Created to Praise

Just me being me the way He made me

A Conversation with Josh October 16, 2009

Filed under: Personal Life — 6kids1me @ 10:21 pm

Josh announced today that he’s decided what he’s going to do when he grows up. Our conversation is below for your viewing pleasure:

Mom: Oh really? You’ve decided already?
Big J: Yeah! It’s something no one has ever done before!
M: Wow! What is it?
J: I’m going to teach people about Jesus.
M: Ummmmmm….people have done that before, you know….
J: Yeah but not like I’m gonna do it.
M: Oh. Okay what did you have in mind?
J: I’m gonna be a travelling teacher!
M: Ummmmmm……honey, that’s ummmm…..
J: Yeah, but not just ANY travelling teacher!
M: Ok?
J: Yeah, I’m gonna LIVE with the people and even speak their language!
M: Now that’s a great idea, J, but ……
J: Nobody’s EVER done THAT before!
M: Baby, I’m sorry but they have.
J: Really? Who? Are you sure?
M: Yes, darlin’, they’re called missionaries and they travel to far away places and live with strangers and teach them about Jesus.
J: Wow! Somebody already thought of that! They must be really smart like me.
M: **trying too hard to hide laughter to speak**
J: Well then, I’m gonna do it where it’s illegal. And nobody is gonna stop me.
M: Baby, I don’t think they could.

 

The Flu September 26, 2009

Filed under: Personal Life — 6kids1me @ 3:09 pm

Well we’ve got it hard and heavy at our house. For those who have large families, you know how it goes….one person gets sick and just about the time they start to get over it, the next person gets sick and so on. It’s been 3 weeks for us, so far.

Somehow it started with me. Strange, since I am pretty much a homebody. I got a mild case of the flu. At the time, I thought it was bad. That was before I got hit with the second one. Headaches, skin aches, even my hair hurt. But it was just me, so it was okay…for a while anyway. Then Rodney got it.

The worst was when the kids got it. First Beau, then Kyra, then Jack. The others have been spared, it seems. Kyra has it the worst. Basic OTC meds have been working well. Their doctor prescribed a cough med for them though, since OTC wasn’t working for that. It seems Beau and Jack are all better now, but Kyra’s is still lingering. Josh started coughing today, so I’m watching that closely. I’m convinced Rodney and I could get better if we could just get some rest. But in a house full of sick kids, that’s difficult.

My advise to the world at large….avoid this flu as much as possible. Seriously. It’s miserable. And it will shut down your day-to-day life in a heartbeat. Our daily routines have come to a complete stand-still for now. I can hardly wait to resume life as usual. Please pray for us. We’re a miserable lot right now.

 

Persecuted August 23, 2009

Filed under: ministry,Prayer,Thoughts on Love — 6kids1me @ 7:57 pm

This morning we visited Christian Challenge. Once again, I loved that the kids worshiped with us. Everyone was so helpful and kind. The kids LOVED their classes. Good stuff all around. I’d go into a big play-by-play about every blessing we found in the church this morning, but I want to get into something very important. The message.

The message this morning was very moving, disturbing and powerful. Rodney and I spent a good part of the morning talking about it and I want to share some of it with you. I won’t even attempt to re-teach what was given to us this morning, but rather to give a very brief overview and share our hearts on the subject.

This morning, we learned of persecuted Christians in the world today. Yeah, yeah, we all know there’s persecution to the body of Christ. But that was back during the Inquisition, or during the Dark Ages right? Or it’s going on in a small scale way in those backwoods, third world countries right? Ummmm, no. The following statistics shocked us into awareness.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…….

1. There are approximately 70 million Christian martyrs?
2. OVER 65% OF THESE ARE FROM THE LAST 100 YEARS?!?!?!!?
3. There are an estimated 160,000 martyrs per year?

I grew up reading about Christian martyrs. Having attended a Christian school, it was required reading. But I always saw it in the context of past events. To think of the horrific ways my fellow Christians are being tortured and killed today, even living in fear, is just heartbreaking. Burned alive in their homes with their families, killed execution style, beaten to death, hung, so much more than I can imagine.

