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Archive for October, 2012

10. You would rather sleep than go out for a relaxing dinner with your husband.

9. Previously a fashion statement, scarves now camouflage everything from leaking breasts to baby spit up.

8. Eating something from the baby’s high chair tray qualifies as your lunch.

7. You wear slippers in the kitchen because you don’t have time to sweep the crumbs on the floor.

6. Your water bill doubles. Who knew a baby could create so much laundry?

5. You cry more than the baby does when she has her shots.

4. People you’ve never met will offer their parenting advice. “Oh, she has a flat head. You’re letting her sleep on her back too much.”

3. When friends visit, they have to request an instruction booklet to access the baby-proofed toilet–which, remarkably, only takes your baby a few minutes to figure out.

2. Now you understand how much your parents love you.

1. You’ve just met a miracle–and realize nothing this beautiful could happen without a loving God.

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“Nobody called me,”  I said to my husband.  “I feel marginalized–like I’m just not important enough.”  The news I’d been waiting for…praying for…never came.  Instead, it was announced like a headline to the rest of the world–on Facebook.  Feeling rejected–as I had for years–I wondered if I would ever stop yearning for the relationship I’d been denied from childhood.

Seeking direction, I opened my Bible and read words that were a balm to my wounded heart, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”  From the time of my youth until now, He has been my home.   A refuge.  A place of rest.  A welcoming Father who will one day carry me across the heavenly threshold into loving presence.

Do you, too, ache to be accepted?  Are you wondering what you can do to bridge the gap in that damaged relationship?  Have you believed you are unlovable?

Friend, nothing could be further from the truth.  If you look closely, you’ll notice the door to your heavenly home standing open and the Father calling to you, “Come, my child.  I am Acceptance; I am the Bridge; I am Love.  Welcome home.”

 

Scripture for Reflection

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  (Deuteronomy 33:27)

 

Recommended Reading

Product Details

Finding Home by Jim Daly

 

Captivating Revised & Updated: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge

 

 

 

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Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody,  I think that is a much greater hunger,

a much greater poverty than the person  who has nothing to eat.

Mother  Teresa

“Did you believe the lie?”  I asked.  Surveying the room, I knew many of the women did–and probably still do.  But on that day I wanted to press into the truth–Christ came to remove the burden of those who are laden down.  He came to release those shackled by the chains of expectation, perfectionism, and human attainment.  He came to love the abused, the fatherless, and the unloved.  Christ came to provide freedom.  Have you claimed that freedom yet?

If you haven’t taken hold of it, today is the day.

Believe in His love for you.  You are His beautiful and precious child–“fearfully and wonderfully made”.  (Psalm 139:14)

Believe in His ability to release you from the memories or sins of the past for “His mercies are new every morning”.  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Believe in His redemptive power and promise of a beautiful forever–“No eye has seen,  no ear has heard, no mind has conceived  what God has prepared for those who love him”.

Believe the truth, dear Friend.  Claim freedom today!

 

Recommmended Reading

Product Details

 

 

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=e70q3p4DTjk#t=32s

 

10. You automatically answer phone calls with the words,  “I expected to hear from you half an hour ago.”

9.   You can wrap a sprained ankle better than an athletic trainer.

8.  The nurses know your son so well that they ask to sign his cast.

7.  You purchase a security system to prevent “breakout’s”–not “break-in’s”.

6.  Other kids visit your home so often that you’ve considered charging general admission.

5.  You’ve learned to interpret grunts as a positive conversational response.

4.  Before sports season begins, you buy stock in Stick-ups and foot powder.

3.  You now know that spinning cookies in an abandoned parking lot is illegal.

2.  High school secretaries are known to contact parents when a “friend” calls to excuse the young man from class.

and the #1 sign that you’re the mother of a teenage boy….

1.  When you watch him nod off doing homework, you’re torn between tears of joy and sadness because the little boy has disappeared.

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“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands.  Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God.  Be a person in whom they can have faith.  When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.” 
―    Lisa Wingate

I may be wrong, but it seems most mothers I know struggle in this area.  The demands of family life are limitless.  How can we make time to care for ourselves spiritually, emotionally, or physically when it’s difficult to make it to the restroom a couple of times each day?  Isn’t our husband more important?  What about the kids?

As scripture says, “Consider others better than yourselves.”  Yes, we need to love our husband and children more than we love ourselves.  A wife and mother has an amazing privilege and responsibility to nurture, grow, and serve her family faithfully.  At the same time, we will be ill-equipped to love abundantly and sacrificially if our basic needs remain unmet.

