To Luke, The Night Before Kindergarten

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I remember being in the ultrasound room, waiting for the words “It’s a girl!”

Your dad was secretly videoing with his phone, ready to send out the news to family.

I dreamed of bows and tea parties, an afternoon full of coloring and dancing and talking about unicorns. 

My stomach filled with butterflies… (and tiny baby kicks), I was ready to hear who you were going to be.

“It’s a boy!”

A boy? I didn’t know what to do with boys. I was happy to hear that you were healthy, and I loved that you were mine, but I couldn’t help but think that God had no idea what he was doing….giving me a boy.

But he wasn’t just “giving me a boy”. He was giving me you. You, Luke.

You have taught me more about love, sacrifice, joy, and fear in the 5 years you have been alive, than any teacher could ever teach in a lifetime.

The day you came, I had no idea that my heart could literally be felt outside of my body. I was absolutely enamored with your tiny 8 pound body smushed against mine. Your crinkled face and half shut eyes. Your tiny breath…If I close my eyes today, I can still hear it in that sterile hospital room. I was so in love with you I couldn’t sleep. I asked the nurses that night if it was normal to not be able to sleep after giving birth, and they laughed….. saying “welcome to the next 18 years of your life”.

They were right. I have spent many hours awake in the middle of the night with you. I don’t regret any minute of it.

You were the perfect baby. You were always so content, so easygoing, ready to laugh and play… and go along with whatever crazy thing your mom thought of next. And you know?…You are still that way. Your kindhearted and tender little soul lights up any room you walk into. If I were a kid, I would wanna be your best friend.

I spent many, many hours learning how to “be a mom” on you.  (Still doing that, actually) You have been overprotected and worried over more times than I would like to admit. I have stared at your face for hours, studying your features detail by detail. I love your nose. Your big brown eyes. Those long eyelashes and that quirky smile you give when you are in a silly mood.

Ever since you were 2 years old, you have been a boy of passion. Actually, you personify passion.

At that age, your passion was Thomas The Train. In fact, you fell in love with all of the characters. You memorized them. You studied them. You knew all of their numbers, their colors, their jobs. Rocky, Harvey, Gordon, and James were some of your favorites. You would sleep with those trains every night, play with your trains almost everywhere we went, and could build a train track better than a 6 year old. You learned your entire alphabet and all of your numbers by 2 1/2, because of a few Thomas Puzzles I had bought you. We memorized the theme song together. Daddy spent hours making you a Thomas The Train Birthday Cake just so he could see the delight on your face when you ran out of your room that morning. That was a fun day. You were so grateful and so happy.

Because you loved Thomas, Daddy and I loved Thomas.

For the past 5 (almost 6!) years, you have been an absolute gift to your family.

A gift to your 4 year old sister, a gift to your baby brother, a gift to your grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins.

Tomorrow, you will be a gift to a whole new world.

I am excited for this next chapter in life for you. You are going to do so great. You have always been good with transition, and I don’t think this will be any different for you.

I have to let a part of you go, something that will continue to come in little waves throughout the course of your life. It’s hard for me, as it’s hard for any mom. But you are just on loan to me from God. He has all the details….all the plans….all the adventures already written in your book, and he’s waiting to go on this next journey with you.

 

His little baby, you’ll always be. Even when you grow away from me.

Persevering Prayer

“Hey Ro, I’m at work….what’s up?”

“I’M PREGNANT. LIKE, I’M NOT JOKING.”

I was sweating and my heart was racing. I was pacing frantically in the kitchen, on the phone with my husband, with the freshly urinated pregnancy stick…. in my hand.

Ten minutes of a total freak out session pursued. He was happy, I was scared.

Ben and I have always SORTA kinda wanted 4 children, and we always have wanted them close together. But life is crazy, and I sometimes like the craziness to settle down.

Ben and I toyed around with the idea of having a 4th, and with one risky month of not being SUPER careful…..well. yep. I am fertile myrtle over here.

What’s birth control again? That’s another blog style, and I digress. This post is about persevering prayer, right?

It took me a while to come to terms with the idea of a new life growing inside of me. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t even want to know. I was scared and I didn’t know how to handle this information. Excited one moment, crying in bed the next.

