Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Blessings

I had a gloomy start to the day, filled with rainy weather, a screaming infant, and fighting siblings. I was ready to throw in the towel and it wasn't even 10 o'clock yet. Sound familiar?? But just as I was about to throw my hands up and say "I'm done.", I walked into the living room and saw this...

They were all sitting there playing together so happily and just loving being together. At that moment, nothing else mattered. I grabbed my camera and quickly captured this moment (because it didn't last long!). I also tucked it away in my heart for future reference. What a beautiful picture:)
My children can be my biggest source of frustration, but they can also be one of my biggest sources of joy! They make me laugh, cry, pull my hair out, and melt with love- sometimes all at once! Eleven and a half years ago, I was told I may likely never be able to bear my own children. Eleven and a half years ago was when I first started my life-long battle with cancer. Well, obviously those doctors were wrong and God proved His power is mightier than anything- even cancer! My children are a daily reminder of God's faithfulness and grace. All I ever wanted was to be a mother. I am "living the dream" so to speak- even though most days are far from glorious. I feel so blessed though, that the Lord would choose me to raise and teach these beautiful children! I am definitely not worthy of that honor. And on the days where I'm ready to throw in the towel, I need to remind myself that it IS an honor to be their mother. Thank you Lord for constant reminders of your goodness and for little blessings!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ministry at Home

About 3 1/2 years ago, the Lord began to whisper in my ear that He wanted me to share the journey that I had been given through speaking...publicly. Now, I am utterly terrified to get up in front of a group of people and speak. That is not my calling...or so I thought:) At first it was just a passing thought. Then I began to have a recurring dream that I was speaking at a women's conference. Then, the Lord started puttingpeople in my life that were suggesting it! I finally got the hint and said "ok" to the Lord. I started my training to speak for an organization called "Stonecroft Ministries". I had never heard of them, but have a relative that works for them. I went to a seminar and then began to write my "story". It took me months to write it. I finally submitted it and was taken to the next step, which was editting and revising. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to speak twice at different places and was really getting excited about what the Lord had in store. Then life happened. I got pregnant again, Savannah was in preschool, and life just got busy. Asher came along and life got even busier! Now I'm homeschooling, raising three young kids, and living on a farm where the business never ends! :) Lately, I've been really discouraged and frustrated trying to figure out why God would clearly call me into a ministry, only to seemingly close the door.Well, this last week I came across a blog/devotional by a mom who was talking about ministry at home. Being a mom IS a ministry! I am supposed to be a living example of Christ to my children everyday! It may not have the excitement that I felt of ministering to other women/adults, but it is definitely exciting:) There is never a dull moment around here!Often times, we stay-at-home moms get so caught up in the busyness of life, that we forget our mission. Our mission field is staring us right in the face every single day. For some kids, we are the only example of Christ they will see. For all of us, we are the main example of Christ that our children will have. Let that sink in a bit...It's heavy!! Once that realization came to me, I realized that maybe the Lord only needed me to share my story in that way on those different occasions. Maybe he will use it again later in life. I don't really know. But I do know that he is giving me the opportunity to be a window into his heart daily, for my children. That is a tremendous privilege and responsibility- at which I fail daily:) I'm so thankful for grace and mercy that can only come from him. AND I'm incredibly thankful that, though I may be the main example, there are plenty of other examples of Christ in my children's lives as well. It really does "take a village" :)

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Monday, September 26, 2011

"I will NEVER homeschool my kids..."- Oh how I ate my words!

(Savannah's First Day of Homeschooling)

I am not very good at "keeping up" with things usually. So this blogging attempt will be interesting:) This has been a crazy summer for us. We moved back to my husband's family farm, in order for us to be available to help and because we thought it was what the Lord wanted for our family. Its been quite an adjustment, having 8 people under one roof! We are currently living with my in-laws and my sister-in-law. Our goal is to have a house put up right next door sometime next summer. So in the meantime, we are all cozy and snug and together under the same roof. Naturally, we all get frustrated with one another here and there, but overall, it really is a blessing to be so close to family. We used to live in Nashville, TN and rarely had the chance to see family. After being so far away, and now being so close- with kids- we have certainly realized that this is where we need to be. I grew up living right behind my grandparents as well. I don't have very many memories that don't include them in any way, shape, or form. I love that! They were a big part of my life, as I want my kid's grandparents to be also. The insight, wisdom, and love that they can gain from that generation is priceless.
This is also my first year of homeschooling. I think I may be insane:) I literally was one of those people who said they would "NEVER homeschool my kids"! HA! Let me just say, that I think maybe the Lord smirks when we say "never". He seems to have a way of letting us eat our words. Even last fall, I was quoted saying that very thing to a friend- that I would never homeschool. Well, I began reading "Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. Dobson. I had no idea the emphasis on homeschooling that he would give. The Lord began working on my heart and softening it towards homeschooling. I finally sat down one day this spring, and made a list of reasons I did not want to homeschool. To my surprise, I was very humbled when I realized that all of my reasons were purely selfish. Wow....deep sigh...ok. I told the Lord that day, that I was NOT happy about homeschooling, that I didn't want to do it, but that I would. ONLY because I felt like He was telling me it was what I should do. So I begged him for a change in attitude if this was really what I was supposed to do. LITERALLY, the next morning I woke up excited about teaching my children at home!! The Lord is so good and so faithful! I LOVE it when he does stuff like that! Now, that's not to say that I always have a good attitude about it. Because I don't. But I know that this is what is best for my kids and I have been given assurance over and over again that this is right. Its comforting- especially on the hard days. What an honor and privilege it is, to educate my kids in the way they should go. Its also a heavy responsibility. But one that has been entrusted to me. Oh how I pray that the Lord would be evident in my life and that my children will reap what He sows in me. My goal? That my kids would grow up honoring and serving the Lord with all their heart. Everything else is secondary. So I hope you enjoy reading about our experiences! And I hope you can be encouraged through them! To God be the glory:)