Saturday, September 20, 2008

Baby's growing up

Today I cleaned up and packed away the Exersaucer -- kind of a momentous occasion in my little world! My baby is too big for it [read: he's too busy crawling, climbing, etc. that he doesn't like being confined in it!]. Wow. Where does the time go? He'll be 1 year old in less than three weeks! My, my, my...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Think on these things

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
Philippians 4:8

Today I read this verse while Brandon was watching Bob the Builder. I have read it before many times, and I have always interpretted it to mean believing the best in other people and situations. But God kindly reminded me this morning, "This applies to YOU too, you look at yourself!"

You see, I'm one to hack on myself—true to my melancholy nature. Oh, I see many wonderful things about other people, but in myself I usually see mostly the bad stuff. So to have God point this out to me was an unexpected gift...almost as if He was saying, "And I think you're something special too..."

Monday, August 11, 2008


Ryan is10 months old now, and he's definitely passing a few milestones along the way...

For starters, he popped 3 more teeth on the top during the last week or so. (He's a tough cookie!) He has also begun crawling! It is fascinating to me watching him learn to coordinate his arms and legs so he can go places! Another skill he is striving toward is pulling himself up to his feet. He demonstrated his efforts yesterday when I went in his room to get him after his nap and found him proudly STANDING in his crib, waiting for me. :) My boy is growing up!

Hmmm... I usually can tell when Brandon's doing something naughty by his mischievous laugh... and now Ryan is crying... I better sign off!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Potty TRAIN-ing

Well, Brandon turned 3 last week, so I decided we better start getting serious about potty training. [Incidentally, they call it "toilet learning" in the What to Expect the Toddler Years book... is that P.C. or what?! Whatever.] Anyway, I got a free DVD in the mail from Huggies, so I told Brandon we were going downstairs to watch the potty training video. It seems to be more directed toward the parents than to children, but Brandon was willing to sit in my lap for at least 10 minutes and watch. The narrator was an overly-smiley woman who seemed far too excited about potty training. Every time she'd say "potty training" Brandon would start asking where the train was.....

Hmmm...maybe I can work the train theme in with the potty chair... :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Opportunities to trust God!

Well, anyone who lives in the Minneapolis area is aware of the nasty thunderstorm activity we had on Thursday around lunchtime. I had just put the boys down for a nap when it started moving in. The sky blackened and the rain came down in buckets...and then the wind picked up. Oh my. I have never seen it blow so hard—there was so much rain and such strong wind, I could just barely see the houses across the street through the white sheets of rain.

As I was looking out the kitchen window, all of a sudden there was a loud crunching a HUGE tree branch from our Maple fell onto the roof of our garage...also leaning on the power line that runs from the tall wooden pole in the corner of our lot to the mast on the roof of our house. In fact, the pressure on the power line from the limb is so great, it actually bent the mast and pulled up the shingles around it. Yikes!

So I called Xcel Energy. The lady said they would come out "tonight" to take care of it. Well...I'm sure she meant "as soon as possible" since it was 5:30 p.m. when I called, and no one came that evening. The orange Asplundh truck (the tree trimmer guys) pulled up on Friday morning around 10:00 a.m. Two men assessed the situation in our backyard and the main dude told me, "Nope. We can't touch it." Huh? Well, apparently they just had a new rule put in place, that if the mast on the house is bent (i.e. damaged) they are not allowed to cut down the branches... because if there was further damage to the mast, it could cause a house fire. Oh, that's great news! I was proud of myself for not wigging-out on the guy. With composure I asked him, "I understand you don't want that liability. So where do we go from here?" He said I needed to call Xcel to have one of their electricians come out and do a 'line drop'—that is, to drop the power line from the pole. THEN they'd come back and do their work, and THEN Xcel would have to come back and hook the power line back up.

So I called Xcel and got a work order put in. I was kinda hoping they'd get it taken care of before the next line of storms rolled in...on Friday night. I found myself fretting on Friday afternoon about the possibility of tornadoes or our house starting on fire. But I chose to turn it over to God (as best I could!) by speaking His truths out loud: "God, I know that everything that happens to us passes through Your hands—nothing is an accident. I have no control over this, but I trust You—our future is in Your hands!" And He gave me peace. Every time fear started to creep into my mind, I'd pray a similar prayer aloud again.

