Faith like a child

A few weeks ago, one of our daughters accidentally bumped and spilled approximately 2 cups of hot tea directly onto our laptop.  Immediately, the laptop shut down and went completely black. By the grace of God, my first concern was whether or not she was alright and God gave me an abundant amount of compassion for our girl.  I knew she felt terrible.  After making sure she was ok and not burned, I flipped the laptop upside down and watched a ridiculous amount of tea pour from the laptop.  Having heard enough stories similar to ours, I knew the chances of the laptop ever working again were probably not very great.  The very laptop that holds all of our files for school, pictures, music, budget, etc. While we do back up our files regularly to an external hard drive, it had been a longer length of time than normal and I knew that I was in trouble if I couldn’t recover our files.  My mind immediately began thinking what this would mean for school and life in general. 

Since I am not the techy genius in our family, I called my husband to let him know what happened and to ask if there is anything that I should do.  He told me to remove and dry the wet battery and just let the laptop sit until he got home.  Shortly after hanging up with him, he sent our daughter, who caused the spill, a couple of text messages to let her know that he loves her and that he wasn’t angry or upset with her.  That alone was enough to bring tears to my eyes, but the next message he sent to her made me love him all the more.  He said to her “let’s pray for it to work again.”  Our girl took him seriously.  She prayed that somehow the laptop would not be broken, but that instead it would work again.  I loved my husband for his leadership, love, and care.  I loved my daughter for how she prayed in faith.

Fast forward to that evening.  My husband came home, took the entire laptop apart, cleaned it, dried every single drenched piece, and then put it all back together (as to how he was even able to take the thing completely apart and then reassemble it is beyond me).  He was hopeful that maybe the hard drive was saved, but was a little discouraged by the amount of liquid that was inside the laptop.  This wasn’t too surprising to me considering the amount of liquid that came out of it when I turned it upside down!  That evening, after reassembling the laptop with dry parts, he tried to turn it on and nothing happened.  Instead of becoming discouraged, he and our daughter agreed to keep praying. 

laptop

The next morning before heading into work Brian tried once again to turn it on and nothing happened.  It appeared dead but our girl kept on praying.

That evening after getting home from work my hubby told me that he borrowed something from a co-worker to hopefully retrieve the contents of our hard drive.  Before using that, he decided to try turning the computer on one more time.  Amazingly, the laptop turned on!  Brian immediately called for our daughter and the interaction between them was priceless.  She was overjoyed to see that it had turned on.  And he was overjoyed to show her.  However, we quickly realized that although the laptop turned on, things were definitely not running normally.  Before putting the kiddos to bed, he reminded them all to keep praying for our laptop, because God cares about even the little things.

Miraculously, the next evening our laptop not only turned on but actually began to function!  Well, at least parts of it anyway. The keyboard was dead, but all of our files were completely fine and by hooking up a keyboard and mouse to it I was able to confirm that my beloved school plans, lessons, audio, files, worksheets, and everything else that I need to homeschool was accessible.  Oh happy day!  There was much rejoicing in our home and we had a wonderful opportunity to remind our children about faith, prayer, and the love of our Father, who cares for even the tiny details of our lives.

The next evening we discovered that our keyboard had come back to life, or at least about 95% back!  The e,s, c, and control/shift keys on the left side were all dead.  But the finger touch pad was alive again and every other key was functioning.  Our daughter didn’t seem nearly surprised as me about this revelation. 

The following day we realized that the e,s, and c keys were now working!  I was overwhelmed by the kindness of God to not only allow us to have access to all of our files, but also for the ability to begin using it again with a working keyboard.  Our daughter was amazed, not because she has the best daddy ever, but because she knew that even he couldn’t make the laptop work again.  It is a wonderful thing to see God at work in your children. 

Currently, the only thing that doesn’t work on the entire laptop is the control key on the left hand side.  While it has meant adjusting to how I copy and cut/paste things (I always used the control on the left side, not the right side), I am actually thankful for that one little key that doesn’t work.  Because every time I need to use the control key I am reminded of our little story and how God used tea spilling all over our laptop to build faith in all of us.            

thankfulness and joy.

One of my favorite parts about fall and November is the reminder of all that I have to be thankful for.  Every year, the kids and I enjoy different activities and crafts to celebrate this season of giving thanks and while I am grateful for the extra emphasis on thanksgiving this time of the year, my desire is that we learn to be a family who gives thanks every moment of every day.  I was also once again reminded how easy it is for me to complain and grumble about the very things that I am most grateful for. 

I’m thankful for a large, warm home – but do I really need to clean the bathrooms again, sweep, and mop the kitchen floors again.

I’m thankful that our kiddos have been blessed with many books, toys, crafts and dress-up – but really, when will they learn to pick up after themselves so that I don’t have to be the one picking up their messes, again.

I’m thankful that we are able to eat 3 meals every day (plus snacks) – but finding the time to make all of the meals, snacks and also clean up from breakfast, lunch and dinner; well, I’m not always so thankful for that part … and then there is the dishes.

I’m thankful that we all have clothes to wear – but seriously, wasn’t I just caught up with the laundry yesterday and yet somehow there are 2 more loads today.

I’m thankful that God has provided my husband with a wonderful job so that I can stay at home – but another late night or another business trip … not always so thankful.

