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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is Prayer Powerless

All of your comments have been so very helpful. It's funny, but you all agreed with each other. That really says something. I think I agree with all of you, even though many churches I have attended believe otherwise. This does stir up another question though. What place does of prayer have? If our prayer has no power, what's the point... right?

I think back to the Old Testament where God is ready to destroy the Israelites in the desert. Moses pleads on their behalf, and God listens. Was there power in Moses' prayer? How is God so easily swayed? "Hmm, I was going to destroy a nation, but since Moses asked me not to... so never mind". I could so write an entire post on how profoundly this part in the Bible disturbs me.

Then there was the time I felt like the Lord woke me up to pray for my husbands safe arrival to work (I never do this as I'm still sleeping) I prayed... and prayed... and after 30 minutes of prayer I finally felt released and went back to bed. Only to get a call from my husband to say he hit black ice on the way to work, spun around three times, and miraculously straightened out and went on to work. Then that evening a relative said they woke to pray for his safe drive to work that very morning. If we hadn't prayed would he have been in a wreck? Or died? Is there ANY power in prayer? And if there is don't we shoulder some responsibility?

I believe God will answer prayers that align with his will, but if we don't pray, will his perfect will still happen?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is it god's will that we are healed?

OK blog friends. I'm really struggling with an issue here. So as I have often done, I'm going to throw a theological question out, and ask that you answer according to your beliefs.



Is it ALWAYS God's will that we are healed?



I came from a church that said it is ALWAYS God's will that we are healthy and prosper. If it's not the case, it's because we didn't pray in enough faith. It really put us in the position of performance.

I remember a devoted member of the church and mother of three was dying of cancer. Our pastor stood up and addressed the congregation and said "those of us not being healed must step up to the plate with our Faith....... If we are not being healed it's our own fault". This woman prayed and prayed, yet lost the battle. The church responded that God did his part, she must have not done hers. OUCH. Can you imagine the pressure she felt? She didn't have enough faith to live? I pity her children who are left to think Mommy died because she didn't pray hard enough.



Still, I KNOW God heals. He healed me. I had to walk out in faith to claim that healing. I called out verses that claimed God's will that we are all healed. Yet I still wonder...

I found this statement on a pro "it's God's will you are healed" website:



Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 2). This verse clearly tells us that it is the will of God for His children to be in health. Since it is His will for us to be in health, it cannot - at the same time - be His will for us to be sick! It is God's will to heal you!



In James 5:14, God asks, Is any sick among you? To whom is He referring? He refers to any person who is sick! ANY - the same word He used when He said He is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). If salvation is for all who will repent, then healing is for all who will believe and act upon God's promise in James 5:14,15. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith SHALL save the sick, and the Lord SHALL raise him up!


Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits; Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases (Psalm 103:2,3). These benefits are for both soul and body - salvation and healing! Christ forgives ALL sins and He heals ALL diseases! So don't just remember some of His benefits, but claim all of them. Healing is the will of God for you!



It sounds good right?



Then I read from a web site that claimed that God sometimes heals... but only if it's in his will (which it's not always). Does God sometimes allow us to be sick, or poor, or martyred because the end result will best accomplish his will?



I do not agree that 'Jesus desires us to be healed of all our sickness'. His purposes are far higher than our desire for a quick fix to our problems. Having said that, it is also sometimes definitely the will of God to heal us and He still does so wonderfully today. But that is why He is our Heavenly Father, faithful through good and hard times. He knows what is best for us, even when we don't.

I think God has given us the book of Job to show that even for those whom He calls 'blameless and upright', He still allows them to suffer (and Job's suffering included physical sickness) if it is part of His plan for the individuals greater good. There are many other examples we could look at - even from the New Testament.

The Apostle Paul - it was because of a 'bodily illness' that he ended up preaching to the Galatians. There is no hint that it was against the will of God that this happened or that if Paul had just had more faith he wouldn't have got sick at all! (Gal 4:13)

Timothy - He suffered from frequent stomach problems. Again, when this is addressed by Paul, he doesn't say 'Timothy, you are out of God's will! Just believe and it will go away!' No, Paul takes a very practical stance in the matter and simply says 'Stop drinking only water and use a little wine.' (1 Tim 5:23)

Other examples could be mentioned like Tropimus (2 Tim 4:20) or Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25-30). But never is there anything in these examples to suggest that they shouldn't have been sick! Unfortunately, because of all the faith-prosperity fakes around, there is confusion on this issue within the church.


I'm confused. I don't know WHAT to believe. Both sides have such compelling arguments... both backed up with scripture. What do you think?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fake Smiles and My Son... The Ladies Man

Where is the time going? I've had such a busy week, and it won't let up until after Christmas. I've had the desire to write, but so little time to do so.

We have been doing the Christmas party thing.... with another party tonight. After this, only one more to go! YEAH. I am trying to like these things, because my super social husband LOVES them, and, I DO get new dresses out of the deal. So, time to plaster on the fake smiles and keep my mouth shut about politics and religion, while eating stuffed mushrooms and sipping champagne. Shallow conversations and egos abound. S-L-O-W death for non surface dwellers like me. Oh, but I'm a big girl (did I say I get new dresses?) and I can handle it. I can be shallow... for a good five minutes. That's where sipping champagne comes in handy. My mouth is preoccupied!

Oh, I do have to share, last weekend we went to a charity event, and they had a female pastor stand up to pray. She was abrupt, and new agey, and called God a "she". At that point she went on to pray to Mohammad. I felt a sharp pinch in my right thigh as my husband with pleading eyes and clinched teeth whispered "don't". Oh oh oh, but I must! Quickly I scanned the room looking for someone to unload on. Then I spotted her. A few yards behind me a wild charismatic from my old church sat snickering with her husband. Perfect. I hiked up my skirt and made a quick bee line (that might have got me a place on the football team) right to her. 20 minutes of righting theological wrongs, and I was ready to re-plaster the smile, bat the eye lashes, and keep quiet.

This morning I'm scrapbooking a book for my husbands grandmother (only one more page to go). I'll finish that up, run a quick load of laundry, then start getting ready for tonight. I haven't even got dressed yet... I think I may skip that step today.

As I was messing with my evil sticky photo thingy, my 5 year old son came up to me and said "Mom, I want boobs, but not on me... just some to have." "Um honey, you'll get that when God gives you a wife." "Oh yes.. I can't wait!" Lord help us.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MIKE HUCKABEE

* (Another Conservachick disclaimer)*I know that many of you are not all that interested in Politics, but I encourage each and everyone of you not ignore this post, but actually read it, consider it, and GET INVOLVED! *

I didn't name myself Conservachick for nothin'! Most of my posts do not revolve around
politics (even though I love them so very much) but around my walk with God, my daily life with my family, and even some theological stuff. As we are nearing the 2008 election, I think it's important I live up to my name, and let you know why it's so important we support MIKE HUCKABEE!

When I first looked at our options for 2008 presidential election I was very discouraged. The Republican choices didn't support my beliefs, and Hillary and Obama would get my vote when hell freezes over! I looked at Mitt Romney (figured a Mormon might share my conservative views) only to discover his voting record was more Liberal than most LIBERALS!

Then I started to hear a buzz in Christian circles about an unknown... Mike Huckabee. He is UN APOLOGETICALLY a Christian. He believes just as I do on all the issues. Speaks with tact, and kindness, and is not run by the special interest groups. He was the Arkansas Governor for over 10 years and before that, a pastor! He was the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention!

I thought.... this is too good to be true! I love this guy, but this "unknown" doesn't have a shot! Ah, but with GOD, all things are possible. Christians everywhere are starting to catch wind of this candidate who ACTUALLY supports their beliefs! Like wildfire his positive campaign and moral stance on issues are being noticed. People like me... and now hopefully YOU are sharing the news! We DON'T have to settle! WE CAN HAVE THE BEST!

Proof that God's hand is in this campaign? Last week, this unknown with only $475,000, shot up to 25% of the Republican vote. Today, CBS/NY Times poll as well as a CNN poll have us statistically tied him for first place in the nation with Rudy Giuliani! DID YOU HEAR THAT! Look at what GOD is doing!

So what should we do to get Mike Huckabee into office? GET THE WORD OUT! Just yesterday I asked a conservative friend who he was voting for, and he glumly said, Obama I guess. WHAT? What about Huckabee? He replied "who's Huckabee?" THIS is where WE come in. Tell everyone you know about this candidate who really supports our views!

I also encourage you all to donate. Let's encourage a man who is not taking money from special interest groups. Let him continue to answer to God, not the company or cause that throws the most money in his direction. TV ads cost $$$, traveling costs $$$. Shouldn't we as Christian's help support our brother's efforts to get in office, and create real and positive change in this nation? You can donate a just $1! If we all give a little, God can magnify it into a lot.

They also have the option to give $20.08 (for the 2008 election... cute). I thought, I'll skip the fast food this week and give to a GREAT cause instead. It's a win win! $20 bucks to a great cause, and 800 calories less on my butt!

Get a bumper sticker, a yard sign, or do what my kids did! They made homemade signs that said I heart Huckabee, and a few that said "vote for Huckabee or you are dumb" I made them put those up for later ( ;

Anyway, you get the picture, Huckabee is an AWESOME candidate. Hey, but don't take my word for it... see all the new links on my side bar? Click on any of them and you will get to his website. Read about him! Read how he stands on the issues! If God leads you, donate! Then come back and tell me you visited the site! Oh and here is a giveaway Conservachick style.... I'll even send one of you lucky commenter's a Huckabee for President bumper sticker! Yeah, maybe that's not the best giveaway incentive, but I think once you learn more about this guy, you'll think being a part of this cause, is reward enough!!!!

