Why I Write

What do you do? That’s a popular question to roll off people’s tongues when they are getting to know you. My answer –I’m a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom and housewife. Beyond those things there isn’t much time for anything else, but I do enjoy drawing, acting, scrapbooking, and writing. I haven’t quite adopted the phrase “I’m a writer” yet. Although I suppose I could say that. I can see how the Lord uses me through the things I write. Writing isn’t always easy for me though. I really struggle sometimes. There’s an even deeper struggle than just finding the time to sit down and write. Even when I find the time and the house is quiet and still, I still have battles I have to fight to fully convey what’s on my heart. At times the battle takes its toll on me and I forget why I write.

I love how the Lord reaches into our lives and speaks to us, sometimes through surprising sources. My husband and I were watching a sermon online a few days ago. The church had a Christian comedian as their guest speaker that day. I’m normally not big on watching Christian comedians but I had heard this one on the radio recently and I was interested in what he had to say. With one phrase it was as if the Lord spoke to my heart. The comedian was saying that often we know what we do but when we know why we do it the what has more purpose. I know that I like to write and the Lord uses my writings to touch others. Yet, do I remember why I write? I know the Lord could see I’ve been struggling with writing lately and I think He wants me to take a step back and regain perspective on why I write.

One of the main reasons I write is because the Lord tells me to write something down and post it to my blog. I didn’t even want a blog when this all first started but the Lord told me to start one. I talked with the Lord, giving Him reasons why I didn’t want to. I asked Him the questions we often ask when the Lord tells us to do something we don’t want to do, like why and how is that going to work. When I ask my children to do something I want them to obey right away. Sometimes though they will complain or ask questions trying to get out of it. This only makes me more stern with them. Just as I would continue to tell my children to do the task I’ve asked them to, the Lord continued to tell me to start a blog. Finally I trusted He knew what He was doing and obeyed. It’s the same with each post He gives me. I write because He tells me to and until I complete and post that writing, the Lord will gently but consistently remind me to finish. So my first reason is to obey.

Secondly I want to encourage those who need encouragement in that area. The Lord has encouraged me through something someone has posted many times. If I can encourage even just one person with that post I’m happy to write it. If I can encourage someone to walk closer with the Lord, even better!

Often times posting on my blog can be very difficult for me. What I’m writing about can expose deeper parts of me I didn’t plan on exposing. Yet the Lord helps me work through it as I write. I know once things are on the internet anyone has access to it. I don’t know who reads what I write. It could be a friend or a foe. Yet I trust that the Lord will work everything I write to give Him glory. I trust He’ll bring good from all things.

I write to tell others of the victory that is theirs through Jesus Christ. I may not know who you are or where you are, but I do know that God loves you and sent His Son to die for you. God is for you and wants you to live a victorious life. The victorious life is now, not just after you enter the pearly gates. Jesus did not shed His blood just for life after death. He shed it for your victory in the here and now! Victory is yours in Christ Jesus! (I Cor. 15:57, II Cor. 2:14)

I write to let others know they are not alone in the challenges they face in life. One of the biggest lies of the enemy is to get you to believe you are alone in what you’re facing and that if you tell anyone they’ll think you’re weird. That no one will understand and they’ll look down on you because you have this struggle. That is not the truth! Truth is, when you discover you aren’t alone and your struggle really isn’t that uncommon, you may find peace from talking to others. That thing that the enemy is holding against you can be brought out of the darkness. In the light it holds little power over you. Our adversary does not want you to be free or have peace, which is why he continues to speak lies to you.

I write because I want to share what I’ve been through and lessons I’ve learned so others can grow. It may give you an idea you haven’t though of or help you with something. I want to help others. I want to bring others to the truth of Jesus Christ. I want to see others live a life of victory in Jesus. I want to encourage others in their walk with the Lord and help them walk even closer to Him. I want to see people set free from chains that bind them. Give them truth to the lies held against them. Set them free to walk with hope and purpose that only comes from a life walking in the light of Christ. I want others to see how the power of God’s love can change a person. That His love is real. I want them to want to go deeper with God and seek to experience the chain breaking, wall shattering, life transforming power of God’s love.

More important than knowing why I write is knowing who I write for. I know the who that I write for. I know that it is not me who writes, comes up with ideas, verses or titles. The Lord is using me as an instrument to shine His light to this world. As the body of Christ, we all have a part to play. Some sing to bring glory to God. Others preach or teach, some go on missions trips. I write. This is all for God’s glory.

Maybe you also need to refocus on why you do what you do. To quote Micheal Jr., the comedian, “When you know your why, your what has more purpose.”

Praise be to the LORD my rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37

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Parenting

It was an enjoyable summer day in the middle of our summer break from school. The kids were playing together nicely in their rooms. I was doing housework and listening to a program on the radio. They were interviewing a woman who wrote a book called What If Parenting is the Most Important Job. That phrase stood out to me. I’ve heard it before but that day I pondered on it a little more.

A few days later I got a call from a friend that I had been waiting for. Some of the churches in my area help a camp for foster children. These children get God’s love poured on them for a week. They do crafts, summer activities and hear the gospel message. It’s a great camp that has left quite an impact on not only the children but also the adults who help them. Every year the camp goes to churches in my area and asks for people to commit to praying for one of the campers during camp week.

