Saturday, February 22, 2014

Feeling Small

Sometimes I feel so small.  I feel insignificant, of little use or value.  I live in the boonies, not even a small town.  I'm not rich or famous.  I'm not "special" by the world's standards.  I'm just me; a farmer's wife.

My days are spent taking care of small things.  Two small children.  Seemingly menial tasks.  Small ministries, at least in numbers. 

It's easy to feel small in such a big world.  I tell God this and He lovingly corrects me.

The enemy of my soul would love to keep me feeling small.  To lead me to believe that I have no influence or power.  The Truth of God's Word tells me different.  In His Word I find that:

God has good plans for ME! 
The Savior of the world knows me, sees me, loves me and has a purpose for my life.
I am significant and what I do matters.  It matters very much.
In the small stuff...that really adds up to the big stuff!
Not only in the small, but especially in the small.  In the every day, mundane stuff of life.
In the seemingly insignificant one on one contact with those in my unique sphere of influence.
What I do for the least of these...
It matters!

God wants me to see that.  And He wants to do even more.  He doesn't want me to miss the joy and opportunity He has for me in the small.

When we are faithful in the small...
He gives even more...
More of Him which means:
More insight, wisdom and revelation.
More faith and hope.
More joy and peace.
More strength and courage.
And isn't that what I want?!  More of Him and less of me.  To become smaller.  Small isn't so bad.  When I become smaller, He becomes greater in me.

So although I am valued, loved and powerful in the name of, because I am all of those things...I am okay with being "small".  And I will choose to see the miracle and joy in the every day stuff of life.  All of it...every part...matters!

"Who dares despise the days of small things..."  Zechariah 4:10
I'm participating in Five Minute Friday.  Okay, so I'm a day late, but who's really keeping track, right?! :)
This is a time when I write on one word for five minutes.  This weeks one word prompt was "Small". 
Jump on over to Lisa-Jo Baker's page to see what others had to say on this subject by clicking the link below:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lego Birthday Party ~ Fun Day Monday

It's hard to believe our oldest son, Andrew, turned 7 at the end of January.  But he did!  Where does time go?!  He's quite the young man, so inquisitive, insightful and full of zest for life!  And he's really growing up on us!!
Andrew decided on a lego Birthday party this year.  Here's a picture of the birthday boy with his party spread...
BUT I need to back track a little first....
The day before Andrew's big day we surprised him with a trip to Cabela's where we let him pick out his own gift.  He chose, with the help of Daddy and little brother, Noah, a nice fishing pole.  Now he's eager for spring to come so he can try it out!!
On his Birthday we celebrated with a few more little gifts...
and our traditional birthday pancakes complete with chocolate chips, whipped cream and sprinkles!
Before his birthday came we started working on his Birthday Party Pinata...
A lego piñata...made with a shoebox and a toilet paper roll cut into thirds...
Then the birthday boy and I covered it with paper mache...
Just paper mache paste and strips of newspaper...
We added several layers of paper mache to the piñata, removed the shoebox, then covered the bottom with aluminum foil and more layers of paper mache.  We let each layer dry between adding the next.  Finally it was time to paint it...
Then I made easy lego cakes using loaf pans and oreo cookies...
Not perfection, but cute none the less...
Andrew was thrilled with his lego cakes!!
FINALLY it was time to party!! :)
He had 7 friends attend.  With him and his little brother there were 9 kids under the age of 9.  Fun!
We set up the piñata in our partially finished basement, hanging it with twine from one of the rafters under the false ceiling.
That thing was tough!!  Much tougher than I thought paper mache would be...
By the time all 9 kids had, had their swing at it with the plastic bat, the excitement had really built!!
Finally we had to get out a real metal bat.  That did the trick.  :)
The Birthday Boy had a great time...and I believe all the other kids did too.  Daddy even refereed a dodge ball game.  Little kids love throwing things at each other, go figure.  :) 
We even had time to eat the cake, treats and ice cream in the midst of the children posing their best silly faces for the camera.  :)
But every day is a fun adventure with the little guy!  We are so blessed to be his parents!
HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY ANDREW!!  You are a treasure!!

