"Behold, children are a heritage frm the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

I love bringing forth children... and this is my journey in training them for the King

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marks of a True Christian?

Something that's been bothering me... there is a mentality among so many, even in our churches, that retaliation or self defense is a justified reason to hurt someone. The other day someone told Corbin it wasn't OK to hit his brother with a laundry basket, I agree! But they went on further to say, "It is never OK to hit... unless it's self defense." Now, we teach Corbin (and our other children) that hitting is NEVER OK... EVER... even if you want to defend yourself. You can try to get away so you don't get hurt, but you shouldn't desire to hurt someone else, despite what your flesh wants to accomplish.

I understand this concept is not accepted among the majority today, at the least, it's probably "pushed back on" by many Brothers and Sisters of faith. However, I can't help but read time and again in the New Testament Scriptures where the idea of retaliation or self defense is spoken against. So many before us, Peter, Paul, Stephen, Jesus, etc. lived out those Scriptures themselves choosing to neither retaliate or defend themselves by physically harming someone else. How is either mentality justifiable, then, when compared to the Word?

The apostle Paul outlines for the Romans in chapter 12:9-21 the marks of a true Christian. I will be the first to admit, I simply don't exude these qualities on most days, but I should be striving to reflect these marks not just in my actions, but also in my thoughts and attitudes toward others... even non-believers.
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Now that particular passage speaks more to retaliation, but "What about self-defense?" you ask. Well Matthew 26:47-56 gives the account of Jesus' arrest when Judas had betrayed him. The chief priests and elders came to seize him with swords and clubs. When they put their hands on him and seized him, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant. He was trying to defend Jesus from the hurt these men wanted to cause him. But what did Jesus say to Peter in response?

"Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

Jesus then reached out and touched the servant's ear and healed it. Why? Why wasn't He proud of Peter for defending Him? Why did He change the things many of His disciples had been taught through the Old Testament law... 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' or 'love your neighbor and hate your enemy'? Perhaps Jesus was thankful that Peter was willing to stand with Him (I don't honestly know), but the truth is, He had already taught His followers to not seek retaliation and to love their enemies. Jesus himself said this:

"But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you... But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven... For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?" - Matthew 5:38-48 (not all verses written here)

The point is this: If we seek to harm those who harm us, how does that resemble God? He chose to show us love, mercy, grace, and compassion when we were His enemy! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be rejected and abused beyond recognition, to die a horrible death in order to make a way for us, His enemy, to be justified in our sins and reconciled through faith, to be in His presence for all eternity. He could have retaliated and given us what we deserved, He could have defended His name and wiped us all off the face of the earth... again... but He didn't! When we fully grasp how much pardon He extended to us while we were His enemy, we should desire to do the same to our enemies because that would make us the most like our Father.

Can I live out what I'm teaching my children? Can I bear in my body the marks of a true Christian? If I am unwilling to do so, I am merely teaching my children hypocrisy. I must crucify my fleshly desire to defend or retaliate... I must choose to walk in the Spirit as Jesus did, showing mercy and grace to my enemies as my Father did.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Announcing a Mission of Motherhood Book Study

Announcing a Mission of Motherhood Book Study

I said earlier in the week that I wanted to do a book study on this very book with some of you via online methods. Well, what do you know? Sally is hosting one herself... starting NEXT THURSDAY! I'm thinking we can just do the study with her and still link up on Skype for 'face-to-face' discussions. I plan to do this study whether you wanna join right now or not (if you can't join me now, maybe we can do another one in the near future?).

If you're interested, order yourself a copy of the book TODAY. You can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book next Thursday, but you may not get it in time for the first discussion... I don't know. If you wanna link up with me for Skype discussion, let me know so I can add you to my Skype account. Who knows, maybe we can schedule a time for discussion on Saturday mornings or in the evenings and you can slip away to a coffee shop or somewhere quiet so you can have space to think and be free to talk! Oh! I am SOOOOOOOO excited... can you tell?! :-D

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrating Life

Today I'm going to pull some excerpts from Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson because it just so happens to be the book I read just before falling asleep last night. Her words slapped me around a bit before growing weary for rest, but they left a great impact on my heart... my heart for my children and the OBVIOUS bad attitude I've had lately in training/teaching them!

