Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Women of the World or of the Word?

This morning, after I'd put the kids on the bus, I sat down in the living room to watch the news and enjoy a nice cup of coffee when a commercial came on that caught my attention.

I think the ad was for some kind of mouthwash where it promises to give you breath that is fresh and minty. The man in the ad uses the mouthwash and then goes out for a night on the town where he is overrun by beautiful scantily-clad women lured in by his minty breath. The women are draping themselves over him in an embarrassing effort to be close enough to touch him. The man is not the least put off and wraps his are indiscriminately around the nearest women to pull them close.

The commercial ended, and was followed by another.

A camera ad showing a beautiful little baby all warm and sleepy in his crib. The mom and dad gaze lovingly at the baby and each other. Dad put his arm around mom and draws her close as they look with adoration on their little child, so sweet and innocent. Mom uses the camera to capture images of her precious son, and many shots are shown of her looking on her child with a smile and tears of joy in her eyes as she marvels at the life before her.

The commercial ended and I paused to think. Two types of women. Two lifestyles. I have lived them both, and I know which one leads to true joy.

The world lies to us. It tells us that beauty and sexual power leads to happiness. It tells us that we will find joy in sharing our bed with people who please us and are attractive to us. It tells us that we need to always look perfect to please a man. That our value is skin deep. For a while we believe it. We play the game, but in the end we lose. We lose all that we give away to the men who thought we were beautiful and sexy and took what we offered until we had nothing left to give.....and then we are left with nothing.

The Word of God speaks truth. It tells us that we are precious inside and God doesn't care what we look like on the outside. Don't get me wrong, God created us to be sexual beings, but he didn't make it so we would use it to hold power over another, but to share within marriage to increase intimacy, to have something sacred and secret that is privy to no one else. True love is based on the heart and soul and it nourishes and cherishes. It creates the kind of marriage that makes a solid foundation for a family, just as God intended....and it is so much more satisfying.

So, when I saw those two ads back-to-back, I guess it spoke to me about what I had and what I have. What I have is so much better, I am so much happier. I am so blessed to share a life with people who love me for me, and who I love for them.....the inside, the heart, not the outside. I am so thankful to God that I did not continue in the lifestyle of my past, but I now have a future and a hope. In a word....FREEDOM!

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” Proverbs 31:10, 27-28

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Today, I await the arrival of a new camper my husband and I purchased. I am filled with excitement and anticipation as I imagine all the adventures my family and I will enjoy in it. It is just four walls and a roof, a bathroom and small kitchen area. Not a big camper. I have to pull it with a minivan so it can't be big. It holds with it dreams of the future. It contains countless memories waiting to be made. It is filled with laughter that has not yet happened. It reminds me that summer is almost here and with it comes days of swimming and hiking and campfires all shared with my precious husband and children. It reminds me that I am blessed.

Today, my high school friend and his wife wait for a call from the hospital. His wife has a tumor deep in her brain that is growing rapidly. They wait for the phone to ring and for the voice on the other end to tell them it is cancer. The preliminary tests say that it is likely. The tumor cannot be removed. There is no treatment. There is only hope and faith. Prayer and God. They have a young son who waits too. He waits to see if his summer will have a mother in it. His father built him a swing set this weekend. A swing set that his mommy may never push him on. A swing set that sits empty as they wait for the call from the doctor. A swing that offers no promises of memories to be made. I pray for this family. It reminds me that I am blessed.

Today, my daughter Molly was bad. I told her off. She cried and we hugged. She kissed me goodbye at the bus stop. Her blond hair shone in the sun like spun gold. She is precious. My heart ached with love. Through the bus window she smiled and waved at me. I waved back. It reminds me that I am blessed.

Today, I drove home to wait for the time when the camper will come. I prayed and spoke to my heavenly Father. I told Him I love Him. I felt His love for me. I thought of how wonderful it is to have prayer. To be able to enter the presence of a living God and just to rest in His love.....and it reminds me that I am blessed.

Thank you Heavenly Father God. You are the giver of every perfect thing. Because of You, I am blessed. Amen

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Parts We Play

Last week at my daughter's Christian school we had Grandparents Day. It was an opportunity for grandparents to come to the school, see the classrooms, see some of their grandchildren's work and watch the school play. This year my father and my grandmother attended.

The play was a big production. It was a musical with a wonderfully designed set, elaborate costumes complete with wigs and make-up! This year, my 2 oldest daughters tried out for a singing role. They practiced and prayed and hoped and auditioned. My eldest, Emily did not get the role she wanted,but instead was given a fairly minor part that did not have any singing. My second daughter, Molly didn't get any part at all.

