I am going to put my old ramblings up because I like to read them myself and don't want to loose them. Sorry if they bore you - I love them.
Why Jesus is my Precious Saviour:
I feel as if I have always known Jesus as my Savior. I can't remember a time when I didn't know Him. My mother has been a strong part of my life and her walk with Christ is steadfast. My dad worked odd shifts and rarely was able to go to church with us. Maybe he would have if his job had been more lenient. Both of my grandmothers were strong warriors for the LORD yet their walks were so different. One was outspoken and vivacious, the other mild and meek. I really was never in danger of not knowing Him as my Father and Creator. My dad passed away from here in 1987, one month before I was to turn 10 and he, 37. We had the same birth day. That was a troubling time. I can remember praying, while he was in the hospital, "Please Jesus, take me. Leave my dad to be with momma and Billy, they need him and they won't miss me as much." I can't tell you how angry I was when He didn't answer that prayer the way I wanted. I remember once, and only once, my mother broke down and was unsure of how we would survive but my grandaddy quickly told her it would be okay and my uncles told her God would provide. Would He? Yes. From that moment on, my mother was the strongest Christian I have ever met. She depended on Him as if her very life depended on it, because it did. She sought Him constantly and I heard her prayers and remember feeling that she was so strong, feeling blessed to have her. She raised us to understand that God was our Father, we must depend on Him. Praise God! She taught us that things like this happen to everyone. We are not alone. I felt we needed to find the positive side to our tragedy. We need a reason to be thankful for the trials. My Father's death brought about many wonderful things. It took years to see them. I was able to minister to a good friend in high school which led to one of the strongest friendships I had ever had. Even though she and I are no longer close, we can pick up our relationship at anytime and feel as if we never parted ways. I was able to leave my home church and find one more suited to my needs. If my family had gone to church together, my mother may have never let me leave but since it was just the three of us, she let me choose. There, I have made lasting friendships, met the man of my dreams and now have a wonderful family. Praise God for the trials and tribulations that are simply preparing a place for us in heaven. I look in every trial for that silver-lining. Sometimes, when I am coasting, I do pray for a trial, just so I can glimpse heaven once more.
At one point I had become so involved in my life, I had forgotten to find the Godly silver-lining. God showed me once more. I was hiking up the Rainbow Trail or somewhere near there, in the high country of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Colorado. My Father had been so generous that summer to show Himself to me so many times. As I was hiking, I remember getting frustrated because the pack was heavy, Dean(our leader) made me lead because I was the slowest, and I was tired. It was one hill after another. I was so upset. I prayed that God would just let the uphills end. I wanted a downhill walk all the way to camp. "God, you are God, make it happen. And do it now!!" And then a small, quiet voice said " My Child, if the uphills were not so strenuous, the downhills wouldn't be so wonderful." What???? What are you saying God?? And then it sunk in. If those uphill climbs were not so hard and so exhausting, the downhill coasting wouldn't mean as much. I would get tired of that also. I would be praying for a level path with no rocks. In order for those downhills to feel so great, I needed the uphill right before it. Praise God!! Blessed be His Name!! He knows exactly what we need. AMEN!! Thank you for the trials in our life. I need them to remind me to search for you and to show me that my faith is real. Thank you Father, for being just that, my Father, Abba. And for being everything else that I need. Amen.
I have been driving myself crazy lately getting ready for day camps and VBS. For weeks I have been consumed by the summer and making sure everything is planned for. Mind you I say planned for, not perfect. In fact, my kids have had to bare the brunt of my overwhelming frustrations lately. They have been able to misbehave a bit more and it has come to a head. Yesterday the girls were so naughty they weren't allowed to go to their class at church. It was a tough call to make but as their mom and someone who has a vested interest in their spiritual and social well-being. I made the decision. Rude eye-rolls from others and mean, hurtful words whispered under their breath only made me feel as if they didn't trust my judgment as a mom. I didn't just make them miss class, I taught them a lesson from the Bible. We sat down while thier friends were next door singing and playing with playdough and we learned about the "Honor your father and mother" command. They had to translate it into their own words. We discussed why it was in the Bible and why it is important that they obey the Lord's commands. Then they colored a poster with the commandment on it and when I point to it and ask them about it, they can tell me all about it now. And so far, when they disobey, all I have had to do is ask about the poster and they remember to listen. So, I felt good about that. I came home from church feeling victorious through my Savior and began the monotony of work again. I was so excited to get my camp brochures printed only to find I had swapped the costs of 2 camps. Bummer. I went to bed.
I woke up early this morning to sweet screams of Ella Cate who wanted to be up. She fell right back asleep within 5 minutes but Layne and I were wide awake. It was 6 anyway, time for him to be up. Within minutes, Daniel was up, then Lilly. Ella Cate woke up long enough to eat a granola bar and fall asleep on the couch.
