My Timeline

pocket-watch-731301__340One thing I have been trying to work on lately is timing. If I want something to be done, I want it done on my timeline. Ask my husband; he will totally and completely verify this to you! On the plus side, I am finally realizing this about myself, so I won’t have to live the rest of my life wondering if people are purposely being jerks to me.

I make light of this in today’s post, but in reality, I still struggle when things don’t happen on my timeline. I do recognize when it is happening, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I was talking with my Dad not too long ago and telling him why I struggle with certain things. I explained to him how I am having to learn that just because someone doesn’t do what I asked today, it doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. I think it explained quite a bit to him about why I have gotten somewhat frustrated with certain situations going on.

This can cross over into my spiritual life. Many of us have dreams and visions of doing things and we expect to be able to do them by tomorrow. We received prophetic words about futuristic things and we think we are going to wake up tomorrow and be able to do them. There are times, when things do happen that quickly, but overall, be prepared to wait possibly many years for things to come to pass. I think all of us at times tend to forget that God’s timing is so much different than our timing. We get words that talk about something happening quickly, and that means to us by the end of the week.

Be patient! It is so much easier to say than do. I never pray for patience any more because God will most certainly put me in tests to improve it. Lesson learned on that one! I think patience also comes with maturity.

We mature to a level where we understand that every moment of our life is a process of learning to trust and obey God.

When I get frustrated that people aren’t doing what I think they should on my timeline, part of it is a lack of trust. I need to trust people more. I also need to trust God more. I definitely don’t need to keep reminding God of what He told me in the past; He knows! God wants us to trust Him and to obey His voice. When we do this, we are walking in His will and what He has spoken over us will come to pass. His timing is perfect.

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’!!

Rise Up With Hope and Finish This Race

Being wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus can be a difficult road. Well, it is a difficult road. I believe that is why God tells us to ‘finish the race’ we started. When we start a race, we are sprinting and so excited and we feel like we have the energy to go forever. I used to run long distance in High School and I have been trying to get back to running again. You would think I would remember the whole pace yourself thing from all those years running, but no, this Mama is going to sprint those first couple of blocks and then stop and wonder why I only went .15 miles on my running app! There is a maturity that comes with a seasoned runner. You understand where you need to pick up your pace and you understand when you need to conserve your energy in that moment. You don’t always know what kind of terrain is coming around the next corner and if you aren’t paying attention, you could hurt yourself.

I think you could say similar things in your Christian walk. When we first get saved, we are so excited and we are probably running like a child again. We are leaping over obstacles in our way without a care in the world. We want to tell everybody about Jesus and what He has done for us. This is not a bad thing right away. As we move along this path of life though, we gain a maturity in our walk with Christ; at least we are supposed to. The Bible talks about going through valleys and low times in our life where we may feel alone but God is always with us. Sometimes we can’t see anything through the density of the troubles that are in front of us, but as we read the Bible and spend our time with God in prayer and worship, He always guides us. Spending time with Him matures us. We eventually see that obstacle in front of us and automatically know exactly what we need to do to get past this.

If you have walked with God for any amount of time, you know what I am trying to talk about here. If you feel like you still don’t know what to do when difficulties arise, you need to search your heart and find out why you haven’t matured. We all have times when we need some help along the way. Those long races are filled with people handing out water and at times an energy bar or something to help you finish the race. The church that you are called to is filled with those people. They are ready to hand you what you need in those times of difficulty. My concern here is that you may have never been one of those people who helps others in their times of need. Are you so lacking in maturity and growth that you can barely get through the day or week without the thought of giving up? God calls us to a place of maturity. There are times we rest in Him, but we never give up. We wait with hope. Search your hearts and be honest with yourself and God. He sees your heart and we can hide nothing from Him. Maybe you just don’t want to help people. That is immaturity. Maybe you don’t know how to help people. Step out in faith! I am not always the best communicator in certain situations, but I trust God will guide me so that I can help the person I am talking to. When I spend time with Him, He gives me the endurance I need to finish the race and to help others along the way. You can do this! Don’t give up because you don’t know what is around the corner; it could be your breakthrough moment!

Isaiah 40:31

“Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.”

Will This Love Last?

I remember being concerned before I got married; concerned that I could be in a long term relationship. I knew my fiance was the man I was supposed to marry, and wanted to marry, but I had never been in a relationship for more than 6 months previously. I was so nervous. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I couldn’t be with a man for more than 6 months? I am not even sure I ever admitted this to my husband! What if I fell out of love?