What’s worse, is….pregnancy sadness.

Has anyone experienced this before? I didn’t even know it was a thing, until I got pregnant with my 3rd. That was rough but I got better after my 1st trimester.

I didn’t know how hard it would hit this time, until it did.

Crying in bed. Hiding from friends. Not wanting to start the day. My hormones were surging and I felt no control. Life is good, my circumstances were great, but my mind was not.

It was a dark, lonely,  and debilitating place. What’s worse is… I didn’t really seek help until the I couldn’t bear the weight any longer.

I was praising God through my sadness…- blasting worship music….repeating scripture…going through my daily routine….

but nothing was helping, and it was only getting worse. I was yelling at my kids, snappy with my husband, and in bed before dark. Don’t talk to me unless you want your head cut off.

That’s when God planted a few seeds in my heart, called ‘YOU NEED HELP. REACH OUT’

(When you finally realize you need help, it’s the best place you can be in. Just actually get it)

I called on a group of girls and they anointed me with oil. I had a prayer team now on my side.

A few days later, God spoke to me through this beautiful soul of a woman at a Church.  This stranger called out the secrets of my heart (woah) and gave me a battle plan. Did she know me? No. But am I forever grateful? Yes.

She encouraged me with many words, but a few stuck:

“You need to beat down that door until you get what you want. Go after it, and don’t stop. ”

God immediately put 2 scriptures in my head about persevering prayer:

1.) The parable of the persistent widow:

Luke 18:1-6

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

2.) The parable of the annoying neighbor:

Luke 11:5-8

Then He said to them, [Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children [and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

And so for 3 days, I was ANNOYING God. I mean it. I wasn’t asking kindly, I wasn’t coming before him trembling and with praise. I was literally doing this:

“God, give me joy. give me joy. give it to me. I need it. give me joy. give me strength. give me joy and strength. GIVE ME JOY GOD. give me joy.”

I mean, I did that at him FOR HOURS. HOURS PEOPLE. I was worried I sounded like a monk with no purpose to my chanting.  And on top of that, those 3 days were the hardest concerning my depression symptoms. I couldn’t smile. I could barely function. But I could speak. And that’s what I did. I was determined. My husband, my kids, my friends, they need me. I need me.

Day 4, I woke up. And I felt……

happy?

I didn’t freak when my daughter spilled her cereal. That’s weird. I took a shower and wanted to look nice. Weirder…

I was singing involuntarily, goofing with my kids, sweeping my kitchen floor…..

JESUS!!!!!

I wasn’t out of my 1st trimester yet! Is this feeling fleeting? God, did you seriously answer me? Don’t take this away from me, DON’T TAKE AWAY MY JOY.

And he didn’t. The rain came, the winds blew, but I stood. My husband noticed an IMMEDIATE and lasting difference.

PERSEVERING PRAYER FRIENDS. It doesn’t have to sound pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Words Hurt.

A few years back, I received a phone call from a good friend of mine that I absolutely admired. This person, in a sense, was a spiritual leader of mine. I was a little jittery to take the call- I had been experiencing new things about Jesus, things I had never known before….and I shared this personal journey I had been on just a few days before. (Actually, I overshared)

I shared testimonies, deliverances, fears, questions, hopes. I saw a few things differently now, and I thought that if they just listened longgggg enough, maybe they would too.

So when I picked up the call a few days later…. “helloooo! So glad you called!”

What pursued in that conversation was heartbreaking on both ends. They disagreed with where my path was headed, what I believed, and had a genuine concern I had been corrupted. They loved me. They wanted me to reel in what was ‘reeled out’.

What’s crazy is, even though I was feeling emotionally scarred, I saw logically how they came to that conclusion. My old brain even agreed with them. 

But words can really hurt, you know?

Not too long after that, I received more words. Lots of them, and not good ones.  Actually, they were the kind that stab you and leave you lying on the floor. Like, I felt that I had open heart surgery and there was no one there to close me up. How do I respond? Where do I go from here?

I was messed up for a few months after that.

I repeated those words of “concern” over and over and over in my head. Analyzing and then from that,  defending myself…. and then getting scared out of my MIND that I was dead. wrong.

I stopped the spiritual train I was on.

