Thursday, May 31, 2012

Answered Prayer

I think the prayer I've prayed most since becoming a parent was that my kids would know Christ at an early age. I didn't have a magic age figured in my head, I just hoped and prayed that the Holy Spirit would speak to them sooner rather than later -realizing that the stats tell us that it is much more likely that someone accept Christ before the age of 16 than after.

To be honest, whether I prayed the prayer out of fear that my children never call on the name of the Lord or out of genuine concern for their eternal soul and a life surrendered here on earth, I can't tell you. Maybe it was a little of both. Thankfully God saw my heart (which I sometimes have a hard time adequately putting into words) and He welcomed them both into His "family" early on in life.

For Savannah it was right before her fifth birthday. She had been asking questions about sin and eternity and living for Jesus. She knew she was a sinner. She knew she needed a Savior. I remember sitting in the living room of our home in Gunter, Texas, rejoicing that she had accepted the precious gift of Jesus (Romans 2:8-9). And now, our prayer as parents is that we lead her in discipleship, so that she in turn can disciple others.

Tucker made a very confident decision regarding Christ on April 15, 2012. At six and a half years old, and questioning for months and months, we knew the time was getting near that he would be ready to begin his relationship with Christ. Bruce and I were careful not to push him into making a decision and relied on the Holy Spirit to prompt Tucker's questions. Savannah on the other hand had other ways of making sure Tucker knew he needed Jesus. She offered him bribes if he would accept Christ...things like, I'll do your chores for 2 weeks if you get saved, or if you will go talk to mom and dad about Jesus, I'll give you a dollar. Needless to say her enthusiasm was stiffled when we got wind of her tactics! Even so, she was genuinely concerned to the point of putting him on her Sunday School prayer list in October of 2011(thanks to Linda Baker and Linda West for encouraging her over the long months of waiting for her prayer to be answered and for praying with her) So, on Sunday afternoon of April 15, when Tucker approached me with what I knew was an attitude of true concern and repentance, I was excited for both my kids. For Tucker...beginning his walk with Christ....and for Savannah recognizing the power of prayer.

I'm thankful God answered my prayer of salvation for my kids. I know they will have questions as they grow in their walk with the Lord. I know that they don't understand fully what Christ has done for us (but really, do any of us??) I know that at their ages they couldn't possibly know the depth and breadth of His love and forgiveness for them....but again, do any of us really understand that?

So what's my prayer now? There are many....that Bruce and I would demonstrate Jesus to them daily, that we would disciple their very teachable spirits, that they would share their faith with others as opportunities arise and that they would follow God all the days of their lives. I'm grateful for a God that can accomplish all these things through them.

Thank you Lord...for answered prayer.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I was reading a book the other day and I guess Tucker had called my name a couple of times, when he climbed up on the arm of the chair, cupped my chin, turned my face toward himself and said, "I've been calling your name". Ouch...what a way to get my attention. I didn't purposefully tune him out or ignore him. The fact is, I just wasn't listening.

There have been other times when I should have listened to those around the time I colored my hair maroon, or the time I bought the make money from your home kit off TV, or the time spent way too much money on a pair of shoes that were a 1/2 size too small because I just thought they were soooo cute and I could break them in, stretch them, right?.  I think you get the picture. Each time I had someone whispering in my ear (sometimes loudly), don't do it!

But each time, I did my own thing. That's what we're good at, isn't it? Doing our own thing. It's in us to go our own way, seek our own will and satisfaction. It's what we're made of...our flesh..our sin-infested flesh. And each time we do our own thing....there is a voice...a spirit saying....don't do it.

Unfortunately, we're not naturally good listeners. So, like Tucker on the arm of my chair, God sometimes has to get our attention. He gently calls our name...and when we don't answer...sometimes He cups our face and says..."I've been calling your name". He wants us to be in tune with His voice. Always listening...waiting to hear Him calling our name. No, it's not always purposeful when we don't hear Him. We aren't necessarily ignoring Him, fact is....we just don't listen.

Lately this is a lesson I've been reminded of. Sometimes I get so involved in my book, or life, or parenting, or church or ministry or work, that I miss His voice...the only voice that matters at all. I'm reminded that it's the meek and quiet spirit that God desires (I Peter 3:4) and that He cautions us to be still and know Him (Psalm 46:10). In all that quietness perhaps it will be easier to hear that most important voice of all.

Thanks Lord, for being patient with me....and for speaking to me in the stillness, for cupping my face when I've been to involved in other things...for even calling my name at all. Those are the moments I want more of....more moments with you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Prayer

To all the moms who know the joy of the first smile...the first counting of the toes, the first look into their eyes...

