Our Move to the Prairie ~ God Supplies All Our Needs

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It’s something I’ve said a few times in exasperation in recent days.  “I so want to move to a prairie!”.  I know the Lord is more than able to pick us up and move us anywhere He has in His plans for us to be.

But what I really want is to be where God wants us to be.  Even if it hurts.  Because (I know)  “knowing that tribulation (pain)  produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Rom. 5:3-5

What was I wanting to run from?  Difficulty, that led to anxiety, that was leading to fear. What was the great difficulty?  Our neighborhood.  It hasn’t always been difficult.  Actually this home has truly been the place God had prepared for us before our family had even come to be.  But God KNEW the things yet to come, He was providing.

We purchased this duplex as an investment property.  And it was indeed a rental for many years.   Joe and I  living on double income, in a good sized home, with no children.

Our blessed children came, and my heart’s conviction and deep desire was to remain at home to raise our boys.  Joe worked very hard at two jobs for awhile, which left both of us in an extremely depleted state.  Accepting this was not healthy or wise or working for the best, my husband made the brave move to downsize to one job and trust God to show us the way.  More decisions came leading us to determining how we would keep me at home.

The duplex!  We had never imagined actually living in it.  And living what seemed like in a faraway land to us.  40 minutes from where we currently were.

God provided our oasis.  A place to raise our family and keep me home now for 12 blessed years.

It’s been HOME SWEET HOME to our boys.  To all of us.  So many treasured memories.  A large backyard to have summer BBQ, wading pools, trampoline, and many, many friends!

Not to mention we live much nearer to one of our favorite places the Columbia River Gorge.  Where we have spent endless summer days basking in God’s glorious creation with a short jaunt up I-84.

This place was NOT the investment ($$) we had planned for it to be.  This has been the place to INVEST into the lives of our children and marriage for the sake of the home not of this world – the Kingdom of Heaven.   The greatest investment we could ever make.  And we are grateful.

Since the day we moved to this place, almost daily I have praised God for bringing us here.  Joy,  learning,  growing, challenges, discipling our children.  Winning victories.  A dream I had dreamed and prayed in tears for many years, that  truly seemed impossible so long ago for many reasons.  And yet God had provided and blessed more than I could ever imagine through it all.  It’ts not the glamorous dream that the world entices us with.  Letting go of our wants and relying only on God, and what He knows what we truly need.  And seeing a Loving Father give good gifts to His children.  And bless.

I have yearned in recent days of living on a small piece of property.  Seeing the benefits there could be of having room for the boys to explore and run freer.  A quieter place in it’s own right.

City life has it’s own noise.  And the reason for wanting to run (when God has clearly said for now, remain), is the difficulties in the neighborhood.

We have enjoyed the children that flock to our home.  Sharing Jesus’ love.  Isaac having some boys to play hoops with.  Maximus riding his bike with a friend down the side street.  Sometimes 10 children out back jumping on our trampoline.  The joy of children, laughter.  But it isn’t all fun and games in life.  And there has been great drama.  Children who haven’t been taught to work out issues biblically.

Knowing running to the prairie was not God’s current plan.  He worked in my heart to also accept remaining in this place and not have my heart running anywhere else.

Through MUCH prayer, and discussion with Joe.  The Lord has given us wisdom in setting more boundaries within our own family as well as those that come.  Showing us wisdom in how to guard our family time, limit the traffic time flowing to our home and so on…

I can truly see that perseverance is producing character in my children.  Taking our boys to scriptures on these varying relationships.  What God says about hanging with fools and the wise.  “walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Prov. 13:20.  How our time should be spent and how much.  And why mom and dad are participating in the majority of play time together. Which the other children seem to love and keep coming back, even with Joe’s strong requirement of order as well as playing hoops along with them.

There are so many layers of issues right outside the walls of this home.  And it has been tedious, and required me to be on knees and tears before the Lord of how to proceed to walk in this.

