Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Teaching My Children....HELP!

God has not blessed me with the gift of teaching... especially when it comes to teaching children.  I think it is so important to share my faith with my children, to teach them about God's love, and teach them their need for Salvation.  However I am really struggling with it.  I have such a hard time articulating these things in a way that they can understand.  Just the other day I was talking about Jesus, salvation, and heaven with Kyle and after our conversation he decided he didn't want to get saved because he didn't want to have to die and go to heaven and have to leave his mommy.     If it weren't such a serious important thing I would chuckle at his response, but instead it makes me very anxious that he's not understanding it. 

Every other mother I know seems to have these things completely under control, or at least that is the impression I get when I talk to them or read their blog.  Am I the only one who struggles with this?    Do any of you moms who do have this figured out have any helpful advice?  Do you have any good books to recommend,or online sites that are particularly helpful to you that would assist me as I try to 'translate' these important things to my children?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kid Stuff

This morning Caleb came out of the bedroom sporting a pair of Kyle's underwear on his head.   Knowing Kyle's tendency to not get all of his dirty clothes in the laundry hamper I thought to myself, I wonder if those are clean?  So I called Caleb over, pulled them off his little head, and smelled them to make sure they weren't dirty.  Satisfied that they smelled like clean laundry, I placed them back on Caleb's head and said to my little bugger, "It's fine with me if you want to wear underwear on your head as long as they are clean underwear."

A few minutes later I found myself chuckling over what I'd just done. Some days I am quite amazed at the bizarre behavior that seems to come with the territory of being a mom.

Yesterday Tom and I took the kids to get their pictures taken.  I am very pleased with the results!  The kids behaved so well.  I do think it was their best behavior in a portrait session to date.  I won't show all the pictures here right now, but I wanted to show these two pictures. I just thought they were so funny!  It was the progression of peekaboo...

By the way, their adorable Easter outfits were gifts from their Grandma & Great-Aunt Laurel!   If you read this... Thank You!!! And thank you, God, for the nice weather in the forecast for Easter so I don't have to feel too guilty about dressing my boys in shorts in the beginning of April!

Monday, March 29, 2010

God Thinks of Me!

I think it is just amazing and wonderful when I can look back over a series of events in my life and see how God has orchestrated them for a certain purpose.  This happened just within the last few weeks when God brought along certain changes which led to me being unexpectedly plopped into a new study at my church.  The book we are studying is called  "When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances".   Carol Kent tells the story of her unthinkable circumstance and how the grace of God sustained her and strengthened her faith.  

I have been through my own personal unthinkable circumstance this past year with my liver transplant.  In many ways it will never truly be over.  There is not a day that goes by without thinking about this wonderful gift that makes life so uncertain. Every twinge I feel I wonder if something is going wrong, if my body is trying to fight the very thing that is allowing me to live.  I am over the initial shock, but there is still  a battle with fear, and trust, and faith that I fight daily.  Because the circumstance surrounding this fight is out of my control, it has sent me to my knees and I have experienced such a strengthening of my faith, and trust in the One who saved me. 

My experience and Carol Kent's experience are totally different, yet the things she writes could have come from my very own heart.  I feel as though this book was written with me in mind.  The topics we have read and talked about within our group have blessed me, encouraged me, comforted me, and pushed me further into the embrace of my sweet Heavenly Father.

I am so blessed to know that God is thinking of me... He knows the deepest struggles of my heart better than even I do, and He knows that I need this study.  Wow! He's got the whole world to think about, yet he takes the time to think of little unimportant housewife Melissa.  I mean, WOW!!!!  God thinks I am worthwhile!  There is nothing that fights my insecurities better than experiencing my Father's love!

And right now I am feeling completely overwhelmed by it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Storing Up Treasures... Me? Nah....

 A neighbor of mine came over recently and asked to borrow my hand mixer.  I only have one mixer...a little mixer which we received as a wedding gift.  I barely use it, I don't even really like it, but I had a very hard time handing it if I wouldn't be able to get by without it {rolling eyes at myself}.  Oh, I let her borrow it, and even acted very sweetly toward her, but my heart sure wasn't in it.  Last week I read these verses in my devotional time, and God reminded me of how grudging I can be with my possessions.

Proverbs 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor,  "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—when you now have it with you.

Then last Sunday in our Adult Bible Fellowship we discussed the use of worldly wealth, and the folly of hoarding it and/or making worldly wealth and possessions our idols.
James 4:17 through James 5:1-6  Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.  Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Yesterday I read an article on yahoo about the average middle class family.  I realized that although my little family is far below middle class by American standards, I am so rich and so blessed!  God has done that for me!  Love, contentment, satisfaction, joy!  These aren't based on the wealth of this world, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father who is giving me abundant life... and by the way, who also happens to own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10). 

On to the events of today and those leading up to it...

Over the past 6 months we've had problems with our 'good' vehicle.  To the point that we had to take it off the road and stop running it.  Unfortunately Tom tried to fix it before Christmas, but the problem was bigger than what he had originally thought. At that time we didn't have the money to repair the bigger problem.  We did the only thing we could.  We had to let the truck sit while we waited until God would provide the money for us to fix the rest of the problem.  About 6 weeks ago Tom sold a little junky Toyota 4 cylinder pick-up for 700.00.  This was the money we were going to use to fix our truck, and oh how I prayed that it would be fixed within that 700 dollar budget.  We took it to the shop of a friend of ours.  He 'diagnosed' what he thought was the bigger issue, and we were praising God because it was going to be under budget.  We ordered the parts.  They were on back order so they didn't arrive until this week.  