LET'S GET TO WORK!


MIKE HUCKABEE FOR PRESIDENT in 2008!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Better Than Enchanted

Check out this shirt! It's kind of blurry, but it says.... CONSERVACHICK! PLUS, it has little pink elephants (Republican ones no doubt) across the front.
HAPPINESS!
Sorry it's not a better pic of the shirt, but my son was only good for two pictures, and he cut the tiara off on the other one (you can't have that can you?). Later I may just post a picture of the shirt... yes I'm that excited about it.

OK, to explain the tiara. I was cleaning the laundry room and there it was, calling to me. I placed it on my head and I was instantly transformed into a domestic princess. I'm gonna wear it all day! I mean really, I've been humming the song to Sleeping Beauty all morning. Even in my un showered, no make up, glasses wearing state, I still feel like I could talk to chipmunks and love dwarfs. Does it get any better than that?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Freedom (Homeschool post #2)

After my last post, I thought I'd never have the energy to write again. It took a lot out of me. Yet I find this process of writing it all out important.



I covered my Godly conviction in my last post, but I have the personal and emotional aspect of my choice as well. I have felt emotional turmoil over homeschooling for quite awhile, but I wasn't sure where God wanted me. I chose to not act, but to continue my homeschooling path.



Here I am, willing to openly share my struggles with you, and I ask that you please be kind, non judgmental, and understanding.



The first of my homeschool struggles would have to be my inability to keep my children on task. I might have one listening, one picking his nose, one throwing a fit in their room, and one running circles around the house. This could be the great makings of a funny homeschool post, but guess what, it's not funny. I will cry, and get angry, and throw the books down and scream "forget it". With four kids, RARELY do I have all of them quiet and obedient at once. Those precious moments are homeschool bliss, but not nearly frequent enough to maintain sanity.



Is this normal for homeschooling moms? Many books I read would say, "you need to get your kids in order, discipline them, THEN homeschool them." Sounds great, right? Only, as I'm dealing with attitudes, boogers, and 5 year old energy, I seem to never get around to the school part (or visa versa). 7 years of homeschooling, and these last few years I can't seem to manage to get my children to listen to me. So, I try to do school, I try to discipline, and feel like nothing ever gets accomplished.



School (and the drama that comes with it) takes up a big portion of my day, then we have the activities. Add to that cooking three meals, laundry for 6, and constant mess makers who make cleaning like shoveling snow in a snowstorm, I feel like I can never get ahead! Actually, I spend at least 2 hours + a day cleaning, folding, etc, and my house is never clean. It drives me crazy. I don't need immaculate, just tidy. Yes, I know, if I have my children help do chores I will only have to clean 30 minutes a week. I have that book. I guess I'm just not a good enough "manager of my home" to make it work.



While I'm at it, I should say that ALL of those homeschool type books that tell you how to raise perfect obedient kids, how to have a managed schedule, how to do it all... just don't work for me. I want to burn them all for the inferiority complex they have given me when I just can't measure up! I have them all, and all of them have caused me to TRY to perform as I should, but guess what! I am TIRED of performing.



When does the performing "grace" run out and you decide "I'm failing?"



My marriage is suffering. My husband comes home to a messy house, a stressed wife, and 4 unstructured kids. Is it any wonder he keeps coming home later, and later? I don't want to be here anymore than he does.



My health is suffering. I have my own issues I need to resolve (as stated on a previous post). I don't have the time to get myself back in shape (physically and spiritually). Health is important. My children need their mother to be healthy. My husband needs his wife to feel attractive.



My father is sick. They believe he has Alzheimer's. Is it selfish to want this time with my unsaved father? Before he forgets who I am?



Homeschool feel monotonous, miserable, and empty. Yes, we occasionally have those great breakthroughs. The ones where you feel like you made an impact, but each one is a trade off for weeks of uneventful, fruitless days.



What will the future hold? I don't know. Maybe it's for a season, maybe forever. This I DO know. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Mathew 11:28-30



If God calls me to homeschool again, the burden WILL be light! For a long time, I wondered, am I not praying enough for his peace? His homeschooling grace? Have I not "properly" handed this burden over to him to carry? Or is this burden not mine to carry at all?



You can all think what you want of me, but I am ready to be set free of this "burden" in my life. YES, I have handed it to God. "Fix it Father, I'm not able to do this on my own." So when he says "You've been released, only your fear is keeping you here" I want to shout out and dance for joy! I'm released. Do you hear that? I AM FREE!





Monday, December 3, 2007

A New Season

Alright, here is my conclusion to my gossip post! I really meant to have it written a few days ago, but the weekend ended up being busier than I anticipated.

Many of the commenter's from the last post said they couldn't wait for scandalous revelations. I think my "scandals" might be disappointing if you were expecting something of Desperate Housewife proportion's... sorry.

I DID however promise long and arduous. That my friends, I can deliver on! So grab a cup of coffee and pull up a comfortable chair. This is gonna take awhile!

To restate the original post, we are going to put our kids in public school after the Christmas break. This might not seem like a huge revelation, UNLESS you have been following my blog for awhile.

A brief history....

Gotta go WAY back first! When my oldest was 3 (she is now almost 12), my husband and I felt a calling to homeschool our children. I know this was from the Lord. It brought so much fruit and growth to our family over the years, I will always be grateful for that season in our lives.

During much of this time, we attended a homeschool group with a very strong leader that I would lovingly refer to as a Militant Homeschooler. This woman was amazing, but quite opinionated. She would preach monthly that homeschooling was the ONLY way. She also ran a course that would "qualify" you in the state of Washington to homeschool. The course required that you read nearly 40 books of her choosing. Many of them gems.. some of them not. All of them supported a homeschool lifestyle. A few of the books went into great lengths about the dangers of public schools, and the biblical mandate to homeschool. Add these teachings to magazines like "The Old Schoolhouse" that say to put your kids in public school is a SIN. And a healthy dose of the Pearls, the Cambels, the Maxwell's, and other perfect jumper clad homeschool families, and I was NEVER going to put my kids in school. I would be a homeschool mom FOREVER!

The problem.... I had taken the words of man above God. While God initially called us to homeschool, my conviction had been replaced by fear and performance. I was so brainwashed by the legalistic mandates that permeates much of the homeschool movement, that I was paralyzed to hear anything different, even the voice of my father. My devotions were homeschool based, we would seek out homeschool friendly churches, my friends were all homeschoolers. I honestly do not know when God's call to homeschool ended, but my suspicion is that it was SEVERAL years ago, but I like my slew of homeschool mentors was opinionated, and God just COULDN'T want me to NOT homeschool, could he?

Last Spring, my husband wanted to put our kids into Public school for the last 6 weeks of the year. I was horrified, but obedient. I cried and mourned my children like you wouldn't believe. I mean really, what kind of good homeschool mom would allow their children to even enter the doors of a public school?

I remember coming home after dropping them of that first day, and crying out to the Lord "Why did you make me do this? How could you make me feed my own children to the wolves?" God's LOUD reply "I AM BIGGER THAN THE WOLVES!" Peace.... my soul finally understood that God didn't call us to live in a bubble to protect ourselves from the world, but to go out and be a LIGHT to the world and GOD would protect us! WOW. I had been living in such fear, NOT faith. for SO many years. It took putting my kids in school for the shackles of legalism to finally start to fall off!

That brings us to what made me change my mind over the Summer, and choose to homeschool the kids again. The REAL reason.

Our school experience was actually a good one. My kids DID share their faith, pray for their classmates, and for the first time in years, I felt like we were making a real impact for the Lord. We had taken a step outside our bubble, not to find people that wanted to destroy us, but people ... children, hungry and eager to know what we had!

Somehow over the Summer, fear took root in my heart. With the busy summer days, my quiet time all but disappeared, and I fell back into my old patterns of fear and loathing of the world. My husband and I would pray for answers about the next school year only to spend twice as long rationalizing why homeschool was better.

Then is happened. One of my children had to face temptation over the summer. My oldest daughter asked me to go to the movies with some friends. She asked if she could just be dropped off, because that is what all the other girls where doing. I said we'd have to pray about it with daddy, but we'll see. Within a few seconds she burst into tears. "Mom, they are going to invite BOYS, and I just can't do it. I feel so uncomfortable, and I don't want to lie to you. I am SO sorry, please forgive me."

Now, this was a pivotal moment for me. Rather than me look at this situation and say, "WOW, my daughter was tempted to do something bad, and turned from it, look at what an awesome kid she is turning out to be." I thought "Look... the world is going to get us! See the temptation she is faced with already! After only six weeks! I must shield her and protect her and SHELTER her so she never has to be tempted again!" Talk about damage done to our relationship. "Yeah honey, if you share something like that with me, I'll freak out and never let you see other children again. Hmmm, sounds like lots of other people I know.

Now add THAT to the years of homeschool propaganda, my homeschool peers verbally assaulting my choice to put them in Public School (this is the peer pressure part), and it was easy to dismiss the hard thing God was calling us to do and fall back into our old pattern of fear.

So we homeschooled again. Fear for not just my daughter, but all of my children, that the big bad world was going to get them and God wasn't big enough to do anything about it.