And yet, these faithful refuse to denounce Christ. They stand firm, even when facing certain death…..even when their families’ lives are in the balance. That’s how certain they are in Christ. Though I hope to never become a martyr…oh to have faith like that!

The question was asked, “What can I do?” Well, according to the sermon, we can do four things…..

1. PRAY. Pray from the deepest parts of our hearts. Pray for them. Pray diligently and often. Just pray.

2. Give – there are certain organizations that work to spread the word about the persecuted church and help in any way they can. Try http://www.opendoorsusa.org and http://www.persecution.com . Sorry, my links are working for some reason today, so you’ll have to copy/paste to go to those sites.

3. Get involved ….did you know you can write letters directly to imprisoned Christians worldwide? Try http://www.prisoneralert.com . Also go to http://www.biblesunbound.com to help with Bible distribution for those who are desperate for the Word.

4. Remember – Think of them often. Put a sticky note up on your icebox, write it on your prayer list, talk about them as you have your morning coffee. Keep them always in your mind. Just don’t forget that they need you to remember them and pray for them. At church, we were given a few links of chains to remind us of those in chains. That’s now attatched to our key rings as a constant reminder.

Our family is praying specifically for two families that the pastor mentioned this morning. These families happen to be his friends, so it really made the message hit home hard. You see, the pastor is my friend as well. It could just as easily be ME or my family that was being persecuted or living in fear. So we are praying diligently for Thomas Rai, Babar Ditta and their families. Along with praying for these families, we are also praying for the many Christians living under persecution right now all over the world. And we know that the Lord hears our prayers.

Nathan, I’m sorry. I said I wasn’t going to re-teach your message, but I did use your notes to share. I didn’t think you’d mind. :)

Please, my friends, pray for those Christians who are suffering for our shared faith today. It could very easily be you and me tomorrow who needs those prayers. If we won’t pray today for them, who will pray for us when it’s our turn?

 

August 22, 2009

Filed under: Personal Life — 6kids1me @ 4:51 pm

Oh boy oh boy oh boy! I’m like a kid on Christmas morning right now. Happy things happening all around me.

1. We bought a tiller!!!!!! My aunt & uncle got themselves a new tiller and sold us there old (and perfectly working) one for only $100. Woot! Rodney spent a good part of the afternoon tilling up lots of new garden space for us. He also brought home a bunch of seeds for our fall garden. I’m daydreaming of all that fresh produce this fall.

2. My aunt also sent us a wok (excited to learn to use it) and a TON of cookbooks! Y’all know how cheap I am, and cookbooks are no exception. I just can’t justify the cash to buy one. So this was a very special treat for me!

3. My Daddy asked if there was anything more the kids needed for homeschooling. I mentioned a few things thinking he wouldn’t be able to find them. Boy did he surprise me! He came by with a bag full of fun stuff! We have a chalkboard (I’m thinking that will save us a lot of cash on paper & pencils), a book on North American birds, complete with a CD of their singing (should come in handy big time with our nature studies), a corkboard to display their projects, a Spanish workbook and a book on Shakespeare. Yay Daddy!

4. Rodney is taking me on a DATE tonight! An actual, real life date. I’m shocked! Seriously, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen around here. I have no idea where we’re going or what we’ll do when we get there, but I don’t care. The simple fact that he arranged child care all by himself is good enough for me. LOL

There’s tons more fun stuff I could go on and on about, but I have to go get ready for my DATE! woot!

 

A Piece of Me August 20, 2009

Filed under: Personal Life,Random Stuff — 6kids1me @ 1:02 am

My family had a surprise trip this past weekend. Well, it wasn’t a surprise to everyone else, just me. My daughter, Stefani, goes to school in Texas and it’s about time for her to start, so the trip was to bring her there. I knew it was coming very quickly, I just wasn’t expecting so soon.

Every time she leaves, it’s as though a peice of me goes with her, and I don’t get that piece back until she returns. I suppose every mother feels that way when their children leave home, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. The empty spot she leaves behind can only be filled by her. I can busy myself all I like and think on other things all day long, but that empty spot is still there, painfully obvious.