The cool thing—the storms that went through our area on Friday night amounted to little more than heavy rain! No wind or tornadoes! So I was thanking and praising God over and over!! Just think how much energy I could have wasted (and an opportunity to strengthen my faith) if I had just worried and not chosen to cling to Him! [As a side note, I STILL would have clung to Him and trusted Him if something bad had happened.]

So now it's Saturday afternoon...and the tree limb is still hanging off the garage and pulling on the power line. And it's really quite gusty right I'm hoping nothing gets damaged while we wait... Trust, trust, trust...

P.S. My spell-checker flagged "tornados" and suggested "tornadoes"—like the plural of potato... that looks weird to me...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Peace and quiet

Profound thought of the day: "Peace and quiet" is a rare commodity for a mom.

Moms, I know you KNOW what I'm talking about!! My days are filled—from the crack of dawn until bedtime—with squeals of delight, crying, almost incessant chattering, car/vacuum/blender sound effects, whining, etc.

However, right at this moment I am sitting in utter silence... Ryan is napping while Brandon and Daddy are out on a bike ride... no cars are driving by... no dogs barking... no airplanes flying overhead... and I can feel the tension in my back easing away... ahhhhhh... there's just the sound of the birds chirping... heavenly. :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

The wise woman


I don't spend a great deal of time in Proverbs, but whenever I do—wow—do they pack a punch! Not the kind of thing you can just breeze through... you gotta stop and chew on it, and then chew on it some more. Since there are numerous references to listening to and accepting counsel & advice in the book of Proverbs, I would like to hear [read] YOUR thoughts about the following verse I read today...

It's Proverbs 14:1, which says, "A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands."

MY first thought was about controlling the tongue. Just think how a woman could tear her house (her husband and children) down by cutting everyone to shreds with her sharp words. But by guarding her mouth (with God's help!) she can build up her husband and children by choosing positive and constructive comments, encouragement and praises, and with a kinder tone of voice.

What other thoughts to y'all have?? Please share!!!! :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Birthday blessings

Today I enter the 40th year of my existence on this planet [for those who may be "arithmatically challenged" that means I turned 39]. :) It's amusing to me how different my idea of birthday blessings is now that I'm a mom. Here are the things that have been gifts to me thus far on my birthday (it's 9:30 a.m.) ...

1 - Brandon slept in until 6:10 this morning! [He is usually awake at 5:45.]

2 - The sun is shining! I LOVE sunny days... even if it's 10 degrees below zero... which it's NOT, praise the Lord... but I'm just saying... well anyway...

3 - A little peace & quiet. My husband took Brandon on an errand and the baby is sleeping... so here I am... sipping on a cup of General Foods International French Vanilla Cafe [for those who are around my age and older, "celebrate the moments of your life!"] ...enjoying a little time on the internet, and planning to have some 1:1 time with God immediately after posting this. I even got to paint my toe nails. Yahoo! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008


Kids are cool, ya know? This week Brandon walked up to me with his blue and yellow plastic shovel in hand and said, "Play guitar"—and then proceeded to sing "Praises, to the One who saves us..." while strumming his shovel-guitar! No one showed him how to do that...he came up with it on his own! That kind of amazes me. Kids are so creative!

The other thing Brandon has been pretending to do for a few weeks is cook with the basic recycled plastic lids and containers in his toybox. He pretends he's cooking eggs & sausage, as well as blending up soup using an old plastic thermal mug (and, of course, hums loudly to make the blender noise). I just wanted to run right out and buy him a little kitchen set! But Jon kind of said, "Wait a minute, honey...if he's having fun pretending with the random stuff he has, let's let him use his creativity!" Good idea. Plus, Brandon's birthday is coming up, so maybe.... well.... shhhhh... don't tell him! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New things

I so enjoy observing my kids mastering new things. Like Ryan (my almost-7-month-old) playing with his Nuk... he pulls it out of his mouth and tinkers with it for awhile, then sticks it back in his mouth and has even learned to suck on it upside down (that is, the pacifier is upside down, not him). Or Brandon (my 2-3/4 year old) folding his hands as I work on teaching him to "wait patiently"... ah, if only I could master that myself (waiting patiently that is, not folding my hands)...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Life is good

I love my life! This morning I've been in the kitchen chopping up fresh produce for a couple of soup recipes...makes me feel so domestic. :) Meanwhile, Brandon goes back and forth with his plastic lawn mower, humming and pretending it's a vacuum cleaner... and Ryan has been sitting happily in his high chair (this has been a long time coming!) playing with links. Ahhhhh. Life is good!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring has sprung!