Today our mechanic friend called and apologized while breaking the news that the engine block is cracked.  No longer an under 700.00 dollar fix....not even close, and we are left with a very broken vehicle for which we are still paying the loan.

God is good and has not left us without resources. I did our income taxes and we are getting a return that will allow us to do what needs to be done.   However, I had plans for that income tax money and it did NOT include fixing the truck. Among other things,  I was dreaming of some lovely updates to my kitchen, including new flooring and some fresh paint.  I did my best to convince my husband of changing how we were planning to use the income tax money (even with the truck broken down) in such a way that would allow me to still do the kitchen, but he disagrees.  Unfortunately I do believe in submission even though it's not ever always easy.  I tried to convince my husband that we could use our return in a certain way (not getting the truck fixed) which would still let me get my updates, but still he does not agree with me.  So begrudgingly I am following his lead. Although I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I had the adult equivalent of a 2 year old temper tantrum about it toward my husband and toward God.

Earlier this week I didn't think I had much of a problem with this 'storing up treasures' stuff.... Ha!  There is nothing like an unexpected circumstance like this to make a girl see her wicked heart that is trying to store up earthly treasures! So tonight I am reminding myself that God is my source of joy, not new kitchen flooring.  I'll admit I'm not completely over it yet, but I'm giving it to God and I am praying that God will change my bad attitude.  


I just have to add that I'm amazed at how God worked out the details of all these things. Even tonight, as I was listening to music with my iTunes music player, the song 'One Thing' by Jonny Diaz began playing.  Another little reminder from God.  Isn't He so amazing, and so kind and patient in His teaching?!

I  bought my ticket and I paid in cash
I thought that this time the ride would last
And lead me to what I am looking for

I  see the world as it rushes by
But nothing new is grabbing my eye
Just everything that I have tried before

Maybe I've been looking in the wrong place
Maybe I've been thinking that the world will
Fill me up full enough but it never works that way

There is just one thing that fills me up
One thing that's true
There is just one thing that satisfies
That one thing is You

Show me everything I did not see
While I was searching the world for what was right in front of me
So much wasted wasting time

I see that I've been headed down the wrong track
Now I don't wanna ever go back
To the way it was all because
You're all I'll ever need

I’m tired of settling for this world and its bitter dreams
There's nothing here that satisfies like You

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What It Means To Be Loved

At 32 weeks pregnant the doctors said Megan had a 50/50 chance of survival. 

10 days later they said it was just a brain abnormality after all.  Nothing life-threatening.  How it would affect our precious baby, we didn't know. 

Before she was born I was already completely in love.  That bit of scary news didn't change a thing for me.

Megan was born 3 weeks early on June 2nd. Perfect, beautiful and a tiny 6 lbs.

Megan was diagnosed officially with Dysgenesis of the Corpus Callosum at 6 weeks old. 

Megan has challenges to overcome anytime she learns something new, but she is persistant... and always joyful!  She is a treasure to our family!

My prayer as Megan's mommy is that she will know what it means to be loved.  Not just by her daddy and I, but by our loving Heavenly Father who knit her together in my womb, saw her life before we had even thought of it, and says she is fearfully and wonderfully made.  She is special!

For five months and eight days my wife and I had waited
Gettin' ready for our baby girl
But when he called the doctor said I need to see you
and could you come in soon
then something died inside of me to sit with him and hear
the tests that said our baby may not live to be a year
then turnin' to my wife and he said "whata you wanna do?"
and she said...
I wanna give her the world
I wanna hold her hand
I wanna be her mom for as long as I can
and I wanna live every moment until that day comes
I wanna show her what it means to be loved
so we spent each day, watchin' every minute
and prayin' for our baby girl
and I will not forget the way I felt that moment
when she came into this world
but they took her from the room just as soon as she was born
and watchin' through a window I could see her holdin' on
when a voice inside me said...
I wanna give her the world
I wanna be her dad
I wanna hold her close for as long as I can
and I wanna live every moment until that day comes
I wanna show her what it means to be loved
Well ever since the day
we got to bring her home
she's been out to prove the doctors wrong
oh and you should see her now
she's as pretty as her mom
and theres a boy at the front door waiting just to take her to her high school prom...
and he wants to give her the world
wants to hold her hand
and someday she may get a wedding band
but she's gonna live every moment until that day comes
and we're gonna show her what it means to be loved
 ~Mark Schultz

Is it any wonder that I feel like this is our song?!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Meaning of Mom (Contest & Giveaway)

Calling all mama bloggers!  I need your help!  So, to bribe you into helping me I'm going to host a contest...AND... a giveaway!  This is a first for me and my blog and I have to admit I'm fighting my fears of this attempt ending in failure.  Please help spread the word to make this a success.  (I'm not ashamed to do a little begging...)

Why do I need your help?
I'm planning a baby shower for my sweet sister-in-law, and I am looking for something to read at the shower.  I want something unique and creative... something that provokes our thoughts and emotions about mothering and motherhood.   It can be something that lends itself to tears, or laughter.   I want it to be something that people will talk about even after they leave, and something she will remember and treasure for years to come.

The rules of participation:
1. Write something... anything... about the topic of motherhood, and what it means to be a mom. (preferably something original to you.)
2.  Place a link to this contest page in your post.
3.  Leave your post link in Mister Linky.
4.  Contest begins today, and ends April 14th.

The Prizes:
1. I will give a 10.00 Borders gift card to the blogger whose post I choose to read.
2. I will give a 10.00 Borders gift card to a participant chosen at random.
3. I will highlight my favorites on my blog throughout the duration of the contest.
( I may add additional prizes based on the number of participants.)

Thank you to all who participate!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rebuke Noted

I believe this was God's gentle way of rebuking me this morning.