I look at my life today and wonder what it will be like when all of my children have left home. So much of my day-to-day life is wrapped up in them….meeting their immediate needs, planning for their future needs. It seems everything I do somehow revolves around them.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I still have things that are just for me. I enjoy crafts (though much of what I make is for the kids LOL) and I play games and such (though the kids introduced me to most of them). But everything I do that matters, the cooking, cleaning, gardening, budgeting, etc….it all comes back to meeting their needs the best way I know how.

What happens when they are grown and gone? Do I keep doing the same things I do now with the same passion? Or will the joy in it be completely gone when there is no one left to do it for? Oh I suppose I’ll have plenty of grandchildren and there will always be friends and neighbors who need help with things. But with the house empty, will the strong desire still be there?

I have plenty of years before that happens, of course. But lately it seems that the years are flying past me. Trying to hold on to them is like trying to grab a puff of wind. I can’t hold back time any more than I can hold back the ocean waves. And knowing how quickly time is passing, I’m trying to relish each moment. Though, with the busyness of life, I find that I sometimes have to remind myself to do that.

I suppose these are thoughts every parent has had. Obviously they mostly turn out okay. The seasons of life are changing for me in some ways that I wasn’t prepared for though, and I’m still sorting out in my heart what to do with each new season that comes.

Thankfully, I have a Savior who is ever present, so I’m never alone during these changes. I have a husband who is heads above most men, who I am honored to have as mine. I have children, regardless of age, who still hug me in public and have no idea how much joy that brings to me. I have friends who are precious to me and truly care about my well-being. I have fertile soil in the back yard, good income from my husband’s work, a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood, and every creature comfort one could hope for.

I am truly content with what today brings. I think rather than ponder the emotions of the future, I should simply plan as best I can for the needs of the future and wait until it comes to deal with the emotions. For now, I am satisfied with the joys of today.

 

Outsider’s Perspective and Awakening August 9, 2009

I visited a new church this morning. It was quite an experience and I’ve decided to share it with y’all. I’m going to start by stating just the facts and then I’ll move on to what I think.

This is a church in Central Louisiana. It’s a fairly large church for this area. They have more than one service each Sunday. The service I attended appeared to have between 350 to 400 people in attendance. Don’t quote me on that though, since I’m pretty bad at guessing numbers. The facilities were very nice, modern and super clean.

We arrived a bit early so the kids could get to their classes. I was very pleased that everyone in the children’s department was so super nice and they had very good security measures in place. This is important in a church of a large size. Also, help was needed finding our way around the facilities and everyone we approached for help was super nice and helpful. In fact, they walked us aaaalllll the way where we needed to be each time, rather than just telling us where to go and hoping we made it. I was grateful for that. Trust me, that kind of thing matters to a first time visitor.

I had been invited to this church by a friend, but that friend had apparently gone to a different service, since I couldn’t find them at this one (she’d told me where to look for her). So I took my seat alone on the second row from the back. I should mention this is a rather large church, but the building was pretty packed, so there weren’t a lot of seats to choose from. However, I did find one with no problem.

When I arrived, they had already started the worship service. The singers were all on the platform singing a lovely, moving song. It seemed to be “special music” though since the congregation was seated and only listening. After that song, the congregation stood and sang a few songs. There was a “meet and greet” time for visitors, then the offering, then more singing, then special music, then the message.

Okay, that’s the basics. Now I’ll tell you what I experienced during all of that.

After listening to the first music special, we were invited to worship with the people on the platform. There were some traditional hymns mixed with a couple of contemporary songs. I knew all the songs they were singing, so it was easy to join in…which is what I did. Y’all know I love to worship. However, I stayed pretty subdued since that’s what everyone else was doing. But you know how it is…you start singing to the Lord and you just find that your hands are raised to Him. I promise I wasn’t loud y’all (I know that is hard to believe, but it’s true LOL) but you’d have thought I was drowning out the choir. Seriously, I was quiet.

Hang on, I’ll get back to the worship in just a sec….let me address the meet and greet first. In a room with over 300 people in it, I was greeted by FIVE people….two who were seated next to me, one usher handing out welcome packets, one lady passing by and one older gentleman. The older gentleman really touched my heart. He appeared to walk all the way over to me from the other side of the room….like he was there JUST to welcome ME. After shaking my hand, he walked all the way back to his seat. That one act of kindness did a lot for me.

