Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Referee --- that is my current occupation. I am constantly breaking up fights between my two children, ages 8 and 5. Mom, if you are reading this, I am so sorry for all those fights you had to be the referee for! I am feeling your pain now. UGH. Fights at breakfast, fights before breakfast, antagonizing, retaliation, tattling, tears, denial. Then, when they are not fighting, they are at the opposite end of the spectrum, being goofy and loud and silly, which ultimately leads into someone crossing the line, and you guessed it! More fighting!!!
I am sure all moms struggle with their kids fighting. My husband is lost because he has no siblings. He asks, "Is this normal?" I answer, "Yes it's normal, but it's driving me crazy!"
What to do to teach my children to get along with each other? Well, I am still working on it, but I can tell you that God is really teaching me patience and reliance on Him during this season of my life. I have to go to Him to ask him for peace, for reassurance, and for some ideas!! At times, I think, "Lord, are any of the values we have been teaching to them sinking in? By this behavior I would say NOT!!!!" Then the doubts come about my parenting skills. You know how it goes.
But I know that if I remain in His word, he will make me "strong, firm and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:10. That in the middle of the battle, I can breath a word of prayer to Him and my spirit will be renewed. If I go into the battle wearing the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-19), I will prevail instead of my doubts and frustrations. That with His help, the words of my mouth will be acceptable and pleasing to Him, not negative and bitter towards my children.
Here is a little idea I had last week to help my kids put God's word in their hearts everyday, and it helps every morning start on a more positive note as we discuss the verse of the day. And it looks pretty darn cute on my kitchen wall especially since I got it for ten bucks!
Teaching them to love one another is not an easy job, but it is one of the most important jobs I will do in my life. I cannot imagine doing it without God leading the way.
Monday, April 26, 2010
“So Long Unbeliefs”
Well, here I am a first time blogger. I am nervous, anxious, worried that I am going to spell a word wrong or say something that makes no sense. What if someone reading this laughs at what I type? What if I type something that someone else doesn’t get or agree with. Now I have myself laughing at what I am typing.
STOP IT! Stop being insecure, knock it off. I struggle with being insecure every single day. (Does anyone out there know what I am saying?) So when a girlfriend of mine told me about a Beth Moore seminar on her book, “So Long Insecurities” I knew I could not pass up the chance to hear what Beth Moore herself had to say. And let me tell you something, I could listen to Beth Moore speak all day, every day. I wish it was her voice in my head instead of mine sometimes.
While sitting there listening to her and doubting that she could really say something that would impact me, make me a more secure person, her words started hitting me upside the head. At one point I thought I was the only one in the room. Oh my goodness, Beth Moore is talking directly to me. I can’t believe this. Then back to reality I remember that she is actually talking to around 300,000 women. Think about that for a moment. 300,000 is a good size city and just think if all the women in the world who wanted to hear her speak or need to hear her speak could have been listening to her. It is sad that this world has come to the point that this many women need to hear a lecture on insecurities.
How do we, as Christian women, change this? We start with ourselves. If we can not get our own insecurities under control, how do we expect our daughters and younger generations to be any different? Beth had so many great points on Saturday and I wish I could share them all but I don’t think any of you would actually want to read 3 hours of my notes on what Beth had to say. But here are some thoughts that really stuck with me.
- You have nothing to gain from your insecurities, NOTHING. The next time you are being insecure, ask yourself that very question. “What am I, or anyone around me, gaining from me being this way?”
- Insecurity is not a weakness, it is an unbelief. When we are being insecure, isn’t what we are really doing is doubting God?
- If you are going to walk around this world with purpose and confidence it will be because you want and intend to. It will not just happen. You have to make the decision in your minds to be secure, strong women of God, and then follow through with your feet. You can not wait to feel secure, you have to choose to be secure in your own mind.
- Women do not become secure on accident.
The last thought I want to leave you with is this…
The last thought I want to leave you with is this…
People who deeply believe they are graced will grace others. Ladies, lets be the exceptions out there is this falling world. Lets walk in our faith and belief in Jesus Christ, which means putting our insecurities (all of them) in the trash and moving on with pride in who God made us to be. We can tell our daughters and other ladies in our lives to love who they are but if we do not love ourselves, flaws and all, how will they ever really learn.
YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, JUST AS GOD CREATED YOU!
“She is called with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of the household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also; and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Friday, April 23, 2010
I am so happy when I am serving Christ. It's so easy sometimes to slip into a routine of work. I have been making myself focus each week on my end goal: to cultivate an environment where God can reveal Himself to kids! It's so sxciting to be a part of this! My heart's passion is people, more specifically children. And I am getting to work with some amazing volunteers.