Now that it has been a few years later, I can look back at that time in my life and thank God for that journey he put me on. It wasn’t easy, but hard things refine and I certainly didn’t escape that one.

So, now that I have a good head on my shoulders…. you all want to know, right?

Who was wrong, and who was right?

Am I messed up, or are they messed up?

Where are they now, and where am I?

Who is showing up who?

These are the questions that I have found ARE NOT WORTH PURSUING.

Comparison. MISTAKES. The IMPERFECTIONS of other people. He wants to divide, distract, and accuse….anything that takes your eyes off Jesus and his completed work.

Instead, we are to respond with humility.

I heard recently, “take your eyes off the imperfections of the messenger, and listen to the message”.

When I was set free from that dark alley of accusation, these were the questions I was asking….

1.) “Lord, what was in there that was of you? What can I change to be a better servant, one who listens without a prideful heart? Take away my heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh”

(and then you know, listen)

2.) “Lord, how can I show forgiveness in what was not right, and restore that relationship as much as possible?”

3.) “Lord, what do you speak over me?” (This last one is so important to me, as I am so SOOOOOOOOOOOOO sensitive! I take on wrong identities rather quickly….so I speak and WRITE words of affirmation over me to hear the truth and put it deeeep down in my soul).

Romans 14:4

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

 

Have you had words spoken over you that hurt? How do you handle them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart & Vision Behind “Kingdom Parenting”

If you haven’t already heard, I am launching a new website/blog that will be geared towards parents and caregivers of children who have a heart to raise the next generation under the Lordship of Jesus.

If this doesn’t sound like you, this is your chance to stop reading! My NeedingGrace Blog will stay committed to writing articles centered around the gospel centered life. 

For the rest of you, I would like to introduce myself,  and share with you my heart and vision towards the new website and Facebook page.

So, Hi! My name is Rosie (call me Ro! It makes me feel loved) I am 30 years old, and I have 3 beautiful children. They are ages 4, 3, and 2 months. I live in the beautiful state of Tennessee in a wonderful suburb of Nashville.

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My family. My sweet 3 year old needed an attitude adjustment here!

When I first became a mom, my whole world flipped upside down. I “lost” my identity and purpose within the countless hours of motherhood.

Becoming a stay at home mom was very hard for me. Did God really call me to dishes, laundry, and toys? Did God call me into seclusion and lonely midnight hours? How insulting, I thought. I didn’t know HOW TO DEAL. Maintaining my life, friends, marriage or church felt impossible and I spiraled into a mild depression.

When I became pregnant AGAIN 6 months after my first baby, I panicked. I could barely handle one,  how was I supposed to take care of another? Where was MY life going? (oh, how fooled I was!)

Sadly, although I loved my babies SO MUCH, this way of thinking continued for about 2 years.*** Does this sound familiar to any of you? If so, there is hope.

Why?

God has shown me these last two years that I am not just raising babies, I am raising PEOPLE. Believers. Kingdom giants. Little souls that have not yet had bad religion taint their thinking or unbelief block their breakthroughs. Hearts that are so moldable and fragile and ready to experience Jesus.

And they have been entrusted to us.

Wow.

So my heart behind this upcoming website is to:

1.) Encourage other caregivers by revealing how valuable this calling of ours is.

2.) Gather the online community to provide a platform for others to share their experiences, wisdom, mistakes, and questions.

3.) Provide resources to help equip and mobilize caregivers to raise our children under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

My vision:

1.) Caregivers who feel value and purpose in their work with children.

2.) Preschoolers and School aged children who are SO confident in knowing they are unconditionally loved by our Father regardless of actions. I see our children experiencing how GOOD God is, how much he loves us, and how Jesus is a beautiful, glorious, Lord.

(Without these truths embedded into our children souls, any “works” will become  religion and will only be done for approval or through obligation. Please, PLEASE don’t teach your children about the kingdom without first knowing the king.)  

3.) Children displaying the kingdom of God in such a powerful and profound way. I envision the body of Christ getting ministered to through the hands of a 3 year old! Babies growing up and surpassing us in faith and in love. Preschoolers laying hands on the sick. Middleschoolers confident in their identity. Teenagers changing the culture of high school. College Students who don’t need to “find themselves”. Future adults clearing out hospitals, raising the dead, and releasing entire cities from poverty!