We went into this year deciding that we were going to put forth full effort to make it the best year ever! While I was sad in my heart about keeping them home (maybe that should have been an indication) I went ahead and made it work.

It was going "well". My kids were learning, we were active in the support group, it was probably the smoothest year I've had yet. But, something was off. Very off.

Re-enter quiet time with the Lord. God brought me into a study about Exodus, and the Israelites who kept going back to their old ways (and yearning for Egypt) despite what God had said, the miracles he performed, etc.

Legalism and fear are my Egypt, and I keep going back to it! God wants me finally set free!

One morning after a study, as I went to homeschool my kids, I knew that God's hand was no longer in it. I could go through the motions, even make it look pretty, but God's hand had been lifted. The result? An empty void... Our time did NOT feel like time well spent. Our calling was elsewhere. I felt it, the kids felt it. My husband felt it.

That was a few weeks ago, and my conviction to put the kids BACK in school grows stronger each day. I am not afraid because I KNOW I will be walking in God's will, and it feels GOOD!

I've had many good years of homeschooling. Years that helped form our family in positive ways. I will always be a strong supporter of the homeschooling movement (at least the part of it that isn't legalistic). Yet I feel blessed to be released from it. I am excited to enter into this new phase in our lives. I know that God is going to do some amazing things! It won't always be easy, God never said it would be. But the renewed faith I have is helping me to live passionately for God.... on the edge of discomfort.

Finally, when I look at choosing between living a safe, fearful, sheltered life, or one one that is crazy and faith filled, and even a bit scary, I'd choose the faith filled life every time! Whether homeschooling, or in public school, in the mission field, or in our own back yard, we all need to let God determine our direction. We need to be making a real impact in our children's lives, and in the world around us. If we are not, it's time to take a second look at our choices. Look closely at the source, is it fear or is it God? For me, that choice was hard. But I'm ready. Ready to turn my head away from my comfortable place of mediocrity, and turn it towards my action packed, never a dull moment, amazing God! Bring It On!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gossip!!!!

Before I start this "Gossip" post. I need to do one of my infamous disclaimers....

* I do not have multiple personality disorders. A little crazy, yes. But, only ONE personality.*

So, have I peaked your curiosity?

After Christmas break, we are putting our kids BACK in public school. Yes, you heard me right. (Now look back at my disclaimer, quick, before you form judgment).

Unlike last time, We feel VERY good about it! AND YES...IT'S A GOD THING!

My next post will go more into it, and probably be long and arduous. Lot's of confessions about disobeying out of fear, bowing in to peer pressure (adults are not immune), and the REAL reason I decided to homeschool again this year. Scandalous I tell ya!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why Do My Domestic Moments Contain Beer?

I am having an oddly domestic moment here. They are rare, so I thought I'd better get this idea down before the moment passes.....

I don't usually do recipe posts, but I thought this one was too good not to share! I have occasionally purchased Beer Bread mixes and you can pay BIG bucks for these. Tastefully Simple (a home party thing) sells them for $6.99.. ouch! Oh but they are SO good.

On my quest to be more frugal (it doesn't come naturally) I discovered this recipe for a Beer Bread mix. It took me less than 5 minutes to prepare the mix from scratch. It came out PERFECT, and tasted exactly like the Tastefully Simple version!

