Friday, January 25, 2013

What my 4 Year Old Taught Me About Forgiveness (a repost)

I first shared this post on September 27, 2011.  Much has happened since then.  My little man will turn 6 years old in a few days.  God's still using him and his little brother to teach me lessons...and I've taught them, by God's grace, quite a few too.  So thankful for the way we continue to grow.
I've heard it said that unforgiveness in our hearts is liking drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person.  To live a happy, Spiritually healthy life we must choose to forgive...and not just when we're asked.  It takes practice and a willing heart, much like any other discipline in this life. 
I re-read this a few weeks ago.  My own words ministered to me.  Love how God does that!  So I thought I'd share again, in case you someone else needed to read it too.  :)  Please read more...

Another Lesson from my 4 year old...Forgiveness

Oh, the things I learn from my children!
A few days ago I raised my voice at my 4 year old. Yes, I know, I shouldn't do this. And, yes, I know how important my words are...and that it's not Christ like to yell...and that I wasn't setting a good example for my children. Yes, I know. I am ashamed of it. But, the truth is, I did what I know I shouldn't.

I'm sure you didn't assume I was perfect. Of course, this all out proves that I am not. As much as I love my boys and as much as I want to be the perfect mom, I still blow it more often than I'd like to. Thankful for God's grace...and for continued growth.
After I raised my voice, I felt terrible. I asked the Lord to forgive me. Then, I went with a repentant heart to ask my little Andrew for his forgiveness. I said, "Andrew, I'm sorry for raising my voice at you. That was't right. Will you please forgive me?" He said, "Yes, I forgive you, Mommy. It's okay." I said, "No, it's not okay, I shouldn't have raised my voice at you." He looked surprised as he replied, "It's okay, Mommy. I forgive you." I told him thank you and out of my own shame said I was sorry again. He said, "I forgive you, Mommy. It's okay. I already forgave you before you even asked."

Did you catch that? He already forgave me before I even asked!

Wow! Tears flooded my eyes...unmerited, undeserved forgiveness before I asked...just because he loves me! What a relief! What joy flooded my heart!
I need to take a lesson from my 4 year old!! Do you also?
Instead of taking offense, holding a grudge, and critically looking at another's faults; how much better to overlook and forgive...without being asked...not because it's merited or deserved...just because of LOVE!
Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 
Colossians 3:13
"Anyone who overlooks an offense promotes love..."
Proverbs 17:9a
Read other posts about Forgiveness here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Thankful Heart, Good Medicine

At the end of October our oldest little boy (5 1/2) and I made our own Thanksgiving Countdown Tree.  I can't take credit for the idea.  I saw it on some Facebook page (if I remembered where I would give credit where credit is due).  We had so much fun working on it together.

Each day from then until Thanksgiving we removed one leaf from the tree, wrote something each of the 4 of us (even our 2 1/2 year old) were thankful for on it, then put it at the bottom of the tree. 

By Thanksgiving Day the tree was bear and the leaves at the bottom represented so much to be thankful for!  We read each of them aloud...and thanked God again.

It was a fun thing to do.  But, more than that, it was a great exercise to teach our children the power of praise and thanksgiving.  To point out their blessings.  To direct their thanks to the Giver of all good gifts.  To teach them to recognize how faithful and good He is, in all things.  It was good for their mama and daddy too!

“How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter into His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can't I give thanks for anything? And if I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates to glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy- and seeing shows the way in.”  Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Oh, to have eyes to really see! 
The problem is we don't often slow down enough to see, to recognize how blessed we are.
I've been very focused on pursuing better physical health recently.  Even been sharing parts of my journey on my other blog Health In Beranville and corresponding Facebook page.  But I know overall health goes a lot deeper than the physical.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." 
Proverbs 17:22

I believe a thankful heart is a cheerful heart.  A thankful heart does not focus on the negative.  It does count blessings (even in the hard stuff of life).  It's like medicine, healing salve for our souls!  How can we not be cheerful (to be down hearted) when our heart is full of thankfulness?!  

Today I plan to take extra time be still.  To rest in His presence.  To ask Him to give me eyes to see, really see, just how blessed I am.  To praise Him, the Giver, because He is so very good!  To nourish my soul.

Have you stopped to count your blessings today?  Have you praised the Giver?  If not, what's stopping you?  Take the time...right now!

Having a hard time knowing where to start?  Can't see the good?  What about this, did you wake up this morning with air in your lungs.  Of course you did.  Today is another chance.  His mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:23).  Do you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, internet access, food in your belly?  If so, you are richer than a large majority of people on this planet.  He is good and faithful and His loves endures forever.

Oh, if only we have eyes to see, really see! 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever."
Psalm 136:1-3 
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Monday, January 14, 2013

A Healthy Soul (and intro to a NEW BLOG)

I've been on a health kick here in Beranville.  Not some hippy, trendy weight loss diet or New Year's Resolution.  No, more like a whole lifestyle change.  Something that's well overdue. 

"Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." James 4:17

Lately I've decided to spend a lot more time focusing on my physical health because, quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all-the-time.  I need to feel better in order to do all the things I know God has called me to do.

I decided to take the coming months to do something about it.  To take steps toward better health, including a healthy diet and ridding my home and body of toxins.  I even started a new blog to share what I'm doing and learning with others and to keep myself accountable to stick to it.

But I know that health goes beyond the body to the soul. 
"For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things,
since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."
I Tim 4:8 NASB 

As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ I can't neglect to pursue nourishment for my soul, much in the same way that I'm attempting to nourish my body.

Health gurus talk about building emotional and spiritual health with everything from meditation to stress relief techniques.  But I believe the best way to nourish my soul (emotions and spirit included) is spending quiet time with the One who made me.  This includes time for prayer, talking to God and seeking His guidance.  It also includes Bible study, getting into the Holy Word and letting it get into me.  These are my food and preventive medicines for the soul.

I'm not talking about empty religious rituals or checklists.  I'm talking about a thriving relationship with Jesus.  I know from experience that nothing else provides all that our souls are longing for like He does.  Knowing Him fills my soul with hope, joy and peace that no bodily diet, exercise program or stress relieving technique can even come close to.  Knowing Him fills me with happiness unlike any brownie or being able to fit into that "skinny" dress ever could. 

Just like my healthy diet it takes diligence to spend time with Him each day.  As I wrote on Health in Beranville, we always make time for what's important to us.  If you asked me I would say my relationship with Jesus is very, very important to me.  Yet, I've been guilty at times of neglecting my soul nourishment.  It's easy to make excuses like I'm too busy or it's too hard.  Then I wonder why I feel weak.  I must remember to nourish my soul daily!

Will you join me on my quest toward better health both physical and spiritual?!  I'd love it if you would! 

*First, make a commitment today to spend concentrated time with the LORD each day this week, then follow through.  If you need tips on where to start feel free to e-mail me:

*Then, join me on my health quest.  Follow my Health in Beranville blog (either through blogger or sign up for e-mail updates in the right hand side bar).  There I will share my trials and errors, triumphs and failures as I pursue better health.  I'll share healthy diet ideas and steps I'm taking to rid my home and family of toxins (including my self-tried recipes for personal care and cleaning products), plus other tips toward wellness.  I'd love company on the journey! 

P.S. Don't have a personal relationship with Jesus?  Don't understand how you could possibly have a relationship with someone you can't see?  Have questions?  I'l looove to talk to you about that.  Again, here's my e-mail: