Graceless

CHANCIE MARTIN by CHANCIE MARTIN @
I have so many things running through my mind at this moment which makes it hard for me to decide what it is that I am suppose to write. My husband and oldest son, Hunter are on a missions trip to the mountains with some of our youth all this week. All last week our wonderful, God-filled church hosted Vacation Bible School. Our youth helped out all week so that they can take what they learned and put on a similar VBS at a church that would not have been able to do it otherwise. Isn’t that a perfect example of what Christ Jesus wants for us as Christians to do?
 
     “The Great Commision” Matthew 28:18-20  Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. 19- Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20- teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

It’s so comforting to know that Christ Jesus is with us always. One thing I never put together in the Old Testament that our pastor talked about was when God wanted Moses to bring the people out of Egypt into a land good and spacious, a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:11 But Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12- He (God) answered, “I will certainly be with you,” the verses goes on giving Moses instructions and Moses, like most of us, questioned and gave reasons why he should not be the one for the job. Moses told God that he was not a good speaker. Exodus 4:14-17 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses, and He said, “Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. He will rejoice when he sees you. 15-You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you and him speak and will teach you both what to do. 16- He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him. 17- And take this staff in your hand that you will perform the signs with.” God gave Aaron to Moses to speak to the people for Moses however Aaron rarely spoke for Moses. Why? God was with him. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

One of the songs sang today really touched me and got my mind to thinking about every time I sin and what Jesus might go through when we do. It is called "Feel the Nails" and I can tell you a bit of what it said. It was a person that talked about sinning and wondered if every time s/he sin if Jesus relived the pain on the Cross? While I don’t think he does, it sure is something to think about each and every time you sin!

This week has been a time of mind shaping for me as I read out of several of my books: ‘The Resolution for Women,’ ‘not a fan’ and the journal that goes with it. I must admit that I picked up reading ‘not a fan’ and ‘The Resolution for Women’ at the same time. At the point I picked both of them up, ‘The Resolution for Women’ won out and spoke to me more. I was not too thrilled with ‘not a fan’ at first, however it has grown on me and I do like it now. Plus, I’m helping out with Bible school on Sunday mornings for our youth girls and that is what they are reading. I find myself reading ‘The Resolution for Women’ then picking up ‘not a fan’ and as weird as it might seem they go together for me! One of my biggest struggles is being a parent and how I just don’t know sometimes (most of the time) is what to do with them or how to handle them. Not anything specific but in general. It’s so scary to think that God gave me theses perfect little babies that grow up to be adults and everything I say or do or how I live my own life shapes them. One wrong turn and I can do some damage however God knew this when making the little ones. He made them to endure crazy parents!
 
My lesson this week in ‘The Resolution for Women’ hit both at home and at work. Double whammy!! For those that don’t know what I do, I along with one other person are over all 12 of our Nursing Homes Business office managers along with billing and collecting money for our company. We are both passionate about our jobs and sometimes we tend to show that passion in our emails. The funny thing is the one I finally send out has been retyped several times before I hit send. It’s not retyped due to misspelled words either. I’m human and I’m passionate about my job. If it involves money or charges that will impact our company in a negative way, it is my job to speak up and get my point across! Or so I thought! It wasn’t until we had a family meeting with just my parents and my three bothers that I heard something that struck my heart as bad as when I went to go see a movie that I really shouldn’t have gone to see. One of my family members commented on an email I sent out with several replies sent by the person I sent them to and myself. The comment was, “He will not reply back against you because your words tend to cut them down.” Wow! My comment back to that, as ashamed as I am to repeat, was  “He should put his big boys pants on. My email was not that bad.” Although, I really think my email was not as bad as it could have been, but it’s from my past emails that lead up to that comment I received. I do agree with my behavior and emails in the past has led me up to my reputation of “being just like my dad,” or “she’s her daddy daughter.” I am a very passionate person and I like to prove my point if I’m right and someone else is wrong. Big fault of mine.
 