I see the most valuable lessons our boys are getting now, as I actually look to the future to when they are men out in the world, and see the strength the Lord is equipping them with  because of this place God has us we call home.

Isaac has been brave to confront two different boys on different occasions on issues that have left him feeling frustrated.  Our son, bravely standing up to difficulties and boys much bigger and stronger physically.  A child who has had language difficulties, this has been the most amazing display of God’s work to see Him growing our son in character into a man. Seeing Isaac stand up and affect the other boys’ hearts and bring reconciliation. Praise Jesus.

Maximus learning VALUABLE beyond measure life lessons that again I can look to the future and see how at this present moment God is working through these teachable moments to refine our 10 year old in profound ways NOW before he is even a man-so pertinent to what he needs.

In the midst of this.  We are tightening down the relationships within these walls.  Relationship with Jesus.  With one another.  Pointing the boys to each other.  Brothers.  A special love and bond to guard.  A relationship with two who believe in the same Savior the most treasured of all.

So we aren’t moving to the prairie.  Unless Gods says move.  And I’m seeing that through this difficulty that I wanted to run from, that He indeed is producing character and great HOPE !

We will love on the neighbor kids.  Walk tightly with Our Savior.  Put on our armor.  And be strengthened continually in His word.  Knowing that on the other side of the door is the world, is sin, and to wear our armor out.  As a dear friend shared this perfect word. “sin lies at the door, and it’s desire is for you, but you should rule over it” Gen. 4:7

And when we open the door and go out or invite in, we pray and are seeing and continuing to believe for God to use this place as a continued vessel for investments – Investing in the only thing that matters – the KINGDOM OF GOD!

And now I run… to the store.  As a vision of water bottles just came to me.  These children are always so thirsty when they get here.  Asking for a drink of water in the midst of hard play.  They don’t grasp their thirst goes so much deeper.  I think a box of water bottles with a label in place   Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14 sitting outside would be a wonderful offering.  And while I may never hear a thank you, and the label may be torn off without much thought (NOW), I pray and believe that the visuals and JESUS in bold will be an image stamped in their minds and one day Jesus will impress that into their hearts mind and souls for all eternity.

So GOD PROVIDES!  AND IT ISN’T AN ESCAPE, BUT A PLACE WHERE HE IS WORKING THINGS TOGETHER FOR HIS GOOD IN THIS PLACE WHERE WE BELONG.

History that Points to Jesus

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Charting some adventures… (a quick jot of notes of our special day to make a record for years to come -)

Sweet HISTORY that points to JESUS! CONCLUSION: this world changes over time. GOD NEVER CHANGES. “Jesus is the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever” Heb. 13:8
OH HOW He flows and directs us in this precious blessed life. I am GRATEFUL. Praying, praying all day yesterday & this morning for HIM to show me something SWEET to teach today.
Ended up at this old time store to study the old time things for sell and show. What did we learn?
1) Varying gadgets and machines – when they were made
2)So many things from prices, to outward appearances, to new ways of doing things change… from gas prices, to gas pumps, to soda machines, to Mr Peanut guy, to Tiddledy Winks game…
In a CHANGING WORLD— morals change, what is right and wrong changes… and WE MUST REMEMBER THE ONE who NEVER CHANGES and WILL KEEP US IN HIS TRUTH! ~”Jesus is the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever” Heb. 13:8

And we learned that it is good to ask questions. And if we receive less than friendly replies – we do not need to fear or be afraid of man. Each boy approached a worker to ask a simple question. They were so brave as I went with them. Sadly, they were kind of treated as a bother . I appreciated standing by their side and sharing with them later that they didn’t need to fear, or think they did anything wrong. “let the little children come to me” is what Jesus said. And we can pray for those who have hurting hearts and may not understand that. WE are in JESUS and we are loved. And we can stand in confidence He is with us. Who we are, is not dependent on how others treat us. We are HIS – dearly loved.