"Get off the computer. There are more important things!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Healing Hearts

This post may be a surprise to many... I have not shared this with any other person besides my heavenly Father. However it may not be a surprise to those who know us well. They may have seen our struggle and wondered, although we tried to hide it from the world.

Over the last couple of years my husband and I went through a rough patch in our marriage. I mean, we fought...a lot. And if we weren't fighting, one or the other of us was in a bad mood. I knew our marriage wasn't thriving, but I couldn't figure out why, or what to do to heal it. I was too engrossed in what I was feeling to look at our situation objectively. All I saw was my day in and day out exhaustion, which I chalked up to being a full-time mom with two high energy kids plus pregnant and miserable, after the pregnancy it was the sleeplessness with a new baby.  I was trying (I thought) to be a good wife.  On top of that I worked part time in the evenings when most stay at home moms take time to rest with their family. I began to feel like my husband didn't care about me or what I was going through and he wasn't about to lift a finger to help me. I knew that I was in some kind of melancholic slump, but I didn't understand why, or what to do about that either.

I'm sure Tom probably felt like I complained non-stop, I was always in a bad mood, and I was miserable to live with. Honestly, I think I was perpetually grouchy, and as I look back over the last couple of years I realize that I really wasn't easy to live with and my husband was having to put up with a lot.  Tom said to me on more than one occasion that I wasn't the same person he'd married.  My angry response was that I was different.  People don't just stay exactly as they were when they were 20,  and I accused him of not taking the time to really know me as I learned and changed and grew as an individual.  But I really wasn't the same person that he had married.  I was no longer cheerful and optimistic.  I no longer smiled easily or chatted and laughed about fun little things.  I no longer had the energy to do anything fun. period.

We kept rehearsing the same arguments over and over.  I know we still loved each other, but neither of us were happy and we certainly didn't like each other.  Tom and I were both committed to the marriage vows we had made before God, but I began to feel like it was going to be a marriage of misery instead of joy. I got to the point that, even though I loved my family, I hated my life.  I disliked the person I  saw myself becoming. I disliked my relationship with my husband. I disliked feeling overworked and exhausted all of the time. 

Then came along the end of March 2009.  I came home from work one night, put my tired feet up, and realized my ankles were swollen.  I knew at that point that my feeling run-down was something much bigger.  Then next day I went to the a local walk-in clinic.  They found bilirubin in my urine, and there began my journey that led to my liver transplant on May 9th. There was the reason I wasn't myself.  My blood was no longer clean and life-giving.  It was toxic. My body had no energy because it couldn't get the oxygen it needed.  My brain was in a melancholic fog because my liver was failing.  It wasn't my husband's fault, even though he had taken the brunt of my exhaustion and I'd blamed so much on him.  It wasn't my children, or my part time job.  Yet, the damage was already done.  Both my husband and I had hurt and been hurt by each others cruel words, and lack of lovingkindess.

Although I recovered very quickly from my transplant, the deeper emotional hurts were not so easily fixed.  The first few months after my transplant I really struggled with the loss of 'control' over my life.  I couldn't really be left alone.  I couldn't keep up with my kids.  I couldn't lift my baby.  I didn't have the energy to clean my home or cook.  I felt like I was crying all the time.  I had all this medication that I had to take which had it's own 'fun' side affects.  I was trying to heal from a major MAJOR life-changing surgery.   My wonderful mom was here most of the time.  She was a great help, and a life-saver, but that left very little privacy for my husband and I to begin working through the pieces of our relationship and my life... Tom's job loss added  more turmoil to our already crazy summer.  Yet, God used all of that to change me, and is still using it to change me.  He is using it to chip away at my hard heart, making me more sensitive to Him, but also more sensitive to the people in my life.  

In the late summer things started to calm down.  My energy came back above and beyond what I had experienced in years.  I was able to take over the care of my home and family, and my mom's sweet visits became fewer and farther in between.  I was no longer depressed and dull.  God had taken the experience to transform my heart.  I was happy and truly joyful for the first time in years.  I had experienced the amazing love and faithfulness of my heavenly Father, and the sweet care and encouragement from fellow believers. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psalm 40:2-4)

As things returned to normal, Tom and I began putting the pieces of our lives back together.  Oh, it wasn't easy.  In fact, at first I'd say we were pretty much at each others throats...each of us so consumed with working through all that had happened--my sickness affected Tom's life just as much as it affected mine.   But over time God has brought healing to our hearts, and to our marriage.  I think much of it has to do with the transformation that God did in my heart.  And I'm not saying that pridefully.... I believe that I was much of the cause to our struggling marriage. Though I had a legitimate reason to feel ill, it was no excuse for me to respond by being mean and miserable.  Anyway, Tom and I began getting to know each other again.  We began enjoying the time we spent together.  We remembered the reason we had 'fallen in love', and the things that we liked about each other.   In the end, I think the experience has softened our hearts to each other more than ever, and brought us closer than we have ever been.

Things aren't perfect, they never will be.  We still have our days when we just can't seem to get along.  But I know that I love my husband and he loves me.  The things we went through last summer have changed him as well.  I can't speak for what is in his heart (and he is still very quiet about the hardest times...) but I can tell you that he is changed.  He helps out around the house more than he has ever done.  He makes bed, and does dishes.  He is more patient with the kids, and he spends so much more time with us (now that I'm not making him miserable).  He has put up with a lot, but he stuck by me, and I am so grateful!

