Prove It!

boat-962791__180I am so fascinated by the story of Peter walking on the water. There are so many angles to look at this and so many lessons to be learned. Peter was the only one that stepped out of the boat. They all doubted that this was Jesus and Peter said if it was Jesus, to command him [Peter] to come out on the water. Jesus held so much authority to Peter, than when He commanded Peter to come, Peter got out of the boat and walked out to Jesus. When Peter realized that the wind was boisterous, he began to be afraid. He knew, however, that all he had to do was cry out to Jesus, and Jesus would save him from drowning.

Looking at my life up to this point, I look at all those times I asked, “If this is You, God, then do this.” But then, I ask in multiple other ways for God to truly prove this is Him. I have become so afraid to fail at something that I don’t always trust that is is really God asking me to do it. Peter asked for one confirmation that this was Jesus, and Jesus answered him. Immediately Peter got out of the boat. This wasn’t some little thing that Jesus asked of Peter. Peter could have died. I may feel the Holy Spirit leading me to talk to this person in the aisle of the grocery store and by the time I have asked God to confirm this is truly Him for the eighth time, that person is long gone.

historical-odtworstwo-904717__180Peter gets so much flack. He cuts off the soldier’s ear. He publicly denounces knowing Jesus three times. Even knowing some of his big mistakes, Peter is the type of guy I would love to hang out with. Peter would be the first to do something every time! He must have been so much fun.

Peter had such a love and reverence for Jesus. Oh yes he made many mistakes, but Jesus saw so much in him. Jesus saw the gifts inside of Peter. Nobody else got out of the boat that night. I bet they were all thinking, “Let’s see what happens with Peter and then we’ll know if this is truly Jesus. Maybe then we will get out of this boat!” At least that is one of the things that I may have been thinking.

I want to have so much faith in my God that I am the first to get out of the boat. I want my focus to be so much on Jesus that I don’t even notice the winds and the waves around me. I want to have such faith in Jesus that if my foot stumbles and I take my eyes off of Him for a moment, and I cry out to Him to save me, that He will.

“It’s easy to say what we will do when we aren’t in the midst of a storm. It’s easy to criticize those who stumbled and fell when they were in the storm. I have to remember that at least they stepped out of the boat. They made the choice to trust God while I am challenging God over and over to prove Himself to me.”

I can’t say I’ve never stepped out of the boat. I have stepped out and been very successful in what God asked me to do. I have also stepped out and stumbled and cried out to God for help when I did. God is so good to me. He is always there even when I do stupid things thinking I know better. Jesus knew Peter would deny Him, yet He still loved him and saved him from drowning in the midst of the storm. Jesus loves us with that same love that He had for Peter. He has the same grace and mercy that He had for Peter.

I think the only thing that I can see from Peter’s life that I wonder about is the whole “cutting off of the ear.” Really? The ear? I’d like to think that my aim would have been much better. Just sayin’!!

$4.3 Million Baby!

Abe L 28284320The internet tells us so many things. I can google pretty much anything and get information from one end of the spectrum to the other. I see so much stuff on Facebook and social media sites that gets my angst up, yet I need to do the smart thing and research it. It’s so easy to like something because we have an already formed opinion about it. When I see something bad about Hilary Clinton and her campaign, I automatically believe it must be true, because I believe she lies without thought, and is responsible for the death of American citizens. What I cannot do though, is automatically believe it. Politicians lie. They lie about each other as well as themselves. Republicans twist things, Democrats twist things. In their minds they believe it’s for the greater good. I think the best policy is to do your research on all candidates whether you read good or bad things. Why do so many people believe things at face value?

Power ball

I believe too many of us have become lazy. We want everybody else to do the work for us. We would rather believe something, good or bad, than to do a little bit of research. Take for instance this Power ball Lottery; there is the meme going around on how everybody gets $4.3 million dollars if somebody would just share it with all Americans. In fact, it may work out to $4.33 and that is before taxes! It’s so important to look into things and study it out.

It works the same way with our Christian walk. Maybe this blog is all for me, but I know I have had times where my main Bible reading is when the Pastor has me open up my Bible to a specific scripture during a church service. I can’t wonder why I have struggled throughout the week when I haven’t even opened up my Bible to study and do my research.

We need to turn to our Bibles more often than Google!

I’ll be honest, I love Google. Google has grown so immensely, that it has actually been added as an English language word. Google helps me cook. Google helps me with my education. Google helped let me know that I was truly in labor with one of my sons. Google even helps me find specific scriptures for some of my blogs. Google helps me with a lot of things, but it does not give me life.

