Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Piano Lesson

I have much to say about this but it's wordless Wednesday! Here's one of my sons from his piano lesson yesterday with my sister via Skype.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What If I Prayed

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Their heart cried out to the Lord, “O wall of the daughter of Zion, Let tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no relief; Give your eyes no rest. “Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children, Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.” (Lamentations 2:18, 19 NKJV)

Imagine with me for a moment.  You're at a playdate with your kids and a few other families at a very large and busy park.  The next thing you know, one of your children are missing.  Frantically you ask if anyone has seen him.  You run around yelling her name to no avail, until finally you collapse from the horror of never seeing your precious baby again.

I had this dream a few nights ago.  In fact, I've been dreaming pretty vividly lately.  You know, the kind of dreams that jolt you from a deep sleep and you're left trying to place your brain back into reality?  Those kinds of dreams.  Actually, the above scenario has already happened to me, save the "never seeing your precious baby again" part, thank GOD.  My mother, my two boys and I were at the Ladybug Ball, an event for kids in Houma, when my oldest son decided he wanted to run off and take a look around.  My mom was waiting in line for juice with my two boys in the stroller while I was waiting in another line for food.  When we met up again, Phillip was gone, having snuck out of his stroller, unafraid to roam the grounds alone.

The boys enjoying the ladybugs

 It only takes a second.

There were tons of kids and adults on the grounds.  I called for him, seeming to spin around in circles, but he never answered.  My heart was racing a million miles an hour as I was trying not to panic.  What do you do?  What did I do?  I did the only thing I could do.  I cried out to the Lord.  Even if it was under my breath, I prayed.

Southdown Plantation-Site of the Ladybug Ball 2009

"God please bring my son back to me.  Devil you cannot have him."

My mom and I found some of the workers there and described what he looked like and what he was wearing.  Even writing this has my heart racing.  A few minutes later, I see someone carrying Phillip in their arms, as happy as can be.  God had brought him back to me.  Oh the gratitude and relief I felt as I held him in my arms!  And then I scolded him like crazy.

I've laid awake a few nights recently overwhelmed with a sense of urgency that I need to be praying for my children.  Praying for their salvation, their day to day struggles, their obedience, their focus, their emotions, wisdom, their friendships...I could go on.  I get so wrapped up in the day to day routine that at the end of the day, I feel like I've missed something, or worse, not placed any importance on prayer.

And the reality is that I haven't.

I've noticed a lot about myself lately, and I'm so thankful that God hasn't left me alone to stay the way I am.  I don't pray nearly as much as I ought.  There was a time when I did. Why have things changed?  What happened to the compassion I once had for people that would move me to pray for complete strangers; that caused me to see them as Jesus might, if even in the slightest bit?

God please change my heart.

Since the time I originally started this post, I've been challenged and given opportunities to be obedient in prayer.  I've obeyed and I've rebelled.  Obedience is far better than walking away.  And, in His mercy, it's  as if God has confirmed this to me; first a friend shares a dream and a challenge on Facebook, and even though I was out of town attending another church service, I found out my home church's message was on this very topic.

God is so good.  I am encouraged and challenged and I am not forgotten.  He knows just where I am and just what I need.  I can trust Him.  I can cry out to Him in prayer.  Imagine what would happen if we prayed like never before. Imagine if we believed that He heard and answered our prayers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What If I Had More Passion

The house is quiet (except for the sounds of my husbands snoring :D). Everyone is asleep but me; even the cat. This seems to be the only time I can hear my own thoughts, so I've been doing some late night writing.

My husband and I watched a movie last night. Although I won't go into specifics about what the movie was, know that it was a harsh one for my soul, for both of us really. It's ending left us with some pretty strong unsettling emotions. Graciously, God gave us peace and we slept soundly. The movie however, seemed to have piqued my husbands interest in revisiting some of the major world disasters that have happened over the more recent years; the tsunami in Sri Lanka being one of them.

No doubt a major disaster causes a shift in priorities, if even short lived. And tonight, after watching part of a documentary of the sudden tragedy that took place on that island, I am left lying here wondering about my own passivity.

I've become really passive about life. More importantly, about the gospel.  About Jesus.

I remember the very early morning that God's glorious presence and life-saving power were made real to me. I remember it as if a video recorder had captured each and every second of that moment and replayed it right in front of me. There was no Sunday morning church service, or youth group altar call. No street preacher or special outreach. No repeated words of prayer. It was just me and God, in a very real moment, alone in the dark night of my bedroom, when I had just about given up all hope for my life. All the strength I had left in my heart said, "God please, do something."

