Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ties That Bind

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:12

Going into full-fledge spiritual warfare and entering the holy presence of God with someone ties you to them for life.  Your relationship is never the same after it.  It takes you deeper in your relationship.  It makes you smile a little broader when you think of that person.  In your heart, they will always hold a special place. 

In February 2010, the Lord took the Three Amigos to a much higher level of friendship.  Jenny (a.k.a. Ned), Chelsea (a.k.a. Lucky) and Shannon (a.k.a. Dusty) dove off into something far bigger than us.  We lead a women's encounter that totally changed our lives, as well as the ladies that attended.  Experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in such a profound way with them was a first for me.  I had encountered His power and presences many times, but not with these two lovely ladies at my side.  Chel and Jenny had ministered together many times before, but this time they let me come out and play too.  It was cool. 

We prayed together, we loved together, we laughed together, we worked VERY WELL together (at least that's my perspective...Jenny and Chel may say something different when I'm not in the room, but I'm going to move forward with my version...ignorance is bliss!)  We were unified and very sensitive to what the Lord wanted us to do.  We had each others' backs when needed.  We covered one another in prayer.  We took up each others slack.  We stepped in when needed.  We encouraged one another.  We loved on one another.  We held each other up when the power of the Holy Spirit was so strong it was all we could do to not hit the floor.  We all taught the Word of God together.  We were a true team.

I refuse to believe that all of this was a coincidence.  I also refuse to believe that such a powerful team was put together for only this one event.  This triple-braided cord was woven by the Lord's hand.  When we look back on how the Lord brought us all together over time, you can't deny that it was intentional.  This alliance was created for purposes beyond our imaginations.  We have been called to declare the Good News and to see the broken restored and the lost...found.  Until our next event, we will grow together in the Lord.  We will help each other along in our walks.  We will love on one another.  We will encourage one another.  We will pray for one another.  We will remember our first ministry opportunity with great fondness.  However, we will not cling to it.  We will move forward.  We will let go of it and grab ahold of the future.

I look forward to the adventure that lies ahead.  All for one and one for all!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Today is not a blog where I feel some great divine revelation from God.  I don't have a neat little scripture to add...although I know there are many that apply.  Today...I just AM...  This is a day when I am reminded that parenthood is tough.  Doing the right thing is sometimes hard...and lonley.  I'm sorry, but I'm having a hard time "counting it all joy".  The struggles that we parents face with our kids today can sometimes feel like an F5 hurricane.  You know, where nothing is safe and the storm engulfs everything it encounters.  Jesus, will you just stand up and say "Peace Be Still", because I'm too afraid to even stand up.

Will I ever be able to do enough?  Will I ever be good enough?  Will they even care about me in 10 years?  Where is the line where you push good kids into being bad kids?  (Because according to them that line has already been crossed!)  I don't want to be popular...just loved.  That's all they want too..so what exactly does that look like?  Oh yeah, the Love chapter...that's right...

Now to overcome the frustration and loneliness.  The feeling that you're the only parent on the planet that enforces rules.  The only parent that isn't a "Disney Channel Parent".  You know, the parents that are always wrong and bow down to their kids and are made out to be dumb.  It's also hard being the disciplinarian in the house.  It's just plain ole' hard. AND one size never fits all.  Each kid requires a different approach.  The very things we celebrate about them are the things that throw a kink in our parenting styles.

I sit back and think though...I have really good kids and a great husband.  I also have family and friends that are a great support system...  HOW do some parents feel and cope that don't have all that I have?  Particularly the power and relationship with the Holy Spirit.  Man, the burden on them must be tremendous.  If I feel this heavy and overwhelmed, how do they feel?

Lord, help all of us that are trying so hard to raise up a child in the way they should go.  We need you...may Your Godly heritage continue on from generation to generation...

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 2010...Really?

I can't believe we are already looking at the middle of May 2010.  Remember when we all thought we would be flying around in spaceships by 2010 because it sounded so futuristic?  Heavens, we couldn't even get past the thought of 1999...