So, Daniel and I were on the computer. He in my lap and me typing away at day camp stuff. He turned to nestle in and I took a moment to sit back and enjoy him.The light from the glorious morning sun rushed through our window only to brush his head. His hair was so sweet and so beautiful. I fall in love with his little blonde streaks each time I see them. I thought to myself that I was lucky to have three children with such beautiful blonde hair and then I realized the girls have red tinted hair, not blonde....so I then knew I needed coffee to make it today. But I remained in that seat with Daniel for what seemed like eternity. Wondering about his future. What would he be like? What will he sound like? Will he have the same hair color? Will he still find comfort and safety in my arms? Oh it was so wonderful to just be. Just being there with Daniel and God. What a joyous and precious moment. That eternity lasted about 3 minutes(those of you with 2 yr olds understand that anything over 2.5 minutes is an eternity) and then the aroma of pink lemonade filled the air. Odd I thought. The Koolaide pitcher is across the room. I must have made a great batch and my whole house will soon smell of happy times and lemonade, I thought. Then I realized Daniel was just busy burping. Burping and checking to see if I was paying attention. He then got up and with in seconds had spilled his popcorn(breakfast of champions) and fallen down creating an invisible boo-boo. His screams brought me back to the grind of today. But a grind I know am looking forward to...as soon as I get some coffee.
Not sure why today seems to have become a day of reflection. Perhaps it is the rain. What a beautiful sound the rain is. So soft, so calming, even in a storm. It always reminds me to look into my walk with God. One day, I plan to walk with my Father in the rain. To listen to the drops hit each blade of grass and hear Jesus just breathe and relax in the rain. I used to love to run out and dance in the rain. There was just something so wonderful about the water hitting my skin. It made me feel as if forgiveness was granted and everything was wiped clean. And it was.
But today, the reflections keep popping up. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would be planning Day Camps and VBS, I would have laughed in your face. The college ministry was my number one ministry. Those kids meant the world to me. Their prayers and needs were on my heart at all times. I spent hours deciding what to teach them and making silly maps that they laughed at. So today, my heart hurts a little because I miss them. However, even though I am not a hugger, some of the kids that run up to me these days and hug me break my heart. And their unconditional love is amazing. I often have to scold these kids for doing something that they know is wrong, and three days later, they run up with hugs and questions. They don’t hold grudges or try to run the show. So different than the college group. It has made me come to a better realization of having faith as a child. Not to say bad things about the college group, because it isn’t just them. The problem is that they became adults and adults are cynical; we hold grudges, we view ourselves as better than someone else for unknown reasons but the kids aren’t like that. Of course, I see these qualities coming out in the older ones and while before I thought they were just growing up, now I think otherwise. They seem to be growing wrong. Following in the footsteps we have left for them. The footsteps are on the right path I think but maybe just not straight on. They see us hold grudges, get revenge, let anger take control, and they do the same. So, I see what my next motive for teaching them must be. I need to teach them to be not like me, not like most of us, but to be like Jesus. And that is a philosophy I have always held but I need to really focus on it. To remind them that their parents might be able to learn from them for now on. I hope to learn from mine. To love unconditionally. To trust Jesus at all cost.
Also, today has brought back lots of memories. My first doctor appointment will be tomorrow. I should be happy to be finally going but now, there is a fear developing. What if I go in and there is no heartbeat again? How do I get up from that and dance? How do I move on this time? Well, prayer for one. And having the trust and love for Jesus that I see in the kids in children’s church. That is how. I will get up and cry out to Him. And He will comfort me, He always has. I will find a purpose and a need to love Him deeper and then and only then will I be able to dance for Him again. So, for today, my sinful heart will beat me up, forcing me to think of the worst. The devil will tempt me with things but God will carry me through. He will love me because I am His. He knocked on the door of my heart years ago and I made the decision to go to Him and let Him in. And I will not walk away from Him. I know that I will walk with Him one day, as the rain pours down in a giant meadow(preferably in the High Country of Colorado) and then, as if it were something I do everyday(because I do) I will continue to walk with Him until we reach our destination – the place He has prepared for me.
