Mar 25, 2010

She Speaks, You Speak

My friend Lisa Smith sent me a text to tell me about the She Speaks writing contest again this year. I quickly replied, “No, not doing that anymore. Not writing anymore. I’m done. There is no more purpose for my writing. My life is a wreck, and God can’t use me.” Then, I sat alone.

I sat alone like I’ve done many times over the last few months, contemplating turning off my blog. Just turn it off. I stopped publishing my writing because, the story was too hard to share with people that I might know. It seemed safer locked behind my computer password. Even the thought of my story on paper pages tucked on a shelf between hard book covers seemed easier to bear. To blog meant sharing too much of my sorrow with people I see and know personally, and my spirit was broken.

It’s hard to imagine that a year ago I wrote, “Take Five” for the She Speaks conference contest. I was five hours too late for the entry. I don’t even know if it was ever read. I chuckled as I thought about the contest, and my “Take Five” entry, because earlier in the day I was thinking about the last five years. There’s that number “5” again! I had been thinking about how the last five years have brought many life altering changes that have resulted in a downward spiral to the valley. I chuckled because, I felt like God was telling me to review those last five years, “Take Five,” and write again.

I reread Lisa’s text, “She Speaks.” It was at that moment that I knew God said, “You Speak. YOU SPEAK!” Every time that I’d start to push the button to turn off the blog, I felt a pang of guilt that I was disobeying my Father. I felt like God said, “I called you to speak. Own your trials! Find me in them! When you see me, you’ll see that the trials are a part of what brought you to me. I know he’s right. He is my Father. He is my God. The trials brought me closer to him in a way that I hope to share with you.

It's my desire that through the “She Speaks” conference, I can learn better how to share my story. I long too make connections with mentors and with editors. I pray that when my life is over, my story has been told and I can pass with the peace of knowing that I didn’t turn off the button and quit.

It’s easy to tell the story of Jesus, but to tell the story of how Jesus touched me is much more difficult. It means that my relationship moves from looking at a blinking curser, to looking into blinking eyes of a group of people that may judge my imperfect life. I prayed for a testimony over 20 years ago. He gave me one, and today I pray for the opportunity to bring God’s word and application to my life into a story to share with you.

Thank you for this opportunity to apply for a scholarship to the She Speaks conference, and for the women of Proverbs 31 Ministry. Your stories are inspiring and feed my spirit. It’s my prayer to feed others, too.

Nov 8, 2009

Playground Slip-Up

He knows enough to know that he's being teased. It's just a simple game of ball in the school yard playground. He wants to play with the boys. He loves to play ball. He gives it his all, but it's just a laugh to the others.

Short of breath. Too slow, awkward, the last one to be picked if picked at all. No one wants him on their team. If they choose him, someone might think they like him, and that would be a playground sin.

That's okay. He's going to play anyway. He jumps right in as the game begins. "Over here, over here." He begs to have a turn. A slip up, and the ball rolls his way. Oh, it's his chance and he tries, but he's slow and he falls. Everyone laughs. Everyone laughs, but one person.

"Stop it," his friend screams. "Can't you see, he's hurt. His knees are bleeding. He just wanted to play ball." He helps him up, and together they walk to the bathroom to clean up his hands and knees. He's in the bathroom for a long time. His friend waits outside the door, making sure no one dares tease him anymore.

Some say that he should know his place in society, and it's not with the normal kids. Some say, he'll help himself when he realizes that if he doesn't play like the other kids then he's going to get teased. Some say, he needs to learn to stay away from harmful situations, which means, stay away from the other boys, don't speak, stay in the background.

He wants to play. He wants to be a part. He doesn't understand why others don't like him. There is no one that he doesn't like, except for the bullies. His heart is gentle. His hands are kind and those of a genuine friend. He doesn't know enough about himself to understand what is so different, but he knows enough to know that he is being teased.

I'm so thankful for his dear friend. They adore each other, and I'm so glad that God remembered two little boys with kindred hearts in need of one another. Thank you, dear heavenly Father, for remembering two broken hearted boys, and giving them the opportunity to enjoy an adoring friendship.

Oct 13, 2009

Nothings Wrong! He's Just the Baby!