Okay back to the worship. So I was singing quietly, but I did have my hands raised. Toward the end of the song, I heard laughter. Thinking little of it, I continued to worship. After the song, I realized the laughter was directed toward me. When I opened my eyes I found some young people pointing at me and giggling. Becoming a bit self concious, I tried to ignore it, but noticed that others were looking at me too. Weird, but okay. After all, I’m the visitor and maybe I was doing something wrong.

Next song, more giggling, pointing and staring. That was enough for me to gather my things and begin to walk away.

But when I got to the back of the church, a song caught my attention. It was one of those songs that uses the Word of God to worship Him. You know what I mean right? Bible verses being the lyrics? Well those songs are so powerful, I just can’t help myself…I have to worship. Those songs beckon you to worship! So I stood in the very back of the church, forgetting everyone around me (sort of) and worshipped. I did keep my voice very very low though, so as not to draw attention to myself. But I couldn’t help raising my hands. I just couldn’t help it. Song over. Hands down. Eyes open. Giggling, pointing, and the back three rows of the church turned around looking at me. Well, that was enough for me. I left. I won’t be back.

I got to the parking lot and told the kids that we were going to worship without worrying what people thought. So we got in the van, turned on a Kutless CD and worshiped. It was awesome! The Lord stepped right into our van and stayed there with us the whole time. Thank you, Lord. I really needed your presence today.

This visit today was NOT a good experience for me. However, it rekindled something in me that I thought had possibly gone away forever. I wanted sooooo much to shake that whole church…the whole building…to get their attention. I wanted to shout to the rafters “DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE MISSING??!?!?!? HE LOVES YOU! WHAT ELSE COULD POSSIBLY MATTER? WORSHIP HIM!!!!!”

My desire has always been to worship. But more than that, I want others to worship with me. I don’t really know how to explain it well, but if people would just have that ONE moment where they realize how worthy He is….they just won’t be worried about much else anymore. I love to be there when they have that moment. I love to see the transformation in them. I love to worship with them after that. It’s fantastic! And when you’re in a room full of people who’ve all (or mostly all) had that moment, it’s SHARED worship. Somehow it brings people closer together as they draw closer to the Lord. Ugh. See I told you couldn’t explain it well.

But I want that again. I want to worship with like-minded people. I want to sing to my Lord without ridicule or shame. I want to raise my hands to Him and pour out my love on Him while He pours out His love on me and those around me. I want to, once again, stand in the doorway of the Holy of Holies and say to everyone….”I’m going in to worship and I invite you to come with me.”

Today’s experience was anything but great but something wonderful came out of it. The Lord reminded me who I am. I am a worshiper. All of us are, actually, just some of us haven’t realized it yet. LOL But seriously, He has called me to a purpose and it’s time I got to it. No, I’m not going to start hitting up local churches for a worship leader job. HAHHA To the contrary, I’m hoping He never asks me to do that again. But I AM going to worship. I am going to find a congregation of like-minded people and I am going to stand in the midst of them as together we worship our God. It’s time I got back to being what He made me to be.

On a side note, I should mention….there are most likely some God-fearing, loving & wonderful people in that church. In fact, I have no doubt that I met some today. But it was made perfectly clear to me that I don’t belong there. But now I have hope that there is SOMEWHERE for me and my family where we will belong…and I’m determined to find it. :)

 

Allow Me to Respond August 6, 2009

I’ve had enough. You know, I remember being an idealistic young girl, thinking I could help change the world. I remember believing my government was acting on my behalf. And up until just recently, I remember being complacent in my beliefs. Well not anymore. Now I’m angry.

Take a look at this little gem:

And now White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just said that these are “astroturf” protesters (meaning not a real grassroots movement) and that they’ve been incited, organized and paid by healthcare corporation CEOs. Others in the DNC are saying that the GOP is inciting, organizing and paying the protesters.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!??!?!?!?

Let me be very clear about this. I have no grand delusions that they’re listening, but just in case…..I want to be very clear for Mr. Gibbs, Ms. Pelosi, Ms. Douglass, the DNC and POTUS. Listen closely….I AM ANGRY! Me. Personally. My anger is real and it is justified.

I have never been contacted by any GOP member nor has any healthcare official of any kind ever contacted me….and they certainly haven’t paid me anything. ME, I, PERSONALLY am angry. And I’ve been quiet long enough.

You’re right about one thing though. I have been incited. However, I was not incited by the GOP or healthcare CEOs. No, I have been incited by you. How dare you have the audacity to make the assumption that I am too stupid to think for myself. No, I am incited, but by your actions and your statements. There’s a loooooong list of things that have caused this anger to rise in me, but here’s the short list for your convenience.

1. Czars. Yes, I know that other administrations have had czars. But this administration is taking it to the extreme. These czars recieve their funding from the American people, but report directly to the President. They are given the authority and power to circumvent the House and Senate to accomplish their own personal goals. ENOUGH WITH THE CZARS! I want them out….ALLLLLL OF THEM! There should be NO government office that does not answer to the people. Period.

2. Homeland Security now the United States Police Force. WHAT?!?!?!??! Have you people even read the Constitution?!

3. Healthcare. I agree that the system is not perfect. I DO NOT agree that the government should have the authority to step in and take over. When you say that the public option is only an option, that’s an outright lie. According to what I’ve read in the bill (which by the way you should read, it’s quite interesting), I would be allowed to keep my doctor and my insurance as long as I manage to keep my job. The day I lose my job, I will be REQUIRED to take the public option and will NOT be allowed to switch back to a private option upon new employment. That’s just ONE EXAMPLE of the lies about public healthcare that are being salivated out of the mouths in Washington. But I said I would make this a “short” list.

4. READ THE BILLS!!!!!!!!! Tell me Congressmen & Congresswomen & Senators….just who do you think you are? No, really, I want to know. Just who do you think you are? Do you think that you’re so powerful that you can do whatever you like in Washington? Do you really think we won’t take notice? DO NOT PASS ANOTHER BILL WITHOUT READING IT…..ALLLLLLL OF IT!!!! If you have to hire an attorney to understand what you’ve read, then hire them! We have entrusted you with a sacred duty. You are to represent us. I cannot stand on the floor of the House or Senate and cast my vote. I am entrusting you to do that for me. Let me make this perfectly clear….the very next bill you pass without reading will be the end of your political career. The people are watching and we WILL evict you from office if you EVER do that again.

5. ACORN. Investigate. It’s that simple. No really, it is that simple. Stop pouring money into them until you have thoroughly investigated them. I don’t want another dime of my tax dollars fed to them until I know EXACTLY what they’re up to. Period.

6. Cap and Trade. If you pass this, you’re out. According to POTUS “Under my system of cap and trade, utility rates will necessarily skyrocket.” I’m sorry, but all my money is going to be tied up paying for all your other new spending bills you’ve passed. I won’t be able to afford a higher utility bill. I’m already struggling to pay the one of I’ve got. Not only that, but cap and trade wouldn’t even put a dent in the global warming problem (assuming there even IS a global warming problem). So I’ll repeat, pass this and you’re out.

7. SLOW DOWN!!!! You are overwhelming the system and we can’t keep up with all the attacks on the Constitution because they’re coming from every direction. Yes, I know that your whole point of overwhelming the system is to keep us from keeping up. However, what you may not have realized is that we’re onto you. We’ve caught on. We know what you’re doing and we WILL make it stop. You would be wise to stop now before the people force that change on you.

Now the DNC and Press Secretary Gibbs made a mistake when they said that these are organized protests at the town hall meetings. Sadly they are not organized. They are just concerned people speaking out. However, if this keeps up, I think that will soon change. The people are angry and it won’t be long before they do start to organize. Washington, you need to get your act together before that happens. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourselves out of work along with about 14% of the rest of the country.

And to my friends here at home, I know this is not what you’re accustomed to seeing here on my blog. But darn it, I’ve had enough. I’ve never been a fighter, but it’s to the point now where we have to stand up and do something. Look where complacency has gotten us. I have six kids and a lot of bills but you know what? I’m willing to take what few dimes I have and use them to put overpriced gas in my vehicle and head to Washington, insisting that I be heard if that’s what it takes. It is time.

 

 
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