Recently I read in my devotions Proverbs 5:18-19  May your fountain be blessed , and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, and graceful deer--may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.   God has brought rejoicing back into our marriage.  Who would have thought that it would take something as drastic as a liver transplant to do so?!  In the past my love has been anything but 'captivating', but I pray God continues to change me, to soften my heart, to love my husband more and more and to be CAPTIVATING!  God used the challenges we faced to break our pride, to change our hearts, to bring us closer to him, and to bring healing to our marriage.  It's not over yet though!  I feel like this is a new beginning and the best is yet to come!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not Glamorous, but Abundant!

I am so thankful for my laptop right now!!! My sweet brother, Chris, bought us a mini laptop, and a regular laptop while I was layed up in the hospital last Spring. He bought them along with a subscription to skype so that I could communicate with my family while I was recovering. It was a blessing then, and it continues to be a blessing now! At the moment I am sitting in my backyard, being warmed by the bright spring sun, doing two things that I love: watching my children play, and blogging.

Today has been a very low-key day. I didn't plan for it to be that way. I woke up at 6 a.m. I had some quiet time, took my shower and then woke the kids up shortly after 7 a.m. I had them fed, ready for school and waiting for the bus by 8:15 a.m. I was planning to get the kids off to school and then get right to work on the list of things I wanted to accomplish for the day. A few minutes after going outside I looked around our street and thought, "wow, things sure are quiet around here today." Not too long after that I thought to myself, "the bus is quite late this morning." Then I got the strange feeling that I'd forgotten something. So we went back in and checked the calendar (which isn't helping me much at the moment since it isn't hanging on the wall) and sure enough, i had written on today's date: "NO SCHOOL". My productive plans for the day went out the window, and instead I decided to take the day off too.

Since we were up and ready I figured we might as well do something instead of just bumming around the house, so I loaded us up into the car with the kids' bikes and helmets and Caleb's stroller and we drove to the Rail Trail. We got there early, before the rush of all the other moms trying to keep their kids occupied on this beautiful day. I walked and they rode their bikes for a while, then we took a break at the playground that is just off the trail. It was a little cool this morning at 9 a.m. and the playground was still wet from the dew, but we had the whole huge playground COMPLETELY to ourselves! I followed Caleb up and down the stairs over and over and over.... while Megan and Kyle did their thing. It was blessedly peaceful and worry free since we were alone and absolutely wonderful!

While chasing Caleb around the playground I called my mother-in-law at work and made plans for us to meet her for lunch. She was excited to show off her grandkids for the first time at her 'new' job (she's been there about a year now), and we went to Subway to eat. Nothing extravagant, but it was special because I was with special people! I do love my family!

When we got home Caleb took a long nap; Megan, Kyle and I watched a movie; and now we are out here playing. I have done absolutely no house cleaning today (other than picking up here and there) which is so unlike me. But I can tell you that the day couldn't have gone better, even if I had checked off everything on my to do list. Sometimes it's good for me to take a day to just enjoy the people I love! It's so easy for me to get caught up in all the things I need and/or want to do and forget the people who are more important.

My life isn't glamorous, and most of the time my days are filled with the mundane tasks of daily living, but nevertheless, my life is abundant!  I am a blessed woman!  Thank you, God!

Ephesians 3:19-21  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

John 10:9-11 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Season of Spring

Cabin fever---BE GONE!

Winter is past. Spring has arrived! Green things are pushing up through the brown earth seeking the warmth and nourishment of the sun.  The first joyful colors of the season are showing their timid faces! The brave little crocuses have bloomed, willing to endure the last few frosts that are sure to come before summer.  It's a wonderful time!

I love this time of year.  I love to get out and soak up the fresh air, feel the sun on my face, and have the freedom of  again being outdoors!  Every day I inspect my flower beds for new growth. Yesterday I was ecstatic to see my first few crocuses had bloomed.  I have started thinking about annuals that I want to plant, and little changes I want to make to my flower beds.  I've spent time outside raking leaves and cleaning up some of the mess leftover from fall and winter, readying everything for the growth that is taking place which will fill my yard with vibrant color!

This is the time of year when my craft projects and my reading get put on hold because I just want to spend as much time as I can outside.  The kids love it too.  They run around in our wonderful little back yard.  We invite the neighbor children over to play.  I take the kids for bike rides around the block.   We play on the playground down the street, and we fall into bed blissfully exhausted and looking forward to the fun we'll have tomorrow!  

I feel like it is spring in my heart as well.  The last year...well, the last several really, have been a bit of a winter-time for me. But I see  God is using the seasons to prepare soil of my heart, so that beautiful flowers can spring forth for his glory.   I may still have to endure frosts, and winter may come again, but for now I'm so thankful it's spring! 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Linked to: Thankful Thursday meme being hosted at Women Taking A Stand.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Redeeming the Time by Cherishing the Moments

My children are so precious!  I am constantly working at balancing the duties of life with cherishing the moments with my little ones.  Some days I do ok, but more days than I care to admit I find myself being a task master rather than mom.

This morning we were sitting around the table eating our cereal when Kyle, his chest all puffed up with pride, said, "Mom, feel my leg!  I'm getting some hair!"  Then Megan asks in a surprised voice, "You are getting HAIR, Kyle?!"  "Yes!" Kyle replied, "You can't see it, but you can feel it."   Megan says in a matter-of-fact voice, "That's because you've been eating your crust."  At this point in the conversation I could not longer contain my laughter!  Oh my goodness my children do say the funniest things, and they take things so seriously.  Tom teases then on occasion, with "Eat your crust, and you'll get hair on your chest."  but it seems they took his teasing quite literally!

At nap time today I lay down with my sweet Kyle, as I usually do until he gets quiet and settled.  I rubbed his back and sang some of my favorite hymns and choruses to him for a little while.  When I stopped he said to me, "You forgot one, Mom.  You need to sing Jesus Loves Me."  So we sang that one too.  After we finished he gave me a sweet smile, a kiss, and said "I love you, Mom."