"I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of life - the life he has given me.
But what does it mean to "celebrate life"? Does it mean that I let my house be a wreck so I can enjoy my children, or that I never entertain negative thoughts or attitudes, or that I never discipline my children? Does it mean that I simply overlook the myriad difficulties that inevitably spoil the best days, or that I ignore the burdens I carry as a stay-at-home mom, or that I close my eyes to intractable sins that won't go away?
Of course not! The joy-filled life is not found by diminshing my God-given responsibilities as a woman, wife, and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world. There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept - the tension between ideals and realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where his Holy Spirit empowers, and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy. To celebrate life is simply a choice."
Sally gives two practical exercises to help us learn to "celebrate life".
  • Choose to be thankful
  • Learn to be content 

Paul told the Thessalonians to, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Sally goes on to say:

"When I pout instead of being joyful, grumble instead of praying, or complain instead of giving thanks, I am in effect telling God that he is mishandling my life and I don't care for the way he's doing his job. At that point, I have ceased to put my faith in my sovereign Lord, choosing instead to put my faith in my circumstances. In other words, I am telling God - and myself- that if and when my circumstances change, then and only then can I be happy. Until then, I have nothing to be thankful for. And that, according to Paul, is when I step outside God's will.
My sinful heart might try to counter that it is the lousy circumstances that have forced me to wander outside of God's will, but that's just rationalization; it is my response to my circumstances that moved me out of God's will. That is why God admonishes me to be joyful and to give thanks in all circumstances. When I do that, no matter how bad the situation, I am acknowledging that he is in control. It is an act of faith. I can choose, by faith, to see God's hand within any and every circumstance of my life."
Paul also said in Philippians 4:11, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

"His honest testimony is a forceful reminder to me that contentedness is never a gift or a given, but rather it is a learned condition. If I learn to be content, joy will naturally follow. Like thankfulness, though, I have to choose to be content before I can know joy. It is an act of faith."
"It all comes down to this: Joy is the result of the choices that you make. If you are choosing to be thankful and learning to be content, then you are opening your heart to joy. Joy is not a a supernatural feeling that God pours on you from heaven but a gift of the Holy Spirit that is released by faith (see Galatians 5:22). You don't have to wait for God to give you joy. You simply need to get your self out of the way and let the Spirit fill your heart and mind with his truth. That is exactly what you are doing when you choose to thank God and be content in all circumstances. You are exercising faith, and that faith releases the joy of the Spirit in your life. Only through the Holy Spirit can you truly celebrate life and find the joy God wants you to know."
Today I resolve to be thankful and content... as a wife AND as the mother of three small children! I choose joy! Will you choose joy? Can you find something to be thankful for? Can you be content with the things God has given you rather than wasting time wishing for more? God Almightly is sovereign and always in control, even in difficult circumstances! And for that alone, we should find contentment... being thankful that we have no need to worry. Celebrate life today! Celebrate life EVERYDAY! :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Latest Update on Forney House

I got a call yesterday from our realtor. I was hoping she was going to tell me great news... that all the buyers paperwork was being completed ahead of schedule, and we would be able to close before April 12th.


Not exactly the news I was hoping for. Unfortunately, the buyer has run into a snag retreiving the necessary paperwork for his third-party financing and needs a couple more weeks.

So we are now looking at closing on the house on or before April 26th.

A little disappointed, but I rest in knowing the Lord is still in control and wasn't surprised by this new development! :)

We would appreciate your continued prayers, not only for the close of this house, but also for our next steps in ministry. In case you haven't read my previous posts, we are currently praying about if we should move to Alaska and how to start a global MomHeart group.

Thanks friends!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Joining Hearts Across The Globe

Ok. So... I have been feeling led to do this sort of thing for a couple months now, but in the past couple days, I really feel an urgency in my Spirit to start a MomHeart Group! I don't know what it will look like, and I don't know all the details right this moment. The only thing I know I feel led on, is to open this group up to my mommy friends who are spread out across the country... even the world!

*Deep sigh*

I'm kind of at a loss. I am going to get with my husband for discussion and blessing... and pray -HARD- for guidance. Other than that, I would like to know if anyone of you (whether you consider us 'good friends' or not) who would like to be included in something like this??

