Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm "It"

No, I am not on an ego trip. I am not saying I'm "It" as in - I'm all that is good and wonderful!
I mean, I'm "It" as in - I was the last one touched in the game of tag at the bus stop this morning, and as the boys were running to the bus one of them called out, "Mrs. Hossink is It when we play tomorrow!"

We had made our half-mile trek to the bus stop and God, in His usual goodness, managed to calm every one's spirits and improve our attitudes as we walked. When we arrived, the other little boy who is usually there touched Joshua and called, "You're It!" as he ran in the opposite direction. Joshua quickly tagged Matthew and ran. Then I heard, "Awww, Matthew. You don't need to cry."
Matthew, being the little guy, doesn't like to be to It. He can't run as fast as the others and ends up being It for the whole game. It just isn't fun being It for so long. So he was upset.
I remember being the littlest one, and not liking it. So I stepped in and said, "Betcha can't get me!" Amazingly, he did!
Hmmmm, I wonder how that happened! *grin*
Now the race was on. I chased Joshua and the other boy and we went back and forth with the tagging. I sort of think the other boy was surprised that I was playing tag, as if a grown adult shouldn't be playing a child's game, but he seemed to get over it quickly enough.
And I'm telling you, fourth grade boys can really run. I took it easy on Matthew so he could tag me, but I was huffing and puffing to tag the older boys. Seriously, before I started playing I thought, Hey, I just ran two and a half miles this morning and came home and did twenty-six push-ups. (Un-modified, Thank you!) Surely, I can take these kids on in a game of tag.
But when the bus came around the corner, I wasn't just happy to see the kids off to school - I was breathing heavy and thankful for an end to the game!

Yeah, an end until tomorrow morning. Because I am still It.
And I'm sure the boys won't forget it!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What I Want My Kids to Know

Last night I sat with my kids out in the hallway - like we do every night before bed.
We waited for this one to get a blanket, that one to get a drink, and the other one to get comfortable - like we do every night before bed.
I read to them from the Bible - like we do every night before bed.
During the reading one child kicked another, one interrupted with unrelated comments a few times, and the other inserted odd noises here and there - like they do every night before bed.
I had finished reading and was about to pray - like we do every night before bed. But instead I leaned back against the wall and closed my eyes. I was "this close" to both yelling and crying.
Yelling, because we go through this routine every night and my kids know how I expect them to behave. I get tired of telling them to not look at one another, that this isn't "goof off" time, and they can wait for another drink until we're finished. The fact that Brian was gone didn't help matters at all. (Anyone else dislike "doing" bedtime alone???)
And crying, because I was feeling like the kids aren't "getting" these devotions we're doing. I felt like I'm not getting this part of spiritual training right and I was discouraged.
So I sat there with my eyes closed and I prayed, Lord, please help my kids understand. Though our family prayer time never seems to go well in my eyes, please help my children grow in their faith and knowledge of You - in spite of my failures and failed expectations.
And then I had the sense I just needed to talk openly with my children about my desires for them - about what I want them to know.
So I said, "Ya know, guys, when I was a kid my mom and dad didn't read the Bible with me. I didn't know God's Word. I didn't know God was interested in me or that He knew every detail of my life. I believed in Him, but I didn't know Him.
"The reason Daddy and I read the Bible and pray with you every night is because we want you to know God and His Word. We want you to know He loves you, He knows everything about you, and He wants to be a part of every moment of your lives.
"I don't want this family prayer time to just be something we do after you brush your teeth and before you go to bed. I want it to be a time when you learn God's Word more, and when you get to know Him better.
"He loves you so much, and I just want you to know that!"

Then I prayed for my kids - individually. I thanked God for loving them and for knowing everything about them. I prayed for their present and their future, for who they are and who they will be.
And though my eyes were closed, I could tell they were sitting perfectly still as they listened to my words on their behalf.
Even now I pray my children will grow in their relationship with our Father through family prayer times which are, at times, crazy. I pray they will grow up convinced of the love and goodness of our God, Who knows every hair on their heads and Who loves them with an everlasting love. I pray the seed of God's Word is being planted in their hearts now and that it will flourish and grow, as in good soil, that it may produce an abundant crop for the glory of God. And I pray they my learn to love His Word, that in it they may find life and hope for all their days.

