Search This Blog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Serving and Submitting

We just got back from a six day trip to Atlanta!  It was FUN, FUN, FUN!  The book I chose to take with me to read while we were there was a book by Elizabeth George called A Woman After God's Own Heart.  The particular chapters that I was reading just so happened to be "A Heart the Serves" and "A Heart that Submits."  Not so bad right? 

Well.....she is talking about serving and submitting to your husband!  BAM!

I thought that this was very comical of God sense vacations can be such a tense experience with directions, decisions, different ideas of relaxing, etc.  Actually, Paul and I had done pretty well up to that point.  We made it to the hotel without arguing.  Only a few barks at the kids when they asked us to please turn up the movie right when we were in Downtown Atlanta traffic coming up on the exit we were to take.  I couldn't blame them because we actually had turned down their movie so we could concentrate.  Later we had to apologize for yelling at them and explained why we were so tense in the Atlanta traffic.  I don't think they really understood because of course we are supposed to be superman and superwoman to them.  Why in the world would be need to concentrate to drive?  ha!

Needless to say, on day one I was laying out by the pool reading these words, "And just what is this 'helper' from Genesis 2:18?  Borrowing a few of Jim's Bible study books, I learned that a helper is one who shares man's responsibilities, responds to his nature with understanding and love, and wholeheartedly cooperates with him in working out the plan of God." 

Elizabeth George went on to say that she realized that she was on assignment by God to be a helper and to submit to her husband. 

WOW!  Smack in the face!  I realize that I have a lot to learn about being a good helper and submitting to my husband.  But here are some questions we can ask ourselves...

Are we giving the gift of headship to your husband through your heart attitude of submission?
Are you experiencing the rightness that comes from a decision to follow God's plan for marriage?

I can honestly say that we avoided many arguments on our vacation because I practiced being a good helper and submitting to Paul.  To be honest with you, at first I thought, "Are you serious?  I have to serve another person? What about ME?" But then, I realized that it had nothing to do with Paul and everything to do with the Lord. 

My prayer is that I would continue to reveal my respect for Paul in the daily instances.  I pray that I would respond positively to him and that I would remember to stop and think, "am I bending or bucking?"  After all, a woman after God's own heart has a heart for serving her husband.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. ~ Eph. 5:22


Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Heart Responsive to God

"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." ~1 John 1:8

" If we confess our sins, He is faithful adn righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ~1 John 1:9

What I am realizing is that I am not calling sin "sin." I can tend to justify my actions. Sometimes I am so desensitized that I am not even convicted of sin. But the reality is...I have sin in my life that I am not dealing with!

I was reading Elizabeth George's book for my quiet-time this morning called A Woman After God's Own Heart. She talked about calling sin "sin" and by doing so we train our heart to be responsive to God's convicting spirit. She says that the split second you think or do anything contrary to God's heart, stop immediately! She states that such action is key to training your heart to be responsive to God.

Of course we have to be in the Word to be able to identify sin in our lives. We need to Truth in order to know what is false.

I was in a situation the other day where I was starting to have thoughts that where not in line with God's Word and immediately God brought truth to my mind about that situation. I was able to say, "wait a minute, what am I thinking? This is not what God thinks about this. His Word says......!

Can you think of any situation where you are making excues about your disobedience? Are you obeying God only halfway?

Do you know what kind of attitude and heart that God desires?

As Elizabeth George says, "As you desire all that God desires, loves all that He loves, and humble yourselve under His might hand (1 Peter 5:6), then your heart will indeed be a heart after God. What a blessed thought!"


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thank God for the Fleas!

Today I am pondering the fact that I tend to be so wishy washy.  I am so on fire for the Lord one minute and then....the arrows of life!  They seem to get me down every time.  But what I have realized is that I am wanting everything to be smooth sailing.  I don't want to have to fight the flaming arrows of doubt, frustration, disappointment, discomfort, heartache.  I just want to bury my head in the sand sometimes. 

But the Lord so gently reminded me of one of my favorite godly women of all times...Corrie Ten Boom!  LOVE HER!!

Corrie was a Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II.  She and her family were caught hiding Jews in their attic.  She and her sister, Betsie were eventually sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. Ravensbruck was one of the worst concentration camps in Germany.

From The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom:

"Fleas and lice were so thick that upon entering the bunkroom, one became swarmed in them. The stench of burning flesh from those that were murdered without warning was a constant stare into the face of death. The food was one half pound of bread and one half liter of soup per day. The work was so hard that the women had swollen legs and were losing circulation in no time."

From Corrie ten Boom-Light in the Holocaust

Corrie and Betsie had smuggled a Bible into the camp and traded it back and forth during the day. If the guards found one or caught anyone having meetings, they were to be executed. At first, the women held these meetings very timidly. But as the weeks wore on and no guards came into the bunkroom, they grew bolder. Corrie marveled at this.
Why was it that no guard came in?

Betsie excitedly told Corrie, "I found out for sure, Corrie. I overheard two guards. The guards will not step foot in the bunkroom because of the FLEAS! Thank God for the fleas!" she exclaimed. The women added that to their prayers daily."

...Corrie endured all the cruelties inflicted upon her bravely, the ones she could not bear were the ones inflicted on her already weak sister. Betsie greeted each day and each trial with the same sweet smile, rejoicing in the fact that she could share Jesus' love with her fellow prisoners. Corrie did everything in her power to help her dying sister, but the horrible conditions, rampid filth and piercing cold overtook her. Before she died, Betsie said something to Corrie that would stay with her for the rest of her life "We must go everywhere and tell everyone. They will believe us, because we were here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still."


