Friday, June 17, 2011

Fixing or Sending

This morning right before I woke up I had a dream.  My husband Shane was talking to me and he asked me if I wanted to fix our kids or send them.  When I woke up the words were still ringing in my mind.  It seemed like such a profound statement.

We know about fixing things at our house.  With a house full of boys things get broken.  A lot.  Repairing things is a big part of our days.  Fixing things implies correcting them or setting them right.  When something is broken that is what you have to do if you want it to work again-you have to fix it.  In light of training our boys however, we don't just want to be "fixing" them.  The extent of our training cannot simply be repairing the brokenness when we see it.

The bigger goal is that we are preparing to send them.  You know the drill when you are about to leave for vacation.  You make plans.  The most fun plans you make all year!  You make lists to gather your thoughts.  Where will we go?  Where will we stay?  How much money is it going to cost?  What will we eat?  What will our days look like?

Sending implies you are going to be taken to a destination. 

Fixing is something quick and in the moment.  Something gets broke, it gets fixed, end of story.  But with training our children is that the end of the story?  They are running in a parking lot, we tell them to stop, they do.  We have fixed the momentary problem and that's where the buck stops if our mindset is not constantly focused on sending them.  Preparing this child who is under our care for a short time.  Getting them ready to be released into the world.

Today how are you preparing to send your children?  They'll be leaving before you know it.  I have the saddest suspicion that I am going to turn around and they are going to be teenagers, moms and dads and I'll be trading in my van for a smaller car.  It will happen in a blink.

We're getting ready.  We don't have much time.  The time can get skewed in the monotony of cleaning up spills.  It deceives us that thief called time.  Another day another night of baseball games and we forget that we are getting ready and we don't have much time.  We are not prepared many days.

"Lord, teach me to slow down and number my days so I can gain a heart of wisdom"

Psalm 39 and Proverbs 4
Scriptures to read and meditate on today

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunny Hills

The drive home was quiet.  She maintained silence but in her heart she was unhappy. 

Things had to change.  The roots of discontentment were running deeper in her heart as the years passed by.  The smallest thing could trigger that heavy feeling in her heart.  A glance toward someone she didn't even know could send her mind spinning.  Why did she have to live in a world so chained down with unhappiness.

Sunny Hills was a quaint community.  Paul and Rachel had lived in their new home for five years.  It was a small home but it was new and she filled it with beauty.  The girls would be three next year.  Three years old.  The twins had filled the dead space in their home with laughter and joy.  Paul and Rachel would celebrate their ninth anniversary next February. 

Rachel stayed home with Kate and Sarah.  She was a leader in the church and well respected among her friends.  From the outside she was put together.  She was a leader and portrayed a smile to everyone she met.  The darkness she carried inside was a secret no one would have guessed.

The Hensley's moved to Sunny Hills when Tim got a new job at the construction company.  Tim and Mary Beth moved into a little rent house when they moved to town last Fall.  Their boys were older and very well behaved.  Tim and Mary Beth lived on very little means and yet every time Rachel spent time with Mary Beth there was something very different about her heart.  Mary Beth never complained or spoke and unkind word toward anyone.

Rachel would often wonder how this family could live on so little yet stay so thankful and content.  She for one was never satisfied.  You could ask her husband Paul about that.

The coffee pot clicked on.  Six a.m already she thought as she climbed out of bed.  January had been cold and snowy this year.  After she got the fire going, Rachel grabbed her Bible and coffee and sat down in her favorite chair.  The house was quiet while everyone slept.  As she sat in the little living room she began to pray.

"LORD, I am tired.  I am tired of being unhappy.  Is there really a secret to being content and if there is how do I find it?  If you are listening to me can you help me?  I want to be different.  Is there a thread that could run deeper in my life so my joy would not be stolen from me so easily?"  She sat quietly looking into the roar of the fire.  Not much changed as she sat in the darkness of morning.  If Rachel knew one thing though she knew that God was faithful.  She knew that He knew her heart.  He alone knew the depth of her sin.  How it had invaded every relationship she had.  And He alone would be the one who could begin to untangle the mess of her heart.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Last month we received our first Prayer Point magazine in the mail.  It is the bi-monthly prayer magazine for Samaritan's Purse.  Not only does it give you countries and prayer requests to pray for, it also includes a daily Bible reading.  If you do not have a good resource for summer Bible reading, I encourage you to go to Samaritan's Purse and check it out.  Today I want to share with you a story about a lady named Judy.  I read about her story in my Prayer Point magazine. 

She was an ordinary lady who took a trip to Fiji.  There was a little boy named Ajay sitting all by himself on a pew at the church.  He was 9 years old.  All the other children had opened their Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes and were outside happily playing and enjoying their new toys.  Ajay remained seated, box unopened.

Judy sat down beside him and opened the box lid.  Ajay's dad told her he had no eye sight in one of his eyes and very little in the other one.    Judy lifted out a little toy horse and placed it in Ajay's hand.  Then she pulled out a little booklet called The Greatest Gift Of All-a gospel presentation in Ajay's native language.

