Saturday, December 24, 2011

Celebrating Christmas TOGETHER

Last night we went to Christmas Eve service. It was actually the eve of Christmas Eve, yet the House (House of God, that is) was full. We checked our babies, Daniel and Haley, into nursery, then headed to the sanctuary to worship. I stood there thinking "This is how it is really supposed to be... our focus... not on presents, not on trees, not on lights, not on food, but on Christ." I am so thankful for all those things above because they truly help me to celebrate for the birthday party of the year, but it warmed my heart to step away from it all and just worship.

 To my right was my sweet husband Mark, who is usually next to me in church (so thankful for a real man who leads his family in a spiritual way). To my left was Caleb. He is usually in our kids programs so it was special to have him with us in what he calls "big church." However, what makes it extra special this year is that fact that Caleb was with us on Christmas Eve. As a blended family I am required to share my son, especially on holidays. I have had several Christmas' without him, and next year he will again be with his dad on Christmas Eve. Tears came to my eyes as I paused a cherished these two boys that I love, with me, on each side, hand in hand.
I then remembered what I was standing in church celebrating... the day that Jesus  left  His Dad for Christmas. He spent His first Christmas in a barn with stinky animals. He came to walk among us on Earth... that we may know Him. Emmanuel, God with us. I guess Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if He didn't come, but really, did He have to? He chose to! But in the infamous words of my eight year old boy - "Why?" Because He LOVES you. Because He loves YOU. Because HE loves you.
My wonderful Pastor shared an incredible message referencing the song "Silent Night." He shared that this is probably the only birthday party we go to each year where we don't give gifts to the birthday Boy, but to the other party guests instead. However, what do you give the One who has everything, right? I was in awe of Pastor's next point though. Jesus actually doesn't have everything. Unless you give it to Him, He doesn't have your heart. He came, and left His Dad in Heaven, to die... to die for me, for you, for all. He came so we could have forgiveness... so we could spend eternity in Heaven. On Christmas, we celebrate, we give, we love. But on this Christmas, as we gather together with our family,  I pray we all take a deep look at our heart and check to see who is holding it. Are we holding our own hearts? Or is He... the One who loved YOU enough to leave His Dad at Christmas. Celebrate what HE has done!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Choosing What is Right, From a Right Heart

After yesterday's post on Halloween, I have to follow it up with the drama that went along with it. Having a blended family has its own set of challenges. One of them is that there is a child that is being shared among two households... that's two different set of rules, two different set of beliefs, two different set of everything! One thing we focus on in our house is that what Caleb does with his biological father is between Caleb and Brandon and God. I am thankful that Caleb is older now and at an age where he knows right from wrong on most issues. And those that he doesn't, I pray hard and trust the Holy Spirit to convict when necessary. I have learned that I cannot control the other household, but I can trust God.

When we decided to change the way we did Halloween this year, we shared it with Caleb. We gave him the option to stick with what the Rainwater Family does or he could go with Brandon and get a costume and go trick-or-treating and such. My personal belief is that the grass is always greener on the other side. If I would have forced him to stay with us, he would have wanted to go "celebrate Halloween" that much more. He originally chose to stay home with us. I was so proud... and pride cometh before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).

When Halloween actually came, Caleb was suddenly changing his mind. He started begging for a costume and wanted to go trick-or-treating. I don't blame the kid. Halloween sounds like a blast - costumes, candy, friends, fun! 2 Corinthians 11:14 He doesn't quite get the evil side. 1 Peter 5: 8-9, Ephesians 6:12 So, I kept my word. I told him that he could not whine or beg. His options were to stay home with us and shine our light or call his biological father and see what he says. Next thing I know, Caleb was walking out my door, dressed as a Ninja, next to my ex-husband.

My heart sank and made me wonder why I gave him that option. I then remembered why I was doing Halloween the way I was this year... because it was how God was calling me to do it. I could have forced Caleb to stay, but his heart would not have been in it. I am trusting that it may not be this year or the next one, but eventually the Holy Spirit will guide Caleb on how he can honor the Lord on this specific day. I am trusting that I have built (and am continuing to build) a moral warehouse in my child that as he grows he can not only access "what it right" but choose to do it from a "right heart." 

As mentioned, the challenges of a blended family are great, but I serve an even greater God! Great is His faithfulness!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shining Light on Darkness

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."  Ephesians 5:15-16
This morning my dear friend Tanya shared with me a link to a blog (you can read it here) after a recent conversation we shared on the topic of Halloween. As mentioned in the blog, this is often such a touchy topic for Christians. I think this blog author hit the nail on the head when she shared that "We respect however the Lord leads each family individually." I grew up where as a family we never celebrated Halloween. It was considered an evil holiday so we shut our lights off and either went out for the night or stayed inside hoping to not have to deal with eggs in the morning. When Caleb was born, I felt led to not dress up, but to hand out candy, usually with a tract. However, once I moved down South and discovered that many Christians celebrated this holiday, I was surprised. I felt led to "try" it out. This was during the time where I was "removing the spiritual pole I had up my bottom" as I so often say, and I thought this may be a part of that process. For this season, God was truly working on my heart and making His Word alive to me. His law was becoming something I wanted because of my love for Him instead of a list of rules I was taught to follow. However, as Halloween approached this year, I examined the few years previous. After this day for the past 2-3 years, I always felt kind of "sick" - no peace... left wondering if what I did was right. So this year I decided to go back to my old way... no costumes, but handing out candy to be a light to those around me. I don't want to just do what I was brought up to do or to do what all my friends are doing. I want to bring glory to God! I wasn't sure how to accomplish this and that is where this blog was so great! It gave some practical ideas.

The blog also shared an article that John MacArthur taught on 10-31-09 (click here). In the part of MacArthur's sermon titled "The Christian Response to Halloween", he says this:  "Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it's a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?"

So this is how we are doing Halloween this year...