Hebrews 4:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is refreshing to my soul. It is powerful and strong. The Bible tells us the truth; always. There is no need for fact checking with the Word of God. As you read it, you grow in faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

We walk by faith when it comes to the Word of God, but don’t be naive and believe that everything and anything is the truth outside of the Bible. Study your Bible. Understand when things line up with the Word of God and when things do not. Always be humble and always be in the Word of God. His Word will never let you down!

 

Lost Ones

We all have those friends; the ones that completely drain you. I recently heard somebody say they are ‘suckers’; they suck the energy out of you. I have had one of those in these last couple of years that I feel like I am always trying to encourage and strengthen her. She comes to me when she needs me, then I don’t hear from her in months….until she needs me again.

Well, I finally got to the point that I had to be extremely tough with her. I told her that she constantly comes to me for advice and I freely give it to her. She is a great girl and has a mighty call of God on her life. I finally realized that every time she comes to me, she must fully expect me to tell her what she wants to hear and not what she needs to hear. That is why she disappears when I give her some encouragement and advice; she didn’t like what I had to say and wanted to continue on with what she was doing, no matter how detrimental it may be to her or whomever she is with. I had to be tough with her and ask her what she thought it feels like to me when she comes to me for advice, then turns on her heel and runs the other way when I give it.

I will always be here for her; every time she comes back and continue to pray for her. I was sitting in my chair one day pondering this after one of our phone calls. I realized that every question I asked her about how she thinks it makes me feel when she keeps coming to me, and I watch her turn around and continue her poor decisions, is probably how God feels when I do the same thing. How many times have I come to God asking His advice, or making a request? How many times have I walked away refusing to change when He gives me the answers I need to hear and not always what I want to hear?

Those questions pretty much stopped me in my tracks. I had to repent for my behavior and truly be honest with myself about my own behavior and my own shortfalls. I am so grateful that God is a good, forgiving, loving and merciful God. He has never given up on me no matter how many times I imagine Him throwing His hands in the air with my poor behavior. That is the Christ-like love I want to show people. That is the love I want to show this friend of mine. It is too easy to think that perhaps even God wants us to walk away from some people because they only cause trouble and wreak havoc on our life. That isn’t who God is! His love is so great that when one of His sheep gets lost, we are to leave the herd and go find that lost sheep. My friend is only a lost sheep and if I need to keep searching for her, I have to do that. I can’t give up on her. God loves her and I love her. God will always give us the strength when we are doing what He wants us to do. His love is amazing!

Love Story

Sometimes I have this huge desire to write a love story. I have never really told anybody that. I love romance and love stories. I think most people do; even men. I think men sometimes have trouble with them because they make love look unattainable. Hollywood has made love look like this perfect dance or song that has no sour notes or unpointed toe in it. It is perfection. Really, I am not sure Hollywood could tell the perfect love story. I don’t think any writer could tell that love story. Maybe one day I will write one; of course not the perfect one, but a good one nonetheless. 

There is but one love story that has been told that is perfection. That story is the story of a man who gave everything for love. He lived only a short portion of life as we know it for love. He loved like no other. He actually gave His life for love. Who is this man? I think you know; Jesus. God sent His one and only Son to die for us. There is no greater love than that. I could never write another love story that comes even close to matching that. 

I know some may say that. Sure, we’ve all heard about that, but really, read the story. Read those words in the Bible. Just do it; read them slowly and let them sink in. Can you imagine loving so many people that you give your one and only son to come into this world, only to be tortured and murdered? I can’t; and I love people. God loves in the purest sense. It is almost unbearable to comprehend that pure unfiltered love for me. God loves me even though He sees my flaws. He sees me mess up; sometimes a little; and sometimes horribly so. He loves me! There is no doubt. God is love. That is the definition of God. That does not mean He accepts my sins, but He forgives me if I ask and repent. In fact, when I repent and ask Him for forgiveness, He actually forgets about it!! 

There is no greater love story than of that man Jesus. There is no greater love. One day I may have a completed love story to finish on paper, but in my heart, I know there is no greater love than the love of my Father. He loves us!

Hope

I have a great life. I love it. I get to be home with my boys. I get to attempt to be a good cook and most of the time my family eats it; my husband always eats it. What a good husband! I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve. That is the kind of God I serve; I deserve not even close to what He gives me. 

