Seeing the Blessings through the Mess

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I have been in a bit of a funk lately, feeling sorry for myself and mostly just being negative:

 Poor little ol' me, Why are there so many dishes in the sink? I just did them!... What! There is laundry in the basket? I just emptied it! I want to go to sleep and the baby is no where near sleepy....arghhhh! I just mopped the floor and there is dirt and food all over it!...uggghhh! Owww!... is that a lego I stepped on? I just told the boys to clean them up.  I want to go do something fun but what can I do?... I am tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I am frustrated with having to keep fighting my flesh! Why won't it just die!!!?? Why won't God take away the thorn in my flesh? Don't try to make me feel happy...  I know how blessed I am but can't you see I am having a little pity party!?

Yeah, I know I sound pretty pathetic. The truth is I am just plain selfish and self-consumed. Each year I realize  more and more how selfish and spoiled I really am. (I am also pregnant and notice I am extra hormonal right now and I know the devil would like to get a foothold where he sees an opening). I like to think of myself as a generally joyful, content and unselfish person but when I start dwelling on myself I realize this just isn't so,I am very easily persuaded into feeling sorry for myself. It's so easy to just get into a slump. Once I start getting negative about one thing it turns into another until it starts snowballing into mountain of negativity.

I find the best way to fight negativity is with thankfulness. I have to choose each day to be thankful;to see the good in everything; to know that God has the little and the big struggles in my life in his hands; I can trust him. He has given me a future and a hope! What have I to fear, what have I to complain about?

I can think of many people who are going through real times of struggle, pain and sorrow. I have gone through my fair share of struggle, pain and sorrow as well but I know I am so blessed here on earth.  I have a wonderful marriage, a comfortable home, healthy, sweet children, friends and family and most importantly I have the hope of heaven!

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The more I focus on God and his blessings the more I am able to see and think clearly and get my mind off myself. The problem isn't all the little and big things that get to's me. I can find a million things to be negative about, that's easy, but God calls me to be joyful in ALL things...that's where it gets hard. I need his grace his strength. As I fix my eyes on him and off myself, he changes my perspective and my whole attitude, to see the blessings through all the trials, and draws me closer to him through them.

Whenever you look inward you will see what you want to see, but when you look at God you will see what he want's you to see.

Yes, we all go through our times of despair and negativity, but we don't have to stay there. We can determine to live a life of joy and thankfulness. I am not talking about being fake but about being real. Being honest about how we feel and being willing to take our complaint's our frustrations to the Lord and ask him to give us a right heart, a right attitude. He knows how wretched we are...he made us! He know's our hearts better then ourselves.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9

I was having one of my pity parties last year and God spoke to me and showed me how much I truly have to be thankful for even in the things I was complaining about. As I started to look at things with a thankful heart, I became overwhelmed by how much God had blessed me with and how he has answered so many of my prayers and given me so many of my heart's desires.

I wrote this poem as my vision was transformed, I hope it encourages you to see the blessings through the mess!!


 Heaps of laundry everywhere
 Dirty dishes piled high
 But we are never lacking clothes to wear
 Our tummies are always satisfied

 Sometimes our living space is cramped
 It’s hard to find a place to sit
 But our rooms are filled with love and laughter
 More than we can fit

At times it’s difficult to get any rest
Or find a quiet place
The playful noise of children fills the air
Loneliness is a problem we never have to face

 Runny noses are commonplace
 Bruises and scrapes abound
 But kisses always make them better
 We are blessed with health all around

  Daddy comes in with a trail of dirt
  Following him throughout the house
  Happy faces also tag along behind
  So glad the kids have a loving father
  And I a faithful spouse

 Size really doesn't matter after all
 As long as we are have love
 For when these bodies and our house turns to dust
 We have made a deposit for our dream house… 
 Being built in a city up above


Finishing the Race

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You have prepared for months, the day is here, you as ready as you will ever be, you start off great and then just when you see the finish line in view you see how far you still have to go and just give up.

I have to admit that I have started many projects and not finished them, I have committed to many things and felt like dipping out early, I have ran many races and barely made it across the finish line.

It's so easy to have a great start when you are all fresh and full of energy, excited for what's ahead but as time wears on it's hard to keep the gusto you once had and still feel motivated.

