Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And number 4 is....

Our precious Baby #4! We're excited at the honor of prayerfully raising a precious new warrior for the Lord! Four boys-good stuff!

God bless!

Bree, Scott & boys:)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Still working on my heart...

Below is an email I wrote in response to some precious friends and their discussions of finding a job outside of the home. The Lord is so mighty in how He works! I was able to put these words down in front of me and it was part of His working my heart. These are words He is sharing with me and my life and I believe, what He desires from me. I don't share these words as judgment on anyone or their personal situations. The Lord did however, use a response to this email from this one precious friend to give me fresh perspective and convict my heart (and I'm sure she had no idea it would!) of my attitude towards my own current situation of working. He has let me know that He hears my prayers and works all things for His good in his timing. He has shown me greatly over the past year that my husband and I will be in agreement when the time is right. Until then, I am to work with a joyful and purposeful heart, glorifying Him. Praise Him for His grace! Praying this will bless you in some way and remind you of His mighty strength and the importance of seeking his will with a cheerful and obedient heart...and that you would remember His grace covers in our faults and our repentive hearts. We must live a life showing Christ, not just talk it. It is our actions that speak louder than words.

...Ladies, my input is prayer, prayer, prayer. I am experiencing the exact opposite of this situation as I went and took on a job my self because I thought I needed to help out. However, I didn't whole heartedly pray about it or discuss it with my hubby about all the possible factors (good and bad). I then second guessed hubby when he told me to quit in the Fall and I made a huge mistake. I couldn't handle homeschooling, work and the house. I just couldn't get my act together, it was too much. Now this might be how God wanted it, plus I was still so fresh in our attempting to get a routine down that this could have been the reason I couldn't handle it. Anyway, praise the Lord, He is mighty and merciful because even though things aren't the way I "ideally" would like them to be, they are awesome because of Him-His grace. I will say it has been heavy on my heart of allowing my husband to provide for us while I completely care for our home. This is just something I've brought to the Lord because hubby doesn't see it that way as I do contribute to our income and we are in debt, but I feel he makes enough for me to be home full time, with us cutting back on things. I might feel differently if we had this great plan or purpose for my working, but we don't. We're still using the credit card (we are for a first time paying things off though-the little purchases) but we're still spending. I was speaking with a woman the other day who is almost 70 and she said she didn't understand how we young girls worked and raised a family and took care of a home. She was home with her kids and couldn't imagine have having to do that. I guess my thoughts are the same.

Growing up with a single mom, I felt I should work, contribute, that's what we're "supposed" to do. Everyone else does it, it's the norm in our American culture. So my question is, what is God's plan for His family today? Is it for husband and wife to share in the financial responsibilities or just the man? Is it for the woman to stay home and cook and clean and be the primary influence (skills, biblically, moral foundation etc.) in their children's lives or are these duties to be shared by husband and wife 50/50? Are our children supposed to be schooled at home or are they supposed to be in public or Christian schools taught majority of the day by others who for the most part are trained in their field? Are we living God's dream or the American dream? What are the reasons/foundations behind these questions even being asked? Why is our family structure the way it is now as opposed to then? Is this a natural change or a result of divorce, the feminine movement, the degrading of the male and female roles, the belief of the "me and what I want" lifestyle, and seriously, the belief of children being impostions (brats, so-needy, "expensive investments" etc.) instead of gifts from the Lord?

Is this change in our structure the cause of our high crime, our filled prisons, our lack of trust, our huge debts etc.? Why did schools, daycares, summer camps, day camps etc. come about? What about shopping malls, grocery stores, cable tv, even internet? Oh yes, I enjoy all of these things, they provide conveniences and also many useful things (hospitals, news etc.) but the enemy has used these things, tapping into our selfish sinful desires and warped it into the belief that these are needs, these are "rights"...all at the expense of our family, our Biblical foundations. So where do we go from here? Where is it that God wants us? What is the Proverbs 31 woman? What is our plan and purpose here on this earth? It is to share the Gospel, the love of Christ. Are we doing that? Are we living for Him completely or just to our convenience? Are we trusting in the Lord to provide for ALL of our needs or living day to day, getting by...and for what? Can we trust Him, to live a life about and for Him and step out of our realities of "life" according to the world? Do you ever wonder how your life would be if you were outside of the media and all of these "distractions" and all you knew from the beginning was the love of Jesus and His laws and desires for your life? Would it change the choices you've made and will make? I can say yes right away. Would my parents have made different choices if they had lived that life, yes I can say. So where do I go from here? Where do you go from here?

Please, please, please do not be offended by anything I've said here. These are truly questions I've been asking myself lately and wow, this question just fueled all of these thoughts and me trying to figure out what and where He wants me. There is this hunger for more of Him, more of this "life" I feel and want to be living for Him. I'm scared though. Can I give into the Lord, can I dedicate myself completely to Him, am I willing to put in the work or will I be lazy and stay where I know because I'm "comfortable"? Do I worry that I will fail, that I'm not really hearing Him and I will make a mistake? Will I listen to the doubt or trust in my faith that He has given me, to give myself to Him and trust Him? What can I lose by putting Him first in my life--pretty silly question when you say it out loud "(okay, type it out!)