Kyle quieted down after that and went right to sleep, while I lay next to him struggling against tears and praying that God would allow me  these moments with my kids for many years.  I'm so glad I took the opportunity to cherish these moments today!

Since my recent transplant I realize that life is so fragile, especially my life--the life of a transplant recipient.   Though I try not to live in fear, there are times when the fact that something could go wrong with my transplant at any minute hits me square between the eyes.  I do not fear death.  I know when I die that I will go to be with my heavenly father,  but I fear leaving my children, and I fear their broken hearts that will result.  This is something that I must continually turn over to God.  I know he has a plan for their little lives, just as much as he has a plan for mine.  And how by worrying can I add a single second to my life?

This past Sunday in our Adult Bible Fellowship we studied this passage in James.

James 4: 13-17  Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
Time is our most valuable earthly resource. Each minute is a gift from God, and we are never guaranteed more than 'now'. As a Mom I need to realize that my time with my children is limited (with or without a liver transplant) and make it a point to cherish the moments with them.  Cherishing the moments is so much more than snuggling on the couch, kissing their booboos, and reading them bedtimes stories (though it is that as well).  Cherishing the moments is making the most of every opportunity, taking the time to love them AND lovingly teach them not only by the things I say to them, but the things I do as well.  Though I know when I die I will go to heaven, I do not want to leave my kids helpless... defenseless in this world.  I want NEED to teach them what is most important--a relationship with our heavenly Father.  I want NEED to teach them skills to function as responsible adult.  I want NEED to teach them how to stand in Christ, surrounded by a lost world.  I want NEED to teach them how important the Word of God is... How wonderful, trustworthy, and comforting it is.  I want them to know that when I die, God will be with them, taking care of them, watching over them.   I want them to have that foundation...they NEED it... so that when I'm not here, they will know where to look for the peace and comfort that they cannot get from other people, or from the things that this world has to offer.

Ephesians 5: 15-17  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Psalm 90:12  Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Don't spend time,
Don't waste time,
INVEST time!

This is one of the reasons I blog.  When I am no longer on this earth to help my children, I want them to be able to read this and remember what was important to me, to see that I cherished them, and to see that though I wasn't perfect (not even close) I truly desired to know and follow God.  I want them to see that God and his Word was a comfort to me in hard times of life.  I want them to see that I went to God and his Word when I struggled with sin or discouragement.  I want them to see that through it all, I found PEACE and JOY through my relationship with Christ, and I pray it will encourage them to do the same.

Linked to:

Good, True & Beautiful

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good medicine (part 3) Second Step To Having a Merry Home is to Tackle theTrouble Spots

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.

I'm up early today, sipping on some hot cocoa, enjoying the quiet of the morning, listening to the soft purr of my kitty on the couch, and doing some blogging.  {contented sigh} Life is good!   It sure is easy to have a merry heart when everything is going my way (like it is right now). However, when I find myself getting  frustrated because the bus pulls up outside our door and I discover my daughter didn't obey me when I told her to put her shoes on, or because I'm trying to fix dinner-which is already late-and I've got a toddler screaming at my legs, mad I put him down; this happy mom can turn into a red-faced mommy monster pretty quick.  And believe me when I say, "when mom aint happy, aint hobody happy!"

The first step to fixing my world is to fix myself, as my pastor says (read part 2 in this series if you haven't already). I realize that although God will help me to be a much 'better' person, I will never be perfect this side of heaven, and being the sinful selfish person that I am, I will always struggle to some extent in my response to irritations that come my way.  I stumbled across an article a few weeks ago on my yahoo homepage that gave some great suggestions on how to help avoid some of those irritations that so easily make me unhappy.

The article, "Two Simple Ways to Be a Happier Parent",  recommends taking inventory of a normal day with these two questions in mind: 1. When are you happiest with your kids? and 2. What part of the normal day with your family routinely causes suffering?  Then she goes on to say that we should take steps to make sure the happiest parts of our day stay routine, and take steps to try to avoid or even eliminate the trouble spots.

This is a secular article, but I believe that it coincides with Biblical truth.  Clearly the Proverbs 31 woman planned for the success of her household.   She was characterized by wisdom and kindness in all she did, and was able to rejoice in life and if the praise she received from her husband and children is any indication I'd say she did her best to live in peace with those she loved.  The apostle Paul says in Romans 12:18 to live in peace with everyone as much as you can. Please don't think that I'm suggesting I need to be a pushover mom in order to avoid conflict with my kids at all cost.  No No No!   Conflict is unavoidable at times, and even necessary in order to teach my children correct behaviors, etc... However,  I do believe it is a good thing to avoid unnecessary conflict within my family by changing a few small things if it is possible.

So, onto the two questions...

I'd say the happiest part of our day would be mealtimes.  I just love sitting around my table taking a few minutes to rest, nourish my body (yes, I'll admit I am fond of eating!) and enjoy conversation with my precious ones!  I dislike it very much when mealtime has to be rushed, or discipline has to be enacted (unavoidable at times, to which other moms can attest, I'm sure).

I have already mentioned our high conflict times: getting the kids ready in the morning, and preparing dinner in the evening.  In an attempt to eliminate the stress of these situations, the article suggests making small changes.  Earlier this year I started getting up at 6 a.m.  I do some exercise, read my Bible, and check e-mail or facebook during this time.  Getting up at 6, rather than rolling out of bed when the kids do has helped our morning routine tremendously, plus I am able to fit a few things into my day that I have trouble squeezing in otherwise.  I have decided that I need to tweak it further and take my shower before the kids get up, so I can focus more on the kids and hopefully we'll avoid things like the shoe incident.

