Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some posts to make you think and cry

I have read a few posts over the past week which have made me think and cry and I thought I would share them.

  • This story about baby Ani in Africa is very heartbreaking, it's so hard to fathom how many little babies (and their mothers) around the world suffer like this little one did, praise God she is now in heaven. Here is the first post and here is the second one.

  • This post looks at Psalm 131 and contentment, and I have decided that this Psalm is what's going to get me through these next 3 months as we do a lot of waiting on God for his provision and timing regarding our plans for America

  • This post I read just today written by a policeman who has a disabled son made me very teary. He also wrote a letter to his 17 year old son, it too is well worth a read.

  • And finally a happy post about John Piper's son and his wife.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coming home

Today ends my 10 day holiday with my dad and sister in Malaysia and Singapore. It has been such an awesome time, the food, the sights, the shopping, the exploration of different cultures, lifestyles, the world is an amazing place! I will post more about my trip in later posts.

I wanted to take the opportunity on this being my last day, to savour the time away from my beloved family. It will be a long time before I am away from them again, and its almost impossible to really appreciate and cherish them fully until we step away from the craziness of 'normal life'.

When I am away from my children what I long for is the cuddles, the questions, the happy and grumpy looks, the playing, laughing, the goodnight kisses and hugs. These things I take for granted everyday. Each day they come so often, so freely, and yet so many times I don't cherish them like I do when I am away from them. I pray that when I go back I will adore them, that I will immerse myself in the grace of God so that His grace might overflow to them. All my struggles, weaknesses and imperfections constantly turn me back to the cross and how all my righteousness and goodness comes from Him alone through His death and resurrection.

The one I have missed the most has been my husband, such an amazing friendship we have, I miss just being with him....But time away from him makes me love and adore him even more!

I am so thankful to God for this life changing time away, it has opened my eyes to a new way of life, a way of life that has always been a part of me (from my dad's blood line!).

Monday, March 22, 2010

An inspiring mother

On the weekend we watched Gifted Hands the story about Ben Carson who is the the director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. It was such an inspiring movie for me in many ways. I have often seen the book Gifted Hands in Koorong and wondered what it was about, this movie has now inspired me to read it!

What inspired me most was his mother. Here is an interview with Ben Carson, she had such an influential role in who he is today, and he boldly testifies to that!

Here's what he says about her in the interview.

KW: This makes me think of the question Lester Chisholm had for you, namely, what can parents do to vaccinate their children against failure?

BC: For one thing, it's very important not to allow your child to adopt the victim's mentality. I think that was the most important thing that my mother did for us. And, if anybody could have felt like a victim, it was she. She was one of 24 children. She was raised in horrible conditions in rural Tennessee. She got married at the age of 13 to try to escape that environment. After moving to Detroit she discovered that her husband was a bigamist. Then, with only a third grade education, she had to raise two young sons on her own. She could have very easily felt like a victim. But she never did. Instead, she would always say, I can do something about this. She ended up working three jobs as a domestic, because she didn't want to be on welfare. She wanted to control her own destiny and ours. And she never allowed us to be victims. She always told us that if anybody can do something, you can do it, too, except that you can do it better

It made me realise just how true the words of Proverbs 1:8-9 are,

...And do not forsake your mothers teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
and ornaments about your neck.

His mother was continually building up and encouraging him and his brother to not give up, to have faith in God, to read as much as they could even though she herself couldn't read! The movie highlights how important his mother's words were to him later on when he has sit for exams in medical school and for when he performed a significant operation of separating Siamese twins.

The movie also highlighted how important childhood faith is. She faithfully took them to church, what they learned there had an obvious impact on him. There was a significant time in his teenage life where he clung to his bible and turned to God for help and hope.

There wasn't much focus on his wife in the movie, but in the little that they showed of her, she was portrayed as an amazing support to him in his career, especially during a time of extreme personal hardship.

Once again I have been reminded of the awesome responsibility I have as a mother to train up my children in the way they should go. Only God knows what is planned for their lives, I daily need His grace, His wisdom to lead them to Him, to want to do the best they can for His glory.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crafty ideas

Whilst scrolling through posts on my blog list I came across a link to this blog. It has heaps of crafty ideas linking to other blogs (which have even more crafty ideas!).

Here are some projects I am interested in (not sure when I will get a chance to try them out..!)

Mini Easter Baskets

Denim Bible Carry case

Felt Mr Potato Head

Little girls ruffle dress

The domesticated skirt

Ruffle shirt makeover

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The word humilty..

