My Boys

My Boys

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mind Your Mouth...

As part of my journey over seeking and following God's Call in my life, I have once again ran into some opposition. I'm glad to say this time in encountering my opposition, I have found encouragement and the Lord has sent me others to speak encouragement in my life. I have learned a valuable lesson this week, from experiencing well- meaning Christians throwing their opinions at me. With out thinking twice about what they were saying, or how discouraging it was to me following God's Will in my life. A lesson my Mother taught me from a young age, and maybe your mother the same. The lesson of minding our mouths!
It was announced this week at work that if I were to return next year what my position would be. Which is different than what I do now, but is still an aide position for $12,000 a year I assure you. It comes equipped with more hours away from my family, more responsibility, more stress, more after hours that you are not paid for, and so on. Needless to say, Adam and I are still following what we feel God is leading us to which is me not returning to work next year to stay home with our two little ones. When people have asked me, I have been honest to what we are leaning towards and let's just say the responses have been shocking.
A couple of women who do not have an existent walk with the Lord that I'm aware of told me, "I was Crazy, I have such a wonderful job and this is such a wonderful opportunity I'd be crazy not to take it." Another told me, "When we can't pay our bills because I'm not working don't call her because she told me that would happen." These kind of responses from non-Christians I could expect and let roll of me. I don't expect the loss to get someone making sacrifices for what the Lord is Calling them too.
Now comes the well meaning Christian responses. "You need this job for your resume when you do finish your degree and are able to start teaching, it will look bad if you quit now." Another quote, "Your children are resilient, they will adjust to whatever you decide to do. They seem far from emotionally disturbed to me, so what if Trent lays in bed crying for you at night because he's gone several days with out seeing you... that's just him playing your guilt factor, don't let him do that!" Another quote, "Just give up your involvement in the church, not your job. If your feeling to overwhelmed and your kids aren't getting enough of you, cut other areas of your life." Another quote, "There are many ways to Mother, your kids will just have to adjust to your limited time with them. You'll have to get more creative with the moments you have with them to Mother them." The Opinions could go on and on!
When I sat back to ponder all that had been said to me... in ONE DAY I could not find a biblical stance in one of them. In fact, I found more non-biblical than biblical. I felt so discouraged, I had been praying all week for God to continue to affirm our decision was the right one. Then, THIS MUCK! The Lesson that I learned is that we as Christians are guilty of speaking before thinking or praying of what God would want us to say. Everyone is entitled to an opinion yes, but should we always share it? That is when my Mother use to say, "Julie Anne.. Mind your mouth!" For those of you that hang out with me on the regular basis that lesson didn't stick so well. I am my Father's daughter and tend to speak my opinion often weather you ask for it, weather it's biblical or not. This week has taught me that I don't like being on the receiving end. That I would hate to be responsible for leading someone to do something differently because I spoke an unbiblical opinion! That's being the devil's helper. It has called me to seek Minding my Mouth the way the Bible tells us to do so.

Proverbs 10:19-21
When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of judgment.

So, I will leave you to take this challenge with me! What are we doing and saying to encourage others around us, NOT contributing to the devil's workshop across the street!
Until Next Time,

Monday, May 10, 2010

For the Love of a Mother...

I love when Jonah walks in and has his pajama pants on his head
Talking as if it were nothing out of the ordinary all the while
Running into the occasional wall.
I love when the most profound statements come out of Trenten's mouth
and we wonder where he came up with that, because for once he's not repeating his motor mouth mother! For example, "read your Bible momma' so you be nicer.. right now!"
I love watching imaginations take off into their own world. When my little boy calls himself "the Great Hunter Trenten" and hides in the tall bloomless flower stalks in the backyard that in his mind is a Safari in Africa where he and Jonah are the hunted.
I love in the middle of the night how a King size bed that held two, slowly turns into five... first Trent, about an hour later Jonah, and then the dog Oliver!I can't even move with out Adam helping get them off me! I love how the first thing Trent says when he wakes up is.. "I wuv you momma." and you know he means it with every beat of his little heart.
I love when Jonah gets into the same no no for the hundredth time, and time out didn't phase him a bit. When you go to spank he cries, "NO! I wuv u! Wuv u momma.." as he runs away holding his butt in one hand, and looking behind him to see how close you are on his trail all the while. How do you spank a kid after that?
I love opening up Mother's day gifts that my boys made themselves, and are so proud of. Thanks to my Creative and talented Supermom sister-in-law Jessica, who kept them for a day along with her own two energetic little ones and still managed to make hand painted tiles with their hand prints. The sweetest gift. The best part was her telling the story at Mother's Day about Trent listing the colors in my house by name.. "Pony tail, hot chocolate, etc." Yes, and he's only 4!
I love chasing both the boys through the house acting like a rabid T-Rex and listening to them scream with excitement. I love watching their personalities grow a little more every day into their unique little selves! Thank goodness they have a good sense of humor! They get that from their Mother of course, and need it to survive this crazy house hold.
I love hearing Trent pray little innocent prayers, and Jonah yell AMEN! You'd think being baptist was genetic around here. When Trent gets real excited over something, he's been known to preach a sermon or two!
I love every year when Mother's Day rolls around getting to reflect on the 2 greatest Blessings the Lord ever sent my way that no doctors thought possible. I love every day getting to pour into my little blessings and pray that one day they'll be ready to to sprout blessings of their own.
I read last night an interesting chapter in the book "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy DeMoss. When talking about raising our children and subjecting them to the world, she stated when there is 6-8 inches of snow on the ground no one dreams of taking a newly started plant and exposing it to the weather outside. We don't plant it out there in the Winter and say, "there you go little plant, best of luck in the cold harsh winter hope your still alive come spring!" That's what Green house's are for. To establish a plants roots, make them healthy and strong. Then, when the Season is right plant them outside to grow and thrive.
This made me Love my Mission as a mother all the more, it made me hungry for May 28th to arrive. I can not wait for all the opportunities God is going to lay before me soon with my little ones... I just Love being a Mother!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Following "the Call"....

