Friday, April 23, 2010

Don't Be Surprised When You Ask For A Sign And You Get A Sign

After my Knights motorcycle accident 2 1/2 years ago we both said the only way we would get another bike is if the Lord gave us one. Yes, we were open to riding again even after my Knights 8 week recovery and a steel plate in his knee. See it's just something in you. My Knight and my three boys have a bit of wildness in them. They are all rough, rugged, outdoor, wild men. My Knight grew up with motorcycles and has ridden since he was 8. I used to ride dirt bikes when I was 8 or so. It's in our blood.

But we didn't want to go there again unless the Lord blessed it. Neither of us were ready to jump back on a bike until we heard the Lord clearly that He would be with us. So I few weeks ago Scott received a phone call about a motorcycle. He was offered an older bike but it was free. Scott hesitated and asked to pray about it. After two accidents we wanted to make sure the Lord was OK with this.

Scott kind of put it in the back of his mind and let it go. Me on the other hand began to pray for a sign. I wanted the Lord to show Scott a sign it was safe to go back out and ride again. I also wanted the Lord to give Scott a sign His blessing was on this. One day Scott came home and threw a bright yellow thing on the table. As I went to pick it up it unfolded and I realized what it was. The sign pictured up top was it. I laughed. God gave us a sign!!!
As you can see we called the owners up and said yes. Scott is happier than a clam. He loves to work on things mechanically and he loves bikes so restoring this bike maybe something he really needs right now to help with stress.

It runs but Scott is already taring it down, cleaning carbs and flushing lines. I get to repaint it!:-)
Oh, yeah, blue ghost flames baby!

So there you have. Sometimes when you ask God for a sign he might really, actually give you a sign!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Helping Hands

Rocker Edging

Shaggy Mowing

DK Mowing Too

Our next door neighbor had a heart attack 2 weeks ago so I got the boys to help
take care of their lawn until he is feeling better. Our neighbor who had the heart
attack takes care of our other neighbor who is 89 years old so we ended up mowing
and edging 3 lawns. It was a great outdoor experience and the boys are doing a great
job learning yard work.

I just had to throw this one in as a bonus. I guess hard work makes you bad to the bone!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dont Knock The Disciples Until You Are In Their Shoes

I speak that directly to myself. I have always been harsh on the Disciples of Jesus and many of those in the Bible. I think to myself "Come on people, you have the Messiah standing right in front of you and you still don't get it!" or "Come on people didn't you just see that amazing miracle and you still doubt. If I lived back then I wouldn't have acted like that."

Well, I guess after a few too many years of thinking or saying that to myself the Lord decided it was time to walk in their shoes for a while and see if my tune would change.

Right now I am in a time of stretching, unfolding, squeezing and refining with the Lord. Maturity in Christ is not about things getting easier for you but it is about going deeper. Alan Vincent, a missionary from India who now pastors in Texas, once said that mature Christians will begin to see their prayer requests go unanswered longer than when they were brand new Christains. It isn't because new, baby Christians have more faith or zeal but because being young in the Lord they need the "milk" of the Lord. They need to taste the things of the Lord and get an appetite for His love and faithfulness. As we mature our appetite changes and we eat more solid foods. God is seeking more of a intimate relationship with us not just a simple "give me", "what can I get from this" relationship. He is beginning to ask "How far will you press in? How deep will you go? How long will you travail for the things of the Kingdom?"

Mountain top experiences are wonderful and encounters with the Living God are amazing but going into the crushing depths of His very presence are more difficult. It takes sacrifice and a price must be paid...your very life for His.

I am in the boat right now on the seas of life. I have just witnessed the 5,000 being fed by only a child's meal but exhaustion has swept over me. The mountain top experience is not enough to sustain me, I need something more and I am too tired to see what it is. I know how the Disciples felt being in that storm. As the waves reach heights of 10-20 feet my small boat looks more like a child's play thing. Any minute now I know I will sink to the very bottom of the sea and drown.

Jesus however, sits on the mountain side and is observing the whole thing. Come to think of it He sent the storm. He orchestrated this time for me. I am in this storm but in his hands all at the same time. It's time for me to stop looking a the waves and start looking into His eyes. There I will find peace.

People over the years have made it to outer space and even the moon. Going high is difficult but manageable. Climbers summit Mt. Everest, Pike's Peak and Mt. McKinley every year, but what about our ocean? Do you realize it is the last unexplored frontier of our world. In reality we have not been able to go very deep in respect to how deep the ocean really is. The pressure is too great. Submarines can only go so far without being crushed.