Oh Mylanta, it's been a long time since I've posted. Well praise the Lord, I think spring has finally sprung in Minnesota! We had a beautiful day yesterday—sunny and in the upper 50s. Brandon and Daddy played in the yard much of the day (well, Daddy raked while Brandon drove his trucks up and down the driveway). Hurray for springtime!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sound effects

Is it innate for boys to enjoy making sound effects?

Brandon's first imitation was the "ah-hem" of someone clearing their throat—before he even turned 1 year old!

Now he imitates the vacuum cleaner, the blender, and the microwave... all with the same loud (and, could I affectionately say, slightly annoying?) drone...

And he's starting to pick up the percussion parts of songs he hears on KTIS or Christian CDs! He must have inherited that charming little quality from his mother... :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

10 things you might not know about me

Hey there... I got “tagged” on Kim’s blog to list 10 facts or oddities about myself. Isn’t everything about me an oddity? :) ha ha Well anyway, here goes...

1 – I am virtually 100% Norwegian in heritage, and I was born on Norwegian Independence Day (May 17th).

2 – This Norwegian girl grew up in a renowned German town in southern Minnesota—and does NOT like saur kraut!

3 – As a child, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, like my Grandma Minnie was. Instead, I chose business as my college major and held jobs in the fields of Human Resources and Finance. Now that my husband and I are considering home schooling our children, my childhood wish of being a teacher may come true.

4 – Growing up, my favorite color was red. I had red everything... red toothbrush, red carpet, and even a red phone.

4 – In my youth, I remember going to Valleyfair a few times. During those days, the employees wore "old time" costumes, the ladies in long blue skirts and the guys in red knickers. I was certain that you had to be a really special person to work there!

5 – I received the "Dorian" outstanding vocalist award my senior year of high school, which entitled me to a scholarship offer to Luther College that would cover voice lessons... not exactly what I considered a vital use of scholarship dollars! As badly as I wanted to attend Luther, I chose Mankato State instead.

6 – I was hit by a car during my last year of college. It happened in broad daylight as I was walking home from class. Rather than being angry that this young lady hit me, I felt grateful to God that I had no broken bones or internal injuries—just 10 staples in my head and some road rash! There was a big controversy in the college newspaper over whether or not I was in the crosswalk at the time I was hit, which sort of added insult to injury. [For the record, YES, I was in the crosswalk—however, after I got hit I was no longer in the crosswalk. Get it?]

7 – I shook Arnold Swartzenegger’s hand in 1992 when the "Planet Hollywood" restaurant was about to open in the Mall of America.

8 – I consider chocolate and creamy coffee drinks to be my only vices. No guilt! :)

9 – If I had to choose between a beach or the mountains for vacation, I’d choose mountains.

10 – My only claim to fame: I sang with Lisa Keith as the opening act for Avalon at the Women's Expo in 2004!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tending my flock/God cares about me

This has got to be one of the most challenging times of my life. I have been awake since about 3:30 this morning (Ryan kept waking up because his pacifier had fallen out of his mouth) and finally I just decided to get up at 5:00 to have a quiet time. I journaled my mothering woes to the Lord, pouring out my frustrations and concerns to Him—primarily related to Ryan’s poor sleeping habits at night—I am tired—both literally (I rarely get more than about 3 consecutive hours of sleep; more commonly interrupted every 1-2 hours) and figuratively (this has been going on for months; it is grueling, and I have grown tired of it)—and confessing my self-pity (i.e. "Boo hoo... Momma takes care of everybody else’s needs, but nobody cares about Momma’s needs").

So I was digging through my Bible to find the verse that says God cares about me—which is 1 Peter 5, verse 7...

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you."

But then I also stumbled upon this little nugget toward the beginning of chapter 5...

"Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God."