The first thing I am doing is praying. I want to ask the Lord how I can be the best light to those around me for that exact day in history. It may mean staying home; it may mean going to a party dressed up. The key is, just as any other day, asking Him for His will for me and my family for that day.

Second, we are not celebrating... we are shining. I understand that most holidays are in place to celebrate something. The holidays I celebrate revolve around my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - His birthday (Christmas), His resurrection (Easter), His provision (Thanksgiving), etc. Halloween represents evil, so the Rainwaters will not celebrate. We will, however, shine! I have turned on all lights in our house as a symbol. We are shining our light before men so that they may praise God too!
"The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out."  Proverbs 13:9
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Third, we are playing a worship music from a CD player next to our front door.
 "All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name."  Psalm 86:9 

Fourth, we have great candy. I had originally bought these little boxes of Nerds. But after reading the other blog, we quickly ran to  Costco and got full size bars of the best... Snickers, Milk Way, Twix, Skittles, etc. We want to be generous
"One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.  A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Prov 11:24-25

Fifth, the gospel part. I am a bit disappointed I got this blog on Halloween because I would have loved to add this, but I am planning ahead for next year. I am praying the Lord shows me how best we can share His story of redemption with our community... a tract, a sticker, a Bible, a printout. Whatever it may be, I would love to plant the seed.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Tonight at dinner, as Mark blessed the food, he added on to his prayer that as people approached our house they would feel peace and see the Light. We are doing what we feel God is calling our family to do and trusting Him for the rest.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Not a Blur

Over the past few months several friends and family members have made such encouraging comments like "seems like you have it all together with 3." First, thank you! It makes me smile to think I don't always look like the mess I feel I am. But secondly, here's the real scoop.

From the moment I found out I was unexpectedly expecting my third munchkin, I knew for certain God had a sense of humor. I, Christie R. Rainwater, am organized. I know it, most around me know it, God knows it... in fact, He made me that way. However, God also knows that I do much better depending on Him than when I just do things my way. So, I am confident that despite the fact that my precious baby girl was not planned, God knew she was best for me at this specific time... and knew He would get a good laugh due to me along the way. Throughout the entire pregnancy I knew it would have to be all God because I, Christie R. Rainwater, could not handle three children... specifically when two of the three were only 17 months apart.

So on August 1, 2011 my beautiful, sweet Lil Miss Haley joined our family. Within days... make that hours... of coming home from the hospital, I was a mess. Mrs. Organized was suddenly in chaos. I had only two hands and three kids, and it was just not working. As time started to pass...

(Side note: I love the scriptures in the Bible that start, "And it came to pass..." It's an awesome verse to hold onto when you're in a tough spot. It will pass. It will be okay. God's Word says it. Trust it)

...things got better and better, easier and easier. I went from have a few good hours a day to actually one good day out the week. Suddenly, the good days were outnumbering the bad days. I was so thankful. However, during that time, I talked to lots of Mom's that had children close in age. While they and their children obviously survived, they all shared a common word for the memories of the younger years: "Blur." After hearing it time and time again I became a bit discouraged. I didn't want anything good in my life to be a blur... and my kids were not just good, they were awesome! So I started to pray. On September 28, 2011 God used Caleb to remind me of His Word -
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Phil 4:13
(If you want to read the whole story, click here.) Since then I have thought this verse, said this verse, held this verse, and prayed this verse. I can honestly say that the Lord has made it so true in my life. I am not living a blur. Over the past month I have truly enjoyed almost every minute with my children. It has been amazing! It is a work of my wonderful Heavenly Father and an answer to prayer.

Tonight I got another one of those comments that it seems like I have it all together from my sweet cousin-in-law Amanda (love her!). I went to respond with something like, "Seems' is the key word," but I stopped and knew in my heart I should probably share more than that. Mrs Organized Christie really doesn't have it together, but Christ who is working in and through her sure does. There are still moments of frazzle, frustration, doubt, and even tears, but I can honestly say that when you live your life depending on God's strength, He can be perfect in those weak moments.

I give credit to those Moms who are doing it without God... I cannot imagine all the effort that must be put forth and all the knowledge they must try to attain to know what is best for each of their children. God's Word says His burden is light, and I can see that in my parenting when I choose to depend... make that surrender fully to Him. He gives me strength; He gives me wisdom; He guides me. He's got it together!

PS A funny extra:
Recently I was in the church's nursery picking up Haley and someone commented what a good baby she is. Out of my three, she has always been my "high maintenance" baby... but what else should I expect from a girl, right? I think a lot of that has to do with her acid reflux. After this comment, another person said, "That's cause Christie prays for her all the time." I responded, "That and Prilosec! ...a little bit of Prilosec and a lot of Jesus."  ;-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brown Bananas

2 Timothy 2:22(ESV)

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."

This morning I was up before my sweet babes and jumped into my SEED Pack 2 of our Thursday Morning group. I tore apart my verse using my 5 P's of Bible Study.- 2 Timothy 2:22-26. My paraphrase was ridiculously long; I pulled out more spiritual principles than ever before, and I just didn't know where to go with all this new light and application. My prayer and moment to listen for the Lord's whisper was cut short by a call for Momma coming over the baby monitor.

Throughout the day these verses kept coming to mind... I would meditate on specific parts which all come together so nicely in the verses yet have so many different challenges. The very first verse is the one I thought of mostly though. "Flee youthful passions..." What were those child and teenage desires I had? Was I now pursuing "righteousness, faith, love and peace" instead? One part I was confident of was that I wasn't doing this alone. I am so thankful I am surrounded by my Seacoast Sisters who are also calling on the Lord. Oh, and God - heart check... is it a "pure heart" in there? So much in such a short verse (never mind the other verses).

Late afternoon I noticed 3 extremely brown bananas on my speckled counter top. I love finding those because it gives me great reason to return to my first love in the kitchen - baking. I learned this art form as a preteen from my sweet Aunt Milissa. Trying to keep a healthy household doesn't allow me to do this as often as I would like to, but I sure do love it when the flour comes out. And so I began making some Banana Nut Muffins (recipe). You see, it's the super brown bananas that make the sweetest and best baked banana goods. However, these are the same banana's we avoid to snack on at first glance. That exterior seems so important, when in fact it is what is tossed away.