Beer Bread Mix

Mix
3 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar

~~~~~~~~~
1 (12 oz) bottle beer*
¼ c melted butter

Preheat oven to 375
Add beer to mix and stir (do not over stir)
Batter will be lumpy
Spread batter into greased 9X5 loaf pan
Pour melted butter over batter
Bake 50 – 55 min
Cool for 30 minutes


*You can also use soda instead of beer, but it’s not nearly as good, and while my kids were acting drunk after eating it, I informed them that ALL the alcohol cooks out. Miraculously, they went back to normal.

I put some mix in cute Christmas bags with the instructions. It was adorable, much better looking than the purchased version. I think I'll make up a few for Christmas gifts for the neighbors!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Crazy Family Members and Thanksgiving Just Don't Mix

Me and the Hubster.... Surviving Thanksgiving




Thanksgiving is always a touchy event in my family. It's the one holiday where we blend my family and my husbands for a mix that is often caustic.





My parents are extremely conservative in the in your face Rush Limbaugh sort of way. Which is great when it's just us, 'cause I like Rush, only my dad likes to drink... alot, so he doesn't quite always remember that I threaten to disown him each year if he talks about politics on Thanksgiving.





My husbands folks are LIBERALS. Which is a dirty word in our house 364 days a year. All except Thanksgiving when we KEEP OUR MOUTHS SHUT!





Add to the mix my "odd" brother who just likes to argue with EVERYone's point of view (and is usually stoned) and my male cat with the "girly meow" that we named Ralph Nader ('cause he's just so off) and we have The kind of Holiday movies are made of.





This year. Things went surprisingly well. I don't know if it was prayer, or my threats that finally worked, but everyone was pretty well behaved!





My brother DID show up in a vintage brown velvet 3 piece suit (and looked a little bit like he belonged in the cast of Boogie Nights).





My dad DID bring several bottles of wine.





My in laws DID spontaneously burst into song at the dinner table (that alone is a MAJOR strike against them... a couple that spontaneously sings loud songs at the dinner table with guests??? Hello, am I the only one who thinks this is odd?). The song WAS about burning the White House down. (I was praying so hard that my dad wouldn't loose it that I think I slipped into tongues). But he didn't (thanks to the wine, I think he was too far gone into his "happy place" to care).





My oldest daughter when asked by my in laws about boyfriends loudly proclaimed (I'm saving my heart for Jesus). YEAH! Then when my in laws started talking about needing luck, she said, "you don't need luck, you need Jesus!" Preach it sister! This momma is proud. Then as we went around the table sharing what she was thankful for she said, "that we can worship Christ freely in this country". YES YES YES! My 5 year old son said he was thankful for his girlfriend (I guess you can't win them all ).





The night ended on a positive note. And that my friends, is what I am thankful for! Only the power of prayer can make an evening go so well with a drunk redneck republican, two mega Liberal wiccans, a stoned young man who looks like a 70's porn star, a Jesus preachin' 11 year old girl, and a gay cat named Nader. God is good!



Here's my Bro. I love him in all of his 70's splendor! This picture pretty much says it all when it comes to his personality!





Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Friends, and a Really Cool Gal

I added some new friends to my side bar thingy. Go check them out! If your not on there, and darn it you think you should be, don't be hurt. I'm on dial up (cursed country life) and it takes me forever to do anything on the computer. I still have a few more bloggers to add, but knowing me, it'll be months before I get around to it.

I've wanted to start highlighting some of my "bloggy" friends ('cause I love y'all so much). So, in no certain order I will occasionally pick one of you to tell the world why your blog is SO awesome!

One of my favorite bloggers is most definitely http://reallyniceday29.blogspot.com/
I have met two bloggers that are so much like me they could be my long lost twin and this girl is one of them. We have so much in common, it's crazy! She is a total kindred spirit.

She's one of the coolest bloggers I've met. Always living her life on the edge for Christ!

She is a hostess to guests from all around the world. She understand the importance of great snacks. She is very deep and talks about cool stuff like conspiracies, and end times.. ooohh it's good stuff I tell ya. Yet she is SO real!

She has one of my favorite characteristics in a blogger. The girl is political! YEAH! I never tire of reading about her newest mission to change the world for Christ.

She's also kind, and transparent, and her blog has the cutest kid pictures ever. You can tell by her pics that she herself is gorgeous.

Kari, I respect you more than you know. Your friendship is a true blessing to me. ~Karlie

Monday, November 19, 2007

Televangelists.... Stink Free Poop (for a price)

Joel Osteen, (see, he's gone!) ,and the Feel Good movement. My Berean nature wants to rip into that one!

Our country needs outreach. Endless crowds of people pack these Mega churches, yearning for something more. Christ. But... a Christ that doesn't offend. No conviction here. Just shiny happy people in pretty polished places... who never leave the bottle of watered down "formula gospel", and never learn that even in our "happy feel good places" some things are sin.

All the "free" love is bringing me back to my Grateful Dead and Rainbow Gathering days. Where the outside was always loving and accepting of EVERYTHING, but the fruit of that sin left tears and agony once the hype of the "show" (service) was over.

It would be so easy to dismiss this kind of church completely, but I have a friend... One who has been trying to know God for several years. Now I couldn't get her to come to church with me if her life depended on it. Yet I received a phone call a while back. "Hey, I like that Joel Osteen guy. I can really relate! I am faithfully watching him every night." Whoa! Isn't a little watered down gospel better than starvation? I mean, she's getting some good from this, right? Could this maybe lead to more? Is she changing her ways? No, not yet, but maybe one day. Could God be using this televangelist? Or is Satan? I really don't know. If the guy is bringing souls to the lord.... it's GOTTA BE GOD! Hmmmm. Makes me think. What are YOUR thoughts?

On a slightly different note. My kids and I turned on TBN the other day ('cause I love big hair) and a preacher was on asking for money (no.. not on TBN, couldn't be) anyway, he was saying "I hear the Lord talking right now, he's saying that if you have enough faith to send me money RIGHT NOW, God is going to keep you healthy for year (because God only heals if you pay him, right?), AND you get this plastic angel pin for your gift of $100 or more. WOW, a year of health AND a plastic angel pin, this televangelist MUST be anointed. My super fantastic 11 year old daughter chimed in with her best southern evangelist voice and said. "and if you send me $1000 your poop won't stink for a month! Can I get an Amen?" To which the rest of my children chanted "AMEN!"

Oh she gets it. I'm raising her well. You know you have arrived as a parent when your child understands the money driven futile promises of the Televangelist are B.S.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Old Lady Diapers and Tampon Stocking Checker Boys

Yesterday I was at the store with my two boys. (Right there you should know this post is going in a bad direction.) So.... I walked over to the "feminine isle". My 7 year old son in his loud voice (why does he have to talk so loud all of the time?) said "Mom, why are we on the old lady diaper isle?" (A crowd is growing) "Um, son, these aren't old lady diapers." He ignores me and his eyes get big as I put one in the cart. "MOM" he continues "You wear old lady diapers?" (why is the checker boy always stocking the tampons?). "No son, these are special things for girls, and we will talk about it later". (The crowd of people start to giggle). This is where my dear five year old chimes in. "Yeah, I've tried those diapers on before, but they kind of fit funny so I put them on my arms and made floaties for the bath... only they don't float."

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Why? Why? WHY do I take my boys out in public places?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And The Bad Parenting Continues....

When I wrote my last post, I had several people in mind, but there is one particular mom, that makes my blood boil more than most. Really, this is the parent who has the naughtiest kids, yet is sure they can NEVER do wrong.

Now it would figure, that my humiliating "bad kid" moment of the week would involve an altercation between her 8 year old boy and my 5 year old son.

During gymnastics the mom's all sit around watching their daughters while the siblings play in the other room. I could see the boys out of the corner of my eye as this woman's 8 year old son pushes my 5 year old around. His mom was watching saying things like "look at how strong my boy is". UGH! Anyway, as I got up to go save my 5 year old from this bully, the 8 year old came in crying to his mother. "Mom, G*** called me a bad name and it really hurt my feelings. " His appalled mother looked at me in disgust (this is where I take my cue to go discipline my son).

I go and track him down and ask him if he called this boy a name. My son said "yes mom, but he pushed me, and laughed at me, then made me eat his ABC (already been chewed) gum." "I understand that you are angry, but you are going to have to apologize." "But, mom, I'm NOT sorry". "I know, but you have to anyway." This whole time, we never covered the name he called this boy... I assumed it wouldn't come up again... whatever it was.

Anyway, we walked back into the room filled with all the gymnastics moms, staring at the drama no doubt. He walked over to the boy and his mother, red faced with anger and tears dripping from his eyes, he said in his LOUDEST voice, "My mom is making me say I'm sorry for calling you a PENIS FACE". Then he walks over next to me and starts laughing hysterically. Now me, being the really bad mom I am started laughing too. As the onlookers shook their head in disgust, I leaned over to my son and gave the mandatory speech. "Now honey, that kind of talk isn't appropriate, next time he hurts you, just punch him instead."

OK, that was my last Bad Parent post for awhile... at least I hope. My next post will be on something far more cheerful... Bulimia!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Back Talking, Butt Biting, Kid's With Horns

Are your kids perfect? Mine aren't. Seems like I'm the only "Christian" parent I know with less than perfect kids.

Sometimes I need to talk about how darn hard being a parent is. I want to lay it all out and say "this is where I could use some advice" or "how did you deal with this?, 'Cause we are having trouble". Only problem... No one else will fess up to having any problems.

Example 1: "My boys have been arguing more than normal lately." My friends reply "Sorry, can't help you, my boys don't argue.

Example 2: "My oldest daughter has started back talking, I need to curtail it." Friend's reply: "What? My children would NEVER balk talk me, they know better because we TRAINED them properly".

OUCH way to make me feel like I deserve the "Crappy Parent of the World" award.

Now, when these perfect kids come to my house, they argue and balk talk (must be in the air or something). So, I'm left with two possible conclusions. 1. I am the only parent in my church without perfect children, OR 2. They are all a bunch of liars.

Anyway, I need friends with kids who make mistakes (and admit it). Friends whose kid's fight, or bite butts, or froth at the mouth and grow horns when they don't get their way. (Don't ask about the butt comment... it's been a bad week.)

I need advice from people who have been there, or are in the thick of it! People who are not afraid to admit that their children have caused them to more than once to loose their temper (in a way that required an apology) or got so frustrated that they locked them self in their bedroom, curled up in the fetal position and ate fudgecicles. PLEASE don't tell me I'm the only one who does that.

Oh and if you have done something awful and irreversible, like let your kid watch Shrek, or owned a Harry Potter novel, or maybe even bought sugar cereal (gasp), even better! I get exhausted trying to maintain everyone elses standards on top of my own, so standards often slip... can anyone relate? Whether right or wrong. It would be nice not to be judged for my choices. I'm sure God's got that taken care of, thank you very much.