Well, the two things weighing on my mind when I pick up my book to read is my parenting, how do I do what am I suppose do with my kids and that comment I received in the family meeting. I turn to my next Chapter, “My Blessing,” A resolution to esteem others with my time, concern and full attention. ‘This should be good,’ I thought to myself! The first thing that runs through my head when I think about blessing anyone is not giving them the gift of my time. After all, it’s my time that could quite possibly ruin them! She opens up the chapter with talking about her listening to one of the eldest and most accomplished speakers on her team deliver a message. It wasn’t as much as what he said throughout the message but how he ended his message that affected her. He ended with “I’m aware that the greatest gift you can ever give someone is the gift of your own time. Thank you for giving me that gift today.” Then she affected me with more of what she said that I didn’t put together or rather that I took for granted. She said “When people give you their ear, they are offering you a sliver of their life they can never retrieve again----one of the few gifts that can never be returned or retracted.” I don’t know what just went through your mind but my mind had flash backs of all the times my children have wanted to share something special with me and I told them that I needed to get the clothes done real quick or they wanted me to read to them and I got carried away with cleaning something else in the house and they had fallen asleep waiting on me. Waiting on me, they thought I was special enough to want to give me their time. All this time I have been searching for what I could do or how I can change to be a better parent when it was right under my nose! Time!

My next section hit both home and work. It also explain what I did wrong on my emails at work. This section title was “SHHHHHH!” I can hear my husband laughing as he is proofreading this paragraph. He knows me too well! Well, actually he’s probably not the only one that knows me that is laughing at this! Ok! I love to talk just like Forest Gump loved to run! But, there comes a time when even he has run as far as he can go before he realizes it’s time to go home. Wisdom: knowing what to say and not saying it. I got the first part down pat however the second half I’ve been steady working on! You would be interested in knowing that it’s also in the Bible. Proverbs 10:19  When there are many words, sins is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise. (HCSB translation) or Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. On a brighter side, all those times my husband was being silent in our/my arguing, he wasn’t ignoring me, he was being wise to not say the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. She also went on to telling of a story where she just could let it go she was right and in the end she caused embarrassment, hurt and regret to not only her but the other person as well. How many times have I done that just to get the last word in? How many of those times have my children witnessed it?

In closing, I started last week with a heavy heart. Hearing that your words have cut deep to others at work totally goes against what I believe or does it? Doesn’t the Bible say your actions speak of what’s in your heart? That’s not in my heart because if it were then it would not have convicted me to be conscious of my words that come out of my mouth. That’s the gift God gives each and everyone of his followers. The gift of conviction to turn away from our sinful self. Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not only does God give us the gift of conviction, he also gives us the gift of time. One of the greatest listeners in the Bible was Jesus and he really did know it all! He chose on many times to stop, to wait, to listen, to give attention to others before he spoke himself. I know it’s hard because I’ve been working on it all week along with being quiet. A couple of times, I almost bit my tongue to stop it from working. How can you stop being so selfish and take your own focus off of your own self and needs? Start with listening to the person talking to you. Remember how it felt when you knew someone was truly listening to you. You felt valued, important, accepted, loved and that what you said actually meant something to someone else. Wow! All that by just listening.

This is straight out of her book that I wanted to end with.

So Choose to listen. Resist the urge to criticize, insult, laugh or make sarcastic remarks. Battle the press of time and urgency and the hunger to get away. Just lean in, quietly, emphatically, purposefully. And Listen. It’s your gift. Your blessing. Give it to whomever you can.

Please being in prayer for our youth and the adults that are on a mission trip to the mountains all week.
Have a great week!
Love,
Chancie  
CHANCIE MARTIN by CHANCIE MARTIN @
                                                         Bible and Parenting

  In my previous entry, I started talking about a new season of my life that I was fighting to not go in. You know the one where your youngest starts school and you’re afraid the rest of your time with them will fly and the next thing you know they will be graduating from high school.

