Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Last Laugh.

It's a great enemy tactic that has been used since the beginning...  You can see it on every playground across the nation.  Laughing at someone is the first line of offense for the coward.  The bigger and stronger keep the smaller exploited and under control by mocking them and stealing their courage. 

It happened to Noah, as he set out in obedience to God, day after day for 120 years, he was laughed to scorn.  They mocked him saying, "It's never rained before."  They thought he was wasting his life building that arc, but when Noah was the last man standing, there was no one left to mock.

It happened to Isaac, as a young child, Ishmael mocked him, making fun of him out of his jealousy.  Ishmael was cast out because of his scorn for Isaac.  As the rightful heir of all that Abraham had and all the promises that were passed down to him, Isaac had the last laugh.

It happened to Jesus, as he hung upon the cross, and they mocked him telling him, "If you are God come down off that cross."  As they approached the opening to the tomb, saw the stone rolled away, and the emptiness inside they realized Jesus would have the last laugh.

Everyday, I hear the mocking voice of the oppressor, the father of lies...  He tells me I'm crazy for thinking I could actually home-school these children.   He reassures me what an awful job I'm doing, ever reminding me of my weaknesses and imperfections.  As I step out in obedience daily, he comes and discourages me from doing what I know I've been called to do.  Usually I agree with him.  I know where I am weak.  I know I'm not really capable of doing this.  I know if it was all up to me these children would be terribly uneducated.  That's just the truth.  I listen to him tell me how bad I'm screwing all this up and how I don't have what it takes, and I run. 

I've been reading about this guy Nehemiah.  God gave him a BIG job to do.  The Lord sent him to repair the walls of Jerusalem and strengthen the remnant, who were left there, after they been attacked and taken captive.  You should really read it.  I'm just going to give you the highlights. 

God called Nehemiah to do this big job, supernaturally equipped him with everything he would need to accomplish this task and strengthened him to do the work.  Before Nehemiah even made it to the city, He had opposition from a group of people who had been exploiting the people inside the broken down city.   The bible says, "when (they) heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel."

You see that?  They were upset because someone came to help the people.  These men feared that they would soon lose the power they help over the people. 

Nehemiah gathered the children of Israel together to tell them what God had put in his heart to do and the people wholeheartedly agreed to help him with this great work of rebuilding the wall. 

When the oppressors heard what Nehemiah had told the people it says, "they laughed us to scorn, and despised us."  The first line of offense was to laugh them to scorn and remind them of why they could not accomplish this task.  They did not want the people to be strengthened.  They knew when the people became strong that they would lose their power.  That is just like the enemy of our souls.  As long as we listen to his lies we will be weak.  We will be helpless. 

Thankfully, Nehemiah didn't respond the way I do.  Instead he kept his focus on God, not himself, and he said to them "The God of heaven, HE WILL PROSPER US; therefore we HIS servants will arise and build; but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem."

We need to remember the truth.  The truth is IF God be for me, no on can be against me.  The truth is that "through Christ I can do all things."   When the enemy comes in with his mocking lies, we have to refute them with truth, the WORD OF GOD.

"Finally... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think on these things." Philippians 4:8

It may be true that you are not able to do whatever you have been called to...  God does love to use the weak things of the world to reveal his glory.  He does love to take the least to make his name great.  It may be true that you have a lot of reasons why you can't do what you are doing... BUT, the ultimate truth is that with God all things are possible.  The ultimate truth is that His grace is sufficient for you.  The truth is that He can make a way where there seems to be no way.  The ultimate truth is that HE did NOT call you to something to stand by and watch you fail.  I want to be like Nehemiah and remember that GOD WILL PROSPER ME and we will have the last laugh.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Just say yes.

The cutest little face looked up at me from the bathtub, like a cherub from heaven with bubbles from head to toe.  He was standing up, with his hand on the faucet, about to turn it on and he said, "May I turn the water on?  Just say yes." That has become his new favorite phrase.  I guess he has figured out at 2 that sweet manners and an adorable smile will get you just about anywhere.  Just say yes mommy, when I want candy.  Just say yes, when I want a new toy at the store.  Just say yes...  and when the answer is no the sweet smile disappears and the raging bull comes out.  The tantrum transform the little cherub to another kind of angel. 

