What is "Building A House"?

"Building A House" is a blog about my journey back to God. The name comes from Proverbs 24:3-4 (The Message), "It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation; it takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies."

No, this isn't going to be a blog about making my house look pretty - at least not pretty on the OUTSIDE. But, I'm going to be working on getting my house
"pretty" on the SPIRITUAL side. I'm coming back from a pretty dark place in my life after losing 8 babies to miscarriage. This blog is about my journey back
to the Lord.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Psalm 65:5

"You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
O God our savior. 
You are the hope of everyone on earth,
even those who sail on distant seas."
Psalm 65:5 (NLT)

Psalm 65 paints a beautiful picture of how God takes care of his earth. It goes into quite a bit of detail of the things he does to make the things of earth grow and blossom. If God takes the time to care for his earth, how much more does he want to take the time to care for us, his children? 

My prayer right now is for my family to be whole again. This is a righteous prayer. A prayer that God can, and will, answer - if the people in my family want it as well. We are given free will and if one member (or two, or three...) decides to give up on the family, there's not a whole lot I can do about it. But, what I can do is pray. Because God can change hearts. 

God is my hope for my family. He will work, if we let him. Will you please pray with me that we will all allow God to work to bring wholeness and healing to my family?

2 Samuel 7:29a

"Bless my family; 
keep your eye on them always."
2 Samuel 7:29a (The Message)

Isn't it so nice to know that even when we can't see what our children are doing, God does? His eye is on them always. Now to get our kids to see how important it is for them to live as if they believe this fact. *sigh* 

Please Lord,
My family needs your blessing. Things are so stressful right now and we need peace. When my children make bad choices, please keep your eye on them and open our eyes to the truth. Help their hearts to want to keep on the path you desire for them. When they sneak behind our backs, bring their behavior into the Light so we can know what's happening.

Thank you for doing this today when you showed us what one of our children has been sneaking around doing. I praise you that it wasn't anything dangerous and I seek your wisdom in knowing how to handle this. Thank you for giving my husband and I a like-mind of waiting until we've had time to pray and seek wise counsel. 

Please give all our children a heart for you. Don't let them go down the path of dishonesty and sneakiness. Fill my house with your Holy Spirit and pour out your blessings upon us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Luke 8:48

"Jesus said, 'Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, 
and now you're healed and whole. 
Live well, live blessed!'"
Luke 8:48 (The Message)

Jesus is talking to the woman who had suffered from a bleeding ailment for 12 years. She had reached out and touched his robe, trusting that all she needed was a little touch and she would be healed. She touched him and she was healed. The part where she was taking a risk is the fact that back then, if a woman was bleeding, she was considered unclean and was not allowed to touch anyone until she was done bleeding and had been purified. Jesus could have gotten angry with her for touching him as technically, he was now unclean himself. Instead, he healed her; he acknowledged the risk she had taken and blessed her for it. 
Knowing what we know about Jesus today, we know it's not risk-taking to trust him. But sometimes, the things we go through cause it to truly feel as if we are taking a risk when we trust Jesus. I know I have struggled with this in the past. It seemed everything I prayed for, the opposite happened. I prayed for a baby, and God allowed me to miscarry - eight times! I prayed for children through adoption and we hit one snag after another. I prayed for my children to be safe and one child was hit by a car. I prayed for my marriage to remain strong and our marriage nearly ended in divorce (Praise God, it didn't!). 

Needless to say, trusting Jesus became a very difficult thing for me to do.  It began to feel as if I would be taking a huge risk if I put my life into God's hands. To this day, I struggle with this. But, each day, I take a risk. I make the decision to trust God with my life and with my family. Sometimes I have a lot of fear when I do this - apparently Satan likes to use this struggle in mighty ways in my mind - but I also make the choice to believe that Jesus is stronger than Satan. So, I make a conscious decision each and every day to take the "risk" to trust Jesus. And I do feel blessed for doing so! I do feel as if I am living well when my life is in His hands! 

No, things aren't perfect. Prayers still sometimes get answered the opposite of what I pray, but instead of becoming bitter with God over this, I'm learning to trust that his ways are not my ways and that his plan is always better than my own.

