Thankful Thursday

As my girls and I were delivering newspapers this afternoon I was thinking about what I am thankful for today.  Here is what came to mind….

  1. Cuddling with my son after he sneaks into our room before it’s time to start the day.  He keeps me so warm!  When he isn’t wiggly I like to wrap my arms around him, pray over him and thank the Lord that he blessed me with a son.
  2. Our paper route…. no, it isn’t my favorite job but the Lord continually shows me what a blessing it can be.  We have had the paper route for 4.5 years; ever since Jonathan was about 9 months old.  Our 4 oldest all help and are paid based on the amount of bundles they fold.  So, the blessing is being able to help contribute financially to the family and doing it with my kids.  They are learning: work get paid, don’t work don’t get paid!
  3. The Scriptures!  I am so blessed to be able to get in the Word everyday and read the Scriptures with my children.  There is so much life, hope and faithful instruction in God’s Word.

Oh I just thought of another one…I get to go to a women’s conference tomorrow (Fri) evening through Saturday evening.  I don’t typically like going to women’s conference but I’ve heard this one is different then the kind that I’ve been to in the past.  I know several other women that will be attending and am looking forward to a night away.

Katherine riding the scooter that J got for Christmas.

Katherine riding the scooter that J got for Christmas.

The van is loaded and we are ready to deliver the newspapers!

The van is loaded and we are ready to deliver the newspapers!

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Closing a Chapter

I wiped the tears away as I continued to untie the 2 dozen or so cloth ties attaching the Noah’s Ark themed crib bumpers to the only crib we have used for our 5 children.  Our sweet Katherine (possible nickname of Chewy) has officially graduated from her crib to a toddler bed.  I realize it might be somewhat silly to shed a few tears over such an event.  But as we were taking down the crib the realization hit that, unless God blesses us with a baby to adopt (which I am open to), we most likely will not be using the crib again.  This chapter of our lives appears to be closed.

It’s been so fun to watch our youngest grow and it’s hard to believe she is already 22 months old.  As I watch Katherine walk around the house, play with her toys, dance (she LOVES music) and chase her siblings I realize we no longer have a baby; we have a toddler!  Where has the time gone?

As for the crib I have a few idea floating around in my head.  Since the crib has a side that slides down we cannot donate it, nor can I sell it on craigslist.  These types of cribs are illegal now.  I’m excited about the possibilities of converting it to something quite usable.

For now, enjoy some pictures of our family.

Katherine wearing mommy's reading glasses.

Katherine wearing mommy’s reading glasses.

Katherine and Alex.

Katherine and Alex.

Jonathan at build a bear workshop.

Jonathan at build a bear workshop.

Alex working on her reading lessons.

Alex working on her reading lessons.

Jonathan working on her daily notebook for school.

Jonathan working on his daily notebook for school.

Alex spending time with Katherine.

Alex spending time with Katherine.

Katherine wearing one of Natasha's hats.

Katherine wearing one of Natasha’s hats.

Katherine's new bed!

Katherine’s new bed!

Katherine wearing a hat that Grandma Joanne made for her.

Katherine wearing a hat that Grandma Joanne made for her.

Natasha reading to Katherine in her new bed.

Natasha reading to Katherine in her new bed.

Date night!

Date night!

What is Repentance?

With the new year I wanted my own personal bible study and devotion to take on a particular theme or direction.  There are dozens upon dozens of ways to study through the bible.  I’ve tried the read the bible in a year thing and still haven’t completed the schedule.  (As a side note, reading through the bible isn’t necessarily the same as studying the bible.)  In the past I’ve also chosen a particular book in the bible to do an in-depth study.  I wanted to study something that would challenge my every day walk with the Lord.  It’s easy to get in a rut and just go through the motions.   After much prayer and contemplation I decided to study the commands of Christ.

John 14:15 says “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”  

In order to keep his commandments I need to know what they are, study them and apply them to my life.  According to the sources I reviewed there are approximately 49 commands of Christ.  Some resources have a higher number but after reviewing the list I feel like several of them are very similar so I’m going to use the list of  49 commandments.

