Sunday, August 26, 2012

When did I get so old?

My girls started back to school on August 9. Cera is a junior and my baby, Brittany, is a freshman. They were tiny babies yesterday and today they're nearly grown up. My son, Cameron, started his first real job yesterday. He's working nights at Walmart doing stocking. It's insane to think that I'm old enough to have adult children!

My 20 year wedding anniversary was August 22. TWENTY YEARS!! I remember my one year anniversary- I was a brand new mother to a 5 week old baby. My 5 year anniversary I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest and had a 2 year old and a 4 year old. 10 years was when we got our honeymoon. We left the kids with James' mom and spent 2 weeks on the road driving from Seattle to Kentucky to meet my dear friend Rene. What a journey. Our 16 year anniversary was marked by James learning how to walk again after a tragic motorcycle accident. 17 years saw us packing up and moving cross country from Seattle to Kentucky...and 20 years is marked by the addition of many, many new gray hairs.

I look in the mirror and I see gray hairs...lots of them. So obviously I'm old enough to have adult children and to be married for 2 decades. I was thinking about getting some hair dye and washing that gray right outta my hair. But then, as I was reading my Bible today, I came across a verse that changed my mind.

Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; if it is attained by a righteous life.

So, if I've lived righteously then my gray hairs are a crown of spendor. I know that, like Paul, in Romans 7:18, I long to do what is right but still I sin. Apart from God I can do nothing good or righteous. I can try all day long to be 'good' but I fail all day long because it is not in me to be good.

However, with God by my side, in my heart, renewing my mind with purity and holiness, HE can do good things through me. I am the glove, He is the hand. So my gray hairs are God's. If He wants them there, then they'll stay there as a reminder to me each time I look in the mirror that God is doing a great work in me, through me.

Do you color your grays?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Did Adam & Eve really sin?

I know this might sound kind of odd but as I was reading in Genesis today I got to thinking about something that I hadn't ever really thought about before. Hopefully I can make it understandable in words the way I'm understanding it in my head.

After God created Adam and Eve, He told them not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At that point Adam and Eve didn't know the difference between good and bad. In the Garden of Eden they were naked and never thought anything of it. They romped and played, ate, probably swam in the river, without a single care in all the world. Nothing was bad, everything was good because they didn't know that bad was possible.

It wasn't until after they ate from the Tree that they gained the ability to differentiate between good and evil so when Eve ate from the Tree did she really understand what she was doing?

Yes, God told them not to eat of the Tree but they didn't know what sin was. They had no concept of consequences. So did Adam and Eve really sin by eating of the Tree? Did God set them up?

I know that sounds terrible but this question is really bugging me. I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts on this so please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Answered prayer

Someone asked me recently why God doesn't answer their prayers. "I pray every single day for.....and it never happens." She said.

I didn't know what to say to her because for a long time I, too, was frusterated by unanswered prayers. I spent years praying for various things- a family member to be healed from cancer, a family member's marriage to be healed, a good grade on a science test, etc. And it felt like every prayer I prayed went unanswered. It felt like God was ignoring me.

But now that I'm a parent and I've had children come to me and ask for things- "Mom, can I have a new car for Christmas?" "Mom, can I jump off the roof into the pool?" "Mom, can we have cookies for dinner?" And I've had to say no to them...a lot. It occured to me that NO is an answer. LATER is an answer. WE'LL SEE is also an answer.

Just because God doesn't answer our prayers the way we want Him to, doesn't mean He's not going to answer it at all. He sees the whole picture. He knows what will happen if He says yes or if He says no or if He says later. He knows what's best for us and He will answer accordingly. If God is saying no, then He's saying no for a reason and we need to trust His good and perfect will for our lives. 

Maybe He wants to teach us something through the journey to the answered prayer. For example, when we pray for patience, we're not miraculously patient. God doesn't give us patience, He gives us opportunities to be patient. When we pray for wisdom, He directs us to His word and gives us opportunities to be wise.

Maybe He's waiting for us to learn what to ask for that He can say yes to. "God, please give me an opportunity to show someone your love today." "God, please show me how to better please you."

He'll say yes to those things and in answering those prayers, He'll bless you!

My prayer lately has been, "Please, Father, break my heart with what breaks Yours." And in today's mail was a book called No Longer A Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan. Oh my goodness! I've nearly read the whole thing already and I was sitting at work balling like a big baby. My heart is so broken for the people and the children of Southern Asia. I am moved beyond words and want so badly to do something, anything to help make these people's lives easier. What a tragic, beautiful book.

If you want your own free copy, go here: and order a completely free copy of the book. I promise you that it's worth the time and the read.

God ALWAYS answers our prayers! We have to remember that sometimes that No is an answer.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What is this love thing anyway?

"I LOVE those shoes!"
"I LOVE this food."
"I LOVE that store."
"I LOVE that movie."
"I LOVE that actor."
"I LOVE......."

It seems like everywhere I go I hear someone saying, "I LOVE.....fill in the blank." I go on facebook and see status updates that state, "I LOVE.....fill in the blank" Even in my own house I hear my children say, "I LOVE that new band, those earrings, that car, etc"

Then when I hear someone say to me, "I love you", I don't know but it seems to have lost some of the luster of the beautiful pearl that love should be. We use the word LOVE so easily, so randomly, so absent mindedly, that it no longer means what it used to mean. Love used to be reserved for a special person, a parent, a very dear friend. Now we LOVE everything.

In the Bible, 1 Corinthians13 is considered the love chapter for good reason. It tells us what love is...and what love isn't.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on it's own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoings but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. Love never ends.

So how do we go about teaching our children- the next generation- what real love looks like?

We have to SHOW them. We can't simply tell them, "I love you." Because the word love is so diluted and means next to nothing now days. We have to show our kids by helping others. By sacrificing for them and for others. Show them what love is by showing them the love of God.

And I know that I will be paying a lot closer attention to what I'm talking about when I say, "I LOVE..." Because for my family I'm reclaiming what love really is. I LOVE my God. I LOVE my husband. I LOVE my children.