Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts on the death of Osama Bin Laden

As I watched Obama giving his address to the nation Sunday night I was filled with all kinds of emotions. I had chills all over my body and I was relieved, I was happy, I was sad, I was caught in memories of 9/11, and I was completely confused and overwhelmed. I got on facebook and the amount of status updates on my news feed was ridiculous. As I read through them I began to think about what my status should be. I wasn't feeling the joy everyone else seemed to feel, and I wasn't sure what my reaction should be. The next day I was reading through some Christian responses and I came across one that said this: "Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us." Very true...  And I have something else to add to that. There is no happiness in the death of an unbeliever, and as hard as it is to think this way, God loved Osama Bin Laden, and He wanted a relationship with him. He pursued him just as he did me. Where is the joy in a human being created in God's image rejecting his creator, and as far as we know spending an eternity in hell. Justice has been done, and I know that, that was God's will, but how should I respond to this as a christian? I was reading my Bible Monday afternoon and I decided to read a Proverb and, for no particular reason, I picked Proverbs 21. I now realize that it was in no way random and God had led me to it. This is what I heard...

- Proverbs 21:15-
"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous, but terror to evildoers."
- Proverbs 21:18-
"The wicked become a ransom for the righteous..."
-Proverbs 21:30-
"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord."
-Proverbs 21:31-
"... victory rests with the Lord."

I think my jaw dropped. This is what I needed to hear and after that I felt this peace about it. Justice has been done, God has allowed and ordained it, and the victory rests with Him. 9/11 was a horrible day for America, but there is no wisdom, no insight, and no plan that can ever succeed against the Lord. Victory rests in Him. After reading this I will tell you how I feel. 
I am proud to be an American, I am glad that justice has been done, but  I am even more proud to be on the winning side of every evil battle. I am joyous in the victory that rests with the Lord, and I am thankful for His righteousness.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Come awake!

God has been working on me a lot this past month. He has given me a hunger for Him that excites me! I am eager to read my Bible and it's like a light bulb has gone off and I am suddenly awake to God's word and what it really is. Before now I don't think I understood what spending time with God meant. I prayed often every day, and I tried to do a few different devotionals here and there, but always fell off the band wagon. But now, through some amazing women from my church, and my own desire to be closer to the Lord, I have learned what that means. Praying is not enough, my weekly Bible study, and church on Sunday is not enough, I NEED to read my Bible. I felt a tinge of guilt listening to some women in my small group talk about the importance of reading your Bible. Seeing how much they loved their Bibles and even the way that they held them was touching. That was the day that I felt the hunger. I wanted to be close to God in such a way that my Bible was precious to me. Since then just touching my Bible makes my heart race. I can't wait to see what God is going to teach me today! I love to know that God is molding me into who He wants me to be. It has given me such unspeakable joy...

A few days ago I read Psalm 119. There was no particular reason, I just kinda opened my Bible to that spot and asked God to show me what I needed to hear. This is what I heard:

Seek Him with all your heart
Live according to His Word
Hide His Word in your heart
Do not neglect His Word
Obey His Word
vs. 18 "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law"
vs. 20 "My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times."
Do not stray from His commands
Strengthen me according to your Word
Set my heart free
teach me to follow your will
Give me understanding
You have given me hope
Vs. 57 "You are my portion, O Lord, I have promised to obey your words."
I will not forget your law
I delight in your law
The law from your mouth is precious to me
I have put my hope in you
vs. 76 "May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant."
May my heart be blameless toward you
My soul faints with longing for your salvation
All your commands are trustworthy
vs. 89-90 "Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth and it endures."
Your commands are boundless
How sweet are your words
vs. 105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and light for my path."
vs. 109 "Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law."
Your word is the joy of my heart
You are my refuge and my sheild
vs. 116 "Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed."
I stand in awe of your word
Have mercy on me
Let no sin rule over me
Direct my footsteps according to your word
Deliver me from my suffering
May my lips overflow with praise

What a powerful way for the Lord to tell me again what it is He wants from me. To seek Him, to long for Him, to hide His word in my heart! It makes me want tell the world. To run outside and say "You have got to see this!! Come see what the Lord is doing!"