~God, give me today the provision I need to make it. Pour out the blessing you have prepared that will guide me through today and keep me close by You, walking in Your Shadow.~
4-10-08 - Overwhelmed. A feeling I get a lot these days. I feel overwhelmed that I have 3 kids that I barely control. I feel overwhelmed at work b/c I don't feel like I am doing it right. I am overwhelmed at the amount of laundry and dishes and dust and dirt that consumes my house. Do I honestly just stink at everything I do? Why do I rarely feel that feeling of 'complete'? What is the problem? Am I trying to do it alone again? Why can't I seem to remember God? I subscribe to caring bridge site journals for a couple of local kids with cancer. I read one mother's admission she finally heard words worse than, "your child has cancer." Those words are "your child needs a double lung transplant." I read another mother's anger as the doctors and nurses have the nerve to wake her and ask her to stop touching their equipment. And this lady never sleeps b/c her child is dying in that room. These mothers are dealing with their children's lives ending and I can't handle the fact that mine won't clean up. These moms would trade places with me in a minute for their only troubles to be dirty clothes and shoes on the floor. And these moms are able to thank God for what they have. But do I? Not regularly. I get fed-up with how selfish I am. I am tired of my attitude and my actions. But it is hard to get away from yourself. Almost impossible. I wonder if everyone else gets these feelings of disliking themselves or am I just so bad that it is only me?
I believe in freewill. I believe God gives us choices. So, my choice is to try harder and not be so full of myself. After all, I am supposed to be full of Christ....right?
Funny side note: As I sit here, silently crying my eyes out in the dark, I am reminded of those old Doogie Howser, MD shows where he would type up a life changing, thought provoking tid-bit at the end. So, what is my big lesson today? What tid-bit do I have to offer? Sorry, I have nothing. Only that at this moment, I dislike who I have become a little more than I did an hour ago. I wasn't going to even say I would do better but now that God has changed my point of view with a Doogie flashback, I can see that change is possible. Funny, I never thought that Doogie would have had any impact on me until right now.
3-31-08 I can't believe it has been almost a year since I was on here updating this page. Time has flown by. It gets harder and harder to find time for the computer. I love my new job. I am glad that I can do most work from home and don't have to go in everyday. Although, sometimes, I think getting away would be a blessing. I got tickled as I read my last entry. Complaining about Ella Cate. I still haven't re-painted those walls. However, I now have to replace their carpet also, thanks to Ella Cate. There are multiple areas of chocolate stains. This is from Ella Cate and Lilly sneaking into the pantry during nap time and stealing packs of chocolate morsels and pudding mix. Believe me, those items were not meant for the bedroom. The girls had chocolate everywhere. On the walls, their beds, their toys, their faces and necks and of course, ground into the carpet. A few days ago, Ella Cate decided to 'help' me clean by pouring her shampoo all over the carpet. Then adding water to help clean up. And just this past weekend, we lost 6 bananas to a horrible accident. Of course, there are still remnants of banana all over the carpet but I have decided that instead of cleaning it too well, we will just replace the carpet and get the hardwood refinished. No more carpet for them.
So what does this disobediant, repetitive behavior tell me about me? Well, there are certain sins in my life that I just fall back on. Nothing drastic but deadly sin none-the-less. I like to think that I am special. I like to day-dream about having more. I pretend to be buying a house and watch that weird channel with houses for sale on it. I want to have more money, a bigger house, no financial cares whatsoever. I justify this by ever so seldomly mentioning that if we had money we could fly to Africa and wittness or build a camp similar to Uplift but closer to home. But in reality, I want the finer things in life for me. Just to make me feel better than I truly am.
I tell the kids in Children's Church all the time that we deserve nothing. That when we get that attitude of "I deserve better" we need to step back and check our walk. So let me tell you, it is hard to take your own medicine and this gulp just won't go down. So as I continue on my journey, I will attempt to look at what I have and be happy. I have 2 feet, 2 arms, 2 eyes and ears, 2 kidneys, all the essentials. So why am I so determined to have more? It is my deceptive heart. My heart keeps convincing me I am worthy of it all. That I live a good life and I deserve more. That I try to do what is right and so I should demand the best. What a joke!! My faith tells me the truth. I deserve death and hell. I deserve ridicule and punishment. I deserve nothing. But Christ died on the cross for my sins and He will return again one day and take me to heaven and there, I will have more that I ever dreamed of, more that I ever deserved. So I have to put my focus there, on what is in store in heaven. Not what is here. - So I fix my eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal. 2 corinthians 4:18
5-22-07 - Children are wonderful. However, lately it has become a struggle to keep up with Ella Cate. She is so energetic and she doesn't like to be told what to do. Just last week, I had to get on to her for an incident involving a sharpie marker, her bedroom walls, toys, furniture, herself and her sleeping sister. Everything was tainted with the black marks of Ella Cate's rampage. I exploded. I was outraged. How dare she? She knows not to use those markers and perhaps I was a bit too abrasive with her.
Again yesterday, she and Lilly got into one of those giant size bottles of hand sanitizer I purchased for the Carbon Copy camp-out. It was everywhere. They fixed each others hair with it. They sanitized every inch of Daniel's room. I am not joking. I had to air his room out for hours. So again, I got upset. My anger flared. The girls spent most of their day in time-out because I was just so caught up in it.