Honestly, hubby and I have made these financial mistakes and there are consequences to that. We are to trust in Him completely to provide for our needs...and how those needs will be met by Him is where we give it to Him in prayer (be it me working or me not working). I can trust that He will close doors that are not of Him and open the ones that are. And my precious friends, I trust He will do the same for you when you give it to Him in prayer (and I'm praying with you) and not make decisions out of fear or impulsive emotions (as I've done!) My prayer for all of us is that once we are at a place where we don't have to make these decisions out of need, that we will choose wisely based on our heavenly Father and His desire and will for us and our families lives. Amen to that? Amen! I look forward to what our precious Father is going to do in your lives with these choices and I will rejoice with you in His answers!

God bless you!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Malcolm's Baptism

On Sunday, December 7th, our oldest, Malcolm publicly professed his love and belief in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. My husband, his dear daddy, was blessed and honored to do the baptism at our church. Malcolm had been asking to be baptized for the past two years and a question of age, then moving and then simply timing brought us to this day. I prayed that the Lord knew his heart and would provide the right time, and then I chose to wait on Him and let my little boy know, it would be in God's timing. He waited patiently, and the day came and he spoke with the elders from our church and the next Sunday was this day...what a precious, breath taking moment. To see our son, the Lord's child, accept and profess his love for Christ, and yes, at the tender age of almost 8.

My husband and I weren't baptized until adulthood after both growing up in homes that weren't Christian. We both grew up with two very different lives, his bringing tears to my eyes, my own, a wanderer, searching trying to fill the void with everything but the Lord. Our testimonies, both so different but true to the same of God's amazing grace and pursuit of His children. We are both honored and humbled to have been blessed by these three precious boys (and a fourth on the way) and pray for the Lord's guidance, wisdom, grace and mighty hand upon our lives as husband and wife, parents and servants of the Lord. We pray for these young lives entrusted to our earthly care, that we will follow His will and that these children will seek the Lord with their whole hearts...and that the Lord will never let them go. We praise you Lord for your mercy, grace and everlasting love...
Malcolm being baptized by Daddy

Our first snow of the season...

Our three precious boys after church...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A work in progress...

The Lord has been working in my heart...

I had asked Him a while ago to purge me, clean out my spirit...as I worded it at a women's meeting, "take it out and wash it and put it back in."--not sure where that came from! :)

So lately, I've been trying to discern what is of the Lord and what is my flesh. Is there a call to more, to give more at home or is it a desire to not work outside of the home so I can be comfortable? Do I desire a lifestyle that seems more of Him because He is placing that on my heart or because I'm not content where He has me? Do I desire to be back "home" because it is my comfort zone or because He is saying we will be when it is His timing, allowing me a peace in my heart with the hope of.

I'm having peace with waiting on His answers. I'm not sure of the answers quite yet (flesh or Him) but I have that peace that He will show me in His time and all I am to do now is bring it to Him, try my best, be a good steward, submit to my husband (a huge step in faith-not because of my hubby but my own stubborness-AND I say how amazing it has been to listen to him and show him respect with my actions, not just my words...it is my heart...the Lord working in my heart!) and be the Lord's servant with His children and our church.

Today at church, we had our Christmas service and oh, how precious! I some how lead the little ones in singing three songs during service and I have to say WOW were they amazing! God's grace covered my complete unqualification for this job (I had to sing in front of others-sorry for them!) and I had that one brief moment of thinking maybe we shouldn't do this since we're not prepared but the Holy Spirit quickly kicked that out because as my friend spoke--this is for the Lord! Amen! Oh and the joy I felt seeing those little faces singing their love for Jesus and His love for them! Oh, all for you Lord, none for me, just the joy of being part of serving you!

I'm learning Lord! Please keep teaching me, it is Your will, not mine!

Today I felt a peace in our church home that I don't think I've ever felt. I've shared our church home has had a bumpy ride, with a lot of hurt on all sides. My hubby and I were blessed to be on the outside of the problems and lately the envirornment was starting to become discouraging. But the Lord had let us know, it's about Him and not us...and today I was privileged to be part of that glimpse of His fruit and humbled by His grace and grateful I chose (and choose) to serve Him.

An update on our family- our oldest was baptized December 7th by his daddy. What an amazing moment! I couldn't help but be in awe of our first snow that day, a blanket of white and our sweet boy professing his love of Christ in his young heart. I am now 19 weeks pregnant. We have the ultrasound on the 30th to see if this will be our 4th bouncing boy or a first pretty in pink girl...I have NO guesses. My pregnancy is different this time (barely sick) but I know better than to even second guess that (I did that with the last two pregnancies!).
Yes, it would be exciting for a girl but also a boy. Our prayer- a healthy child who will grow in the Lord and God knows who He needs here:)

My friends, a Merry and blessed Christmas. How precious the birth and savation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May this be a truth in your life and His peace and everlasting hope upon you and your family. God bless you all and praying for you!

With love,

Daily life ... to thrive

This journey of life-daily routines... sweet one, do you see the sun peeking through? The Lord is always present, perfect in His steadfas...

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