Isn’t that great? God has called me to be a wife and mom. Through verse 2 (above), I recognize that He has entrusted a little "flock" to me—Brandon and Ryan—and I am to tend my flock willingly (and joyfully, I might add) because I am eager to serve God. THEN, in verse 7, He also reminds me that He cares about what happens to me, and tells me to give my worries and cares to Him! Oh, thank you, Lord!

I so desire to live out my calling in a way that brings Him honor—and with joy, patience, and purpose. There is tremendous sacrifice in the roles of wife and mother, and not a lot of glory—Oh Lord, help me to live for YOU and YOUR purposes—willingly and joyfully—and not for the accolades of others!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From "soul holes" to "soul whole"

A friend loaned me a book recently, and with it she passed on some old MOMSense magazines. God used an article by Elisa Morgan to touch my heart this afternoon. She was writing about a frustrating moment with her toddler. Here is an excerpt:

"How am I supposed to know how to do this? No one has ever taught me this stuff! I'm tired of being the one who has to have the answers! ...

"It was a moment in time when I came to grips with my mothering inadequacies. It stands as a monument in my days, reminding me of how I began to see what I don't have, what I can't do as a mother. This moment in the basement brought me face-to-face with some deeper crevice in my being. A gap. A wound, perhaps. It was empty where it should have been filled. A soul hole.

"...As unsettling as it was to experience that emptiness, I now know that it was good for me. In fact, now that I've identified their shape, I find 'soul holes' often in my life.

'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' In Matthew 5:3 Jesus spoke to the crowd... The word He chose for poor actually means poverty-stricken, bankrupt, with nothing left in the house.

"Why did He choose these words? Because until we understand our neediness, we can't experience fulfillment. As long as we think we can handle it all, we will. Until we understand what we can't do, we won't have a clue what God can do.

"Inadequacies show us our need. And when we experience our need and then bring it to God, He can meet it. And when He meets it, we can be whole. Soul whole."

That was soothing balm for my soul! I know this stuff, and it may seem really basic to some people, but it just came to life a little more for me today—that God wants me to recognize that I need Him. That's OK with Him—He's not burdened by me coming to Him. He WANTS to help me! Sometimes I feel so alone in this journey as a mother... like Elisa wrote, I often think, "How am I supposed to know all this? I'm tired of being the one who's supposed to have all the answers." I pull back from people around me for fear of either burdening them with my concerns or looking like an idiot for something I "should" instinctively know. I can even feel like avoiding God—like I'm asking for too much, or complaining too much—which makes no sense, because God WANTS His kids to come to Him and lean on Him!

So my new favorite verse is Matthew 5:3... As the NLT puts it, "God blesses those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them." Oh, Lord, how I need You!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hidden Jewels

This really hit me -- here's an excerpt from a devotional written by Nancy Campbell called, "Hidden Jewels".....

Malachi 3:17, "And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels."

Every saint is a jewel of God. I am convicted by God to look at people (and also my children) in this light. Often we cannot see the jewel as it hides behind the rough exterior. All we see is unsightly hard rock, but God wants us to look beyond what we see on the surface.

We sometimes hear the phrase, "He's a diamond in the rough." This means that the person is pretty rough on the outside but inside they have a heart of gold. We need to be reminded that there is a diamond, or perhaps a sapphire, an emerald, an opal, a ruby or an amethyst in each person. The jewel in every person is different. Each jewel will reveal different colors and lights of God's character. But we cannot see the beauty shining from the jewel until it has been cut and polished. And what a painful process this is. Much cutting has to be done to reveal the many-faceted hues and beauty of the gem. The cutting goes on and on. And when it is finished, the polishing starts. It hurts.

I know God has to do so much more cutting and polishing with me. May we let Him do His work and cut away all the roughness and hardness. May we also have patience with all God's saints, even those who are still rough and uncut.

May God give us patience with our children. God has given us the task of being a lapidary (a cutter and polisher of gems). It is the lapidary's art to reveal the gem. Sometimes we may feel it is a hopeless job. But we must never give up hope. There is a jewel in every child of God. There is a precious jewel in every one of our children that waits to be revealed. We must see it by faith. We must pray it into being. May God give us vision, patience and understanding as we fulfill this great task. It does not happen over night. It is painstaking and time-consuming.

There will come a day when God will make all His jewels into a crown...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hope and strength found in the Lord

Last night was an awful night... Ryan was up a million times, and I slept terribly. (This is an ongoing issue.) So, first thing this morning I was tempted to complain and feel sorry for myself... but instead I begged God for grace to make it through the day.