I am thankful for the renewing that God is doing in my life. I hope that He is refreshing your passions and creating a great desire to serve.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
So, I decided to write about my daughter tonight. In one of the chapters, Beth writes about how we, as mothers, really affect our daughters in relation to her own insecurities. Man, if nothing makes you want to change your views on insecurity, thinking about how you might pass on your own warped views of yourself and others onto your child, whew! I cannot imagine raising a daughter in the times we live in without God's help!
My daughter is five years old and going to kindergarten in the fall (sniff, sniff). I just attended kindergarten round-up tonight with her, and she is beyond excited to go to the "big" school with her brother next year. As she pranced around the school, taking pictures of the teachers, the principal, the bus, and the library, I thought, "Man, I can't believe how comfortable and confident she is! Praise God that she got some of her Daddy's genes in that area." (When I was her age, I was pretty shy and very anxious about attending a new school!)
She is brimming with innocent, wonderful expectations about how school will be for her. My thoughts: How will I keep this attitude going when she is 10, 12, and 15 years old? How can I cultivate that confidence in who she is, inside and out? How can make her understand that God created her, knowing her even BEFORE she was created, knowing that she has a unique purpose in His plan? That He loves her NO MATTER WHAT. Even more than her father and I love her. And that no one can ever change that. EVER.
That is the challenge for us moms with daughters, especially. (not to leave out boys, because we definitely leave an impact on their perception of women as well.) But girls.... Yes, I want to be strong for my daughter and show her security, as a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, and a child of God. I will do it for her.
"She will have no fear of bad news, her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. her heart is secure, she will have no fear, in the end she will look in triumph of her foes". Psalm 112:7-8
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Okay, seriously I am saying "so long! farewell! peace out! good riddens (insert your own word here______)" to my insecurities. I am sending them packing and making sure they don't leave anything behind.
I have spent a lot of time praying this past week. Praying for friends, family, students, and myself. I have spent LOTS of time in my backyard just enjoying the many blessings that God has poured on me. I have dug into some of my favorite scripture and been taken into deeper levels of understanding of my faith.
But the biggest thing that has happened is saying "adios, ciao, aloha...." to some deep insecurities that I have harbored and allowed to define me for many years.
The last few chapters I have read dealt with men. This is an area that of my life that haunts me. Don't get me wrong, I have some AMAZING men in my life. But, I have allowed some men to tear me to pieces while doing the same to them. Specifically I let a very unhealthy relationship define me as a woman. I let satan use lie after lie after lie to lead me to believe that I am unworthy of healthy relationships, let alone, love. Listening and believing this has built up more scar tissue and insecurity than one person should ever have to deal with. I have known this was a struggle, but have continually pushed it to the back of my life (only to have it surface at inopportune moments over the past 10 years)!
Last week, I was laying in the backyard, basking in the sunshine when I was overwhelmed with peace. It's hard to describe. It was in the pit of my being. I knew. I just knew without a doubt that I am God's. I am HIS creation. I am HIS daughter. I have been bought at a price. I am FORGIVEN. And I need to forgive.
It was good.
Can't really describe it.
Satan has really been throwing crap at me, but I'm not scathed. I know who I am and I know WHOSE I am. I am a daughter of God. I am a beautiful child. I am worthy of love. I am a good friend. I am a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. I am HIS.
And it feels good.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I know that most of the gals have been reading Beth Moore's book and posting about that. I have been reading it also but today I want to post about the mission trip that several of us went on a few weeks ago. Next week I'll join in with the discussion.
Some of you may already know that we have a Ladies Mission Workteam at the North Webster United Methodist Church. We have had an active Family Workteam for many years and I always thought it would be neat to take only women so in '06 we went on our first only ladies trip and we've gone ever since!! (see the blog 'God Calls Some of Us to Henderson', 09/24/09 for the blog about our week trip) When we go in September, we have had both a group of ladies that worked a construction job and the group that set up the beauty salon. Last year we decided to go in March for just a few days to only set up the beauty salon.
We just went again this March. It is such an awesome trip, kinda crazy because we leave on Sunday morning, drive for 8 - 10 hours stay until Wednesday morning and drive home another 8 - 10 hours. But let me tell you, the two days that we are there working are so amazing!! Our accommodations are basic but comfortable. We stay upstairs of the cafeteria and have our own room unlike in September when we stay in the dormitory in bunk beds. They serve meals but this time we decided to take our own food so we could eat on our schedule and maybe have time for a few more appointments before stopping for the evening. It was so nice Monday night when after finishing up with the last people and trying to organize things to start again right away the next morning, to come into the little kitchen behind the cafeteria and have a relaxing meal that Debb prepared and set out on the table for us. We were able to enjoy a delicious meal along with the wonderful fellowship. We had a chance then and after our devotions to share moments during the day that touched our heart or about someone we met or something funny that happened. It is always neat to hear the stories - some we are not aware of at the time, even in the small area we are all in together. We have learned that usually there are one or two things that really stand out as exceptional experiences for the trip. We call them our 'God moments'. The reason we were sent there, maybe.