One of my youthful passions was my appearance. I consistently kept a compact at hand. I dressed in hopes someone would notice. Someone did and soon we were married. However, I soon discovered that someone had an addiction to porn. I'm not talking an occasional peek... I'm talking addiction. Appearance became an even bigger passion for me... I tried to keep up and he pressured me to as well. But I eventually realized that no matter how small my waist was or how big my chest was I could not compete with airbrushed models. Porn led to cheating and devoured my marriage, but God is good, all the time. My pursuit changed. I sought hard after God. That changed me! In fact, the day I met my sweet husband Mark I didn't have a drop of makeup on. After what I faced the first time around I knew this time I wanted someone who wanted me... all of me... outside and INSIDE!

Our First Official Date
So here I am, 30 something, 3 kids later, and I find myself suddenly heading back to that youthful passion. This weekend someone at church complimented me by saying that I looked great and lost my "baby weight." Instead of saying "thank you" I went off on how I may have lost Haley's weight, but I am still carrying around Daniel's baby weight. Heavens! Can I have a do over? Our body's are a temple and we must respect that; however, today the Lord reminded ME of where my pursuit needs to be - righteousness, faith, love, and peace. That's inside! When I abide in Him and ripen, my inside will be so sweet... much like that banana. That peel will one day be thrown away and what is inside is what will count.

Holiday Shopping Open House

Click the flyer to enlarge it. :-) 

Come and join the fun!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why Missional Moms ROCK!

This year Seacoast Women's Ministry revamped a few things including a new ministry called "Missional Moms." I love this ministry! It's so simple... Moms, doing life, but with purpose. As a Mom of three I can easily watch the days fly by, but I don't want them to be a blur. I want to enjoy every moment and be purposeful in my living.

Fridays is food shopping day for the Rainwaters. Sometime in the late morning you can find me pushing a gray shopping cart around the commissary with a red headed toddler in the front of it (that would be Daniel) and a sweet baby girl in a Bjorn pouch (that would be Haley). We're usually in and out in less than an hour, surfing mostly the perimeter of the store where the healthy food is and occasionally popping down an aisle for some essentials. Another stop we make is the deli counter, usually to grab some turkey or chicken and cheese. I start there with an order and end there to pick it up.

This past Friday, my Mom wanted some baby time so she was actually watching my kiddos while I accomplished this weekly task. As I went to pick up my deli meats at the end of my trip, I noticed that only 2 of the 3 things I ordered were at the pick up counter. I should know by now that when there's a hold up, it's probably a God appointment. I asked the kind worker about it and she went off to grab what I needed. As she did, I noticed a young Momma standing just feet from me. She had two babies in her cart. One was about late twos or early threes and the other, an adorable boy about a year and a half who happened to be sitting on her loaf of bread. Despite the fact that it was squished like a pancake I politely said, "Ma'am, just want to tell you that your son is sitting on your bread." She gasped and the frazzled look that I personally know oh so well appeared on her face. She responded that it was "just one of those days." I felt the Lord prompting me to take the conversation further. In the past I probably would have given her the salvation message and pushed a prayer, but over the past year the Lord has revealed to me that it's not all about "that prayer" as I have always thought it was. The prayer is just a beginning. The Lord wants disciples and has commissioned me to make them. That is not something that happens in a deli line. Thankful for this new ministry of Missional Moms, I saw it as a tool to possibly begin that relationship, and so I invited her to our next playdate.

So often I have heard people pray the prayer of salvation, but that was actually the end of their relationship with Christ. It needs to be the beginning. Going to church does not make one a heaven-bound Christian, but meeting with others that have the same goal of becoming truly devoted Christ followers and asking them to hold you accountable to what God is speaking to you sure does help! So thankful for all the Missional Moms God has put in my life.

P.S. Her name is Lauren... She is a military wife with two little ones and not much help. Say a prayer for her. :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today... Randomly

Today was one of those days (as Katie Walters said) that you either burst into tears or burst into laughter. I chose the latter. In fact, I am still chuckling. I can truly see where the joy of the Lord is my strength and that a cheerful heart is good medicine. God's Word is all truth! I'm living proof!

There were so many things I wanted to blog about today... not sure why, maybe I just have an itching to blog. So I apologize if this blog is random, but here we go...

My Pastor's new book
Today was the release of my Pastor, Greg Surratt's new book Ir-rev-rend. I am up to chapter 5 and I am loving it. This is what I wrote as a review on Amazon:
"I am loving this book so far! You will definitely laugh, possibly cry, and probably see things from a new perspective. If I had to describe the book in one word in would be "real." Author, Greg Surratt, tells real stories, gives real thoughts, and does so from a real heart. Ir-rev-rend is a book you will definitely want to pick up, but I warn you... you will probably not want to put it down"
Pastor Greg had some great reasons you should check it out as well. To read them, click here.
And if you just want to go ahead and get yourself a copy, click here.

Missional Moms
After polishing off a few more pages of Ir-rev-rend, I headed to Wannamaker Park for our first Missional Moms "playdate with a purpose." I was a little hesitant to go with the age span, or lack of, of my two youngest, but it was so great! I am so thankful for this new ministry and look forward to the next time we "play"!

Bye Bye to our Ford Ranger
After lunch, and reviewing some multiplication tables... oh, please note that multiplication tables are either going to be the death of me or my son... thank God for humor! ...we finally got a buyer for our truck. Sold! The cool part is that it was one of our neighbors... you know, the ones you have never met before. We officially met on Craigslist then discovered we are a block away. The actual purchaser, although she came with her Dad, was a senior in high school. We had a great chat while Mark and her dad took care of the legalities of a car purchase. I couldn't help but notice the God moment when we were talking about her education at Christian school, and it brought back such fond memories for me. I may have occasionally (but rarely) kicked and screamed at all the extra Bible work during all my years at Christian school, but now I am truly SO grateful. I shared that with this sweet girl and also told her Dad that he was giving his daughter something invaluable. It was one of those Holy-Spirit-speaking-through-you moments to encourage her and her dad and to remind me of how awesome my parents are for making the same sacrifice for me.