Is it a big vision? Absolutely. Can the upcoming website accomplish this task in it’s entirety? No way.

But we can start somewhere.

If you are reading this article and you feel called to participate in this community, please contact me. I am looking for researchers, writers, and even vloggers! I am looking for empty nesters (Hi Mom!), parents of high schoolers, parents of small children!

I can not do this alone (I am pretty busy raising children in my little corner of the world, and also still writing for NeedingGrace!) and need your help!

 

 

 

***My identity at this time was rooted in what I was or wasn’t doing, not in who God made me. If you are currently experiencing an identity crisis, I encourage you to reach out to your heavenly father for help, and also to a local church!

 

It’s Ok To Fail

You know all those cheesy cliché one liners that are supposed to motivate you past your fear of failure?

They really do motivate me for a moment.  Sadly, a moment isn’t enough.

I don’t think I realized how afraid of failure I was until recently…Ben and I were driving through the hills of Tennessee on one of our famous highways, talking about some recent failures. We want to get better at hearing from God, but we’ve made some mistakes and we were talking through them. We’ve made a lot of them through the years. Eventually I blurted out in tears:

“I don’t want to get it wrong. I HATE getting it wrong. It’s easier just not to try, because then I know I WON’T get it wrong.”

Right there in the passenger seat, I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to try anymore.

Ben gave me the saddest face ever. And he had the right. There it was, another one of my ugly truths.

But really, it is easier not to try. If I don’t try, I don’t fail. And when I don’t fail,  I won’t disappoint anybody. I can stay in my little corner and watch others step up in my place.

But isn’t that just so sad?

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The other day, it took my daughter an HOUR to put on her shirt. AN HOUR.

90 percent of that time was spent telling me why SHE JUST CAN’T .

on and on and on it went.

1 of those minutes included her actually trying (and failing.)

In the last minute? She succeeded.

I wonder how much of our time is spent thinking of reasons why we can’t do something.

can’t write in a blog because I don’t want to fail. I could list a million reasons.

I didn’t want Ben to pursue his dreams in starting his business because… what if he fails? What will happen to us financially? Again, I could go on.

But us not trying is ultimately saying we don’t believe in God and his endless mercy. HIS grace. Or his resources, encouragement, or promises. We could even go as far as saying

“God doesn’t believe in us”.

And as Christians, we know that simply isn’t true.

Once we get solid in our beauty before him, our value and worth won’t be the sum of our failures. It will stay displayed through his ultimate sacrifice (the cross).

We will feel free to try and fail and get back up to…. fail again! Eventually, we will get it right because:

God.

He is the one holding our hand and cheering us on. He is the one who will shape and refine us, reveal our insecurities and replace them with his truth. He is the ultimate teacher.

Failure doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Try. Fail. Repeat.

Succeed.

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Paul disobeyed God and decided he would go to Jerusalem to preach the gospel. A worthy endeavor, but it was a wrong one. God told him not to go, and the prophets eventually stopped trying to persuade him.

He went and ended up in prison.

You know what happened afterwards? He wrote some pretty famous books of the bible.

Let’ s put our faith in God.

He is able to make us stand and succeed. He can steer us in the right path when we trust in his ways and make his word our path!

Jude 1:24 (NLT)

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing God’s Voice and Knowing His Presence

\John 17:3

This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 

One of my biggest and most current desires right now is to practice the presence of God and to actively hear from him.  To know him in an experiential, real-time way.

How often am I unsure or afraid, and I don’t seek out and know the Lord’s presence? In theory, I quickly affirm he is there. But his real presence? His voice? His guidance? His help?

His active and real assurance?

Until recently, this concept was vague and too hard to grasp. We are to actively seek him… but finding him? What did that mean?

Growing up, I thought the voice and face of God were reserved for only special or momentous occasions… given only to those who were extra spiritual and extra faithful….and really only for someone else’s benefit. I called it revelation. Not for me.

Revelation was a BIG mountain to climb…Who knew if I could ever attain it.

Has anybody ever read 2 Peter 1:19?

This verse showed me that God’s voice is God’s word. It’s more sure than any experience anyone could ever attain.