There are times that we, parents, must say no.  He's two so he doesn't understand things like too much water in the tub, cavities in your teeth, or money management.  There are times his limited information makes me look mean, like I'm holding out all the good stuff from him.  I know better though.  I know that I love that little boy and I want what's best for him.  I know things he doesn't know and I know even though he won't understand and even though he is going to throw a fit, I must do what's best for him...  That's my job.  That's why little humans are in the care of adults for 18 years...  It takes a long time for humans to mature.

Do you see yourself in his simple request?  I do.  When we want something we tell God to just say yes.  We pray not "thy will be done", but instead "my will be done, and bless it."  Like a genie in a bottle, who is there to grant all of our requests, we ask only out of manners.  When we get a no, and yes, God does say NO, we pout, cry, throw a fit, and sometimes we just do it anyway.  We don't care that God knows better than we do.  We want what we want... and if He isn't for us then He is against us.  

Just last week, I was praying about something that I thought I wanted very bad...  When I was praying the Spirit spoke to my heart and said "You THINK you know what you want, BUT I know what you need, TRUST ME."  He is right.  I'm not for sure what I want or need.  There have been many times in life that I thought I knew what I wanted and not receiving those things has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Looking back now I can see that God knew what I needed and if I had gotten what I thought I wanted, my life would have been a disaster.  After a few days of thinking about the true reality of what I was asking, I started to see some major flaws with what I thought I wanted.    When I removed the emotion from the situation I could see that this really wasn't going to work for me.  I could see how God's wisdom and foresight had saved me from a bad decision, but only because I trusted that He knew what was best for me. 

Throughout the week the Lord reminded me to "Take delight in the Lord, and HE WILL give you the desires of your heart."  I have a promise that if my focus is loving the Lord and delighting in Him, He will give me what I need.  He can even change what I want, so that it matches His will for me. 

There was a woman in a garden once, who was happy and at peace.  She knew that God was good and had given her everything she needed.  As long as she focused on her God and his goodness and delighted in Him she was satisfied, BUT one day a serpent came in and drew her attention away from God.  The serpent made her look at the tree, the one thing she couldn't have, and he made her question her God.  She grew dissatisfied with God and didn't trust His goodness anymore.  She was drawn away by the serpent and listened to his lies, and her peace was ruined.  Her reality shattered. 

Maybe you are single and want to be married.  Maybe you are married and want a baby.  Maybe you are lonely and want friends.  Maybe you want a new house, a new car, a new job.  I don't know what it is you want today, but God knows what you need.  This morning when I was reading in Matthew I read "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matt 5:6  That reminded me that when my heart is fixed on God and I'm hungry for him, I will be filled, but when like Eve, I turn my eyes on what I want I just grow hungry and desperate.  Whether the thing is a good desire or a bad desire I start to pin all my happiness on that thing and I loose my peace. 

My Father knows what is best for me.  He knows me better than I know myself.  He knows all the variables in my life that will be affected by my desires.  If I trust Him, then I will say, "Your will be done.", but if I don't I will say "Just say yes."  What will you decide today?

Friday, January 22, 2016

When words won't do.

I remember the first time the Spirit of the Lord told me to be quiet.  My firstborn was 3 years old and I knew that we were supposed to home-school.  I had never been so sure that God had shown me something in my life.  The problem was my husband did not agree, so I made it my mission in life to convince him that this is what we needed to do.  I had 2 years to work on him.  I quickly learned for the first time how incredibly stubborn my man could be.  Nothing I said made an impact.  It didn't take long for me to become frantic and cry out to God begging to know WHY he had shown me this, IF he wasn't going to show Bobby. 

As usual the Lord had been waiting for me to come to the end of myself before he could tell me something and what He told me has changed my life.  He said, "Be QUIET and let me handle this."  So, that day I stopped giving him statistics, I stopped sharing horror stories, I stopped trying to convince him.  I really wasn't sure that God could handle this on his own, but I was willing to give him a shot, because it was clear I was getting nowhere.   I did know that she needed to know how to read before she went to kindergarten and with that in mind I made a preschool curriculum and we got started.  One year turned into two and still my husband wasn't on board.  I fretted, I worried, I prayed/begged, I cried...  nothing.  I thought how will he remember I want to HS if I don't remind him, and God said NO...be quiet.  I thought, now Lord I don't see this working.  He said "BE QUIET". 