To all the moms who chose life instead of death and then gifted that life to someone who could love and care for your child...

To all the moms who are struggling everyday with special needs children...

To all the moms who will wait til eternity to hold their precious children because God wanted something different for you and them

To all the moms who've buried a child before their heart could even comprehend what was happening...

To all the moms who tried and tried and finally...after all that have yours....

To all of you....

May God bless your day with peace and contentment. May you know the joy that sweet memories bring. May your heart be reminded of laughter and good times and moments that make your heart sing. In the moments of this day, when your heart is so full, may God remind you of your most important and special job and may you be overwhelmed...not by the enormity of the job, but may you be overwhelmed by love....the love of family and friends but most of all the love of a Savior God who has entrusted you with your circumstances. Good or bad...He's trusted you with what's in your hand. He trusts you that much. And may that very thought bring you closer to Him...trusting Him more and more until the day He returns.

Happy Mother's Day

Monday, May 7, 2012

When You're Consumed

I've been worrying about it for a week. It's consumed nearly every spare minute of my life. The anticipation...the verdict...the waiting. It was overtaking my life.

Isn't that what fear does to us? It overtakes us...the unknown scares us, the waiting turns our stomachs into a gymnasium for somersaults and back flips. We worry, we lose sleep, we cry, we question, we think the worst....and then it happens.

For me it was (wait for it)....going to the dentist. It is probably my least favorite thing in all the world to do. But last week, when I chipped a tooth while eating my favorite snack I knew the time had come to face the dentist. The dreaded call was made but they couldn't get me in for a week. So...not only was I terrified...but I also had to wait 7 days before my irrational fear was to be faced.

So 3:15pm I sat, waiting again in the "waiting room" of the dentist office. Of course things were running behind. My heart was beating a little faster than normal, I had checked my email, facebook, pinned things on pinterest and was just about ready to back out when they called my name. And the sweetest lady ever called my name. I took the deepest breath I could.

I explained my anxiety to the nurse...probably verifying that I was certifiably crazy...and she was sympathetic and kind and compassionate. All the while I am thinking how incredibly stupid I must sound. The dentist came in. Verified I had chipped my tooth and took an Xray. And then told me all I needed was a filling. He couldn't believe I had never had a cavity before and praised me for my good teeth...and then he asked me did I want one shot or two of the numbing agent....and I opted for two...because sometimes more is better :). And 20 minutes later...I was good to go. (on a side note I ran into a friend at walmart and she was pretty sure I was a little tipsy from the extra shot).

My fears were totally crazy. But in the midst of fear you don't really see how crazy you are. That's why we have to trust what we know. What I know now is that the dentist staff was super nice and extra sensitive to my insecurities. What I know now is that an extra shot is totally worth it. What I know now is that the waiting room can be excruciating. And even though these are all very real and very true, it's no reason to act like a fear filled woman.

In my real life (the one that even includes the dentist office) I know God is bigger than all my fears and insecurities. He's in the business of walking through ever second of life with me. He doesn't skip out because it's uncomfortable or because things aren't going the way we thought they should. He's there. Everyday. His presence is what should consume me...and nothing else. And when that happens...there's really nothing to be afraid of.

What about or hate the dentist? What about your unrealistic fears...what are they? What do you do to cope or work through your anxiety?

Friday, May 4, 2012

When God has something else in mind...

If I'm being totally honest I need to tell you that my life has turned out nothing like I ever imagined it would be.

A few of my childhood/teen dreams included...marrying a missionary or a youth pastor....having a slew of 6-8, at some point I thought maybe I'd like to work in a home for wayward youth, or maybe working in interior see...I was all over the place. Isn't that how we are when we're young? We dream uninhibited dreams and hope and pray they come true.

Somewhere along the line something happens and reality sets in. Sometimes it comes in the form of a life event, sometimes you fall in love, sometimes someone crushes your dreams and you never recover. And sometimes...God has something else in mind.

I have no idea when it happened, but as I look back over the short 39 years God has given me, I'm very humbled to have experienced the plan He had in mind. My plan would have been pale in comparison to what He's given me. It's not always been a bed of roses. I've been hurt, misunderstood, made mistakes, done my own thing a time or two and even been mad at His plan. BUT, some of the greatest growth that I've experienced in my life is a result of God's plan being carried out in my life.

I'm thankful for His individualized care for me and for His special "Gina Plan" for my life.