Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why do we as wives fight the submissive thing so bad?
It’s ok.  It's there that you will find His rest.

Quit fighting it.

Relax, let God be in control.

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

Don’t you want God to use you to show His favor to your husband?  It’s a good thing to be a wife. 

I am not the horse lover like my Ellie is.  Of course I love them because she does, so this picture, taken by Jim Richardson from National Geographic caught my eye and I fell in love with it.  It a picture of a wild horse trying to break free from the cowboy who is trying to break him.

I bought a postcard of the print and, heard the Holy Spirit whisper, "that was you years ago.”  Jesus saved me when I was about 13.  But I thought that was all He wanted, to save me from hell.  I gave Him the “reins” to my life, but nothing more.  I didn't do anything for Him, not even talk to Him except right before bed.  Sure I went to church and a Christian school, I listened to Christian music and expected that since I "gave Him my life" everything else would turn out all roses, the way I planned....hmmmm.  Submit.  It’s hard to do.  Why is it so hard to learn how to submit to Christ and learn that life is not all about ME?! 
When I submit to my husband I am submitting to Christ.  Yep, take a breath, swallow and reread what I just said.  When I submit to my husband I am submitting to Jesus Christ.  How can I submit to God, whom I cannot see, if I cannot submit to my authority as a wife here on this earth?

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.” James 4:7b; “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:23

Submit- to subordinate; to obey-be under obedience (obedient)

(The exception… your husband asks you to do something against God’s commandments, but let’s stay focused on the issue in front of us.)

In my spiritual life I have found this to be true:  if I look at my relationship with my husband, it usually mirrors my relationship with God. 

When I submit to someone else, it is about the other person and not me.  See how I saw myself in the picture fighting against God?  God the Cowboy and me the wild horse.  It was during this same time I was fighting submissiveness to my husband. 

How can we submit to God if we're not reading His Word for instruction?  That was me.  When I did read, it was only the parts I wanted to hear.  After we read His Word, we need to do it!  Only until Christ brought me to my knees in marital difficulties was I ready to listen to His commands.  Only then did I quit acting like a wild bucking bronco and realize that The Master was trustworthy even with my dreams.  I can just picture myself as that wild horse.  When I do submit to Him it is then that He  "maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2.

 James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Look what God promises me when I submit to Him...the devil WILL flee from me when I resist him!!  I love that promise!

Resist-to stand against; i.e. oppose; withstand

Flee- to run away; to shun; to vanish; escape flee away

God says if we don't submit to Him we are ignorant of His righteousness.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3

His righteousness is the only thing that is worth value.  Ours is like a stinky rag.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6

You say, “But I can submit to God.  He is The kind gentle Husband, a sweet gentleman who wouldn’t ask me to do anything but relax and enjoy the abundant life.”

Let’s think about that one for a moment.  What did He ask His own Son to do?  That doesn’t sound like a God who’s gonna let me sit back and eat bon bons all day. 

If you call yourself a Christ-follower, He says,

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”      Mathew 16:24

I wish I would have learned what this verse meant, and how to come under Christ years ago, but I am so thankful He did not leave me where I was!

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, AS UNTO THE LORD.”
"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Vitaliy: 4 Months

I have always tried to be very careful what I put on this blog, but I was reminded several days ago, from a gal that's been down this same road, to be VERY careful what I say on this world wide web. She has an older international adopted son also, that's now in jr. High/ High School, and kids have "googled" him. They found her blog and read all about his early days in the states. They have made fun of him at school. She has since tried to delete several years of a blog, it is almost impossible to do. Not a good situation to find yourself in.
So once again I have written things in a draft, then deleted them to tighten the reigns on what I say. I have so much to share about what God is doing in this new little man in our life, but feel I need to be even more careful. He is such a blessing to us and continually makes us laugh. Let's just say he's very thankful, even down to the style of his hair. Coming from a life of being told what to do your whole life, and not having anything that's "yours", it's nice to have a few things to call your own, including your own style.
His hair while in Ukraine

Vitaliy was excited to wear his hair like this for Wacky Day at School (Spirit Week)

He is having a lot of fun being himself. He is learning the rules at school and the things you do and don't do to others just to get others to laugh at you. Our family has all received letters in the mail from him while he's learning to write sentences in English at school.

If he's outside for any amount of time, be prepared to have your firewood stocked......