At the beginning of the school year it's so exciting to get fresh new school books and supplies, to get back into a good routine and schedule. The school room is all ready and organized, but at the end of the school year it gets harder and harder to stay organized. Everything gets disheveled from a years worth of crafts, projects and lessons. As the end approaches it's hard to keep going strong.
                         Here is our school room at the beginning of the day, all nice and clean:)

After lots of paint, glue, cutting, legos and brain power...with an 8, 5, 3yr, and 18mo old...

At the end of the day it can be pretty scary!

These past weeks have been one of those times where I have felt like handing in the towel. I am just done! Please just scrape whatever is left remaining of me off the floor.... I have nothing left to give.

I was home schooled up until 9th grade when I duel enrolled in college. I always assumed I would home school my children as well. But when it came down to it I was scared, scared I wouldn't be able to do it, scared of what people would think of me, scared my kids wouldn't listen, scared I would fail them.

Yes, there are days when I am overwhelmed and still scared, but every time I think I can't do it, God who has called me to do this, stretches me and gives me supernatural strength. I feel like I am the one who is learning, learning daily to trust the Lord, to look to him, not to depend on my own strength, to find grace and forgiveness and to ask for lots and lots of patience.

This last week of school I have been very tempted to end early. Nothing wrong with stopping a few days early...we finished most of  our work!? But I know this is more then just finishing those last pages and lessons, it's a lesson in perseverance for me.  I feel like I have fizzled all out and don't have any umph left in me but I am so close to the finish line... I want to finish it well.

The end of this school year reminds me of the first race I ever ran in, I was so excited. I did run quite a bit but I hadn't really trained for a race. I started at the beginning of the race with all the elite runners.( I don't know what I was thinking) They all started out at a very fast pace of course and amateur that I was, tried to keep up with them. After a while I realized of course I was way in over my head, my breathing was getting very hard, my legs were feeling very heavy and I slowed my pace. As I plotted on I was so mad at myself for starting out too fast, here I was being passed up by little kids and old men, who tried to encourage and push me on.

 I didn't finish last but it might as well have been to me. I felt so bad at the end of that race, I plopped myself down as soon as I crossed the finish line. Somehow I got 3rd  place in my age group(there were probably only three) but I knew I could have done better if I had just started out at a slower pace, saved my energy and been more prepared.

Truthfully I barely crossed the finish line of this school year.. you might say I limped across. I just focused on getting it done... which I am thankful we did on time. I am looking forward to this summer to get refreshed and recharged... ready for the new school year. I think I need it more then the kids. Just as I have learned to be more prepared in running a race, I learn each year how to be more prepared for the school year and figure out what works best for me and my kids. I know a big key to being prepared is not comparing myself to others and being disciplined and faithful with what God has called me to do.

If you know God has called you to do something, it's a lot easier to do it knowing that He will give you the grace and wisdom you need to accomplish it. There are so many things I never would have even attempted if I didn't know that God was calling me to do it. Taking that  leap of faith out of your  comfort zone and into the unknown is so hard, but much easier if God is the one pushing you and cheering you on.

I love this verse in Hebrews 12:1-2

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." 

I picture all those who have gone before me, cheering me on to run the race of this life well, when I get discouraged or feel like giving up. I try to focus on  Jesus, my reward, knowing that He will keep me strong till the end if I keep my eyes on him.

Whatever God has called you to do, know that He will give you the strength to do it. He knows that we do not have the strength  in ourselves. I think that's why he gives us things to do that seem so impossible for us. All the glory has to go to him because there is no way we could have done it in our strength.

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Is there a finish line in front of you that seems impossible to finish let alone finish strong?

  Remember that when you are depleted of strength or ability, that's exactly where God wants you to be. He wants you  to be emptied of yourself, to call on him so he can  fill you with his supernatural strength.

If you have ever done anything physically challenging, you know that your body will tell you that you are done but somehow when you get the encouragement or motivation you need, you find, you can dig down deeper then you thought possible and sprint to the end.
Me and the kids after my first half marathon which I was able to finish well...after much training

At the end of my race on this earth I do not think that I will be physically able to sprint, but I pray that I will finish well the race that God marked out for me.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." Ephesians 6:10

"Being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
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