Proverbs 29:8

"A gang of cynics can upset a whole city;
a group of sages can calm everyone down."
Proverbs 29:8 (The Message)

We could change this verse to read:

"One child with a bad attitude can upset an entire family;
wise parents can calm everyone down."

We almost had some problems tonight. It was the birthday of one of my children and another one of my children seemed to be having a bit of a difficult time with the attention the birthday child was receiving. This child sat there scowling and looking miserable. I knew it was a matter of time before the other two children in our family realized what the one child was doing and knowing where their patience level was with all the drama, I knew I needed to do something to intervene. So, I just quietly told the miserable child that they could go get ready for bed since they seemed so tired. The miserable child looked surprised that I would make them leave the table during the middle of the birthday celebration, but this child must have known that I wasn't going to have a "scene" being caused on this special day because this child quietly said, "Ok" and went to get ready for bed.

This child, the one who was so miserable tonight, has a tendency to try to control the family with their mood. If this child is upset about something, they make sure everyone ends up upset. As the parents in our home, we are not going to stand for this anymore. If any child in our family decides to bring down anyone else in the family because they feel miserable, that child will be sent to their rooms where they can be miserable while being alone. We are taking back control of our family and it is not going to be a family that walks around on eggshells to make one person happy. 

It is my prayer that the Father works in this child's heart to help them see that being alone is not as much fun as one might think it would be. It is my prayer that this child decides being a member in a family is truly a treasure and something this child begins to want. Will all who are reading this pray this with me? 

Only God can change hearts - when I try to change one of my kid's hearts I only make things worse. So, I give up. I give all my children over to God and will allow him to do his miraculous work!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Proverbs 28:1

"The wicked are edgy with guilt, 
ready to run off even when no one's after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions."

My family just went through a very stressful time. While I was a nervous wreck during this time, my nerves from me not being in control of the outcome. I was completely honest with some people we turned to for help. I admitted my sin and wrongdoing - despite really, really wanting to hide the truth out of fear of what people would think of me or what action could be taken. Some would say I shared too much info. I say, I shared what I felt God leading me to share in the hopes that our family would finally get the help that we need. 

While I don't know the final outcome of this whole situation yet, I do know that I can be relaxed from here on out - because I know I didn't hold anything back. Everything is out of my hands, but the truth is out in the Light, not hiding in the darkness, so I am confident that, regardless of what happens, everything will be okay. 

Psalm 63:1

"O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water."
Psalm 63:1 (NLT)

OK, so while I don't live in a place that is parched with no water, I do live in a house with 2 teenagers and one almost teenager (with special needs), so sometimes it feels as if I'm in a parched and weary land. Definitely weary... ;-) And lately, my thirst for God has been so strong! I find myself hurrying through something I'm working on just so I can sit down and read another chapter. (It helps that I'm currently reading in 1 Samuel when David is running from Saul - it's like reading an action-adventure novel that I just can't put down - even though I know how it ends!) I love this type of thirst! 

In my searching I'm learning more about who God is. Some have said that the God of the Old Testament is a vengeful God. A God filled with wrath. And to an extent, yes. This is true. God's wrath does pour out on his enemies. But, he showers grace upon grace on those who love him. And God's grace isn't just for the Israelites of the Old Testament. It is for all of us as well! 

He wants to be in relationship with me and I'm deepening that relationship with him each and every time I open the Word of God. (Ok, so yes, I have to actually READ the Bible - a deep relationship doesn't happen through osmosis, I've learned!) I'm learning more and more about who God is and I'm loving what I see more and more as well! I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Luke 6:31

"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior:
Ask yourself what you want people to do for you;
then grab the initiative and do it for them!"
Luke 6:31 (The Message)

I absolutely love the way The Message Bible puts this verse! This is, of course, "The Golden Rule" verse, but the wording of The Message is just so spot on! As a young girl I would ponder over "The Golden Rule", wondering what I should do for others. But, this version gets me to think about what I would want others to do for me. Oh - it's so easy to come up with a list like that! Especially in regards to my relationship with my husband. Here are my top three wants from my spouse:

  • I want him to pray over me.
  • I want him to hug me more.
  • I want him to show more public affection towards me.