Finally, it was school time.  It was the August before kindergarten and I went to my husband and said "Well, I guess we should go buy school clothes and supplies" to which he replied "WHY?"...  well...  I will not say what I was thinking, but you can imagine.  Then his next words were like a punch in the gut, they took my breath away... He said, "We are going to home-school her this year."  WHAT????????  I wanted to know when he had decided this.  I wanted to know how he had decided this.  I wanted to have a big long discussion about what a great decision we had made.  I was just about to open my mouth and beg for the long story and once again the Lord said, "Be quiet".  To this day I have no idea why he decided we would home-school, BUT the Lord had answered my prayer and he hadn't needed my help after all, well, that's not true, HE did need me to be quiet.  I learned a lesson that I haven't forgotten.

I Peter 3:4 says speaking of wives "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God precious to God."

I am anything, but, gentle and quiet.  This was a hard verse for me to understand.  When God asked me to be quiet did he mean silent.  Did he mean be seen and not heard?  No.   My nature is big and loud.  I have the loudest, most ridiculous laugh you have ever heard.  I'm going to be talking non-stop to whomever will sit still for me to talk to.  I think what this verse means is that we deal with our husbands gently and that we are quiet before them in spirit, meaning we trust God so much to do what He says he's going to do, that nothing our husbands say or do can make us afraid.  We are fully persuaded that nothing is too hard for the Lord.  We are fully persuaded that God will take care of us. 

Yesterday, the honey and I were talking about our differences and how our thought processes are completely opposite.   I am decisive.  I know what I want or what I'm supposed to do and I just do it.  I don't do cost analysis, I don't read consumer reports, I don't weigh all the options, I'm like Nike, I just do it.  QUICKLY.  I'm all emotion.  The problem is that when things get hard I'm just as likely to jump ship.  Home-school is hard.  My husband on the other hand is logical.  He is going to thoroughly think through every option and how it will affect every person in the family.  He's going to compare prices.  He is going to read reviews.  When he has made his decision he will know exactly why he made that decision and his emotions did play any part in it.  When things get hard he will not give up.  He will persevere because He knows he made the right decision.  He has saved me in free fall many times with his logic.  He is my parachute.  That's the way we compliment each other. 

In Luke 1 we find the story of a young girl who was visited by the angel of the Lord and he said "Mary, you have been highly favored.  You will have a son and he will be the savior of the world." (paraphrase).   Well, that's a pretty cool salutation, but the problem is that Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph.  To be betrothed was to be legally bound to someone and in the Law if a woman committed adultery during the betrothel her punishment was public stoning.   It's remarkable that there is no record of Mary running to Joseph and telling her what the angel of the Lord had said to her.  You don't see her explaining herself.  You don't see her say anything. 

In Matthew 1 we see the story of a man who found out his espoused wife was pregnant and he knew it wasn't by him.  He didn't want to make her a public example, so he was going to quietly divorce her, "but while he thought about what he should do, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph... fear not to take Mary for your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."vs 18-20.   God took care of Mary.  She didn't have to figure out all the details.  She didn't have to convince Joseph of anything.  She was quiet.  She KNEW there was NOTHING she could have said.  She could not have defended herself.  Only God could defend her in this situation and HE DID!!! 

"Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife." vs 24.  Imagine her surprise when he came for her in the middle of the night.  Imagine her delight in seeing how God had worked everything out for her.  Imagine her relief.  When I was reading this it struck me how calm Mary was in this situation.  She didn't allow herself to be overcome with emotion.  She didn't allow herself to fear.  She trusted God and that gave her the confidence she needed to "Be still and know." 

Sometimes the word of a wife won't do... Sometimes only the Word of the Lord will do.  Can you trust God to speak for you, to defend you, to plead your cause? 