The word humility for me is such a confronting word. It cuts deep into my heart and forces me to examine every intention, thought, word or action. The past couple of years I have been faced with situations and exposed to situations where I have come to the conclusion, that these people or this person needs to be more humble....it doesn't take long before I am forced to examine my own heart and how I am going at 'humbling myself under the mighty hand of God' (1 Peter 5:6). Often it is so much easier to judge others and accuse them of being proud, conceited, unsubmissive, but in my assessment of them, aren't I being proud, conceited, unsubmissive before them and more importantly, before Almighty God.

When we refuse to submit to others, to be humble before others, to consider them better than ourselves, we are really being unsubmissive to God, God after all is in control of all things, including the hearts of others.

"Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. Psalm 135:6".

The past few months I have been reading through 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 Kings. I have always struggled with David but reading through these books I have gained a new respect for him and his wholehearted devotion and love fore God, he truly was a man after God's own heart. The kings that followed him, including his son Solomon didn't love God like he did, in fact most of them did evil in the sight of the Lord.

These verses concerning kings came up in my KYB study in the Psalms today,

Now it shall come to pass about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.
It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statures, that his heart may not be lifted above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right or left , so that his sons may continue long in the midst of Israel." Deuteronomy 17:18-20

How does a king stay humble? By reading God's word every day, observing it, thus learning to fear Him. How does a mother stay humble and not think more highly than I ought to think of myself before my children - by reading, and meditating upon God's word so that i may learn to fear Him. The more I am confronted with who God is, who Christ is, and that my salvation is all His doing, the more I am humbled before Him and my thoughts, intentions, actions are dealt with.

I often think about how we as Christians desire to be Christlike, but how often do we consider Christ's humility, not only on the cross, but throughout his whole life on earth, the fact that

"He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:7-9)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Heart preparation for America

Autumn arrived rather dramatically on the weekend with downfalls of rain and hail. Driving down the main street of Handhorf on Monday I noticed red leaves on trees, it was a reminder that the days are passing by...

Lately, at least once a day, I have to stop and take a deep breath so as to not become overwhelmed with our move to America. Things don't always unfold the way we plan them to, I thought I would have got so much more organised by now!

But I think God has been working on my emotions... We haven't made much headway so far practically with our plans, (i.e fixing up the house, sorting through stuff, visas, plane tickets, financial stuff etc.) we are in a bit of a waiting period at the moment, but lots has been happening in terms of my mental and emotional preparation!

One example is my attitude towards my children and homeschooling. I have always loved the concept and ideal of homeschooling, but deep down have felt completely inadequate, impatient, and clueless about it. Since school holidays, I have pretty much begged the Lord each day to help me to love my children, I have found it a struggle...but He has proven Himself so faithful to my endless cries for help, mercy and forgiveness!

Consequently, amongst my bad attitudes and emotional ups and downs with my children I have these nagging thoughts in the back of my mind, so how will you cope with homeschooling, in a different country, away from family, friends and the familiar?!

Well, God has been working on my heart, in so many ways, I am realising that the best preparation for homeschooling for me is to prepare my heart for it first. If I don't' have a heart and a passion for it, then there's probably not much point to it.

I have been reading a few books, reading articles, blogs and listening to talks about other people's experiences and some of the 'philosophies' behind it. These resources are starting to inspire and motivate me and I am starting to become so much more excited about the whole venture. What I am looking forward to the most, is the time I will get to spend with my children and all the things we are going to learn together!

I am so thankful that He prompted me 3 years ago to start meeting with Him 5am every morning, those times with Him are often by far the best parts of my day, and it is an awesome time to sit, listen, learn and pour out my heart before Him.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice you righteous.
And shout for joy all you upright in heart.
psalm 32:10-11

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Goodbye to Alvin

The reality of leaving has been setting in of late.
It especially hit home when we gave our doggy friend Alvin away to a beautiful older lady on the other side of town, I am still silently grieving over giving him away...
From the day we brought Alvin home, over a year ago, I prayed that he would be a blessing to others. To some I think Alvin was rather annoying, the barking, jumping etc. but for me I loved his cuddles and adorable face, and he was a wonderful blessing to me. And now I am praying that he will be a blessing to his new owner, a lonely older lady who has loved cocker spaniels all her life and was devastated when her last dog died a few weeks ago.
I am sure he will be very spoilt and will love being the centre of her attention, unfortunately he didn't get a lot of attention in our home (mostly lots of cuddles from me!).
So giving Alvin away is the beginning of packing up life as we know it over here in Australia and preparing for our move to the USA!
With around 4 and a half months to go, I sometimes get rather overwhelmed at what needs to be done and what we are waiting on the Lord for.
But I am learning to rest in and wait upon Him alone to provide, guide and strengthen me each day.

Make me know Your ways, O Lord;

Teach me Your paths.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

For You I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:5