  In our family, my parents have 16 grandkids, soon to be 17 grandkids. It seems that when one grandchild hits a major milestone in their life the rest will soon follow. Our next milestone is driving. Oh boy! Thank goodness, Hunter has two more cousins in front of him before we hit that milestone. I’m having a hard enough time excepting my babies are starting school in another month!

  Whenever I feel alone or distant, I turn to my devotionals for a pick me up along with my other inspirational devotional books. Which as I write this and read it back, I’m a little embarrassed about it. I am so thankful that God isn’t the same with me! Actually if you really think about it, where would I be if God only came to me when he needed me? I would still be waiting until the day I die because God doesn’t need me, I need him! God wants me. As a parent, the whole God our father thing really started making more and more sense to me when I took into account how I felt about my own relationship with my own children, my husband, my parents and my friends. Being parents to a soon to be 14 yr old, 12 yr old, 9 yr. old, and 4 yr old twins who all want to know why about everything, really opens my eyes to how I can understand why God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, why he flooded the earth, the plagues he sent and the list can go on and on! I’ve been tempted to kick a few out of the house a time or two! What I began to see with my own children is how I feel when my children only want to be with me when they want something and as soon as they get it, they are gone to find something else. But, it not just my children, its how we all tend to be with our own relationship with God. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I have great children. They do want me around at other times as well and they are very loving and respectful. But, just as I am, we have our moments. I really do try to have daily time or at least a few days a week to read in my devotional or just thumb through my Bible reading the beginning pages introducing each book of the Bible. But, then I think about what I give up on a daily bases compared to what God gave up just so he could get a chance to spend eternity with me. God gave up his first and only son to save us for our sins. Jesus didn’t just go through a small amount of torture but according to Matthew 27:27-31

      27-Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into headquarters and gathered the whole company around Him. 28- They stripped Him and dressed Him in a scarlet military rode. 29-They twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and placed a reed in His right hand. And they knelt down before Him and Mocked Him: “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30-Then they spit on Him, took the reed, and kept hitting him on the head. 31- When they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe, put His clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify him.

  Why would someone do that for me? Why would he do that for people that deny his father? He was serving his Heavenly father. Abraham was the only person who came so close to doing a similar act with his promised Son, Isaac in Genesis 22. Because God is such a gracious, loving and forgiving God, Abraham was spared at the last second. He had the knife in his hand, ready to slay his son when God sent an Angel of the Lord to stop him. I could not even begin to imagine what thoughts were going through Abraham’s mind as he tied his son to the altar. The same son God had promised to Sarah and Abraham at a very old age and then have God test Abraham by telling him to sacrifice him to the Lord. I started to think about the whole story and how dedicated Abraham was to serving the Lord and how Jesus suffered crucifixion for us. As a parent, I hope and pray that I’ll never have to do anything close to what Abraham had to do but also as a parent, I know that the Love I have for my own Children will always surpass any pain I could endure as long as I know it will take the pain from then even if means I have die a horrible death to do it. I am by no means taking away from what Jesus did for us. Nowhere did I say I’d die for all to have everlasting life. I’m human and imperfect, Jesus isn’t. The point I’m making is this, take one person that means the world to you whether your spouse, children, siblings, parents, etc. now multiply that Love times a million or more that’s almost close to God’s love for us. Would you give your child up to serve God? Would you give up your life even if it meant torture to protect your love one? Would you let your own child or family member suffer the same torture for the same people that put him on that cross to have everlasting life? Maybe it wasn’t your child but it was God’s son. If God is your Father, then that makes Jesus your family member. In Matthew 26:37-42, it lets us know Jesus was fully aware of what was about to happen to happen to him. This takes place right after the last supper, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the Garden called Gethsemane to pray.