The day the parts were handed out, they both came home in tears. "Mommy, we tried our best, but we didn't get the part we wanted." They were so sure that God was being unfair to them. "Robin, that girl who is mean to me in band and always tells me I am not a good singer...SHE got the role I tried for. I don't understand why God would let her get that part when she is so mean and brags all the time." said Emily, her arms crossed and face set in a pout.

I hugged her and replied, "Em, we asked God to put you where He wanted you right? Well, maybe He wanted you have a small role for some reason we don't see yet. Besides, Molly didn't get anything at all, so don't you think she feels even worse?" For the weeks leading up to the audition, our nightly prayer had been asking God to put the girls in the role He wanted them in, but I guess Emily and Molly had already decided what those roles should be. When they didn't get them, they just figured that the teacher choosing the parts made a mistake, and they stuck with that opinion until the evening following the performance.

So, there we were, my Dad, my Grandma and me, sitting in the gym waiting for the curtains to open. I waved to Amie who was in the choir. She saw me and waved back, face splitting into a wide grin. Then the show began. Music filled the air and the curtains opened to reveal the show. The kids were all amazing. I was filled with motherly pride and joy to see my girls in their costumes, Amie singing and Emily acting. I had brought my video camera and was taping the whole thing and thinking how blessed I was to have my 88yr old Grandma sitting next to me watching her great-grandchildren. I thought of how blessed I am to have my family, how much they all mean to me and how precious and dear every moment is.

That was when Robin came out on stage in her lovely costume and singing in her sweet high voice. She did a fabulous job, and at the end of the song I saw her catch the eye of her Dad who was sitting just behind me. They exchanged a smile and he gave her a 'thumbs up'......and all of a sudden I knew. I knew why things had worked out the way they had.....and I knew Emily was going to feel very guilty for the jealousy she harbored over Robin getting the role she had wanted.

The play was over (and fabulous!) and I joined Emily in the halls afterward. We had a quiet moment and I said to her,"Em. Remember when we prayed that God would put people where He wanted them?" She nodded and I went on, "Do you know who Robin's Dad is?"

She shook her head 'no' "He is the man we have been praying for who is dying of cancer. He was so proud of her today and he was so filled with joy to see her up there. He may never have another chance to watch His daughter in a play. He may not even see her graduate."

She sucked in her breath and a hand went to her heart, "Oh no," she whispered, "And I was so jealous! That's so awful of me! I feel so bad!" And suddenly, Emily realized that God didn't get it wrong, the teacher didn't get it wrong, SHE was the one who had it wrong.

How often do we assume that something didn't work out the way it was supposed to? It makes me wonder how often we are wrong. I am so glad that Robin's dad was given that moment. God has a plan and we need to trust when we don't understand. After all, isn't that what faith is?

Dear Lord, today help me to seek Your will and not my own agenda. Help me to not be presumptuous and think that I could know better than you for even a moment. Thank you Lord that Robin's dad was given that gift. What a joy to have been privy to that moment. May I never forget how blessed I am to have these moments with my family. Thank you for the love we have for each other and the love we have for You. Help us to never covet what others have because we do not see the whole package sometimes. I know Robin would have traded places with Emily in a heart beat to have a whole, healthy father there to see her in a small part in the play. God, thank you for the gift of life and love. Keep me on Your path. Amen

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Friday

Good Friday morning at 3AM, my little 9 year old daughter knocked on my bedroom door. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and croaked, "Come in."

The door opened and Amie stepped in holding a big mixing bowl. "I threw up and I don't feel good." She told me in a weak little voice. I hopped out of bed, threw on my housecoat and gently led her back to her bed. She rocked back and forth with pains in her belly and I sat by her side, holding her sweet little hand and stroking her forehead while I softly sang lullabies from when she was a baby. By 5AM, I had made it back to my own bed thanking God that it was Good Friday and I could sleep in.

It was not to be. By 7:30 I was in the bathroom, sitting on the john with bowl in my lap retching violently. Down the hall I could hear Amie being sick again and called for Mark to go and be with her.

By 9 o'clock, Amie and I lay in my bed together praying for God to touch us and make us well again. All day and night Amie and I took turns in the bathroom being sick. It was the worst I have ever felt...and I have has 3 natural childbirths, so that is saying something. I cried and cried and begged God to touch us and take the pain away.