When God changes a heart he does it completely.  His spirit is more persuasive than ours.  His reasons pure and holy.  He doesn't have ulterior motives.  God can make two become ONE... whether he needs to change your heart or your man's.  Trust God.  Let him do the talking... when words won't do.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When It's time to leave...

This is a bit of a continuation of yesterday's post.  I hadn't finished typing that one when I knew I would have to do this one.  It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep...  I know I have to get these thoughts out now.  Somebody needs to hear this.  I can feel it.

I know there are women who read that post yesterday and you are thinking a lot of things.  I know you are angry, not with me, but with your husband, with yourself, with God.  You are frustrated with your marriage.  You had a dream and your reality sucks.  I know how you feel.  I was there.  I remember the day I stood at that alter and gave myself to that man and I was so happy.   I knew that we were made for each other.  I would never have been able to envision the mess that we would become.  

On that day, I knew two things about men: 1. They like sex (and I naively thought a happy sex life would conquer all) and 2. "The way to a man's heart is his stomach".  I was an idiot!  I was a stupid kid who had neglected to learn anything about what it took to make a marriage work.  Two years later, two babies later, we were both unhappy.  I remember the night that changed everything for me.  Me being a very strongly, opinionated woman, who never shuts-up hadn't heard much from my husband about his side of things, but that night he opened up and what he said hurt so deep, because in his words I saw myself and it was not pretty.  He didn't say anything about me, as much as he told me what he felt.  I saw from those words that I had only ever been concerned with my needs, my wants, and had thought very little about what he needed from me.  I was naturally a runner when things got bad, so I wanted to run home to my momma.  I wanted to pack up those kids and get out of there, but I didn't believe in divorce and I loved him, I wanted our marriage to work.  That was the night I ran and threw myself on the floor in my closet and begged and screamed and cried and finally said "God I don't know anything about being married".   The Bible says that God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud.  He had just been waiting for me to see that I needed Him to teach me. 

Like a lot of you I had no healthy marriage role model.  My parents had both been divorced and remarried 3 times.  I had no one to show me what it looked like, because the people I knew were not happily married...  they were just existing until one of them died.  I could not see myself enduring that.  I wanted a happy, vibrant marriage.  I will not lie to you and say ours is now perfect.  Marriage is hard.  In fact, when I typed the word alter earlier I thought how ironic that you stand at an alter and proclaim vows to someone...  An alter is where you sacrifice something.  An alter is where something has to die.  Marriage is where you have to lay your life down for another person.  Your new life with them should be about putting them above yourself and meeting their needs.  If we are both trying to meet the other person's need, then and only then, can we be truly happy.

After praying that night, God began to pour his wisdom into my life and my marriage has not been the same.  He began to show me what my husband's greatest need was and how I had been basically starving him to death by not supplying that need.  The Lord began to show me that if I would focus on meeting my husband's needs then He would take care of mine and He would take care of showing Bobby what I need.  I put my trust in His ways.  I was all in, because more than anything on this earth I wanted to know how to be happily married.   It's been 11 years now and I can say I love him more today than I did at the alter.  I can honestly say that we are happy.  I can honestly say that God has kept his promises.  It is possible to be happily married.

Now comes the hard part.  Your spouse will not change until you do.  Your spouse can not even begin to give you what you need until you decide to give him what he needs.  Men are made in the image of God...  They have a driving, innate NEED to be respected and honored.  I know what you are thinking right now...  You're thinking I don't know your husband.  You're thinking there is nothing for you to honor and respect, but I would be willing to bet you don't see anything because you don't value what makes a man a man.  You don't understand the divinely created differences between men and women.  You don't understand why he does what he does and why he doesn't think like you do.  If you are like me you think everyone including him should think like you think.  If you are like me you don't give him room to be a man.  I totally understand.  You and I grew up in a feminist culture and they have fed us the lie that men are less than.  They have forced down our throats that men have nothing to bring to the table.  What's our slogan?  "We can do anything you can do better."  We are a society of men haters... 