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
Psalm 127:3-5


Thursday, February 6, 2014

When You Dare to Ask God What He Wants...

I utter, “Use me, Lord.” “Show me your will, Lord.”  “I want to honor you, Lord.”  Do I mean it? 

What about my agenda.  My plan.  My way.  My dreams.  All good things, many of them sought with a desire to glorify Him.  I ask for what I want.  But I’m not God.  And I don’t know His plans.  What do I know of His ways?  How often do I dare to ask God what He wants? Really ask Him…and wait to hear His answer.  Hands open to whatever He has for me; even when it looks much different than what I thought…or planned…or dreamed. 

What about when His honor comes through the unexpected?  Or when it’s uncomfortable.  Or scary.  Or downright hard.  Or it involves suffering.  What then?   Do I ask for that?  Or do I keep my hands in tight fists, clinging to what I “know” is God’s best for me, and my loved ones?   It’s human nature to want “easy”, “happy” and “comfy cozy”.    

But, most often, when I ask Him what He wants…and actually wait to hear what He says, He doesn’t say “easy”.  He often calls me to the hard.  To things that seem beyond my reach.  To things that stretch my faith and cause me to rely on Him more.  

I see Christians do it all the time.  We say we want to be used of God.  What we often mean is we want the spotlight; the glory.  We want to do the good things on our agenda…and invite God to join us.  We may  look mature on the outside.  But the LORD sees us as little children with fingers in ears, singing, “La la la.”  Only willing to hear what we want to hear.  We want to hear words like blessings…and good gifts…grace and joy.   
The trouble: blessings, good gifts, even grace and joy often come in unexpected wrappings. 

Lately, my LORD has bee doing some serious sanctifying work in me.  Preparing me for His next place of promise (a Susie Larson quote).  I've watched Him do His work in my husband's heart as well.  Obvious and glorious!  He's doing a new thing...or two or three.
As my husband and I venture into the world of becoming foster parents, we face so many unknowns.   It’s exciting.  It can also be nerve wracking apart from faith.  He’s leading this way, no doubt about it.  We dared to ask.  We also dared to listen.  He answered.  So we step forward in faith and obedience, taking God at His word; choosing to lean on Jesus; humbly dependent.
We don’t expect easy.  We expect challenges.  But we’re compelled; compelled to help children.  We’re compelled to love with open hearts and arms; pouring out the love He’s so abundantly given us.  So many hurting kids, we can’t sit with eyes closed and hands clinched, clinging to our desire for unchallenged lives.  Growth stunted.
Honestly, it seems it would be easier not to.  Things are good and comfortable here.  Why mess with a good thing?  It will be work.  It will cost us something.  It will be inconvenient at times.  But what if we don’t?  Who will help?  There is a critical need and Jesus is calling us to intervene!  We can't help everyone, but we can help someone. 

If  we chose self-centeredness what seemingly haphazardly wrapped gifts would we miss?  True blessings given and received, designated for us and them, for such a time as this.  I shudder to think of passing it up for the sake of complacency.

Would it really be easier to say no?  Is not the center of God's will the best and safest place to be?  Christians often say it.  But do we live it?  We can be missionaries, His ambassadors, right here, right now, in our own home, in our own community.  But it requires faith steps.
I look ahead in anticipation of what He’s about to do.  Thankful for what He's already done.  Joyful.  Expecting.  Trusting.  Without fear.  Hands wide open and lifted up.  When doubt and fear and the Enemy’s lies rear their head once more, I will again choose faith.  Not because I am good.  Because He is good and I know I can trust Him. And truly my heart aches to help; to do His will. 
Will you dare to ask Him what He wants of you?

Will you pray for us as we move forward in faith? 

Will you please pray for the 450,000 children currently in foster care in the United States? 

Remember God doesn't call the equipped.  He equips the called.
"...Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."  Philippians 2:12-13
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