Enjoying the Season You’re In

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The leaves are changing to their vibrant orange, yellows and reds. The temperatures are dropping and we are bringing out warmer clothes. The change of seasons brings mixed feelings in my house. Half of my family loves the cold temperatures, snow and Christmas. The other half loves carefree summer days and basking in the warm sun. So for some of us fall means saying a sad good-bye to the glow of summer. For the others, fall is the prelude to their favorite chilly but joyful season. Yet I see fall as a season all of her own. Not an in between season but one that has her own delights to treasure. With autumn come pumpkins, apples and piles of leaves. All of nature has one last cry of how glorious our God is before it’s long winters rest. I want to enjoy the beauty of the season we’re in.

There was a time in my life that I wanted to be in a different season other then what I’m in. Three of my four children are little and I wasn’t enjoying and embracing this season like I should. I kept looking where other people are and wanted to be there instead. Several of my friends started having children early but kids came later in life for me. So my oldest is the age of their youngest. I felt left out if I wasn’t able to do what they were doing. I found myself being angry and jealous more then enjoying where I was. I knew that was not from the Lord. It was then the Lord began giving me a new perspective and a new heart for my season of life. I began to learn how to enjoy the little every day moments of life. Even in the midst of the mess and the noise. There’s only a short time of dirty hand prints on the wall or toys all over the living room floor. A short time of crumbs constantly under the dining room table no matter how many times you sweep. Only a while of holding mamas hand when walking through a parking lot or of children flocking to my side at the first crack of thunder on a humid summer day.

Sometimes the days get long and bedtime can’t come to soon. They are demanding. They need you constantly. They can be very draining and wear a mama down. Especially when you have children so close in age. It’s okay to need a break from time to time. Pray, cry, call a friend. The Lord will give you strength.

In the midst of multitasking one of my children may say or do something so sweet or silly that I’m glad I was there at that very moment with them. I’m so glad the Lord opened my eyes to see those precious moments. There are fewer better places to be then when you come to the point where you no longer long for the past nor are you wanting to fast forward to the future. It’s then you take a deep breath and enjoy what’s going on around you. Both the good and the bad. Breath it in and thank God for life. Enjoy all that God has given you. Count it a blessing to have these precious little ones to hold, raise and mold. All the while remembering it’s only for a time and a season. Enjoy the season you’re in.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Busy At Home

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In the bible we, as mothers and wives, are told to be busy at home. (Titus 2:4-5) We get so busy with other things that make us unable to be home. I’m not talking about women who work outside the home. Some women need to do that and there’s no condemnation in it. I’m talking about how we are so busy socializing or running our kids all over for music lessons or practices in their favorite sport that we forget the importance of ordering our homes. To be “busy at home”.

I’m certainly not in the mindset that a woman’s place is only in the home. Believe me, I understand women are needed in society. Ponder on these thoughts with me though. A woman has the privildege of ordering her home. For setting the tone of the enviornment in her home. That may have to do with some physical aspects like cleaniliness, cooking and organization but the heart of it is actually assiting in setting the tone spiritually for the home. As a couple, a husband and wife are to do this together. The atmosphere comes from the one who spends most of their time in the home. Though the man is the head of the house, the woman has a lot of pull in setting the tone in her home. Character building and shaping of our children is best done at home. Not in running from here to there.

Busy at home is a picture of a woman taking care of all the things that need to be done at home with a peaceful heart because she has met with Jesus that morning and she is ready to tend to the needs of her family both physically and spiritually. She is ready as a warrior is dressed and ready for battle. There is nothing weak in being a woman settled in her home. (Psalm 113:9) This is a woman ready for the task God has given her. (Prov. 31:17)

So often the Proverbs 31 woman is looked at with physical eyes but let’s look at her with spiritual eyes. This woman does not fear the coldness of winter because her family is covered with the best linens. Her family has been given the best spiritual food by this woman who does not let her lamp go out at night and is up early in the morning. (Prov. 31:21-11, 15, 18) Her household is clothed with character, love, joy of the Lord and the peace of God. The fire and passion of the Lord burns in their hearts creating an atmosphere in the home that is felt by everyone who walks in their door. This is the woman who is busy at home. Not a fictional character but a real woman in any part of the world in any time in history. This woman is leaving a legacy for her children and being a crown for her husband. (Proverbs 31:28, 12:4) This is the woman not neglecting her home for things of temporal value. (Prov. 31:27) This is the woman who fears the Lord (Prov. 31:30) This is the calling of a wife and mother.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don’t settle for anything less then the best of what God has called you for. Don’t use your physical eyes to see it. Use your spiritual eyes. The Holy Spirit will guide your every step . Trust him to guide you like a pilot in the fog trusts the air traffic controller to guide him. It starts with the heart. Come to Him as you are. Let Him love you and guide you and you to will be this woman.