Mount St. Haley - the Volcano

In addition to the above, and all my other "homemaker" duties of the day, I had an extra special present from my youngest princess. Caleb handed her to me and I suddenly felt wetness. I wish I could say it was just #1, but it wasn't. Nope, it was like a volcano erupting.. not the type you parents are thinking where it shoots up the back... nope, this one was even better. It was so bad that there was a trail (yes, a trail) of it on the floor leading all the way to the changing table. Clean up consisted of at least a dozen wipes and then straight to the bath. The rest of the clean up consisted of Clorox wipes and a change of clothes for me. Now, if this is TMI, I truly apologize. However, I figured if they can make a TV show called "Up All Night" and people everywhere are finding humor in this stuff, I figured I would give them more ammo for their next episode. And hopefully you got a laugh too.

Caleb's Ink
After Haley's bath was Daniel's bath and then some time to help Caleb. During Daniel's bath Caleb had started to redecorate the door to his room. He had some "Crime Scene" tape that he was using. As Caleb started he got out Mark's tape measure to be exact in the placement of the tape. He even had a pencil on his ear. This was all cute until I joined him in the project and noticed not only the pencil, but the pen (ink) on his door. I almost wanted to be proud of his thoroughness and measurements (he actually researched "angles" on Google before he started), but instead questioned him with a firm voice and a stern look on how he planned on removing the pencil and PEN off his door. He answered, "Mom, don't worry I can get it all off!" I jumped back with  "The pen????" and he responded, "Mom, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I had to turn quickly so he wouldn't see me laugh.

God's Whisper
But honestly, the quoted scripture by Caleb (Phil 4:13) spoke to me with so much more than being the answer to ink removal. Earlier this week I read Exodus 4:10-13. The verses are a dialog between God and Moses in which Moses tells God he cannot do what God is asking. God then tells him why he can. It ends with Moses again telling God he can't. I was using Priscilla Shirer's 5 P's and was able to pull out 6 principles. The last principle I jotted down was related to verse 13. I wrote "I'm not the only one lacking faith. lol" In addition to that scripture, the Lord has brought the story of Gideon to my attention 3 times in the past two day. This evening it was all pulled together by His whisper. You see, since Haley's birth, I have found 3 kids to be much more of a challenge than 2. There are so many times that I have whined, stressed, and "spoke death" focusing on the "I can't." However, the story of Gideon, the scripture in Exodus, and my sweet son have pointed to me to what the Lord has been trying to tell me and as well as my lack of faith in His Word... I can do ALL things THROUGH CHRIST who gives me strength. Yes, all things! I am going to be purposeful in speaking truth (Phil 4:8) and speaking life and reminding myself regularly of Phil 4:13.

So that was today... just a typical day in the life of Christie... one I am thankful for.

Playdate with a Purpose

Having fun!

He loves the slide

So sweet

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Casting Hope

Since becoming a mother of 3, blogging is something that happens often in my head, but rarely in print. Today was one of those days, but with all 4 other members of my household fast asleep, this 5th member decided to sneak in a few written words.

My first few days home from the hospital after Haley's birth can be summed up in one word: overwhelming! However, a few days after that things were running smoothly in the Rainwater household - praise God who has truly given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Today was a day where I fell back into that feeling of treading water. Haley has been having some feeding issues and as I tried to schedule her a dr appt, the only one they had available was at 1:45pm... just a few minutes before I usually head to pick Caleb up from school. I attempted to make arrangements for finding a friend to pick up Caleb so I could take Haley for the appt, and I was not succeeding. I suddenly found myself of the verge of tears.

I took a breath and tried to work through my feelings of wanting to take care of the needs of all my children but not being able to be in more than one place at one time. At that moment, God reminded me that only HE can meet all needs. There are so many times in life where I would find myself depending on someone or something to meet all my needs... and when it or he/she didn't, I would feel hurt and disappointed. Could I truly depend on my husband to meet every one of my needs and never mess up? How about my children? or my parents? What about a new car? a bigger house?

So often we put our "hope" in someone or something. But people are not perfect... they will disappoint and let us down. And things are even worse... once we have it, we need something bigger and better. God is truly the only One who can meet all our needs; The only One who does not disappoint; The only One in whom we should place our hope.

The good news is that everything worked out in the logistics of the day, but most importantly I was reminded that just as I could not meet every need, nor can the people in my life. However, just as God allowed all circumstances to be worked out today, He alone will always come through... He can be trusted... He is a safe place to cast our hope!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


June and early July have been filled with wonderful craziness for me. I have travelled quite a bit: Biloxi, Mississippi; Destin, FL; Long Island, NY; and Hilton Head, SC. During my home time, I have had two Baby Showers (literally, showers of blessings for Baby Haley to which I am so thankful), attended an amazing parenting conference, started my weekly OB appointments, and caught up on our house. Summer has been FULL! I have thoroughly enjoyed almost every minute of it, and I have a very thankful heart.

Today, Sunday, came upon me and it began as the rest of my week, making breakfast, giving baths and starting a load of laundry. As I stood in over my washer adding some All Free and Clear to the filling water, that sweet whisper was heard, "Christie, today is your Sabbath... why are you doing laundry? Rest!" The Lord was reminding me of His command...

Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array. On the seventh day God had completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested after all his work of creating (Gen 2:1-3).

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy" (Ex 20:8-11).