Tearing Down the Walls

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His mercies are new every morning.  And great is His faithfulness.  I start a new day and pray, Lord, I cannot do this without You.

Please help me to teach all that you want me to teach today.  Flow through me, open my eyes to see.  I feel weary and yet You promise to be my strength.  I go out today, in Jesus name.

As we wrapped up math and moved onto scripture memory, the Lord put before my eyes, and within my heart and mind a wonderful idea.

Tearing down the walls.  We built prisons using these foam blocks with little lego guys trapped inside, representing us.  The prison is sin and strongholds.

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Drawing a card they earn nerfs to shoot out at their prisons.  Continuing to draw, recite a scripture and gather the ammo used to break down the walls.

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Tearing down the walls, with God’s Word!  Setting us free!  Praise HIM!

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And there we have it!

VICTORY!!!!!!

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No Greater Joy – Doing Something Great for God

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The greatest gift our children can ever have is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

And the greatest thing a mother can do, is lead her children to Him.

Looking at the apostle Paul and John and their life we have the example of persevering compassion, intensity, purpose and focus for the sake of their “children”.  Men who regarded leading others to Jesus as their great purpose.  The only purpose worth living for.

Deep love and affection in the desire to teach, exhort, encourage, and lead others to the gospel message.

Apostle Paul was a man who had been transformed by Jesus Christ.  Hardened sinner with his blinded eyes opened and oh now he could certainly see. All he lived for was sharing the great JOY welling up inside of him for what Christ had done for him.  All he lived for was to lead others out of the hell he was headed towards and into the gift of a beautiful hope of eternal life.  He didn’t just want that salvation for himself.  He wanted it so desperately for his children.

JOY.  Joy in the mundane.  Joy in pain, great suffering, persecution, standing alone. Imprisoned and yet God used Him through it all.  Even to write these messages that would also encourage us as mothers all this time later.

Reflecting on Paul and John we see, they  gave their lives for the greatest cause, shall we do the same?

Why is it then in this world today, even  in Christian motherhood, there seems to be a lesser importance to our own children that have been given to us as a heritage?  “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.”  Ps. 127:3

If the apostles considered it such a sacred duty and JOY to lead others to Christ, and deeply love their spiritual children, we should be so encouraged to wake up again a new day (because his mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness- Lamentations 2), and know without a doubt that we are doing something great!  “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength” Phil 4:13.

Perhaps sometimes we can feel alone.  Or maybe our friends are pursuing other goals and ambitions that seem so greater than ours.  Perhaps we can look at our difficult circumstances and wish to be somewhere else?  Maybe we are the only ones we know doing what we are doing in daily living in intentionally discipling our children.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for we will reap a harvest if we do not lose heart. (Gal. 6:9) Let us look to God and the words given to us for all that pertains to our lives, including our roles as mothers to these special blessings and gifts to us.  May we be so inspired to press on for the sake of our own children’s souls.  Believing that just as Paul and John, were used so greatly for God’s purpose, we too have been chosen to do great things.

God, Husband, Children!  Leading our children in our own walk with the Lord, in our honoring Him, honoring our husbands, and honoring our children as precious in the sight of God.

“for you might have 10,000 instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”  1 Cor. 4:15  Because Paul was a spiritual father, no one, cared like him.

Spiritual mothers care like no other.

 Mothers who walk in the truth!  May we encourage one another to keep pressing on because

“I have NO GREATER JOY than to hear that my children walk in the truth” 3 Jn 1:4

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NO GREATER JOY T-SHIRTS COMING SOON!   WEAR A SHIRT WITH OTHER CHRISTIAN MOMS IN ORDER TO SPUR ONE ANOTHER ON TO GOOD WORKS and A REMINDER  OF THE GREAT PURPOSE WE ARE LIVING FOR –THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Hebrews 10:24

TIME!