This song describes how I feel pretty perfectly:

How can I keep from singing your praise
How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love
How can keep from shouting your name
I know I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing

I cannot believe I haven't realized before now the importance of reading my Bible. I thought it was enough to read or memorize verses here and there, to read the passages on Sunday and Wednesday, or to do my Bible study homework, but I was wrong! God will speak to me when I am in His word, and when He does it's amazing. It's like the words jump off the page at you. I have to spend time actually reading my Bible... I mean sitting down and opening it up, and spending TIME in His word. I need it, I long for it, I love every minute of it. It is absolutely insane to me that I have access to this kind of wisdom... That I hold in my hands the word of God. I can walk into a store and buy it for $5, but what is inside this book is a priceless, precious treasure. It's magical to me, it's like a portal to the throne of God, as if opening it up transports me to His side to talk with Him in the most shameless, intimate way. It doesn't take long to feel His love overflow from the pages into my heart... It is amazing how He can reach out and wrap His arms around me from this book. He can fill my heart and soul with Him and my whole outlook and attitude changes. I am suddenly filled with His patience, His love, His generosity, His gentleness. I am a better mother and wife, I am less consumed with the world and more consumed with Him. He has opened my eyes, He has consumed me with longing, He has strengthened me, He has sustained me, He is my portion, He is my comfort, His word is eternal through all generations and it endures!

Today is Good Friday and as we approach Easter Sunday I am moved by my Savior's love for me and by the amazing power of that love. I mean, He died for us!! He was perfect, He had never sinned, yet Jesus was beaten, spit on, cursed at, and nailed to a cross to cover the ugliness of my sin.

I'm forgiven because He was forsaken...

Amazing love how can it be?
That you my King should die for me

Think about it... He died and 3 days later came out of the tomb, Alive! This is what excites me, this is what it is all about!! This new covenant that gave us access to our maker. Jesus' sacrifice allowed us to be forgiven so that God could again look on His creation and smile. We are forgiven, and our sins forgotten... The Holy Spirit inside of me giving me a connection between the ugliness of the world and the perfection of our Lord. Ok this got long quick! haha I am going to end this with one more song that I am loving right now it's called "Christ is Risen" but you can't just read it, you have to hear it! Listen to Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave!

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he's alive! he's alive!

Happy Easter everyone!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Picture Post!

At the Park
Tori has learned to write her name!! (She wrote the bottom one)
Cute little poser
Love that smile
Look at that style
The Best friends and their Snow lady

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today I was thinking about trials. Some trials are super hard, and you have no choice but to go through them. Like the death of a loved one, or financial burdens... but the more I thought about it I realized some trials we choose to go through. Like college, or having babies(they don't call it labor for nothing!), or getting married, or raising your children. On that note I wanted to share what the Bible says about trials... James 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when 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."

or check out the Message paraphrase... always love that version

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."

God has not given me trials that are tragedies. 
My family is whole, my child is healthy, and my life is good. 
God has given me responsibility that I choose to take very seriously.
Raising Tori in a godly way and training her in righteousness.
This responsibility has taught me the true meaning of pure joy in trials.
It is not always easy to raise my child the way that God wants me to
It is definately not easy to discipline her the way God wants me to
It is not easy to be concerned with her heart, instead of her behavior.
This is my trial! This is my struggle.... and seriously, WHAT A JOY!