     26:37- He (Jesus) began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38-Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow---to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” 39-Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  40-Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? 41- Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42-Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

  He repeated this prayer and went away one more time. Jesus knew what He was fixing to go through. Jesus’ sorrow resulted from His anticipation of His physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering, especially His alienation from His Father as He bore the sins of the world on the cross. The cup that Jesus was faced was God’s wrath against sin. With the words: if it is possible, let this cup pass , Jesus asked His Father to provide forgiveness by some other means other than His sacrificial death. Jesus knew God’s power made it possible for Him to evade the power of Jewish and Roman executioners, but He did not want to reject the Father’s plan to provide salvation to His people.

  A few weeks back at youth camp our speaker had used Abraham / Isaac and Jesus and Our Father, God in his sermon. He opened my eyes to see the similarities in the Old Testament and the New Testament. So many times in the Old Testament, we get glimpses of the Great Plan God has in store for us through his own Son, our Savior. Just like Isaac, Jesus was the promised Son. Unlike Isaac, Jesus was not spared from death on a cross. Similar to Jesus, Abraham was fully committed to serving God. In contrast to Abraham who was permitted to spare his only son, God did not spare His Son. God had a perfect plan that took a Perfect Son to complete for all.  
CHANCIE MARTIN by CHANCIE MARTIN @
Today is Saturday, Saturday night for me now as I write this to you. Our day has been pretty busy but good for me at least. As I lay in bed this morning, I thought about all the things I needed and wanted to get done for the day. Emma, one of our twins added to my list when she came into our room letting me know that she was sorry but she wet Gracie’s bed. I told her that was fine and did anyone else get wet. She said “no,” and changed her clothes and hopped in our bed. Normally, I’d hop out of bed give her a bath and change the sheets but I just laid in bed with her nestled up under my arm enjoying Saturday morning with no plans but the ones I make for myself! I knew that I needed to write more on one of the blog post I’ve almost finished but instead I finished snuggling with Emma , hopped in the shower to start my day filled with the plans I made.

Almost a month ago I had gotten a new puppy for my birthday. And, for those that know me and my history with puppy’s and dogs, they don’t last too long in our house before I find the perfect home for them that is not my house! However, Wyndi is a twin to my Shit-Tzu that I’ve had for going on 8 years. Same color and markings as Stormy but Stormy is groomed and Wyndi got a nice haircut by me on Friday night. Not! Poor puppy! But, I did tell her that it’d grow back sooner or later! I think Stormy was laughing on the inside! Since the week day mornings are crazy, I try to pull puppy duty on the weekend. So, Wyndi, Stormy and me went for a short walk while I drank my coffee. When we returned the girls were up so my washing started along with the business of the day. Earlier in the week a tree had fallen in our dog, Bella’s cage so Jon had to take care of the tree, take of the trash, move some furniture and paint the twins room. I had to wash clothes, get a dresser for Hunter’s room, run to target, lowes and Wal-Mart along with washing sheets, clothes and empty the twins room so it could get painted. Needless to say, we had a lot to do!
 