Yes. This is what I want my kids to know.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Did It!

I did it! I completed the 5K this afternoon. As in, I ran the whole way. I didn't stop, or slow down to walk.

I did it!!!

And I can totally see how people get into running. As in, I'm thinking about keeping up with it and doing another race sometime. Maybe.
This is a picture of Katie and I before the race. I couldn't find Brian to give him the camera, so I don't have a picture of me crossing the finish line. You'll just have to trust me. I did it!
This event was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and most of the time I ran I was praying for a college friend who has battled breast cancer. It was just over a year ago that she discovered it and has since gone through surgeries and treatments. She has seen God's faithfulness through it all, and as I ran I prayed God would give her strength when she's tired and help her to keep her eyes fixed upon Him.
I prayed, too, that He would continue to give me strength when I am tired of my own struggles, that He would give me courage to keep going when I want to give up, and that He would help me remember He is running this race with me.
And even as I type I am praying the same for you, my friend.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Guess What I Just Did??!!

I just registered for the Greater Lansing Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Yep. I'm doing a 5K.


You may recall that I was "running" until Brian hired a replacement for Jessica, so I could start working out at Fitness Together again. Well, he hired Katie. When I went in on Tuesday morning for my first session with her, I commented how glad I was that she was his new trainer. I told her I had been running and if I wasn't careful I would probably end up doing a 5K, and maybe I would even start to like running. Ewwww!
Katie smiled and said, "Hey, I just heard about a 5K coming up this weekend. Maybe we could run in it together!?"
That's really all it took. We found out the details of the race and agreed today that we're going to run. Mind you, we're just running.
We aren't running competitively.
But I'm going to do it. I'm going to run a 5K. And I'm actually kind of excited about it.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Are You for REAL?

Yesterday I spoke for a delightful group of ladies at a MOPS meeting in Kalamazoo. (And as I was driving to the meeting, I realized it was on yesterday's date fifteen years ago that I graduated from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. It was amazing to reflect on how much has happened in those fifteen years!)
There is one comment a mom made during our discussion time which has stuck with me, and I want to talk about it here today. We were talking about being real with one another - admitting our failures and short-comings as mothers - and this woman said she has had a very hard time being open in this way. She needs the support of other moms who are experiencing similar trials, but she doesn't feel she can be real with the women she knows. This mom said she is part of an online Christian moms' group and she gets great support and advice from these women. She is free to "be real" with them because of the anonymity that goes with these online groups. She feels safe to admit her struggles because she doesn't really know, and will likely never meet, these women.
I think these online groups can be great, and I know many women find support, comfort, and good advice from the women who participate. Yes, there is some value in the "safety" of anonymity. But it got me to thinking...

It may be easy to be real online, but how are we doing offline???

How are we doing in real life???

Are you being real IRL?

And it isn't just the online forums. Blogging is another easy and "safe" way to be real. We can say anything we want to here. We can make each other laugh, cry, think and wonder. We can share our hearts honestly and openly and our blogging buddies can be blessed as we write.
Oh, how I love you, my blogging friends. Truly, I do. I consider you my friends though we have never met. (And I have a secret desire to speak for a moms' group in each of your towns so we can meet.) I pray for you and think of you. I am so thankful to God for the relationships we are able to form in the blogosphere.

But the body of Christ doesn't exist only online. We rub shoulders with physical people every day - at church, at home, in the neighborhood. And I wonder, are we being real with the real people around us? Are we opening our hearts and mouths to bless them, to encourage them, to motivate them, as readily as we do online?

It's something to think about.

And now I'm off to run a few errands before I go to my son's school. He's "V.I.P." this week and today my hubby and I get to be interviewed by his class and I'm staying to have lunch with him in the cafeteria. His teacher says it will be real loud, but I am looking forward to spending some real special time with my real son.

