Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Funny Story with a Lesson (Plus a Bonus Thought)

Some of you already have read the story I am about to share because you saw it on Facebook, but I want to expand on the funny story with a life application, so here it goes:

The kids and I have had many a conversation about God's omnipresence in our lives/world. We usually discuss it in terms of Jesus and how He is everywhere. For some reason these conversations usually occur in the car and Robert is not with us. Abby in her attempt to understand will say, "Jesus is sitting right there," meaning the front passenger seat. This past Sunday, on the way to church, she suddenly bursts out, "Daddy, you sat on Jesus! You squished him!" She was very bothered by this and we finally convinced her that myabe Jesus was sitting in the back seat between her and Brandon. This satisfied her, she even looked over and said. "Hi, Jesus!"

The rest of the day I teased Robert about squishing Jesus and about how Jesus gave up His seat for him, which got me to thinking. How many times do we try to squish Jesus/God into what we want Him to be? We try to mold Him, conform Him and quite literally squish Him so that He fits into OUR lives and OUR way of thinking. We don't want Him in certain parts of OUR lives, so we try to squeeze Him out of the picture. We want to justify OUR ways so we tweak things just a little to make it sound right and even "holy". I think this applies to both believers and non-believers.

For the believer, we got something in our lives that doesn't quite jive with what the Bible says, so we try to twist things to hide our guilt and make us look right. Or, on the flip side, we are facing something quite big and difficult and we don't have the faith so we try to make Him look small and incapable of getting us through it. We set limits on what He can do, where He can be, who He is, when He can act and how He can work.

For the non-believer, it depends on where they are coming from, but you see those who minimize who He really is - He was just a teacher or a prophet, He wasn't who He said he was. Others might believe He is who He says He is, but say He can't forgive me, He doesn't want someone like me, etc.

So, I challenge all of us to think about how am I "squishing Jesus"? 

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord." Isaiah 55:8

A bonus life application: I said something to Robert about Jesus giving up His seat for Him and his response was, "And He saved me!" How true is that! Jesus did give His seat up for us, His seat next to God, the Father, to come down to earth, live a perfect life, die on the cross to save us from our sins, rise up from the dead and return to heaven where He is waiting on the day He comes back to take us home! All I can say is, thank you Jesus for giving up your seat!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Tribute to My Husband

On August 23rd Robert and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. I can't believe it has been 3 years already. I love him more today than I did 3 years ago when we said our "I do's". In October it will be 4 years of being together. We met officially at his son, Nicholas' football game. When he asked me out the first time, I told him no. I wasn't interested in dating anyone at the time (funny how that seems to be when God brings someone into your life). Well, Robert went on with his life and God started to work in mine. I couldn't shake thoughts about this man that had asked me out. What is he like? Is he a good man? What kind of father is he? God just would not let me move on. So, about 1 week later I asked a mutual accquaintance to give Robert my cell number and tell him to call me. He later told me that he just about didn't (thank you God he did). I asked him if the offer still stood, he said yes and the rest is history.

For those who know Robert, he is a quiet man (at least until you get to know him), but a strong man. I don't just mean physical strength, I am referring to strength of character and spiritual strength. He is not one to speak up in a crowd of people, but if he does, you better listen. One of the things I love about him is that he did not let his humble beginnings and lack of strong positive examples keep him from becoming a successful person. Instead it motivated him to be better. He is hard working and determined. He is an amazing husband, he is kind and thoughtful. He is faithful and very willing to put of with my stubborness (well, most of the time). He is a leader and a great man of God.

But, one of the things that I love most about Robert is that he is an amazing father. That is one of the first things I learned about him. I could see it in his relationship with his son. I know that at times, especially here lately, that Robert feels that he has let Nicholas down and maybe messed up somewhere; but I know that he hasn't. I believe the foundations are there and I can see the respect he has for his father even though he doesn't always show it. Watching Robert with Brandon and Abby is so much fun. He wasn't sure if he really wanted to "start over" or not when we first started talking about having kids. I know he quickly changed his mind though. I love the relationship he has with each child, modeling for Brandon how to be a man of God and a loving husband and modeling for Abby what to look for in a man. I love watching him learn how to raise a little girl, and how he helped a little girl who wasn't too fond of men grow comfortable with him. She now has him wrapped around her little finger. I love that he was willing to make the sacrifice and stay at home with them while we all got settled here in Valdosta. I know it is hard for a hard working man to stay at home with two rambunctious kids. I know he feels like he isn't contributing anything. I also know that he will never know that tremendous impact he had on them this summer and that they are stronger and better for it. So thank you Robert, the investment in your children contributes more than any job ever could!

I love you Robert, you are my best friend and companion through life. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you. Thank you for all you do, for your patience and your love. Thank you for giving me a second chance to get to know you! I thank God every day that He didn't let me pass you by.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Little Man

Brandon is such a sweet loving child that anyone who meets him instantly falls in love with him. He loves attention and will be as sweet as he can be if you give him the slightest bit of attention (although this means that at times he seeks after negative attention...)! He is my detail man, he doesn't miss many details and is quick to tell you if you don't have it just right! I believe Brandon will grow up to be some kind of engineer or something along those lines, he can take apart and put things back together so easily and, as I said before, is detailed oriented.

My heart goes out to Brandon for what he has been through. He was 3 when he went into DFCS custody and remembers a lot of his past. He has had a harder time adjusting to life with us for various reasons. See, Brandon and Abby have two older half siblings who live with their dad. His brother had always been with him until the day that Brandon and Abby came to live with us. His brother was his rock through this situation and suddenly he was gone. It breaks my heart that he has had to go through such a difficult loss. The loss of his brother had been more significant than the loss of either biological parent.

But, my little man is a trooper. I have seen the most changes in him in this last year. He has gone from being a very scared little boy who was even scared to go upstairs by himself to one who runs around our house full steam and will even play in his room al by himself (big accomplishment). I have seen him begin to step into the big brother role from little brother role and begin to take his place as the oldest sibling. Everyday he seems to become more and more confident in himself.

He loves going to church and especially Cubbies. He loves to sing, although likes to be silly while singing! He loves sports, fishing and all things boy! As you pray for us, say a special prayer for my little man! Pray that he will continue to gain confidence and that he will be able to one day understand all that has happened to him. Pray for their brother, too, unfortunately we don't have contact with him but we know he has had a hard time dealing with the separation also.

I thank God for Brandon, he has been a challenge at times, but I wouldn't take back any of it! My prayer, just like my prayer for Abby is that I can be the mother he needs be to be, direct him the way he needs to go and to comfort him when he needs comforting. These children have forver changed our lives and God has given us a big and awesome task of raising them to be people of God.