Also, if you yourself can confess to having a hard time maintaining "personal" perfection... I'll like you even more. Uh, hello, my name is Karlie and I stole ALL the Reese's Peanut butter Cups from my children's Halloween candy. I also only do laundry when we have no more underwear, and we've eaten fast food three times this week,"

So, if you are a imperfect mom, with imperfect children, let me know! You can share, or just "confess" without the details. I need to know you are out there!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Allegiance

At our local highschool, the Mexican immigrants are refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance. They refuse to stand for the American flag. With their own Mexican flags high in their yards, and displayed from their cars, it's clear to see where there allegiance is.

My thoughts????? If they don't like what America stands for, they should GO BACK HOME.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quiet Time

When I first got saved, people would talk about their morning quiet time with God, and I thought they were Spiritual GIANTS! I mean really. Who could talk to God and read the bible for an hour every morning.

As time went on, I figured most people were lying about it... trying to get a little holier than though action.

Then I joined a church that held me accountable for my time with God. A 5:00 am phone call from the pastor's wife summoned me with "get out of bed, it's time to go talk with God." 60 + INTENSE minutes of on my knees prayer, on my pastors lead. I pressed, and pressed for miracles, not for relationship, but for a display of God's power. Did I grow? Heck yeah. I grew enough to hear God say "I don't want your prayers out of obligation and duty, I want your time because you love me.. oh, and leave that crazy church while you're at it."

This season was one of the most difficult spiritual time of my life. For the first time I heard God... I mean I HEARD God. He spoke to me in dreams, I heard his voice, I had visions. The experience made me into a full on believer of Spiritual gifts (where as before I doubted them) because I experienced them first hand. It scared me. God is big. SO BIG. Then to have God say, "leave this place. Your loyalty is off, you are you here for the wrong reasons".

I took a sabbatical from morning prayer. I would pray, but the formality and schedule were gone. I leaned on worship. I loved his presence, but honestly, I didn't want to talk anymore. The things of God were so much more intense, with so much depth, so much unknown. I was scared by his power. Scared of being THAT close. Scared of myself.

Then began a season of Spiritual shallowness. The less I talked to God the less I could hear his voice. "Yeah God, we can hang out, just don't talk to me about anything but shoes". That's where I would take my Christian friendships too. Don't go deep... it's easier to swim in the shallow end.

For three years I would "try" morning quiet time. "I'd wake myself up at dawn and try to create intimacy with my God, but I didn't know his voice anymore."

Worship was all I had. He was there, but I was STARVING for more. I wanted my "best friend" back, but I couldn't find him.

Then, I heard a small voice whisper "Go to my word, I'm waiting for you there." It started slow. I read, I prayed, with little "nuggets" of gold along the way, but nothing substantial. I had to really want it! So I persisted. I got up, and had an hour long "quiet time" not because I had to, but because I wanted to. And would you guess. THAT is where God met me. Not in the place of obligation, but in the place of love.

His miracles don't scare me anymore. I laugh with delight when I see his powerful hand, when I hear his voice. Sometimes our time is intense.. like before, but usually I just have coffee with him while he gently leads me through his word.

I finally get it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Harvest Party and Pumpkins

On Friday we had our annual Homeschool Harvest Festival. The kids had a blast, my husband came because I made him, and I (with a cold and a fever) sat around making foolish small talk with the other homeschool parents. The kids might have loved it, but for me... it was slow death. The things we do for our kids.

Here my 3 oldest kiddos. A mad scientist, a bride, and Marie Antoinette. Oh yes, and Genevieve, the stuffed pink elephant with more personality (and possessions) than most people.
Here is my little fireman. Actually he is throwing a fit here and doesn't want his picture taken ('cause real firemen don't do that I guess).
Just had to compete with Cindy's domestic sewing post. Here is a pumpkin I grew all by myself! We even carved it and saved the seeds! (They are rotting in my fridge as I write this). Maybe... I'll harvest my pumpkins and make pumpkin pie from scratch! Or maybe I'll carve leaves in it and add a tea light! Yeah right. I'll probably just do the same thing we did last year. PUMPKIN SMASHING! The perfect sport for slightly deranged housewives and their rowdy children.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Man Fur

Tonight at dinner my oldest daughter was being a typical 11 year old (if you get my drift) and my younger daughter said "why is she like that?" My 7 year old son replied "because she's going through pooberty." Then my daughter asked "what's pooberty?" He then said in a very matter of fact tone, "it's where girls get all sassy, and boy's get their "man fur". Man fur? Just another typical conversation at our dinner table. ~Karlie

Friday, October 26, 2007

Doormats

I'm sure you've all read the verses in 1 Peter 3 1:6. It's the one where it says for wives to be in subjection to their husbands, have a meek and quiet spirit, etc. I believe we should always follow God, and that God wants us to submit to our husbands, but where.. WHERE do we draw the line? Is there a line?

I read an article today in the new Above Rubies about a woman whose husband wanted to live frugally, so he moved her (she was pregnant) into a two man tent in a park. She wanted a home, but instead ended up giving birth to her baby in a tub outside her tent. She now has two young children and is still roughing it with her husband. Was she wrong to want more? We live in America. Should we be content to live like those in a third world country, when we don't have to? How about her husband? Was he shirking his responsibilities by not providing better for his wife?

The article bothered me. I love my husband and try to submit, however if he CHOSE to move me into a tent and had me give birth in an outdoor tub, I'd be pissed off! We are not talking super broke, need to make the best of a situation here, but choosing this for your reluctant wife and children, it just seems wrong.

It's not just this article that makes me question submission in some circumstances.

I recently read Created to be his Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl. The book was helpful for me because I have a FANTASTIC husband! He is a great father, provider, and would never dream of taking advantage of my submissiveness. The biblical principle of submission works great in my marriage, because I am married to a Godly man.

I gave the book to my mother. My mother is an awesome Christian woman who has been devoted to my un saved father for over 30 years. My father is an alcoholic. He is mean, and abusive. He calls her names and has to control every aspect of her life. He puts down their children (that would be me and my brother) and gets angry when she spends time with us. He wont let her go to church, wont let her have friends, etc. He also gets angry at her if she won't drink with him (she's a diabetic and this is very dangerous for her health). Any freedom my mother gets, she has to get by putting her foot down. Se has to "disobey" my father's commands.

My mother read this book, and with prayer, decided to follow it. The results? My father thought he had more rights to bully my poor mother and fully alienate her from her family, her hobbies, etc. She cried to me one day. It's like a prison.. and I would rather die than live in it."

I told her to throw out the book and stand up for herself. What really is the line of submission? Does anyone know? Should my mother live in hell to obey the rule of submissiveness? Is that REALLY what God wants for her? I don't know, with tears of anger I scream I DON'T KNOW!

Praise God I don't have to bare what these two women must bare. Honestly, I'd be gone! I say I don't believe in divorce, yet that is easy to say because I have a great marriage. To spend my life with someone like my father? I don't think I could do it. I didn't do it. I ran away from home at 15, to escape him.

Where does God stand?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween

Every year we re-evaluate our stance on Halloween. With 11 child filled years behind us, we have had several years to consider the pros and con's. The outreach potential, the harm, etc. Honestly, we are no closer now than we were 11 years ago on deciding what is best for our family.
Some years we have trick or treated. Some we have done the "harvest festival" thing, many years we have rented movies, and ate candy... lots and lots of candy!
This year we are watching one of my daughter's friends during the day. This girl and her family are single handed proof that you can have AWESOME kids in the public schools. This girl made the choice to not go to school on Halloween because the spirit has convicted her about being apart of the Halloween school activities. She's 9! My kids would love the opportunity to participate in the "scary" Halloween stuff. I hope she rubs off on them.
Friday we have a homeschool party where the kids get to dress up and play games. As for Halloween itself? No clue. Do we hand out full size candy bars with tracts at my folks house? Do we rent a movie and visit with friends?
What are your plans for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally, Peace With the Caped Homeschooler, and other Mid-morning Epiphanies

I'm stealing graceforgayle's idea. Rather that come up with new blog material this evening, I've decided to reach back into my homeschool blogger archives and pull out one of my old posts. Thanks for the ideas Gayle! ~K

Homeschoolers have always been stereotyped as "weird". I'm going to be honest here. It has bothered me that I was clumped in with a group known for being social misfits, having bad hair (my husband and I lovingly refer to it as "homeschool hair"), and strange attire (remember, I've always admitted to being a little shallow).
I will never forget my first visit to a homeschool support group. We saw all the stereo types. Boys in grey sweats, denim jumpers, doily collars, homeschool hair that should be illegal, AND.... a homeschooler in a cape. A CAPE! (We've often joked about that one over the years.)
We knew we were called to homeschool our kids, but this sensory overload was daunting to say the least. We obeyed the Lord and homeschooled, but spent the next 5 years trying to prove to the world, and ourselves, that we were not one of those homeschoolers. Homeschoolers can be hip and fashionable. They don't have to have odd interests, and a Lord of the Rings obsession.
OK, now that I've probably offended 1/2 of you, stay with me, I'm almost to the epiphany part.
Last Sunday, I met a lady at church (she's new to town) and we hit it off. She had a great personality, kids my kids age, and seemed like she had a strong relationship with the Lord. Best of all, she seemed so NORMAL. We exchanged numbers and agreed to talk more.
Yesterday we did just that. She talked about how much she loved her kids school. She raved about the well behaved kids and the involvement of the parents. OK, this sounded pretty good, so I asked, "what about the school teaching world views? Aren't you concerned about your kids being bombarded with evolution or the homosexual agenda?" (I get right to the point, can you tell?)
Her response floored me. "I want my children to accept diverse people and ideas, and not be so close minded". WOW! This lady had bought the liberal world view hook line and sinker! Then it occurred to me, this IS normal. It's normal for Americans (even church going ones) go against biblical truths in favor of a world view, it's hard to go against the grain! No one wants to be the weird one, right?
Epiphany time. I DON'T want to be normal! I want to go against the world's corrupt ideas and instead embrace the will of my God! If that makes me weird so be it.
Yesterday evening, my husband and I talked about the conversation I had earlier that day, and he said, "I'd much rather our kids befriend a homeschooler in a cape than a wishy washy Christian kids with a liberal world view."
So, here we are full circle. Suddenly that caped homeschooler isn't so bad, and normal doesn't look so good. I'd much rather have friends with substance and a firm relationship with the Lord, than be normal.