So, when someone tells you to honor and respect your husband, you roll your eyes and huff and puff and say things like "you don't know my husband"...  I don't know yours, but I do know mine.  I do know that it takes work to see past yourself and your opinions.  It takes laying your life down at that alter daily and saying I'm in this for you my husband.  I'm going to do what you need me to do.  It takes looking at them with fresh eyes and placing value on what makes him a man.  It takes shutting out the lies that say he is your enemy or that he is stupid or that he, he, he. 

Look, God formed man first and made him the head of woman.  I don't care what your opinion is.  I don't care why you think that was the wrong way to do things...  I'm telling you that God knows what he is doing because His ways are higher than ours.  I know He is not sitting in heaven thinking "man what did I do wrong here."  He made those men the head of our homes for a reason and then he made them with an intense need to be respected.  When we do not respect and honor them friction begins and from that a raging, out of control fire spreads.

Is God a woman hater because he made it that way????  Does he not care about women????  No, I think it's the total opposite.  He loves women and He knows we have a lot to offer to our men.  The Bible does say He made Eve as a help-mate.  She was to be Adam's total opposite and offer to him what He did not have.  She was to be cherished, loved, protected.  The Bible talks about how they would walk and talk with God in the cool of the garden each day, before the serpent came in to deceive them and make them turn on each other and God.  There was beautiful communion and harmony between the man and his woman.  I'm sure he valued and respected everything she had to say and all the ways that she thought differently than he did, until sin entered in.  

If our husbands lead and we follow, If we honor and respect them, do we get to have an opinion?  In this environment where we let go of the reins do we get a say?  OR do they just take over and put us in the backseat.   It's funny because when my husband feels safe to share with me, when he knows that I'm not going to disrespect him, when he knows I honor his leadership, he opens up to me and we share the leadership of our family.  When he knows that I am in this with him and not against him, he opens up to me and we have sweet communion and I know he would never do anything that wasn't for our good.  I know I can trust him to lead us and he knows he can trust me to honor him. 

Ladies, I know the key to having the relationship you want is Honor.  It's conveying to your man that you value him as a man and a leader.  His love language is respect.  Does that mean your every thought has to be the same as his?  No.  Bobby and I hardly ever agree on anything at first.  We are always coming at an issue from different angles.  When that issue is one we can't agree on I take it to the Lord in prayer and God will change one of our hearts and make us one about it.  What I find truly remarkable now is that he asks me what I think.  He wants to know.  He wants me to be happy.  He just doesn't want me to shove it down his throat and be disrespectful about it. 

I titled this "When it's time to leave" because a lot of women I talk to say "I can't follow my husband, because he's not following God."  So many women have objections because they don't see their husbands seeking the Lord and they are fearful of where these husbands will lead them.  I understand.  I want to share a few verses with you that give me peace when I find it difficult to trust Bobby's leadership.

In Gen 12:1 it says "Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Get out of your country and from your father's house, unto a land I will show you."  Do you see Abram seeking the Lord in this verse?  No, God comes to Abram and tells him what to do.  Do you see Sarah?  No.  She just had to trust what Abram said. 

In Gen 31:1-3 Jacob hears his brother in laws talking about how he (Jacob) has done their father wrong and what they should do about it.  Jacob begins to get nervous and he can see that his father in law is angry with him...  vs 3 says, "And the Lord said unto Jacob, return unto the land of your fathers, and your family, AND I WILL BE WITH YOU."  In these verses you don't see Jacob seeking God and asking him what to do...  You see God again coming to man.  The cool thing is Jacob went to his wives and told them what was up and they said "...whatever God has said unto you, do."  WOW!!!!

In Matthew 2:13 it says "...Behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph IN A DREAM, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and be there UNTIL I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."  Joseph was sleeping when God came to him and told him what to do.  He wasn't up praying.  He wasn't seeking the Lord. 

When it was time to go back to Israel in vs 19 he was sleeping again when God came to him in a dream and told him it was safe to go back.  Mary just had to trust that Joseph had heard from the Lord.  God didn't wake her up.  He didn't ask her opinion, but He protected her life and her sons life by speaking to her husband in a dream.