Here we are...and June is baring down on us pretty hard.  In just a couple of weeks my daughter makes the transition from Junior High to Senior High and she's dreaming of cars and turning the "magical age" of 16.  My son will make it out of his first year of school far better than we could have imagined.  PTL!!!  Of course, he has to polish off the school year by breaking his arm on the playground!  Little toot! 

In just 4 short months, my hubby will turn 40...an age that isn't looking so bad to me now that I'm officially in my late 30s.  (He and my young-buck friends remind me of this on a regular basis.)

The year's almost half over.  What have I done so far?  How much more do I want/need to do?  I can't say that I'm disappointed in the strides I have made in every area of my life this year.  I sometimes take two steps forward and then one back, but as Beth Moore points out...doesn't that mean that I'm still one step ahead?  Yes it does.  And I am optimistic about the strides I will make in the second half of the year...and I'm going to start that out with our first REAL family vacation in June...a much needed vacation...I can't wait.  My hubby is even excited and that makes me smile a whole lot.

Reflection...it's good for the soul.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Being a Momma...Rather Than a Mother

Sometimes I still can't believe I'm a mother. Just yesterday I was telling my mother that in my mind I'm still really young. Too young to be in charge of anything...especially two kiddos. And not just any kiddos..we're talking about Tori and Reid. I know, every momma thinks their kids are super special, but I have to tell you that mine truly are! :)

Take Reid for instance...

Super smart. Super loving. Super into whatever his little mind sets itself on. Super handsome (if I must say so myself). Super devoted. Super high maintenance at times but takes his tasks very serious. (I mean, a ringbearer has a HUGE job in a wedding. Therefore, a foot rub is much needed to enable his body to travel down the aisle while balancing a pillow, right!?)

And super giving...

I love how yesterday he was not satisfied with the wonderful Happy cologne Rich gave me for Mother's Day. As far as Reid was concerned, that was not from him because he had not physically made it or purchased it himself. (I really love that about him!) So he set out to make me a Mother's Day gift...much like the birthday present he made me just a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing what that little man can do with cardboard, crayons, tape, scissors and a stapler. :) Needless to say, I cherish all of his gifts.

Tori is pretty super herself. Super gorgeous (her tanning abilities and awesome hair make me very jealous). Super determined to be herself. Super funny. Super polite. Totally super in fashion. Super considerate of others. Super protective of her brother. Super smart.

Super at night...not so much in the mornings...

Yesterday morning was very special to me, because as soon as she woke up...she stumbled into the kitchen and gave me a hug (with a sincere smile on her face) and told me happy Mother's Day. Ya'll that's a big deal for that little woman. Smiles on Tori's face are few and far between before 9:00 am. The fact that she overcame her normal grumpy, don't-talk-to-me, I have stayin' -at-home-with-the-bay-bay-hair and crusties in my eyes self to honor me....TRULY honored me!

I honestly had a great Mother's Day yesterday. My sweet husband had a really busy week and the fact that he took the time to make sure that the kids had a gift for me was amazing. Bless his heart, he didn't have time to wrap it. So he gave it to me in the store bag and said that it was a special new wrapping. That if you would hold it a certain way, it would roll out for you and turn into a gift sack. (He had rolled the box up in the plastic sack...) Innovation is the name of the game when you run out of time and he scored an "A"!

Even though they batted a thousand this year for Mother's Day, there's something that is more special to me that takes place all year long. They call me "momma"... not "mother"...and believe me, there is a difference. "Momma" shows a true sense of love and honor for me. "Mother" simply means that they recognize they must show respect for my position over them. I don't want that...I want them to love ME. In the past, Tori's main name for me was Mother. I'm so thankful those days are pretty much over and that she calls me "Momma" most days.

Being a momma, rather than a mother means that I'm building Godly relationships with my kids. It doesn't mean I'm their best friend...just the one they run to when they need love, support, help, and supper. It means that the nurturing relationship I should have with them is in place and functioning for all parties involved. It means that I've broken generational curses...and that my friend...makes me weep tears of gladness. I pray that when I'm old, they will want to be with me...that I will be able to look upon them and know that I was a true momma to them...I started a legacy, a heritage that will be passed from generation to generation.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Peace of God

...Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. (Luke 2:13)

Peace...I love it.  The peace and quiet of nature.  The peace of lying beside your sleeping child in the comforts of a blessed home.  The peace of wearing high-quality earphones in the house of a musician.  The peace of finding a totally awesome pair of comfortable, designer shoes on 75% off clearance when you have birthday money to spend.  The peace of finishing an on-going project.  The peace of a good marriage.  The peace of the Lord! 

I haven't always been able to rest in it though.  The great thing is that I've been able to work through insecurities and other sins in my life that has helped me to rest more in the peace that only comes from the Father.  His peace has always been a constant, it's just been my decision and ability to walk in it that has been a little choppy.  I remember going through my final two years of college.  It was one of the most difficult times of my life...new baby, nursing, no sleep, no money, daughter who had a hard time "appreciating" our scaled-down lifestyle, a husband that worked himself into exhaustion trying to keep the finances afloat, studying that only seemed to work out between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m.(I refer you back to the new baby part), and the overall expectation that I put on myself to be the perfect student, mother, church member, wife, etc...yet still there was always the peace of God in my life.  Never once did I doubt that, despite all of the difficulties, I was exactly where I was supposed to be and God was pleased with what I was doing.  I also know what it's like to make decisions without the peace of God while knowing the entire time that He was everything but pleased.

His peace truly is beyond all earthly understanding.  It's sweet.  It's calming.  It's liberating.  It's what keeps me going when the world gets crazy.  It keeps me sane when there seems to be no answer to a problem...or when that answer is delayed far longer than I think it should be.  It's absence let's me know something is wrong...like when I go into Sam Moon's :).  When I don't have the peace of God, it prompts me to start investigating where the problem lies.

Here's what's absolutely ridiculous on my part...

With this house situation issue debacle opportunity...I have a peace that everything is going to be fine.  The Lord is going to provide the right house at the right time for us. (Yet I continue to remind Him where we are...as though He's forgotten!)  Like I said, there's a peace within me.  I even have a peace in me that we're just fine even though my mother-in-law had to move in with us sooner than we all expected.  We planned to be in a larger home before that happened...of course, the Lord wasn't surprised.  However, there are times in the midst of this on-going opportunity that I have been tempted to jump out of the peace I'm walking in.  The enemy tries on a daily basis to steal my joy and my peace.  I check realtor.com everyday...sometimes twice a day.  Yet, my heart is for one place...one home...that I don't believe I'll ever see on realtor.com.  The dumb thing is that I get let-down when I don't see any new houses on the market.  This spirits of desperation and depression try to overcome me...sometimes I step out of God's peace and over into the darkness of the "it's never going to happen" lie.  Why?  Why do I listen to the lies of the enemy?  Paul, I'm feelin' ya' with the whole, "why do I do the things I hate to do?"  I cannot deny that I possess a peace about our home, so I hate when I fall for the enemies plot to get me over on his side.  Quit being double-minded, Shannon...quit being double-minded!

So I sigh and laugh at myself as I'm typing this.  I have a GREAT life.  I have a home that would be a palace to so many people in this world.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I love that we are not financially bound up in debt, mortgages, medical bills, etc.  We are able to bless other people at the drop of a hat.  I don't ever want to get to the point where we can't bless others.  You want to talk about peace...now there's you some peace.  The peace of the Lord will absolutely saturate you when you're serving and loving others...so I'm going to continue to sit back in perfect peace and enjoy this day...I will choose to see the blessings within the situation.  I will walk in the peace and know that every storm and situation is completely under His control.  Do what you need to do Lord, and I'll just sit here in the joy of Your peace and actively wait for Your instructions...