My anger has been at the forefront of my attention lately. Ever since the miscarriage, I can't seem to control it. I have even enlisted a family member to pray and keep me in check. It has become a source of grief and hardship for me. It has also caused me to see that in public my anger rears its ugly head. I have fallen and seem to be stuck.
Well, today I was returning some emails and letting the girls play. I had my MySpace up in the background so that my song could play. The house got eerily quiet. I realized the girls were no longer eating their cereal. I eventually found them in Daniel's room, which I had forbade them from entering just 15 minutes prior to this. They had a bowl of cereal(no milk) which they had crushed up. Then they had poured their juice into the cereal bowl and emptied an entire large bottle of baby powder into it. Then decorated the room with this mixture. My anger began to rise. I quickly tried to think of positive outcomes.......the room smelled like baby powder and fruit instead of stinky diapers. Okay, I could handle that. I walked out to get some rags and to cool off. I heard my MySpace song and walked into the kitchen just as Tree63 sang, 'every blessing you pour out, I'll turn back to praise.' So I stopped and laughed and praised God for my girls and their adventurous spirit. I cleaned up the room and Daniel(who apparently ate the new concoction). Then I told the girls to wash their hands and meet me in the living room while I got Daniel's breakfast.
Well, a few mintues later I realized they weren't in the living room yet. I ran to the bathroom only to find that they had plugged the sink, filled it almost to the top with water and were splashing and cleaning everything!!! AGHHH!!! I popped their hineys and sent them to their room for a time-out. Now, this is where it gets interesting. See, I told them that they were in punishment. They were not to play with any toys. They were to be quiet and think about how disrespectful they had been. A while later, I went in to check on them. Of course, my anger just rushed over me. They had stripped down Lilly's bed, pushed the matress to the floor and were ripping up the plastic protective sheet I had on it. My blood was boiling. I gave them each 6 spankings. As I made up the bed, I heard one of them say, "But mommy, we didn't play with our toys." My heart broke in half right there. They had gotten spankings for doing what they thought was okay b/c I had only restricted them from their toys, not the matress. They are so innocent and precious. I keep forgetting that.
All of this caused me to think of my relationship with God. I am not innocent. When I look up at my Father and say "I thought I was doing right" I know even before I say those words that I am lying. Most times, I do things because I will benefit, not because my Lord asked me to. I am always thinking of me, me, me. I often say things to other people or get into their business and try to find a way to help me. I use the Lord to get what I want. Honestly, if I had to choose a person in the Bible that I am most like, it could only be Judas Iscariot. He used Christ to get what he thought he wanted, only to find later that he had missed the one thing he truly wanted. I pray that I will fix my faults before it is too late. Before I go too far and can't get back. Please God, help me to be innocent like my children. Praise God for my kids, they have put me in my place once again. Children are wonderful....don't you think.
4-30-07 - Why is it that saddness comes so eagerly during a time of joy? I can remember for years that my birthday was not a 'happy' day for me because it caused me to think of my dad. We shared the same birthday. I was blessed to share that with him. It made for many great conversations with him that I still cherish. However, it amazes me how quickly saddness can ruin what should otherwise be a day of celebration and happiness. Days that should envoke a spirit of joy are overshadowed by memories of loved ones long gone or dreams broken and shattered.
Daniel's first birthday is tomorrow. Yesterday we had a large group of our friends comeover for lunch. It is something we do every other week now and this week it was our turn to host. I was so excited. I love a good challenge and cooking for almost 20 people is just that. I decided last minute to have everyone sing happy birthday to Daniel because we are not having a formal party for him. Later that night, the saddness broke through.
As I sat with my family eating dinner, I was reminded that there should be a baby in my tummy. I should be almost five months along. In three weeks, I should have been standing my ground on my decision to not find out if it was a boy or girl. I should be contemplating where the baby would sleep. Deciding if I should buy new clothes or repaint anything. However, I am not. I am simply trying to put the fact that my baby is gone far back in my heart.
Perhaps that is why I am so excited over the new babies added to our family of friends. Sadie and Sophie will help to heal my broken heart. My friends Jason and Michele just found out they are expecting in December. I have been overjoyed. I can't stop telling people. Perhaps it is because I want someone to have a baby. I want someone to feel the way I feel when that baby's kicks are first felt. But the saddness won't go away. I was still sad today. I am unsure how long the saddness lasts. I don't want it to change me or the way I live. But I dont' want it to be in vain. I want to learn form it and grow.
So, if you have read this, please pray for me. Pray that I can find a way to get over the saddness and be joyful for what I have. I am so joyful for my friend Michele. She is going to be such an awesome mother. I hope she won't mind when I steal her baby away for brief moments. To talk to him or her and to love him or her. To simply hold the baby and maybe then, I will be okay with the fact that my baby is gone. To know that there will be a newborn baby to love at Christmas, that might just do it. So, I will shift my focus from missing my baby to making sure her baby is fully loved this Christmas. Praise God for the way He works. I will forever be in His debt for giving them a baby. Their baby will help me get over my loss and at the same time, when their baby poops or cries, I can give him back to Michele. Praise God.