I then began my typical rebuttal, "Lord, Haley will be arriving any time now. I must get this done." And I gently heard back, "You're right... Haley will be arriving any time now. You must rest!"
There was no arguing with that. The Lord is always right. And I am delighted to obey.
I am so thankful for His sweet and gentle words to me. He truly is a loving Father to us. He knows what's best, and we simply need to trust and obey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From Dreams to Prison

This morning I sat by my cell phone in anticipation of two calls... one from my son who is spending the week in FL with his grandparents (Oh, I miss him so! And he just texted saying he would call after a dip in the pool - hooray!), and the other from my parents. You see, this morning my parents were at the court building awaiting the arraignment hearing of the one who broken into and robbed their house earlier this month. By late morning I was out running errands and still had not heard anything, so I decided to drive by the court building since it was actually on my way home. As I passed by, I saw my parents just walking out... perfect timing!

Their faces were solemn. As I rolled down my window and questioned what happened, tears filled their eyes. I saw the compassion of Jesus Christ this morning... broken over sin and it's devastation. My mom shared that as the handcuffed young man walked into the court room, she couldn't even bear it and had to look away. Her merciful heart was breaking for him! My Dad was later questioned by the court and said nothing... and being speechless is not a norm for my dad. After the arraignment, the officer allowed my Dad a moment with the criminal. It was a moment of forgiveness asked and granted... a moment or wisdom and direction for the young man... and a promise to stand by as he went through the next processes for this crime and the others he had committed. He was again handcuffed and then back on his way to prison.

I was later talking with Mark about how God was working on my heart through this. This young man has bought the lies of the enemy who had come to steal, kill, and destroy. But things aren't always like that. As a boy I am sure he had dreams of being a baseball player or a paramedic like his Daddy. No where in there did he hope to become a drug addict who would then become a thief to support his habit. So what happened? Where did his boyhood dreams go?

I remember during chapel service in school, my dear principal, Mr. B would often talk about the "little foxes." So many times in life we let just a little sin slip in... just a tad of gossip, a small white lie, a hurtful word, just a little immorality. We justify, cast blame, ignore and press on as if nothing happened. I am sure the first time this young man was asked to "just try it" he knew that just a few years down the road he would be handcuffed, facing a judge and 20 years in prison, he may have said, "No." But the deceiver blinds us to what a little sin can do. I am sure if my other friend knew that she would one day be in a doctor's office waiting to find out the results of her surgery to see if she had cancer and how bad it was, she would have never had premarital sex and contracted the STD HPV. Stories of looking back can go on and on!

But there are two other directions to look...
Look now!
What little foxes are we allowing in our life right now? What sin are we accepting or tolerating? My prayer is that we immediately go to our amazing Savior who freely grants the forgiveness of sin and ask Him to reveal any sin and to forgive us of it. But let's not stop there... ask Him to help us to truly repent and turn from the sin! Also, is there someone in your life who is stuck in sin... do they need help, encouragement, mercy or compassion? Do they need tough love? Ask the Lord how He wants to use you in their life.

Look forward!
We can't change the past, the sin we have committed, the wrong choices we have made... but as my Pastor said, "We're not dead yet!" We still have life ahead of us to accept God's best in our choices and His plan for our lives. We need to look forward to living for Christ... with ALL our hearts, soul, mind, and strength - completely sold out for HIM!

Don't let Satan come to steal, kill, or destroy... don't let the deceiver blind you to what sin really does. There's a Savior who died for YOU! To SAVE!

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Time!!

It's that time again, and I can't wait! Caleb's summer vacation is just days away, so I have dusted off my "Things To Do in Summer List" as the word "bored" is like a curse word in my house. I have told Caleb (and will remind him on his last day of school) that if he is thinking the words, "I'm bored," he simply needs to go to the fridge where our list hangs and decide what adventure he would like to pursue next. Please add comments with other ideas I may have missed. And most importantly, have fun with your kids this summer!

Things to do this Summer

Together (Ideas to do as Parent and Child)
Free Movies - check your local theaters
Free Bowling -
Beach – ride the waves
Have a playdate
Play a board game
Play cards
Library – Summer Reading Program

Costs Money
Paint Pottery
Mini Golf
Be a Tourist
Go to the Zoo
Go to a Museum
Go to Aquarium
Monkey Joes
Go to a sporting event
Make a garden

Things to do Alone (or Together)
Work on Scripture Memory
Practice a Sport
Work on Summer Scrapbook
Take some pictures
Make a picture
Draw with chalk
Make a card for someone
Write a letter
Write a poem
Write a song
Send an email to a relative or friend
Read a book or a chapter
Read to a sibling
Clean your room
Call a relative
Play a computer game
Play on Swing Set
Give the dog a bath
Play Fetch with the dog
Wash the car
Build an indoor fort
Make something out of Recycle Bin
Playdough – make it & play with it
Ride your bike
Ride your scooter
Watch a TV show
Watch a DVD
Go on a treasure hunt in the backyard
Make a movie
Make a collage from old magazines
Play with your toys
Go on a Virtual Field Trip

Help Mommy
(You can earn $.25 for each chore you complete thoroughly and with a good attitude)
Load dishwasher
Empty dishwasher
Do laundry
Fold laundry
Wash windows and mirror
Put away groceries


Summer fun... I grabbed Caleb while walking by the pool and just jumped in, clothes and all! :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's Not the Courage - It's the Faith!

Recently I was in a store with Daniel, and a perfectly sweet stranger started complimenting his red hair and precious personality. A minute or two into the baby ogling, he asked for Daniel's name and then followed it with another question regarding the name's origin possibly deriving from the Bible. I shared that it was, as well as his older brother's name, Caleb. He stated that they were strong biblical names to which I concurred and added that both of those Biblical namesakes were courageous. He then gently corrected me and stated that it wasn't courage, but FAITH! In looking at the lives of both Old Testament heroes, Caleb and Daniel, he couldn't be more accurate.

I thought about our conversation for the remainder of the day and started to pull more and more out of this Kairos moment. Throughout the Bible we find hero after hero... all sinners who allowed God to come into their life and use them in a mighty way. So many character traits that I would love to attain as well as share with my children can easily be seen in their lives - courage, patience, perseverance, and the list can go on and on. However, I realized that these traits that often characterize these heroes, as well as ourselves, are a result of faith... understanding that we in ourselves cannot attain the level of character, such a courage. It's in the faith of a perfect, loving God and His amazing power.

