Monthly Archives: March 2012

Prayer to STAND under temptation

Father, today I feel pulled to plead with You for strength for those who are overwhelmed with an addiction.  Tears brim so easily as I think of my personal family – where alcohol has destroyed so much.  I want to be angry with You – for repeatedly placing temptation before us – until I remember that I’m falling for an erroneous teaching.  Your Word in James, Chapter 1, says that “each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” I pray, specifically, that these temptations become more bold & obvious to us – so that it can be clearly & quickly realized the-evil-one is the author.  That it be such a “distaste” to our bodies that we will not waver from finding the “escape route” You promise us in 1 Corinthians 10:13:  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  I beg You, Lord, to please intercede for those who need strength to STAND UP.  Break whatever it is that hinders them from coming to & relying on You.

There is such HOPE in YOU – keep me from “being deceived…”. Help me to remember that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  (James 1:16-17)  Strengthen me, O Lord, to persevere in prayer both for my family & others.  May I join with my fellow brothers & sisters in Christ to be Your hands and feet in this dark world.  Amen

Children and sanctification

Father, in my charge to teach my children how to be respectful in their speech, may I not stomp out the childlike innocence in their ability to see people from Your perspective. There are moments when I curse their timing at inappropriate comments or interruptions – and I think, “I really must work harder at teaching them a better way to speak.”  In so doing, may I not corrupt their minds to look for weakness first.  Allow their simple honesty to keep me humble.  Use them to remind me how to associate people with their abilities instead of their disabilities.  I’m amazed at how You use our children in the role of sanctification!  Thank You, Lord.  Amen

{Prayer inspired after one of my boys associated Joni Eareckson Tada as “that artist” instead of as “a quadriplegic who is a gifted artist”. Both are factual statements, but I was struck at how much more beautiful his perspective was!}


Have you ever seen debris on the ground and thought, “Someone should really pick that up,” and then walk right by it?  I HAVE

Have you ever seen debris on the ground and thought, “That would be a good chore for someone else to do,” and then forget to ask them but still not take care of it yourself?  I HAVE

Have you ever gotten irritated with someone else because they didn’t do what you never asked them to, but neither did you?  I HAVE

The Lord put me in my place this week.  As I settled in to do an undesirable task, I had the beginnings of resentment & self-pity brewing in my mind.  I was refilling our bird suet log feeders – a VERY MESSY job, and I was having some difficulty with it.  I knew the direction my mind was going was NOT GOOD, so I looked UP out of desperation AND for strength.  (A habit we are all trying to get into…)

Psalm 121

 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   He who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, He who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.

 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   He will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

What did the Lord focus my eyes on as I glanced back toward my project?  THE DEBRIS IN MY DRIVEWAY THAT I HAVE BEEN NEGLECTING ALL WEEK!

Many vehicles come in and out of our driveway, and sometimes things fall out when doors open.  Well, there has been a plastic knife laying in our driveway, but I have been TOO LAZY to pick it up each time I have walked by it.  Instead, I would think about it, delegate it in my mind, and ultimately:  do nothing about it.  I couldn’t help but smile, as I realized that, yes, the Lord was using TRASH to teach me a lesson, lol!  You see, the problem I was having with refilling my feeders, had to do with breaking the replacement suet into small enough chunks to fit into the holes on the log.  The suet was still hard enough that I could not use my hands to break it up.  My hands were “suet-ty” and I didn’t want to go back in the house… SO, you guessed it – I went & got that plastic knife from the driveway, and it worked like a charm!  🙂

Lord, thank You for having such great patience with me!  I’m ashamed at how often I allow my selfish & lazy attitude to keep me from doing what I know is right.  I love Your sense of humor – that You can use “debris” to crack my stubborn pride.  Strengthen my hands, O Lord, to focus more on what I can change about myself to be more like Jesus, rather than how I think You need to change other people.  I also realize that unless I can progress in these “little scenarios”, You cannot entrust to me the larger tasks for Your Kingdom.  I can see the blessings in being refined – USE ME LORD, TO FULFILL YOUR WILL.  Amen.

