Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking back and looking forward

Wow, it seems hard to believe that 2008 will be over in a few hours. And on to 2009. I felt like sitting down and reflecting a little on what I've learned and looking ahead to what I want to do and be in 2009. I've learned a lot about myself since having children and this year was no less true. Children are a blessing from the Lord whether they are yours or not. And being a mother of three young girls four and under, that is a truth that I have often had to remind myself of!!! But oh, I know these days will go by so fast, and one day I will look back and wonder where it all went. Time is our one resource that is totally and completely unrenewable. And I don't want to waste anymore of it. Another thing I have learned is how much I need to live my life in constant communication with God. He wants access to all the parts of my life, even the mundane. And I am learning to take all my cares and burdens to Him, no matter how superficial or silly. He cares because He LOVES me. Somedays I still can't quite believe it. But His Word says it. This year has been a trying year, financially and just trying to discern God's will about where He wants us and where we should go. For now, we are staying here, and I feel at peace about that. God has really laid on my heart the need for intercessory prayer and how to do that. I read a book about fasting and have tried some of those concepts. One of the biggest things is I did a bible study on the book of Daniel by Beth Moore, and that is something that just touched my life so much. I finally bought my first commentaries, and LOVE them. They give you so much information about the historical time period and I just love how God's Word regarding prophecies are always right on. And I learned what a man of integrity Daniel was, and I want that. I want God to share things with me and I want to be considered a woman after God's own heart. I don't want to miss anything.
What about 2009? I want to become more patient, and slow to frustration and anger where my children are concerned. I want to fall more and more in love with my husband, and with my God. I want to see the sunrise and sunset and soak in their beauty. I want to feel the breeze on my face and take minute to bask in the love and peace that are mine, regardless of what's going on in my life at that moment. I just want to enjoy and embrace whatever God has for me, and not miss the little moments that fly by. And I want to laugh more. Sometimes I feel like I get caught up in minor, stupid things, and miss the joy. I don't want to sell my joy for anything less. I want to live like I'm free. Like how I'm supposed to.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sacrificial Life

I am finishing up a 12 week study on the book of Daniel. It is a bible study by Beth Moore, and it has been awesome! I have learned so much about the man Daniel, and about end time prophecy which has always interested and maybe scared me a little too. All I can say is that we have an awesome and mighty God who pays attention to the smallest detail and makes sure His Word proves true time and time again. Did you know that some historians have tried to prove that Daniel was written after it actually was because of how accurate the prophecies were? I have loved it. It also makes me sad because I have one more week left. Week 11 I was studying Daniel 11, and Beth taught on the sacrificial life. See, once the Greeks took over the Medo-Persian empire, they had several kings and one king, Antiochus IV, took away the daily sacrifice from the Jews. They were no longer allowed to offer sacrifice to their God. Beth paralleled this to our lives today and how the world is trying to take away our daily sacrifice. See, we are no longer called to offer animal sacrifice, but we are to offer up our lives as a daily sacrifice to our God. And the world we live in is very anti-sacrifice. If it requires us to give of our selves, if it requires us to be inconvenienced, or to put someone else ahead of our wants or needs, no way! And as she was teaching this, it hit me so hard. See, I don't want to miss what God may have for me. I want to be a Daniel, a person of integrity and I wan to have a discerning spirit. I want to be so persistent in my search for wisdom, that God gives it to me. Even if it requires sacrifice. At one point in her lesson, Beth Moore said, and I quote "If we miss the sacrificial life, we miss our life purpose." That spoke volumes to me. I could miss my life purpose. I can be saved and still miss my life purpose. I have to allow God access to all areas of my life and let Him lead me according to His will, even if it gets uncomfortable. I think of how I can relate that to me being a mom. I am inconvenienced a lot in a day by my children....or at least that is how I feel about it. But I came to the realization that I have to see beyond my inconvenience. Yes, their fighting and wanting my attention can be very frustrating when I am trying to finish cleaning, doing laundry or checking my email or reading a book. But a lot of times I realized I stay busy just because I don't want to take the time to read them a book or color or paint with them. Isn't that terrible? I have deceived myself into thinking the things I want to do are more important. Now, sometimes the cleaning and laundry has to be done, and I don't feel as though I should be the one entertaining my children all the time, but on the other hand, if I don't invest my time now and teach my children the values and morals that I think are important, and teach them the most valuable worth of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, I will miss one of my life's purposes. My children are eternal souls that need the opportunity to see Christ lived out in their their mom and dad.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I just love the Christmas season. I love decorating the house, putting up a tree, the smell of pine in the house, the look of the lights and candles, the fire in the fireplace, the smell of cookies baking...I just love it. Living out in Arizona, I don't get quite the "traditional or idyllic" Christmas like I had growing up. For instance, the snow, going sledding and coming in, hanging my outside clothes up on a clothesline down in the basement and coming up and thawing out in front of the fire with a steaming cup of cocoa; or the sledding parties we used to have when we were younger up on our big hill and then we'd go to the neighbors for homemade donuts! That was the best. Here the possibility of us getting snow that will stick around is pretty much slim to none. But one tradition that I do want to keep is the making of a birthday cake for Jesus. We sing the Happy Birthday song and the girls blow out the candle. I think it's such a great way to make the point of what Christmas is actually celebrating for a younger child. That is something that my Breneman side of the family has done for as long as I can remember. The younger kids would blow out the candle and then we would sing the first verse of Joy to the World. That is a memory I will keep forever, and one I want to pass onto my children. I am still utterly amazed and humbled that the Son of God would choose to come and take on human flesh to save my soul. And He not only did that, but chose to come in the most humble of ways; to be born in a stable, in a manger, with only the animals and shepherds to witness his miraculous and amazing coming.