03-20-07 - What happened? Just last week I was ready to get on this site and write about the wonderful news that we had just told everyone. I had known for a while. I could tell. Of course I could. After knowing for a while I finally told Layne. I enjoyed it being my little secret. I first told Daniel because I knew I could trust him not to tell anyone else. I later told Ella Cate because I seem to be the only one who can understand her. But this was my time to bond. I was ecstatic. I was finally enjoying being pregnant. Part of me wanted it I guess. I talked to God about the baby all the time. He was the only one I felt okay discussing it all with. It was nice once Layne knew because then I could share it with someone else here. I knew something was wrong when I went to the doctor and the baby was not as far along as she should have been, but I kept my major concerns to myself (for the most part). Then it all started to fall apart.
What happened? I still don't know. I thought things would be fine but that didn't last. Then, last Friday, I lost the baby. I was ready though. That morning, before I left the bed, I actually remembered to ask God for my provisions that day. I asked Him to give me the blessings I needed to make it through whatever would come my way. And He did. I was not as upset as I thought I would be. I was reminded of what Lilly told me, of how Jesus would take care of our baby. I know for a fact that He will do a better job than I could have. I have a feeling of relief and joy that my sweet baby will be fine and we will meet one day when I see her walking with Christ.
However, that doesn't mean that I don't feel a lose, a saddness, a void. I do. But I can handle it. If I couldn't handle it, God wouldn't have allowed this to happen. How blessed I feel to know that God views me as strong enough in my faith to walk this path. I am part of group of women who may not see a blessing from their lose but I do. God knew I would ask for my provisions that day and He had them ready. I wonder if the angels were standing around, awaiting my prayer? Were they up there just holding a bowl of blessings above me saying 'Please dear one, just ask."? Perhaps so. Why do I not do that everyday? There is no good answer to that. I should. You should too. The manna came to the Israelites each morning to remind them of God's glory. They didn't have to ask for it but it was a reminder to go to God each morning and ask for the day's provisions. Try it for a while and see if your load seems lighter, no matter what happens.
I am still sad. I still have to get up each morning and know that only those maternity clothes that I refuse to wear now will fit me. I have to answer everyone's "How are you doing?" question with a better answer than fine. I have run into a few who didn't hear about the loss who congratulated me before I could tell them. The looks on their faces make me want to hold them tight. To go back to the moment when they congratulated me and just hold on to that moment and pretend. But I can't. I have a higher calling. It isn't just about me. I have to find a way to witness to others about Christ through this. I just don't know how. Not yet. But I will figure it out by asking God to reveal it to me.
I miss my baby. I miss the plans that Layne and I had made. I miss the excitement on the girls' faces at the mention of a baby. I miss the ideas that I had concerning what we would do about sleeping arrangements. I miss laying down and holding the baby in my stomach. I miss being glad to be pregnant and not have morning sickness. I miss feeling as if God was happy with my role as mother and wanted me to take care of another one for Him. I miss never being alone. I miss rethinking the choice to drink that second cup of coffee because it might be too much for the baby. But I will survive. I will go on. Maybe one day in the future Layne and I will have more. But for now, I am content with being the mother of three children here on earth and being someone special to a soul awaiting the Second Coming, and our first introduction.
01-02-07 - I have come to a shocking realization. Sandy Chastain is no longer. As I mentioned on the home page, I feel as if I am not my own person anymore. I have morphed into something else. I can remember in high school joking around about never having children because I wanted to be a big time career type. However, God had better things in mind. The ideals that I set in motion as a teacher have been put on the back burner. I guess I will not rise to the top of my profession and become the youngest Superintendent in the state of Georgia. So what am I going to be when I grow up?
I will be a mother. So far I have three wonderful children. The Lord has really blessed me and allowed me to open up and love children. I don't mean that I want to become a teacher and teach young kids. I do not. I do not enjoy snot and urine. I hate to button up pants, zip up jackets and tie shoes. My heart doesn't want to look into a child's eyes and try to figure out where those bruises came from. I do not want to pretend to teach children the basics of education while I secretly fill out forms as to why they need special help. I do not want to close my classroom door in order to not be overheard as I teach my students the truth about Jesus Christ. At this point in my life, I do not want to teach kids.
I have enjoyed teaching the CC: group at church. They are great. I love teaching adults. Well... not old adults, you know, my age and older. I enjoy the college age group. I may not do a great job but I will continue to teach them until they ask me to stop. At that point, I will stop. A good teacher knows that when the class outgrows you or becomes bored, you must step aside and let someone new step in. A true teacher will do whatever needs to be done in order for the class to learn.