My very limited and tenative vision is doing a book study together (I'm thinking of Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson, for starters) and meeting together for discussion, prayer, and encouragement via Skype or something like that. Those details may or may not change... it's just a few ideas I have swimming around in my head.

If you find yourself at the end of your rope most days with your children and need encouragement... please consider joining. If you feel like the Lord has given you much grace in training your children and has been teaching you so much lately, you are bursting at the seems to share it with others... please consider joining. If you are simply going through each day teaching and training your children the way you feel like God would want you to, but you would like to have a network of friends you can laugh, cry, or pray with... please consider joining.

Begin now praying about whether the Lord would have you join a network of other moms so you can encourage and BE encouraged. The enemy wants us to isolate ourselves, as Moms, so he can prey on our thoughts and insecurities. But God designed us for community, fellowship, 'sisterhood'... so don't let the enemy steal the joy such camaraderie can bring to your walk!

Please leave me a comment if you think you might be interested! Bless you all as you mother those precious blessings!! :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making Homemade Yogurt

I learned how to make homemade yogurt from Dwight's Aunt Darlene who lived as a missionary in Haiti for 25 years or so. Today I ran across this recipe from a blog I follow, and figured since it's so close to the recipe I use, I would just post a link to Mary's blog for those who have wondered about making their own yogurt but didn't know where to start... or perhaps you've tried different recipes and everything seems difficult... or maybe you had no idea you could make yogurt on your own but your family loves to eat it, & you're finding the price of store-bought yogurt puts it in the 'luxury item' category rather than on the 'necessity item' list.

Whatever your experience, feel free to check out Mary's very simple recipe here... and be enjoying your homemade yogurt by morning! :)

A Week in Review

The past several days have been a bit busy for us. I have wanted to sit down and write about many things, but time just hasn't been on my side to do so. For the sake of my own memory bank, and those of you who keep tabs on my family through this blog, I am going to do a 'week in review' sort of thingy...

Last week we got a call that Dwight's grandpa passed. He lived in Pennsylvania, so we had to make a quick decision about whether or not to make the drive for the funeral. At the last minute, it was pretty clear to us that, while we wanted to be there to say goodbye, we felt led to stay behind.

A few days later, we got word that there was an 'exciting opportunity' to move to Alaska to become part of a church in Palmer... still praying about God's will for us on that!

Over the weekend we had our sonogram appointment with Tina, our midwife. We found out everything looks great, and the baby is developing wonderfully. We also found out that I'm a little further along than expected, so the sonographer moved my due date up to June 25th (two days before Dwight's 31st birthday)! :)

The scanned sono pics turned out a little smaller than I'd hoped, so in case you can't see them real well, the top photo is a side profile of the baby's face and the bottom is a frontal view of the baby's face (chin pointing toward the bottom right corner) with his/her arm underneath the face... just like a beautiful sleeping baby... Aww! :)
On the way home from the appointment we decided to take advantae of Burger King's St. Paddy's Day promo of free fries with green Heinz ketchup and stopped for lunch. We don't eat out that often, so it was a special treat!! We scored 5 bugers, 5 fries & 3 sodas for only $10... Thank you, Jesus for great sales!
Since we scored such a great deal for lunch, we thought we'd hop on over to Dairy Queen for some dessert. Afterall, they were having a Blizzard special of buy 1 get 1 for only $0.99... :) So we grabbed a couple to share between us!
Later that night, Dwight had an idea for some more family fun...
As a kid, he would create a tent indoors with a sheet and 'camp-in' with his siblings. So, he re-created this make-shift tent in my parents' living room. We all huddled inside (in front of the massive air flow of fans) to watch The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and eat some popcorn. The next morning Dwight and I could barely move for the pain in our backs from sleeping on the floor, but it was worth it to us to make some special memories with our children!!

The weather has been gorgeous here in East Texas, so we've been spending a lot of time outside during the day! The other day Dwight and Corbin made a cross out of some scrap pieces of wood and I snapped this picture yesterday of Corbin and Hayden taking turns carrying it around the yard.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." I'm not sure my children understand this concept to it's fullest, but it makes me happy that they understand that Jesus died on a cross for THEM!

On a side note, I snapped this adorable picture of Elijah while he was playing with Dwight the other day. He loves hats, but only if they belong to someone else. Lol! He is wearing Dwight's hat in this pic.