Finally I've made peace with the caped homeschooler, and in the process, I've made peace with myself. ~K

And do not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boys and Clothes

What is it with boys and their clothes?

I love to shop, wear new things, accessorize. I'm really not that picky, it's just gotta look good. Comfort is second.

The men in my life are of a totally different persuasion. Fashion matters to them, but it's so SO wrong. My 7 year old son spent the last week in his boxers and a red cape because he thought he looked "cool". My brother wore a "security" shirt for three years straight because he thought that "chicks dig it". It was a lonely three years for the boy.

I also noticed that fashion comes w-a-y after comfort (it doesn't matter if the I accidentally bleached the black pants to a putrid brown," 'cause they are still SO comfortable").

Oh and they are so picky. My boys cry if they get anything from Gymboree. A sweater with a cute little train on the front? I might as well have brought them home a tutu! My manly boys will look at me like I've lost my mind! Now a camo shirt, that's more like it! But, goes so far beyond that. They have other weird "fashion" do's and dont's that would baffle any female mind.

One thing I just don't get... my boys HATE jeans. They actually are not fond of anything that does not look like the jogging suits they wear on the Sopranos (no they haven't seen it). They only like fabric pants... especially if the are "silky". Now they are sometimes forced to wear jeans, which they have re named "itchy wiener pants". They will cry and moan, and walk funny to dramatize their discomfort to the world, but hey, if their daddy can handle jeans... they can too.

Oh and church clothes.... right up there with the "itchy wiener pants." They hate them. They fight me every Sunday. "Mom, why can't I wear sweatpants and a muscle shirt? Instead I stuff them into khakis and the dreaded "COLLAR SHIRT" there is no torture like the shirt with a collar! Then I nicely spray their wild hair into submission with a respectable side part that would make any 70's car salesman proud. They argue "Jesus wore a robe to church, and I bet he'd like sweats too." I reply "honestly boys, I think Jesus is probably on your side, but Mama's not, so tuck in your shirt and don't even think about unbuttoning your top button on those pants."

By the time they get in the car, their hair is messed up, and they have managed to get mud on their pants, jelly on their shirts, and a few toy guns in their pockets. Yes... Sunday school teachers LOVE us.

Once church is over, we barely make it though the door and they strip down, right in the living room. Seriously. Nothing but tidy whities. Then they lay on the ground and roll around like a dog in the mud after a bath. They remain in this mostly naked state for several hours (to recover from the church clothes trauma I'm sure). Then it's back to the silky mafia inspired sweat pants.

I look back on the pictures of my brother as a kid and he's always go the same red sweats on. As he grew, the pants just shrank, until he looked like he was sporting a cute pair of capris (way before they came back in style). He would pair these bright red disasters with some random shirt with an Ewok or a Storm Trooper on the front and think he was the coolest kid to walk the earth.

My conservative dad got a pair of zebra striped parachute pants (remember MC Hammer?) in the 80's and wore them CONSTANTLY, until they mysteriously disappeared (thanks Mom). (I must say in my dad's defense that they were a gift, and I know he wore them for comfort, NOT fashion, but it just goes to show... no one survived the 80's unscathed.)

My husband has a pair of furry pants with little ducks on them. I think they are supposed to be for duck hunters or something, but I call them his "ducky pants". I don't understand the magnetic draw they have, but he's got them on within 30 seconds of walking in the door. It's like superman.... only faster. He doesn't want to talk, eat, NOTHING, until the suit is off and the pants come on. What's the deal?

They say clothes make the man, right? I certainly hope not.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Women Of Faith and a Day With My 5 Year Old

This weekend I went to Women Of Faith. I'm sure you have all heard of it. I had an awesome weekend, however, the actual conference itself left me a bit disappointed.

I always like to start on a positive note, so...

The great parts:
A weekend with friends. Great food, great fellowship, shopping (I hit up Eddie Bauer and Gap outlets and made out like a bandit!), deep debates over religion well after midnight, and laughter. Lots of laughter. AND, none of that was at the conference!

The conference had it's good points too. Again, I laughed, and laughed , and... you get the picture. I heard some great stories, but really, that was about it.

The messages were VERY entertaining, but nothing I've not heard. There were no "wow, God is really speaking to me here" moments. I felt an undertone of , shall we say ... feminism. I guess a woman beating out her male co -workers to become the president of a bank, or a CEO of Mobil oil does NOT impress me, but I'm an old fashioned kind of girl.

I could overlook that, but there was one thing that really grated on me throughout the conference.

"Buy our books, if you buy 5 you get our discount, AND a free tote bag!" "If you adopt a child through World Vision AND use your credit card you can get this nifty shirt!" "Sign up now for your Women Of Faith credit card!" Yeah, that's in scripture. "Buy this CD". "Sign up for this other conference", etc, etc, etc.... The materialism was enough to make me want to barf! Between speakers they would put commercials on the big screen selling their "stuff". It was like the friggin' circus!

Did I walk away from Women of Faith with a few good nuggets? YES. It wasn't a bad experience, but I think my expectations were to high. I wanted great worship, and a fresh word. I didn't get that. Instead I got a sales pitch, and a message that I felt was tainted with a "world view" Javamama loves that word ( ;

I'm not against women working, I'm not against selling books at a conference, heck, I'm not even against credit cards used wisely. I guess I was just repulsed by the format they used.

Next year I'm going back, but I'm skipping the conference. My friends and I are going shopping, we are going to chow down on desserts, and stay up all night talking about shoes. We are going to find a church with great worship or go to a worship concert, then go back to the hotel, pull out our bibles and get our fresh word straight form the source. I'm going to hear testimonies from the "Women of Faith" in my very own hotel room. Then I'm going to write another post telling you all how great it was!

On a completely different note. My youngest son (he's 5) has decided he's a hardcore charismatic. At church today (keep in mind we are at a baptist church) he started to raise his hand (very cool... his rebel mama does the same thing despite the dirty looks she gets) Then both hands went up high, and he went into some odd goofy dance. At this point my husband and I were laughing pretty hard (probably the reason for the dance). Then he started laughing. Before we knew it the whole family was in hysterics (Toronto style) although I must admit it wasn't holy spirit induced. Finally an older gentleman looks at him and says "why are you so wild today?" His totally matter of a fact reply "'cause I've got rabies".

It was the best worship I've had at that church yet. Thank you God for my crazy children and husband who find humor in the driest moments!

On the way home my husband asked my children what they wanted for Christmas (I do NOT agree with Christmas talk before Thanksgiving, but too late, The "P" word (present) was mentioned and there is no going back now)... back to my story... my oldest daughter said "drums and a baby sister (boy is she out of luck this year) My second daughter said an Ipod (what do they think we are made of money or something?) and a baby sister. First born son "ipod, baby sister". I see a theme.

Now my five year old thinks for a moment. "I want a goatee, like daddy's, and some baby stickers." I give up.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thankfulness

Today as I woke up, I was summoned outdoors by a beautiful fall morning. I wrapped up in my soft pink robe (that has seen better days) and greeted the day on my rickety old front porch. A sudden wave of thankfulness hit me as I drew my first breath of crisp cool air.
God has provided blessing all around us, ones we often ignore. Yet my senses were heightened this morning to the vast array of his gifts around me.

Lord, I am thankful for:

Fall mornings, where the first splash of new color glistens on trees, like gold in the shifting sun.

To be greeted by my rust colored hound. His wet nose. His playful eyes. Unconditional love, where my just my presence... is enough.

Daddies and little boys up before dawn. Bundled and warm. Fishing stories and hot cocoa in a big grey truck. Watching the sun rise over the lake, poles in hands, eyes wide with anticipation. Powdered sugar smiles... evidence of breakfast still lingering on their sweet breath.

Husbands who leave a full pot of coffee for sleepy wives. Pumpkin pie creamer swirls with rich coffee in my favorite blue cup... a goodbye gift from precious friends. It reads He fills My Life With Good Things. Psalm 103:5. THANK YOU LORD!

The harvest waiting for me in my garden. An afternoon bounty of golden corn, juicy apples, and perfect pumpkins. Produce baskets overflowing, warm spicy smells from the kitchen, cinnamon candles, and the soft song of a flute, a practicing melody lingering behind my daughter's door.

Giggly girl sleepovers. Trampoline tricks after dark. Laughter that echoes in an endless rupture of glee. Pizza boxes and root beer stains. 5 sleeping girls who are not yet pining for their breakfast.

An old friend beside me. I can't see his face, but I know he is there. His handiwork is in the beauty of this morning. He is my father, my savior, my best friend. His endless love finds pleasure in delighting me with a morning like this... a moment like this. No words can describe this feeling of unmeasurable gratitude.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.... You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. Psalm 92: 1-4

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happiness Is Not The Goal

As we raise our children, we often make their happiness our primary goal. I know that if my kids are not happy I will try to juggle, bend, and manipulate the situation until they are appeased.
Will this create positive fruit in my children? Just because a child has an appetite for something, is it always in their best interest to feed it?
My daughter wanted to go back to School. She threw a fit when she realized that we would be homeschooling her this year and my first impulse was to begin my child pleasing juggling act. Where would it end? Would I ultimately give in to her perceived agony, and go against God to appease her?
Oh, poor girl needs socialisation. She doesn't get the gratification of her name on the honor role, the rights of passage like prom. Think of the slumber parties she might be missing, the pep rallies, the lunchroom chatter, or the fully functioning science labs! How can I compete?
Thoughts like these are enough to make a tired homeschool mom with a messy house and a grumpy daughter throw in the towel! Then I look out a bit further. Am I raising cheerleaders, or ambassadors for Christ? Do I want to have my child graduate school and say "whew, we made it! They are not drug addicts or pregnant." Or do I dare to hope for more?
I want God's plan for my children. I want to see them grow up to be full functioning Christians. People who serve God, not their own appetites for "happiness" (because we all know where TRUE happiness comes from, and it's NOT from our flesh).
Looking at the big picture makes choosing to continue homeschooling so much easier. THIS is the path God has directed me to follow. THIS will be the path to reach our goal. What is my ultimate goal for my children? To love and serve our Lord! With that in focus... the other things just seem to fade away.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Value Of Contentment

OK, maybe a firm goodbye was too harsh. While I have very little time to blog right now, an occasional post is downright therapeutic (as is reading them).

So what brings me out of blog exile today? A lesson. Sometimes God speaks to you, it makes such a profound change in your heart, you NEED to write it down (and share it with others).

Yesterday I brought dinner to an old neighbor who was moving in to a new home. She had sold her Mc Mansion around the same time I sold mine. While we moved off to the country, she moved to a nearby city to a larger, more elaborate home. After a year, she was back.