Jon had gotten into something he was allergic to during cutting and removing the tree or while he was taking the trash off, we aren’t sure when but he wasn’t feeling all that good but kept going. We finally got to a stopping point for the day around 10:00 pm tonight. As I was finishing up my part of the painting, I started feeling guilty that I had not written any more on my blog entry that was almost finished nor had I really spent too much time with Jon or the kids. I wanted to finish my to do list. I did spend alone time with Braydon last night while we grocery shopped, I had alone time with Jon at supper last night after we picked up a new dish washer, Emma and I went to Target and Hunter and I went back to target to pick up knobs for the twins dresser. So, God did allow me some alone time with almost all my kids except two. But, still I had choose my plans for the day and did them. Now, at the end of the day I picked up my bag that has two Bibles, two notebooks, my “The Resolution for Woman,” book and laptop in hand just in case I am able to write to you tonight. Will God put me off until the end of his day like I had did with him? Now, I do talk to God first thing in the morning and Thank him for giving me another day, I talk to him in the shower because I usually never get disturbed unless I’m shaving my legs, I thank him every time during the day something seems to go my way and at night. What I mean by putting him off is not spending time learning something new about him every day or at least every other day. Lately, since I started reading the book, “The Resolution for Women,” and my mom bought me this new neat Bible, I’ve learned so much more about myself, God and the way I deal with things isn’t necessarily bad or inappropriate. Well, like I had said earlier in this blog I was feeling guilty about how I spent my day and how I could have chose to put my to do list aside for a little while or shortened it some to listen to what God would have me do. So, as I turn to the page where I was to pick up and read in my book, I see the title, “My Best A resolution to devote myself completely to God’s Priorities for my Life” I smile as I start reading. If I haven’t said It before, I’m saying it now, this is a book worth buying. It’s not just for moms and wives, it a book written for any woman young or old. It’s a book you get more than your money worth! They have them for Men as well. In the beginning of the book, she tells you that it’s not a book to read to finish. It’s a book you read to enjoy, take in, listen to and share as I am with you. One of the exercises she gives you is to label the picture of boxes with the different responsibilities’ in your life and shade them in according to the level of time and effort you put in them. I was not really shocked as much as I was a little embarrassed on the ones I labeled and the amount I shaded in. I have a lot of work ahead of me! The next section hits head on with how I was feeling tonight. It’s title was none other than, “Timing is Everything.” I showed it to my husband. I told him that I’d be crazy to even think there isn’t a God!! I’m only going to share a few things she wrote in the book because I think you’d get more out of the book if you read it yourself. Just consider me a preview of what you’ll read. She had said something that I found interesting which is, “ So don’t get so hung up on the ‘giving the best of myself’ part that you don’t get to the other part---the part that changes the playing field of this resolution: getting clarity on your ‘primary roles.’” Wow! I have always told myself and my kids to give the best of their selves. I have always felt that was the only way. Then she goes on to explain : “If you do your best, for example, but you expend much of it on the wrong things, you’ve not only wasted a lot of your energy and resources; you’ve also lost time and opportunities you may never recover.”

She goes on to talk about when the Hebrews had returned to their homeland after being exile. Instead of rebuilding the house of the Lord, they spent time rebuilding their own dwellings. She references Haggai 1:2-4 and goes on to say that while she understands why they did what they did. Almost everyone in their shoes would have done the same. It wasn’t what they did such as rebuilding their homes but maybe it was that it was their timing and focus. You will have to read the book to get further understanding if you don’t understand it because what I really wanted to share with you is Ecclesiastes 3:1-14. I hope it touches you like it touched me as I read it tonight. I also will include the footnotes in my Bible that I enjoyed as well.

There is an occasion for everything.
And a time for every activity under Heaven:
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot;
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
A time to search and a time to count as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away;
A time to tear and a time to sew;
A time to be silent and a time to speak;
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
9-What does the worker gain from his struggles? 10-I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. 11-He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. 12-I know that there is nothing better for them to rejoice and enjoy the good life. 13-It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. 14-I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him.

Theses verses must be read from the context of the fundamental claim of the book: that we are mortals, doomed to perish, and that our work will perish with us. No human work is eternal, and our activities, whether building or tearing down, must change as the situation dictates. We naturally prefer to stay on the positive side of the list—to laugh rather than to weep, to love rather than hate, and to have peace rather than war—but as long as we live in a world of change, conflict, and death, we must accept the fact that we cannot have unchanging bliss. Even so, as verse 11 says, everything is “appropriate in its time.”  Mourning and separation are painful but there is a time when it is right and even beautiful to mourn. We must accept the fundamental fact of mortality: we are creatures who live in time. We must respond appropriately to the seasons of life as they come.

I have only truly mourned one person over and over since her death. Since her death, she has had four more grandkids and a new “Daughter in Love,” that’s what she called us. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what it would be like to have her here now. While I don’t understand fully why she had to be taken away so soon I do know I will see her again. Every now and again I’ll get a whiff of her perfume and I can still hear her laughter and voice. Perfume? Yea, I smile now but she wore a particular perfume that I really didn’t care too much for. One Christmas she bought me some of that perfume. I can’t really remember ever wearing it but now it’s the sweetest scent and I Love getting a whiff of it.
Have a great day! I know I will! It’s Sunday now!
CHANCIE MARTIN by CHANCIE MARTIN @
Luke 6:38 NLT

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full---pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

I started to type the blog I wrote the other night on relationships, parenting and God but I’m feeling pulled into another direction tonight. Don’t worry though, it is 99 % finished and I will type it soon. Tonight I just wanted to share what brought me back to writing in my blog again. I have heard the verse above a few times but it didn’t make an impact like it did the past week. I had been going through a rough patch in my spiritual journey. Work was getting to be a bit much on the stress level. I felt like I had no energy, no motivation, no time for my children, my husband or myself and what I did have time for, my attention wasn’t really there. I was going through the motions without any emotions. Been there? Usually I can pick up a bible study by one of my favorite speakers, listen to the Cd or just do some of the workbook and I can feel God speaking to me. It’s like when you are sitting in church and the message is so clear to you that it’s like God is only talking to you! After the sermon, you turn to your family or friends and ask what they got out of the sermon. They didn’t really get anything or they heard something so different that if they weren’t sitting next to you, you would think they were in another church service. Well, I did it several different times and nothing. I started getting discourage and alone. I started to wonder if I ever get that feeling of being in conversation with God again! I sat on my bed that night with my Bible in my hand and the Beth Moore bible study on “James.” I was bounded and determine I was going to figure it out. Then it hit me, what was it that I battled the most with at the present time? Ok! So we don’t have enough time for that list but the thing that hit me first and always the hardest is my relationship with my kids and my husband. I wanted to change. I wanted my children to know God and I wanted to give them the best of me because they deserved it! Same with my husband.  I remembered a book I had bought from Lifeway by the makers of Courageous “The Resolution for Women.”

Resolution: the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. ; the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

Wow! Really? The first page got my attention right from the start. As I read thru to page 27, I was drawn further and further into the book. I have read and done my share of devotionals and all of them had touched me and brought things out in my own self that I had not realized. Along with learning more about God, they brought me closer and gave me the longing to want to know more. However every page I read, I felt as though I was having my own little conversation with God once again. It was close to every aspect of my life I was currently battling with from page 3 stating, “First, this resolution is with God,” to “Second, this resolution will impact the people you love.” The page ended with, “Sometimes the greatest miracle of all is the one that happens in your own heart, the change that takes place in you and then surprises you as it filters into the seams and fabric of your whole life.”

It goes on to point out another important aspect of my life that hit home that got me into my “new Season.” One of my complaints is I never have enough time to just pause and enjoy my kids. Why?
I never could stop long enough to figure out why as crazy as that may sound! The author, herself admits that she too had not really been in attendance for a large portion of her own life. I had not really thought about until then but maybe that why this particular season of life is hitting me so hard. How many times have I heard from people I know, “Wow, they grew up way to fast!” If you really think about it time hasn’t changed, one year 30 years ago is the same as one year today. We have changed. I am always on the go. She makes the point about her own self, “I’m constantly overeager to get to the next thing, which looks more enticing than what is currently before me. I’m rarely satisfied in full with my present station.” What really hit my heart hard was this: “Only for these fleeing moments would my children talk, look and act exactly like this. And if I chose to hurry through them in an attempt to avoid the parts I didn’t like, I’d simultaneously miss all the things I did like about this season.”  Tears streamed down my eyes as I replayed over and over in my head how many times I hurried through giving them a bath because I was tired, or I had something else to do that seemed at the time much more important to only me to get done. Keep in mind, I do have problems with OCD and up until recently, you couldn’t get in my house with it being messy unless you lived here. I have gotten a lot more relaxed with that lately. I had been so selfish with my time. The girls love to be read too and I love to read to them but I couldn’t get past the dirty living room, or clothes on the floor to actually sit down and read to them. My husband just wanted time with me to cuddle and watch a movie but I was way too busy to stop cleaning or folding clothes to enjoy him. No wonder I couldn’t feel God when I sat down to read my devotional. I need that quick fix to get through the next couple of days. Come on, God! Why can’t I feel your presence?  Don’t you know, it’s all about me and what I want?