The problem is, that the world has taught us that when we marry that other person, if it is the right one, things will be perfect. If we marry our true soulmate, things won’t be difficult and we will agree about everything. Well, world, you are stupid and your version of love is wrong and unattainable! I have been married now for 16 years and obviously, from the title of my blog, we have five sons. I have fought with, argued with, screamed at, cried to, and slammed doors on my husband. He has pretty much returned each of those things to me as well. Love isn’t this perfect bubble that can never be broken. Love is being broken and humble, and standing with your spouse, who is also broken and humble; standing together through everything. 

I am truly awed by what love is. Love isn’t what I thought it was; it is nothing like it. My husband is my best friend. We have been through many trials throughout our 16 years of marriage; perhaps not as many as some, but our fair share. I am in awe of the love I have for him, and that he has for me. When we got married, we vowed to love each other through anything. We say love, but behind that word is so many others that we don’t say. We vowed to trust each other, to stay committed to each other, to love each other, to be faithful to each other sexually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. 

I may not always be the best at letting my husband know how full my heart is with love for him, but it is there. I don’t ever have to worry about that concern about my marriage lasting, because my love for him grows every day. My committment to him grows every day. I love him; I can’t help it. When we have bad days and we fight, I still love him; I am still committed to him. That is what love is. I will never give up on him and he will never give up on me. We are truly one; just as God intended.

So to my husband, I love you. I can honestly say I love you more now than I even did then. You truly make me a better person. I will stand by you no matter what happens in this lifetime, because that is what love is. Love it nothing like I imagined, but everything I could ever wish for. I love you My Honey!!

Adults Only

I was one of those young people who hated hearing the child cry when I was trying to eat at a restaurant. I wondered why somebody would choose to go to a restaurant, or even a movie with a child! Now, after 12 years, I have five of them. Five sons who cry, throw tantrums, yell, sound their alarms when they want me or their Daddy to come running to their rescue. I have seen both sides and I have to say, neither is wrong. When I went out before I had children, I didn’t want to have to listen to a child crying for three fourths of my dinner. Nobody wants to hear that. I didn’t want friends bringing their toddlers over to my home to break literally everything within reach of their grimy hands.

Now I am that mother. I am the one who cannot be in my house one more minute; I HAVE to go out for supper because today has been one of those days and I want somebody to serve me for once. Often, people come up to us to tell us how well behaved our children are, but not all the time! I feel bad when my baby cries out because he dropped something and can’t get it. I see the looks. I hear the mumbled comments. Believe me, I understand. 

We are in a place now where people love to get together, without kids; Adults Only the invitation says. I would say it is 19 times out of 20 anymore we get the adults only invitation. Now I need YOU to understand that we just can’t do that. I respect that you have every right to not want screaming kids running around and breaking your stuff, but you need to understand I have FIVE, yes FIVE, children. Our family moved across the nation to follow what we believe is the will of God for our lives. We have no family and no really close friends yet. We don’t have people who offer to watch our kids anytime we want. We are a close family that does everything together. My husband and I maybe get a date once, sometimes twice a year, but now we are supposed to rush and find babysitters because every invitation we get doesn’t allow children? I don’t even trust many people with my kids. I don’t know any babysitters, let alone a babysitter that could handle 5 boys. I don’t even want to know how much a legitimate babysitter would charge to watch my five kids for a few hours. I think we would have to get another job!

I love adults only invitations. I may cringe now when I get them, but it isn’t because of the hosts. It is because we have five children; we live on a tight budget; we have no family to help; we have five children; we didn’t win the lottery; we won’t let just anybody watch our kids; we have FIVE children! I think you get my point. 

Next time you get the adults only invitation, don’t feel bad. I don’t feel bad about it. We may be the only couple that doesn’t show up. We do NOT want pity. We understand your purpose in the invite. Please understand our purposes when we politely decline the invitation. One day, when our children are older, we will love to come to your adults only parties, but right now, let us enjoy our children, who are five wonderful blessings that God gave us. Don’t make us feel bad because we have children and want to spend time with them. And parents with children, don’t make others feel bad who don’t have children and want those adults only parties. Nobody is right or wrong. Just understand we are in different places in our lives right now and love each other for it.