Have a blessed day!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

God's Signature

More and more I am becoming convinced God has a special thing with me and the number eleven, eleven. If you don't know the story behind it, please click over to this post and read about it.
A couple of weeks ago when I met Sue from Praise and Coffee we had lunch together. She didn't have her glasses and when our checks came she held hers up and asked me to tell her what it came to. It was $11.11. I chuckled, prayed for Brian, and told Sue the story of eleven eleven.
Last week I emailed a friend from small group and she replied (knowing the significance of that number), "Cute how you sent that email at 11:11." I didn't. Her computer was an hour off, but she saw the number and emailed it to me. So, of course, I prayed for Brian again.
Recently I was in the van with the kids, and Matthew piped up, "Mom, you might want to look at the clock." I thought, What for? We aren't on a schedule. We aren't late for anything. But I looked and saw it was 11:11.
This morning I was driving and glanced at the clock at 11:11 without anyone prompting me. (Well, I guess God prompted me.)
And just moments ago I was transferring files of a couple pictures onto my computer. I waited for the transfer to take place and looked at the bottom of the screen where I saw, "Taken 02/07/08 11:11 AM." So I am thanking God for my hubby and praying He will guide him through this day.

These events are fun to think of, but what happened Sunday just tickles me. God treated us to pizza!

We went to Pizza Hut for dinner to celebrate the boys' reading accomplishments with their BookIt certificates. (That's Pizza Hut's reading incentive program. A free personal pan pizza when you reach your monthly reading goal.) We placed our order and waited. And waited. The kids complained it was taking awhile, but I really hadn't noticed.
Eventually, our waiter came and told us he had forgotten to turn in our order so we were going to be getting a 50% discount off of our bill. When he left I smiled at the kids and said, "Well, that's a nice gift from God, isn't it?"

No one will be able to convince me it wasn't a gift from God.

When our bill arrived I turned it over and started to laugh. Do you know what our discount was?
I showed it to Brian and he said, "God's signature!" Yeah, that combined with the BookIt certificates made our total bill come to $4.37. Not bad for dinner for a family of five. Thanks, God!

I love that concept of God's signature. It seems He is using that number to remind me of His hand at work, like a secret code between us. Though I guess it isn't so secret anymore. *grin*
May I encourage you today to keep your eyes open to the ways God is working around you and communicating His love? What a delight it is to sense His presence. Seek Him today, my friend!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where Are You Looking?

I recently told you about a talk I am giving for a Mother's Day Luncheon next month. The point I shared was about brokenness, and how Jesus uses brokenness to make us enough. As I was spending time refining the talk this weekend, I decided I wanted to share another point with you.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.
Mark 6:41a
I wonder how many times I have heard or read this account and missed what Jesus did between the taking and the breaking. Did you see where He looked?
Jesus looked to heaven - to His Father.
Oh, He has so much to teach me! I don't know about you, but when I am in the middle of an impossible situation (And wouldn't you agree feeding 5,000+ people with only five loaves of bread and two fish seems like an impossible situation?) my first reaction is to look at the circumstances and become overwhelmed. I look around at everything that needs to be done. I consider the greatness of the task and the smallness of me. The more I look at the situation, the more I get overwhelmed, and the less I think I'm going to make it through.
What if Jesus had looked around? What if He had focused on the thousands of people and the inadequate amount of food to satisfy them? What if He had agreed with His disciples that the situation was impossible, and sent them all away to get their own food?
But He didn't.
Jesus looked up.
Rather than dwelling on the situation, Jesus looked to His Father and gave thanks. He knew His Father. He knew God had the power to feed the people. And Jesus knew He just needed to look to Him.

It has taken me awhile, but I am learning to look up more often than around. I'm learning to focus my attention on my Father - Who can handle my situation, rather than on my situation - which can only frustrate me.
Psalm 91:1 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Yes, I am learning to dwell with Him and, truly, there is rest.

I know there are many who are facing impossible situations today. If you are one of those, may I ask you where you are looking?
Please follow Jesus' example and look up. Your Heavenly Father loves you and He can handle your impossible situation.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

We Made It!