"He has big brothers to talk for him. Why would he need to talk when all he has to do is point to get what he wants?" Those are the words of comfort that I clung to when my two year old boy only muttered, "Uh, uh." He didn't point to drinks, cups, toys, or have his every whim met when he appeared to want something. I urged him to say something, anything. He just sat at my feet and cried. Seems like Trent cried all of the time.

Going to town was disastrous. So I planned my grocery shopping on my lunch breaks. I was a single mom from the time Trent was 8 months old to 3 and a half years old. Aaron and Trevor were just not quite old enough to care for Trent for any length of time. I noticed a pattern to our shopping and his mood. If the store had florescent lights, bright lighting, freezer cases, lots of electrical devices, or a bright and stimulating environment, Trent was horrible! He would scream. Curl up in a ball on the floor. Grab his head and bury himself in my chest. Grocery store, or convenient store shopping was off the charts stimulation for Trent.

His behavior was dismissed as the behavior of a child with no father in the picture, and an undisciplined mother. I clung to the excuse, and tried harder to be a stronger disciplined, and demanding mother of my youngest child. None-the-less, nothing changed.

When Trent was two, he was hospitalized for pneumonia. Trent constantly had sinus infections, severe coughs, and asthma related symptoms. Even though, doctors said that a two year old couldn't have asthma, he developed severe asthma, and battled pneumonia on several occasions.

It was during that first hospitalization that the E.R. doctor asked me questions about his development. What sounds did he mutter? What words did he say? "Uh," that was all, I said. It was at that moment when the doctor told me that I needed to have his development evaluated that the emotion and realization that something was wrong instantly met me as a lump in my throat and a pang in my chest. Of course, family was there to push that feeling back into it's place, safely dismissed as a the baby of the family.

Jul 22, 2009

La música de mi Dios

She doesn't speak English. I don't speak Spanish. There isn't much to say when we see each other day to day. Hello, Hola! How are you? Co'mo esta's? Okay. Bien. That's about all we understand of one another.

On occasion we've talked through an online translator. I found out that my cleaning lady is from Honduras. She has a degree in business, and worked as at a geoscience facility in her country. One week of pay in America is equivalent to one month pay in Honduras. She wants to pay off her house, and then go home with her family.

She sports her little Ipod while cleaning the offices. I plug mine in while answering mail in the early mornings, and sometimes in the afternoon while catching up on paperwork. Once in a while, my speakers are on and she can hear the music. I don't understand her songs, and she doesn't understand mine.

Yesterday, she walked in my office to do her usual routine, and the song, "I Surrender All," by Michael W. Smith and Coalo Zamorano was playing on my speaker. She cried out, "My God, my God, musica MY God! Santificados, Jesus Cristo! Santificados! I love my God!"

There was one thing we clearly understood about one another without translation. We love our God. I clearly understood that we are sanctified by Jesus Christ. No one needed to help us out. I had never seen her so excited about anything, but clearly we connected.

It was so exciting to find a new sister. Where will our new friendship take us? She has been brought to America to escape poverty. May be one day I can go to Honduras too. I don't know what I would do there, but I want to help her people. May be they need Bibles. May be they need musica 'en espanol like Michael W. Smith and Coalo Zamorano, and willing teachers. One thing is very clear, no matter where in the world you call home, God's spirit can take up residency anywhere, in anyone of us.

ONE Perfect Plan

I was in the shower having a conversation with God. It was after a week of silence, and painful days of self pity. I asked God what went wrong with the plan for my work at the boys and girls ranch.

What a lesson to learn as God reminded me that there was only ONE perfect plan. There was ONE person perfect enough to not sin, and not to fall short of His plan. That was His son, Jesus Christ.

I surrendered the path that I chose for my life to His path. The tears that fell washed away by the falling water on my face. A fresh new start with the washing away of the old plans, and the start of a new day.

Jul 6, 2009


My last entry was two months ago. After writing my last entry "ABC Potluck," a troubling turn of events took place for me. The events led me to some deep valleys of soul searching, and over time, treasures in life lessons were revealed. I still don't have the answers, but I came to a deeper reverence for my God.

After 14 years of property management, I was so excited to have been offered a job at a boys and girls ranch. I love the ranch, my husband is a rancher, and we had great aspirations for the cause. The pay was a quarter of what I currently make, but the job had nothing to do with the pay for me, it was all about fulfilling what I felt like was God's calling for my life.