I’m thankful for my 5 wonderful kiddos – but could they maybe fight less, stop whining/crying, lower the noise level just a little, and maybe, just once allow me to use the bathroom alone.

I’m thankful that my baby girl loves me and loves to snuggle – but could she maybe be just a little less attached to my hip.

I could keep on going, but you get the idea.  Oh, how I desire to grow in being filled with joy, every moment of every day amidst the mundane, tedious moments.  I’m well aware that part of being a mom is having everything you do get un-done and I pray that in those moments my joy would increase. 

My prayer is that I would grow in giving thanks, especially in those moments when I am tempted to grumble, complain and become exasperated.  I pray that peace and thankfulness would reign over our home.

And now … time to get back to our Thankful Turkey Craft!

>my life.

>My days are somewhat crazy, chaotic and mundane these days. I feel like I pretty much do the same thing all day long, every day. Things like making breakfast, cleaning up messes, homeschooling the older kiddos, training a toddler, caring for a baby, making lunch, cleaning up more messes, keeping said toddler out of trouble, doing more school, wearing said baby on my hip when she’s a crank, making dinner, and then welcoming home my wonderful hubby with joy, kisses and any extra energy I have!

I’m more convinced than ever that being a mom is really all about my own personal sanctification process. It is in these daily, mundane moments that I know God is after my heart in so many different ways. Here are some things I’ve been learning and reminding myself of recently …

1. I need to be dependent on God each and every day. “In the end, our highest goal each day is not flawless execution of our plans or increased productivity. It’s our relationship with God, walking in dependence upon Him throughout the day. We should not be more consumed with the completion of our to-do list than pleasing and glorifying the Savior. Whether we’re sitting down to map out our day, simplifying our to-do list, or receiving an interruption as a “sovereign delivery,” we must, above all, plan to depend.” Carolyn Mahaney

2. I need to grow in patience. “Impatience is a form of unbelief. It’s what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God’s guidance. It springs up in our hearts when our plan is interrupted or shattered. The opposite of impatience is not a glib denial of loss. It’s a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience, and to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience – to wait in his place, and go at his pace. And the key is faith in future grace. … the strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up on something good for us in all our delays and detours. This requires great faith in future grace, because the evidence is seldom evident.” John Piper

3. I need to remind myself of what I deserve; I have been given so much more than I deserve. “Jesus died as my substitute. He went to the cross in my place. Therefore, the cross proclaims this truth: I deserve crucifixion. I don’t deserve good things from God. Anything short of crucifixion is infinite grace bestowed by a loving God on someone utterly unworthy. The cross not only removes just punishment, it brings all joy … so, rejoice! No matter how bad your circumstances, you are getting better than you deserve. Anyone who sees self-pity through the lens of the cross will increasingly detest this sin and flee it. The alternative to the self-imposed misery of self-pity is God-given joy and thankfulness.” William Farley

4. I need to daily remind myself of my primary responsibilities as a mom:
~Use every opportunity to point my children to their need for Christ
~Train them to obey God by honoring and obeying their parents
~Teach them wisdom
~Train them in righteousness
~Pray for them
~Be a godly example

*This means that it is ok when the house doesn’t look perfect, the laundry isn’t caught up, the kitchen floor is sticky and we have breakfast for dinner (for the 2nd time in one week).

He will tend to his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom,and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

I am so thankful for my daily portion of grace.

>Worldliness

>I’ve recently been reading a new book edited by C.J. Mahaney called Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. In the first chapter, C.J. begins by challenging his readers as to whether or not 1 John 2:15 is a verse included in our Bible, or if we, like Thomas Jefferson have created our own cut-and-paste Bible.
1 John 2:15 is a short, to the point and abrubt verse … “Do not love the world or anything in the world.”
As C.J. states … it forbids worldliness in no uncertain terms. He goes on … Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world.
Unlike so many of our Christian brothers and sisters who live in countries with oppressive regimes – where the church is flourishing, by the way – we in America don’t face imminent threat to our families, livelihoods, and well-being for professing faith in Christ. Our peril is far more obscure and far more insidious.
We aren’t under attack from without; we’re decaying from within.
Charles Spurgeon, writing 150 years ago, nevertheless speaks poignantly to the problem in the church today: “I believe, that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.”
C.J. defines worldliness as a love for this fallen worldloving the values and pursuits of the world that stand opposed to God. More specifically
, it is to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God. It rejects God’s rule and replaces it with our own. It exalts our opinions above God’s truth. It elevates our sinful desires for the things of this fallen world above God’s commands and promises.

Other chapters in the book include:
God, My Heart, and Media
God, My Heart, and Music
God, My Heart, and Stuff
God, My Heart, and Clothes
How to Love the World

I pray that I would continue to resist the seduction of this fallen world.

>Growth in Grace

>There are some of your graces that would never be discovered if it were not for your trials.
For how can you know that you have faith until your faith is exercised? Depend upon it – God often sends us trails so that our graces may be discovered and that we may be convinced of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.
God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains His soldiers not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and subjecting them to forced marches and hard service.
Is the Lord bringing out your graces and making them grow?
It is for this reason …

Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.

C.H. Spurgeon – Morning & Evening – 2/18 a.m.