Think Outside the Box

I  know in today’s society our family of nine is a strange sight. But why?

When I was a child I always hated the response ‘because I said so’.  When I asked a question, I wanted an honest, logical answer!  I never liked for someone else to think for me.  I wanted to make my own choices and decisions.  I wasn’t rebellious and didn’t throw caution to the wind.  I listened to the wisdom of others and tried to learn from them but if it didn’t make sense to me then I would just do my own thing.  Like, why not get married at 18?  17 years later he’s still my best friend.

If you’ve known me for very long or read my blog post “Yes to Blessing Explained”, you know that after the birth of our second child we gave in to the urgings of God that if we 100% trusted Him, we would trust Him with the number of children we would have.  This was not an easy decision or one we took lightly.  Remember how I said I liked to make my own decisions?  That sounds so arrogant as I write it, but it’s what we do isn’t it?

I started to search what God said about children and no where did I find, thou shalt have two children and be blessed.  If I’m doing my math right, two children does not equate to multiplying!  Please don’t misunderstand my intent here.  I know great godly people who have been told by God that a small family is what they are supposed to have.  I’m not trying to get everyone to join us and have a dozen kids.  My intent is to spark in you the desire to think outside of the box that society has created and the propaganda that has been drilled on you since school.  Don’t miss out on the perfect plan God has for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) because of fear.

It breaks my heart to see so many held back by fear that don’t even realize it.  Fear of what others will think, fear they won’t be able to provide, fear they are not strong enough or don’t have the patience, fear of a difficult or lost pregnancy (believe me, I know both)… the list goes on.  I guess it really does come down to having a childlike faith, letting go of yourself, and seeking what God would have you to do.  I’m living proof that if the Lord brings you to it He’ll bring you through it.  When we started this journey we never imagined where God would take us and it’s so much better than the ‘plan’ we had.  It hasn’t been easy but the journey to greatness never is.  Look at Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David… and many others throughout history.

None of us mean to fall into the trap of conforming, but we truly have become a monkey see monkey do society.  That’s why when a family of nine like us walks through the door, it turns heads.  We’ve just accepted that to ‘fit in’ we need a nice house, nice car, college degree, successful career, birth control (can’t mess up the previous list with an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy!), nice clothes, and the eventual pre-planned 2.2 kids.  I’m not at all saying that those things are not well and good.  I have many of those things and enjoy them.  God wants to bless us.  I’m saying don’t achieve them just because that’s what is expected of you.  I’m grateful for the experience of college but now I’m a stay at home mom who is still paying for that piece of paper.  Sometimes I wonder what my family would have looked like if I hadn’t used birth control at first.  We can’t change the past, only learn from it and move forward.

I hope this has sparked the desire in you to ask why.  Why work an 8-5?  Maybe you would be more useful to your family and society if you started your own business.  Why take birth control?  If you studied about how and why ‘family planning’ was started you’d be appalled.  Why retire?  The Jews believe as long as you have use to others you should keep going!  Retirement is actually a very selfish idea.  (Check out “Thou Shall Prosper” by Rabbi Lapin).  We were not made to be served but to serve.  I encourage you before you make any decision about the course of your life to ask yourself, why is it usually done this way and is this the way God would want me to do it?  Blessings!

Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33


Why Do Bad Things Happen?

I couldn’t sleep so I decided to write.  With five children ages 7 and under, finding the time to write proves very difficult!  I was just dwelling on why bad things happen.  Though some of you reading this might not agree with my assessment please read until the end and hear me out!  Bad things happen because there really is a spiritual battle taking place.  There really is a Satan who hates God and wants to do everything he can to hurt Him.  Does this mean it’s hopeless and we should just give up and give in?  No.  God has won the victory and we will win the battle in the end (I’ve read the back of the book!).  But, you say, I’ve seen good Jesus loving people suffer in horrible ways.  Let’s think about why that might be for a minute.  If you have children, while you may not agree with everything they do or say, or they may drive you nuts sometime, you would never want to watch them suffer right?  Would it be more painful for you to suffer or to watch your children suffer?  I know when my children are sick, I wish so bad that I could take it for them so they wouldn’t have to go through the pain and sickness.  Well, Satan can’t get to God so he focuses his attention on God’s children.  God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die for us!  I have to say, I can’t think of anyone that I love enough that I’m willing to let one of my children be beaten and murdered for.  Satan knows how much God loves us so He does whatever he can to hurt us in order to hurt God.  So… it does seem like a lost cause, right?

No, just like you try to protect your child by making them fasten their seatbelts or wear a helmet when they ride their bike, or set boundaries in order to protect them, God has done the same for us!  He has boundaries laid out for us in His Word, the Bible, which is one of the ways He communicates with us.  He has also given us guardian angels to protect us, we just have to ask.  Will wearing a seat belt or a helmet prevent an accident?  No of course not, but it will minimize the damage the accident could have caused.  Satan is going to attack first those who haven’t asked Jesus to be their Savior and take as many of God’s precious people to Hell with him.  Hell was never intended for humans.  It was meant for Satan and his followers (demons).  If you follow Satan by denying Jesus, your eternal spirit will go where he goes.  This is serious!  Don’t let him take you!