Shards of glass…

It’s been awhile since we’ve broken glass in the “living quarters” of our house . Oh, we’ve broken plenty of canning jars in our basement or the milkhouse, but they weren’t that big of a deal – easy cleanup with a broom & a dust pan on the cement floors. Besides, we normally have our shoes or boots on in those spots & we virtually NEVER are on our hands & knees there…

So, how does it change when the shards land where you LIVE your daily life? Thus began our morning yesterday…

Paul went to get a bird book off a shelf & accidentally knocked over an old glass jar full of antique marbles. Even though I was in a different room, I knew instantly what had happened. On more than one occasion I had thought to myself, “I really should move those marbles…”. But, I hadn’t. I could tell Paul was holding his breath by the complete silence that followed the crash. Then I heard him apologize & kneel to begin picking up the pieces. Here’s the conversation going on in my mind: OLD ME – yell & scold Paul for not being more careful. Then be grumpy & resentful while I clean up & perhaps for hours afterwards… NEW ME – I already KNEW I should have moved that jar – and I KNOW Paul had no evil intention to knock over the marbles. Plus, he was trying to clean up his mess – what I needed to do was walk alongside him & help him pick up the pieces. THANK YOU, LORD! I count this as evidence the Holy Spirit is working in me…such a stark difference from my old ways. 🙂  1Corinthians 10:13 says:  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  I believe I was tempted by my “old ways”, and God provided me with an “escape route” through the TRUTH OF HIS WORD.  Funny, here I am writing about this event that happened 24 hours ago, and just this morning, I was led to this verse – sooo perfect!  I don’t know who said this quote, but I use it a lot:  “It’s not odd, it’s God!”  🙂

So, Paul & I are working together & it eventually gets to the point where I need to complete the task alone – just me & the vacuum cleaner. Even though we have carefully picked up the big pieces, and had used the broom & dust pan for the laminate floor part, I could see glassy powder all around & on the throw rugs. Alone with my thoughts, I began to feel a panic… “How am I EVER going to get this cleaned up enough – little ones crawl in these areas during church and fellowship – what if I miss a spot?? I would feel terrible if a toddler found a shard & got hurt!” I could feel myself being sucked into the pit of believing how inadequate I was & how I should let this circumstance determine my mood… BUT, thankfully, my mind was brought back to safety IN HIM. I’m not working for “man”, I’m working FOR HIM!! All I can do is the best I can with what I’m given. God knows my motivation – HE knows my heart. If I do this for “applause from men”, I will be disappointed, because we are ALL fallen. If I do this FOR HIM, I will NEVER be disappointed.  Colossians 3:23-24 says:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Even if a little one DOES stumble upon a shard I missed, Jesus will still be walking alongside me, & we will handle it together!  Once that realization set in – that peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7), this cleanup took on a new look. HE helped me to actually delight in this moment & I must say, I don’t think that area has ever seen such a thorough cleaning from me before, lol!  Thank you, Lord, for placing Your Spirit inside me. Perhaps this is progress in learning to be a Godly mother as the song states – “whose tender patience turmoil never bothers; whose calm & courage, trouble never dims…”

How does the Lord help you clean up broken pieces?

Creaky floors…

This morning I realized I’m thankful for creaky floors!  Mike & I wake the boys up at 7AM.  We allow them 30 minutes to:  get up, get dressed, do bathroom stuff, make kefir shakes (Paul), tidy TV room (Michael), and be seated around the table for our family devotion at 7:30AM  If they take longer than 30 minutes, their consequence is going to bed at 8:30PM that night.  For each minute they are late to the table, that’s another minute BEFORE 8:30PM they go to bed.  BELIEVE ME, this is “torture” for our boys, lol!  (Funny, I actually LIKE this bedtime for myself!)  Anyways…back to creaky floors…by about 7:20AM, I find myself listening for signs that the boys are up and moving.  Following through on a punishment is definitely NOT a “fun” part of parenting, but we understand why it’s necessary.  I was sooo thankful today when I heard our upstairs floorboards squeak!  It inspired this poem:


Quote from Hudson Taylor

“The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus.” (Hudson Taylor)

We read about this missionary last year in our curriculum. If I remember right, I heard this quote mentioned on WCRF one day & kept it for my future “scrapbook”… Guess that’s today! 🙂