I’m not suggesting a shirking of responsibility, but instead a proper approach and balance toward life and those people God has entrusted to our care.  In the words of Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

When God remains in his rightful position as Lord of our lives, we rely on someone with unlimited strength and wisdom.  He equips us to meet the challenges of parenting head-on, filled with far more than our limited abilities.  As Paul reminds us, ”

Then he [God] told me, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”  It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size…I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

So, then…what is the most important lesson I’ve learned about love because of parenting?  To love God more.  I need to be full of Christ and the only way I can do that is make him the priority in my life.  Then–and only then–I will have the ability to truly love my children as they need to be loved.

Like Paul, I want to say..let Christ take over!

Action Steps

  • Make time each day to set aside your weakness and pick up his strength.  How?  Begin by scheduling an appointment with Him each day to pray and read the Bible.
  • Pray specifically for your husband and children.
  • Take a break once in a while.  Try to spend 15 minutes each day doing something you enjoy–reading, taking a bath, talking with a friend–and you’ll be better equipped to serve your family with a cheerful heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.   Deut. 4:9

One night–that night–changed my life forever.

From the beginning, it had been a fight for her life.  Within a couple of months of discovering I was pregnant with our daughter, I began having complications.  Restricted to limited activity–a difficult task for a mother with three rambunctious boys–and taking medicine according to a regiment any nurse would applaud, I prayed for my baby. Please, Lord.  Please.

On her own schedule, Heather was born seven weeks too soon–her newborn cry like the mewling of a tiny kitten.  Each breath was a struggle.  For more than two weeks, Heather and I resided in the hushed NICU–the only predictable sounds those of the monitors and desperate parents.

One wonderful day, my husband and I finally invited Heather Grace home.

When Heather was exactly one month old, she lay contentedly nursing in my arms during our pre-dawn snuggle.  Caught up in the wonderful imaginings of tea parties and doll houses, I began nodding off.  Suddenly–as if someone nudged me–I jolted awake.

Heather lay in my arms motionless and unresponsive.  “Dave!  Dave, she’s not breathing!” Thrusting Heather into my husbands capable hands, I began praying.  Please, Lord.  Please.

Her little body on the changing table, Dave checked for Heather’s pulse.  Nothing.  He looked for the rise and fall of her chest.  Nothing.  Leaning toward our daughter, Dave began breathing for his baby girl.

One minute, two minutes.  Help us, God.  Please don’t let her die.  Three minutes, four minutes.  Not our baby, Lord.  Somebody do something!  Five minutes.  “I think she just took a breath.  Did she just breathe?”

Five minutes of eternity.  Five minutes of total dependence on God.  Five minutes–and then a miracle.

How could I not tell Heather about God’s grace, mercy, and power?

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What tigress is there that does not purr over her young ones, and fawn upon them in tenderness? —Saint Augustine

Trying desperately to hide the I-have-a-colicky-baby circles beneath my eyes, I applied the third layer of Cover Girl magic.  Not bad for three hours of sleep.  Moving to our full-length mirror, I turned first one direction and then another.  Suck it in, girl!  Inhaling, I tried to hide the remainder of my baby bump.  Oh, well.  At least we’re getting out.

After the 5-minute transfer of baby, car seat, blankets and diaper bag to the car, Dave and I grinned at each other.  Date night!  We hadn’t enjoyed “couple time” for a few months–the result of first time parents living thousands of miles from trusted grandmothers.  It took some charm and convincing on Dave’s part, but I had agreed to leave our 4-month old in the capable hands of childcare workers on the base for a couple of hours.

A little pizza joint was parked conveniently within minutes of the Navy gate and we ventured inside– giddy to have alone time together.  Sliding into the red, plastic booth I began the conversation.  “Do you think Ben is alright?”  I was consumed by baby thoughts–on this long-awaited date.  Ugh!

Twenty minutes later, the waitress stopped by our table.  But instead of delivering pizza, she delivered a message.  “The daycare lady is on the phone.”

“I got it,” Dave reassured me as he walked over to the business phone.

“We’ve got to get Ben,”  he said when he returned to me and my empty glass of soda–which had sucked down in my nervousness.  “He won’t stop crying.”

Tucking a box of uneaten pizza beneath an arm, Dave and I rushed the few miles to NAS Pensacola only to discover the gate was closed.  Dave teased, “I guess we’ll get him in the morning.”  I didn’t pick up on the joke–instead, it fed my fear.  Frantic that my helpless baby and I were separated by barbed wire, I decided nothing and nobody who would keep me from my baby!  A fifteen-foot fence?  An armed officer standing duty?  Not a chance.

Shoving the car door open, I sprinted to the fence and–in all of my post-baby glory–scurried to the top of that metal barrier like a commando on a night raid.

“Tammy!  Tammy!”  Dave’s voice just penetrated my world.  “I’m kidding, hon.  There’s another gate.”

A few minutes later we pulled up to the daycare center.  I had transformed from Navy-seal-wannabe to packing-a-few-extra-pounds-new-mommy.  It can happen.

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