I could go on.  I know you have figured that out, but I will spare you for now.  I have seen some pretty cool things in 12 years though.  I have seen God change Bobby's heart when I knew he was dead wrong about stuff and I have seen God change my heart when I was dead wrong.  I spend a lot of time in prayer, instead of fighting with him and God has been faithful to keep us from causing damage to each other.  We don't agree on very much, but somehow God helps us become one on whatever we disagree on.   The secret to being asked my opinion is honoring my husband and being respectful of who he is as the head of our home.  None of this is easy.  It goes completely against my nature so I know if I can do this for the sake of a happy marriage YOU CAN TO. 

Casting all your cares upon HIM, for He cares for you... I Peter 5:7.  Learn to fight in prayer!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hard To Believe

Sometimes, it's just hard to believe.  I remember the day I decided to follow Jesus like it was yesterday.  It was the most radical transformation... like Saul to Paul.  I would never be the same.  I had been to church a handful of times, so I really didn't know what all this meant, BUT I knew I had just encountered an invisible, personal God.  To try to explain this to someone who is not a Christian is impossible.  Believe me...  I know we look CRAZY.  Sometimes, I feel crazy, but the Spirit of the unseen God will not let me go and willingly or not leads me where He wants me to go. 

After 20 years of following this God you would think if would get easier.  You would think I might have Him figured out and be able to anticipate His next move, BUT there is no figuring our a God who would pour out his wrath (of sin) on His own son, in order to not crush humanity.  To figure out God I would have to be holy and I am not.  To figure out God I would have to be good and I am not.  To think I knew what He was up to in my life I would have to have His wisdom, His foreknowledge, His love and I have none of those things.  Even knowing all that I still try to determine what's best for me. 

The Bible says without Faith it is impossible to please God.  He really isn't interested in me figuring it all out...  In the last year I have come to understand that He wants my blind faith.  He wants my trust in His goodness, His provision, His plan.  That is hard.  I admit following an unseen God is HARD.   

"Faith is the realization of things hoped for, the conviction of things NOT seen." Heb 11:1

Ladies, I'm about to share something that might make some of you mad, but I don't really care.  I want to be honest with you and so I can't do that without what I'm about to say.

"Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if they obey not the word they may without a word be won by the conduct of their wives." I Peter 3:1

This is one of those things that people look at the Christian faith and say WHAT???  Some think it's outdated, some just plain stupid.  For me I trust that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and therefore it should guide my life.  That does NOT make it easy.  If you know me at all, you know I have a LOT of opinions.  I am very outspoken and I think I'm right about everything...  so imagine if you will how hard it is for me to submit to my husband.  It's NEVER easy to let someone else take the wheel of your life and make decisions that affect your future. 

Lately, this has been tested to the max.  We have some decisions to make in our near future that we do not see eye to eye on.  One of us will have to give.  I have my dreams and he has his logic.  I live in happily ever after land and he is all reality.  I want so badly to convince him that what I want is right for us, BUT what if it's not.  Who decides between his logic and my dreams?  Do my dreams and thoughts not matter because I'm a woman?  Does God think I can't think for myself?  What's going on here. 

To be honest this post is not long enough for what I have to say on this subject and I will spare you most of it, but one thing I know is GOD IS GOOD and WISE, so if He said it I need to trust it.  The other thing I know is that more than anything God wants unity in our marriage.  How can 2 people become 1?  I don't know how many of you married people are 1 on anything or everything.  For 2 different people, who biologically do know have anything in common, including brains, to come together on any decision, someone will have to submit.  Here's the thing though...  I have a promise in my pocket.  Look back at that verse...  He may be won by the conduct of his wife.  :Listen, God has made me a promise, that if I trust GOD to lead my husband (even when I think my husband isn't listening) then I am under the protection and provision of a loving Father.  He is going to do what is best for me, for us, and for our family.  I have seen it time and time again.  I have seen the Spirit of God change his heart.  I have also seen when I didn't trust God and when I pushed my own way and later I was resented and I knew we had done the wrong thing, sometimes costing our family a lot.

Back to our big decisions... I have been in agony about the future, forgetting that My Father is ultimately in control, and will do what's best for us. 