Part of the job offer/package was the ability to have my children with me at the ranch/school. Only three of my six boys would have attended the school. I was very excited about having Trent at the school, especially.

In "ABC Potluck," I voiced my struggles about this child of mine fitting into society. The struggles became slaps in my own face over the next few weeks. As if the words that I spoke were taken into Satan's hand and driven like salt into a wound. The director forgot, or didn't realize that Trent had autism; and, right before starting my new job she said that he could not attend the school. The board thought that a child with disabilities would not fit in with the other children, and that he would be too big of a risk for the activities that take place at the ranch.

I was crushed! Another place that my child did not belong. In my heart, I thought that he would thrive on the ranch. He participated in hippotherapy ( horse riding for autistic), at Retama Ranch in San Antonio, and absolutely loves the outdoors. The worst part of it all, was the fact that I could not afford to have him in school twenty miles away from the ranch that I would be working. It didn't seem fair that I would give of myself, mother these children at the ranch, but my own child could not participate. At the last minute, the job fell through.

I drove away from the ranch thinking to God, "Life is full of spiritual battle, and you know what God? Satan just won this battle. Some things just aren't supposed to happen. You asked me to work here. You provided the way, and opened up a rare opportunity to work at the ranch. You've prepared me all of my career for this move, and it is gone. He won. I wanted to find people to build a chapel, a place of worship. Have new offices attached to the chapel. I had a vision for growth, and place to build further for your kingdom, God, but, Satan won."

I went on for a few minutes about the unfair things that happen in life, weighing the things that were in God's plan versus Satan's plan to destroy us. I asked God to correct me where I was wrong in this thinking. I was so careful not to condemn the events that took place, but to ask God for HIS clarity. As I asked God for His direction he spoke three words, "I AM GOD."

He could have been in the car with me. So clearly did the words speak to me in my heart with a corrective and powerful feeling that overwhelmed me. I was quiet. I heard the words again, "I AM God." This time, they were softer, as if he got my attention, and just needed me to hear again. I drove in silence the rest of the way home. I thought no more about spiritual warfare, or anything. Mind silenced, uncluttered. Just quiet.

God didn't say, your right, or your wrong about the events or road to take. He didn't offer an explanation as to how spiritual warfare takes place. There was no corrective word or insight regarding whether or not I had read his direction for my life correctly or incorrectly. He just said, "I AM GOD." Somehow, I was satisfied in knowing, that was all I needed to know.

Apr 26, 2009

ABC-Autism Class Potluck Dinner

To be quite honest, there have been so many things going on in life right now, that I couldn't bring myself to write. I'm going to try to work through this over the next few days, and catch up here.

Trent has gone to school through the public ISD system since he was 3 years old. He turned 10 a few weeks ago. Thursday, was the ABC Class potluck dinner. They have this dinner every year, and we haven't missed one yet. My potluck contribution is the same, year after year. $5 Fast and Ready Pizza from Little Caesar's! Real creative cooking!

The ABC Class is the autistic or mentally challenged group of children. The cafeteria at the school was packed, so that tells you how many of these children attend our school. Children in our school district, but are zoned to other elementary schools attend this school for their special needs.

Next year, other elementary schools will open and have the ability to meet the children's needs. I am very sad to see the class of children that Trent has been with since he was three years old, split. All of us parents are stressed over the idea. The children don't realize what is about to happen. When they return to school next year, their worlds will have changed.

Families of all types have children with special needs. There are all type of ethnic groups, and economic groups that attend Trent's school. Since we live next to Texas A & M University, there are children from all over the world in our neighborhood. I have seen that professors and students from other countries that are attending the university are not immune to the autism disorder.

This year was the first year that I was able to watch the slide show presentation of our children throughout the year without crying. I choked back the tears for a brief moment, but was able to pull myself together. I question why I want to cry. Is it sadness for my own child, or sadness for each of these children.

I sat surrounded by other parents with the same battles as my own, but yet, it is still a lonely place to have a child with special needs. Perhaps it is lonely, because I feel the loneliness of my child. He has had some HUGE battles fitting in different places this year.

I watched the slide show and studied the children's faces, and the varying expressions. Some of the children are full of expression and smile, connection made. Others have blank eyes, looking at the camera, but holding no expression on their face. How come there are so many levels of autism? What makes one child with autism finally connect, and another struggle to do so?

The children have grown so much. It amazes me how much I know these children that I hardly communicate with, but isn't that somehow like it is with us and God? He knows his children even when we don't speak audibly with him. We know Him without words. We know his spirit, and his presence without a verbal word.

Apr 2, 2009

Your Time Is MY Time

I have an obsession with coupons! It is a mindless hobby that has cut my grocery bill from $1,200 a month to about $400 a month! With 6 boys, 5 living at home, it became a necessity to use coupons this summer. I like cutting, organizing, and hunting coupons! I place them in organized baseball card holder sleeves that are held in a 3", three ring binder. The binder is bulging!

Saturday, I thought I would sit at the park and place my coupons in the binder while the boys played. I really study the coupons and the details of each one. No sooner than I had started, I clearly heard the Lord telling me to, "Be quite!" Not that I was making any out loud noise, but while organizing my coupons I am thinking about the store sale ads for the week, and how much each coupon is worth at Kroger when it is doubled or tripled. I'm thinking about the price of different items, when the product was on sale last, and if I think it will be on sale again before the coupon expiration date.

"Oh, I'll just finish the toothpaste products before putting the book away," I thought to myself.

"Be quite. Quiet your mind, Katherine," God said. I gently laid my hands down and closed my eyes.

"Be quiet. Stop thinking. Stop the meaningless, clutter talk in your mind and rest," God said. So, I did. I closed the book and walked towards my car to put the book away.

The weather was just perfect. The sky was beautiful with the sun setting. The wind faintly blowing. As I walked towards the car in silence, God spoke to me again. He said, "Your time is MY time."

"Oh, wow, you're right, God." I committed to following His calling on my life as a writer, and how quick and easy it is to fill my mind with clutter. If my mind is not clear to listen to Him, and if it is not rested, I can't do what He has asked me to do. Write.

Yesterdays message, "Take Five," was really the predecessor to today's word from my God. "Take Five, but remember, this time that you're calling your own, is really MY time." I don't take it as a selfish demand of God. It's an understanding that I have from Him. I asked Him to let me write for Him. He said that it was in His plan all along. I realize that I have no ability to write outside of Him providing the way for me. It isn't my talent. I'm just willing.

So many times I see my relationship between me and my children reflected in my relationship with me and my God. I ask them to do something, and they say, "Hang on. One more minute."
I was telling God the same thing when I just wanted to place one more item in the coupon book.
When He asks me to do something, I should give him the same respect that I expect from my children, an immediate reaction. Every minute is His minute!

Mar 28, 2009

Take Five

I sat in line yesterday at the drive through window waiting to order a Coke. The day at work had been horrendous. Trevor needed me to pick him up from his voice lesson. After crying behind my closed office door, trying to muddle through the biggest of the stack of problems that I have encountered in this property take-over, I left the office early to pick up my son.

My "To Do List" started running through my mind as I drove from the music studio with Trevor when I thought we'd get a drink. Calculating every minute of this busy day, I brought five minutes in the Whataburger drive through line into the equation. Three cars were ahead, one of which was a van full of passengers. So, I sat in the line long enough to see that the minutes were going to stretch way beyond my five minute allowance, when I decided to leave and go to the McDonald's a block away. As I sat in the next line for five minutes I began to think my time. Hmmm, MY time, well, there isn't much MY time these days. I just began thinking in general terms about "time."

Five minutes. I'm spending five minutes waiting in a line. Five minutes would get me a few blocks closer to my office again. Five minutes sitting in a line, waiting, trying to be patient. What I really need in my life right now is five minutes with my God. Now that's a valuable five!

Time is our time. No matter how we spend it. It holds value, and it needs balance. There is an equation to the time we spend, and if it is out of balance then our lives get out of balance.

I thought about the Hollywood phrase, "Take Five." I think it's time throughout my day to "Take Five." Take Five to go outside and breath the fresh air. Take Five in my office behind that closed door on my knees with my Lord. Take Five, not to sleep five minutes longer in the morning, but to sit by my sleeping child before waking him for his day and soak in the silence of the morning.

As usual, with five boys in my house at this time, I'm about five hours too late to participate in the scholarship contest through, She Speaks Proverbs 31 Ministry. I just read about the contest at, strangely, 5 A.M. this morning! I'm praying for grace though, in hopes that I may still be considered in the contest and it didn't end at midnight on Friday, March 27th. The link to enter is still open!

You can view the She Speak Conference website here:

and you can enter for the scholarship at:

I had a small children's table in my bedroom while growing up. It had bright green chairs and big flowers on the table top. I would sit at that table with my Big Chief Tablet, and write stories and draw pictures. My parents were divorced when I was five, and I clearly remember sitting at that table and God telling me to write about my sadness, draw a picture of my tears. In a plastic box in the attic is a drawing of a broken five year old little girl. He led me on the journey of writing and sketching my heart on paper in words many years ago.

My life has been a journey. I prayed for God to give me a testimony that I could share with others, to show others just how great He is. What I didn't realize at the time was my testimony had been building my entire life.

Perhaps through She Speaks and Proverbs 31 Ministry, I'll have that chance to share my story. Certainly, through God, the vision that he gave this blond haired five year old girl will come to fruition one day.

Mar 14, 2009

Tall Walls

My children are playing in the other room with my husband. He's so great to play with them. Seth is the youngest of five older brothers, and he doesn't like to be alone. Doesn't like to play alone for long. My husband is great to accommodate his desire to have a playmate. I'm grateful that he is "all there," and "all available" for the boys, because I struggle to be these days.

I struggle to play. I struggle to get close to this little guy. He's absolutely adorable, and deserves all of a mom's love, and I do love him deeply. I'm just speaking honestly about where my "walls" are these days. They are tall towers that surround my soul. There is just ONE that I feel the closest too, and that is my God.

Actually, I cling to Him. I'm obsessed with my Lord, and studying his word, and feeling his presence. While I long for Him, I am placing a void in my children for a mom that is emotionally present. I know this isn't the way that mom should be. I haven't been this way in the past, and I understand why I'm this way. I just have to get through it, and tear down the walls.

Loss...Parents aren't meant to have teenagers and babies at the same time. I'm convinced of that! While I'm letting go of my older children, I still have a toddler in the house. It pains me so much to see my teenagers go their own way that it leaves me vulnerable to love another, my youngest, like I've loved my first children. Then, to love a child with autism so very much, and to see him struggle, is sometimes unbearable.

I love my step-children like my own children. The doorbell rang this week-end, and there was a gentle reminder as the boys drove off with their biological mom, that there is another mother. Chase is so gentle to balance his mom's, me and Suanna. He's so careful to not hurt one or the other by making either of us feel inadequate. He's absolutely adorable, and truly the child of my heart.

In 1995, I was heartbroken by the loss of a baby. Chase filled that spot. He was born in 1995! He is gentle, yet strong spirited, kind and wise. I was with him while he accepted Christ into his heart this summer, and was baptised. It was wonderful to be present while he was being born into the kingdom of heaven by asking Jesus into his heart.

One summer, our family spent a week at the Nueces river in the Texas hill country. We were the only ones at the camp since it was during the hottest part of the summer. After lathering on the sunscreen, we'd spend the day in the river. The boys began moving rocks, and soon we were all moving rocks, manipulating the flow of the water. The stones became our pathways. The walls we built became something that we controlled, and something that controlled the flow of the water.

I think the first step to tearing down the walls is to recognize that it is there in the first place. I see the stones as clearly as I could see through the cool running river water on those hot summer days. I'd move a rock, and the dirt would stir for a moment, but soon it would settle, and the water would flow.

There are lessons in the stones we move, the walls we tear down, the pains that we suffer. The dirt settles, and soon we're in control again. The water runs clear again. We're wiser and stronger when we can find the strength to tear down the walls.

Feb 20, 2009

God Stop, Gage Hayes

I am so amazed how God works! Just when we think He isn't working in my life, He shows me that HE IS!

I'm still in my Beth Moore study, Living Free; and, I'm on week 2, "To Know and Believe Him." Last night at 3:00 a.m. I couldn't sleep, and I found myself studying His word as I so often do in the middle of the night. I think God wakes me between 3 and 5 for us to spend time alone. It's quiet then. The home is still. My children and husband sleep soundly, and I can spend time alone with God.

Beth's studies always challenge me with questions and scripture reading, and the study last night was challenging me to question whether or not I believe IN God, or truly BELIEVE GOD. I thought long and hard about each sentence, each question, each verse. I came to this conclusion:
"Believing IN God is believing in the theory that God is real. Believing God is living by faith that God can intervene, change things, make things happen, that our lives are blessed, and that He IS real."

I love college students. I'm so fortunate to have a staff of 14 college students working for me. I just adore them all. One of them left town night before last because her 6 year old brother became very ill. Within hours he was in ICU in Austin, then yesterday he was transported to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. His liver has failed. He's been a healthy young boy, but suddenly became ill for no apparent reason.

This morning he was needing a liver transplant, which of course means that someone else would need to die in order for him to live. Taylor, my college student, and I began texting throughout the day. She would send me updates as to her brother's condition. I would send her encouragement. I found myself on my knees in my office, on my knees behind the bathroom door, on my knees in the model home, on my knees in the bathroom again. Just pleading with God, "I believe. Heal him. I believe. Heal my unbelief. I believe." I felt like the father in Mark 9:24, "I do believe..., help my unbelief." Even with that plea, Jesus healed the man's son.

Later that afternoon he was a tiny bit better, but not out of the woods. I was so scared to tell Taylor to believe God, I mean, what if Gage, her brother, died. How could I bare telling her that God still had a plan when her baby brother was not saved. I had to believe, 100%, that God would heal him. How could I believe with all of my heart when so many of my earnest prayers have gone unanswered? I just had to believe God.

So, I told Taylor to claim healing for her brother with me. I told her that he would not need a new liver. As I texted her those words she was texting me, "OMG, I just found out that he was moved out of ICU!"

We don't know what has gone wrong with Gage's liver, and we don't know what tonight will hold for him. We're believing in a miracle though. Just as I was saying to God, not 24 hours earlier, "Yes, Lord, I believe you can do all things," he opened a challenge to prove my belief. I'll call this event, "God Stop, Gage Hayes." Yes, miracles can happen. One is happening now. We're claiming it.

Feb 19, 2009

The Measure of God's Love

Someone recently told me that I was not blessed by God. I was asked, "Just look at your house, and look at mine. My house is so much nicer than yours. Who is God blessing? Me, not you."

This person went on to say how great their children were in comparison to the struggles that I have with mine, with schooling and the autism issues of Trent. My children were not blessed, but theirs were. Believe it or not, that comment came from a grown person that claims to be a Christian!

I'm way past the days of wondering if God loved me when I didn't get my way with my Heavenly Father! Had that comment been made years ago, I might have been sad and considered the thought that God didn't find me worthy of blessing; however, I know My God well enough to know that His love isn't measured by earthly gifts.

I've found the blessing in the gentle childlike spirit of my child that may never grow old in his heart and mind. I've learned that in every struggle has a silver lining, and that silver lining is my Lord shining through the darkness in this fallen world.

The Bible study that I am in asked this question the same night that the above for mentioned comments were made to me. The question was, "How is intimacy with God different from the goal of being good enough to be acceptable to God?

My answer is this: We can't trust those that don't accept us. If we trust that God loves us even in our sinful nature, then we break down the wall to allow communication. When we are free to communicate with God, we trust in Him, and form intimate bonds with our Lord.

Our relationship with God is not about God showing us how much He loves us by answering our prayers and desires, even when our prayers are for truly honorable things. Even when our requests are for things like healing of our children, or our bodies, or relationships being restored, go unanswered, God loves us.

God has shown me that my relationship with Him is about trusting and loving Him no matter what the answer, no matter how I think things should turn out. It is about believing in God's will, even when I think I know how things should be.

God's love can't be measured by His answers, or lack of answers! His love can not be measured by financial blessings or physical well being. His love is measured by the cross, one stretched arm to the other; and, by how much of that love WE choose to accept. By how close to the cross we choose to step, and whether or not we step close enough to let Christ's cleansing act, the blood of the Lamb, drip into our lives and wash our sins white as snow.

Feb 16, 2009

Little Guy, Big Mind

Reading over this entry, it seems kind of dry. I really wanted to blog this thought that occurred to me tonight, though.

Tonight, I enjoyed coloring with Seth. As I watched my 3 year old guy color, I was fascinated by how smart he seems. I really enjoyed watching how intently he studied the lines and tried his hardest to stay within them. It occurred to me, that even though I have a house full of boys, it has been 13 years since I sat and colored with a 3 year old. Chase was 5 when I married his daddy, and Trent was not like a regular 3 year old.

Coloring with Seth tonight reminded me of playing with Aaron and Trevor when they were little. It was a bitter sweet moment, reminding me of how much Trent struggled with learning and how much he skipped as a little guy. But, it was also a telling moment of how Seth is so smart and normal.

In fact, watching Seth grow, I see that even at 3 he has outgrown Trent and Rob in so many ways. I believe as he grows he will continue to outgrow them. The dynamics of a family with a toddler and two older children that have learning disorders is interesting at the least. While Seth is smaller and has not experienced what the older boys have in life, he already seems wiser in conversation and sense.

Feb 13, 2009

The Battle Plan

I often compare the battles that were fought in the Bible to my daily battles, battles at work, battles at home, and life in general. This morning, I was studying 2 Chronicles 20:20-30. It is part of a study from Beth Moore, and my Jr. high/high school youth leader Julie Jordan-Woodruff, called "Living Free." These are my thoughts as I read the versus and compared them to today's life.

What if we took Jehoshaphat's steps to winning a battle into our own world, and even the corporate world? King Jehoshaphat had a battle strategy that started with praise and worship to our Lord. Early in the morning he rose. He met with his people, encouraged them and told them to have faith in their Lord their God. Jehoshaphat told them that if they did have faith in the Lord that he would uphold them.

During his consultation with his people he appointed some to praise and sing to the Lord. These people went before the army, leading them to the battle. Can you imagine being on the praise and worship team, walking into a battle with nothing in your hand but a trumpet and a song!

As they began to sing and praise, before they arrived at the battle scene, the battle was over. The groups that formed against the people of Jerusalem annihilated each other in confusion. The Bible says that the Lord set up ambushes and they destroyed one another.

How many trials have I faced with more worry in my heart than praise in my voice? How many times have I faced turmoil with my heart full of anger, resentment, or self sorrow? Time, after time, I think my battle has been more of a plea with the Lord instead of claiming the victory before the battle was started.

The men of Judah came to the place that overlooked the desert, and they looked toward the vast army, but they saw nothing but dead bodies lying on the ground. No one had escaped. Then the men of Judah collected the plunder, clothing, equipment, and articles of clothing. It took them three days to carry off the goods.

They gathered the goods, and then praised the Lord some more! When they returned home, "joyfully," they praised the Lord in his temple with music.

Let's see, they sang and praised the Lord, came across the battle already fought, walked away with goods, without loss of life. Then they went home and praised the Lord in his temple, and lived in peace! Now that's the way to win a battle!

I love the last part of the story. The Bible says, "Fear came to their enemies, and the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for the Lord had given them rest on every side."

Sometimes a little discipline of a few people sets the tone for others that might have been on the edge of raging war. I think that people will often choose keeping the peace rather than raging war when they see others victorious.

My message and battle plan is this:
  1. Rise early in the morning
  2. Encourage one another
  3. Have faith in the Lord
  4. Consult one another in your life and determine to praise and sing to the Lord
  5. Put your praise before your sword, believing in the Lord
  6. Reap the rewards
  7. Praise some more
  8. Enjoy the peace and rest that the Lord gives

Feb 9, 2009

Not Tonight!

I want to Blog! I really do, but it seems impossible! One boy is three and one's nine, but they're both screaming, "It's mine!" The toy pull is on, and I'm off to control. Okay, I'm back, but not for long. My thoughts are distracted, I can't seem to think! There's so much I'd like to "blog" today, but the only words I seem to relay are ecoed in this house, into empty space, and falling on deaf ears! I can't stay up late. There's just no way tonight. So, I'm making the choice to hang onto my thoughts, pray the Lord keep them living while I go raise my children. The day will come when life will change and I'll have time for blogging, but for now, for tonight, I choose my boys.