By Saturday morning the worst of it had passed - thank God. My little Amie lay on the pillow next to me and stoked my cheek. "Mommy," she said, "I prayed that if God would only make one of us better that it would be you." She smiled at me. Her hair was stuck to her forehead from the sweat and her little face was as white as a ghost. Dark smudges under her big brown eyes spoke of the strain of the last 24hrs, yet her heart was filled with love and she smiled at me. My heart melted. My sweet little girl. How much must she love me to ask God to make me better before her? It reminded me of a saying I had once heard. I think it goes something like this; I asked the Lord, 'How much do you love me?' 'This much' He replied. Then He spread His arms and died for me.

It had been Good Friday. The day we lay in bed and suffered an illness like I have never felt. The day we remember how Jesus suffered and died for our sins on the cross. The day we remember how they beat Jesus and spat at Him and hated Him. How much greater was His suffering than my own? Yet He chose to do it. At any moment He could have called the angels down to set Him free, yet He chose to suffer. It was His love for me that held Him to the cross.

Just like my little Amie, turning to me and telling me that she would go on being sick, if it meant God would heal me, Jesus died on the cross as His way of saying, "It's okay. I asked God to punish me instead of you. I will die so you don't have to." I can imagine the love in His eyes, shining like the love I saw in my daughter's eyes, smiling through the pain because of love. Beautiful, forgiving, perfecting, unconditional love. Good Friday is not what it was a Great Friday.

Matthew 27:39-44 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' " In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to willingly suffer for me. For protecting me from my own just punishment. How great must your love be to suffer so very much? Am I worth it? I don't know, yet you did it, so I must be of great value to You. What an honor, what a humbling insight. Thank you for turning this illness into a beautiful experience that has led me closer to You. I love you so very much. Amen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This morning I got up, got myself and my daughters out the door for school on time (just barely), made the 40 min drive in glorious sunshine and kissed them goodbye at the door. Then, I made my way to the gym where I chatted with a few other moms and waited for the assembly to begin. How very much our lives have changed in a year.

In September, my children moved to a new school. We still live in the same place and their old school is still up and running, but I came to the conclusion that God is not welcome there. Their last school was a public school and although my kids would come home having been taught about the Muslim or Hindu Faith and celebrations, talk of Jesus was nowhere to be heard. How is that even equal?

The final straw for me was watching my (then) 12 year old cry her eyes out every night after being picked on all day for (get this!) being smart and being a Christian. I called the school where the principal quickly informed me they don't have a bullying problem.

On Saturday night, my daughter, Emily had to babysit for some friends and all the way there she shared her stories of sadness with me. How, when she would work in the milk room at lunch time some of the kids would go through her desk and read her journal aloud to the class. How she was referred to as 'the nerd' and 'the perfect little church girl'. I dropped her off and feeling totally helpless, I cried out to God again, more desperate than ever, for Him to direct me. Whatever it took I would do if He would just clearly lead me. He gave me a verse...well, part of a verse. "Train up a child in the way he should go..." Great!...but I didn't know where it was from, or even what it meant for me in the situation I was in. So, I dismissed it.

Sunday morning, my kids and I went off to our local church and I was praying all the way for help from God. I asked Him for a flashing neon sign to drop out of Heaven that said "DO THIS:...". Well, I got the next best thing. The pastor preached on Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." I almost fell out of my pew! Wow! THAT had to be God! Then, I had this really strong feeling in my heart to look at some of the local Christian schools. The first one I clicked on had Proverbs 22:6 right there on the home page. Providence. An answer to prayer and the beginning of a change in my children that knocked my socks off!

So as I sat in the gym this morning, surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ I was treated to a beautiful chapel time where the grade fives lead a lesson on Lent and Easter. We sang praises to God for the gift of His Son and the redemption it bought us. My heart soared and my spirit trembled with the reality of Jesus's sacrifice for me and I sat at the back with tears streaming down my face, just moved beyond words at the depth of the love of Christ for me. My children sat listening to truth in a school where God is welcome! 'He is Risen!' the teacher called, and 300 little voices replied, "He is risen indeed!"

Matthew 27:25 All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"

Thank you Jesus that your blood is on us. It covers over all our sins and makes us acceptable to God the Father. Your life changed death, and your death changed life. Thank you that you care so very much about each of us. You even answered my prayer and lead me to where my children needed to go to grow in You. Thank you for your sacrifice for me on the cross. I owe You more than I can ever pay, but I will spend everyday trying to please You because I love You. Amen.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alone in a House Full of People

Do you ever feel alone? I find myself waiting all day for my kids to come home from school so I can see their sweet faces. My husband, Mark works 7 days a week, not always because he has to, but because that is what he knows. He comes home for supper most nights, eats, but then spends the rest of the evening glued to the TV with either video games with the kids or TV shows once the kids are in bed. I clear the supper dishes and listen to their happy voices float in from the living room.....and feel utterly alone. Now, it is just like all day. I am once again alone.

