washed in the blood and the wild west

Saturday was a fun-filled day for us.  It’s so nice to break from the mundane and adventure.  We spent most of the day at a lake with our little church fellowship.

I cannot tell you how special it was to witness the baptism of six teens and tweens would are part of a lovely family (cousins, siblings, ect.).  The public scene made it even more special.

I have seen several baptisms over the last 15 years.  They were all church events.  None was in the middle of a very public place like this one.  I could hear people talking about what was going on.  I saw groups that were loud and rowdy calming down and listening attentively.  It was just so sweet and touching.

We had a fun BBQ with our church group and headed home.

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We detoured to Tombstone and got a taste of the Wild West.  The reenactment of the shootout at the OK Corral was fun and educational (nerd mom happy).  The kids also got to see some confederate money, old poker game, and a quick tour of the Bird Cage Theater.

We ventured into a paint ball gun range.  We got to choose which pistols we wanted to use.  All were the same types used  in the 1800s.  We were labeled the “Deadly Family” since we all made kill shots.  The younger kids had never shot before, and it had been at least 13 years for me.  I’m happy to say I turned my six rounds into 1 head shot and 5 chest shots.  The guy there said he pitied the person who dared break into our house or complain about my cooking!  Haha.

We had such a fun time as a family.  I do believe we’re dipping our toes into the roadschooling I mentioned ;)  Baby steps.  Baby steps.

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What do you do to draw close as a family?  What are your favorite memories?

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lessons for the working, homeschool, mama

Oh, my!  I’m one tired mama.  Since January I have worked full-time, while still  homeschooling the kids.  My husband has been patiently awaiting a permanent place at UPS after working the holiday season.  He’s been painting houses and doing side jobs for the time being.  Okay, we’re both tired.  In a nut shell, it’s been a tough season.

It’s been a long hard season in fact.  Sometimes I have thought that everything that could go wrong has.  We have suffered loss.  We have had our marriage under attack, financial devastation, career change that led to months of unemployment- which led to mortgage debt.  I was wrongfully fired from a coffee shop job just as things were looking up financially.  We’ve been through it!  Just when are about to get a drink of refreshing water, it seems someone kicks the bucket over.  Why is everything SO hard!

Before you completely check out and stop reading, there is a point to my unloading.  I have grown tremendously in the past year.  The season of trials has proven a great season of lessons learned.  It’s a well-spring of spiritual opportunities and assessment.  I understand just a little more about God’s grace and forgiveness.  I have a clearer picture of what it means to run the race set before me.  This race has felt like it would kill me.  I’ve been at the end of my strength, dying of thirst, ready for the demand on my energy and exertion to end, but God’s grace has furthered me down the path a bit more.

Friend, have you been down a path like this?  One that makes you re-think all that you knew or believed?  A path speckled with hurdles that look so much bigger than what you can handle?  You are not alone.  In fact, the more I feel brave enough to honestly share my own struggles, the more those around confide in me their own battles.  I’m learning that people are afraid to share that they aren’t perfect and don’t have “it” all together, but it’s a fact!  With a determined heart I follow Christ.  When I want to give up and get away from my problems, I pray for Him to be the strength I need.  Join me, won’t you?

Acts 20:24

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

I signed up for a race, and I aim to finish it.  I’ll be ragged and disheveled by the end or I’ll get my runner’s high.  Knowing myself, I’ll likely be crawling to the finish line- perhaps an ambulance escort.  I decided to follow Jesus, and there is NO turning back.  I’ll get there.  How about you?  When life gets hard and every step is uphill, What verses do you cling to?  Be encouraged.  HE is our strength.

i’m sick of me

I’m so sick of myself!  I say that in the least self-loathing, self-centered, depressed way possible.  But really, I am.  Ever since I became a Christian fourteen years ago, I have heard people say that all you need is a humble spirit and a teachable heart.  You read your Bible, go to Bible studies, say your prayers, love others, serve others.  Eventually you will become more like Him.  I find that defeating.

