Monday, November 24, 2008

Strength Training...

Sorry to have been away so long again but I have been undergoing some "strength training" in different areas of my life.

Some of it I have brought on myself and some of it I haven't. Either way it has been a tough few weeks and at times I feel like a boxer in the ring, not sure where the next blow is going to come from.

Much of my "strength training" has occurred at the obvious place - The Gym. I have continued to visit "Cruella's" classes, and have even come to appreciate and actually like her very much (even if she does seem to enjoy torturing me, lol). The result of continuing to push myself is paying off and I am definitely feeling stronger! I can lift more weight, do more reps and not feel quite so sore the next day!

The other "strength training" I am undergoing is much more personal. It is strengthening as a Mom and in myself as a Christian woman. As I am stepping out to serve the Lord and teach at CBS I am watching my personal life come under attack like never before! Satan knows exactly how to push my buttons and I have definitely been feeling it recently.

I know that raising children is a challenge (and the fact that I have more children than most means I should probably expect more challenges than most) but it doesn't make it any easier when you are facing an attitude of rebellion. Rebellion that runs so deep as to say, "I want to behave this way and if you try to punish me I will hate you forever."

And as if that rebellion weren't enough to deal with, there are phone calls from the school regarding another teenager (Skipped classes, failing grades....) Of course there are the younger kids (field trip money due, programs to attend, schedules to keep...) and the older ones (do you ever stop worrying about your children???....) and even my husband (working late again, not listening, disagreements over how to handle just about everything....). Worst of all there is someone close to me who continues to disrespect me and speak derogatorily behind my back.

Yeah, Satan is pushing my buttons big-time! And, just like when my muscles are pushed to the limit by Cruella at the gym, it is at this point in my "training" that I want to give up. I want to say:

"God, I can't do it! It is too hard and it isn't worth it!"
"You can do it!"
"But it HURTS! I am not strong enough!"
"Find your strength in Me!"

So I press on and I can honestly say that whatever strength I have comes directly from the Lord: I must trust my children and their future to Him, I need to choose to let Him defend me against those who criticize and gossip behind my back, and I must not let Satan use those attacks to deter me from what God has called me to do. It hurts and it isn't easy but it does strengthen my faith.

As hard as a "strength training" class at the gym is, I love the feeling when it is over. I feel weak but I also feel strong and invigorated. It is very much the same as I go through this "strength training" with God. At times I may feel raw and vulnerable but I know that I am HIS and the more I depend on Him the stronger I feel!

I don't know why I am in this valley right now. Perhaps it is because God knows I need to have "thicker skin"; maybe I need some lessons in dealing with conflict; or it could be because I need to pass this lesson on to someone else. Whatever it is, I can be sure that there IS a good reason behind it and God will not let these lessons be wasted.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WFW~~Standing Strong....

I have always been envious of those people who say they heard a personal message from God. You know "God told me....." or "I clearly heard God say...."

Since I returned home from the She Speaks Conference last June I have been praying hard about what God wants me to do now.

It is frustrating because I feel like I was obedient in going to the conference, I was very motivated by what happened there and optimistic that God was going to use me through what I learned. Oh yeah, my life was going to be radically changed!!

And yet here it is 5 months later and it seems nothing is different. I don't know what I expected but I am still the same "stay-home" wife and mom I was before I went. Yes, I am giving teaching lectures at CBS but I guess I just thought that God would open all kinds of new doors and I would sashay through them.

Then one morning about a month ago I woke up very early. I was sort of half conscious and a verse from scripture kept playing and replaying in my head:

2 Timothy 4:17...2 Timothy 4:17...2 Timothy 4:17.....

It was like I had a song "stuck in my head" and it was keeping me awake. So I grabbed a pencil and paper from next to my bed, wrote it down and then fell back to sleep and forgot all about it.

Later that afternoon I saw the paper and reached for my bible to look up 2 Timothy 4:17:

"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength so that through me t
he message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the Lion's mouth."