Well, this year Della was one of our exceptional stories, our 'God moment'! She came in on Tuesday late morning and asked if we had any openings. She had heard about the beauty salon while shopping in the Opportunity store ( their Goodwill store) which is across the parking lot. Our schedule was full but for some reason two sisters had not come so Kelly had an opening. As it turned out, Della got the works!! While she waited and we visited, she had the Satins Hands treatment that Kristi did on just about everyone that came thru the door!! Then Della had the wax treatment on her hands which was good for her skin and her arthritis. I'm pretty sure she had a manicure,too. She shared that she'd been helping a friend with her elderly relative and had been working hard. She had heard about the Opportunity store and thought she would come check it out and then found out we had Frakes Frills set up for the day. She shared with Kelly later as she was getting her hair cut and her eyebrows waxed that she had gotten up that day quite forlorn and prayed that God would bless her with a good day that could refresh her soul. She was a quiet gal but very friendly and as Kelly was finishing up, she shared with Della that she was her 'God moment'! I think that maybe we were her 'God moment' too!!!
For those of you that know me well when retelling these 'God moments' it usually makes me cry, tears of JOY in a way, even tho the situations are not always the greatest but we know that God had a hand in it all the way around!! What an AWESOME GOD we serve!! Another thing that was cool about Della, she said she wanted to do something for us and she noticed our sign. (which is a piece of foam board that Kelly used sharpie markers to make and it got rained on and smeared) Was that something she could make for us? She said she was an artist and could do several different things. We have wanted a more permanent sign and had looked into it so now I think we will have Kris build the sign and Della paint it next time we go!! How cool is that!
Going on all these mission trips has shown me that if you belong to God and allow Him to use you, wherever it is, Henderson Settlement in KY, North Webster in your neighborhood or workplace, in the grocery, or in your own hair salon that you can have 'God moments' - some big, most small. And what an opportunity we have to share those moments with others!! I hope you will start looking for these things in your life if you don't already. God bless!
Monday, April 12, 2010
When I read this passage a few weeks ago, I felt that Beth was looking right into my eyes, speaking directly to me. My a-ha moment. Hi my name is Kristi, and I am a control freak.
But seriously, what does that have to do with being insecure? I never connected my struggle with control to insecurity. After reading more of the chapter, it made more sense to me. My level of security greatly aligns with the control I have over my environment. I do not like to be in situations where I do not know what is coming next, or chaos, or change, or disorganization. If I am with a person (a friend, a child, a spouse) who is doing something incorrectly, I drives me crazy if I know what to do! I would rather do it myself and know it will be done correctly, than reliquish control and worry about the outcome.
This control also relates to my husband. I know, just like Beth says with her husband, that God placed my little old controlling self with a strong-willed, opinionated man who will not be nitpicked. Oh, but I have tried my best to control him, believe me. I tell myself, "He would be so much happier if he (did this devotion, exercised regularly, ate heathier, had a bible study to attend, listen to more Christian music instead of his ipod full of 80's hard rock, didn't use his phone so much, etc.) In all reality, it should say, "I would be much happier if he did _________( fill in the blank). I love the line in the book where Beth says, "It can start with something as healthy as accountability, but before we know it, we've turned into sheriffs who arrest rather than invest in our loved ones. "
So what am I doing about my control problem? I am praying that God works in me every time I get the feeling that I need to control a situation. That the Spirit will fill me with peace and say "It's okay. I am in control. You are not ME. You can't change this person. I can. I am omnipotent. You are not. "
Thank you Lord that you have all of the power. It takes a load off of my shoulders. I cannot and should not play your part. I can help a person, but I should not do all the work. I can pray for change, but not change the person. Please take this burden of control from me and trust you in all situations, chaos and all. Amen.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
No, I have not given up on it.
Yes, I feel like I am finally getting to the root of my insecurity.
No, I am not completely rid of them.
But I am learning a TON! I have read through Chapter 9 of So Long Insecurity and am happy that I have pushed through this rocky-road journey.
I just spent an hour in my back yard with my puppy, my book, and Jesus. Let me tell you that God knew what he was doing when he created the weather for today. It was refreshing and quiet and relaxing and needed. I read through an amazing prayer of revelations, confessions, and truths. I learned that I still blame a relationship for my struggles. I was reminded (for the millionth time) that I am God's and God's alone. I revisited who I am in Christ and who He is to me.