Mom on a Mission

Mom on a Mission

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Suffering.

I think my nephew said it best when he put it in his child-like words,
 “For some reason I always remember the bad stuff, so much better than the good stuff.”
We were talking about memories and when he made this statement it brought it all together for me.   We were specifically talking about when our entire family went to Disneyland several years ago, and he got lost (for about 7 minutes). 
  So we all spent a zillion dollars to have a great vacation and spoil the crap out of our children and all they remember is the 7 minutes when Corvan got lost.

 We always hear the age old question….Why does God let bad things happen to good people? 
There are many things jacked up with that question, but my nephew put it into such a simple statement that made a lot of sense to me.

I began to think of the greatest joys in my life, like getting married, I remember many amazing things about that day, but one of my most vivid memories I have of that day was cussing at my sister, who was doing my hair, (just as the church secretary was walking in to say something sweet, I’m sure) and I was going a little bridezilla on my sis.
 (Ya, Sorry about that AGAIN Marlece). 

I remember the birth of each of my babies, but I hardly remember the details of each one, OTHER than I can give you a play by play of TRANSITION (the hardest part of labor) in each birth, what I felt and smelled and saw and heard..…I even have TRANSITION memories of the adopted children.  J

So I cringe when I hear Christians talk about our best life now, I want to puke my brains out.  I’m sorry to be so harsh…but if THIS is our best life NOW, then we are getting screwed.  Jesus came and died so we could have our best life with HIM later…He suffered on this earth, in this life, so WE, could have an eternal perfect life with HIM forever.
 NO SUFFERING or PAIN or LOSS, that is the life I have hope in and LIVE for!
 It’s not now, It’s later, when Jesus comes back to set it allllllllll right!

It’s a no wonder we see so many "Christians" either faking it, or completely bummed about life.  They have been fed the lie that we are supposed to live our best life NOW and we are supposed to pursue happiness and success, all in the name of Jesus,
 who suffered and died so we can live our best life NOW??
 No way!
 We get to live with the HOPE and JOY of knowing we are living now in anticipation of LATER.

Most of the time it’s really not our fault, we live in a beautiful amazing country and we live dang good lives compared to the rest of the world.  We can live in a way that we can protect ourselves from a lot of suffering.  We live in a country that has done a lot of things right and we have the freedom and opportunity to live without a lot of the massive amounts of suffering that a lot of the rest of the world lives with. 

We have food and we have medicine and we have freedom to worship and we have the awesome and amazing men and women in uniform to serve and protect us and our country and our freedom.  We should be so thankful and humbled that in God’s sovereignty and grace, He has allowed us to live in such a place.
  I can promise you that it was NOTHING you or I did right to make this happen for us.
  This is called the GRACE OF GOD!!!  
Somehow when and where we are born we don’t get to call the shots on that one.

It makes me think about James 1:27.
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep one self unstained from the world.

 I have been learning the deeper meaning of this verse.  I think this verse is about suffering.  You can’t throw money or a family or a husband or a 3 step plan, or even a Bible verse at an orphan or a widow in their affliction and make them feel better or heal their heartbreak.  I think there is a time and a place to provide allllll those things (maybe not the husband one,) but “in their distress, it says to visit them”. 

Maybe if we visited those that are suffering, and entered into that suffering and hurt with them, rather than trying to fix them, or their situation, we would understand the need, the desperate need for our Savior Jesus Christ our Lord, who came and took on unbelievable suffering for us that by HIS wounds we would be healed and by His death we may have life.

1 Peter 2:24English Standard Version (ESV)
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 


Why would God send His Son to suffer and die if it is possible to live our best life now with a few good thoughts and declarations and attitudes?  Why wouldn’t he send Jesus to show us how to do it that way? 
  I’m not saying we need to suffer and die….I’m saying in this life we WILL suffer and we WILL die.
  Suffering is EVERYWHERE, we just have to open our eyes.  If it’s not in our own lives at the moment, I can promise you it’s not hard to find and I would dare to say, rather than protecting ourselves from it, we should go and visit and enter in,
 because we will find out how much this world really needs
 Jesus!
This idea of waking up and having your perfect life in your perfect order does not work in the life of an orphan or a widow in their distress.
  I think we should wake up every day and rather than declare who I am and what I can do….we should declare who the great
 I AM
 is and what HE has done.
  We need to wake up, and rather than say how I am going to do better and have victory over this and that, I am going to declare how much I need JESUS and how I need more of him every single day, and how weak I am, but how strong the 
GREAT I AM
 is in me.

