Thursday, May 15, 2014

TBT: Mom Time Thoughts (Not Just For Moms)

So it's Thursday again...I don't know why that sneaks up on me every week. I asked my son to pick a number between 1 and 600, and he picked 522. Looking at the list to see what blog #522 was about, I was stunned to see that it was written exactly one year ago today. Only God.

It is titled Mom Time Thoughts, but as always, the principles are timeless and eternal. God repairs and restores, and continues to do so today.

Mom Time Thoughts.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Freedom and Truth: A Divine Connection

In my effort to get back to a regular Bible reading plan, I picked up my chronological Bible and turned to where I’d left off, Isaiah. Here is the passage that grabbed me by the eyeballs and wouldn’t let go:
Isaiah 59:20-21 “’The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,’ says the Lord. ‘And this is my covenant with them,’ says the Lord. ‘My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you.’”
I love this passage because it doesn’t say that the Redeemer is coming for those who have not sinned. The Redeemer comes for those who have turned away from their sins.

An exciting thing happens when we take these Old Testament prophecies and bring them into the light of the New Testament:  we see that Christ is the fulfillment of these promises. He is our Redeemer.  In Luke 4, we find Jesus in the synagogue reading from the scroll of Isaiah 61. He turns to the assembly and speaks the words that have the power to change the trajectory of every life:
“’The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable Year of the Lord.’
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”
Oh. My. Word. We, having the whole of Scripture before us, know what this means. Jesus is our release from captivity. He is our recovery from the things we can’t see. He is our freedom from oppression.

When we turn from our sins, Christ redeems us.

Let me ask…why do you sin? The Bible says that we sin in response to the temptations within…to gratify the evil desires within us (James 1). If you think about it, sinning is like stealing a blessing that isn’t ours to have. We steal because what we have doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

Enough love.

Enough stuff.

Enough power.

Enough recognition.

We sin because we want to fit in. We don’t want to disappoint anyone. We sin because we think it is the only way to get what we want.

And with that, we are right back to square one. “You sin to gratify the sinful desires of your heart.”

Trolling Facebook the other night, I read the truth shall set us free. That got me thinking about the passage that this phrase comes from.

 In the same chapter (John 8) that Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery “Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more,”  He says that when we continue in His word, we are His disciples, and then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. (v. 32) It is through knowing Christ that we are free.
Our freedom is inextricably bound in Christ. There is no freedom outside of Christ.  Those activities and attitudes that we turn to in sin . . .they will never provide the freedom and the peace we are seeking.

So what do you do with all that?

You turn away from your sin and trudge back to the Redeemer. As many times as you have to.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

10 Things I've Learned in 27 Years of Being a Mom

Do anything for 27 years and you are bound to learn a thing or two. I became a mom at 19, back when I was pretty sure I knew everything I needed to. Ah, the arrogance of youth. 

I've learned a lot from my kids, mostly by trial and error, and managed to glean some wisdom over the years watching other moms. I've moved from parenting by friendship (if I'm nice they'll do what I say) to getting to be friends with those I parent (once they're in their 20's things ease up a bit.) 

Sitting on my back step today, I took some time to reflect on this crazy journey of raising people. I decided that motherhood doesn't just grow up the kids, it grows up the parents, too. Here's ten things I've learned along the way...

1. Know what season of parenting you're in. Don't fight it. And, no season lasts forever.

2. Let them struggle. Don't rush in to solve all their problems because they will never gain the skills to solve them on their own. Coach and equip them, then give them the space to work things out. 

3. Advocate for your child. Seems like the opposite of #2, but it's not. You are their voice at times; speak up for them when the need arises. 

4. Don't pray that they never get into trouble...pray they get caught when they do. I learned this one from a friend when my kids got into trouble. If they don't get caught, you can't deal with it. 

5. Now that you're the mom, act like it. Sounds harsh, but it's true. And if you have issues from your own childhood to deal with, deal with them. Don't let your past poison their future. 

6. Love their father. I once heard Dr. Phil say that the greatest gift you can give your kids is parents who love each other. I was getting divorced at the time. I can say we've remained friends and did our best to raise the kids together, albeit separately. This time around I've made a concerted effort to be my husband's wife first, the kid's mom second. Let them see what a healthy marriage looks like. (I didn't say a perfect one. A healthy one.)

7. Get interested in what interests your child. It will give you opportunities to grow together. Let them know what interests you...they will see you as a whole person, at some point. 

8. Apologize when you need to. You can't teach real grace, humility, and forgiveness if you need to be right all. the. time. 

9. Live by your convictions. What is right for your family may not be right for someone else's. Don't expect other people to want to do things your way, and don't beat yourself up if someone else's ways don't fit your family. Recognize that we are all doing the best we can.

10. Give them room to be who they are. 

We have the awesome privilege of walking beside someone as they figure out this thing called life. Celebrate the journey with them...the hard steps, the funny ones, the ones you wish would move faster, and the times that seem to fly by.

And to my kids...thanks for making me the mom I am...gray hairs, laugh lines, and all!

Justin and Connor in front, Sophie (my granddaughter), Alex, Jessi (Sophie's mom),
 and Mitchell in back. (2013)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

TBT: Singing Rocks!

Happy Thursday! Today in the midwest we are actually have a spring day. In May. Imagine that! Those of you who enjoyed the polar vortex will get the irony in this statement. is a Throwback Thursday post that goes back to March of 2008.

And the truth of the post still stands today. Without further ado...Singing Rocks!