The first commandment of Christ I’m studying is the call to repent.  The Webster dictionary defines repentance as:  the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings. 

Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Jesus calls us to repent of our sin.  Now, for those who call themselves Christian, down play sin and say Jesus was all about showing love to the world how do you handle this verse?  If sin is not really that big of deal why would Jesus call us to repent of our sin?  Yes, Jesus did come to show love to the world but no where in Scripture does it say sin really isn’t the issue as long as we show love (and by the world’s definition tolerance) to everyone around us.  It’s one of the ways many churches all over the world are watering down the Word of God.  Instead of preaching about the hard issues and holding their congregations accountable they want to soften it up and be liked and get more people in the door.

Acts 3:19 Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.  In this verse, Peter is calling on those listening to repent and be forgiven.  Again, if sin wasn’t an issue why would Peter be telling people they need to repent?  Why would forgiveness be needed if there isn’t truly sin in the world.  And, if there really isn’t sin in the world what did Jesus die for on that cross?

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  A Christian is saved by faith but our deeds, both good and bad, will be judged by Christ.  You can’t read this passage and not realize that without true repentance, the judgment we receive will be harsher.  Even if I’m saved by faith, if I sin and do not truly repent I will be judged for those deeds.  It’s kind of like saying “I know God, what I’m doing (fill in the blank) is sin but… it’s ok, you died on the cross for my sin so I don’t really need to repent.”

And finally, Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore, be zealous and repent.  Again, Jesus is speaking here and specifically says to be zealous and REPENT.  Hmmm…. I’m seeing a theme and the command to repent!

For me and my walk with the Lord, I realized through studying repentance that the almost 16 years I’ve been a Christian I’ve kind of skipped this command.  When I think of repenting I think of those ‘big’ sins… you know… I’ve never killed anyone, I’m not a thief, etc.  However, this past week the Lord has shown me I need to repent of ALL sin, even the ‘small’ ones.  The ugly thought I had about a family member, the cross words I said to my children, the disrespecting comment to my husband, the snarky comment to my mom (Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12), the snarky comments about my mother-in-law.. the list could go on and on.  I need to repent of all my sin, not just if I’m an ax murderer.

Dear Precious Lord,

I’m in awe of your creation; all of it!  I’m overwhelmed with thanksgiving of all the mercy, forgiveness and love you have shown me since capturing my heart many years ago.  I can’t imagine the path I would be on had I not heard your call.  Lord, reveal to me the sins in my life and grant me the courage to confess and repent.  Thank you for the hope I have in Jesus.

Amen!

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday

I searched my bible for verses that included the word thanksgiving.  There were so many I couldn’t count them all…. at least not tonight as I need to get to bed so I can get some sleep and take care of my family tomorrow!

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

What am I thankful for this first week in 2016?  In no particular order…..

First, I was blessed to visit with a family that has a special needs daughter.  Sweet Melody is about to turn 3 years old.  The doctors told her parents she would not make it 6 months of age.  She is thriving and doing so well.  Yes, she is terminally ill but she has defied the odds in our throw away society.  Her mom shared with me that since Melody has been born her own ministry has moved from a parenting focus to encouraging and building up other mothers with special needs children.  She shared a few stories with me and it made me realize how thankful I am for my children.  We are blessed to have 5 healthy, sweet and beautiful children.  Thank you Lord!

Psalms 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Second, the Lord has blessed me with the most amazing man as my husband.  He loves me when I’m unlovable.  He makes me laugh just when I need something to laugh about.  He gives me a safe place to cry when I need to.  He is the most amazing man to our 5 wonderful children.  He works very hard to take care of our family.  He cares for others more than he cares for himself.  He looks for opportunity to reach the lost and build relationship with those don’t believe as he does.  Most of all he loves the Lord with all his heart.

Revelation 7:12  saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Third, I’m thankful for my mom.  She does so much for us and we are so grateful for all her efforts.  It is a blessing to have her live with us and be such an important part of our lives.

I look forward to what the Lord and the new year has in store for us.  I pray your 2016 is a blessing to you and those you love.