I’m going to pray and think less about me and who I am, and more about,
HOW GREAT THOU ART! 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Happy Cake Bofriend!


Happy birthday to my man!  He is like fine wine, he just gets better with age.

My prayer for my hubby this year is:

Colossians 1:9-14 (ESV)

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


He is having a very GRAND birthday, as he is in Montana celebrating his birthday with 3 of his oldest kids and his 3 GRANDS.  I just don't think he could ask for a better birthday.




Monday, July 25, 2016

The Day I Ruined God

I have to document today so that if there are any "follow up" visits regarding the following information I can have a clear memory of the events;  I may be slightly traumatized and block out all of the following information as soon as my mind will allow me.

First!  I wake up this morning feeling like GARBAGE, but have to force myself to take Maezie and Reece to their "well child checkup".  I am bad about doing these AT ALL, but there is a chance we may be losing our insurance at renewal time, so I drug my achey self out of the bed and out of the house.

The older kids were so good to help me get the littles ready for the big event, by dressing them and forgetting to comb their hair.

 JUST, as we are heading out, Esther informs me that Maezie slept with several uncapped markers all night and has MAJOR marker stains EVERY single place on her body and her bed.  All I could think to do, was ask if she had on clean underwear.  No clue what that was going to prove, but I've always heard good mothers make their kids wear clean underwear....WHATEVER...I panicked people.

We then proceed to the Dr. office where now days there is a list of questions that you can't prepare your children for because I don't want to make them liars or scared to go to the Dr. and answer questions, so here's how this goes.

Dr. - Maezie and Reece, do you always wear your seatbelt?
Maezie - Only sometimes.
Reece - Rolls eyes and acts like he is reading a magazine.

Dr. - Maezie and Reece, tell me about yourselves?
Maezie - I gave Reece a bloody nose.
Reece - Yep, she did.
Maezie - Doubles up her fist and gives a visual demonstration.
Dr. - Feverishly taking notes.

Dr. - Do you wear helmets when you ride bikes and scooters?
Reece - I'm really good at scootering, so I don't need a helmet.

Dr. - Let me listen to your belly Maezie.
Maezie - I just farted.

Dr. - Do you ever feel bullied at school Reece?
Reece - Welllllllllll, there's one kid and he lies and cheats at games.

Dr. - Kids, how do you cross the street?
Reece - look both ways and hold hands. (I'm feeling proud for 1/2 of a second.)

Dr. - Very good, do your parents help you cross the street? (We live in the country and NEVER cross any street).
Reece - Well, often times my family crosses the street and they leave me to do it ALONE.

Dr. - Kids, do you drink milk?
Maezie - Only chocolate.

Dr. - Do you eat your fruits and veggies every day?
Maezie - No, I hate eating.
Reece - She only eats when dad is home because he is strong.

Cellie, this whole time is making a mess and poops her pants and I'm doing the 'ole obnoxious nervous laugh, trying not to hurt my kids or hurl on the floor, because remember I DON'T FEEL WELL.

We have mild drama with the shots and such.

We make it out to the car, FINALLY, of which it is HOT outside and I had to leave my yapping Grand Dog in the car WITH ALL THE WINDOWS PART WAY DOWN, so the whole world could hear him yap and draw attention to my car because I did NOT realize the kids had put GRAND DOG in the car until we were halfway to town.

I come out of the Dr. office praising God that I get to leave with ALL my children and NO escort, and I see a kid standing at the back of my car looking at something and his mother grabs him and protectively shooshes him to the safety of their car, the kid turns and glares HARD at me.

It is then that I realize that LAST night we had a youth group event at our house and one of the kids thought he was sooooooooooo funny and wrote with his finger in the dust on my back window.

It went like this:  #BL MATTER #WHITE LIVES MATTER #ALL LIVES MATTER #MOTHER'S LIVES DON'T MATTER

So I'm now in the parking lot cleaning my car with spit, changing a poopy diaper, and telling my yapping GRAND DOG to SHUT UP.