Guess what was under the book?  A magnifying glass.  Do you know that Ajay picked up that magnifying glass and his little face lit up because he was able to read the words?!

One ordinary day like today a family packed a little shoe box with small gifts.  Maybe they were at Targe' and found a magnifying glass in the $1 Spot. Maybe the little boy in that family loved magnifying glasses to play spy with so he had to include it.  Maybe an elderly lady packed the box and she knew how wonderful it was to be able to see.

One ordinary day like today, someone placed a seemingly insignificant toy of a magnifying glass in a shoe box and it got sent to Fiji.  It got sent to Fiji and a little boy named Ajay's world changed because he received a tool that brought sight to blind eyes.

And what about Judy?  God used her hands and feet to be able to be on the front line of seeing this miracle of God unfold right before her seeing eyes.

And what about you?  What will your hands do today?

Today my hands will comb hair and brush teeth.
Today my hands will help fasten shoes on little feet.
Today my hands will cut the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Today my hands will drive little boys to swim lessons.
Today my hands will tuck them into bed for nap time and bedtime.

It makes me wander.  If I allow my hands to do the small tasks God has placed in front of me to do today-It makes me wander if he has a bigger plan for the small things my hands find to do today.

"the LORD gives sight to the blind."
Psalm 146:8

I pray today He gives you sight and leads you down paths he alone has carved out for your hands and your feet.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are you Distinct?

Distinct.  Recognizably different.  Phyically seperate.

I ran across this video on YouTube and it is eye-opening.  There is a battle for our young men.  I am raising three of my own and we've worked with hundreds over the years.  I've heard the college guys share about their struggles with the ladies at college relationship seminars. The struggle is real. 

"Have your Dad screen your wardrobe.  Ask him how you can choose holiness over worldliness."  This is a powerful quote.  Our husbands and fathers in our homes have been given to us by God  for an umbrella of protection.  As the heads of the households they are accountable to God for how they lead.  The authority has been given to them.  If you want to enjoy living under the umbrella of God's ordained safety net for you and your children, listen to what your husband says, especially when it comes to clothing.

Being Holy and set apart does not come without sacrifice.  It is a sacrifice to keep searching and searching and searching for that perfect cute outfit that is super cute and still modest.  The temptation is to make excuses.  It takes sacrifice to dress in a manner that honors God and honors men.

As a mom of 3 young boys my prayer for their battle against temptation has already begun.  It is difficult when, even in the church, I see young ladies dressed in revealing clothes.  They bend over and I can see their cleavage.  Their shirt is so low cut I know exactly what their bra looks like.  Yes, even in the church among Christian gals.

This training to dress in a pure way will not come without a battle from our children.  It will come with tears and anger on most young peoples parts.  We've worked with youth for 11 years and I've seen the battle up close and personal.  Especially during the adolescent years of age 11-14.  A huge change is going on in their little hearts.  One of the last transitions they are making in growing up happens during these years. I've seen moms give in to the battle with excuses.  I've seen moms hold their ground on behalf of creating holiness for their children.

One mom of four daughters I will never forget.  She had a high standard.  When it came to jeans shopping the rule was you cannot see your underwear from behind when you sit down.  That's a good standard and if you've been jeans shopping it is hard to find jeans that fit that criteria.  But this mom modeled for me that it was possible to keep the standard.  Search, pray and wait.  And at the end of the day, maybe your pair of blue jeans is not the exact look you were wanting.  That is called self-denial.

Would it be out of the realm of possibility to think God might call us to deny ourselves?  Could it be that concept is even scriptural?  Did Jesus tell us if you want to follow him you will have to deny yourself, and take up your cross daily to follow Him?

"I think modesty is so attractive and helpful in friendship, because it makes it easier for a friendship to be centered around God and for fellowship to be unhindered"

I pray that God is raising up three girls today whose Mama's are demanding modesty for them.  That somewhere in this world, three Mom's are entering into the battle for purity and holiness for their daughters who will one day become my daughters too.  That three mom's and three daughters will deny the culture and themselves and preserve themselves for a greater treasure.

My prayer for my fellow Christian Mama friends is that we will not make excuses for worldliness but we will stand the ground and deny ourselves.  That we will put in the hard work and enter into the battle to raise men and women who are holy and set-apart.  I've linked up today with a Wise Woman's Blog.

"A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands a foolish one tears hers down." Prov14:1


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The word settled is a sweet word.  To put into order.  To arrange and fix as desired.  To establish as a resident.  To come to rest.  To make comfortable.  Quiet.  Rest.  Be still.  Relax.  Abide.  Dwell.  Live.

Two years ago we moved.  We moved, put our belongings in storage and stayed with my parents for a short time while we waited to move into our new house.  The day came when we had the keys to our home and were ready to move in.

The first order of business was unpacking.  Bringing in the boxes from the garage one by one and putting them away.  It was an orderly process.  After the boxes were unpacked I hung pictures and curtains.  Each step was bringing my family one step closer to a feeling of being settled and being home.

Does your heart ever feel unsettled?

Life and the circumstances around you are less than ideal?

The choices you've made have left you dealing with consequences that make you feel alone and distant from God?