Although this is true, I translated this to mean that God rarely speaks outside of his written word and that I should be content with never (or rarely) hearing from this God I called ‘Dad’. My Dad only spoke to me in notes. In a note. A note I called the bible.

Here I am, a good little Christian girl, evangelizing and telling people that God wants a relationship with them (this is a core message of the gospel after all) and yet my relationship was only that of studying, memorizing, and applying scripture.  Even though these are all really really good things, my relationship with God was very one sided.

I’m ending that chapter in this season of my life.

God wants to speak. He wants to walk and talk. God lives in Jesus, who LIVES inside of me. He wants to COMFORT.

Jesus, wasn’t he the king of scripture?

And yet he did crazy things that didn’t make any sense to anyone, all the time. (Especially the religious leaders)

Were they ever out of bounds from the scripture? Absolutely not. But walking on water never happened until Jesus did it. God’s written word didn’t tell Jesus which disciples to choose, or tell Jesus to wait two days in the city after hearing his best friend died.

Now they are written down, because of experience.

God wants a relationship. A real, two way, active, relationship. The Holy Spirit is a comforter, a companion, an affirmer and guider of the truth. God is seeking to show his glory, his presence, his power, his might in the face of Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I’m hungry for his voice. His presence. I want to wake up and feel him. I want to go about my day and have the Spirit guide me into all truth.

John 5:19-20

19 Jesus said to the Jews, “I can guarantee this truth: The Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing. Indeed, the Son does exactly what the Father does. 20 The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. The Father will show him even greater things to do than these things so that you will be amazed. 

3 Tips To Consider While Waiting on the Lord

Like every single person that has ever lived, Ben and I have had our fair share of challenges since we’ve been together.

But since the beginning of 2016, we have lived in a whirlwind of change and forward momentum. It’s been exciting, and it hasn’t showed many signs of slowing down! To say we have had challenges during this time sounds like an understatement. Hello, eye twitching. I see that you are back.

Since it has been a year and a half….I would like to tell you that I have perfected the art of waiting, but alas, I have not.

There have been nights I have cried myself to sleep.  There have been days of extreme anxiousness and irritability. There have been weeks where I’ve been tempted to seclude myself from friends so I can hide my unbelief and doubt in a loving and heavenly father.

So waiting on the Lord, what does it look like? This is something God has been working on in me, and I’m starting to grasp the practicality of it and I would like to share 3 of the things I have learned…. I plan to be an expert on this subject by the end of my life, ok? But right now I’m in the process of  learning, (never fully attaining.)

1.) Surrender to HIS plan

This statement used to bother me a lot because I have ALWAYS taken it to mean that his plan means letting go of the idea of a joyful life….that God WANTS me to live in dirt holes, eating worms and forgetting all about desires and dreams.

But to surrender to his plan first means believing that he is GOOD. If I don’t believe that he is good, than of course I won’t want to go his way. But he is good. SO SO good. He is better than we will EVER know, and it will take AGES to show us his kindness.

HE  knows what is best for us.

His perspective, his ways, his thoughts and resources are bigger and higher than I can ever know.

So even if I don’t really know what his plan IS, I can trust in HIM, always.

This has meant letting go of my need to control and manipulate the situation to my benefit. This does absolutely nothing for me, because I’m terrible at it, AND because it is too big of a burden to bear.

Surrendering to his plan does not mean giving up on your desires and dreams. It means giving them to God in your secret place and letting him work in your life and show you what HIS dreams and desires are for you.

2.) TRUST in his timing

Oh time. My LEAST favorite part in waiting. If only answers could be given in a day, I would think my stress levels wouldn’t look like mount Everest. (Or would they?)

But I’ve noticed that when I am NOT trusting in his timing, than my faith isn’t really faith…. It’s more of a shaky hope that is totally dependent on the outlook of current circumstances.

God LOVES showing off in impossible situations!! He loves coming through and showing off his glory right when circumstances say “you’re really screwed”.

God knows our tendency to want to start trusting in circumstance and really in anything else other than him. So trusting in his timing is saying

“I’m a believer and I believe God will come through for me, like he has every other time I have believed in him”.