Pic taken after school on Wacky Day

.....animals fed and things fixed that you didn't know were broken. :) And if you can't find him or the dog, they're usually over the back hill running around exploring. Watch out if that's the case, he'll come inside covered in mud or dirt!

We have enjoyed almost 4 months of being a family of 5. He is such a blessing to us. Ian's favorite thing to do with his older brother is play basketball. V likes to make his sister laugh, and ride the 4 wheeler with his dad. He has told me, "You're a good mom." Melt my heart. We are all learning what it means to love.

It is so hard for us and our other adoption friends to understand why more people do not embrace adoption. When it comes to adoption/ hosting, I've heard some say, "if only we were younger...". There are a 1,000 excuses in the book. I met a couple while going through the adoption process who are retirement age! They adopted 3 teenagers. When you look at the big picture, Josh and I only have about 6 years with Vitaliy. It's not like these kids are babies. They don't need you to get up with them several times in the middle of the night to change their diapers and feed them. They need someone to love them and point them in the right direction. We have a picture of a 14 year old boy on our fridge right now in the foster care system. It is sweet to hear the kids pray that God will give him a family.  When we think adoption, we automatically think international. Orphans are everywhere.  In Kansas alone there are 850 orphans ready to be adopted into a family!  What does God want you to do? 

  How about a suitcase drive for the kiddos in the foster system?  Did you know they are given a black trash bag to collect their "belongings" before they're taken into the "system"?   If that doesn't make a young person feel like trash I don't know what would.

Check out the above website of a group in Kansas called Project Belong. They are doing what they can to help these kids.  God is at work all around us, if only we would open our eyes, seek His face and do what He asks us to do. I beg of Him to give us a heart like His, "set us ablaze for you O God."   I pray that we can see others through His eyes.

Remember, we are God's hands and feet.

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12

What is He calling YOU to DO?

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Special Valentine

" I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me."
 Proverbs 8:17

This verse is the orignal King James Version. The New King James says,"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me."

Hmmmm.... be careful what version you read. The NKJ doesn't say anything about if I love Him I need to seek Him early, it says diligently! You know how I love to sleep! I would rather read the NKJV. :)   I wish I didn't like sleep so much.

Proverbs 20:13 says, "Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread."

I need Proverbs 20:13 to be my loud audio alarm clock every morning, followed by Proverbs 8:17!   So if you love your Valentine (Jesus Christ), His word says you will seek Him early.

I would much rather read the NKJV, but if I want to know what the orignal version said, King James is best!   I guess I kinda think of it like healthy eating, good, better, best.

In Proverbs 8:17, seek & early (have the same meaning!!) = to dawn; i.e. be up early at any task (with the impl. of earnestness); to search for (with painstaking); seek (diligently) early, in the morning

Yes, for me to get up early is painstaking, but my Valentine, Jesus Christ, is worth it! Sometimes my flesh gets the best of me and I may go back to bed after I seek Him.   Getting up early is hard to do, especially if you have little ones. Cry out to Jesus!   Tell Him you want to seek Him early.   Tell Him how much you love Him.  Ask Him to wake you up to spend time together.   He knows your heart.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  Psalm 139:23

Give it all to Him. He is The Only Trustworthy Valentine.

Look at the promise He gives us if we do. We will find Him!

find= to come forth to, i.e. appear or exist; to occur, meet or be present; be enough

This sounds like the ultimate date! Do you have a date scheduled with your Valentine?

"That I may cause those that
love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." Proverbs 8:21

Some may read this verse and see it as a "prosperity" message, that God's gonna give you lots of money and earthly possessions. But if you SEEK out the meaning of this verse you will find that these words do not have the same meaning that our English words do.

inherit= to occupy; distribute; have inheritance, take as an heritage

substance= to stand out; or exist

treasures= a depository-armory, cellar, storehouse

So many people in so many ways, seek to have the empty place in their life filled. This verse promises that Christ will do that. If I love Him, He will cause me to occupy (own), a "standing out" life, AND He will fill my storehouse (that empty hole everyone feels). I like that Valentine's Day gift! That's the cherry on top of the gift He's already given me!

I remember years ago Josh made me a strawberry pie. It was so yummy inside, but what was special to me was the georgous top of the pie. He took the time to cut strawberries in slices and lay them in a heart shape that covered the top of the pie and shaped the letters, "J + T" out of strawberries, inside the heart. That's what this verse is to me. A special valentine from God... "I love you, Valentine".