A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30b (NIV)

Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1 (Amplified)

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. Proverbs 12:4 (NIV)

Serve Them Well

Most of us who love the Lord want to make a great contribution for the kingdom of God. However, I’ve come to realize that sometimes it’s the little things we do that make a big impact for Him. Especially when we do that little thing daily. It adds up to something wonderful.

During my morning devotion time I try to remember to ask the Lord what He wants me to do for Him that day. Many times I hear Him say, “Serve your family well.” I pondered on what serving them well looks like. I thought I should probably watch my attitude and make sure I do all I do for my family with love and joy.

Mornings are always busy around my house. I make sure those who can dress themselves get dressed, make their beds and do their morning chores. While they do their chores I start the laundry. I dress my little guy. Then I get all of them to the breakfast table. Of course I can’t forget to feed and dress myself. If it’s a school day I prepare for the mornings lessons. Saturday is our cleaning day. So that morning I figure out who should clean what. I’ve found that if the mornings get started well the rest of the day usually flows well too.

One Saturday morning I was trying to go about the morning and little things kept happening that demanded my attention. I don’t remember what was going on exactly but I remember how irritated I was getting, mainly with the kids. My husband was there but was playing a song on the piano. Within that short span of the song I felt myself get very upset at all the little things going on. It was to much for me in a short period of time. I was tempted to be angry with my husband but I knew it wasn’t his fault and it would do us no good for me to be angry with him. The little squabbles and rebellion of the children were resolved quickly but I couldn’t shake feeling agitated. It took extra effort on my part to be sweet to my husband and pretend I was alright. I went back to do some laundry but my husband knows me well enough to know when everything is not alright. After a little while he came back to me and kindly asked me to relax because the way I was being made him feel like he had to walk on eggshells. When he left the laundry room I heard the Lord say that the anger I was holding on to was not serving my family well. My heart softened and I relaxed. Those words continued to ring in my heart through the days ahead.

Most of the time I’m the type of person who can go with the flow pretty easily. Growing up and through my 20’s I rarely got angry. Then I started having kids and found myself getting angry with them. It was strange because I never really had to deal with anger before. The Lord has been walking me through it and showing me to pay attention to my warning signals that I’m starting to get angry so I can deal with it before I erupt. However there are still those days…those days I yell at my kids then cry because I feel like such a terrible mom for doing so. I don’t do more then holler. I know when to walk away, but yelling on it’s own is hard enough for this household that is normally very joyful and peaceful.

The Lord has shown me at those times, when I fail to serve my family well because I let my anger get the best of me, I need to run to Him. My instincts are to run away from the Lord and hide. Then beat myself up. Instead, I need to run to the Lord and have Him help me. Beating myself up does nothing good for me and it’s not God’s voice telling me those negative things about myself. The Lord knows we fail. He still loves us and He’s holding His arms open wide to forgive us and turn things around for good. I have to say through these times I’ve learned how to ask forgiveness from my kids. To be real in front of them and not pretend I always have it together. I’ve learned to humble myself and let other people step in to help me if I need it. These things bring God glory even when we’ve messed up.

Anger is not a sin. It’s our heart motive when we’re angry and what we do with our anger that makes us sin. Jesus was angry but he never sinned. His was a righteous anger. Man’s anger usually is not righteous. I studied the difference between God’s anger and man’s anger. Despite the many times the Israelites stirred the Lord to anger, our God is not an angry God. He is a loving God. It is because of that love He can not allow His children to walk in disobedience or rebellion. When we choose to go our own way we should expect discipline. The bible says many times that the Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love. (Joel 2:13, Ps. 145:8, Ps. 103:8, Ex. 34:6, Num. 14:18, Ps. 86:15)

My prayer is that the Lord will show me when my anger is righteous and when it is not and that I will be a woman who is slow to anger and abounding in love, just like my Father.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20 (NIV)

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8 (NIV)

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