of it completely rusted away and the water came gushing into our kitchen and living room. 

• Due to not having water overnight while waiting for the water heater to be replaced, we had to stay with a cousin. On the way there, I accidentally grabbed my necklace as I was adjusting the seatbelt and completely snapped the chain in half. 

I'm frustrated. I'm overwhelmed. I want to just quit. I want to go lay in bed with the blanket over my head. Not from depression. Just from fear of what's gonna happen next. However, with an infant, a toddler, and 2 preschoolers, that's not an option!

As I sat in the backyard at my cousin's house, watching my older two daughters run and play and conquer their fears on the slide, watching my youngest daughter tramp through the grass wearing nothing but a diaper and trailing her blanket behind her, listening to the thunder sound forth from a dry sky, I was overwhelmed and fatigued. I felt like I couldn't face another day. Then suddenly, a beautiful sight appeared before my eyes.

After the flood, God promised Noah that He would NEVER flood the entire earth again. He didn't say that parts of the earth wouldn't experience flooding, but that the entire earth would not face that punishment again. Then He put the rainbow in the sky as a sign of His promise so that when we see it we'll know that God is keeping His promise. Watching my daughters in awe over seeing a rainbow for the first time, reminded me of the splendor of such a sight. It was as if God was telling me, "you're experiencing flooding - literal and figurative - in your life right now, but it's only in areas. Your entire world is not going to come crashing down because of these floods. You will not drown in these waters that feel like they are overtaking you. I am with you. This rainbow is a sign of my promise to you that you will not drown in these waters." Oh how that sight spoke to my heart.

That should have been enough. That was enough. Then God blessed me with another beautiful sight, as though He wanted to confirm to me that He is still in control and that He truly was speaking to me through the rainbow. As I moved from my sitting position in the grass and began pushing my older two daughters on the swings, this picture from heaven appeared before my eyes.

Elizabeth said, "Look Momma! The clouds are moving so God can come through! God is coming! Hi, God!" He used my little girl's awe of His painting in the sky to confirm His promise to me and  to remind me that He is awesome and powerful. He reminded my weary brain that, no matter the circumstances, He is in control of all. Though I don't understand it, His way is perfect. 

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says The Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

The reason these things are happening all at the same time, make no sense to me. In my human-ness, I cannot understand how this all "works together for my good". I don't understand, but I don't have to.

Thank you, God, for using your marvelous handiwork to remind me that you are powerful and in control of all! Thank you for reminding me of your majesty and glory!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Intense Longing

David's adoration for the laws and regulations and commands of God fills Psalm 119. It's as though he can't get enough of God's statutes. 

In Psalm 42:1-2 he proves this to be true. "As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?"

I started thinking about my own life. Do I have this kind of passion? this thirst? 

I have 4 kids, 3 and under, and finding time to devour Scripture is difficult. But is it really all that difficult? Or am I just using my kids as an excuse to avoid sitting down and spending time learning how I should be living? The truth is, if I'm passionate about something, I find a way to spend time doing it. I will make it fit into my life, even if it means staying up until all hours of the night . . . or morning!!!

Oh God, that I would have an unquenchable thirst for You and Your Word. Oh, that I would have a hungering to know You more and follow You with every part of my being.

My reading of Psalm 119 brought me to verse 136 - "Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey your instructions."

I'm sure that David had tears for the "salvation" of those who rejected God, that they would come to know Him in a real and personal way. However, in the context of this particular verse, his "rivers of tears" were for the forgotten, disobeyed instructions. 

David knows a profound truth, that I would do good to learn. The laws and regulations and commands of God are life-giving waters. They draw us closer to the One for whom our soul cries out. They lead us to the One we were created to need and whom, without, life has no meaning or purpose. They show what brings pleasure and glory and honor to the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords, the Ruler of all rulers.

Oh, that I would have such a passion for God's Word that "rivers of tears gush" from my eyes when it see it disobeyed or when I disobey it myself. 

Give me a thirst, oh God. Give me a hunger. Give me a deep, deep need, like the one David had. Not just a love for and desire to obey them, but an intense longing like I've never known.