Category Archives: Family

I said what I meant and I meant what I said . . .

Parenting has been a wild ride for Mark and me. We have had very little preparation or training for most of what we have encountered over the years. There has been no other experience that has kept us as humbly reliant upon God for each new season and situation that comes our way.

For the past couple of years, there is a phrase that keeps popping out of my mouth, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant.” It is useful for many occasions, such as:

  • “Mom, do I have to practice piano for 20 minutes?”
    • “I said what I meant and I meant what I said.”
  • “Mom, are you sure I can’t stay up an hour later?”
    • “I said what I meant and I meant what I said .”
  • “Mom why this or why that . . .”
    • “I said what I meant and I meant what I said.”

I don’t know why kids are masters at the fine art of breaking parents down to try to get their own way, but it can be exhausting, can’t it? I guess it is human nature to want your own way and to try anything to get it.

Recently, I found myself a bit frustrated and out of frustration, I grumbled, “I said what I meant and I meant what I said”. As the day went on, I found that my heart was becoming filled with fear rather than faith for my kids. Tenderly, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me the same words I had spoken to them, “I said what I meant and I meant what I said”. However, His words were much more gentle and kind than mine, even though we “said” the same thing.

At that moment, I was reminded of the many things God has said about my children:

  • “For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11
  • “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread . . . their children will be blessed.” Psalm 37:25-26
  • “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” Psalm 112:1-2
  • “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.” Isaiah 65:21
  • “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

If I, in my human imperfection, say what I mean and mean what I say with my kids; how much more does God, in His utter perfection, say what He means and mean what He says?

God’s words are flawless, unquestionable, undeniable, holy, right and true.

What has God said that you need to trust and believe today? Let me gently remind you . . .

He said what He meant and He meant what He said.

Let’s live like we believe it today.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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Summer Family Bible Study

When summer time rolls around, my husband and I take advantage of the extra time we have to disciple our kids in God’s Word. Each year, it looks differently. For two years in a row, we participated in the “Bible Bee”. The first summer we studied each and every verse of 1st Peter and the second summer it was 2nd Timothy. Click here to check out this wonderful ministry.

As springtime was giving way to summer, my husband shared with me that he wanted the kids to learn how to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice through interacting with the Bible.  So, this summer, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday he will choose a verse from the Bible and in our journals, we will interact with it in the following way:

  1. Write the reference
  2. Write the main theme
  3. Choose a key word & using Blueletterbible.org write the Hebrew or Greek Definition
  4. Consider what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me personally through the verse and write it down

Journals

Summer Bible Study

Then we will share with each other what we have written.  However, sharing #4 is optional.  It can keep it between you and the Lord.

On Wednesday, our verse was Romans 10:9. This is what I received from this verse.

  1. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
  2. Steps to Salvation
  3. Lord – to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has the power of deciding the owner, one who has control of a person, master.
  4. Jesus needs to be Lord of every area of my life – mind, emotions, attitude, etc… I have decided that I belong to Jesus and I willingly give Him control of my life.  As I keep Him as Lord of all of me, it leads to salvation of anything and everything that tries to come against me.  He is the Lord that initially saves me from my sin, but He is also the Lord who continually saves me from that which tries to defeat me.

We are praying that this simple Biblical exercise leads to great growth in our kiddos lives.  Feel free to adopt and/or adapt our Summer Bible Study for your family as well!

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Keeping Family First

Those who serve in ministry have the challenge to keep their priorities in order.  God first, family second, ministry third.  Sometimes, the lines get a little blurred and because we are serving God in ministry, it can seem like the stuff of ministry is more important than the stuff of caring for your family.

My lines got a little blurred this week.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are on the home stretch of a large building project at our church.  We have been a mobile church for over a year but, Lord willing, we will have our first Sunday in the new building in two weeks, June 15th.  The past month has been one of survival mode for our family.  My husband and I are pulled in many different directions and wake up trusting God that He will give us the strength we need to do what needs to be done that day.  This past Tuesday what I needed to get done was prepare my teachings for the Women’s Ministry Leader Day that we were having on Saturday.  However, Tuesday was also my husband’s and my 19th anniversary.  We had decided to have a quiet dinner at home while the kids were at Grandma’s.

I worked feverishly on preparing my teachings all day long and by the time 4:00 rolled around; I was not ready to celebrate with my husband.  I was still in my jammies, no make-up on, hair a mess, not sure what we were going to have for dinner besides steak, and no anniversary card.  Plus, I needed to pick up my kids at 5:00 to get them where they needed to be and meet my husband back home for dinner by 6:00.

I don’t know what you do when there’s a lot to be done in a little amount of time, but I start looking for short-cuts.  I did a quick survey of the fridge and found what else we could have for dinner, I got dressed and made myself presentable, but I still didn’t have an anniversary card.  As I was getting ready, I stumbled upon the anniversary card I had given my husband the year before . . . Hmmm . . .  Maybe, just maybe, I could pawn it off as the anniversary card for this year again?  Surely he wouldn’t notice, right?  I opened the card and was disappointed to see that it said something about “18 years”, so, I carefully made the 8 into a 9.

19 years

Then I re-sealed it with some wax, hoping to disguise the fact that this card had already been opened.

sealed card

At first, I felt pretty impressed with my ingenuity.  As they say, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”.  However, as the minutes went by, I came to my senses and realized that my husband deserved better than last year’s recycled card.  I scrounged up some cash and went to the store on my way to go pick up the kids.  Unfortunately, the store on the corner didn’t have the best selection of cards, but I found a cute card that I thought my husband would appreciate.

I got the kids where they needed to be and was on my way home, when I realized I still needed to sign the card.  I pulled over on the side of the road and started pouring my heart out to my wonderful husband.  As I was finishing up, my phone rang.  I answered it and it was my husband, he had just passed me and was wondering what I was doing pulled over on the side of the road!!  I told him I had something to do really quick and I would be home soon.  After dinner, we exchanged cards, and he asked me, “Is this what you were doing on the side of the road?”

It can be a challenge to keep your priorities in order, can’t it?  In ministry, there will always be urgent things to get done.  However, keeping family first before ministry is worth the effort you make.  Our families are a gift of God’s grace to us.  Let’s be sure we are keeping our relationships with them in first place, second only to our relationship with God Himself.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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