Then I pick up a book off my shelf in my closet that I bought three months ago, I pray before I start reading to please let me hear you once again. I need my quick fix because I’m dying on the inside. I read 27 pages, glued to every page. On the 23rd page I read:
              Luke 6:38   Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full---pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

I had stopped giving and started taking and taking without giving back. No wonder I had not heard God. No wonder my life was flashing by me so fast. I have to admit, not for brownie points or anything like that, but I do have a wonderful, caring and attentive husband. I’ve been told that a lot through the years from people I just met, friends and family. It’s funny because I’d get jealous at what people saw in Jon’s eyes as he looked at me because I couldn’t see it until now. I was too busy coming up with what bothered me more than having time to see what they saw. It made me wonder if I did the same with my children, friends and family. If I did, I’m sorry.

And, finally one last tid-bit then I’ll say good bye for the night! I have ended up reading to page 87 so far. I am now writing again because of what I read on pg 58 and the assignment it gave me on pg 59. I had stop writing because I felt scared and that I had no business writing anything about the Bible or anything concerning it. Then I read this: “ I frequently feel the same way—wishing I had more depth or creativity like I’ve admired in some else. And yet others have had to remind me of the same thing I wrote back to this young lady: some readers will only hear, understand, and accept certain things when they read it in your words, from your perspective, written in your voice. We were each created by God to do our part. And if we fail to do it because we don’t think it’s valuable enough, great loss will be suffered. Someone, somewhere, needs you---in all of your uniqueness---to step up to the plate of your calling.”
My assignment was to consider the things you may have failed to do because you felt unworthy to do. Choose one and start doing it this week.

God is so GREAT!!!
Have a great day!

The reward for obeying Jesus’ command to love your enemies, do good and lend without expectation… repayment will be great, though much of it will not be in this life. But your selfless love will reflect that you are sons/daughters of the Most High. He is gracious and merciful to all people and disciples of Jesus are to follow His example. (Luke 6:38;word studies; HCSB)