I take the kids to Sonic and as I'm ordering, Reece rolls his window down and starts ordering.  I turn around and grab his ear, but by then the milkshake that I wasn't going to get him was already ordered and I was already too embarrassed about my life to tell the Sonic lady that I can't control my kid, and I don't want to have an arguement with him while the lady has her speaker on and can hear THE WHOLE thing, sooooooooooooo I just do what every good mother would do and I add a milkshake for Maezie and then roll up the window and have my fit.

Maezie gets her milkshake and in about 2 seconds spills it all over the back seat, I squeeze my achey self between my door and the speaker and get into the back of the car and use every napkin I have to clean up milkshake, all the while, my daughter IS IN HER SEAT BELT securely fastened, so I'm reaching around her little body that APPARENTLY only buckles up SOMETIMES.  Anyway, I get it all smeared around with the few napkins I have and there is a crafty coffee cup that the kids made at church this weekend, and I stuff the napkins in the cup, and Maezie goes into a FIT, saying that
I JUST RUINED GOD!!!!
Apparently God was in that coffee cup (which I can attest, sometimes He does show up there, but I had no idea).  She was screaming and yelling that it was the worst day, because I got her shot and ruined GOD!!!!

I had to leave and I came home and have not left my room since.

This is sadly a  true story because I could NEVER and WOULD NEVER make this stuff up.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Silence is Deadly


James 1:19-20New Living Translation (NLT)

Listening and Doing

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 

I have been listening to people.  I have been trying to understand.  I've learned that in order to understand I have to listen first.  And most times, I have to take the time to push passed the weather, and push passed the funny joke, and push passed the one word answer, usually the word "good" and wait for the awkward silence to come and go, and then listen and listen good.
 Often times, I fill the awkward silence....and I lose the opportunity to hear what was just beyond the awkward silence.

I've learned, that if I take the time and care to listen, the heart will speak.

Luke 6:45English Standard Version (ESV)

45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

I have learned that if I have the courage to listen, people will have the courage to speak. 
 I may not like what I hear, or agree with it, but in order to speak into their life, I have to hear their heart.   

And the heart is what we need to hear.  If the heart is hurting, or hard or bitter or filled with love and forgiveness that's what is valuable in knowing.  The other stuff is just the shell,
 the heart is where the TRUTH speaks.


 We have to be good listeners if we want the privilege of speaking into someone's life, or speak life into their heart.  


 Many times I think we are so afraid of what we might hear that we won't listen, sometimes we have to listen through the babble and the yelling and the
 HURT, to hear the HEART,
 of what is being said.
 In listening, we must listen to the heart, not listen in order to speak, but listen in order to hear.  If we are listening to pick apart or gather phases or words to gather evidence  to what we want to speak,
we have not heard. 

Once we have heard, we must respond.  If we listen then we must speak. 
 We must have the courage to listen and the courage to respond. 
 If we just listen and sit by silently it is worse than if we never even listened. 
 If we are witnesses to an injustice and do nothing, we are participating, by NOT responding.  

Ephesians 4:14-16New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

If we all took the time to listen, even when we disagree, or when we think we ALREADY KNOW, I believe there would be unity in relationships, in every area of our lives.

I think we need to quit listening to the media and start listening to people.  I think we need to quit looking at facebook and start looking into people's faces.  

If we pay attention, we will notice it's not the people marching or even rioting that are killing, it's the silent snipers in the dark corners that are taking people out.  The rioters are trying to figure out how to be heard, how to make people listen, and they resort to shouting and yelling and marching,
they are reacting to their hurt and to our silence
.  I'm not suggesting riots or marching or ranting and yelling, 
I'm suggesting listening and hearing,
 and responding by speaking
TRUTH IN LOVE.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Kole!

Happy Birthday Kole! 
“22”
Kole came into the world with more boldness than anyone I’ve ever known.
I was a week overdue and I woke up out of a dead sleep with a contraction that meant business; and I think it was one hour later Kole came flying into the world.

He came boldly.


Nothing has changed for Kole, when he believes in what he is doing and the direction he is going he goes with boldness and fearlessness.

It’s rare to find a person with the boldness that Kole has, that their boldness does not translate into arrogance; Kole has a humility about him that is rare in light of the boldness. 


Kole is bold enough to ask anyone and everyone questions if he needs to understand something. 
 He is bold enough to ask and humble enough to listen.