This weekend Pastor Greg was used to confirm what the Lord was personally speaking to me in his continuing series on the Life of David. As he spoke the infamous story of David killing Goliath, he said so many things that hit home. But one specific thought that relates to this was when he asked, "When was Goliath really killed? Was it when David cut off his head? No. How about when this seven foot giant hit the ground? Nope, not then either. How about when the stone hit between his eyes? I don't think so." He shared, "I truly believe Goliath was a dead man walking the minute when David took that first step of faith."

I do pray that my children have courage as their namesakes so easily display, but even more so, I pray that they are granted a measure of faith that is seen in the lives of these heroes that does not only result in courage, but so much more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh, How He Loves Me

Mark has been officially deployed with the Air Force for a full week now. In the days leading up to his departure, my heart was beginning to ache, but all I kept thinking and saying was, "I can handle this!" and I meant it in every sense of every word. The biggest problem was with that first word - "I." I know better than that...
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Of course I am brought back to John 15 as the Lord seems to be showing me His Truth and His love through this passage consistently lately. And so the Lord showed me that I can handle this, but only through Him.
The past three days have been crazy in our household... my usually good baby boy has been extremely high maintenance and demanding, and my eldest, usually characterized by being a helper, has been a challenge as well. Yesterday morning I was greeted by three hours of whining, throwing, and even mealtime issues. I could see it was going to be another extremely long day. I escaped to the restroom for a moment of solitude. I knew I just needed a verse - any verse... it didn't even need to relate to my situation. I just wanted something to meditate on throughout the day that would take my mind off the utter chaos. I grabbed a book we had in that room and opened it up randomly and the scripture before was one handpicked by the Lord for me...

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
Psalm 23:1-3
Ahhhh, the thought of lying down in a green pasture with quiet waters beside me drew a mental picture of a lush meadow or tropical escape, and I couldn't wait for the Lord to take me there. Then a thought of panic (I think I think too much - hee hee) rushed through my mind as I wondered how the Lord would "make" me achieve this as I am not one to sit and rest... a broken leg? an accident? Nope, I was not going to hang onto those thoughts. So walked back into the utter chaos, refusing to vent my status on Facebook, and just mediating on this picturesque scene with my Shepherd.
Later in the day I received an email from two of the sweetest and most generous friends of mine and Mark's, Julie and Jonah Jabbour. The email informed me that I had a gift certificate to a local spa awaiting me. I sat there reading this email completely speechless and overwhelmed. I was amazed! ...not only at the gift certificate to the spa, or the thoughtfulness and generosity of these sweet, sweet friends, but it was so much more than that. This gift was truly sent from the Lord! (Thank you Jonah and Julie for listening to His voice and being used of Him!)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
The Lord brought the scripture He had just given me that morning to my mind, and I could instantly see His Truth and promise for me fulfilled. I burst into tears feeling so loved by my Heavenly Father. I sat there thinking that although He truly has the whole world in His hands, there were starving children in Africa that were in need (as my Grandma always reminded me as a child), but here I was and God was giving me a want. Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Why? Why would be bestow this upon me? and then I heard his still small voice...
because I love you!
The God of the universe heard my cry and answered with an "I love you!" - just for me. He saw my chaos and my strength, and wanted me to abide in HIM for the strength I really needed. He wrapped me in His strong arms and showed me love.
The chaos of the day continued, and I am sure it will over the next few months while Mark is gone. I am thankful for this reminder that I need to abide and be in complete surrender to my Jesus - His strength and His grace. And I am even more thankful for His reminder of how much He truly loves me!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Abundant Life

My Mother's Day got off to a rough start... Daniel woke up extra early, then Caleb came home from his first weekend visit dressed like a gangster... and acting similar to one as well. I could see the day may be a long one.

Before Caleb left and knowing the typical bad choices of his biological father, I had a heart to heart conversation with Caleb that went something like this...
Me: Buddy, what did the doctor just say you had?
Caleb: Strep Throat
Me: So, because of this you are going to need extra rest. Is playing hockey and skateboarding a form of rest? And should you be staying up super late?
Caleb: No
Me: Well, why do we need rest?
Caleb: So our body can heal and grow?Me: Yes, Buddy! But who says so? Who says we need rest? Does Mommy just make this up?
Caleb: I don't know
Me: God says it in His Word. He even rested and tells us we need rest. So, what do you think you are going to need lots of this weekend?
Caleb: Rest!
Me: Great! I don't want you to come home Sunday morning and say how tired you are... I want you to be rested and feeling better!
So, what are some of the first words out of his mouth before a "Happy Mother's Day?" - "I'm so tired!" The tiredness continued throughout the day... I had one cranky boy on my hands who was doing everything in his power to stay awake.

The day continued with some craziness. As we all got in the car to head to church, it would not start. We tried jumping it, and it didn't work. We then called Honda service and tried several other antics to no avail. My parents picked us up so we could at least enjoy our planned Mother's Day downtown, which was so nice. Just as the day started to turn around after a lovely lunch and walked in the park, we headed home sweet home where the drama began again. I asked Caleb if we could sit down and figure out his birthday plans and wishes for the week. I was sure to include some time with biological father in there, but Caleb was quickly frustrated and upset on how it was all working out. The next thing I know he was hysterical crying, "I can't do this! I can't do this! I don't want to do this anymore!" We then explained that this is all new and will take some time to get used of, but he has a decade left before he's 18 which threw him into even more hysterics. We finally settled him down and eventually got him off to bed. It was quite the adventure!

A few hours after that, I myself crawled into bed and found myself crying the same thing as my heart was break for my boy and his heart and all the weekend had held for him. My cry went to the Lord with tears streaming down my cheeks, "I can't do this! I can't do this Lord! I can't spend the next ten years doing this!" It was actually refreshing to find myself in a spot of full surrender and admittance that I had no strength to endure this.