I hope you've already unwrapped the biggest gift of all Christ gave you.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the
gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

He is The Only One worth living for. No fleshly man or woman can fill that spot.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." John 15:5 & 6

Who is your Valentine?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Daughter

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that 14 years ago God would have blessed me, a dirty rotten stinkin' sinner, with a beautiful daughter created in His image?

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was an 18 year old newlywed, fresh out of High School, with only 1 month of marriage under my belt. Scared didn't even start to describe the feelings I felt when I saw 2 lines on my home pregnancy test. Yes, I am embarassed to admit, abortion was a thought that satan tossed in my 18 year old mind, but I immediately dismissed that thought in Jesus name.  I would never choose abortion.

I was not ready to be a mommy.   Josh and I wanted to wait at least 3 years after marriage until having children.   We had been dating for the past 4 years and we wanted to get to know eachother better before bringing children into our lives.... God had a different plan.   Her name is Ellie.

Young Daddy, Mommy and Baby Ellie

Ellie's entrance into the world changed our lives. After experiencing hours of hard labor and a C-Section, Ellie's first year was a whirlwind.   Her teenage mommy didn't know how to handle marriage and mommyhood.   I have never felt so alone and experienced such depression as I did in those dark days.   I had never heard of "post pardom depression" until I worked at the Open Door Pregnancy Care Center.   Only then did I realize, THAT'S WHAT I HAD!   I'm sure it was a mixture of my life changing so drastically by graduating high school, getting married and having a baby so quickly that I didn't know how to handle it all.  Also I was not solid in my Lord like I should have been.   I cannot even imagine what the young school age girls that walk through the doors of Pregnancy Centers (or abortion clinics for that matter), around the country, must be feeling. I was out of high school, had my family and a new husband to support me. These girls have no one.

Open Door Pregnancy Care Center - Hutchinson

Just a little plug here for the PCCs around the nation. If you have a spare moment, please stop and pray for them, ask the Lord what He wants YOU to DO.

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22
It is a mission field that you don't even have to get a passport for, it's right in your own backyard! All these girls want is to be shown the love of Christ.

I am so thankful God brought me out of that depression almost 2 years after her birth. He is so faithful and knows me so intimately. That tiny little 9lb 10 1/2oz baby girl has become my best friend. She has grown into such a sweet, respectable young lady who loves the Lord. I can't believe she is ready to enter High School.

Many moms speak of how terrible sad it is when their child goes to kindergarden, High School, or hits another milestone. For me it's more of a bittersweet feeling. Isn't that what God has calls us to do, continually grow up in Him and never be the same?

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" 1 Peter 2:2
Even Jesus grew, matured and hit milestones.

"And the child grew..." Luke 2:40

God doesn't want you to stop growing either! He wants you to be able to teach others about Him as you grow in grace and knowledge of Him too!

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteouness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:12 NKJV

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18
I beg God to PLEASE grow my children up.

So this season of change with our Ellie is an answer to our prayer.

God tells us in James that life is short and change WILL happen.

"Whereas you do not know what will happen to morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away." James 4:14 NKJV
But we have this hope, that we can trust His steadfastness.

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8
If you do not know Jesus Christ, who I speak of, I beg of you to search for Him!

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
What are you using your time to search for while you are on this earth? You are on this earth for a very short vapor and that vapor, called your life, will vanish away very quickly. You will either spend eternity in heaven or hell. 
"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." Luke 12:4&5
I am humbled that recently God wooed my Ellie to recommit her life to Him . She chose to give it all to Him and be assured that when she passes from this earth she will spend eternity in heaven with God. 

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24
This is a joyful new chapter God has allowed into our lives. Astounding He has chosen and allowed me to experience it!

Ellie has chosen to homeschool for High School via internet. I am really excited to watch her grow in these 4 short years ahead of us. I know these 4 vapor years are going to FLY by. I beg God to help us pour into her all she needs for the future He has for her.

I am amazed at how far God has brought our sweet daughter after all she has had to endure from her immature parents. God has answered our prayers for her protection and growth even though we mess up. I beg God to keep working in her despite us.

I am so excited to see what the Lord has for her and how He will use her for His glory.

I love you Elllie!

"Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways."
Psalm 128:1