Kole’s life looks like a failure if you weigh is against the world’s definition of success.
Kole is 22 years old and lives at home and works for his dad.
To the world this looks like lazy failure.
Kole has another kingdom in mind with his life though….Kole is not working to build a kingdom for himself, Kole is working for God’s Kingdom and the the path that the Lord has set him on, is a path that looks crazy to the world, but if you stop long enough to hear Kole’s heart and the convictions and the goals that God has placed in him, you see a man who is following Jesus with humble boldness and is willing to sacrifice his plans and time and talents and give it ALL to the ONE who gave him everything.

Kole is a Kingdom builder,
 and he is learning and growing and submitting to the plan that God has for his life.


One of my favorite character traits about Kole has is that he will easily have the same conversation with the same boldness and passion with the most important person in the room as he will the biggest outcast in any setting on any day. 


I remember when Kole was 4 years old we were getting a yard put in at our house and the landscapers that were working were taking frequent smoke breaks.
  Kole was so upset, not because he thought they were bad, he thought they were so cool and they were his new buddies and he knew smoking was bad for them.
He asked me several times if he could go and let them know that smoking was bad for them. 
 I told him “NO, leave them alone, they don’t need a 4 year old telling them anything."
Kole literally snuck out of the house with his batman cape on so he could help save his new buddies from death by smoking. 
 He told them what he was convicted to tell them and then he came in and told on himself. 

 Kole is super honest and his boldness and conviction may override all fear, but then he has to come clean about it.


I love you Kole and I am so thankful for where you are right now in life,
AND
 the direction you are headed, no matter where it leads you and when you 
GO!


I love that whatever you do, you do it with all your heart, and then when and if, God changes it up, you make the adjustments and GO boldly full steam ahead!

1 Timothy 1:18-19New Living Translation (NLT)

18 Timothy,* (or Kole)* my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. 19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
*addition made by Jenay :) , personalized it for Kole.*

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Wife Is Home For A Visit.

Husbands!  I GET IT!!!  Wives STOP IT!!! 
 Stop being mad at your men!!!
I flew my wife in last night and I FINALLY understand how a man feels when he gets home from work.  It's like I couldn't remember how dinner happened.  I couldn't for the life of me remember how the kids get to bed every night.  I honestly forgot that I had kids.  I just sat relaxed and at peace knowing that all the people that happen to be stirring around in the house were happy and fed and clean and clothed.  All was right in the world.  

Wives, what you don't understand is, that it's not that your husband is trying to sit in the chair and fall asleep, it's just that he is at such peace and feels such love that he can't keep his eyes open.

I wanted to just have things in order and have my wife come home to a real oasis, but it just couldn't happen. 
 It was all I could do to get to the airport in one piece.

I brought my wife home and felt such joy in my heart and peace that I immediately headed for the chair and watched the beauty of family and dinner just fall into place, it was AMAZING.
  I sat there, and then when I got out of the chair, I got ready for bed, just me, just got myself in my pajamas and brushed ONLY my own teeth, and said goodnight to everyone and slept like a baby, straight through the whole night,
  I slept so sound and so peacefully.
  It was something I haven't experienced since my wife left.
  I got up this morning, rested and refreshed, and didn't give one instruction to ANYONE...just got in my running clothes and ran out the door.  It was as if I didn't have a care in the whole wide world.

Tomorrow morning I will get in the car in the EARLY EARLY hours with my coffee in hand and I will be amazed that once AGAIN the bags and kids have managed to load themselves in the car.
My bag will even have managed to get packed and in the car.  I will just show up in all my glory and it will be alllllllllllllllllll taken care of.
I will be thankful! 

I will look over at Charsie my wife and think to myself, 
"WOW!!!!  She is a WRECK....I am so glad I have seen to it that I give her this amazing BREAK...she needs it so much more than I thought."

I will watch her drop silent tears of exhaustion and think that she is just so thankful for this vacation that I have agreed to and provided for.


Wives!!!!  Our men LOVE us, they just love us so much and they are so confident at what "gets done" that they don't stress or worry.
Wives!!!!  WE are appreciated, we are LOVED. 


This picture is the moment when my wife was passing the baton to my "wife-in-training".
 Wife-in-training has been doing an amazing job, but we have only been together for 5 years TOTAL, my old wife had 18 years of growing in her wifely ways.  
It takes a long time to train a wife and when you just get thrown in and only have 5 years of training, it's rough.  New marriage is always hard and then you add LOTS AND LOTS of kids right off the bat  and it's really hard.