While I am quite sure every hour today lasted only 60 minutes, and each minute lasted only 60 seconds, there was one hour which seemed like a lifetime to me. In the midst of it, I wasn't sure if either Joshua or I would come out intact. At one point I wanted to pinch his head off, and at another time I thought I might pull out all my hair.
Joshua came home from school with an assignment which is due tomorrow, and a desire to do it right away so he could play with a particular friend. He got to work rather quickly, but the assignment was not going to be completed with as much speed. In fact, it required time and significant effort - neither of which Joshua wanted to give.
In his rush, he made some careless mistakes and became angry when I told him about the corrections he needed to make. I will spare you the details - partly because I really don't want to re-live them. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty. I honestly haven't seen Joshua that angry and upset in a very long time.
So there I was, trying to get dinner ready. Trying to help my frustrated, furious son with his report. Trying to answer my daughter's questions. Trying not to totally lose my temper and start yelling back.
I prayed, Lord, I know You are with me. I know You are here right now. Father, please help me through this moment. Please help me, Lord. I need You! And I breathed deeply.
Oh, I did a lot of deep breathing.
And I shed a few tears.

In spite of fits and yelling and crumbling paper, Joshua finally finished his assignment. In fact, once he managed to regain his self-control he completed the work rather quickly.
When he was finished I called for him to come into the kitchen with me. I hugged him and said, "We had a pretty rough time there, didn't we? But we made it through. I love you, Joshua." After how angry Joshua was with me and how frustrated I was with him, I felt it was important for us to reconcile and for me to remind him of my love. (I say this not so I will get comments about what a "good" mom I am - my level of frustration with Joshua today would clearly disqualify me from "good" mom status - but because the reconciliation was sweet, and I always want to encourage this in relationships.)
In the midst of the storm this afternoon, I honestly didn't know how we were going to make it through. But we made it. We really made it!

God is still in the business of performing miracles. *grin*

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

5K? No Way!...Well, Maybe

When I was in the eighth grade I was on the track team. I ran the mile and sometimes the mile relay, and I didn't like either one of them.
In fact, I didn't like running at all.
Still don't.
So can someone please tell me what is going on in my head right now???

Perhaps a little background will help.
As you may know, I have been working out with a personal trainer at my husband's studio for several months now. I have absolutely loved working out this way. (Even though it has meant getting up at 5:35 a.m.!) Though I have hardly lost any weight, my body has changed and I am definitely stronger than I was in November. Well, Jessica is getting ready to graduate and has cut way back on her hours. Since I am not a "paying client" that means I am not working out until Brian hires a replacement.
Not wanting to lose progress, I decided I would start a running regimen until said replacement is hired. We have a half-mile path near our house, so Monday morning I got up and ran that path three times. This morning I ran it four times. (And came home and did 22 unmodified push-ups!)
When I told Brian I ran the path four times, he asked me if I was going to start training for a 5K run.

I laughed.

But now I'm thinking, I don't know. Maybe I could do that.

Someone needs to save me. Quick! (OK, not Save me. Jesus already did that!) I cannot let myself turn into a r-r-r-runner. I hate running. What am I doing???

I know. I'm praying Brian's next interview with a potential trainer goes really well so I can be free of this madness. LOL

Seriously - Are you a runner? Ever trained for a long-distance event? Any tips to steer me toward or away from pursuing this crazy idea???

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Every One Was Fulfilled

If you've been reading here for awhile, you are probably aware I am in the midst of a read-thru-the-Bible-in-one-year program. (And loving it!!!)

So, the other day I didn't do my daily reading, which meant I had to double up the next day. Usually that wouldn't be so bad, but at this point in time it meant I was reading six chapters which were detailing how the promised land was being split up among the tribes of Israel.

And I do mean detailing.

As in: the names of the tribes and clans; the northern, eastern, southern, and western borders; the names of all the cities within those borders; and the numbers of towns (and their pasture lands!) given to each clan.

As I read, I couldn't help but wonder why it was necessary for all this detail to be recorded in the Word of God. Maybe it would be interesting to a geography buff, but I wondered, What does this have to do with me, Lord? I trust You have a good reason for everything contained in this Book, but I am just not getting it today.