Last Sunday, my oldest son came up to me with pants sagging and said "Mom, can you pin these?"  Just like me, he had come up with what he thought was the best solution.  I pulled him close and looked inside his jeans, they had the elastic band that you button to make them tighter.  The answer was right there.  Mom knew that.  I pulled the elastic as far as it would go and I was just about to button it when the boy stuck his two hands down in front of me and tried to do it himself...  I said "do you want me to do this or you?"  Immediately the Spirit whispered to my heart "Angela, do you want me to do this or you?"  In that second He reminded me that He knows better than I do.  He already has the answer.  He already knows what he is going to do in our future...  I just have to trust WHAT I DO NOT SEE.  I have to have faith (believe with everything in me), that there is a invisible, personal God, who has adopted me as his child, through the work on the cross, who is working in my life to do what is best for me, according to HIS PLAN. 

In Genesis 16 we see a wife who wanted a child desperately and she was willing to do anything, BUT trust this invisible God, to make that happen.  Sarai convinced her husband that he needed have sex with her handmaid in hopes that this would produce the long awaited son that she wanted.  He listened and it turned out as the biggest regret of her life.  You can read the story for yourself.  The gist is that Sarai got what she thought she wanted and it made her life hell.  For the next 14 years she lived with her disastrous decision staring her right in the face everyday. 

God had made her husband a promise that He was going to have a son and that He would be the Father of many nations.  Sarai wasn't a part of that conversation and she didn't trust that God was going to do this.  Who can blame her?  In her defense she had followed this husband a few times before and been disappointed, but God was always faithful to protect her from the consequences of Abraham's bad decisions.  The difference in this situation is that she forced her way and He did not protect her from the consequences of her decision. 

Marriage is not always easy.  It's not easy to submit to another person.  Women have said to me in the past it is easy for me, because I'm married to Bobby, as if that makes any difference.  It wouldn't matter who I was married to I would still be a very strong, opinionated woman who thinks she knows best.  One thing I know for sure though is there is an unseen God who leads our lives and He has always been faithful and if He wants me to trust Him to lead my husband then I will do that.  If he says "submit to your husband" and promises to protect me, then I know He will do what is best for us.  I also know that I will have peace and unity with the most important person in my life...  My Man.  I will take that, over being right any day!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Am I your crown
what would you say
If the Father
were to ask you today?

I can see Our Father
so full of pride
anxiously waiting
for you to decide.

What would you think
when you opened your eyes
would your heart fill with wonder
at such a beautiful surprise?

He caused you to sleep
and opened you side
making out of your rib
a glorious Bride.

I remember that day
You could do nothing but stare
You memorized my face,
my body, my hair.

Your imagination ran wild
with what lay ahead.
I will never forget the words
that you said.

"This is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh."
If Our Father asked again
would you proclaim that afresh?

We were happy at first
I was the joy of your heart
No other two people
would have such a start.

But the Serpent came in
and made us forget
The Love of our Father
now we live with regret.

I've sinned against you
and you've sinned against me
It's because of us
the Son hung on that tree.

He has overcome
all the destruction we've done.
He has the power
to again make us ONE.

Will you take my hand
and lead us to Jesus.
His mercy and grace
will be what frees us.

I'm waiting right here
for you to decide
take me again
pull me close to your side.

Wash me with water,
cleanse your bride.
Help me become
the wife you pride.

Only the Father
can make us new,
but right now
it's all up to you.

You are my husband
You are my head.
I can't argue with God
that's just what He said.

Let's strip off the leaves
we used to cover
the sin in our hearts
that the Father discovered.

Let's run to the Father
let's live in His light
Let's do what He says
and He'll make it all right.

I love you my husband,
you are my man
and forever beside
is where I will stand.

How could His love be so good
His heart be so true
That His imagination
could think of me for you?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jesus in You.

Oh, Momma
Don't be so hard,
Your words cut deep,
They'll leave a scar.

Oh, Momma
When you look at me,
Remember in your eyes
I see what I can be.

Oh Momma,
Life has you down,
Your beautiful face,
Now wears a frown.

Oh, Momma,
I know you got so little sleep,
You're eyes are tired,
Oh, please don't weep.

Oh, Momma,
Thank you for holding me,
Late last night,
When no one could see.

Oh, Momma,
My tummy was aching,
My teeth were hurting,
They kept me waking.