I am exceedingly grateful for the Lord's blessing of this family! I love them all so very much and LOVE making memories with them... :)

Make a point today to make a special memory with YOUR family!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Seeking Guidance, Praying for Direction... please join us

So once again, it appears the Lord is giving us an opportunity to "go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you." Only this time it's to Alaska. That's quite a journey!

We've been made aware that there is some doctrinal differences in the church we're being ask to go to, yet again. I'm not really sure why the Lord keeps putting us in these situations, but one thing is certain... He's consistant about it! We are, right now, diligently praying for Him to give us clear direction.

As I was reading this morning, I came to Acts chapter 7. "What does the stoning of Stephen have to do with us going to speak Truth, in the face of (what seems to be) opposition, to a church all the way in Alaska?" (You may be asking this, but I was asking God this, too, this morning.)

This is what He showed me through Stephen's speech to the high priest (in the face of opposition):

First of all, how many times did God send someone to proclaim a message that probably wouldn't be received?

Secondly, He is all-powerful! Many times He granted favor to the messenger with those in authority who, in OUR (limited) understanding, should have been completely stopped in their tracks before ever even getting the chance to proclaim the message God had given them.

God oftentimes takes the methods others use to oppose Him and His truth, turns it against them, and as a result brings glory to Himself and the name of Jesus!

  • He gave Joseph favor and wisdom with Pharoah, who, in turn, made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household!
  • He asked Moses to go back to his own people who had already rejected him, and ask the current Pharoah to release all their nation's slaves. You know he was thinking, "Really, God? There's no way Pharoah's going to let his slaves go free... and those people don't even LIKE me!"
  • Even after the Israelites were free from slavery in Egypt, they didn't listen to Moses. They "refused to obey him" and "thrust him aside" desiring to actually turn back to their state of slavery.
  • God sent Jesus into this world to save a people who, knowing beforehand, would reject His message, revile and persecute Him, even crucifying Him for it all... and this was GOD'S PEOPLE... they claimed to love God and the things pertaining to Him. It was a "new message" they were unwilling to accept!
Now, I don't want you to think I'm comparing Dwight or myself to any of the above mentioned people. What I think God is saying to me (to us) is to free my soul (my mind, will and emotions) from their limited understanding, and instead, be led by the Spirit He's made to dwell within me... TRUST just like David did when he fought Goliath, that even when the chances seem bleak, God is on my side... have FAITH just like Joshua did when he approached the 'indestructable' wall of Jericho with a plan that seemed silly, at best, to OBEY, without hesitation, without fear, without even a clear understanding of how it'll all work out!

If we face this opportunity with our Spirit leading the way, and allowing our soul and flesh to FOLLOW behind, we can know (with confidence) that whatever direction the Shephard says to go, we'll be following Him... whether that means move or stay! 

Please join us in praying diligently for the Lord's direction for our family...

Give us clarity and guidance, Lord, as we seek to do your will. We are humbled and honored that You find us worthy to be a part of Your great plan! Your Word says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me." We trust Your plan to be the greatest one for our lives. *sigh* Quiet our souls, in this hour Lord, that we can clearly hear Your voice and follow You into all the world...

Monday, March 12, 2012

What is truth?

"What is truth?"

This was Pilate's question to Jesus (John 18:38), but I believe it's also a relavent question many ask, even today. I wonder if he was asking as a sarcastic response to what Jesus had just told him?
"... For this purpose I have come into the world- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." 
Or perhaps it was a ligitimate question Pilate was asking. If so, why didn't he wait for Jesus to answer?

I thought this was odd when I was reading this morning so I looked up some commentaries to glean other people's perspective on Pilate's quick exit after asking such a poignant question. Now, I understand that commentaries are merely man's opinion, but I can't help but think they had some pretty valid insight. I just wanted to share them with you all in case you, too, have ever asked the question "What is truth?"