I've been thinking about changes I can make to help with the dinnertime drama as well.  I have decided that I should plan my dinner early in the day (maybe even start a weekly menu) so I know what prep work needs to be done and I  can complete it during naptime.  This way I'm not having to do it when the kids are clingy because they have just gotten up from their nap, and it will keep dinner on time.  In my family, when dinner gets late, we get hungry, and then we tend to get grouchy. 

Now the challenge for me will be to start applying these small changes which may mean having to my alter my normal routine(change is hard for me--I don't even like to rearrange furniture!), and then to be consistant.  I know my own tendency is to slack off when something comes along and throws a curveball into things.   As a mom I'm supposed to be responsible, but I'll admit sometimes I really wish I didn't have to work so hard at it!  I wish I could just snap my finger and *poof* my home is happy and perfect.  But unfortunately that will never happen so for now I will just have to do the best I can with God's help.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Medicine (part 2)- A Merry Home Begins With Me.

Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. 
 What exactly does "merry" mean?  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary  merry suggests cheerful, joyous, uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity.  I've heard the saying many times, "when mom ain't happy ain't nobody happy".  So how do I become a mom characterized by a joyful heart who sets a cheerful spirit in my home when there are so many frustrations that come along on any given day to try to steal it away.  I'll admit sometimes I feel like I'm a cranky mom more than I'm a happy one, but I don't want to be that mom.  I don't want to be the mom who "rules by ill-temper", whom neighbors always hear  yelling at her children or arguing with her husband.  I want to be a mom whose happy heart is a balm to her husband and her children, whose joy spreads from her soul to theirs, whose home is characterized by peace, and whose actions are known for gentleness.

I've been contemplating this for a while. How can I make my home a merry one?  What can I do to keep the everyday challenges of a stay at home mom from turning me into the mom who rules by ill-temper?  It truly is a struggle for me at times.  I find my mood, like a pendulum, swings from being happy one minute to being upset the next.  Just this evening I got angry at my husband. . . over a batch of cookies. . . of all the ridiculous things to get upset about.  Now that I've thought about it, I'm embarrassed at how I reacted and discouraged with myself.  I don't want to treat the people I love so much in an unloving way.  I don't want to be so self absorbed that I get all bent out of shape about silly, meaningless little things.  Yet that is what I find myself doing all too often.

I have concluded that I am totally and completely helpless to be the wife and mom that I need to be without God. I must spend time reading and meditating on the Word of God.  I must look into the mirror that is the Bible and see myself as I truly am; see the me that is hidden from every other person in life; the me that my deceitful heart wants to keep hidden even from myself.  In that humbling experience I can allow the power of God to change me into the person that He desires me to be.  Only in my humility can I possibly understand all that God has done and have a thankful attitude which allows me to truly appreciate the blessings in my life.  It is so simple, yet so hard.  I know this is true.  From experience, I can see it's accuracy.  So in my attempt to make a merry home, I must first start with me by dedicating time each day to spend in God's word, and having a heart that is supple to his molding.

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love... For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water. however suddenly jolted.   ~Amy Carmichael

Galations 5:16-26  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Jeremiah 17:9-10  The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?  But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.

Psalm 139:23-24  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Linked to:
Making your home sing Mondays

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I don't know what it is about spring, but just the thought of it puts me in the mood for cleaning!  Over the last few weeks I could feel the itch to spring clean start to build and build until I couldn't ignore it any longer.  I designed my own cute spring cleaning checklist to hang on my fridge so I can give myself a pretty little check mark when each task is complete.  I don't know about you, but to do lists have a way of motivating me.

I've already been able to check off two of my tasks. The easiest and most fun task I completed was decorating for spring.  Then I moved on to sorting and organizing the toys, and I was able to complete some major toy purging. 

One thing I definitely dislike is an over abundance of toys that can't be kept neat, and barely half of which get used regularly.  I went through the toys that were spilling into the living room and only kept out a few things.  Then I sorted through the toys and toy boxes in the bedroom and took out things that they no longer played with, or were broken.  Broken and miscellaneous cheap toys went into the garbage, and good toys which are ignored went into bags or boxes and up into the attic.  We have plans to sell those in a yard sale this summer.

That was a big chore and I'm glad to have it done and out of the way.  Plus it made a huge improvement on how the house looks.   Out of all my spring cleaning chores these two things probably make the biggest difference in how my house looks which was the reason I wanted to tackle them first.  The other items are all more deep cleaning things that I will notice, but probably others won't so much.

Here are some pictures of my progress.  I didn't think about getting before pictures, but you can take my word for it that it made a big difference! This first picture is of all the toys that went up into the attic.
Here are the two main toy areas.  I'm so excited that all the toys actually fit into the containers now instead of spilling over and creeping out into the rest of the room.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Counting My Blessings!

Blessing #1: Caleb


Blessings #2 and #3: Kyle and Tom

Blessing #4: Megan

Psalm 136:1
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
       His love endures forever!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good Medicine (part 1)

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.

A merry heart is a good thing.  Life is so full of stress, worry, pain and struggle, but sometimes it is good for a body just to forget about all that for a while and enjoy life, to do something fun, to take a minute to laugh!  Here are a few things that have made my heart merry recently.

My children make my heart merry!

The other day Megan came home from school singing a little learning song to the tune of "There's a Hole in my Bucket".  At dinner time she was singing the little ditty, when Tom burst out in the catchy tune singing the words "There's a hole in my bucket".  Megan heard the words he was using and she said, "There's not a hole in my bucket, there must be a hole in Kyle's."  Kyle pipes up in a sad little voice, "yup, there's a hole in the purple one that's in the backyard."  It was just so funny how literal they took their daddy's song. Tom and I looked at each other and burst into laughter!