The problem with these wants? These things don't come naturally to my husband. They are all things that kids need to see and have shown to them in order to grow up and be able to easily express to others. And my husband's family just wasn't an overtly religious family, nor where they very outwardly affectionate. My own family growing up was affectionate, but we certainly didn't pray together (except at dinner). 

This verse tells me that if I want my spouse to do these things with me, then I need to start by doing them with him. Showing affection to him is a breeze for me - one of my top love languages is physical touch, so I have no problems working on this part of this verse! But, praying over him? That's a little more difficult for me. It helps that I love to pray with people, but for some reason, praying with my husband is different. It's more intimate and vulnerable for me than it is to pray with someone at church. But, I'm trying to do better with this. 

The neat thing is that the more I do it, the less I'm doing it to get it in return. I started out with the hopes that I'd only have to do it for a short while before my husband figured out that he needed to do it back. ;-) But, I'm learning that doing this, with expecting nothing in return, is growing a deep compassion in my heart for those around me. And isn't gaining compassion worth so much more than gaining a few hugs or snuggles?

Proverbs 27:17

"You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17 (The Message)

Do you have wise friends in your life? Friends who challenge you and stimulate thought? Not necessarily friends who think the same as you or even believe the same as you. But, friends who make you think? I do. I haven't met many of them in real life (IRL), but I know many of them better than certain family members of mine. 

These friends have been here for me through so many things - difficult times and times filled with joy. We have disagreed with each other and we have even "shared words", if you know what I mean. Sometimes I've had to "walk away" for a breather, but I'm always drawn back in by their love and acceptance - and their ability to quickly forgive when I've done one of them wrong. They have taught me much about my Christian walk and they've helped deepen my faith in God, as well as strengthen my knowledge of Him. They challenge me to be a better person and they teach me wonderful things - as well as some really odd things that are way TMI for this blog! ;-) 

This post is for them. My Sonlight Sisters. They have taught me what being a Christian sister is all about and best of all - they accept me for who I am - flaws and all. 

Sonlight Sisters - I love you all deeply. Thank you for being who you are - for challenging me and for teaching me - and even for allowing me to teach you from my limited knowledge from time to time. ;-) I am a better wife, mother, friend, daughter and person because of you ladies. May you all be as blessed as you have blessed me!

Psalm 62:5, 8

"Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him...
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:5, 8 (NLT)

Things in my family are pretty upside-down right now. I have so much I want to say - lectures that are bursting to come forth from my lips, but the Lord has clamped my mouth shut. I am learning to "wait quietly before God". I trust him - even with things that I think I could do such a good job with. ;-) 

Sunday afternoon I went on a hike to a waterfall with my boys. The waterfall was so peaceful and beautiful. While the boys went off in search of Bigfoot, I poured out my heart to God. That day, sitting on a rock in the middle of the creek, with the waterfall right next to me, God was my refuge. I was leaning my back upon the rock and it felt just as if I was sitting with God's arms wrapped around me. He heard my prayer and I trust him to work in the hearts of my family, including my own heart. We need restoration and God is the God of restoration, so I will wait quietly for his work to be complete. 

Luke 6:21b

"God blesses you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh."
Luke 6:21b

This seems like a good time to share the vision I had while at a Rachel's Vineyard retreat to heal from the loss of my 8 babies to miscarriage...

I was in a dark forest and feeling rather afraid. There were knotted trees everywhere whose roots were sticking up every which way. It was so dark I was afraid to walk for fear of getting hurt by all the things sticking out in my "path". (There really was no path at all.) This part of the forest felt very sad and depressing.

Up ahead, I saw a light so I gingerly walked towards it. I discovered it was a clearing filled with tall, flowing grass and thousands of wildflowers. In the distance, I could see children frolicking around a man. As I walked closer, I could see that the man was Jesus. He was laughing with the children. As he saw me, he beckoned to me, "Come here, sweet child, let me introduce you to your children."

I fell to my knees and suddenly I was being surrounded by a group of children, all laughing and shouting for a chance to hug and kiss me. I began to laugh along with them, as I reached out to touch them and kiss their beautiful faces. We all stood up, held hands in a circle and danced and laughed around Jesus.

Eventually, it was time to go. I wasn't as sad about leaving as I thought I would be. I was sad, yes, but at the same time, I knew I would be seeing them again soon, in the realm of God's time. Jesus began to lead me away, gently holding my hand. With his other hand, he began clearing the trees and pointing out dips in the ground. He knew I would be hesitant due to my knee issues and wanted me to feel safe and secure!

When we left, we didn't go out the dark side, the way we went was only somewhat shaded with strips of sun streaming through the tall trees. At times, I would wander away from the path, but Jesus, ever-so-patiently - waited and watched me carefully, allowing me to take my time and enjoy all that was around me. I would always come back to Jesus and we would walk arm-in-arm, like two dear friends or lovers. We were enjoying each others company, laughing and having an intimate, yet casual conversation with each other.

I've had many times of sorrow in my life. Many tears have been shed, but I did laugh again. I still feel an ache in my heart when I think of the babies I never got to hold, but I know that "in due time", I will be with them in Heaven, laughing with Jesus. 

Psalm 61:1-4

"O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer! 
From the ends of the earth, 
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary, 
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!"
Psalm 61:1-4 (NLT)

Some days life is just plain overwhelming. Everything feels like it's bombarding me and I can't seem to catch a break. Do you ever have days like that? 

In the past, I have attempted to handle these days on my own. I often think God is too busy for my piddly little problems. He has more important things to worry about. But, then he gently reminds me that he cares for the sparrows, so he cares that much more for me and my problems. 

Where is God's sanctuary? Where is the towering rock of safety? Or the safe refuge? The Word of God. When life doesn't stop coming at me full throttle - when I become so overwhelmed that I can't make a decision - I turn to God's Word for direction. Always, I am reminded that God is my strength. And when I cry out to him, he helps me. Oh, he doesn't fix all the issues in my life, but he gives me the strength to tackle each one, one at a time. When I go to God, I am "safe beneath the shelter of His wings!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Luke 5:16

"As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer."
Luke 5:16 (The Message)

I think I just discovered why it's so hard for me to pray sometimes. I try to do my prayer-time in the house, with the phones ringing, text messages coming in and the family interrupting. I haven't gone away to pray in a long time. I used to walk down to the local Catholic church's Garden for the Unborn to sit and pray. I'm not Catholic, but I find such solace there. Or I'd go for long drives and use the driving time to pray. 

I rarely take the time to go off and sit in the Lord's presence anymore. But, this one, little verse tells us that even Jesus often withdrew to pray. If Jesus needed to do this, how much more do we need this? I think, from now on, I need to do this once a day. I don't have to leave my house to do it. I can go sit on the bench, under the tree we have in our front yard. Or I can take the dog for a walk and pray while we walk. Or I can take the kids to the park and wander over to the garden near the park. Or I can even just walk down to the Garden of the Unborn for a little while. But, I do need to start doing this again. 

My relationship with God is the most important thing I have. It's time for me to start putting the building of that relationship into a higher place in my life.

Psalm 52:9, Psalm 54:1-2; Psalm 55:6-8

"I thank you always
that you went into action.
And I'll stay right here, 
your good name my hope,
in company with your faithful friends."
Psalm 52:9 (The Message)

God did go into action today! We had a very important meeting this afternoon that I have been stressing about for about a couple weeks now. All the signs pointed to a positive outcome, but you know how Satan loves to wreak havoc on our thoughts! My mind felt like it was spinning out of control!

We had hundreds of people praying for truth to prevail. Yesterday, I was reading in Psalms and read this:

"God, for your sake, help me!
Use your influence to clear me.
Listen God - I'm desperate.
Don't be too busy to hear me."
Psalm 54:1-2 (The Message)

How I clung to this passage today! My anxiety level was through the roof - I felt like I was going to pass out all day due to being unable to breathe. But, I just kept repeating this verse and remembering how many people were praying for us and for truth. 