Tonight, Ella Cate awoke screaming. I rushed to her side with one of her beloved 'Chewey's' in hand. She was talking in her sleep. I watched her as she tossed and turned, attempting to drift further into dreamland. She was in such an angelic state. She is beautiful. On my way out of their room I stopped to look at Lilly. For a second, I truly think I saw a glimpse of her as a teenager. She is only three but she is almost four. I know that just by typing that, you might not understand how I said it in my mind. See, she is only three. She is still a baby, with needs that only I can meet. However, she is almost four. She is almost a big girl, ready for preschool. I stood there and thought about what I had done with this precious gift over the past three years. Not much came to mind. I want to be a good mother like all of my friends are but I feel as if I have failed. There is so much out there for her to learn. Where do I start? How much time have I wasted? It has only been three years but then again, it has been almost four. On one hand I think, hey, she hasn't been here that long. I haven't had a chance to teach her much. However, on the other hand, I can't help but think that I have wasted so much time. Time that I can't get back.
Oh, when I was a teacher I had so much spare time and I was not nearly as stretched out as I am now. Yet, this job seems to have the bigger reward plan. Will I ever return to the classroom? Of course, I am a teacher. However, it will not be until I see that my family no longer needs me here. My babies are all so precious to me. I can't imagine not being with them each day.
How does God do it? How was He able to just let Christ die? In a Bible Study I am currently teaching, we were asked to imagine what heaven was like when Christ was in the garden praying. The idea was that as Christ asked God to allow that cup to pass, all of heaven grew silent. The angels all stood ready, not even breathing. No sound was heard except Christ's words. The angels may have waited in anticipation. They were all very anxious. Who would be chosen to rush down and bring Him home? Which angelic beings would God choose to be the ones to save His only Son? They waited to hear their names. But then they heard the words that even they might never have expected. "No Son, not this time." How could He do it? Well, that answer is as simple as anything. God was able to let that happen because He wanted me too. God knew that I would stray too far; that I would need a Savior. I would need the ultimate sacrifice. He sent Jesus to take my place. And yours. Whether you have accepted Him or not. He didn't just die for me. He died for you also. It wouldn't make sense for Him to die for just me. We get the next step. We must accept Him. I believe that Christ calls us all. Some will hear Him and obey, some will hear Him and ignore. Praise God that I wanted to obey. Some people believe that there is no such thing as free-will. That God made some of us to go to heaven and some to go to hell. I do not agree. If that is the case, I do not understand why Jesus had to die. Yes, God knows all and He can make us do anything. But my God wants us to want Him. He wants a relationship, not a dictatorship. Some people will corner you into an argument and twist and turn verses to prove their point. I know the Bible. I read the Bible, but I also have a relationship with Jesus and I know Him. Do you?
12/19/06 - Yesterday found my heart unprepared for the day. It felt as if it had melted away that morning. I did not understand why. I just couldn't handle the problems that the day brought. Everything was just too much. I went to my Lord and asked for my portion that day. Shouldn't that do it? If I ask Him to give me what I need to make it through the day, He will.....won't He?
I do not know how many times I cried that morning. Nothing seemed to go as planned. A wonderful couple from church had volunteered their time to come and watch my kids while I had a day off. I had looked forward to it so much. However, now my heart just wasn't in it. I didn't feel that I deserved a day off. What would I do? How dare I even think that my life is so hectic that I need a day off!
The babysitter arrived and I fled, before I began crying again. I didn't want her to think I was insane. I met my wonderful hubby for lunch. My heart was not there. My mind was racing. I had convinced myself that I had made all the wrong choices in life. I couldn't think of one single choice I had made that was a good one. After lunch, I headed to the store to buy groceries. Earlier I had passed by a house with a large gate at the end of the driveway. I mentioned outloud as I was complaining to my Lord that I wondered how the gate worked. I told Him it would be neat to see the people who lived in such a grande home and what type of car they drove. Sure enough, as I passed by again, the gate was open, the owner and his car had stopped to get the mail. I couldn't help but smile. Had God heard that simple wondering in the midst of my petitions that day? Of course He had. I felt a burden lift away. I knew that if my Jesus had heard me talk of a silly gated home, He had also heard my needs and yearnings. If He responded so graciously to the curiosity of my mind, how much more so would He respond to the needs of my heart?
Yet while in the store, my heart began to deceive me again. My depression ran deep. I couldn't make myself put anything into the buggy. All I could think about was all the mistakes I had made in my whole life and how truly stupid I was. I had to leave quickly before the tears came. I made it to the car, locked the door and broke down. What was wrong with me? Again, I had asked for my provisions so why wasn't it enough?
