putting your money where your mouth is…………

I have always heard that having children will change your life. Now after 11 year of marriage and 3 children later, I completely agree. No longer can you do as you please, you have your kids needs to consider. If you’re not careful with what you watch or what you say, beware, for your child will most likely repeat you. Life in general as you know it changes the moment that child is born.

Today as my kids and I went out to get our bikes to ride to the park, we found out that someone had stolen one of our bikes, and not just any bike, but the bike that has Lauren’s child seat on the back. Well, as you can imagine, I was not happy. All the way upstairs I was fuming inside and my frustration was seeping out onto my kids by the time we got inside. As I ranted about how I just couldn’t believe someone had stolen our bike, my oldest Andrew made a statement that stopped me in my track. He said, “and we’re suppose to love them and pray for them?”

See, just yesterday the kids and I were doing our Bible study and we talked about love and how God doesn’t just expect us to love those who do good to us, but also our enemies and we are to pray for those who hurt us. So, when Andrew asked that simple question, it was as if God spoke to me and said, do you really believe what you taught them?

With kids, you can tell them something 100 times and they can forget every time, but actions prove that we believe what we say. As I thought over what we had talked about the day before, I was convicted that I had not stopped to think about this truth. I told the kids that Andrew was right. What had happened was not right, what this person did was wrong, but getting angry with them would not solve anything, that instead we needed to pray for this person, because they most likely didn’t know Jesus. So we all bowed our heads and prayed. Afterwards, Andrew looked up and smiled and I knew this would be something that would stick in his heart and mind forever.

Out of the mouths of babes right. Wow, a lesson I will not soon forget as well. If I am going to teach my kids something, I  sure better be ready to live it out. And in light of eternity, what’s a bike, it can be replaced, but these teachable moments can not. Yes, having children will change your life, but the lesson you learn from your children are priceless.

Books, Books, Books

I love to read and there are wonderful books out there to encourage our walks with the Lord. Here are a few of my recent reads I would recommend.

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption

Dancing with My Father: How God Leads Us into a Life of Grace and Joy

Calm My Anxious Heart

Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul

In the Presence of My Enemies

Dwelling in His Presence / 30 Days of Intimacy with God

Instructing a Child’s Heart

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

What are your favorite, uplifting books!?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thes 5:11

Abandoned to God

The other day I read  a quote that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. At first I thought it was humorous, but then it became personal. “Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them” A.W. Tozer  I then thought about the numerous times I have sung “I Surrender All” and “Wherever He leads I’ll go” only to sing lies. This quote has impacted my life and made me do a lot of thinking and a lot of praying. For the truth of the matter is I can sing these songs fine and well, yet my songs seem to end with a great big BUT! I surrender all, but…… Wherever He leads I’ll go, but….. Have thine own way, but….

This past week or so, the Lord has really been dealing with my heart, putting in me a desire to truly follow hard after Him. To fully let Him be in control, to fully surrender to what He has, what He wants and to let go of my own expectations. Now, that sounds so inspiring, but I’m not there yet for sure. The seed however has been planted. I’ve found however, that there is a great peace involved with truly letting go and letting God.

In less than 2 months our family will leave Korea to return to the States. At this time, we believe we will return to Korea in the Spring, but lately we  have hit a few bumps in the road that have made us question if this is truly what God wants. At first I was filled with fear and dread, thinking of what we would do if we didn’t return. My heart was full of questions and doubts. It was a real battle within my heart between the lies of the enemy and the truth of my Lord. Yet, God began doing a work in my heart and is bringing me to a place of truly desiring what He wants and not what I want.

Why is it we are so afraid to truly surrender to God? I’ve had to ask myself this question numerous times lately. What am I really afraid of? Why is it I can trust God to save me from Hell, but can’t seem to trust Him with tomorrow. Most people fear that if they truly surrender, God will call them to Africa or somewhere else exotic and they will have to sell everything and move thousands of miles away from their families. The truth is, He might ask such a thing, but most likely it won’t be as extreme. Yet, for some reason we fear surrendering to the Lord, believing Satan’s lies that He will ask too much.

For me lately I have had to answer truthfully, am I willing to leave Korea for good if that is what God wants? Am I willing to go back to the States for good. Am I willing to go somewhere else if that is what God wants. I’ve wrestled many a night with these thoughts and the nights when I am tight-fisted and say no Lord, my heart is full of fear, anger and frustration. Yet the nights when I can release our future into His control and say yes Lord, I will go anywhere and do anything, peace like no other fills my heart and soul.

I’m not sure about you and I don’t know what things are holding you back. But, I know for myself I’m not willing to settle anymore. I want to truly know the Lord deeply, intimately. I want to want what He wants. I want live a life of total abandonment to the Lord. Am I there yet, nope, not hardly. Am I going to seek after this and allow God to do this in my heart, I am. How about you? Can you really sing “I surrender all” and “Wherever He leads I’ll go”? Can you sing these honestly or are you like me for so long only singing lies?

I’m learning that God really does know what is best. He really does have it all worked out. He truly is in control. I’m learning that I can trust Him even when life doesn’t make sense, even when times are hard and I just want to quit. I’m learning that there is so much more to this life than just going through the motions and being content. As I write this part of me is filled with dread of what the Lord might ask but a bigger part of me is filled with hope and joy knowing that whatever He has it is good, it is what is best for our family. Do I want to leave our life and ministry in Korea for good? No, not really. Do I want to return to the States and live the American dream, it depends on the day you ask me. Do I want to go to another country and start over? absolutely not. But a life fully abandoned to God is a life that wants what He has and isn’t swayed by feelings or emotions. It is a life that says I trust You and I am willing to go where you send and do what you say. I have a long way to go, but my hearts desire is to be abandoned to Him.