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Prayer, time in His word, seeking wisdom, applying His word to daily challenges, insight from God (“if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, it will be given to him” James 1), perseverance(Romans 5:3&4) And then…

THIS scripture, this word TIME has been God’s confirming word since the beginning of Isaac’s life.

“to everything there is a season a TIME for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

TIME in EACH new SEASON of:

NICU and on a ventilator – and then God breathed life back

NICU and learning to suck a bottle – no more yucky in the nose tube feeding

Learning to communicate expressive output  and feel more ease doing it – LONG TIME

Learning emotions/feelings

Learning self control

Learning the best way to do “this” and “this” and “this” – that works for him

Establishing shades of grey.  That we have levels to asses on our emotions

Using a hair dryer and God’s Word to repetitive go over those emotions

Studying him to navigate for him when his anxiety is rising before it goes too far

Being able to self regulate those emotions

Relating with others

Comprehension of language

Playing on a basketball team – TIME (just this year at the appointed TIME in the place specifically prepared for Him by the Lord.)

And on and on and on…

For a child who had a stroke.  These things and more, will need to be learned with much more diligence, and VERY hard work. One on one effort, and waiting on the LORD, for He makes all things beautiful in HIS TIME.

So much God has done in 12 years!  And just in this past year, seeing many of the things come together in beautiful harmony for his overall ability to thrive in life.

I wrote this blog initially on TIME 3 years ago and have made adjustments to it for today.  After his neurological evaluation back then, the Lord put it on my heart TIME, as it had just made sense that is what it has required from the beginning of his life.

In new seasons, there comes concern that wells up in me for his future. I will begin to ponder again, asking the LORD for wisdom.  “if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God..and He will give it to him” James 1:5.

I am filled with emotion that after prayer and communicating with a fellow mother of a pediatric stroke survivor who is older than Isaac – she used the word TIME with emphasis. Even mentioning in recent days seeing NEW things spring forth that she waited so long on.

Emmanuel God is with us!  And I praise HIM for giving me the wisdom I needed.  Because writing this blog 3 years ago, His answer was TIME.  And again it is TIME.  And I have such peace in the answers I needed.  And peace that He is faithfully completing His work.

And have such HOPE!  HOPE IN HIM!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

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The Only Label that We’ll Accept

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Peering into the still morning dim of his room. He is sweetly asleep with everything around him in perfect order – tidy and and in place. The Lord took my morning perspective of a little “funk”, and instantly warmed my mama’s soul and encouraged me in this brandnew day to press on in Him.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;]
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentation 3:22-23

As He shows me of His glories and His word that is indeed more powerful than a two edged sword.

“For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb. 4:12

Nothing is impossible with God, comes flooding into my mother’s heart. A huge challenge for order in this way, and it didn’t take just any old book or counsel to find this order that has lasted for 2 months now-with joy.

JUST THE GREATEST BOOK by an AUTHOR WHO LOVES OUR CHILDREN and KNOWS ALL ABOUT THEM-GOD’S HOLY WORD.

And Love!  The persevering love that went to the cross for such a great purpose.  The persevering love that says – I have more for you.  Let me help you overcome.  Let me show you the way.  The love of the Father sacrificing His son to make a way.  We embrace this great love and want to lavish this truth and love on our children – pointing them to HIM the ONE who LOVES more than any.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” Col. 3:23

No earthly label will do. We set our minds on above – who am I?

CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH KING.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

He Set His Face Like A Flint – C. Spurgeon Notes

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“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7

Today is Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday is soon upon us.  What does it mean He, set His face like a flint? What does it mean to us as His followers – moving on as imitators of Christ?  “be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved ]you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  Eph  5:1-2

“His zeal was too fervent, His purpose was too strong, His compassion for His people was too intense for Him to yield to the tempter! Had He not voluntarily left the thrones and royalties of Heaven and stripped Himself of the glorious array which He had worn within His Father’s courts, to come down here to be a carpenter’s son? So who could bribe Him to turn from His purpose? No one, for He had set His face like a flint to put off all thought of seeking earthly honor—and to endure the utmost depths of shame—that He might redeem His people from the wrath to come.