Your prayer is save me O God.  The waters have come up to my neck.  I am sinking in the depths.  It is so deep there is no foothold.  I have come out into the deep waters, the floods engulf me.  I'm worn out.  My eyes can hardly see.  You know my lack of good sense and foolishness Lord.  My guilt is not hidden from you.  I feel like a stranger and an alien around my family and friends.  Please answer me.  Rescue me.   Don't let me sink.  Deliver me from the deep waters.  Do not let the flood waters engulf me, or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.  Answer me out of the goodness of your love.  In your great mercy would you turn to me Lord?  Do not hide your face from me.   I am in trouble.  Come near and rescue me.  My heart is broken and I feel helpless.  There is no one to comfort me. As I look around for sympathy, I am alone.

May the table before my enemies become a snare.  Free me from my enemies.  Myself.  Laziness, anger, bitterness, resentment, pride, a sharp tongue.  Have I fed my enemies and set a table for there provisions?  May there eyes be darkened so they cannot see and there backs be bent forever.  Let your fierce anger overtake them.  May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.  May they be blotted out and not be listed with the righteous.

I am in pain and distress.  Protect me.  I will praise you in song.  I will glorify you with giving thanks.  Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.  I am poor.  You say the poor will see and be glad.  I seek you so my heart may live.  You hear the needy and you do not despise your captive people.  You save.  You rebuild.  You settle your people and allow them to dwell among you.

Settle.  To put into order. To arrange and fix as desired. To establish as a resident. To come to rest. To make comfortable. Quiet. Rest. Be still. Relax. Abide. Dwell. Live.

Lord, settle me among you.  Your words, your truths.  Not among my enemies of self and this passing world.  Not among the enemy who prowls around looking to destroy souls.

To dwell with you is my prayer.  To nest where you are, to occupy your spaces and to make my home with you.

Psalm 69

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tomorrow is the last day of my Moses Bible Study.

It has been a sweet journey through the books of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus & Deuteronomy.

There is one lesson that stands out above the many I have learned and that is of Mount Sinai. God called Moses to climb that mountain several times and he was an 80 year old man. I have climbed mountains before and it can be very, very hard, treacherous work. Once when I was in Jr. High we even got lost on a mountain. We wandered aimlessly in circles till dusk. God has reminded me that the journey with him can be steep and hard. There are streams along the way and places to stop and rest. Some days the journey seems to be utterly and completely uphill. And He has reminded me that He is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS waiting at the top of the mountain with a fresh word for me. He is with me on the journey. A path has been laid before me and he will show me which way to step.

"...the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year..." Heb. 9:6-7 When I read that I thought, "Am I content to regularly enter the outer room, or am I making the sacrifice of time to enter the inner room-the Most Holy Place?"

The breath of God is sweet.
It is an all consuming fire. This is what God has taught me through the study of Moses.
I am a warrior. (Ex 15:3)
I will fight for you, you need only be still. (Ex 14:14)
I can make the surging waters stand firm like a wall. (Ex 15:8)
I alone can make the bitterness sweet. (Ex 15:25)
I am the one who heals you. (Ex 15:26)
You have seen how I carried you on eagle's wings and brought you to myself. (Ex 19:4)
I know you by name. (Ex 33:17)
Even during plowing season and harvest you must rest. (Ex 34:21)
You must distinguish between the holy and the common. (Lev. 10:10)
Deny yourself. (Lev 23:27)
Rest. (Lev 23:32)
I will never betray my faithfulness to you. (Ps. 89:33)
I will lead you. (Num 14:8)
Do not rebel. (Num 14:9)
Do not be afraid. (Num 14:9)
I can make a dead piece of wood sprout, bud, blossom and produce almonds. (Num 17:8)
I have given you the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Complete covering of righteousness and freedom through the blood of Jesus. Access to the Living Word-the bread of life. (Num 18:12)
I listen to you. (Num 21:3)
I will give you a mind that understands. Eyes that see and ears that hear. (Deut 29:4)
Hold fast to me. (Deut 30:20)
My everlasting arms protect you and will catch you when you fall. I am your safety net. (Deut 33:27)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Bride & Groom

I have a race marked out specifically for you. It is the direction I have purposed for your life. When you look around at who is running beside you you may see similarities but do not compare. Satan wants you to look around, compare, and become disheartened. Do not loose heart.

Think about weddings I have allowed you to witness. When the doors fling wide open there are two people in the room who command attention. The Bride & The Groom. In that instant everything else fades away. The debate over whether or not you left the coffee pot on. Your hurt that is still fresh in your heart. Your questions over the big decision that is looming on the forefront of your thoughts.

Your eyes engage on one of two people. You either look at the bride as she walks down the aisle or you look to the groom to enjoy the sheer joy and wonder of the look on his face. And for those 15 seconds nothing else in the world matters. All your cares fade away.

Beloved, I am your Groom and you are my Bride. I want you to fix your eyes on me today. Fix your eyes on me so that everything can fade away in My Presence.

Hebrews 12:1-2, Hebrews 12: 12-13, Proverbs 4:25-26