And He did.

A photo of me before I was born again, thinner than I would be because of an eating disorder

Before a marching band festival taking my role as a hippie a little too seriously

The moments that followed, the very seconds, were incredibly and forever changed. I had just encountered the Living God! The days and months after that early morning were filled with such a love and passion for the God of the Universe that had pulled me out of the pit I was in.


I had to tell someone what happened. I was sure, considering the record of my life before that day, that it would be believable. Even if it wasn't, it didn't matter. I knew what had happened to me. I knew the change that had taken place in the deepest parts of me, and so instantaneously. Even in the midst of fearing what people might think about what I had to say, I still had to tell them. It was too real, too incredible, to exciting to me to contain myself.

I remember that passion. Why, after all these years, have I become so...


Trying to understand my role as a wife and mother has, in a sense, blurred my view of my own responsibility to Christ. I spent so many years living with the shame and regret of past mistakes; the constant struggle to understand love, respect, and submission; and the pain of countless disappointments. In reality, even though we often had disagreements, I had given that responsibility completely over to my husband. In my heart, it was now his job to carry the weight of our family's passion for The Lord. When he failed to appear holy and passionate enough, he reaped condemnation from me. If he actively sought The Lord, I was never vulnerable enough to encourage him, only chalking it up to the fact that it was his "duty" as the spiritual head of the family. (That is a whole other can of worms I won't get into right now.)

Family Vacation 2011

But what about my responsibility?

God gave me my own personal testimony.  A radical one at that.  He didn't give my testimony to my husband.  God chose to make Himself known to him in a different way.  He has his own source of passion and although it will ultimately point to Jesus, it may not look exactly like mine.  I spent so many years waiting for my husband to be what I thought a spiritual leader should be so I could confidently walk in line behind him.  What resulted was my own lack of passion.

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5

And there it is...its just another form of judgement...

What if I just quit waiting for him to catch fire first? What if I opened my mouth to pray instead of leaving him to bear the burden?  What if I am the first one to strike up a conversation about what the Lord is doing in my life?  What if I made a choice to stop being so passive and reclaim the passion I had for my first Love?

I'm linking up with Lessons From Ivy and these other bloggers this week:


Sunday, October 21, 2012

What If We Really Believed

Truly my soul silently waits for God; He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1, 2 NKJV)

Gosh. Where do I begin? Today was a rough day. Actually, this whole weekend was and I can't even blame it on hormones.

Really, I have to go all the way back to last Tuesday night. Elijah (my youngest) had started to complain of a sore throat and had started to cough. I didn't make much of it, blaming it on his allergies, because my husband had been having some sinus issues. We had made plans to finally go visit my parents for the upcoming weekend and were going to leave after our homeschool co-op on Thursday.

Elijah came down with a fever on Wednesday and I sent an email to our co-op contact about possibly not being able to make it Thursday. At this point I still didn't make too much of things and was hopeful it was just a cold and would sort itself out. Thursday morning came and Elijah had no fever but a fairly bad cough. I packed our things anyway for our weekend trip and attended co-op. By the afternoon the fever was back. Deciding I'd better get him checked out before leaving town, I called his pediatrician to see if she could see him but it was too close to closing. The nurse referred me to an urgent care clinic nearby.

The clinic visit was quick. It is a fairly new clinic, very quiet and comfortable. We were the only ones there so we were seen right away by the Nurse Practitioner. She took his vitals and then tested him for Strep, which was negative. She ordered chest X-rays.

Chest X-rays.

I was nervous, having had to spend a week in the hospital watching Phillip struggle to breathe with pneumonia, i knew what chest xrays could reveal. Still, I was grateful she was thorough enough to have them done.

The X-rays showed "pre-pnemonia" and Elijah's history of asthma, or as she put it, "definite history of asthma." This put him at a greater risk of developing pneumonia. I was surprised. Elijah had never showed any signs that he struggled to breathe. I always thought Phillip was the unhealthy one.

When Elijah was younger, his pediatrician mentioned asthma to me when I asked about Elijah's sensitive gag reflex. He would often times eat and throw up. It would get especially worse if he had a cold. I was never sure how asthma factored into all this, but she told me that sometimes kids with asthma have reflux. I was sent home with prescriptions for Zantac and Pro Air. Neither of which I really had to use.