3.) Praise him PRAISE him PRAISE HIM AT ALL TIMES

I named my third son Jude, which means praise. I could write a book on praise. I could be a salesperson and sell the idea of praise to an atheist…. That’s how much I believe in the power of praise.

This does SO much for my soul, my body, and my faith.

Why? We are extoling HIM and HIS attributes. We are taking our eyes off of ourselves and on to him. We are opening the doors of heaven and shattering the schemes of the enemy.

We are not allowing ourselves to wallow in circumstances and we are singing the word of Christ and allowing those words to sink deep into our minds, which in turn builds our faith.

So it’s easy to praise him when things are going well, but it is an action of faith when we praise him in the seasons of desert. So even when it is the LAST thing we want to do (and I’ve been there, I was there this morning) we say and we commit to extoling him at all times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Love Letter To My Husband

Ben,

This morning we woke up to a screaming, door slamming, and crying household. You were running late to work, and the kids were freaking out (about what? I still don’t really know).

You had to run out the door and I sat on the couch and cried. Not long though, the kids have demands and the laundry is just sitting there, you know?

Not our usual morning, but I wouldn’t want my mornings any other way if it were without you.

In the middle of this political upheaval, women from all over are crying out to feel loved, equal, respected, and heard in this society.

It has made me take a step back and become introspective, and I have come to the conclusion that I have it really good it in my little corner of the world.

Because of you.

You texted me this morning, “Our marriage is the most important thing to me outside of Jesus”

and because of that mindset you have, our marriage has given me every opportunity to feel loved, equal, respected, and heard.

Because you respected my body before marriage, we didn’t even have to think about ending an unplanned pregnancy.

Because you asked if I wanted to stay home and raise our children, I didn’t even have to think about fighting my way for an equal wage.

Because you respect me, our children will grow up knowing how to respect and love others.

Because you love me unconditionally, (and I know that beyond a doubt), I don’t hesitate to submit to your authority.

You listen to me. You trust me. I trust you.

You raise our children alongside of me. You ask for my opinion. And if we disagree, it never puts a permanent wedge between us.

You work incredibly hard to provide for our financial needs. You sacrifice hobbies, friendships, and sleep to keep our family together.

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You bring anybody (and I mean anybody) inside of our household if they are in need of love and some food. What is this teaching our children? That every. body. matters.

You admit to fault when a mistake has been made, something that very few people learn how to do.

You show me how to stand up for myself. You teach me and guide me in prayers when we lack wisdom in a situation.

You forgive me.

You never seek out praise for yourself- you do this all behind closed doors.

You ask for wisdom, constantly.

I hope you know that I will love you every day of my life. I hope you know that because of your commitment and because of your faith in a loving and good God, our family shines as a light in the midst of a confused and hurting nation.

Thank you love; Not for being my everything, but for respecting, cherishing, and loving a woman as God commands you to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus still heals, today.

I understand that there are a lot of us out there who have trouble when it comes to seeing miraculous physical healing.

Can I preempt this post with saying that I totally understand?  That if you struggle with this concept, I am not expecting this post to dramatically change your beliefs?

I struggled with this concept for years.  I changed my beliefs on the matter several times.

This is my personal story, and I hope it brings encouragement.

Has anyone seen the book of Mormon? It follows two Mormon missionaries to Uganda who are ready to convert a tribe to their religion.

There is a scene where an African sings out in the midst of endless’gospel’ talk, that he still has maggots in his scrotum. That 80% of his tribe were dealing with aids. What was a Mormon going to do to change it?

That wasn’t the worst of their problems. The ‘gospel’ didn’t help their situation, at all.

This was basically the whole premise of the show, and while I laughed until I cried, it still hit a soft spot.

I don’t want a God that doesn’t care. I don’t want a God that doesn’t help. I don’t want a God who doesn’t come with power.

Do you?

The past year I’ve been on a quest to understand, claim, and practice physical healing.

I’ve been so thankful because not only have I seen countless miracles, I’ve experienced them many times in my own family home.

Today was no exception.

This morning we attended a birthday party at Bounce U with my 4 and 2 year old. They had the time of their life, until one of them got hurt.

At first, I didn’t think much of it. It appeared that my oldest boy had somehow scraped the inside of his eye. It didn’t seem serious, and I thought a prayer and some ice would make the pain go away.

