Our family awoke this morning to something special that we look forward to each year. It's the beginning of kidding season with our goat herd.
These little twins were just a few hours old when I took these pictures. Their momma was a little frightened as I knelt down close by the fence to capture these sweet babies! I hurried so that she wouldn't be too upset with me.
There is just something about babies, whether human or animal, isn't there? God's handiwork is seen in the new birth of babies. It is hard to imagine how so many in the world don't see it that way.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16
Last week I was so excited! I was getting to take my daughter, Lauren, and a friend of hers to camp for a weekend youth retreat. Why was I so excited? Quartz Mountain Christian Camp is where I met my husband when I was a teenage camper and he was a little-bit-older counselor.;) It has special memories for me, and I always get excited when I get the opportunity to visit.
Because of my excitement, I decided to ask one of our boys to go along with me. I asked Tyler, the youngest, because I thought he might enjoy the one on one time with me on the way back home. Also, because in the past, he too, was excited about getting to visit QMCC. I just knew he would be as excited as I was to be going to QMCC! But no. Tyler's response to me when I asked him if he wanted to go with me was, "No, Mom, you'll talk too much." What????? I have to admit that at first it hurt my feelings that he didn't want to go, but then I thought about what he actually had said to me. He didn't just say no. He said, "You'll talk too much!"
Okay. This is one of those times that a mom/dad asks themselves: Should a six year old be speaking this way to their parent? Should I punish this child for what he/she just said to me? Ummmmm.....Does this child have a point? I decided to take the situation straight to the head of our household! I went to tell my husband about it. His response you ask? Sympathy for his wife? Punishment for our son? Nope. He said, "Out of the mouths of babes." Yes. You heard me correctly.
Well, I went to that evening QMCC....I was excited...and I didn't talk too long. (Of course, that might be because we were the first ones there, but that's beside the point!)But, because of that conversation with my six-year-old son, I was once again reminded of how closely children watch and learn from their parents. They pick up on the good and the bad. The example I live out in my daily walk is important because it ultimately will affect their lives, too.
I want to be able to say to my children as Paul said to the Corinthians, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I Corinthians 11:1
Thank you, God, for children! Even if they hurt feelings (or tell the truth!).
The other day I was cleaning the house. As is typical with me, I started cleaning in one room, but then would go to another room and get sidetracked and start cleaning in that room. This cycle went on and on (ugh!), but I did manage to get quite a bit done by the time the kids got home from school.
Later on, our 14-year-old daughter came into our room and walked into our bathroom and said, "Wow, Mom, the bathroom smells really clean!". I told her it smelled clean, but it wasn't actually all clean. I explained to her that although I had started the cleaning process, I hadn't finished it (yet). Her statement made me think and I told her that what we had just discussed would make a good lesson. She said, "Yeah, like sin in our lives."
Just like an unclean bathroom can smell clean, our lives can look clean on the outside, yet sin can be dwelling within us. Sin is sometimes appealing. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be tempted to sin, would we? Sometimes sinful things look good, smell good, feel good...at first. But then the dirtiness, uncleanness becomes apparent in our lives. That's just what Satan wants.
Jesus' blood will wash that dirtiness away and make our lives squeaky clean. Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Thank you, God, for teachable moments with my daughter!
Isn't it amazing how life is sometimes? Yesterday (Sunday) I thought I had everything all planned out for today (Monday). I was going to get up, write a new post on the blog and even write two more to have ready for later on in the week.
Unfortunately, last night I began getting sick with the stomach virus. The virus that has gone through our family and throughout our small town and school for the past few weeks. So, instead of doing the things I had planned for Monday, I spent the day in bed. Later this evening when I did begin to feel a little better, I thought I might be able to get some work done, but the computer messed up and it wouldn't let me go to any webpage. So, my plans did not work out the way I thought they would!
Things not going the way I had planned make me think of the scripture,
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 19:11-13
I can make plans for my day, but what really ends up happening is in God's hands. So tomorrow, if it is the Lord's Will I will accomplish what didn't get done today. If not, it is a humble reminder that God is in control and not me.
"E" is the final letter in the Shine Like Stars devotionals. It stands for "Establish Your Priorities." Let’s talk about priorities. You will see a list of priorities below. Take a minute to put these in order. 1 is your highest priority - 13 your lowest.
____ Relationships/Friendships _____ Finances ____ Job _____ School ____ Appearance _____ God ____ Recreation/Pleasure _____ Family ____ Worship/Church _____ Volunteering ____ Material Things/Possessions _____ Exercise/Health ____ Other: ____________________
If you are like me, after you’ve finished your priority list, you feel guilty about some of them. You may want to put God first, but sometimes, deep down, you know how often you’ve failed to put Him first.
Well, I want to tell you that this list is misleading, but for a purpose. For years I struggled with how to keep God first in my life, but still do all of the other things I needed to do. You may feel that way, too.
Now think about the priorities in your life. All of your priorities will fall into these categories: God, Self, Family/Friends, Church, Work/School, World (car, home, etc. material possessions, but needed possessions). Now think about an image of a star. Imagine putting one group of priorities at each point of the star.
Now, where should God be in your star? IN THE CENTER!! He should be the center of everything. He is not ONE of the priorities, he is THE priority. Everything else should be balanced around God. You can serve God while taking care of church work, your physical work/job, school/college, your friends and your families, your self, and the things of the world for which we are responsible.
God wants to be a part of your everyday life - each and every day!
POINTS TO PONDER: God wants to be with you as you plan for your future. God wants to be with you in all of our relationships, causing them to flourish. God desires to work along beside you. God wants you to include Him in all of your decisions - from your appearance to your finances. God loves joining you with your friends and our family, but also in your quiet times of solitude. God wants to be the focus of your worship and in all of your acts of service as you follow in Jesus’ footsteps. God wants to help you make decisions in all aspects of our life, from big decisions to little decisions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: What do your friends see as priorities in your life? What does your family see as the priorities in your life? Most importantly, what does God see as priorities in your life?
Use every day of your life to SHINE LIKE STARS. The dark world needs you!