What has God called us to do? For each of us it may be different. For each of us it is something we have to hear from God ourselves on, no one else can discover our "Call" for us. I have struggled, and ultimately faught with God over this for years now. I know with all my heart what God has called me to do. I've known it for years now, but have refussed to let go of control of everything to allow him to make following my Call to the fullest possible. I have stood in God's way.
Now, have I known that I was standing in God's way the entire time? No, I've blamed others and my circumstances for keeping me from following my Call to the fullest. For that, I think of all the wasted years I've spent... that I could have been doing what I knew I should have.
So what is my "Call"? I know that God has called me to stay at home with our two precious little ones for some time now. I have literally never been at peace with me working while they are this little. I do not believe that all Mother's are "Called" to stay home with their children. I have so much respect for the Women who work full time, have a family, and so many other responsibilities. It is not an easy row to hoe! I also have respect for Mother's who heard and felt God's call for their family, and have made the sacrifice of two incomes to follow their hearts.
I might have shared this before, and if I have I'm sorry you're going to hear it again. I knew from the age of five that I was called to be a mother. I never doubted doctor after doctor who said, "children are probably just not possible for you" from the age of sixteen that I would still one day be a mother. I remember leaving a doctors office at seventeen with my Grandmother (because my parents still lived in California, I was already in Texas for College)where a specialist had done a sonogram and surveyed the damage of my female organs. The Specialist said, "You'll never have a baby of your own". My grandmother was nearly distrought. She asked me as we left Why I wasn't upset? I simply replied, "That doctor must not know the God I know.." Simple as that!
When I held my first son in my arms, it was the most amzing feeling! I'm sure all mother's have that first moment story, but it was if I could feel God's presence and him telling me this is your job now! Yet, because of lack of faith that financially we would make it I continued working. Working for my parents wasn't a bad gig for having a newborn. I got to bring him with me until he was almost a year. Then, he started getting into things and so I had to make other arrangments.
I was misserable being away from Trent, unsure of what he was doing through out the day. Feeling like it was my place to be with him, to teach him, to comfort him, to provide for all his needs... and yet I was in an office! Not to long after this decision impossible and unplanned baby number 2 arrived. Jonah was like God's way of hammering home to me that I wasn't doing what he had called me to do. Jonah also went to work with me for a short while, then other arrangments. This time I was only working 2-3 days a week though, and so I didn't feel as guilty. They were getting more of me, than they had in the past.
Then came the decision to work at Tool Elementary Full time. Along with College Full time, and other parts of life. My Children soon were getting less of me than anyone I knew. God began to beat away on me how out of wack my priorities had became, and who was ultimately paying the price for it. I began to seek God on what I should do? I knew the answer soon after with out a doubt, and strangely so did Adam. He came home the same day I did and said, "You need to quit your job, and stay home next year with the boys." This coming from someone who had never understood or agreed with why I would want to do this in the first place. It was monumental! We still didn't know how? How would God work all this out financially?
We continued to pray, and God continued to work. Adam and I thought we knew exactly how it was all going to work out... and then came the curve balls! A very wise person told me Sunday night, that a good sign you're doing what God wants is when Satan starts to attack. Well, Satan's been visiting here for about a month. Causing me to renig on our plans, and say, "its just not going to work out." I have an absolute fear that if I make the decision to stay home next year that my family might starve! Oh' ye of little faith is right!
I have not experienced peace in a month since I reniged and decided I would have to return to work. I still fear the what ifs? I still have moments where I lack the faith that this is what I need to do. After Sunday nights sermon, and God dealing with me... I'm still a little scared but I know that I have to step out and follow the Call! This is now my prayer:

Psalms 143
O Lord hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.

The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness
like those long dead
So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.

I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, O Lord.
My spirit fails
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

For your name sake, O Lord, perserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble
In your unfailing love, silence my enemies:
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

Please pray with me that God will continue to move mountains to open doors for our family. I have watched him move all around me, and am ready for him to move through me.
Until Next Time,