God heard our prayers and answered them in a mighty way! I have hope for the future. And now I'm ready for what Psalm 55 talks about:

"I want some peace and quiet. 
I want a walk in the country,
I want a cabin in the woods.
I'm desperate for a change 
from rage and stormy weather."
Psalm 55:6-8 (The Message)

I know having kids who are teens/pre-teen means there will still be times of stormy weather. Shoot, just life itself brings some pretty nasty weather! But, I also know that:

"When I call to God;
God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
deep sighs - he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure 
in the middle of danger..."
Psalm 55:16-18a (The Message)

I trust in God to get my family through anything the future holds. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1 Samuel 2:10

"God will set things right all over the earth,
he'll give strength to his king,
he'll set his anointed on top of the world!"
1 Samuel 2:10 (The Message)

Who is Hannah talking about? King? What king? God hadn't appointed anyone king over Israel yet. So, who could Hannah possibly be referring to? The Messiah, of course! This verse is Messianic. It directly points to the coming of The King. 

Did this King do what the Israelites thought He was going to do? No. They thought He was going to ride in and destroy their enemies.When, what He does is destroys God's enemy. When Jesus came, He set things right all over the earth. Is there still sin? Yes. God gives us free will and as humans, we are going to sin. But, God's understanding of setting things right isn't our own understanding. 

Jesus set things right because He brought us back into relationship with God. His sacrifice wipes us clean of our own sin - if we believe that He truly is the Messiah who did this for us. Yes, bad things will still happen... horrible things, in fact. But, God set things right by bringing us a bridge to cross the great chasm - the bridge being Jesus. 

Because Jesus is God, in human form, He has God's strength. Even when he was here on earth, Jesus had incredible strength! Again, not the way the Israelites imagined. Remember, they thought the Messiah would free them from their human oppressors. That he would show his amazing strength and wipe their enemies from the face of the earth. Instead, Jesus showed incredible strength by taking a beating that would kill most of us and then being hung on a cross. I believe that, at any time, Jesus could have stopped it all from happening. That his legions of angels could have come down and attacked those who were abusing the Messiah. But, in His incredible strength, He accepted the punishment that was rightfully ours. He suffered horribly in our place - never once asking his abusers to stop. Taking our punishment with silent lips. Can you imagine the strength that must have taken?! 

God's annointed, Jesus Christ, will come again. And when he does, he will be set on top of the world! ALL creatures, ALL people - every tongue, every nation - will see that Jesus Christ is THE MESSIAH. They will bow down to Him. For some, it will be too late. What about you? Will you be caught up with Christ on that day? Or will you be one whom He denies knowing? If you don't want to be one that is denied - if you want what Jesus has to offer: eternal life with Him and forgiveness of all your sins, all you have to do is ask. If you don't know what to say, here's a prayer that you can pray:

Dear God,
I admit that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I have tried 
living my life my way but I now know that I need You to guide 
me. Please forgive me of my sins [if you'd like to, list some here]. 
I want the freedom that a life with Christ can bring me. I believe 
that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe he rose again. 
I want to live with him in eternity. Thank you for forgiving me. 
Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, for me. 
In His name I pray. Amen. 

If you just prayed this prayer, please leave me a comment. I would love to pray for you as you begin your journey with the Lord. I encourage you to contact a local Christian church in your area. You can also read this article at Focus on the Family for more information as to what to do next. You may also contact them and they can help you as you begin your walk with God. I encourage you to get yourself a Bible and start to read it. The Book of Romans or the Book of Mark are great places to start. If you don't have the money for a Bible, please contact The Gideons and I'm sure they would love to give you a free Bible. (This is the group who provides Bibles in hotel rooms.) May the Lord bless you as you begin your new life with Him!