His steadfast purpose was tried, next, by the persuasions of His friends. It is very dangerous, when you are possessed by a high purpose, to go and consult with flesh and blood, for if you are worthy of such an honor, there are few who can match you. Men who live for God’s Glory and the well-being of their fellow men, are like giants on the mountaintops, while others are hidden away in the depths of the valleys, hoarding up their gold, or living only for self.

He who would be a God’s man, and such a Man as Christ was, must not consult with flesh and blood, or ask his dearest friend’s advice when he once knows his Lord’s will. Christ’s kinsmen said that He was beside Himself and they would have laid hold of Him and confined Him if they could. They thought His zeal had carried Him beyond the bounds of reason-—and when He told His disciples about His approaching death upon the Cross, “Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from You, Lord: this shall not be unto You”—and all the disciples would have persuaded Him to choose an easier path than that which led to Calvary and the grave. ”  ~ CHARLES SPURGEON

How many times in this world have I been hounded by philosophies of men.  “Friends” in my home, high standing men in society with degrees and more…  How many times did the attacks of the enemy of doubt come in, when the road seemed so hard and difficult that I could have wandered from this called path.

IF then, Jesus who is the supreme example to me went through trial, difficulty, mocking, pain, and a world that was against Him, how am I to walk?  “walk just as I have walked”.

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

For in spite of these things,

“He was steadfastly set upon His one great purpose, achieving the redemption of His people – and He resolved that the great deed of love must be done, cost what it might..all the taunts could not make HIM move from His purpose”

God’s great purpose for me is to lead my children to Jesus in my role as a wife and mother.  Walking with Him, in hopes for the great purpose of Him drawing their own souls to salvation. It has cost some.  Really, dying to self.  Which is painful.  Which was Christ’s great example.  Through this dying and sometimes many times a day, I also get to experience resurrection power.  This great deed of love I am called to as a wife and a mama.  It will be the work of the Holy Spirit to bring them unto salvation.  But it is my duty and privilege to lead them to Him, His Word that is LIFE.  For as the apostles did these things and men said “how”… it was simply because they had spent time with Jesus.  They were not professionals or with degrees in which they spoke and moved led others to HIM, it was they had spent time with Jesus.

It takes courage to move forward in His purpose, to go against men and rely upon God:

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

“His face was set like a flint to accomplish the task which He had undertaken!  It MUST BE DONE!  It SHALL BE DONE!  He will certainly die for His people and nothing can turn Him aside from that resolve!”  ~Charles Spurgeon

IF I had listened to all of “THEM” I would not have experienced such a death necessary to bring resurrection power so beautiful.  In me, in the life of my marriage, in the life called special needs, and so on.

Listening to His voice, obeying, and believing His Word.  Not listening to the voice of the world that says… “this one is outside of God’s box, this is different, this is special”.  God gave us this life, He gives us “EVERYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO LIFE AND GODLINESS THROUGH THE POWER OF HIS WORD”

Reflecting on Good Friday.  Resurrection Sunday.  I am thankful for a Savior so willing to keep His face like a flint on His purpose.  To save a sinner.  To save me, who was broken.   And to give me new life.    For voluntarily leaving the thrones and royalties of heaven and stripping Himself of the glorious array which Had worn within His Father’s courts…

A Father who will continue now for me, His child, to persevere in LOVE for my best until I meet Him forever in eternity.

A persevering love that I can barely grasp.  And I believe He will keep helping me to grasp more of His glories day by day.  And I am thankful He can work in His marvelous way to not only complete His work in me, but also in the lives of the people He calls me first and foremost to serve daily.  My blessed call.  My blessed purpose.  My husband and children.