Patience, dear one. You'll see.

It wasn't until the very last verse in that day's reading, but I surely did see.

Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one of them was fulfilled.
Joshua 21:45
Not one of the Lord's good promises failed! And if you have any doubts, just look back over chapters 13-21.
The Reubenites got their land east of the Jordan.
Hebron went to Caleb.
Judah's eastern boundary was the Salt Sea, and the western boundary was the coastline of the Great Sea.
Beth Anath and Beth Shemesh went to Naphtali.
Joshua got the town he asked for - Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim.
And everyone gave up some space for the Levites, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
It was as if God were saying to me, I put all these details in here because I wanted you to see that not one of all My good promises failed; every one was fulfilled.

This revelation was so compelling to me, I felt like I was thinking about it all day long. I carried Joshua 21:45 in my pocket (In fact, I still am!) and kept repeating to myself, Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
I felt like God was telling me to pay attention to the details and to see how He is keeping His good promises. It occurred to me that taking time to wade through the details - though it can be mundane - allows me to see God at work.

And now I'll turn it over to you, my friend. Have you been getting tired of the details? Are you wishing God would hurry up and get to the good part? Take courage in knowing not one of the Lord's good promises will fail; every one will be fulfilled.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

To "Burnt Out Mom"

Dear Burnt Out Mom,
You visited this blog last night and poured your heart out in the comment section. You told me about the hard times you are going through right now and asked me to email you. I have been praying for you today and I would love to email you, too, but I do not have your email address.
I am praying you will come by here again and see this note to you. Please email me (Just click on "View my complete profile" to the right.) and I will be happy to reply to you.
For the rest of you reading, please pray that this dear woman sees this post!

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Blogger Meeting

Guess what I did today???
Besides speaking for another group of precious mothers at a MOPS meeting, I got to meet Sue from Praise and Coffee! Sue and I have been corresponding for quite awhile, trying to find a time when she could come and hear me speak. Today, it worked out. *grin*
After the MOPS meeting we had lunch together. We talked about kids and mothering, blogging and writing, church and faith. I have enjoyed Sue's blog for quite some time and had no doubt I would enjoy her in person, too. I didn't realize, though, that I would feel like I was seeing an old friend as opposed to someone I have only "virtually" met before.
What a treat for me today!

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mean Mom Gets Soft

Help! I don't know what has happened to me!
This morning I made it over to Home Depot to purchase more yard waste bags so the kids and I could finish bagging up the piles that are laying on the grass. I fully intended to force ask the kids to help me, because I am a Mean Mom, you know. But something strange happened.
The kids were already outside (Eager beavers, don't you think?) but when I went out I found they were engaged in a game. I was watching a friend's kids this afternoon, and the boys and girls had joined forces for a Battle of the Sexes rendition of Capture the Flag.
They were running around, yelling and laughing, planning their strategy to take the victory and somehow I couldn't bring myself to ask them to stop. I think this post from Ann Kroeker may have influenced me...I was thinking about how good it is for them to be running around outside, having fun, and I decided, I can do this bagging myself. I should let them enjoy themselves with this game.

So I did.

Fellow Mean Moms, do you think I need help?
Could this move on my part come back to haunt me?
Will I regret being n-n-n-nice???
If you think I need to get my head checked, please, please save me before it's too late!
I think there is still hope. I hope there is still hope, anyway. I have a lot more raking to do. There are plenty of dead leaves and foliage around the yard. There will be many, many more bags to fill. The kids aren't out of the woods yet. There is still work to be done.
I can still be mean get them to help me out.

I may have gotten soft today, but it won't last forever. I promise. Mean Moms of America, I will not let you down!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Music Giveaway!