I drove down the road yelling at God. "You want to know my feelings? I'll tell you how I feel. I hate this feeling!!! I don't want to feel this way. I need to know now if I am to get a job or stay home. No more of these small miraculous signs with underlying meanings. I need a straight, plan-as-day answer and I want it now. Is it your will for me to get a job or stay home? If I do not get an answer, I will get a job. " The ramblings went on and on. Still, no answer. How dare He? Wasn't I His child? His treasured possession? Shouldn't He be sending some angels to reveal the hidden truths of my life?
I dried up the tears and has drove home. My perfect day off ruined by a deceitful heart. I was able to enjoy a few mintues with my friends and the kids. Then, as I was driving to my dental appointment, I stopped to get the mail. Christmas cards always cheer me up. One of the cards was from a dear friend in Colorado. She too is a stay-at-home mom and I knew that I had to read it. And I did. I read her one page, front and back card as I drove. Her letter started out simply by greeting the reader and then gave great detail into her crazy life. I could relate. As I read the thought occured to me that I still have so many years to stay home with my kids. So many more days like this.....I didn't want to keep reading. I just wanted to pull over and deflate. I didn't want anymore days like this. And then her letter became the blessing I had been searching for all day. She wrote "Life is truly blessed, and though there are days when I find myself grumbling and complaining in my heart (shame on me!), stretched to the breaking point, or simply weary to the bone, I wouldn't change my vocation for all the world."
Suddenly if felt as if my heart were growing larger. I think it might have grown three sizes that day. I heard that ever-present voice say, "That is the attitude to have. You are to stay home. Trust Me." I immediately agreed and asked that I not feel this way again until the plans had changed. Then I began laughing. I thought about the events of the day, how low I was, the things I had done. All the troubles I was having and the answer was in my mailbox the entire time!!!! AGHHHH!!!! I looked up at God and said "Why didn't you just tell me earlier to check the mail?" I can almost promise I heard Him reply that I had a lesson to learn.
Now, why didn't I have the provisions I asked for? Because I asked with a wrong heart. I hadn't asked for them until I was having a bad day. Then suddenly I thought that if I asked for them, my day would go smoother. So I did. I asked for them. But I didn't truly want the provision, I wanted to find a way to make the day run better but still do what I wanted to do. It doesn't work that way. If you are going to give the Lord your day, you have to actually give it to Him. So today.....today is His. Whatever happens today, I can't take credit for it. I have given it to the Lord.
I AM IN LOVE WITH JESUS!!!! I AM SAVED!! I AM GOING TO HEAVEN!!
11-24-06 I hadn't realized it but I haven't written anything new here in a month. However, the Lord has been working ever so hard on my heart and I believe that I have allowed some break-throughs. I know that He has been weeding out the bad things and the things that I never realized were there. It has been painful but worth it. I wrote once about a person whom God had prompted to share with us in a financial way. Well, there came some more moments of need and I would walk by our church mailbox, wishing for an envelope. Perhaps with a monetary gift, a card with a prayer in it, or a simple note saying someone cared. I would purposefully walk by our box and not look until the last moment, so that if there wasn't anything there, the dissappointment wouldn't show. Yet, if there was something there, I wanted it to be a surprise; a true gift. Last week, there it was. I thought it would be just a card but it was so much more. It had my name on it, it was addressed to me and the note was for me. My heart overflowed with tears. My Jesus knew I needed it and He made it happen. PRAISE HIM!! He is always listening. I do not walk around with my hand out; begging for help. I do pray and I do seek God's will with the trials that come up. I am thankful t0 the Lord for being so understanding and also for those out there who are listening and obeying. Praise God for their willing hearts and giving souls.
This week in the Cc: class I shared some personal things. The response has been tremendous, so I have felt led to share them here. I talked about my mother's salvation and how I knew she was a Christian. I know this not just because of her walk but because of her talk. My mother has told me that Jesus lives in her heart and that she will be going to heaven when the time comes. Praise God for Christian parents.