Her new home was an old duplex on a busy road. She made a few excuses about the home, then started crying. She proceeded to tell me that when they moved into their "new" lifestyle, they suddenly realized they couldn't afford it. This mother with her three little children had to go back to work to help make house payments. After a year God provided an out. Their house that had been up for sale nearly the whole year finally sold, and a job opened up for her husband, back home.

As the tears welled in her eyes she said "I was never content. I always devalued my role as a stay at home mom, but when it's taken away from you, you suddenly realize how wonderful it is. Now I find joy in just being with my children, holding their hands."

WOW!

I have started to feel the seeds of discontentment creep in. My old farm house is too small (2000 sq ft). The drive is to far (12 min). This town is too small (yet has little crime). I don't have enough friends (then who brought me several dinners when I wasn't feeling well?). Being a housewife is too un-gratifying (yet what is more gratifying than raising your own children?)

Now I close my eyes and imagine it. A big house in town, tons of shallow friends, working full time to support my over indulged lifestyle. Kids in school, then daycare, like they are not even mine. It sounds like hell. With our lack of contentment, Satan has tricked so many of us into our own personal hell on earth.

I put too much value on what is not important, and that breeds discontentment. I care too much about material things (houses, clothes, etc). Too much about my appearance (I've never been content with my weight, even at size 4, and no matter how hard I try, I'm never quite as pretty as I'd like to be... oh and aging makes the battle darn near impossible). While I seem to care less than most, people's negative opinions can still affect me, .... And God whispers "let it go". "Let It ALL Go!"

Every season, I feel like God gives me a theme; words and lessons that revolves around a particular area in which I need growth. This season through much prayer and confirmation, I believe my "theme" is "how to die to my flesh". While my Christian walk has been laced with that principle, I feel like God wants to help me reach new levels in my "death walk". Sounds morbid? No, sounds like freedom.

The first step? To learn the value of contentment.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Goodbye

I really like blogging! I like making friends from all over North America, and learning about their families! I like being able to debate issues and seek prayer with just a few key strokes. I like to keep in touch with friends that I've moved away from. With all these positives, you'd think I'd like to blog forever... and I would. However, now that our school year has started, I feel like I just don't have the time to write as often as I'd like, so I start to feel guilty. On the flip side, when I take time out to blog, I KNOW I'm neglecting things that are more important. I am great at procrastination, and blogging seems to feed this "talent".
I'm sure y'all know where this is leading. Yes, it's time to shut the blog down for awhile (metaphorically speaking). I may come back at a later date, but for this season, the computer is going to remain off (except for online Gymboree sales, he he). I will miss all of you very much, but my family needs me right now (as does the laundry, and the pantry, and the garden, and the ..... you get the picture).
With all my love and warmest prayers for my beautiful blogging friends, AND their beautiful families. ~Karlie

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Harvest, Sectionals, and Church

Thank you all so much for your prayers! We were all quite healthy for the gymnastics meet. My daughter did very well, and scored mostly in the 8's (which I hear is good for a first meet). She qualified for sectionals, and I guess that must be a good thing considering her coach was smiling when she said it ( I really know nothing about gymnastics... yet). Anyway, we are SO proud of her!

This week I imagine homeschool will be put on hold. Our garden has decided to "ripen" everything at once, so my week will be spent canning tomatoes, beans, corn, and pickles. My apple tree decided to ripen as well. The tree was quite fruitful this year and I lost count after 200 apples (seriously). That means canning applesauce, baking pies, fruit leathers, etc. While I love "domesticating" for the fall season, I always put on a few pounds. I feel like I'm barely maintaining the weight I lost over the Summer, and it might only take a few pies to put me over the edge. Oh, to be blessed with self control. Could I make a pie and not eat it? Nope... not possible.

We have found a church!!! YEAH! It was actually right under our noses the entire time. We had dismissed it because the worship is not to our liking. Still, we had seen so much "fruit" coming out of the body that we gave it another look. No church is perfect, and it is very difficult to find one that encompasses all the elements we desire, so my husband and I took a long look at what we could compromise.

We could NOT compromise doctrine. It had to teach the scriptures. We also HAD to have a safe, solid place for our children to grow in the Lord.

Now what seems to vary so much between churches that met these MANDATORY criteria was
1. The worship
2. The preaching
3. The body (or community of believers)

What area would we except mediocrity?

What could we get elsewhere?

Good worship is not hard to find. Whether at a Saturday service in our neighboring town, a Christian concert, or with the Newsboys Devotion CD in my own living room.

Preaching can be found on TV, the radio, in books... no shortage there, so as long as the preacher was teaching God's word... we could forgo the entertaining charismatic preacher.

Now we come to the church body. If we had a need.. a real need, would my Devotion CD pray for me? Would Joyce Meyers bring me dinner??? NO. The body was the one area of the three that was the most important... it's the body that makes up the church!

Once we looked at what the church really is (a body of believers, not an entertainment committee) it was easy to find our home.

Already we have been blessed with godly relationships, personal spiritual growth, and a renewed love for church (remember my I hate church post?).

So once again I rejoice in answered prayers. Once I let go of my personal expectations and let God lead the way, I found true happiness in unexpected places.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Better Week and A Prayer Request

Thank you all who commented words of encouragement on my last post! I'm glad many of you had a nice laugh at my expense ( ; .
This week has been quite a bit better. We only had one major breakdown (it's Thursday), and I've not heard much along the lines of "PLEASE let me go to school." Although during prayer time this morning my 5 year old prayed that he could go to Kindergarten.
Academically I couldn't be more pleased. I can't believe how fast we are progressing. Our morning conversations have really made my children's minds come alive with opinions and ideas. I have had more thought provoking conversations this week than the last 6 months combined!
We have diligently followed a (loose) schedule every day and that has been VERY helpful. We have a set time to wake up, set times for chores, and a set time to start school. We then do bible and science as a family. At that point our schedule loosens up a bit as we finish our school work up (anywhere between 12:00 and 1:00). By 3:00 our numerous activities start, but the business has really helped my kids feel like they are not missing anything socially (which is a HUGE answer to prayer).
We are doing a "bit" of P.E. Mostly push-ups, sit-ups and running laps (which I do with them). They get quite a bit of exercise from sports and dance, but I'm kind of weird about health, so I've got them working out anyway.
Tomorrow I clean! Morning chores take care of the laundry and surface stuff, but I need to do some detail cleaning and scrubbing! I think I may need to take every other Friday off to make sure my fridge doesn't grow mold and cupboards don't attack (my son was hit in the head with a bottle of Torani syrup yesterday due to cluttered cupboards.... he was fine but I had to mop the floor 4 times to get all the sticky goo up).
On a separate note. I have a prayer request. My daughter has her 1st gymnastics meet this Saturday and there has been a lot of sickness going around. My first prayer is that she stays healthy as this meet means the world to her. My second prayer is for my health and the rest of the family. We all want to be there to support her on her special day! I have had a headache and light headedness all day, and just recently got a runny nose. Not good signs, but I am trusting the Lord to keep me able to attend her meet (I'd have to be unconscious not to go, but I'd much rather feel well). Oh, and you can pray she does an awesome job at her meet too! THANKS!!!
Well, I'm off to read a few of your blogs... and see how the new school year is treating you! I think I'll make myself a cup of Echinacca tea, then go to bed early! ~Karlie

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Week One

Well, we made it through the first week.

Day one... My husband came home to me crying, saying I was putting the kids in school.

Day two... My husband came home to the kids crying, saying "PLEASE DADDY, PUT US BACK IN SCHOOL."

Day three... I yelled at the kids, did all my laundry, ran around town like a mad woman.

Day four... The cats pooped in the fire place, my tire went flat and I spent 3 hours in Les Shwab waiting for them to fix it. Meanwhile my 5 year old son made friends with a Hispanic family and informed them it was OK that they didn't speak English, because he speaks Mexican! Then he proceeded to say Hubala humuna humuna. They didn't look too amused.
THEN I lost my 7 year old son. He said he was going to the bathroom. 10 minutes later, he's still gone, so we look in the men's bathroom... EMPTY. I look all around the tiny little tire store with no luck. I'm ready to lose it so I yell out his name. A grunty reply comes from the WOMEN'S bathroom. " Yeah mom, I'm in here pooping, and it's a big one". (He failed to read the sign on the door I guess). Well another 10 minutes later he comes sauntering out with his shorts crooked, patting his belly, with the biggest smile possible ( you know, the smile that says I just accomplished something great).
A few men who had greasy shirts and a little too much crack action thought my son was just great.
Then, an Asian family walked in and guess what! Yeah, I found out my 5 year old speaks "Chinese" too. Who knew?
My oldest daughter spilled popcorn all over the floor, my nine year old had gas. What do you do in that situation? Do you say"That terrible smell is coming from my cute little daughter, not me" Or do you just ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist? I never learned the answer to that in etiquette school. (Yes I DID go to etiquette school when I was 13, and NO I obviously don't apply any of it).
Finally the tires are done and as we leave I get the question "Hey? why aren't your kids in school." "Uh, yeah, we uh... homeschool." People of minority and men sporting crack everywhere have now joined in the anti homeschool movement thanks to me.

Day Five... We had our homeschool dessert picnic (I brought Oreos, because I'm so domestic and all). My sons introduced the homeschooled boys to the word "nuts" (I am still dying of embarrassment as I write this). My daughters openly said the the homeschoolers in this town are "so weird". (More embarrassment). I got signed up to head publicity for the group. Now admit it... THAT'S funny. Oh and I cheated on my "diet" and ate 2 lemon bars and a "few" cookies ( I lost count after 3).

Today... I got my hair done.

Tomorrow... We are going to our new Church! (The details in another post)

Monday... Still homeschooling. I'm not throwing in the towel just yet. We DID cover Communism, the Taliban, Afghanistan, the fall of Rome and how that relates to America thus proving the pertinence of history lessons, early Chemistry (my kids laughed every time I said "gas" so we focused a bit more on liquids and solids), the shifting of continents, Albania, the Azeri people, Islam (and why they hate us), PLUS 5 lessons of math, English, and reading for each child.
You have to admit, with the week I've had, I kicked the school's butt in the education arena. Now if I can just keep myself from loosing my mind, I may make it though week two. ~Karlie

PS. My son wants to be the Grim Reaper for homeschool harvest party. Since they already think I'm awful I think I'll let him go for it. I'll just say he's a bible character....Satan.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Starting Homeschool Tuesday