The Nurse Practitioner at our visit put Elijah on Amoxicillin, a steroid, Singulair tablets and Pro Air for emergency use. Before we left, she gave him some Albuterol with a nebulizer. I expressed my concern especially because of my experience with Phillip, and she assured me that he should be ok, but to come back if he wasn't getting better.

That night Elijah's fever went away and stayed away for the duration of his antibiotics. Our trip to my moms came and went without concern. Elijah's cough lingered but I gave him Mucinex with his medicines and figured all was fine.

Its amazing how much I tend to complicate things.

Thursday came and it was my turn to teach Science at our homeschool co-op. It took me forever to come up with a lesson and when I did, I never thought any idea was good enough. Nothing can ever be simple. This is a major obstacle for me and for faith. I muddled through it.

Friday night Phillip started sniffling and coughing. By this time I'm tired from stressing over the past week.

Mommas, have I mentioned how much I hate when my kids are sick?

Saturday the boys were going to have their cousin sleep over. Rick had planned to watch a movie with the family at home. I cooked a lasagna Friday night so we were having leftovers while the boys were going to have pizza.

I'm not quite sure what happened next. There was a flood of emotion. My feelings got hurt and I spent the entire Saturday in tears over something my husband said and things he had failed to understand. Maybe I was just tired. Just maybe.

Saturday night, Elijah came into my room. I could tell he wasn't feeling quite right. He'd been coughing a good bit even though he seemed to not be so congested. I walked him back to his room, prayed with him, and rubbed his back a while. I hadn't had to use his inhaler since the day I got the prescription filled but I wondered if it would help despite the warning not to use it too close to bedtime as it would raise his heartbeat. I googled when to use Pro Air and what the symptoms of asthma were in children.

It was a restless night.

Elijah crawled into bed with me after Rick left for work this morning. My alarm went off after about two good hours of sleep. I hit the snooze button four times.

Before breakfast I gave Elijah a dose of his inhaler. Something seemed a little off for him. He skipped Kids Church and sat through Sunday morning service with us. Rick and I were still tense from the night before.

Pastor Jonathan spoke on what would happen if we REALLY BELIEVED GOD'S WORD. This seems like a recurring theme for me lately, believing God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

After service, while eating lunch, Elijah tells me he's cold and asks for a blanket. Momma's red flags go up. I lose my appetite and tell Rick if I check Elijah and he has a fever I am taking him back to the clinic. Panic is starting to creep in.

Is this a test? Did I not just hear Pastor challenge me to BELIEVE GOD'S WORD?

Elijah's temperature reads 102.6. When we get to the clinic it is 104.3. All I can think of is Phillips experience with pneumonia.

Dear God, I can't go through this again!

On the way to the clinic I force myself to pray with Elijah. "By Your stripes we WERE healed. (Lord I believe. Help my unbelief)". The whole drive there I catch myself trying to reason why I can believe God can and will heal my children instead of fearing I will lose them.


As if faith has anything to do with my human understanding.

"I have to believe. God you bring death to life. You breathed life to my dark and dead soul when you saved me. Just say the word Lord and my children will be healed! Just SAY THE WORD AND IT WILL BE DONE!"

At the clinic I'm praying for a chest X-ray but none was done. I wanted to see for myself that my child did not have pneumonia. I didn't want it to be an issue of insurance and cost. I didn't want to be sent home like I was sent home with Phillip, only to have him get worse and need to be hospitalized later.

I've never had closure.

Strep was ruled out and so was anything tested from his urine. The doctor said his lungs sounded fine and a flu test wasn't necessary because "kids with the flu don't play around" like Elijah seemed to be doing after the Ibuprofen/Tylenol mixture that the nurses gave him kicked in. We were sent home to ride it out.

Sent home. No meds. No plan. Just "fever control."

My pastor said from this morning's message (I'm paraphrasing), "It's hard to have faith in what you can't see. It's hard to have faith when your finances aren't there, when the doctor's report is bad, when what you CAN see is contrary to Gods word."

Again, is this a test?

I know this seems small, and maybe it is. Someone, somewhere is going through something much tougher than this. But I'm sure the struggle of faith is still the same.

"But WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)


"So the Lord said, IF YOU HAVE FAITH AS A MUSTARD SEED, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you." (Luke 17:6 NKJV)

I pray my faith is big enough.

Oh, and by the way, we are taking MONDAY OFF!  :)

Would you pray for me and for my children? Thank you in advance. Can I pray for you? Talk to me below and let me believe with you in prayer.

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