Oh, Momma,
I needed you,
You came for me,
Like you always do.

Oh, Momma,
In your arms I find my rest,
Safe beside you,
Is where I feel best.

Oh, Momma,
You show me things I need to see
About the Father
Of Eternity.

Oh, Momma,
He is so gentle, He is so kind,
Like you Momma,
As He designed.

Oh, Momma,
You have so much to do,
His grace is sufficient,
His love will see you through.

Oh, Momma,
Don't try to do it all,
There is too much and,
Your strength is too small.

Oh, Momma,
Call out to Jesus,
Like I called out to you,
You say He sees us.

Oh, Momma,
He chose you for me
Let go of your fears,
Trust in Him to set you free.

Oh, Momma,
If only you knew
The picture of Jesus,
We see in You.

Oh, Momma,
Jesus knows just what to do,
To show His unconditional love,
By His mercy and grace we will get through.

Oh, Momma,
I was sent to show you,
Things you need to know,
A reminder that God's love is true.

Oh, Momma,
Tonight I pray that I sleep better
But I will not worry because if I don't
We will just spend the night together!

Angela and Debbie Gaddis

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Toddler Trouble...

Hell hath no fury like a toddler who doesn't get his way. 

It all started when I decided that my sleeping two year old did not need to continue nursing...  The plan was dislodge and snuggle beside him, I was feeling tired too, because I had been up all night with another child.  My plan and toddler's plan were not the same.  He woke up and started screaming and kicking me in the stomach.  I just let that happen for a minute hoping that he would quickly go back to sleep.  Yes, I did let my child kick me.   No, I do not think I should be giving parenting advice.  Back to the story, he did not go quickly back to sleep and I had to revise my plan.  I climbed on the other side of the bed and let him continue his fit.   I was tired.  I did want to be with him.  I wanted to feel his little body, cuddled up to mine and smell the scent of his little baby head.  I wanted to nap beside him, but with him thrashing and screaming that was not going to happen.  So, I laid on the other side of the bed, until little toddler calmed down and realized things were not going to be his way.   A moment later he turned to me and said "Mommy, will you come over here with me."  Of COURSE I WILL... that was my plan.

As usual this little episode was a real life example of something I have been wrestling lately. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you..."  Daily there are things in my life that I wish were different.  Sometimes, I get angry, when I figure out these things aren't going to change .  I throw fits, I scream... yes at God.  I pull away and God allows me to do that.

He has a plan, that he knows is best for me.  He knows what I need to mature and those things are hard and difficult for me to understand.  I don't want to grow and mature.  I want to stay childish and have my own way, but God wants me to be changed.  He wants me to move from baby to adult, one small step at a time and I kick and scream the whole way. 

I am so much like my little guy who says, "I'm the baby, I want my diapers.", when learning to use the big boy potty seems to be too scary.

I'm the 6th grader who pouts and screams, "I can't do this.", when there is a new math concept I have to learn. 

I'm the 5 year old that doesn't want to learn to ride my bike, because I might fall down.

You get it.  The unknown is scary to me and I get mad when God makes me do something that's too hard.  God knows that when I have mastered something it's time to move on to something new and more difficult.  He doesn't want my growth to be stunted.  He doesn't want me to stay in toddler land. 

When I stop pouting and start thinking, suddenly things seem clear.  He is not trying to hurt me.  He hasn't gone far away.  He just moved a little so I wouldn't be able to kick him and scream in his face.  He's right there behind me, waiting for me to say, "Can you come over here with me."  Just like that He's there beside me, holding me, ready to continue with his plan... 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... 

That takes realizing that His way is better than yours.  That takes realizing that He knows more than you do.  That takes humbling yourself.  Verse 6 says "God resists the proud, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."

Our God is the God of grace.  The God of all comfort (2 Cor 1:3)  He is right there with us, IF we draw near.

I wanted to comfort my toddler, just not in the same way he wanted to be comforted.  I wanted to hold him close.  God wants to comfort us.  He wants to be there beside us.  Will you draw near him today?  Or will you demand your own way and end up pushing God to the other side of the bed?  He is there waiting for you, so he can continue with his plan.