Adam Clark explains it like this,

"Among the sages of that time there were many opinions concerning truth; and some had even supposed that it was a thing utterly out of the reach of men. Pilate perhaps might have asked the question in a mocking way; and his not staying to get an answer indicated that he either despaired of getting a satisfactory one, or that he was indifferent about it. This is the case with thousands: they appear desirous of knowing the truth, but have not patience to wait in a proper way to receive an answer to their question."
Matthew Henry had much more to say, but I am only going to quote the part that pertains to this question. What he said was similar to Clark, but he goes into greater depth of the meaning behind Christ's death.
"When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it. By this solemn declaration of Christ's innocence, it appears, that though the Lord Jesus was treated as the worst of evil-doers, he never deserved such treatment. But it unfolds the design of his death; that he died as a Sacrifice for our sins. Pilate was willing to please all sides; and was governed more by worldly wisdom than by the rules of justice. Sin is a robber, yet is foolishly chosen by many rather than Christ, who would truly enrich us. Let us endeavour to make our accusers ashamed as Christ did; and let us beware of crucifying Christ afresh."
Now I have the priviledge of having the Scriptures in full, Pilate did not. I can clearly see that Jesus answered this question himself during his prayer to the Father in the previous chapter.
"Sanctify them in the truth; YOUR WORD IS TRUTH. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." - John 17:17-19 (emphasis mine)
However, even with the Bible being so easily accessible today in America, there are thousands (even those who say they are Christians) who are quick to claim 'truth is relative'. This is a lie from Satan himself! God's Word is the one absolute truth (John 17:17)... it's living and active (Hebrews 4:12)... it's applicable for everything we need (2 Peter 1:3)... it's given by the very mouth of God and equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16).

May we be diligent in our pursuit of Truth! May we persevere as we wade through the murky, fallacy-filled waters of this world! We all have need of endurance because the father of lies is not giving up. He desires to destroy our foundation and kill our soul!
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the BELT OF TRUTH, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the SHIELD OF FAITH, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declair it boldly, as I ought to speak." - Ephesians 6:13-20 (emphasis mine)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Corbin's First Date

Today was supposed to be Mother/Son day with the TrueLife Homeschool Group we're a part of. We had planned to have a miniature golf tournament at Fire Mountain in Tyler, but unfortunately the weather people were predicting a windy, rainy day so it got cancelled.

However, Katie said she would cancel only on one condition with strings!

We had to agree to still do something fun with our sons and snap a picture or two in the process. So that's just what Corbin and I did today.

He had been eagerly anticipating our 'date' for a couple weeks, so right after breakfast, he informed me he was going to go shower and then we could get ready for our big date. It was adorable how he showered, put on some of his nicest clothes and his daddy's cross necklace... all for me! He and Daddy had secretly talked about being the gentleman on the date and how that meant he had some extra special responsibilities like opening the doors for me, leading the prayer over the meal, holding my hand as we walked and so on. He did a fine job, too! :)

Per his request, we had lunch at Burger King, where he donned his crown with pride!

Then he decided we should head on over to Dairy Queen for some ice cream for dessert. I thought that was a wonderful idea considering the commercial I saw the other day for the current blizzard special they're having... buy one get one for $0.99!

He told me he just wanted plain ice cream in a cup (go figure... my vanilla ice cream boy!), but one taste of Momma's oreo blizzard and he quickly changed his mind. "He would save his ice cream for Hayden and we could share the oreo stuff!" Lol

So that's just what we did...

On the way home we saw a near head-on collision right in front of us, so it was a great opportunity to discuss the Good Samaritan. I mentioned how we would've had to stop and help those people and at first he didn't understand why... we didn't know them, afterall. But Jesus said that's how we love our neighbor. We should help those in need with the resources He's blessed us with... even when we don't know them! Jesus was the best example of that concept for us when He walked the earth.

Once I was finished with the story, he quickly added, "Oh! I know that story... it's right after A Snoodle's Tale." Lol! Gotta love VeggieTales... :)

It was a great date with my son... much needed alone time that he and I rarely get together!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Visiting the Forney House and Maternity Shopping with Littles

Yesterday the children and I headed to Forney early in the morning. The buyer's inspection was taking place so we had to have the utilities turned on for it, and apparently someone has to be present to let the techs in for various reasons.

The children were super excited to go to the "Forney House" since neither of them really remembered what it looked like! Their energy and excitement about drove me crazy, but it is what it is... you know? Lol! My mom came to meet me when she got off work, and we planned to go to the maternity store at the mall when we were finished.