The one thing I have never had, is a house. A house to call my own. A house to decorate and fill up with children. A place to make memories. We have had 7 places to live since the conception of my firstborn. We have wonderful memories in each of those places; don’t get me wrong, but it was always temporary. I am a woman who needs security. I think most women do if they are honest with themselves. Even though we have moved often in the past, my husband has bent over backwards to help me feel more secure. 

Over the years there have been multiple times we were going to buy our house. Something always happened where it just never happened. We want to save up money and 5 kids later, we still rent. I love to daydream and hope one day I will have my house. I realized these last few years however, that the hope I once had, has all but left. I want to hope, and I know there is a sliver still there. I was texting my husband the other day and I told him, “I am afraid to hope”. No. I am actually afraid to fail, to be let down, to once again feel that disappointment.

That sure doesn’t say much about me and my faith. I have put all my faith in man and my circumstances; not God. My God is my provider. He is Jehovah Jireh. God gives us hope. If we don’t have hope, we aren’t believing who God is. 

So today, looking forward I will have hope. I will have faith. I know that God is faithful and He loves me. God knows the future; we don’t. I don’t need to worry or lose hope because He has always taken care of us; no matter where we live. One day, hopefully in the near future, God will reveal to us what He wants us to do, where He wants us to live, when He wants us to do things etc. 

Don’t forget who God is. Don’t make the same mistake I have made. Always believe; always hope; always dream; always love; always have faith, because that is how God made us to be. 

My Peace Test

Well, I should have known better. The other day I was actually commending myself on finally becoming a more relaxed, more peaceful mother. I felt like I hadn’t yelled or screamed at my kids in quite a while. It was a good moment of realization, but I really should have known that was going to soon be tested. Today was that day for me; and I failed. I failed miserably. I am so blessed to have 5 healthy handsome sons, but my 3rd born son has some issues with allergy/asthma problems. My family and I are believing for full healing from it, but until he is healed, he has to take his circle pill every night to help prevent this cough that turns into coughing/puking fits. I try not to complain about it because has never has to have breathing treatments or anything like that, but there were 2 years of his toddlerhood of ER visits and small garbage bins throughout the house for when he had a coughing fit.

Every once in a while, he gets a cough, even on the medicine. This is a horrible oddly sounding cough. It is like he is trying to clear his throat with a weird cough/groan. I don’t even know how to explain it very clear. All I know is that sound that he makes is like an arrow puncturing me to the core. I feel helpless; completely helpless. Mothers do not like to feel helpless. We want to make everything all better. I figured out in the last couple of years that when he gets this cough, to go for the Benadryl instead of cough medicines. He is one of those kids that Benadryl does not affect. He doesn’t get sleepy or crabby or anything from it. Up to two days on Benadryl clears up the cough completely and we no longer have to worry about the wretched cough turning into some sort of infection in his body.

This was the child who has needed more medicine than all of my other sons put together. We used to have to sit on him and try to force medicine down his throat. It sounds terrible, and believe me, it was! These days he takes his chewable tablet every night like a champ and will take some liquid medicines withouth throwing up anymore. Let’s just say………I ran out of his liquid Benadryl last night after the last day of coughing his special cough. I did have a few children’s tablets he could take, but last time he attempted to swallow it, he projectile vomited.

After school today he was doing that cough again, and I could NOT take it. I had to try to get him to take a pill. This was my peace test. This test was going to show off my compassionate motherly skills where I was NOT going to get frustrated. Let’s just say, there was crying by both of us and me begging and pleading for him to just, “swallow that pill!” My peace literally flew out the window. I was devastated. All these weeks and months, even years, of praying to be that Proverbs 31 woman and a calm mother, just ended with an epic failure. I hugged my son and begged his forgiveness.

I think if only God would heal my son right this moment, I wouldn’t have these moments of helplessness and frustration. I wouldn’t have to go through these tests and sometimes pass; sometimes fail. At these moments, I need to understand that these tests help me grow. They help create my character. They help my children see my character grow. It helps my children see that even though I may fail, I still try. These trials and peace tests help us become what God sees in us. My children need to see me fail as well as succeed. We may not always understand why God hasn’t stepped in when we think He should, but we need to remember, God knows us. He knows our hearts and during these tests and trials, He helps us see the truth in ourselves.

My next peace test will probably be something different. It may come tomorrow or next year, but one thing I know, is that I have some things to continue to work on!