Tuesday is the big day! We start homeschool again. I am not actually ready to start, but figure I better get going. We have Math and English curriculum for the kiddos, but decided to not use a curriculum for Science, History, etc. It should keep it pretty relaxed... I hope. We are going to study the Solar System as a family and end with a night time field trip to an observatory. Honestly, that's all we have planned outside of the basics, but I'm OK with that.
Soccer has already started for the boys, and next week we add fall gymnastics team practice for my 9 yr dd, ballet (on point... had to add that 'cause I'm just so proud) for 11 yr dd, homeschool band for 11 yr dd, and Awana's for the boys (only because we are already in town that evening). Is that a crazy schedule or what? Oh and before I get posts telling me to tone down my schedule, let me state for the record, we LIKE it this way. After being home all day, by 3:00 my kids are begging to get out of the house. I am usually a bit burnt out by May... if only activities ended mid April, oh well.
I imagine I won't have too much time for blogging until I get our routine down, so if you don't hear from me for awhile, that's why. I really want to put my focus into a positive start for our year these next few weeks. Ah.... priorities.
I'll catch up with you guys in a few weeks when things settle down (unless something REALLY cool happens that I just have to share, or I get an uncommonly deep thought). I pray you all have a great start to your homeschooling / school year too! ~Karlie

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things I'm Into

As a little girl, I had a pretty blue box, a bit bigger than a shoe box that I would keep my treasures in. Some things would stay in there for a season, some forever. I put in my VERY favorite books, cassette tapes, articles, and of course, my dairy.



I don't have that blue box anymore ( I tossed it after I had kids... I didn't want any "mamma before she was mamma" incidents, but my desire to cling on to my favorites has not changed.



So what am I into right now? So glad you asked because I was going to share anyway ( ;



The new Johnny Lang CD, Turn Around. It is SO good. The guy is like 21, became a famous Blues artist at 16, and got saved! His CD is pretty much about his faith and it ROCKS!



When the Day of Evil Comes by Melanie Wells. This is easily my favorite Christian fiction novel. I literally couldn't stop reading it until it was finished, it was THAT suspenseful. I highly suggest you get yourself a copy, BUT don't start it until you can devote the rest of the day to finishing it. Her sequel Soul Hunter was every bit as good (maybe better), so you might as well pick than one up while you are at it. My only complaint; Mrs. Wells does not write fast enough! I can't WAIT for #3.



Created to be his Helpmeet Debbie Pearl. OK, I must admit, at first I HATED this book, but the more I read it the more I realized it was biblical truth, and as I applied it to my own marriage, I saw AMAZING results. This is NOT a feel good book. This is an in your face, tell it like it is battering of conviction. Like boot camp, it wasn't fun, but I learned so much in a very short time... and it DEFINITELY changed my marriage for the better. A MUST READ! Just calm down and pray about what you read before you send me nasty e-mails for suggesting it. ( ;



Nars has this blush, and it has a "naughty" name that I won't mention here, but the stuff is gorgeous! Pricey, yes, overindulgent yes... but it makes your skin look SO pretty. You can buy it at my favorite store in the world Sephora.

Quorn. It's a super protein, soy free, meat substitute. I'm not a big meat eater, and I DON'T do soy products (that stuff is dangerous in my opinion) so it's nice to have a healthy alternative. Especially one so tasty! This get my vote for the best health food product on the market!

So there you have it! These are my newest discoveries, worthy of my blue treasure box (that is decaying under tons of garbage in a landfill somewhere... but that's besides the point). So, be sure to check them out, and share yours too! You never know when I'll find a new favorite, it just might be one of yours!

I dedicate this post to my fellow bloggers who helped me finally figure out the link thingy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

HELP.... I'm Confused

We are still church hopping here over in my neck of the woods. I'm starting to think we're going to have to settle. We DID find a great church for us (two of them in fact) but they were in a neighboring town, over 45 minutes a way. It just seemed like it would be too hard to be an active member of the body when we live so far away.
Now we have been looking locally at one church pretty seriously. We like a lot about it, so I did my typical (call and grill the pastor to make sure there is nothing goofy). You would be surprised to know how many churches actually think the bible rules don't apply to them.
After a nice conversation I brought out the fundamentalist" big guns" abortion and homosexuality. Now here is where I got caught up a bit, He said that while they believe what the bible says, and homosexuality is wrong, they welcome practicing homosexuals into their congregation. No, they do not preach to them about it nor ask them to change because they want to first develop a relationship with them and hope someone might council them at a later date.
My reply was "Would you let a man who is cheating on his wife bring his mistress to church and not call him on it?" "Oh, no, of course not, we'd follow biblical procedures A, B and C." It sounded a bit like a double standard to me and made my conservative self shudder.
After I hung up and I talked with my hubby we resolved to NOT attend the church. Now I have been thinking... am I too harsh? What if I had a close homosexual relative? Wouldn't I want the opportunity to bring them to church and lead them to God? Maybe I'm being brainwashed by the Liberal influences around me... I don't know!!! What would that be saying to my kids if we attended a church that looked the other way? What about people who show up high on drugs, or drunk, or weigh 300 pounds from their gluttonous out of control life style? Should we say, "I'm sorry mam, you can't attend this church unless you stop stuffing your face with donuts." A sin is a sin. AHHH!
What do y'all think? ~Karlie

Monday, August 27, 2007

A much better excuse

Maybe I should have waited a week on that flaky blogger post, 'cause obviously I wasn't ready to quit being flaky! Actually. we've just been REALLY busy. The boys started soccer, and my hubby's coaching. We had a huge barbecue with my husbands bank that was NOT a potluck because he told everyone that I would provide the food. So, I've been making cobblers and salads for 30. Then we took a fantastic weekend trip (just the two of us).

We went white water rafting and had a blast! The highlights were the EXTREME fun I had on the level 3 rapids, the great scenery, and the water fights we had with the other rafts. The downside, I ALMOST fell out (like hanging on with one arm)... not that it would be the end of the world, but the river is REALLY cold, and it just wasn't that fun. The other downside; we had a mega bimbo on the boat. I kept praying she would fall out, but no such luck.

We stayed at a great resort right on the river. I cheated on my diet (I'm down 12 pounds now... or at least I was before this weekend) and ate homemade ravioli, peanut butter pie, and Pina Coladas. We also ran into some old friends.

Between the trip, the barbecue, soccer, getting ready to start homeschool and a goodbye party, I've been too busy to blog, or visit blogs or clean my house. With that said, I start school next week, and I am again behind in laundry, so if I do spend time blogging this week, it's because I'm procrastinating my chores, which probably means, I'll be on here a lot. Procrastination is one of my gifts ( ; ~Karlie

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Flaky Blogger

Is there a flaky blogger award? My computer DIED, and I just got it back today... so there's my excuse!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

8 Random Facts About My Marriage

Rhen over at http://yestheyareallmine.wordpress.com/ tagged me with this interesting marriage meme (I still don't know what meme stands for). I'd never seen one like it, so I thought I'd give it a shot!

1. My husband and I met in high school. I was 15; he was 16.

2. We married right after high school graduation (but moved in together my Junior year)

3. My husband came from a very poor family, while mine was quite "comfortable". Interestingly, he has a far better work ethic than I do. I'm still expecting that silver platter.

4. We eloped in a 7th Day Adventist church (my husbands side of the family are Adventist), and the pastor said he wouldn't pronounce us man and wife unless we admitted to being sinners for having premarital sex. WHOA. I was NOT a Christian at the time, and let me tell you I was MAD! The naughty things I said about that pastor for the next few months... Honestly, even now that I've found the Lord, I still hate the guy.

5. My husband worked two jobs and put himself through college, while I had our first daughter... AND stayed home with her. I would only see him a few hours a week, but it has paid off. He has a great career and I am STILL home with my babies.

6. When I met my husband, he had long hair, and a nose ring! I had hair past my waist and wore hippie dresses (what can I say, it was a phase). I used words like Chronic and Humboldt, and was a BIG fan of Keasey (if ya know what I mean; if you don't GOOD for you).

7. We both found the Lord with the birth of our first daughter, and drastically changed for the better. We both share the same passions, God our kids, and each other.

8. Our marriage is strong, for many reasons; but I think the best part is that we both love to have fun. We are always taking little (and BIG) adventures. We laugh at EVERYTHING, and even after nearly 12 years of marriage, we still prank call each other. We both are a bit off our rocker, and that suits us just fine... he gets me.

Ah, now after writing this, I'm going to have to go love on my husband... I'm a lucky girl!


Now, who to tag? Really Nice Day is one cool chick... I'd love to hear about how she met her hubby http://www.reallyniceday.blogspot.com/ . Cindy is another one that I've never heard the "how we met" story. http://www.stillhisgirl.blogspot.com/ . Oh and let's throw in a guy blogger. Carl, an opinionated blogger I met over at HSB http://blog.larsonhomeschool.com/ And anyone else who wants to share. Javamamma and Rachelle have great stories.. I think I'll tag you both too while I'm at it!!! http://javamamma.blogspot.com/ ,http://3knightsandaprincess.blogspot.com/

BTW, would someone PLEASE tell me how to do the link thingy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Clearing Off The Path

Today I heard God. I've had a bit of a dry spell lately with the Spirit. Sure, I heard the bit about homeschool, but it was more of God speaking through others to me than me actually talking to the Big Guy. Sometimes he's gotta do it that way because of my thickheadedness.

Oh, but this morning while I was in prayer, I pressed in to the spirit, and ... I met with a friend I haven't visited with in awhile! It was like old times. Sure we've "corresponded"; but today, I "hung out" with my father!
I just had to share something he told me! So, as I was in prayer, I was asking him where he had been; why do I labor over certain prayers for so long with no answer; only confusion? Why couldn't I communicate with him like I used to? As I prayed this I felt prompted to call out "Teach me your way Oh Lord" Psalm 27:11 .

This is where I saw a vision (non Charismatics might want to bolt about now) and I saw myself walking along a path. I heard God whisper " this is the path to righteousness, the path to God." I couldn't walk forward because the entire path was littered with books, for as far as I could see. I had to sweep the books off the path, then hand them over to God. As I looked down at the books I saw they were all my Christian "self help" books. Books on parenting, dieting, prayer, marriage, you name it. And then it clicked. I have been turning to these books for the answer, NOT God. I have been reading someone else's interpretation of God's word, and not going directly to the source.

While many of these books were obviously written by an anointed author, they were not intended to take the place of God's word. Many of the books conflicted each other, and even more of them conflicted God's word; yet I'd read them far more than I pressed into prayer. These books were blocking my communication with God.

So, it's time to lay the books aside. Bring out my old trusty bible. Dig out my favorite worship Cd's, and spend some time in the presence of my God. Ah, it's good to be back where I belong.