I knew right then I was in the best place possible - the place where HIS perfect strength could take over in my weakness, a place where HIS grace was more than sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-10), a place where I could rest and abide and find HIM alone as my source (John 15:5).

I felt a calm over me and though to myself, "Oh, good! I can just rest and survive the next ten years." That was when I heard His voice, His quiet sweet voice that He spoke right to me, "Christie, I didn't come to die that you may survive, but that you may live... life abundant!" and instantly the following scripture ran through my mind, heart, and soul:
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
John 10:10b

With the knowledge that my plans for the next day were changing by the minute as my car was scheduled to be towed first thing, I have no clue what the next ten years may hold. What I do know it that God intends for me to have life abundant - life to the full! My Mother's Day may have had a rough start, but it ended with my boys sweetly tucked in bed, my amazing husband curled up next to me, a wonderful house, pantry stocked, the love of friends and family, and a gentle whisper reminding me of the powerful Words of God that my life would be abundant!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! all the Mom's who selflessly and unconditional love their kiddos and do what's best for them even when it's hard! all the Grandma's who keep on loving and leaving a legacy all the Aunts who invest in their nieces and nephew all those women who want to be Moms and are hurting today... my thoughts, prayers, and tears are with you. all those women, young and old, who make a difference influencing the next generation


Saturday, May 7, 2011


When I was a little girl I was literally wrapped up in prayer. My sweet and godly Mom was a total "Prayer Warrior," but that's not exactly what I am speaking of. I am referring to a throw blanket that my Mom's friend Susan had given to her. It was peach and green (go 80's!), and had the "Serenity Prayer" inscribed on it. As I would snuggle down into it, I would often read it but didn't ponder its words until now.

Recently, the Lord has not only brought this prayer to my attention, but challenged my heart to truly believe that God can meet my needs in this area. Last night was Caleb's first overnight, unsupervised visitation with his biological father in over a year and half. Just the day before the visit, we were in the doctor's office, and he was diagnosed with strep throat (again), which has been a constant struggle for him over the past year. For this Mom, that would mean lots of rest, healthy food, and an overload of some good ole' TLC as he enjoyed his twice a day dose of Rx for the next ten days. But instead, I found myself the very next day, standing at my front door and watching him pull away for someone else to care for him.

Fast forward through some good details and a chunk of what turned into a crazy day for me, and you will find me crawling into bed around 11:20 pm. Just as I turned to Mark to mention that I thought it would be good to keep my phone volume on all night (I usually turn it off before I head to dreamland), it rang... and Caleb's name was on my caller ID. Within a millisecond various thoughts raced through my mind... I didn't know whether to be excited that my son was thinking of me and calling, or to panic as it was approaching midnight and it didn't make sense that my "baby" was still awake, especially since just hours before we were informed of the strep. Thankfully, he was just calling to say hello. He told me about his day and their current plans to head back to his father's home (which happens to be in one of the worst parts of North Charleston) and stay up to watch at least half of a PG-13 rated movie.

Here I was, on the other end of the phone wanting to tuck him in and give him the rest he needed, but I couldn't. I wanted to protect all those senses from a very inappropriate movie, but I couldn't. I just wanted everything to be the way I imagined way back when I started my family, and here I was sharing my son. Thanks to God's Word and all the prayers of friends, I felt such peace about Caleb's protection for this whole weekend. I wasn't quite worried about him, but instead felt that incredible peace that passes understanding. However, my heart was another story... I wanted to give Caleb what was best for him, but I couldn't. I had to "accept the things I could not change."

Throughout life, we will consistently face situations that we cannot change... whether they be the traffic you find yourself sitting in, a loved one dying of cancer, or the sharing of your baby. The amazing thing God is present during all of this. We can choose to fight against our situation, or accept it by His grace. Yes, His all sufficient grace - available at all times, enough for us at all times. I am sure in the future I will be faced with many more of these situations and many others that I cannot change as well. The question is - will I surrender to Him and His will and trust Him completely? Only by His grace!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cell Phones and Hearts

Recently I sat down with Caleb and shared with him my first cell phone experience - I was 17 years old and wanted a cell phone; my parents reminded me that I was working and could get one myself. So I did! After a year of large payments, my contract was finally up, and I decided that I was done with a cell phone. A week later my car broke down on my drive home from work and in the dark of the night I had to walk the rest of the way home. The cool thing is that I survived!
Upon the completion of my story (and pointing some of the lessons of the story out to him), I informed Caleb that we were on our way to get him a cell phone. Despite the fact that I would have never thought that getting my almost 8 year old a cell phone was a good idea, with my current divorced situation, we have decided it is best. We gave Caleb the cell phone with lots of rules and guidelines that we felt appropriate, but also a good amount of freedom. Years ago I read the book Parenting with Love and Logic, and it is truly paying off. After making a few of his first calls with a glow on his face, Caleb started to make "plans" with what he would do next with his phone. He suddenly expressed that he wanted to call his friends Tony and Elayne (names changed to protect some innocence- hee hee). At this point I was extremely thankful that I didn't need to wait for a burning bush to hear from God because I needed some wisdom quick - my baby boy who was only in 2nd grade was wanting to call a girl!?!?! I somehow calmly responded and shared with Caleb that a girl's heart is given by God to her parents, specifically to her Daddy, for protection. I also shared that one-on-one talking would definitely access a girl's heart. So if he was interested in talking with a girl on the phone he would have to ask her parents, specifically her Dad, for permission to do so. He responded with an "Oh Wow! Mom, I'll have to think about that!"
I felt relieved and thought (key word: thought) I was in the clear. Well, at the end of that week, we happened to have a sleepover with Tony, and the next morning both of his parents and his sister, Elayne, came to pick him up. Caleb asked Tony's Mom for her number so he could talk with Tony. After giving it to him, she said, "Caleb, I will have to give you Elayne's too." At that point Caleb turned to me and just stared as to see what I would say. I then explained that Caleb would have to ask Elayne's Dad permission for that before he could have the number. At that point Elayne's Dad exclaimed, "Oh Caleb, go ahead and ask me buddy... no problem!" I thought for sure this would ruin everything - he had a green light from the Dad. But it was amazing - Caleb turned to him and respectfully said, "I'm not ready to ask that." At that point we decided that if he wasn't ready to ask then he certainly wasn't ready to talk to a girl on the phone.
For all my children, I hope for relationships that brings together two hearts - whole hearts... unbroken, accessed, or defiled... pure!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Identity in Christ (Notes from Thursday Morning)