I could hear Brandon stirring, so I went into his room to get him out of bed. He asked me to sit with him in the rocking chair, so we sat and sang a few praise & worship songs together...

"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord...
Our God, You reign forever
Our HOPE, our strong deliverer..."
(Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin)


"I will wait for You, O Lord
Because You have filled my heart with joy
You lift me higher and higher
You're my one and only desire

"You put a new song in my mouth
A hymn of praise to You
All I want to do when I wake up
Is spend my day with YOU...
You put my feet on the rock, Lord
I'll put my trust in You..."
(Psalm 40 by Newsong)

Through worship, God is refreshing my spirit and helping me get my heart right! I determined not to complain—after all, how will I effectively teach Brandon to "do everything without arguing or complaining" (Phil. 2:14) if I am?? Then I prayed with Brandon, too... "Help Momma to 'be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances...' "

During the night, I felt pretty angry and bitter about still losing significant sleep after 4-1/2 months (since Ryan was born). I wondered, "Why is this happening? Is God punishing me? Does He get some sick pleasure out of seeing me suffer? No. Maybe He's trying to grow my character. Lord, couldn't there be a different way that's not so hard??" I considered a few other scenarios of trials that would cause character growth but seemed, somehow, less difficult than sleep deprivation... like persecution from a neighbor or something. Then I thought, "Yeah right! I'd be crying through any trial!"

I guess I realized I need to stop trying so hard to escape the trial, and let God do His work in me—to surrender my desire for a solid night's sleep and allow Him to show me His strength and tender mercy by carrying me through the day.

"Be JOYFUL always. PRAY continually. In all things GIVE THANKS, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
(1 Thes. 5:16-18)

This is what will help me abide in Christ all day long!

I also claimed Isaiah 26:3—

"He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are SET on Him."

And Psalm 34:8b-9

"Oh the JOYS of those who trust in Him! Let the Lord's people show Him reverence, for those who honor Him will have ALL THEY NEED."

In the midst of my bitterness and despair, only God could give me hope and strength to make it today—and He is showing Himself faithful! Should I be surprised? (No!) :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008


My mom sent me this joke via email... and I find myself able to relate in a few ways!

An elderly man was grocery shopping with his grandson. The toddler was crying and at times screaming at the top of his lungs.

As the elderly gentleman walked up and down the aisles, people could hear him speaking in a soft voice...

"We are almost done, Albert... Try not to cry, Albert... Life will get better, Albert..."

As he approached the checkout stand, he gently brushed the toddler's tears from his eyes and said again, "Try not to cry, Albert... We'll be home soon, Albert..."

As he was paying the cashier, the toddler continued to cry and a young woman in line behind him said, "Sir, I think it's wonderful how sweet you're being to your little Grandson Albert."

The elderly gentleman smiled slightly, blinked his eyes a couple of times, and said "My grandson's name is John... I am Albert."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy "Heart Day"

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

Ever notice how kids have such an amazing memory? Well, I decided to take advantage of that fact and start imprinting some useful Scripture in Brandon's mind! We've been working on whining/fussing and tantrums, and last week I began reciting a Bible verse to him in effort to help get the point across. So as part of the training process, I been having Brandon repeat after me: "Do everything ... without ... arguing ... or ... complaining. Philippians ... 2:14." The first couple of times I explained to him that complaining was the same as having a tantrum.

Well two days ago, I was just sitting on the couch with my sons—Ryan in my arms, and Brandon next to me—and Brandon started saying, "Ev-fing" (everything)... so I started reciting the verse...

ME: "Do everything..."
BRANDON: "Ev-fing"
ME: "Without..."
BRANDON: "Fuh-out"
ME: "Arguing..."
BRANDON: "Ar-gwing"
ME: "Or..."
BRANDON: "Com-paining." [He remembered the next word was 'complaining' on his own!]
ME: "Philippians..."
BRANDON: "Fip-peens"
ME: "Two, fourteen"
BRANDON: "Two foh-teen."