What courage and strength!

I pray that I would be able to thank God for the fleas!!!  I also pray that I would be about God's business and not get caught up in the things of this world.  I pray that I would have the same sense of urgency that Betsie had to tell everyone about Him.... that "there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still."

So when I start questioning God's timing, doubting His call on my life, fearing the future....I will remember the life of Corrie and Betsie ten Boom!

Thank you Lord for godly women who have walked before us!


Friday, July 9, 2010

"Watch your tone!"

These are the words I constantly say to my two boys.  It seems that they have decided that it is okay to talk to me in a disrespectful way.  The funny thing about it is that I say back to them, "Watch your tone with me young man."  And guess what kind of tone I use?  

You guessed it!

A mean spirited one. 

I would justify it by thinking that I am just demanding respect, showing them who's boss, enlighting them to who has authority over them.  After all God appointed Paul and I to be their authority, right? in my quiet time the Lord revealed something very eye-opening to me.  I heard His gentle voice say, "How is your tone being received?"


Paul had always said that I have a harsh tone sometimes.  He will yell from across the house when he needs me, "Kerry!"

And I would yell back, "What!"  But my "what" is not in a "how can I help you" way.  It is more like, "What now"  kind of way.  Like he is annoying me.

Which leads me to another observation.....We are a yelling family!  I hate it! We are always yelling from the top or bottom of the stairs.  We are yelling from room to room.  We yell when our kids are not obeying (as if getting louder will do the trick). 

Now I am not saying that yelling is wrong.  There are times that we need to yell.  If Parker or Tanner are about to get hit by a car, I am not going to whisper their names.  You better believe I am going to yell from the top of my lungs.  But what I have realized is that I yell when yelling isn't even necessary and definitely not in an encouraging  tone.  I say things in the "you're annoying me" tone.  I am going to be honest...I struggle with this.  Because to be honest, sometimes they are annoying me. 

So here is where the rubber meets the road.  My children are going to hear harsh tones and hurtful words all day from other kids or even teachers (who like us, don't realize they are doing it). I want to encourage them and build up their self-esteem.  Not tear it down!  I have a bad habit of making my boys feel like they are the scum of the earth for being so disrespectful. 

Here is what The Power of a Positive Mom has to say:

"When our children have nothing positive to believe about themselves, their emotional bank accounts can become bankrupt---overdrawn by the negative comments and disappointments that occur every day in the world around them."

"We need to be deliberate about building up our children's strengths and putting regular deposits in their emotional bank accounts."

Now you are probably thinking I am not giving myself enough grace. You would never witness my harshness because I would put my best foot forward with my friends. But when there is no one around my guard is down.Yuck! Why can't I just realize that God is still watching?

So my challenge is to become more aware of the tone I am using and what I am communicating to them.  I want to love them the way Christ loves them.  I want to point them to Jesus!  I want to encourage them to become the men that God called them to be.  I want them to know that no matter what....I love them and think great things about them. 

Dear Precious Lord, be with me today as I point Parker and Tanner towards You.  May my words and tone be firm yet gentle and loving when they disobey or have a mean spirit.  I pray that my first reaction would not be to have a mean spirit back, but I would show them to react to disappointments with the power of the Holy Spirit.  I also pray that you would stop us when we start to yell with harsh tones.  Remind Paul and I that we are to be examples and help us to make a change in the way we respond.   ~amen

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." ~Proverbs 12:25


Monday, July 5, 2010

Death and Dying

It has been two years since my sweet mom has gone to be with the Lord.  I will never forget July 5, 2008.  The weather was much like it is today. 

I always get a little sad when June and July roll around because it reminds me of the events that occurred leading up to my mom passing. 

June 28, 2008 my mom fell in the middle of the night.  It was around 4am and I could hear her calling out, "help, help!"  I ran down the hall to her room to find her on the floor in front of her closet door.  Apparently she had gotten confused in the middle of the night and thought that the closet door was the way to the bathroom (later we would find out it was due to a lack of oxygen from her disease).  Paul and I both tried to help her up and get her acclimated.  It took her a long time to catch her breath.  We had to turn her oxygen up to it's full capacity until she could finally breathe normal again. 

I will never forget that night.  I went back into my bedroom and just cried my eyes out.  Paul came and gave me a hug and I just let it go.  The tears were coming and I couldn't stop it because I knew in my heart that we were nearing the end of my moms journey with Pulmonary Fibrosis.  When she first came to live with us the doctors had given her 6mos. to a year to live.  We had just celebrated the year mark weeks before this incident.

As the Lord would have it, my mom passed away a week later.  I was able to be by her side when the Lord called her home.  Loving my mom into the Kingdom was an honor.  A blessing! 

I haven't met very many people my age that have lost both parents.  My dad passed away from complications with emphysema when I was 23 years old.  That was a  very difficult day as well...February 19, 1996.  Losing my dad was one of the hardest things in my life up to that point.  I literally thought I was going to lose it.  But one day after spending some time with the Lord I thought to myself, "I can't lose it now.  This is not the last tragedy I will face in life." 

You see the reality is...we are all like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14).  We don't know what tomorrow holds. 

This is what inspires me to make a difference TODAY!  There are people out there that need the Lord and are searching for Him.  We can be the light! I can't think of any other blessing and honor than to lead others to our Great and Mighty King.  People are dying all around us...physically and spiritually.  

Who can you pray for today?  Who can you talk to today?  Make an effort to reach out to someone with God's love!  You will be blessed!