 
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
Everyone goes through seasons in their lives that can either pull them down, make them stronger and in the end they will be either changed for the better or for the worse. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are going through such a season until we are half way through it and final realize “ Hey! This is just another chapter in my life.” If you are anything like me, you try to dismiss that you are embarking on another season in your life because you have finally gotten comfortable with your current season.
I have five precious gifts from God, my children and six if you include my husband. AS a child and through my growing up, all I ever wanted to do was get married and be a mom. Not much of a career in today society but to me it was my dream. I love children! After getting married we got pregnant 6 months after saying “I do.” Why such a short period of time? Mostly because before we got married due to health reasons, I was told by my doctor that either I wasn’t going to be able to get pregnant or it would be very difficult. I’m so happy to report that all my children were planned. And, to really prove the doctors were wrong is the birth of our twin girls after a tubal reversal. Yes, that’s right! After Grace, our 3rd child, we decided to get our tubes tied and 4 years later and two months after a reversal, we were pregnant with our twin girls.
God has been so good to me and my family. I wish I could honestly say I’ve been as good to him as he has been to me and my family.
It wasn’t until the week after the last day of daycare for my twins that I finally admitted I was going through another season in my life. It is a season I’m sure my husband probably didn’t understand at first. It was a season I’ve seen numerous friends and family go through that I didn’t want to go through. My baby girls were growing up! With tears in my eyes as I write this, I think about how the next years with them are going to fly by because as every mother knows that the moment their feet step into school they are no longer your babies. It’s like in the blink of an eye you have a 13 yr old that is going on a missions trip to a third world country! That was actually three weeks after the twins finished their last day at daycare.
My husband and I celebrated our 15 year anniversary on the same day we sent our 13 yr old on his first mission trip to serve the Lord. Remarkably, my husband had a harder time sending him off than I did. I guess it was partly because I felt he needed to see how good of a life he had and I had prayed for peace on sending him. I truly feel that when you are on a mission for God, he protects and holds you through the whole experience. I am well aware that missions can and are dangerous however I felt as though I have had Hunter for 13 years in my life, putting him back in God’s arms was an honor as a parent. God has never failed me when it comes to my children. Which I got to see a week after Hunter came back from Hondureas.
Hunter came back on a Friday and that following week, we had youth camp from 7:30 am thru 10:30 pm Monday thru Friday. We had a family vacation to Disney planned that next day, Saturday. On Thursday night, Hunter wanted to leave at 8:00 pm that night due to his stomach hurting. Jon and I thought it was just Hunter being tired from his mission trip and youth camp all week. Friday morning the youth had planned a day trip at the water park. When I went to get Hunter and Braydon up, Braydon was the only one to get up. I checked on Hunter while Jon carried Braydon to the youth building. Hunter’s stomach was still not feeling right. I left him at home to run to work for a couple of hours. I wanted to get Hunter seen by the doctor before we left the next morning for Disney. Since our pediatrician was out of town, I got my best friend to do the new express check in at the med stop. She did it and within a minute of her sending it in through the internet, I received a call from the nurse telling me to take him to the Emergency room. I told the nurse my hestitation taking him there and she informed me that you can do the same speedy check in there. So we did and two minutes later I received another call from the nurse at the emergency room. This time I was told to bring him in right away.
To make a long story short, by 5:30 that afternoon we got the news that Hunter was having surgery that night to remove his appendix. Before, I go any further with my story, I just wanted to say that up until 2:30 that day, I wondered if I was over reacting with Hunter but I had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that kept pushing me to really not take “his ok” as his diagnosis. We had very good doctors that took their time checking Hunter out and took into consideration that he had been out of the country too. During this whole ordeal, I was confronted with a surgeon that really didn’t think there was anything wrong with Hunter and was ready to send him home. To put me as ease, he did order a CT scan than he didn’t think was necessary. After 10 minutes of debate, I was ready to just take Hunter home because I didn’t trust my own instincts about my child’s condition. Hunter’s nurse at the time and the radiologist tech came in and talked with me and my mom. Two hours later, we did the CT scan and within 5 to 10 minutes another doctor, that we had not seen, came in and delivered the news. She was very humble when she told me that this is one of those times where a doctor needs to listen to the parent that in fact knows her own child. Along with that, she told me that the same surgeon that doubt Hunter’s condition was the only surgeon that could perform the surgery. That was hard news to take in because I didn’t trust him to perform the surgery on my son. Then I thought back to when Ella was near death and the first doctor I saw at the hospital was the very doctor I did not like. He was the very doctor that is the reason Ella is walking around now.
Needless to say our trip to Disney was cancelled the next day. God’s hands were all over Hunter just like his hands were all over Ella. After Hunter’s surgery that night, the surgeon came out to talk to us. I ask him how bad Hunter’s Appendix were and how far away from rupturing. He shrugged and told us three or four days and it wasn’t that bad yet. In three or four days, we would have been in the middle of Disney with not only our five children but two nieces and a nephew. Would we have made it in time to an emergency room with Hunter during the tropical storm they were experiencing at the same time? It’s something we don’t have to worry about because God took care of it for our first born, Hunter. So, now when I hear, “In God’s time,” it takes on a whole new meaning to me. “In God’s time” is the perfect time for me.
I know I started out talking about the new season my life is in. I had every intention on talking more about it however it’s a season. Like every season, I’ll be in this season for a little while. And, to all mother’s out there, please keep in mind that doctors are wonderful people and they have a lot of knowledge on the human body but there is one thing that a book cannot teach that is a mother’s intuition on their own child. Trust it!
God bless each and everyone reading this!
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