Proverbs 20:20

"Anyone who curses father and mother 
extinguishes light and exists benighted."
Proverbs 20:20 (The Message)

Other translations use the word "insults" in place of "curses". Let's see what all these words mean:

  • Curses: 1. the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc befall a person, group, etc. 2. a profane oath; curse word; 3. the cause of evil, misfortune or trouble.
  • Insults: 1. to treat or speak to insolently or with contemptuous rudeness; affront 2. to affect as an affront; offend or demean 3. to attack; assault 4. to behave with insolent triumph; exult contemptuously 5. an insolent or contemptuously rude action or remark; affront 
  •  Insolent: 1. boldly rude or disrespectful
  •  Contemptuous: 1. showing or expressing contempt or disdain; scornful
  •  Affront: 1. a personally offensive act or word; deliberate act or display of disrespect; intentional slight; insult 2. an offense to one's dignity or self-respect
  •  Extinguish: 1. to put out 2. to put an end to or bring to an end; wipe out of existence; annihilate
  • Benighted:  intellectually or morally ignorant; overtaken by darkness

I have a child who blurts out hurtful things when they get in trouble. This child often tells us that they hate us and sometimes we even get cursed at. In the past, I have taken this quite personally - often reacting in anger to the cutting remarks that get thrown at me. Sometimes I even get physically attacked by this child. It is a sign of my own humanity that I react with anger during these times. 

However, tonight while I was reading this verse and looking up what some of the words meant it hit me: Sure, it's easy to get angry when we feel attacked or disrespected. But, this verse tells us that our children's Light is extinguished and they exist in darkness when they do these things. Anger, while justified, is the wrong reaction to this happening! Our hearts ought to be breaking for our children when they act this way towards us! 

Looking back on moments in our lives when one of our children has insulted us and seeing past the anger and hurt that I feel - both of which cause us to focus on ourselves and not on the fact that our child is lost, at that moment - I can see that my child is living in darkness when this happens. For days, this child will separate themselves from the family. Sitting in their room harboring bitterness in their heart. There is no room for the Light of God when this child is in this mode. This child is existing in darkness. As this child's parent, I need to fight for this child to come back to God. 

Does this mean I ignore the insults and disrespect? Not at all. Our children need to learn how to treat people with mature respect despite how they feel in the moment. But, when I react in anger I am only adding fuel to the fire. We experienced a situation this week where this child acted like I described above. Instead of hounding this child, demanding respect and good attitudes, I allowed this child to stay in their room. If this child came out and copped an attitude, I'd send this child to their room again - if it was meal time, this child got a peanut butter sandwich and a banana. I didn't allow this child to continue to mistreat me - but I also didn't respond in anger. 

So, how did I respond? Well, I kept my mouth shut (with much help from my wonderful husband) and turned to the Psalms, as well as to my dear friends - asking them to be in prayer for us. Did it fix everything? No. However, this child came to us - on their own - and sought our forgiveness for how this child was treating us. We forgave this child immediately and showered them with unconditional love. This child needs to know the love of God, so just as God forgives us when we come back to Him, just as He loves us with no strings attached, we must do the same for our children. 

Sure, our children can really hurt us with their words and actions. But, are we going to demonstrate to them the love of Christ or are we going to teach them that "getting even" is the way to handle disrespect from others? In the past, I have shown a somewhat vindictive spirit when my children have caused me pain. But, this verse has convicted me that I need to feel sadness when my children mistreat me and I need to turn to the Lord to help bring them back into the Light.

Monday, March 19, 2012

1 Samuel 1:15-16

"...I'm a woman hard used. I haven't been drinking...
The only thing I've been pouring out is my heart,
pouring it out to God.
Don't for a minute think I'm a bad woman.
It's because I'm so desperately unhappy 
and in such pain that I've stayed here so long."
1 Samuel 1:15-16 (The Message)

I've been stuck in my reading of the Old Testament ever since I got to 1 Samuel. This is such a difficult book for me to read. I find solace in this book. But, I also find bitterness in my heart when I read this book. Haven't I cried out to God for a baby? Why did God answer Hannah's prayer, but not my own? What have I done wrong? Is my faith not strong enough? Is my worship not good enough? 

No, God hasn't answered the cry of my heart by blessing me with another baby. But, what he has done is given me peace about it. Sure, I have days - like today - where my heart aches to have a baby of my own. But, despite that ache - which may or may not always be there - I have a sense of peace. 

My self-worth isn't determined by how many children I have. My salvation isn't determined by how many "arrows" are in my "quiver". I am loved by God simply because He created me. I have salvation in Christ simply because I believe that He died on the cross for ME. And this is enough for me. If I had no spouse, if I had no children, I would still be a beloved daughter of the King. And that is what brings me joy. That is what eases my pain. I stayed with the Lord long enough that he was able to heal my aching heart and show me what is truly important. 

Praise be to God!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Psalm 51:16-17

"Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship 
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice."
Psalm 51:16-17 (The Message)

Shattered pride. Shattered hearts. Shattered lives. This pretty much describes me these days. Life is really not working out the way I had planned. I had great visions of adopting two kids and living "happily ever after". Only, that's not the way it's going at all. And in my pride I had to hold it all in. 

Oh, I have a handful of close friends I tell (most of) the truth to, but out of fear I keep the real truth from many, many people. I don't want to scare people away from adoption. I don't want people to use us as an example as to why people shouldn't adopt - especially when they're adopting older children. I feel like we live under a microscope, but it's only recently that I realized it's a microscope of my own creation. I wanted people to look at us and see a happy, God-centered family whose children were so well-behaved and perfect that they used us as examples of how wonderful adoption can be. Well, folks. That ain't happenin'. 

God doesn't want a flawless performance. He wants our hearts. And when I try to perform in order to look good on the outside, I am not pleasing God at all. My family is in a world of trouble. My pride has been shattered due to the sin of someone near to me, but yes... also due to my own sin. 

My heart is shattered. The hopes I had for having a close relationship with my daughter are crashing down around me. This is not what I envisioned. This is not what I want. I don't want to feel like there is a 10ft brick wall between me and my daughter. 

My life feels shattered in the fact that my family is suffering because of everything going on. I've lived this once already and vowed my own children would never have to live this. And yet... it's completely out of my control. I can't do anything to change what has happened in my family. I can't go back and change history. 

What I can do is give it all to God. My heart is ready for love. My heart is ready for restoration. And while that seems impossible to my human brain, I know that with God, it is very, very possible. So, while everything in my being is screaming at me to run far away, I plan to stick it out because I know that the future that God has for us is not one of pain and heartache. He can take the most ugly situation and turn it into something beautiful. So, I plan to keep turning my kids, my husband, myself and my life over to God's care. He can, and will, work miracles. And it is only through Him that my family will be put back together.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Proverbs 14:25

"Souls are saved by truthful witness
and betrayed by the spread of lies."
Proverbs 14:25 (The Message)

We have some pretty scary stuff happening in our lives right now. I'm not at liberty to share what it is at this time, but suffice it to say - my anxiety level has been through the roof and I feel frozen. Despite how I've been feeling, you know what brings me joy? The fact that, in my anxiety and fear, I can turn to the Bible and the Lord touches me with what I read. 

Is the Bible relevant today? Oh! You better believe it, friends! And I am praying that my husband and I are saved by truthful witness on Friday. Everything is out of my hands. I turned to an organization for help and I am going to trust that they will help. That all this fear and anxiety will be worked out for good. That the Lord is working in this and we will get the help we need. What more can I do? God is in control and His will, will be done. Praise be to God!

Luke 4:1-13

This is the passage where Jesus is tested by the Devil. I'm not going to print it all out, but pay close attention to how Jesus responded to all of Satan's temptations. He answered the Devil with Scripture. Old Testament Scripture to be exact. I've been told before that the Old Testament isn't relevant today. That is completely untrue. Almost every time I sit down and read the Old Testament I find little jewels of wisdom that completely pertain to life today. Apparently, Jesus did as well. ;-) It is what He used to fight the Devil there in the wilderness. 

I feel a conviction coming on. If Satan were to come to me today and tempt me with things that look so "pretty" to me, would I have enough Scripture knowledge to fight him? Am I armed with the Sword of the Spirit? Not by a long shot! So, how does one get armed? By memorizing Scripture. By having enough knowledge of the Word of God that I can use it - without thinking - to ward off Satan's attacks. That changes this year. My goal this year is to read the Bible and to memorize Scripture. I'm slow at memorizing, but I have already memorized 3 passages of Scripture and plan to memorize much more this year. .