But it didn’t.

He didn’t enjoy his cake, 30 minutes later. (What 4 year old doesn’t enjoy cake?)

He barely ate his lunch.

He cried and kept asking me to pray again for his eye. This is unlike my son.

It was bloodshot and he could barely keep it open.

I prayed. Nothing happened.

I thought maybe a nap would fix the problem.

But when he woke up, he wouldn’t open his eye at all, and he was starting to scream in pain.

I prayed again. While it calmed him down some, it wasn’t taking away the pain. I was getting concerned, and I was about to rush to urgent care.

For my child to suddenly need urgent care for an eye that only seemed to be getting worse, was terrifying to me.

It’s not that I have ANYTHING against doctors (I am SO thankful for them!!) it’s just that I wanted to go God’s route, like we have successfully done so many times before.

My son was hurting. That crushes a mother’s soul faster than anything else on the planet.

I asked Ben to bring our neighbor over to pray for our son before we decided on any further action.

(For those of you who don’t know, God put these backyard neighbors in our life right when we needed it most. Our neighbors are on a very similar journey to us and are always more than happy to pray and fellowship at any given moment.)

A few short moments later, my son was instantaneously healed after our neighbor lovingly prayed over my sons eye.

I believe that while he prayed, Jesus came and kissed my sons eye.

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Two minutes after his healing, we were outside playing and enjoying the beautiful day. 

Can you imagine what that did to my heart?  I wish I could replay the scene right here for you all to witness, just to see the love and compassion that was happening in that room, on that couch, in that moment.

It doesn’t take much for Jesus. It was never hard for him, and it still isn’t hard for him today.

It is my wish for all of God’s people to start claiming what is rightfully theirs because of what the scriptures say.

Jesus loves us so much, and he hasn’t changed since he ascended. He is still very much a healer and a lover to all souls, regardless if saved or not. He is in the business of dong good and healing all that are oppressed of the devil.

Jesus is a friend, a healer, and a very present help in trouble. He is not far away and is ready to comfort and to restore what was lost.

As he would say,

“Be not afraid, only believe”

 

Today, I’m Claiming What’s Mine: Peace

The last two days my eyes have been twitching.

Ben says I’m stressed.

Besides still facing the hardship of unemployment, we are preparing to sell our home and move to the other side of town. (I know, those two statements don’t usually go together… Right? But we’re crazy and we like to live on the wild side.)

Ben’s brother is moving in with us, and for a while, he will sleeping on our couch.

why?

because my mom moved in with us last month, and she’s in our third bedroom.

(PS: I love family, and am SOO happy to have them with us. My mom is nothing but an absolute gem, and my kids are going to PEE their pants when they realize uncle d will be here to stay. They are kind of obsessed.)

School started up again and one of my courses is titled business law. The first day kind of made my head spin.

In addition to planning some upcoming trips,

there have been two other MAJOR  life changes that have happened within the last month.

oh and also, I’m raising two young children.

Ben says I’m stressed.

I know for a fact that many of you are going through a lot right now, too.

Um, because, NO ONE is immune to life…. And life involves like, stuff. You know?

But it wasn’t until bible study the other night where I realized I needed more peace in my life.

The kind of peace that stills your heart in the midst of change .

The kind of peace that is founded on faith that God is already on the other side of the hill and he sees the green pastures.

The kind of peace that stills twitching eyes.

I wouldn’t change any of this “stuff” for the world. Not even the loss of Ben’s job, because it has refined our faith. I’m pretty sure we are completely different people than who we were just 3 months ago .

But I’ve realized that recently that after I pray, I start dissecting on how everything is hopefully going to work out, and our bodies are just not meant to carry that kind of burden.

My dear self, don’t you know God promises peace, and it doesn’t depend on circumstances?

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the best part about that is,

It’s already ours.

It is a peace that passes all human understanding.

Like literally, all human understanding.

That’s ours to claim.

A peace that stills troubled waters.  A peace that digs in to all the corners of your heart and allows your body to breathe.

I’m claiming that today, because God sees the end view, and I choose to rest in that hope.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT)

Now may the Lord of peace himself, give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.