Continuing with our topic, Covenant Identity, this past Thursday I had the privilege of sharing a warning on how satan tries to counterfeit our identity at Sisterhood Mornings at Seacoast Church. Despite that fact that we who are Christ-followers, are His children – true Princesses and Princes, the author of lies often uses three temptations to go after that identity: appetite, affirmation, and ambition.

In Matthew 4:1-11, we find Jesus in the wilderness after forty days and nights of fasting when the tempter comes against Him in these three areas. First, he tempted Jesus with food (appetite). Have you been tempted in this way? It may be with food, but it also may be a thirst for things of this world such as shopping or TV or money. Any of these things in moderation are acceptable, but when we, in our own strength, try to fill an emptiness in ourselves with these things, we will continue with a discontent spirit as only true fulfillment can come from God through the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew God would provide, so He refused the temptation. Do we trust the Father for provision or do we choose to satisfy our appetites our own way?

The second temptation we find is in affirmation. So often we seek the affirmation of others to find our identity. However, your identity has to come from the Source, your Creator, and your Heavenly Father. The truth is YOU are his child! Not a Princess/Prince of a country, a pampered one or even the Disney type, but a daughter/son of the King of kings! We must lean on Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Rather than resting in the confidence of being our Father’s Child, it can be easy to seek the approval of others, seeking quick hits of affirmation. The tempter will use this addictive process of affirmation to cripple us. We need to find the people and cycles that are our hits and remove ourselves from those places.

Lastly, ambition, performance, and success can be not only a temptation but a common addiction for women. If I do A, B, and C I am a good parent; If I do X, Y, Z I am a good spouse; If I do M, N, O I am a good Christian… and the list goes on. If our identity lies in our personal success we cannot represent God because we want to advance our own kingdom before His. We need to choose to lose, die to self! (Matthew 10:39, Phil 1:21)

As Christ-followers, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome. During the temptations, Jesus is able to remain unshaken in who He is, secure in His Father’s words to Him. Will you remain unshaken when your identity is attacked? God’s Word talks about putting on the Armor of God. All of the pieces of armor are defensive, except for one - the sword, God’s Word. We can offensively use His Word to come against attacks with truth. Looking at Matthew 4, each time that Satan tempted Jesus, he answered him with Scripture. That is our model. We must be equipped to combat the lies. Use scripture – Memorize it! Quote it! Believe it!

In conclusion, when your identity is threatened, there is an enormous opportunity for God’s Kingdom to be advanced. Where are you being tempted? How can you intentionally press into your identity as God’s child? Your Father loves you, believes in you, and is proud of you. May you walk in that knowledge.

In Christ Alone,

-God's Love Letter to You, His Child-

My child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up(Psalm 139:2), I am familiar with your ways (Psalm 139:3), even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matt 10:29-31). For you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28), for you are my offspring (Acts 17:28).

I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12), You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book(Psalm 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), I knit you together in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13), and brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6).

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me (John 8:41-44) I am not distant and angry, but I am the complete _expression of love (1 John 4:16) and it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect father (Matthew 5:48) Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33)

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalms 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32:41)

And I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4) For it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11)

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4) And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4) I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3) He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32) If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39) Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7) I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15)

My question is, will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)  I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32)

Your Dad. Almighty God

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Food Fight

This evening we dared to dine after church. It was always tradition for us to go to Saturday night service then go out to dinner afterwards. However, when little Daniel hit that certain age when he no longer liked to be out late and would make that known in pulic, we choose to do dinner at home before service. Forgetting what craziness it could be, we headed to Jim N Nicks (Oh, Heaven in my mouth!) around 8pm. It was crowded and there was a wait; so by the time we were seated, Daniel's patience was already used up.

After a portion of their incredible bread was enjoyed by all (especially Daniel), our food arrived. Daniel's mouth was opened like a little bird, and I could not get his 2nd dinner spooned into him mouth quick enough. (He actually got to eat before church so this was like dessert dinner for him.) The problem was that him and I usually share dinner, so he gets a bite and then I get a bite. However, tonight was different as I ordered the Kitchen Sink Nachos (oh so good!) and felt that was not quite the best dinner for him. He got their incredible homemade Mac and Cheese. That forced me to have to eat mine with my fingers, then wipe my hands, then pick up the fork, then give him a bite. Well, I just could not do this as fast as he desired. He was literally attempting to leap out of his highchair to grab the fork himself. Occassionally he even reached hard enough to grab the fork, but despite what he grabbed, he still was unsuccessful as he just coud not do a good job of feeding himself yet. I made a comment to Mark as this was occuring. I said, "He is so anxious that he is not giving me a chance to provide for Him." Right then it clicked. It was like God whispered in my ear... Do you do that Christie?

I sat there thinking how I would give Daniel exactly what he needed when he needed it. I would not fill his mouth too much that it could hurt him or cause him to choke, and I would not give him too little that it would frustrate him... I'm his Mom and want to give his exactly what is best for him. I also give it to him at the exact time he needs it... I do not shove more food in his mouth before he finishes what he has, not do I just leave him there starving. Just when he finished up his bite, I would give him another.

It made me realize that my Heavenly Father takes care of my provisions in the very same way... often not giving me too much and not allowing me to lack, but giving me just what I need exactly when I need it. The question is - am I fighting for that fork? or peacefully resting and trusting my Father to bless me?