As it turns out, we waited around for the gas man until noon for no reason because the gas was already on, but on the bright side, we don't have to pay the full reconnect fee. Praise the Lord!!

So off to the mall we went...

I quickly learned that Corbin isn't a shopper, Hayden can say the most inappropriate things when you are shopping because she doesn't realize those things might embarrass her mother, and Elijah just doesn't like to sit in the stroller. We don't go shopping much so, yes, it's taken me this long to figure all this out. :)

We were in Motherhood all of about 10 minutes (our very first store, mind you) when Corbin begins loudly saying, "Mommy, please don't go take all your clothes off to try that on! I'm ready to go..." Then Hayden busts out equally as loud, "Mommy! You need these panties (maternity panties) because they are SO much looonnnnnggger..." Let me just say that I am thoroughly glad the only lady in that store other than my mom, at the time, was the employee. Luckily, she thought it was cute and just laughed. All the while, Elijah is very unhappy to be in his stroller so Mom rolled him into the dressing room with me. The only problem with that is that they have curtains rather than a door and he continued to pull them aside so he could also see Mimi. Lol! I'm laughing rethinking all these events (although I don't recall laughing at the time). You're probably laughing too... especially if you've ever taken little ones shopping with you!

Before we could get to the check-out counter, Corbin was pleading to leave the "panty store" and Hayden had commenced to see just how the nursing pads fit her.

All this to say, after Mom was finished in JCPenny, I was ready to leave the mall with only two stores under our belt. My children needed a nap and I was ready to take advantage of the hour drive home. Lol!

Whew! What a day... fabulous memories made, though. :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Forney House Update...

What a journey it has been up to this point, but we have finally agreed on a sales price with a buyer for our house in Forney! We should be receiving "official contract" paperwork today to be signed... yay! :)

We are at the tale-end of three months with it on the market, and while we thought we would just prayerfully wait on a buyer, the Lord had a different plan for us. I'm not really sure why I am continually surpirsed that the Lord shows up big in the final hour, but time and again, this seems to be the case for us.

Through waiting, praying, listening, fasting, praying, waiting, and praying... and waiting... and praying (you getting the picture?), God had to bring us to a place where we were content with letting this house go and not taking much away from it, financially speaking. This is fitting considering we convinced ourselves that this house would be a "great investment and allow us to someday sell it, profitting more from this property than we did the last." Apparently that was part of the justification we used to disobey what God really wanted for us.

I admit, God moved us to a better place (spiritually) while we were in Forney! It was a needed transition. We got back involved in a church body after years of being 'homeless', gained much-needed fellowship (outside the church walls), developed a hunger for the Word and His Truth, and made WONDERFUL friendships who, through their growth in the Lord as well, have been faithful to love and cover us in their prayers (Thanks guys! We cherish your friendship and brotherhood more than you know!!)

However, this house was, deep down, a desire for more things 'worldly'... a bigger house, more pristine neighborhood, etc. Oh the joys of chasing the Joneses!! (I hope you can sense my sarcasm.) The pursuit, we found, is exhausting, never-ending, and not as fulfilling as we expected it to be! We chose to sacrifice precious time together as a family so Dwight could work long hours to provide us with this luxury. Praise the Lord, He spoke loudly to our heart-needs! We are forever grateful for His wisdom and pursuit of our attention.

The same day our two-year contract ended with our tenants, some very special friends stopped by the house to lay hands on it, praying for God's miracle to take place. He apparently found them faithful, and in His perfect timing, already had this buyer on his way over to view the house for a second time. That evening he submitted his offer.

Now, about six weeks ago, some buyers submitted an offer pretty comparable to this guy's, but we were not in a content place, spiritually, to accept it. So our gracious Father had to take us on a journey of 'letting go' so we could get to that place. LOL! I can laugh now... but trust me, it didn't always feel like a laughable moment getting there. Faithful obedience isn't always fun, but the joy it reaps on the other side is beyond comparison!

And just when I think we've learned that lesson, God gives us another opportunity to walk in it with confidence in Him... (spoiler) We don't always pass the test the first time around! Living out our faith has been an amazing journey. One of growth, and stretching, and pain, and joy... of abundant adventure, and letting go of ourselves for the sake of Christ... But more than anything? It's one I wouldn't trade for all the things this world can offer us!