At 7:00 I call out, "Okay guys! Bed time in half an hour!" And am greeted by disbelief. "What?" they reply. "Half an hour!" But they relent. They know I am right, but I hate to always be the one to tell them. For once I'd like to be the fun parent. The one they laugh with.

I tried an experiment once. I left them playing and waited to see when someone would notice the time. The minutes turned to hours and by the time they noticed, the sun had faded away and the living room was plunged into darkness. 9PM. I waited...alone until 9PM before they realized that Mom hadn't come to get them for bed. It took them THAT long to notice I wasn't there.

It is Saturday today. One of the rare days where Mark actually came home before dinner and where is my family? My youngest is over at a friend's house and my older two and my husband are playing on the Wii.....and I am in the basement, alone on my laptop. They didn't even notice when I left the room. My heart breaks. "Let's go for a walk." I suggest. The sun is out and the day is glorious. "No. We want to play with dad and he wants to play Wii."

What do I do? My middle daughter, Molly, was supposed to have put her laundry away before her dad came home. I reminded her about it AGAIN and Mark said, "Don't worry about it. I came home to see them. I'll get her to do it before dinner." As odd as this sounds, the part that hurt was the part where he told me he came home to see them...them. I love that he loves his kids and, don't get me wrong, he is a good husband and he loves me...he just doesn't see me anymore...not really. I wash his clothes and cook his dinner and raise his children,share his bed - though not in the way I'd like to any more - but somewhere along the way I think he forgot how to love to nurture me. He forgot how to see me.

Thank God I have the love of Christ. He never forgets me. The Bible tells me he sings over me, He had carved me into the palm of His hand....He sent His one and only Son to die for me so that I might be in Heaven with Him one day. There is a line from a song by Casting Crowns that says, 'I know You're there. I know you see me.." I love it! I sing it all the time. God is enough. I'd like to say it can totally take the place of being seen and noticed by your husband, but some days are just harder than others. Today is one of them.

Dear God, thank you for always loving me. Thank you for always cherishing and listening to me. I believe you have made me special and you love me. Please help heal the lonely ache of my heart and help me to be the wife and mother You have called me to be. I love you Lord! In Jesus name. Amen

Friday, March 26, 2010

Here We Go!

Wow! This is so new to me. I am a 35 year old mother of 3 girls. I have been married for 15 years and love my husband like crazy (on most days). I spend most of my time at home doing housework, and just really wanted a way to connect with other Christian moms out there who may be struggling with some of the same things I do. I plan to keep my anonymity so I will be free to share personal things without judgement and I hope anyone who needs a place to share will feel the freedom to do so.

I pray that this will be something that glorifies God and supports other women. I was raised in faith and often struggle with certain issues. My biggest one for years was reading the Bible. I'd pick it up, and try, but by the time I'd waded through just a page or two I felt bogged down, and totally lost. Now, just to clarify, I consider myself to be blessed with a fair amount of intelligence, but I just wasn't getting much out of it. So, I read less and less until I gave up.

In May of 2009, my family and I moved to a new church and, determined to dive right in, I joined the ladies Bible study group. Now, I had - just like we all do - a particular lady on TV who drove me crazy to listen to: Beth Moore. I had never listened to what she was saying because the moment she came in with those big eyes and excited Southern accent, I'd jump right up and change the channel to something a little more toned down. Needless to say, when I walked in on my first day to Bible study, I just about fell over when they told me we were going to be doing the study on the book of Esther by Beth Moore.

I had to laugh! God has such a sense of humor! Here I was, passing judgement, saying, "I'll never do a Beth Moore study! I can't stand that woman!" And there's God saying, "oh ya? We'll just see about that!" Well, I am on my last week and I have to say the experience was so humbling for me. I have gotten to know Beth over that last 9 weeks and have been so blessed by her incite into God's Word. I have loved every step of it and I can even admit I will miss her enthusiasm (and her accent!)!

Last week my 13 year old daughter and I attended the Beth Moore convention in Toronto and was so blessed by it. Beside me on my desk now sits a library of Beth Moore studies just waiting to guide me through God's word. I guess that's all I needed. A hand to hold and take me through and explain things to me. Beth Moore has become my own personal Bible tour guide.

Okay. There is my first attempt at blogging and I just want to say I have been blessed by writing this. I pray that my fellow sisters in Christ will join me in this journey and we will be there to help support each other because I think we all need tour guides sometimes!