However, my father died when I was just nine years old. It was a sudden thing, not expected. There was no time to prepare and to discuss things. My father just died one day and our lives were never the same. I remember that right after I asked my mom in the car if he was dead and she affirmed those fears, I immediately wondered if he was a Christian. I knew even at that young an age, not to ask that question at that moment. It wasn't the approrpiate time. Later, I would ask family members and many would tell me that yes of course he was. He was a good man. He would be in heaven one day with us. Yet, no one ever told me a story of him accepting Christ in his heart; no baptism stories, no tear-jerking moments of repentence or redemption. Nothing. My mom would often tell me how he didn't want an autopsy or donate his organs because he was worried that if he didn't have all of his "innards" he couldn't get in to heaven. However, that worried me. Having your insides intact is not the key to heaven. The key to heaven is a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Did he know Jesus? Did he love Him? Did he seek His will and pray and read the Word? I still do not know for sure. I have often wanted to ask my mother point-blank, if he ever had a moment of salvation, a time when he most definately accepted Christ. Out of fear, I can not ask those questions. I can imagine how relieved I would feel if her answer was yes and she knew the time and day of his repentance. If she could tell me they often talked about Him and prayed together. If he led her as a Christian husband should lead a wife. But what if her answer isn't what I need? What if her answer doesn't clarify anything? What if her answer confirms a negative response? Do I really want to know that? No. I do not. I would rather not risk it. So I believe that it is important that everyone who reads this should tell the persons they love that they are saved. They have a relationship with Christ. That they have asked Him into their hearts; that they pray to Him and talk to Him and depend on Him for their everything. Tell someone today!! You are not promised tomorrow or the next minute. Do not remain silent and make your loved ones wonder. They can see the walk, but be sure and verbalize your faith. Just reaffirm to them that you will be in heaven for all eternity. I care for the people who read these blurbs. I want to know if you are saved. Tell me!!I love you!!! Believe me! Do not wait until it is to late. Think of the last five people you have spoken to in anyway today....do they know that you are a Christian? They should.
10-24-06 It still amazes me how wonderful the Lord truly is. A few weeks ago, He led someone at church to place a gift offering in our mailbox. It may have seemed to them as a small gift or it could have set them back a bit. I have no idea because the gift was given anonymously. However, the most amazing part comes later. Layne and I wrestled with what to do with the gift and how to use it. Yet all we needed to do was wait and let God show us. That week the kids got very sick and I had to get medicines for everyone. When all of the prescriptions came in and I finally had to pay the bill, the amount was almost equal to the gift. The Holy Spirit knew what was around the corner for us. He knew we wouldn't be aware of it and we would be in trouble when it came. So He guided someone else to help provide for the burden. He placed it on someone's heart that they needed to give a certain amount and it was used. PRAISE GOD!!!! All of this comes after I have been wrestling with God over money. He has told me repeatedly to stay home and raise my children to love and glorify HIM. But, I keep thinking that if I just went and got a job for a few years, we could save some money and buy a nicer home with a bit of land to play on and use with the college group at church. I want so much to have a big room where my college kids can meet and play games in. I want land that we can play on and places to park their cars. It would just mean so much but it just isn't going to happen. God wants me here and it has been tough to do it. Financially it is difficult and I hear all the time about how people have prayed for their finances and God provides just what they need. I however, didn't think this would ever happen. It has in the past but I always felt it was just the fact that we were owed the money or we had it and had just found it. Never have we been blatantly given money like this. It wasn't a gift for a special occasion, it was a gift from GOD. It was a miracle. The person who gave it may not see it as such a miracle but they don't understand where we are right now. They don't understand the lessons that God is teaching Layne and I. Especially me. He has torn my pride apart. I worked so hard for my degrees. I only got my master's degree to be the first in my family to do so and to have the prestige of the degree. So selfish. So full of myself. Yeah, I have a Master's degree and I could look down my nose at others. But just 2 weeks ago, God put me in a shameful position where my pride was smashed into pieces and I was mopped up in it. Embarrassment overwhelmed me and if I hadn't realized what God was doing, I would have burst into tears in front of everyone. But, I quickly saw that God was teaching me a valuable lesson. One that would hurt beyond physical pain. One that wouldn't leave me. One that would scar me for life and sadden me yet at the same time fill me with joy. He was working. I could feel it. I still feel it. I know I am going in the right direction because I can feel Him at the reigns. Finally I have given over control. I just pray that I don't grab the wheel back and take over.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10-01-06 This weekend was a wonderful time for me. I was able to get away from the business of life and get back to basics of true life. The ladies retreat was a great place to be refreshed in my walk. I was able to explore nature and see my God. How awesome He is. I was able to feel His presence and watch Him work. He worked in our speaker who was very intimidated, but she spoke eloquently and with a passion that was unreal. He worked in our music, which was, indescribable. If music worship is like that in Heaven...I truly can't wait. It was as if the wedding feast had begun and we were there to entertain our Father. I know He was pleased because I could feel Him clapping to the beat in my heart. Everything was wonderful. The fellowship with other Christian women was so awesome. I never want to loose that about our church. There were many there who are not technically a part of our church but they are a part of our family and I think they felt that also. So many prayer request went up to Him and so many answers were found. Blessings poured down on us and it was impossible not to get one. They were all over.
During my quiet time, I was able to watch several women take a prayer walk and I was blessed to do the same. As I walked, the LORD led me to pick up a small, yellow leaf. He told me to use that leaf as a reminder of all the women who poured their hearts to Him and to pray for those who had stepped over that leaf. I did. I will. That leaf will be a reminder to me that their are so many in my own life who have needs and hurts that I will never understand. Praise God for that. Yet, even though I do not know their pain, I will pray for them daily, with the leaf in hand.