My friend helps the camp out every year. Really close to the camp dates she calls me to see if I will pray for one of the campers. I’m so glad she does. I love praying for the kids. This year I knew it would be coming so I was leaning in to hear the Spirit’s leading on what to pray. As I thought about the foster children and all they have gone through in their young lives, I began to see even more how true it is that parenting is the most important job.

As parents we lay the foundation for our kids. We teach them right and wrong. We show them how to treat others and teach them about the world around them. The foundational years of a child’s life are very demanding and the fruit seems to come slowly. You feel like you’re always giving. Laying the foundation is not the most glamorous part of building but it is the most important.

As Godly parents we are to set our children apart from the world and give them eyes to see the world through God’s perspective. Setting their lives on the solid rock of Jesus Christ gives them a firm foundation. Giving them God’s standard to live by gives them boundaries so they know what is expected of them and what to expect from others. Raising them to know the good news of Jesus and experience a personal relationship with Him from an early age gives them hope, joy, peace and freedom unlike anything the world has to offer. Equipping them to do what God has called them to do as they are being raised releases purposes in them. All of this sealed with the love God gives a parent for their child. This is what laying a Godly foundation in our children looks like.

As a parent, this may seem like a tall order but with God’s help we can raise our children in the ways of the Lord. We aren’t expecting perfect children and the Lord knows we aren’t perfect in the ways we parent. However, taking the time to develop Godly character in our children will always be time well spent.

Now on the days when I get frustrated because my kids are arguing and I wonder how I’m doing as a parent because I don’t see the fruit of my labor, I remind myself what an important job parenting is. I’ve learned that instead of trying to find the fruit I need to ask myself, have I been obedient to do what the Lord has called me to do? Am I not seeing fruit because I haven’t planted or is it because the fruit is still growing? I remind myself that laying this foundation takes years of diligent training. I remind myself that I am not in this alone. The Lord is right beside me cheering me on.

So for those of you who need to be cheered on as you raise our kids, be encouraged. You are not alone. Not only is the Lord beside you but there are many of us walking this path together. In households all over your city there are parents that feel the same way you do. Don’t give up. The impact you’re making on your children is bigger and longer lasting than it may seem. Pray for your kids. Ask the Lord what to do. Search scripture for your answers. Find others on the same journey. God is faithful to give us all we need if we only ask.
These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:7(ESV)

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

When Darkness Presses In, Part Two

In my last post, When Darkness Presses In, I wrote that when we feel the darkness of the world pressing in on us we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to shine God’s light to our corner of the world. With Jesus there is hope. With God there is no obstacle to big and no wall to high for Him to overcome. I left out one point that is important in fighting the spiritual battle all around us. It’s an important enough topic I felt it needed a whole post to itself.

We are bombarded with words every day. From magazines in the grocery store line to billboards, computer pop-ups to commercials on T.V. Having to catch the news in the morning or evening is a thing of the past. Now we can get our news any time of day. Most of those are stories of tragedy. It’s so readily available it’s almost unavoidable. We can only take in so much bad news and negative talk before we are left wondering where the good in the world is. This is where you and I come in. It is so important that, as followers of Christ, we encourage one another. Words have power. Whatever we read and listen to will effect us. What we say to others will effect us and those listening. When we use our voice to tell the things God has done in our lives, it brings hope to others. It brings light to a dark world.

I love the movie Soul Surfer. It’s a great story based on true events of a girl, named Bethany, who lost her arm in a shark attack. I love that the movie’s focus was not on the actual attack but on how she overcame so many obstacles and gave glory to God through her journey. I also heard an amazing story of a lady named Jennifer Bicker who was born without legs. Her parents didn’t think they could raise a child without legs so she was left at the hospital she was born at in Romania. A couple from Indiana had been wanting a girl. They found out about Jennifer and adopted her. They raised her to know the Lord and didn’t treat her any different than their other children. They taught her all that was possible instead of what was not possible because she had no legs. She ended up becoming an acrobat. Her story is amazing. I recommend you look her up. She has a surprising twist to her story that I won’t spoil for you here.

Both Bethany and Jennifer are two truly amazing people who show that God can do amazing things with us when we let Him. They give a great perspective on how we should look at life. Not at all the negatives and things we can’t do, but looking through the lens of the possible. Through them telling their story they give hope and encouragement to so Rev 12 11many. They bring in the lost by shining God’s light.

I know many of us have amazing stories to tell. Stories of how God brought us through insurmountable odds and turned impossible into possible. Stories of healing, restoration and hope. Your story is what someone needs to hear. By focusing on the great things God has done we can shift others to look at Jesus and not the circumstances. There is good in this world. God is doing miracles everyday in the lives of everyday ordinary people. Tell the good news of what He has done for you. Point out the goodness you see all around you. Proclaim God’s greatness all your life. In the small things and the big things. This world needs to hear celebration of God’s goodness. We are not defeated! Christ has overcome! So celebrate with joy, victory and thanksgiving. Speak of the wonderful things the Lord has done for you. You never know when it might be just what someone needed to hear.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long. Psalm 35:28

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:8-9, 16