For a great tool to help you (and your children) memorize Scripture please visit and download The Scripture Memory Connection. I've been using this with my kids for years and they really enjoy it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Psalm 49:7-8a

"Really! There's no such thing as self-rescue,
pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means..."
Psalm 49:7-9a (The Message)

Self-rescue. How many of us hate to ask for help, thinking we can fix a problem in our lives 'on our own'. We believe that makes us "strong". Well, it doesn't. And sometimes it's just plain foolishness and self-centeredness. We cannot rescue ourselves. From death or sometimes even from certain situations in our lives. The cost of our rescue is beyond what we can humanly do by ourselves. 

I've tried to do things on my own, refusing to share with others what's going on in my life because I don't want people to think of me as weak. Guess where that got me? In a very weak spot, indeed! God has this way of bringing us to our knees when we need it the most. ;-)

God is our rescuer. Sometimes He rescues us without using humans and sometimes he rescues us using other humans. No matter how He does it, we need to recognize that it is HIM doing it, not ourselves. God has rescued me three times from the hand of death. Each of those three times was made worse because I was afraid to ask for help. I was afraid to tell people what I was thinking or how I was feeling because I was so afraid to appear weak. Well, in my weakness, He is strong. He saved me from doing something really foolish and put the right people in my life to help bring me back into relationship with Him. 

I tried to pull myself up by my bootstraps. And I failed. The cost of my rescue was beyond my means. I praise God for that so that He gets all the glory for my life today.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Luke 1:78-79

"Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, 
God's Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
Those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
Down the path of peace."
Luke 1:78-79 (The Message)

What a beautiful picture of Jesus! "God's Sunrise". Given to us by God's tender mercy. Are you in the dark? Are you sitting in the shadow of death? Close your eyes and picture God's Sunrise, breaking through the clouds. Lift up your face to Heaven and feel the warmth of Jesus shining down on you. He is there. He is reaching out for you. And He will show you the way, "one foot at a time", guiding you "down the path of peace". 

Oh God,
When the darkness begins to take over, I lift my face to Jesus, 
living in the hope that you will rescue me. Carry me now, Lord God. 
The darkness can seem so strong - so powerful. But Lord... 
you are always stronger than the darkness. 
When I bring my pain into Your Light, 
you will work and bring me peace. 
Guide me now and always, one foot a time. 
In Jesus' radiant name I pray. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Judges 6:23

"But God reassured him, 
'Easy now. Don't panic. You won't die.'
Judges 6:23 (The Message)

It's been awhile since I last blogged because I was dealing with some medical issues, but I'm back now, and am going to start to slowly get back into blogging. I continued to read my Bible while I was under the weather, but stuck mostly to Psalms and Proverbs. However, I did read this in Judges and it really stuck with me. 

I, and many of my friends, sometimes have to deal with these pesky little things called "Panic Attacks", otherwise known as "Anxiety Attacks". They are annoying, to say the least. I can be out at a restaurant and suddenly have to GET OUT OF THERE faster than I can say, "I need to go." Thankfully, we've never actually had to leave due to one of these attacks, but I attribute that to the power of deep breathing. And prayer. 

This verse really hit me when I read it and I plan to memorize it. Often times, during a panic attack, we do feel as if we are going to die. But, am I really going to die because I can't get out of a restaurant fast enough? Am I really going to die because I'm facing some incredibly scary stuff in my life? Not on your life! (pun intended) 

This verse is a great verse to memorize and repeat as a mantra, of sorts, when the panic begins to set in. If you're able, close your eyes, take a few slow, deep breaths, allowing your body to relax deeply with each exhale. Then, just slowly repeat these words, in your mind (or out loud, if able) with each inhale, trying to picture Jesus sitting in front of you, keeping your eye contact, while holding your hands in his: "Easy now. Don't panic.You won't die." 

Doesn't that just bring peace to your soul? Ahhhh...*deep, cleansing breath* I feel better already!