For those of us who have accepted Jesus and our destination is Heaven when we die, Satan just tries to steer us off course.  Keeping us distracted, making us worry about things that God has promised us He would take care of.  If you make a promise to your child do you intend to keep it?  Of course.  If we didn’t keep our promises why would our children trust anything we said!  God does keep His promises and we can trust what He says.  Just as you would prepare your home when a hurricane was going to strike or you would put protective armor on if you were going through a battle, God has given you what you need to weather the storm of life!  We have to take action though!  First, if you have not asked Jesus to be your Savior, just call out to Him and He will answer, I promise!  Just believing in the existence of God is not enough.  Satan believes that God exists.  Grace is so simple.  No matter what you’ve done in your past, Jesus wipes the slate clean if you just believe in and accept the sacrifice He made for you!  Second, you have to read the Word!  What good is a sword, if you have no idea how to wield it?  Third, you have to pray.  The Bible says, you have not because you ask not.  I pray for a hedge of protection around my family every day and for guardian angels to protect us (see Psalm 91).

God loves us so much, and it does hurt Him to see us hurting, but because He loves us so much, He did not enslave us, but gave us a free will to make our own choices.  If we will listen to His instruction and make the choices that He guides us to make, life will be so much more fulfilling!  I know this from personal experience!  Bad things are going to happen as long as we are on Earth, but judgment day is coming and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity and those who have asked Jesus to be their Savior will be with Him in the paradise that God prepared for His children that He dearly loves.  While I can’t explain everything and have most definitely questioned God a time or two as to why we were having to go through certain trials, I can always see His hand guiding us through looking back at the situation from the other side.  And just like any good, loving daddy, we can crawl into His arms when we are hurting and He will hold us.  Don’t let any flawed human be your comparison for God.  Even if every human on Earth abandoned you, He will not.  He wants to take care of you, all you have to do is ask.

My Soul Wells Up With Hallelujahs

This song has been on my heart for some time so I thought I would share it. How anyone can deny the presence of God with the beauty and majesty of His creation all around is beyond me.


by Chris Rice

A purple sky to close the day
I wade the surf where dolphins play
The taste of salt, the dance of waves
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

A lightning flash, my pounding heart
A breaching whale, a shooting star
Give testimony that you are
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can’t be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

O cratered moon and sparrow’s wings
O thunder’s boom and Saturn’s rings
Unveil our Father as you sing
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can’t be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

The pulse of life within my wrist
A fallen snow, a rising mist
There is no higher praise than this
And my soul wells up
O my soul wells up
Yes my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can’t be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

O hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

(This person did an excellent job with this video!)

Life is Good

Despite a super trying and exhausting day, life is good. Right now I’m lying in my bed listening to the bullfrogs bellow through my open window on this beautiful spring night. So much good has happened lately after a series of trials and frustrations and heartbreaks, some that went on for years, and now we are here. Why? Because we didn’t give up. We were determined to stay faithful to God and our marriage and our children no matter what the devil tried to throw at us, and God did not forget us.
In January we closed on a beautiful house on 5 acres of land with a 12 acre pond that was perfect for our family. Then last month I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that is such a joy to us all! God has kept His promises in His time. We have definitely been blessed abundantly more than we could have hoped or imagined. Life is hard and being a military wife and mother of five is not an easy task, but it is an awesome task that I am honored to have been given by God. I love my husband. I love my children. I love my house. I love my church. Mostly I love my God. Yes, life is good.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I just wanted to express like most everyone else, my sentiments regarding the horrible events of the past week.  So many young children’s lives taken from them before they even really had a chance to begin.  My mind cannot even comprehend the anguish these families are all going through.  Presents already under the tree that will go unopened. That first bike that will go un-ridden.  How does one even begin to pick up the pieces.  We mourn of course for those left behind.  The students who witnessed their brave teacher murdered before their eyes.  Coming back to school to find so many empty desks.  The parents who had so many hopes and dreams for their child.  The brothers and sisters who are without their sibling.  Please pray for those who have to continue on without the ones they loved so dearly.  Please also pray for the family of the shooter who have also lost a loved one and are left with this horrific memory.

Where do we go from here?  So many what if’s run through everyone’s mind.  What if guns were banned, would that have stopped the killer.  What if the principal had been armed?  Would that have stopped the killer?  What if . . . .   No amount of what if’s will change what happened so we all have no choice but to move forward.  The wounds will eventually heal, but the scars will never disappear.  What should we do now?  We should pray.  Unfortunately we live in a day and age where evil is everywhere.  Weapons are not the issue.  When I was young every boy (and most girls including me) carried a pocket knife.  During hunting season, many of the older boys would still be dressed in camouflage and their rifles would be hanging in the back window of their unlocked truck where they had gotten in a couple of hours of hunting before school.  No, guns are not the issue at stake here.  There has been a change in the way people think and act.  A change of heart.  I’m just 31 but I guess I grew up in a different place it seems like.  I was taught from a young age to respect guns and how to properly handle them.  This same week in China several children were killed by a man with a knife and earlier in the year they had a man with a hammer attack several children.  In case you haven’t noticed, someone who is deranged enough to take the life of another person doesn’t really care what the law says about anything!  I cannot fathom why anyone would so brutally murder a child or anyone for that matter.  It’s evil plain and simple.