Coach J is giving away Steven Curtis Chapman's latest CD on Monday. Follow her link to read about it and enter to win.
Of course, if you enter to win, you are decreasing my chances of winning. But Jenny is a dear, dear woman and I don't want you to not go over and meet her, simply because I want to win that CD. So, perhaps you could click over to her, read through her blog, come to love her - as I have - but just not enter to win the CD, thereby refraining from reducing my chances of winning.
No, really, it's OK. My birthday is coming up. (In five months.) I can wait.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

ALERT: Mean Mom Loose in Okemos, Michigan

Children in Okemos, Michigan are in the midst of spring break, enjoying a hard earned eleven day vacation. Some youngsters are being treated by their parents to exciting trips to far-away places. Others are engaging in extended play time with school friends, staying up much past usual bedtimes, and even sleeping in until noon.
Sources have learned, however, the children of Karen Hossink are not among these lucky youngsters.
Mrs. Hossink was spotted Sunday afternoon in her yard, raking several years' worth of dead foliage from once-beautiful gardens. "Mr. Small never did any garden work," said Hossink's neighbor. "He mowed the grass and that's it." Hossink just sighed and went back to work, wishing the previous owner of her home would have kept up with the yard work better.
All this yard work meant nothing to Mrs. Hossink's children Sunday. They played happily, hardly noticing the work their mother was doing. It wasn't until her trip to the grocery store Monday, and a purchase of ten yard-waste bags, that the Hossink children smelled their doom.
On this Monday afternoon, when other children on spring break were playing on warm beaches in Florida or California, were eating their fill of pizza at Chuck E. Cheeses, or were rushing down the slide at some wonderful in-door water park somewhere, the Hossink children were helping their Mean Mom stuff ten yard-waste bags full of sticks, dead leaves, and rotting foliage.

Young Matthew bailed on them early on, but Elizabeth and Joshua were troopers right up to the end. Though, the end isn't really the end. Sources say the reason Mrs. Hossink allowed her children to stop working was not because they complained of being tired, not because they were getting scraped by sticks and prickers, not because high winds made it difficult to fill the bags, but simply because they ran out of bags. More yard waste remains on the ground and sources say, when she gets back to the store to purchase more bags, Mrs. Hossink will be enlisting the help of her children to finish the job.

Although Karen Hossink has admitted to making her children work during their spring break, thereby accepting the label of Mean Mom, it is believed she is harmless to other children. Those individuals who had previously asked Mrs. Hossink to watch their children for a few hours later this week should proceed with their plans, without concern for the well-being of their precious off-spring. Mrs. Hossink promises she will abide by all applicable child labor laws from here on out.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Upright and Just is HE

How would you feel if someone asked you to do a really big task - one you thought you couldn't handle and from which you actually tried to get yourself excused - but you agreed to it after this individual convinced you he would be with you through the whole thing. So you listened to him and did everything he told you, in spite of the grumbling and complaining the people all around you were doing. You were simply doing as you were told and the people were blaming you for their misfortune. Though the going was tough, you obeyed the one who was leading you and did your best to lead the ornery, grumbling people around you. You were an upstanding person and were looking forward to the end of this journey, and the promise of goodness you had been given.
When you signed up for this adventure, you had no idea how long it would last. But because of the bad behavior of the people you were leading, the journey consumed a full third of your life. Still, you did as your leader commanded.
Except for that one time when you broke faith with him, when you did not uphold his holiness among the people you were leading. But that was only once.
What if all that happened, and your leader told you that because of that one time you dishonored him, you would not be allowed to obtain the promise he had given you at the beginning?
Would you be angry?
Would you accuse your leader of being unfair and cruel?

Moses didn't.

In fact, when this happened to Moses, he said,

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Deuteronomy 32:4

I just finished reading the book of Deuteronomy and was drawn to the above verse because it describes God so wonderfully. I read it and thought, Yes. God is just. His works are perfect. Moses was right in saying these things. Then I considered what Moses had been through and what was going to happen to him in the coming moments, and I was even more amazed at his faith in God.
Moses had led the Israelites through the desert for 40 years, dealt with their grumbling against him, pleaded with God for them, and commanded the Israelites to do everything God had said. All this Moses did so he could lead the Israelites into the land God had promised their forefathers to give them - a land flowing with milk and honey. Then there was that one time in Numbers 20 when Moses was disobedient to the Lord - when he struck the rock, rather than speaking to it - and God said, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them." (Numbers 20:12)

Moses reluctantly agreed to do this thing God called him to. He spent 40 years of his life leading a disobedient, grumbling community of people through the desert. He, himself, was disobedient. Once.

