I'm quite late in getting this post up--real life is happening around here! However, I think it's still worth sharing.

At the close of every year, and the beginning of a new one, my family tends to struggle with getting back into our regular routine. With the excitement and joy Christmas brings, and my husband taking extended time off work, it is just a really special time for our family. Well, this time around was no different. We wished it could last forever. . .

During the Christmas break, we continued 2 subjects and a read-aloud, but that was nothing compared to our regular homeschool routine. The day we started back, I could see it in my kids' eyes: longing for "easy-breezy" days. And, I could feel the ache in my own heart. At this point, I thought, "How can we lighten the mood around here?" Well...

Remembering God's blessings from the past can bless us in the here and now. It warms our hearts to recount God's faithfulness, His generosity, an His kindness. It causes us to be thankful all over again. I wanted to teach my kids that even though it was time to move on to the next thing, it doesn't erase all the fun we had and the blessings God gave. So, I told them it was Count Your Blessings Day.





I had the kids take out their Art journals and I told them to write, draw, color, cut and paste the things about the Christmas break they were grateful for. Then the next thing you know, the project expanded and they began to list things that they were just thankful for in general. And while they worked, I sang: "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done!"

Sounds cheesy? Perhaps. A bit corny? Yep. Was it effective? Absolutely! It helped us to shake off the grumps and regain a right perspective. Anytime we find ourselves in a slump, or if there's a tinge of ungratefulness in the air, I'll announce another "Count Your Blessings Day" to help get us back on track.

Count Your Blessings Day

by on Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I'm quite late in getting this post up--real life is happening around here! However, I think it's still worth sharing. A...

I was any-day-now pregnant with my 6th child, lots of pain and fatigue setting in. My 1 year old was scheduled to have surgery 2 weeks out from my due date. And, to mix things up a bit, my 2 year old began displaying seizure-like behavior*, seemingly out of the clear blue sky. . .OVERWHELMED!

I'm talking urgent care visits, unplanned doctors appointments, regularly scheduled doctors appointments, a hospital trip, a call to poison control...There I was literally in labor, needing to get to the hospital, while on the phone with the pediatrician, trying to understand her assessment of my little boy's condition. I thought I would go out of my mind, stress was high, and I couldn't understand spiritually what was going on in the physical.

FOR WE DO NOT WRESTLE AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS AGE, AGAINST SPIRITUAL HOSTS OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES. -EPHESIANS 6:12

In the middle of all that, a problem left unresolved far too long bubbled up, uninvited in our home... Some time ago, one family member had disowned my husband as an outsider--no longer a part of the family at large, where that person is concerned. My husband and I moved forward in agreement and had a resolve in our own hearts. Other family members did not see eye-to-eye with us. So, the trickle down effect of those choices showed up in the most unexpected way--an explosion of emotion, lacking gentleness, running wild and unchecked--right in the middle of all that was going with a new baby and 2 ailing toddlers, while older children were watching. I was in a vulnerable place and I needed help badly. This was when I learned the hard truth of this Scripture:

WHEN MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER FORSAKE ME, THEN THE LORD WILL TAKE CARE OF ME. -PSALM 27:10

I distinctly remember hearing that Scripture as a child and wondering how that could be, at least the first part of the verse anyway....

But then, I ended up without the help I thought I'd have to deal with the changes in my family life. Even before the explosion, though, I realized that attention was divided, goals were not the same, vision not held in common....and I recalled that verse above, asking God if this was what it meant, how it felt.

So, my husband did not hesitate to protect the atmosphere in our home. I gained a deeper understanding of what Jesus meant when He said, THEREFORE, WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NOT MAN SEPARATE (Mark 10:9)....That this word isn't just about divorce, but it is for the day-to-day, for the way we live and interact as husband and wife. If something, anything, is creating a wedge between my husband and me, then I can't be tied to it and I have to let it go, no matter what it is....that includes family members. Painful, not ideal, not pretty, not well-received, not respected by all, but necessary, completely necessary . . because it brought peace again, it settled my children's hearts; I'm thankful for that.

Summer 2014 was harsh, rugged, jagged and crooked. It was multifaceted, multi-layered and so very deep. I'm still dealing with its effects, still working on healing wounds, still praying for bridges to be mended, still understanding the spiritual, still digesting it all.

But as we know, our God does all things well. And, while I don't know all of the reasons why, the glimpses He has allowed me to see make me want to shout aloud with praise.

Know this: When I was weak, God showed Himself strong.

He held us up, He sheltered us, He knit my husband's heart closer to mine, and mine closer to his. The Lord sustained us and provided our daily bread. Our family life was sweetened by leaning on Jesus and one another. We stumbled our way through a path God had laid for us. Stumbling, but He didn't let us fall. Things felt broken, but we didn't fall apart. We gained some grit, some endurance, and spent countless hours working through the rough places together.

These are ties that bind and bring unity as a family. God's strength is the glue that held us together.
Bless His name.
*******************************************************

By speaking of our trials and how the Lord brought us over, we become victorious and bring glory to His name. I've prayed that this post encourages you to dig deep and hold fast to God. The evil one's job is to tempt you into thinking that you are all alone, that you are isolated in your hard times. Maybe your struggle is way different from mine; maybe it is exactly the same. No matter what, God's promise is to be with us wherever we go, even until the end of time. (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:20). You are not alone.

Cling to Him, chase after Him, cry out to Him.

SO GOD HEARD THEIR GROANING, AND GOD REMEMBERED HIS COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM, WITH ISAAC, AND WITH JACOB. AND GOD LOOKED UPON THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND GOD ACKNOWLEDGED THEM.  -EXODUS 2:24-25

*The pediatrician discovered that my son had a super weird reaction to Benadryl. He is fine now and, needless to say, every drop went straight into the trash!

When God Shows Himself Strong

by on Saturday, January 10, 2015
I was any-day-now pregnant with my 6th child, lots of pain and fatigue setting in. My 1 year old was scheduled to have surgery 2 weeks ...
Powered by Blogger.