This evening as we were getting Megan and Kyle ready to go to Awana, Caleb did not want to be left behind. As Kyle was laying on the floor with his feet in Tom's lap getting his shoes tied, Caleb went into the hallway; picked out his shoes; plopped them into daddy's lap; then proceeded to lay on the floor next to Kyle and stick his feet into the air.  He may not talk yet but he sure can communicate!  That little boy is so cute! Although, he wasn't quite as cute when he threw a little temper tantrum because he couldn't go with us. . .

I like playing the Wii with Kyle.  We do Piston Cup races in his Cars game.  It's fun!  And I have to admit, I do like being able to beat someone for once, even if it is my 4 year old! LOL!   Kyle is so sweet, he doesn't even care if I beat him, he just thinks I am an amazingly cool mom to actually play with him. {grin}

My husband makes my heart merry!

The other day after Tom came home from work he took the kids outside to play and 'helped' them make a snow tunnel (he did most of the work).  The kids were in awe of their amazing daddy and his talents. Who needs a snowman when daddy can build a snow tunnel! LOL!  I love to watch him play with them.

Last weekend I went out on Friday night with some other women while Tom stayed home with the kids.  I was out quite late and when I got home it was blissfully quiet.  Everyone was in bed and asleep.  As I set down my purse I quickly took note of my clean home.  My dear husband had picked up all the toys. He had all the blankets folded and pillows where they belong.  He had even cleaned up the kitchen from the dinner which he fixed all by himself AND he washed the dishes! I have mentioned in a previous post that my love language is 'acts of service'.  Well, I certainly felt all warm and fuzzy that night!

My parents make my heart merry!

My parents are sweet, kind, generous people who have been a blessing to me in so many many ways!

This weekend they are going to watch our kids all day saturday and overnight to Sunday so Tom and I can have some kidless time in order to visit with some friends coming from out of town and go to a get-together with some couples from our church. My kids are so excited to go spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa.  And I am so excited too!  Did I mention that my secondary love language is "quality time"?   Going to get some of that with my husband this weekend! Yea!

My God makes my heart merry!

God has been so good to me.  He has blessed me above and beyond what I could ask or think.  He fills my heart with joy, and he gives me new mercies every morning!  He loves me unconditionally, and no matter what circumstances I may face in this life, I find security in him.  I am so thankful!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love & Respect: Chapters 3-4

Why He Won't Respect; Why She Won't Love   &
What Men Fear Most Can Keep The Crazy Cycle Spinning

In these two chapters Eggerichs continues to emphasizes the need for the wife to show unconditional respect to her husband and the husband to show unconditional love to his wife.  He also writes about how the husband's deepest fear is not being respected, and how being disrespected affects his reactions.  I am just going to share a few quotes from these chapters that impacted me, as well as helped me understand God's roles for the husband and wife a little better.

"Though there is more to love than dying for someone, it is a sad day when a man knows that he'd die for his wife because he loves her, yet he hears her continually complain, ['You don't love me.']" (p. 52)

I do believe that my husband would 'take a bullet for me' so to speak, yet I am guilty of questioning my husband's love for me on occassion.  Wow... how disrespectful and hurtful these words seem now. 

Husbands are to value their wives as equals. . . It is as though she is the princess and he is the prince.  In Ephesians 5:33, a husband has a need to be respected as the head, the one called upon to die.  "Christ. . . is the head. . . [and] loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:23,25).  The prince goes into battle for the princess, not vice versa.  Consequently, the princess does not seek to be respected as the "head." Instead, she yearns to be honored, valued, and prized as a precious equal, "a fellow heir of the grace of life," as Peter unfolds in 1 Peter 3:7. . .To carry furthur the word picture of the prince and princess, I believe the biblical order of things is that, as prince, the husband is to be considered "first among equals." By that I mean he is her equal, but he is called upon first to provide, to protect--and even to die if necessary.  (p. 53)

 I don't know if I've ever read anything that has explains God's design for the roles of husband and wife, as well as emphasizes the husband's need for respect and the wife's need for love so clearly.

As women fear being unloved, men fear being direspected (held in contempt).  The yearning and need of husbands is that their wives give them honor and respect. . . The old saying puts it: "Every man does what he does for the admiration of one woman."  Back in the courtship days, she [his wife] became that woman and he bowed the knee and proposed.  He felt deep feelings of love for her, but they came out of his being convinced that she respected him and admired him.  She was striking a chord deep within him that literally drove his life then as it drives his life today. (p. 58-59) 

I remember those days of being totally smitten.  It wasn't that long ago.  We celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary in May.  Although I still love my husband, I can say with certainty that I no longer act smitten.  Reading this makes me want to strive to be a little more in awe of the man I married, recognizing his talents and strengths rather than always spotting his weaknesses and being so quick to correct. 

What if your son grew up and married someone like you? (p. 65)

Well, that is certainly food for thought....

We easily see what is done to us before we see what we are doing to our mate. (p. 69)

I know this is true.  I know I so often focus on myself and my hurts and what I want and I totally neglect my husband's feelings, his hurts, and what he wants. Afterall, my marriage isn't just about me.  Problems in the marriage aren't just his, or mine.  Problems in our marriage are OURS.

Here are a couple of great verses that Eggerichs pointed out that are worth a little extra meditation for me as a wife.

Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife [or a wife who brings shame] is like decay in his bones.

Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a dessert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

God is using this book to convict my heart and spur me to change my actions and attitudes toward my husband.  I would definitely reccomend it to anyone who is married or about to get married.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My 2nd Bloggy Award!

I can't tell you how encouraged I was to discover I was honored with another bloggy award!  Thank you, Amy!  Amy is a Pastor's wife, an old friend, and a very sweet person with a heart to serve God!  I am blessed to know her, and blessed to be able to read her blog. Check her out at The Heart of a Writer, if you get a chance!

I have to say, this bloggy award is so much prettier than the other one I received!  I might even be willing to pin this on my blog page for a while!  Along with accepting this blog award I am supposed to nominate other blogs, as well as write 7 things about myself.

~Seven Things~

1. I have a small house.  For a family of five....very small.  But I love it!  It isn't one of the newest houses around by far (having been built in the 1930's), but I think our house has a quaintness that most new houses lack.  I love that the smallness makes it easy to clean. I love how it's decorated.  I love the flowers beds that I have worked so hard to cultivate.  I love the sweet memories I have in this place.  Home is where the heart is, and my heart is right here!

2.Everyday when the mail comes I wonder if this will be the day that I hear back from my liver donor's family.  One of these days....I hope....

3.According to this online test, my love language is 'Acts of Service'.  Which would be part of the reason all the things that people did for me while I was sick last spring meant so much.  God used the willing service of his people to change my heart, and teach me about His love. There is nothing sweeter to me than when people do things because they really want to, and there is very little more aggravating to me than when people do things grudgingly or because they are 'forced'.  Knowing your love language isn't a necessity, but it is eye-opening.  So, what is your love language?

4.Yesterday my 4 year old, Kyle, kindly let me know two separate times that my hair was a mess.  Thanks Kyle. {sheepish grin}  At least he's honest! 

5. My house is not always (maybe never) as clean as I think it should be though I really do try.  This morning on my way through the kitchen, I stepped in a sticky spot....My sock stuck to the sticky spot instead of my foot!  YIKES!  Time to mop the floor!

6. I can hardly wait until May 31st... That's the day that it's finally OK to plant annuals without fear of frost.  By this time of Winter, I'm so ready for it to be over and spring to begin! Flowers, walks outside in the crisp spring air, the freshness of a home after it has been 'spring cleaned', and I'm looking forward to the first warm spell with which comes that extra burst of energy!

7. I really love my family.  I truly feel blessed with the husband and children God has given me! 

My nominee for the Beautiful Blogger Award is Rachael at A Steady Rain.  I am acquainted with her through my parents church.  In person she seems very sweet, and from reading her blog I can tell you that she is sweet, and she desires to know and serve God and encourage others.    She is the only person whose blog I will nominate today.  I would nominate more, but I don't follow a ton of blogs (due to lack of time) and the other blogs I do follow that I would nominate have already received this particular award.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Longing To Find My Niche

 There are many opportunities to minister in my church to be sure.  As a younger mom, I feel like I'm automatically pegged for children's ministry.  The truth is, I do not care for it and don't feel led in that direction at all.  I find it tests my patience and I leave feeling more frustrated than fulfilled. I love being a mom. I adore my children. However, I do not feel that God has called me to children's ministry, nor has he gifted me in that way. Am I the only one who can't seem to figure out where she fits in the body of Christ?  I do feel that way sometimes.  Everyone else has their little ministry and niche in the church, but I can't seem to find my place.  I have been praying for a ministry that uses the gifts and experiences that God has given me. 

In my quest to find my niche I took a spiritual gifts test I found online at  According to the instructions on how to 'read' the results, I am to look at the list of gifts below and pick the gift, or two, in which I ranked the highest score. These gifts would probably be one of my primary gifts.

These are my results:
Exhortation - 12
Giving - 8
Leadership - 7
Mercy - 15
Prophecy - 6
Service - 11
Teaching - 8

MERCY: to be sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but more so caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress.

EXHORTATION: to come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be.

I am not surprised by these results.   I've always been one to write notes of encouragement to someone going through an illness or trial; to see the one person in the room looking awkward and uncomfortable and go make them feel comfortable; to bring a neighbor and their sick family a pot of soup; to cry over an e-mail I receive of a friend who has had another miscarriage, or to sing in church with the desire to touch the hearts of the people hearing.... I find immense satisfaction in doing those types of things.  If indeed mercy and exhortation are my gifts, I understand  now why doing these things brings me such satisfaction!  It is satisfying to use the gifts that God  gives us!

As I read the definition for both of these my heart quickened in affirmation.  I really would like to use in a ministry the things God has taught me during my first pregnancy and my recent health issues.  I have to admit sometimes I question God.  Was there a purpose in allowing me to go through a life-threatening illness and a liver transplant?  Deep down I feel like He must have bigger plans for this than just changing me.  At the moment I do not see how God is using this experience in my life to minister to others.  It is a struggle that brings me to tears.  "Why God?  What are you doing?"   Is it wrong for me to want so badly for there to be more of a purpose to that experience than just changing me?  In a sense I guess it would justify the experience.  I desire a ministry in which I can sympathize with the physical and emotional struggles of others because I've been through similar struggles. A ministry in which I can share the lessons He has taught me through those struggles to comfort and encourage.  A ministry in which I can bless others as I have been blessed by caring believers.

 In writing this blog God has encouraged me. Although I am not part of an organized ministry using these particular gifts, I can continue to use these gifts doing the things I have already been doing.  I pray that God will open my eyes even more to ways that I can be of encouragement and comfort to others. So here I sit, still praying and waiting on God to direct me into the 'right' ministry; yet with renewed purpose and direction.
Romans 12:4-8 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.