After months of wondering if going to the conference was a mistake and praying about what God's purpose for me is, I believe I heard the voice of Jesus whisper in my ear that morning.

It was a whole new perspective on how God was using me. Two weeks later I gave my first CBS teaching lecture of the year and I can't count the times I have been able to shepherd and encourage my friends and family through knowing and applying God's word.

This may not be the way I expected God to use me but since when does God do things the way I expect Him to? I was telling God "I am ready to impact the world for You!!" And He said, "Impact those around you. Your class, friends and family." Perhaps God will enlarge my territory one day, I don't know, but I do know that if I am not faithful with little He won't entrust me with much.

So even though my kids get tired of hearing those "bible stories" and my husband thinks I am loony when I call him at work and say "Guess what, Jesus whispered in my ear this morning!" I am going to keep on proclaiming the message! And today as I speak to my CBS class I know that I won't do it alone "the Lord will stand at my side and give me strength."

Check out more Word Filled Wednesday inspiration by clicking here.

Monday, November 10, 2008


AAAhh! Another weekend comes to a close. The past week has once again been a crazy one! I think it is funny that as much as I look forward to the weekends I am almost relieved when Monday rolls back around!

In case there is anyone who is still reading this blog, here are some random events to relate from my recent past:

~~HELP! I've Been Shot.....
A couple of weeks ago I took "Pablo" to the pediatrician for his kindergarten immunizations (yes kindergarten started 3 months ago but that's how we roll around here). Come to find out he needed 4 shots and since they offered adult flu shots I decided I would get a shot too (just to show him it was no big deal). I am proud to say that we both were very brave and didn't cry at all when they stuck us with the needles.

Did I mention that I have never had a flu shot before? Well I don' t know what happened but by 5 o'clock that night I was in bed with what seemed to be a case of the flu (chills, headache, cough, fatigue, achy and weak muscles....).

I was feeling so bad that I was giving my husband instructions on what I wanted for my funeral. And poor little Pablo kept coming into my darkened room apologizing for making me get a shot. Luckily his flu shot hadn't affected him at all.

By the next morning I was fine. In fact I went to a class at the gym and did a weight training class. I guess I won't be having a funeral just yet after all!!

~~A "Lot" to Learn.....
This week I am scheduled to present a "teaching lecture" on Genesis 19 in my CBS class. It is the story about Lot & his family as Sodom and Gommorah is destroyed. The last teaching lecture I did was on Lot being rescued by Abram. HMMM, I am kind of wondering what God is trying to teach me through all of this Lot business? Whatever it is, I am doing my best to share those lessons with the class and my teenagers as well!

Our family participated in something new this weekend as Sophie competed in a big cheer competition. It was very fun, exciting and intense. I get the feeling this can be a real "cut throat" sport! Not only did the girls look sharp and professional, many of the moms looked like cheerleaders as well. Our squad took 2nd place for 3rd graders in both cheer and dance. Which reminds me, I also learned that my daughter can really "bust a move"!

Family Support....

~~Grandma Me???
Here is something I never thought that I would say: "I can't wait to be a Grandma!"
I agreed to babysit the 3 month old son of my daughter's friend over-night on Saturday while they had a party. Oh my gosh, we had so much fun with that sweet little guy!! Even my husband was so ga-ga over this baby that he spoke the words, "It makes me want another one!" however he quickly followed that up with "but then I know what they turn into!"

I think we both agree that we are going to love being Grandparents someday. Meanwhile we have said we will watch this little guy anytime they need us to!

I am hoping that all of this exciting and intriquing information hasn't sent anyone into a coma! It truly isn't easy to live such an exotic lifestyle and find time to blog about it as well!!

Seriously though I am grateful for the "everyday" things in my life. I have learned that it is the "boring details" that really make a life livable because it is in these details that relationships are developed and strengthened and that memories are made!

I pray that you will can find the blessings in your "everyday moments" as well!!