Somedays I am not positive about this, somedays I'm a mess and I think I've totally ruined my child and I'm a terrible mother. But, I can honestly say that being Tori's Mommy is worth it. Seeing her precious face each day is worth it. Knowing that she is mine, makes me joyful and thankful to the God who gave her to me. I think this is a perfect example of joy in trials. God knows children are difficult. I am not saying that Tori is horrible or that she is a trial in my life that I am just trying to get through. NO!! She is a gift, a precious gift! And this gift God has given to me is a HUGE responsibility. I am responsible for a human life!! I see this as a challenge, because IT'S HARD!! Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying! So, to wrap this up, the challenge of motherhood is pure joy. I pray that I can apply this to other trials in my life, because they are there and it can be so hard to find joy in the midst of suffering.

Being Tori's mommy has taught me so much. Patience, perseverance, unconditional love, joy, confidence, and so much more. God gave me this precious gift to show me His love for me. I am doing my best to be the best mother I can be, and considering each new challenge PURE JOY!! This verse also encourages me to stick with it, because through our trials, our faith grows. God has already used Tori's life to bring me back into His will. Knowing that all of my struggles have a purpose inside of God's will, gives me hope. He's not finished with me yet! If I have to suffer to be mature and complete, so be it. My goal is for my life to please the Lord, so that one day when I stand in front of Him at Heaven's gates He will say to me
"Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How fragile life is...

A friend of mine miscarried at 20 weeks yesterday. She had to be induced to deliver a precious baby boy, who was already in heaven. I cannot even imagine the pain, the heartache, and the absolute horror of such an experience. They have both handled this with such grace and courage and I am in awe of God's presence, and the impact that this sweet little boy has had on so many close to this family. The verse that she posted on her facebook was

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The
 Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Phil 4:4-7

How can anyone have such a joy in Jesus in such a time of sadness... What an example to us on how to go through trials... Rejoice in the Lord always... Life is so fragile, and every life is worth celebrating... Pray for this family as they work through the tragedy of losing a child.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Dorky Confession

I LOVE CRAYONS AND COLORING!!! I have always had crayons and coloring books. 
My favorite coloring books are Disney Princesses, Lisa Frank, Precious Moments, and the most recent... Strawberry Shortcake(Thanks to my cute little girl) A sharp brand new crayon excites me... I had the 120 count pack of crayons... In College... Seriously, I am not kidding at all! I even colored Adam a picture in High School of Sleeping Beauty dancing with Prince Phillip and wrote him a dorky note about how he was my Prince... I'm a dork and I'm proud of it!!!

Now that you know my embarrassing secret let me tell you what I have done with all of those crayons I collected over the years. I did a major clean out and put all the crayons that were still worth coloring with and put them in Tori's art box... With the huge pile leftover, we recycled our old crayons!!  Tori and I had a blast taking the paper off and breaking them into tiny pieces. We put them in a mini muffin pan and melted them in the oven and turned them into, as Tori calls them, Muffin Crayons!

Here's some pictures of our fun day!

The "fun" colors

The "Normal" colors

Aren't they awesome??

It was so much fun!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Best Friends...

Tori loves her friends. This past year I have had the joy of watching her and her very first best friend. Taylor and Tori are double trouble. They play together, and search one another out in a group setting. Sometimes they fight like sisters, but for the most part they really love each other. They dance, laugh, and play and really hate when they have to say goodbye. Tori includes Taylor and her family in her prayers each night, and she asks me often when her "Savorite sriend" is coming to play again. Good thing her Mommy and I get along so well haha. It is such a blessing that Tori gets to experience a friendship like this so early in her life. I pray that this friendship will be one she keeps! They will love to look at their baby pictures together one day! haha. 

2009 was a hard year for me. I felt very alone and I missed the people who I used to have close relationships with, but had lost touch as our lives went different ways. I prayed for a friend often. God answered my prayers with Emily. This is Taylor's Mommy, and I have an equally special relationship with her. She is such a sweet, godly woman who just gets me. She is one of those people who is just irreplaceable and I know I can trust her with every part of who I am. I am so thankful to God for putting these precious girls in our lives.  

"A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, 
blesses you with love, and encourages you with hope."