So where do we go from here?  Well, let’s start by loving.  If everybody would follow Jesus’ simple command of loving each other, we wouldn’t have this discussion.  We all need to pray.  Pray everyday for your family, your schools, your church, your town, your country.  And we all need to prepare.  Whether we like it or not, this is where we are at.  There is nothing at all wrong with taking every precaution to protect your family.  My husband carries a handgun when we are out.  I am thankful for him stepping up and being ready to defend and protect our family.  I’m thankful to have it at the house on nights when he has to be away.  I know how to use it am prepared to use it to protect my family.  I know many will probably disagree with me.  You are a steward of the children God has given you and that includes provision and protection.  Can we be with them all the time?  No.  That’s why every day I pray for God to send guardian angels to watch over my children (Psalm 91:11-12).  Yes I believe in that stuff and yes I believe it makes a difference.

So as we go into this Christmas season that is suddenly not quite as cheerful remember what this season is really about.  It’s not about gifts or Santa or fancy dinners.  It’s ALL about Love.  Jesus came as a baby just so he could die as a sacrifice for everybody.  God sent His child.  His only Son because He loved us so much that He was willing to give up His child for us.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could sacrifice my child for someone else.  My love is just not that pure, even though I know it should be.  I’m a work in progress too.  Jesus help us all to love like you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

May Jesus’ love, peace and comfort be with you all.

Jesus Love Us So Much!

A good friend of mine had a blog post on books that I was reading this morning and it got me to thinking about books I’ve read in the past.  I want to tell you this morning about a section from the book “The Shack” by William P. Young that really stood out to me and truly demonstrated Jesus’ love for us.  If you haven’t read this book and plan to I want to warn you that I will be spoiling a little of it.  This was an amazing book if read with an open mind.  It is a fictional book about a man named Mack that spent a weekend in a shack with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I warn you, parts of this book are hard to read, but I really enjoyed reading it and would like to read it again.  I’m going to paraphrase this next section for you:

At one point in the book Mack has to meet with the Judge.  Mack has 5 children and he is told that he has to choose 3 of them to go to Hell and the other 2 get to go to Heaven.  Mack says, I can’t make that decision!  The Judge says, you have to.  Mack again refuses.  The Judge tells him that he has no choice.  Mack in a panic finally says what about me, can you take me instead?  To this the Judge replies, now you are starting to think like Jesus . . . .

I cannot think about this part without just weeping and weeping.  How can anyone think that Jesus would choose for any of his children to go to Hell.  No matter what they’ve done or how bad they have been He would never want anyone to have to suffer in Hell.  That is why Jesus did offer Himself for us.  He already took our place.  He died a brutal death so that we wouldn’t have to spend an eternity in a place that was created for Satan and his demons, not God’s children.  How anyone can reject this amazing, unfathomable love that Jesus has for us is beyond my comprehension.  I just want you to remember that Jesus’ love for you is so strong that it can surpass any and all our human weaknesses so no matter what your past looks like always remember that Jesus really does love you no matter what!

JESUS LOVES YOU!!!  Now that’s something to smile about!

Infant Loss

I’ve been seeing a lot about this month being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  Yesterday, October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Our family too knows the grief of losing an unborn baby.  I didn’t really talk about it much, just with my closest friends and family.  It was just too hard to talk about.  The pain was just too deep.  Though I still miss that baby that would have been born last month, my wonderful Heavenly Father has brought healing and comfort.  Losing an unborn baby is hard and it is a loss and I encourage any of you who have gone through this to allow yourself to grieve this loss.  What a comfort though to know that that baby gets to grow up in Heaven with Jesus never knowing loss or pain or sadness.  Also, knowing that one day if you have accepted Jesus as Lord, you will get to see that precious child!

I can’t help during this time also to think of all the precious babies that have been lost to abortion.  I just felt led to say that if any of you reading have lost a baby to abortion that there is healing for you as well.  Our Heavenly Father does not treat anyone differently.  If you will come to Him and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive, forget and bring healing for you as well.

Some of you may also have lost a baby after it was born.  My heart goes out to you.  I can’t even fathom the pain you must have been through.  I pray that God will heal your heart and help you to live in this world until you are able to be reunited some day.

When you lose a baby before it is born, there is no grave to visit, no memorial, sometimes no good closure.  If you have been through this and are having trouble bringing closure try making a little memorial for your little person.  Maybe a letter, maybe a journal entry.  If you have an ultrasound picture maybe frame it, or maybe even make a little grave.  Whatever it might be that helps you bring closure.  Don’t feel silly.  Then pray and God will bring comfort and help you to move past the hurt.  Though we will never forget the little ones that should have been, there is healing in Jesus name.  God bless.

Luke 4:18  [Words of Jesus] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Psalm 139:13-16  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

ps – a good book to read – Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo