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January 30, 2013

To Complain or Not to Complain

Our family has been very sick over the last little while. We have had many viruses hit our home already this winter, but this one takes the cake!!! This virus is a mega virus! It wiped everyone right out for a few days (and still has some in it's clutches!) Thankfully we are starting to see some improvements. And thankfully I have been saved from this virus....only by the Lord's grace!

As you mom's know, being a caretaker of sick kids can be draining. Being up in the night with the babies and then having to take care of everyone during the day takes a lot out of you. One would find it easy to complain.

I think I have shared this before, but once when we had a newborn and I was up in the night for the upteenth time with him, my flesh wanted to complain. But then God reminded me of a friend of mine who had just had a baby as well and because of various complications, her baby had to stay in the hospital while she went home to her family. She had to drive in to the city to see her baby. As I held my little guy I was filled with such gratefulness that I was able to have my little guy home and had the privilege of cuddling him, even in the wee hours of the morning. My perspective changed.....my circumstances didn't. And that perspective has stayed with me. Every time I am up in the night with a sick child or an unsettled baby, I think of  truly blessed I am to have children to hold and cuddle.

This winter it seems I have had plenty of opportunity to chose to complain or rejoice. Granted it's not easy when our children are sick, but does that really give us an excuse to complain? Well not if we read God's word....the words that I say to my children many times over in their life time. "Do all things without complaining or disputing." Phil. 2:4  I don't see a special clause in there for mother's of sick children...do you? Or how about this one, "Rejoice in The Lord always." Phil. 4:4  And if it wasn't enough to say it once, it goes on to say, "And again I say rejoice!" Again, no special footnotes for a mom who has had a sleepless night!

Really, why do I complain anyway? Complaining makes me feel more crumby and more dissatisfied with my circumstances. It's for my good to folllow God's commands to rejoice and not complain.....this is when I will experience true joy!

January 1, 2013


There's just something about a new year isn't there? It makes people think of a clean slate, a fresh start. This time of year it's common to hear people talk of all the goals they hope to accomplish in the new year, or what their "theme" is for the year.

I find myself thinking of these things too. I also find myself thinking "I wonder what this year will hold?" When I look back on last year, and see all of the events that took place, I wonder how this year could be any more eventful!?!?!

But I know the potential is there! Actually, just every day life is an event around here!

I find it interesting and humbling to think that God knows exactly what this year holds for me. That He know what my next moments hold. He knows what trials I will go through. He knows what victories I will experience. He knows everything about me, past, present and future.

I love to reflect on Psalm 139.

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 
5 You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 
21 Do I not hate thosewho hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

As I think about my goals for the year I too often catch myself focusing on things that are not eternal. Things that moth and rust will destroy. Things that really will not matter for eternity. 

But I find my flesh fights me, it wants to focus on earthly things. I put it to death everyday. But too many times I let my flesh rule me. I get caught up in my fleshly desires and forget the things that will matter for eternity.

I don't believe it's wrong to set goals. I set goals daily, monthly and even yearly. But I believe it is wrong to let the desires of my flesh be the motivation for the goals I make. 

I need to ask myself....what is going to matter for eternity? Of course obviously and ultimately, it's where I will spend eternity. Have I done everything to insure that I am going to spend eternity in heaven? Do I live my life daily for the One who holds my life in His hands? Do I daily deny my flesh and rather live in and walk in the Spirit? (Galations 5: 24-25 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.) 

So the question I want to ask myself over and over in 2013 is....When all is said and done....When all my earthly possessions are gone....When I stand before my God face to face and give account of my life...will I be able to look back on this year....however many days that I live in it and be able to say, "I lived 2013 with eternity in mind". That's my desire, that's my goal. And I pray it will be yours too.