Then a few hours later, I heard him talking to himself in the kitchen... "Ar-gwing oh com-paining. No fuss." Isn't that cool?! It's starting to sink in! Halleluiah! :)

Also, last night Brandon was sitting in the glider rocker in his room singing, "I Can Only Imagine" while Daddy was filming—we were both almost in tears, it was so precious. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Keep your head in the game

"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body [the flesh] is weak." (Matthew 26:41)

For me, this verse ties in with yesterday's verse about being faithful. There is always the temptation to do something other than what we should! The temptation to be complacent or lazy, procrastinating. The temptation to complain, to be ungrateful. The temptation to be selfish. The temptation to live for entertaining ourselves (especially by viewing things that are not edifying and glorifying to God—not just porn, but media that promotes anything ungodly—gossip, materialism, impure actions, immodest dress, violence, etc.). Etc. Etc. Etc.

I love what the Life Application Bible Commentary says about this verse:

"Jesus used Peter's drowsiness to warn him to be spiritually vigilant against the temptation he would soon face. The way to overcome temptation is to stay alert and pray. This means being aware of the possibilities of temptation, sensitive to the subtleties, and resolved to fight courageously. Because temptation strikes where we are most vulnerable, we can't resist alone. Prayer is essential because God's strength can shore up our defenses and defeat Satan."

To me this shouts: KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME! You can't afford to doze off spiritually. You've gotta be checking in with God all the time—and relying on His strength to do what you should.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


"The master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in handling this small amount; I will put you in charge of many things. Let's celebrate together!'" (Matthew 25:23)

I want to be faithful with what God has given me. I want to invest my talents and abilities in the Kingdom—serving in my church, in my home, my friends & neighbors, etc.—there is great joy and satisfaction found in using my "natural resources" for His purposes! I want to be faithful with the responsibilities He has given me—being a wife, being a mom, my health (eating & exercise), etc. I also want to be faithful with my time—how I use it—and the situations I get into—by making right choices.

This is no easy task! The "easiest" way I can see to be faithful with my life is to ask God what He wants me to do, and then do it! (Seems to me this directly relates to a person's life focus: am I living for me or am I living for God?)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sleep, interrupted

Jon and I were joking that this is what I should have named my blog. :) Little Ryan, my 3-1/2 month old son, is still learning how to sleep longer at night. It's kind of two steps forward, one step back. I know he'll get it eventually ... but sometimes, in the midst of it, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank God, He gives me the grace I need to make it through! "I can do everything through the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need!" (Phil. 4:13)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nowhere else I'd rather be

Here is a recent picture of my sons—Brandon (2.5 yrs) and Ryan (3 mos) ... and oh, how I love these little cuties! At times I have pondered the tremendous amount of self-sacrifice it takes to be a mom ... but then I think, "What else would I rather be doing than being at home and raising my boys?!" :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Acceptance by Jesus ... even those who often fail!

I love the sunny days of January ... despite the arctic temps of Minnesota! In a stream of sunlight at the kitchen island, I was just reading Matthew 16 when the example of Peter's life struck me.

In verse 17, Jesus is saying to Peter, "You are blessed ... because my Father in heaven has revealed [my identity as 'the Messiah, the Son of the living God' (v.16)] to you. You did not learn this from any human being." And then a few verses later when Jesus tells His disciples about his impending suffering, death, and resurrection, Peter blurts out in v.22, "This will never happen to You, Lord!" Jesus says to him, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's." (v.23) Zoinks! Talk about extremes!

Here is Peter—this impulsive, rough-around-the-edges guy—that Jesus actually chose to be one of His disciples! I love the commentary in the Life Application Bible: "Peter never failed to follow—even though he often stumbled." This gives me hope! I am sooooo not perfect. I could never earn a spot in Jesus' posse. But Jesus picked regular guys ... ones whose hearts and lives could be changed by His love. This just illustrates to me so clearly how His acceptance is available to anyone—even those who often fail. Hey! That includes me! :)

It brings me back to my role as a parent ... I will probably stumble often, but I must never fail to follow my Lord Jesus. And even though I stumble, He still accepts me! My only hope for success will be through Him! Even if I could be a perfect parent, my children still have free will. So, I must focus on the goal and do what I should, trusting the outcome to the Lord. I must not get caught up in fear of being judged by others, but to seek my direction and approval from the Lord!

I'm so thankful that God loves me ... in spite of my imperfections!!

May you be blessed by God's great love for you today. :)