That's what the Lord is looking for...people willing to go into the crushing depths of His presence. Those who are willing to lose their lives to gain them. That is where He is taking me. I feel the pressure building. I don't think at times I can survive. However, God has promised me I will make it if I just don't give up. It's time for us to go deep. It's time to get uncomfortable and vulnerable with God. I take back everything I ever said about the Disciples or others in the Bible. Those are the individuals that went into the depths and came out changed forever. They became the history makers. Are we willing to be a generation that is more concerned with going deeper than sitting on the mountain tops?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shaggys Native American Long House

Phew!! We just finished that in the nick of time. I am not really happy we have projects due during the week of our State's public school testing but we made it through. Hopefully it looks somewhat like a Long House. They were made out of grasses and natural materials but I didn't have an small bundles of grass or hay lying around so we made it with sticks & Grocery bags. We had fun though and that is what counts. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Bit of Honesty & Real Life Parenting

`I am a very transparent person and so my posts can become very raw and real at times. For me that's just how I roll. Nothing much hidden. So I have been contemplating in sharing my struggles this week as a parent. I then came to a sense of peace that maybe some mom out there might relate or connect with what I went through this week. If not maybe a young mom out there will be encouraged to know that even when walking with the Lord you can go through difficult situations with your kids. Godly parenting is not about avoiding difficult times with your kids it's about learning how you traverse your way through the deep dark crevasses of life with the Lord as your guide.

This past weekend took a toll on our whole family. Things were triggered inside all of us that brought to the surface a lot of pain. Scott and I were so weary at that point that we honestly weren't keeping tabs with the boys emotional status. We were just trying to keep ourselves afloat. Monday afternoon Shaggy was slated for a hair cut. He hasn't had one in at least 4 months. We talked about how long his hair could be but I made the last minuted decision of cutting 2 inches off so he could start growing it back in, in a more healthy state.

Well, I just created the spark that set off the emotional explosion. I handled the outcome very badly and had no patience at all. There was no grace, there was no mercy. Scott and I also did not see the signs that more things were going on in Shaggy then a bad hair cut. So needless to say Monday stunk and then we went to bed mad at each other.

Tuesday morning proved to be worst. Feelings were still raw and we all felt the exhaustion of the weekend. Words were spoken, feelings were hurt and then Shaggy reacted to the moment...he ran away. Not much worse than the feeling that your child just bolted and you don't know where he is. I felt afraid and angry and sad and everything a mother could possibly feel in one single moment. We did find him fairly quickly but even that didn't go well.

After so more exchange of words we were able to get Shaggy to go to school and he seemed to calm down there. During that time I just sat and prayed and talked to God. I began to see the larger picture. Shaggy was triggered by the events of the weekend. The hair cut actually played into that situation too and whamo, we now have the explosive situation that took place in the morning.

So what to do? As a parent we really screwed things up. We reacted instead of responding. We exploded instead of loving. I remember thinking, "I totally blew it. Can God really redeem this and turn it into something for our good?" The answer came quickly and clearly "Yes I can!" With that I began praying for Shaggy and also the other two boys. They experienced the whole thing so I know they were feeling the pain of it all too. Later that night we sat and talked to Shaggy.

We began processing the events and he began to see the larger picture. He acknowledged the fact that pain drove him to run away. We began asking each other for forgiveness and allowed healing to return to our home. Things are better today. Shaggy is processing more and more about what exactly happened and so are we.

We now need to pray about a healthy way for Shaggy to retreat when he feels overwhelmed. Scott and I realized growing up on farms we retreated to our dirt bikes or horses to help us find a quiet space to process our feelings. Shaggy does not have that here in town so we need to find a creative way to help him find "his own space". At 11 I know he needs a place to go where he can internalize what's going on and a place to call his own. Shaggy is great about sharing his feelings but he always needs some quiet time first. Once he has that he can easily articulate to us all that he feels. If we try to push him to quickly he just shuts down.

I have been processing the feelings of failure and shame I feel from Shaggy's experience on Tuesday. The Lord has brought so much good through this bad situation. Parenting is one of the most difficult things to do in life. It isn't easy at all but very rewarding. I am a parent not because I get anything out of it. If that were the case I probably wouldn't have kids. I am a parent because God gave me three amazing gifts and I love them so much. The journey through parenting is tough. It isn't for the faint of heart but if you press through the pain, storms and difficulties of parenting you can find real joy in it all. That's what I discovered this week. I failed, Scott failed but I know God never does. He came down and redeemed our situation. He restored love, peace and joy back into our house and even taught us all a few things.

Even if you feel like your not a good parent or you don't have what it takes remember that God is all we need. He actually created us as parents not to have all the answers or do it perfect all the time, that way our kids realize the importance of our dependence on Him and Him alone.

Well, I guess that's all I have to say about that. Today is a new day, I will be glad and rejoice in it.