Honestly, this picture is, is my wife telling my new wife,
 "MOM NEEDS A LOT OF HELP!!!! 
 She can't do this on her own....SHE NEEDS US!!!! 
THE KIDS NEED US, DAD NEEDS US!!! 
You can DO THIS!!!"  


This is a picture that says it all.....this is my husband and wife-in-training, and one of the kids.  
They are TERRIFIED!!!!! 
 They are absolutely TERRIFIED!!!!

They knew this could turn out really really bad!!!! 
They know how I am without my wife.  
WE ALL KNOW I NEED HER!

So when my wife flew in last night for a visit, there was rejoicing because she has come home for a visit, but there was also rejoicing that we have made it! 
 We have made it without my wife and we have survived!!!!
We are going to be OK!!!!! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day To My 2 Dads.

Happy Father's Day to my 2 dads!

    My dad!



My dad is a man that brings a presence.  When my dad walks in a room, everyone knows it.
  My dad is large and in charge.
My dad is big and always looks and smells strong and amazing.

My dad is a living testimony of how God is gracious and pursues His children and loves them ferociously.
 My dad has lived a passionate life of all kinds of extremes and God always brings him back to Himself.
  I look at the relationship my dad has had with the Lord in his life and he has lived in total rebellion at times, and he has lived in total submission at times and Jesus
 NEVER NEVER NEVER
 let him go.
 He has loved him the same every single day.
There have been seasons of sweet communion with Jesus and times of harsh discipline and through it all Jesus LOVES my dad and holds him close, and my dad has fallen in love with Jesus over and over again.

This year I have watched my mom and dad sell everything and take a giant leap of faith to just let go of everything familiar and just seek and ask the Lord what is next for them.
 I have seen them live more humbly and with less worldly possessions than I ever have before and yet, I see them with more than I ever have seen them have.

More Love.
    More joy.
 More peace.
  More patience.
More kindness.
More goodness.
More faithfulness.
and
More self-control.

 My dad is a huge planner, by nature, and it has been crazy to watch him just let go of "his" plan and just walk in faith and tackle things as they come and make plans and change plans,
 and constantly look to the Lord for the next step.

My dad has had more than his share of health problems and so many surgeries, over the years....but this last surgery, a few months ago, was planned to be another big heart surgery.
  He came out of there with NOTHING.
  The surgeons did nothing.
  They put a scope in his heart and it looked CLEAN.
The Dr's got to see on the inside what we have witnessed on the inside.
Psalm 51:3-17
For I know my transgressions,

    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

    and sinners will return to you.
14 
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 
O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.



The other dad in my life is the DAD of my kids.
Charlie.  
He is the DAD of my kids and so many many kids with no dad.
Charlie in Uganda working on Redeemer House.
This is Charlie in Kenya working at an orphanage.
 It seems no matter where we are or what we are doing, my man ends up on his knees.
His outside posture is an outward expression of his heart posture.
 .
He serves, he works, he prays, he is humble.



Psalm 95:6-7 (ESV)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.

The phrase that comes to mind when I think of my man is,
 "He is ALWAYS the clean-up guy."
He seems to come in late so many times because I have usually jumped in and thrown every kid we have in the mix and the whole time we are running around like a bunch of crazies, Charlie has been on his knees,
 serving, working, praying,  and humbling himself.

And then when the timing is right and I've worn myself and the kids into exhaustion,
 and we look to our leader on his knees, he
STANDS UP.........HE STANDS STRONG.

  All the humble time on his knees has given him a perspective that nobody else has seen and he is ready to
STAND UP, STAND STRONG
and
CLEAN UP AND FINISH STRONG.
  This has happened in so many situations of our lives throughout the years, and it always throws me for a loop.
I am flipping out and running on high, and he seems to not be seeing or feeling or doing anything, and then he
 STANDS UP and GIVES THE KNEE PERSPECTIVE.

He then gets back on his knees and 
cleans up and finishes strong.

Charlie is always the LAST to leave, last to leave the job, or the party.
  And he doesn't just hang out and leave last, he cleans up, finishes up, and makes sure everything and everyone is in order.

This is my man being the clean up guy last night.
  I was DONE, worn out, finished with kids for the day, so what does a clean up Dad do on Father's Day week-end, he sits in the recliner and puts his 2 youngest to sleep.
He has had a longer day than any of us, and yet he is the last one standing.