Yet, through it all, God was perfectly faithful and just.

Then God told Moses to come up a mountain so he could see the land the Israelites would cross the Jordan to possess - the land to which Moses had led them - but he would only be able to see it. Moses would never set foot in the promised land because, on that mountain, he would die.
And, knowing he would die without entering the promised land, Moses said, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

Is anyone else amazed by Moses' response to God here? Does anyone else think he would have been justified in protesting, "Aw, c'mon, God. After everything I have been through, won't You just let me enter the promised land with these people?"
I have to believe it was Moses' intimate experience with God that allowed him to say, in the face of everything through which he had gone and that which was before him, He is the Rock, his works are perfect and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
I don't know about you, but I want to experience God like that!

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Thursday, April 03, 2008


Woah! I have had a whirlwind day today. I have been up since 3:30 and really feel the need to go to bed, but I wanted to share just a bit here before I go collapse. *grin*
This morning I spoke for a precious group of women and God completely blessed me through them. We shared a fair amount of laughter and tears - which is always a good thing. A couple of them had already read my book and encouraged me with reports of how God has used my story to help them. I found the woman to look at when I said, "I love you," (If you aren't familiar with the significance of that statement, you can read about it here.) and I had nice one-on-one time with the coordinator when we went out to lunch, before she took me back to the airport.
One thing I really liked about this group was the set-up of the room. The microphone had a very long cord and the tables were nicely spaced, so when I sang I moved out into the middle of the room with the women. I loved being closer to them, making more eye contact, and just having a greater sense of intimacy. I'm not sure what it is about the combination of singing and being close to the audience that I enjoy so much, but I like it when I'm the one in the audience and I like it when I'm the one presenting. (Hoping the women did, too!)
This is the first time I have done a trip so quickly. In fact, as I was driving home from the airport tonight it surprised me to realize just twelve hours earlier I was on the plane headed to Chicago to start my day. In and out, rather quickly. Whew!
I love to be able to linger a little longer, to spend more time getting to know the women to whom I am speaking, but I was so glad the details worked out so I could make this trip today - as short as it was. I know I was blessed, and I pray God will continue to minister HOPE to each of the women who were present today. If you were one of the women at MOPS today, please know I am continuing to pray for you!

Loving Jesus,

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Spring Break...

So how was dinner last night? We fully enjoyed the "cake" I made for our April Fool's dinner and I thought I would post a picture of my handiwork. It smelled and tasted soooo good! Labor intensive, yes, but when my kids get that excited about dinner, when they invite their friends into the kitchen to "show me off," it is totally worth it. *BIG grin*
But I am off dinner duty for a few nights now. *BIGGER grin*
My kids start spring break tomorrow and I am going to be speaking for a MOPS group in the Chicago area. (I am flying out of Flint at 6 a.m., which means I need to be there at 5 a.m., which means I need to leave my house at 4:15 a.m., which means I need to get up at 3:30 a.m. Buying a Diet Coke with caffine will be the first order of business after I de-plane! LOL)
Anyway, since I am going to be gone, my mother-in-law is going to take the kids. We're meeting her in a couple hours to "make the switch." And, since Brian and I will be sans kids tonight, we're going out to eat! Tomorrow I will be at O'Hare for dinner, and Brian will be on his own - but he'll manage. And Friday the kids are still going to be with their grandma, so Brian and I are going out again - to a movie even!
Yes, it's April and we're finally getting around to using the gift cards we recieved at Christmas...Better late than never.
Anyway, I am fully looking forward to having a break from dinner duty. My own little spring break, I suppose.
I am praying now, as I enter into a bit of a rest (though it will be on a bit of sleep!), God will use me to pour Himself on the women at MOPS tomorrow. If you think about it, please pray for us - that God would speak through me, and the women would hear Him clearly. Thank you, my friends!

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