Think about all the work that list entails.  Overwhelming.  If you get married you are then to be a good and loving spouse.  Serving your spouse when they are undeserving, and being okay with whatever they say and do with no bad attitudes.  Be in the perfect frame of mind.  Live life fully in the Spirit.

Do all this while dancing around with a smiling on your face.  Singing praises to God in all situations.

Now have children.

Multiply the Earth with a quiver full of arrows.

Now, be always giving and loving.  Nurture those babes with the fear of the Lord.  Direct them in the ways they should go all the days of their lives.  Read Proverbs 31 and be that person.  Forever.  Motherhood is always.

Really?  We don’t need to work our way to being a person who reflects the image of God?  We are supposed to help the poor, serve our families, teach our young ones, volunteer at church, keep our houses orderly, cook wonderful healthy meals, all while having a patient attitude even when the kids that are a blessing from God are smearing poop on the bathroom floor.  Even when your spouse who was hand-picked by God hurts your feelings.

Take it Christian women.  You can choose to make the best of all things in your life.

This is all partly true.  The missing piece is this:  “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.”

How have we become exactly like the Hebrews and not realized it?  We want Jesus as enough, and we want to be perfect super women also.  If we’re strong in our life who is it that’s weak?  Christ, right?

When we’re weak He is strong.  I seem to forget this all the time.  I know this in my head, but in reality, I fail to remember that Jesus is ALL I need.  He is sufficient always!

Do you need to remember this too?  You cannot do life on your own.  You weren’t meant to. Christ wants your humility, not your strength.

I was recently given a book by my dear and sweet friend.  I read the preface three times before I could read the first chapter.  The book is Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Harnard.

As I read the following bit, I knew that all the head knowledge I’ve gathered up in Bible studies and life and devotional time wasn’t sinking into the reality of my path here and now.

“But the High Places of victory and union with Christ cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin…”

What?  I can’t choose to be dead to my sin?  I don’t have the ability?

“…or by seeking to devise some way or discipline by which the will can be crucified.”

Reading my Bible everyday and going to church and going to Bible study, and serving and being a patient (yeah right!) mother, and hosting Jesus Birthday parties for all the neighborhood kids, and NOT doing things I shouldn’t doesn’t count?  *MIND BLOWN*

“The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the real conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as is it presented to us in the form of the people with whom have to live and work, and in the things which happen to us.”

Ummm.  Read that again!

“Every acceptance of his will become an altar of sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places to which he desires to bring every child of his while they are still living on earth.”

She goes on the explain that the lessons of the book are a journey to accepting grief and pain and triumphing over evil ect.

Seriously.  Do you know what she stated to be true?  In your heart?  In your life?  In the way that you live?  I think I missed something along the way.  I truly believe that God’s Word is true.  I know it’s by His strength, in His Spirit, by His will, for His glory.

What I’m really trying to consider here is that I must accept every thing that happens as an oppurtunity to humble myself, and by God’s grace and mercy accept the fighting kids as tools to sharpen my patience.  I am set on thinking of disorder that drives my recovering OCD mind crazy, as a way for God to instill his order in my heart.

I am forever and always until Jesus comes, going to be struggling.  I am eager for God to work into me a heart and Spirit that shines His light into darkness.

What if my life brought others to knowledge of Him?  That won’t happen if I’m complaining about how someone built an awesome thing inside our house and sanded it inside our house.  It won’t happen if I pretend to be strong when something is hard.  Honest humility.  We are to bear one another’s burdens,  You get the point right?

I have had plenty of opportunities to accept His will in my life recently.  Each time, I’m reminded of this passage.  My only real job as a Christian is to act on those opportunities.  Sometimes that looks like scrubbing my neighbor’s house because that’s how they need to hear the gospel.  Other times it looks like NOT freaking out on kids and being humble and loving.  Choosing to accept the challenges they throw at me as an oppurtunity to teach instead of punish.

It’s not going to be easy, but I am so excited to start letting Him work his will in my life.  I’m also excited to allow his will instead of impose my own.  Are you with?