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Childlike Faith

Do your kids take what you say literally? Ours have and we’ve had some great laughs over the years because of Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.34.03 PMit. Sometimes it was their limited understanding of who God was that brought us the best moments of laughter and some very important lessons. Our children are adults now and those lessons and the laughter they brought us will stay with us forever.

While flying with our very young children, we had one of the best laughs about God. My husband and son were sitting one row up and across the aisle from my daughter and me. To their right and directly in front of me was a priest. When our son was little, we tried to explain to him who God was, to the best of our ability. This was a few years before we really came to know God.

As the plane was taking off, my son very loudly said, “Dad, you told me that God was above the clouds so how come I can’t see Him?” I watched the priest in front of me shake with laughter. I was laughing along with him. My son had heard us say that God was in heaven. He asked where heaven was and we said, “up in the sky.” My little boy had held that piece of knowledge in his head and he was sure he was going to see God because the plane was now in the sky.

Let’s back up. I said that sometimes our kids’ limited understanding of who God is can bring us the best laughs. That is true but maybe their understanding of God is not really limited. Maybe it is our understanding that is limited.

My son believed there was a God. He believed God was in the sky because that is where we told him heaven was. He took what he knew to be true and believed it with his whole heart. He had faith and he expected to see God.

Shouldn’t we all have that kind of faith to expect to see the hand of God or at least feel God in every situation? Shouldn’t we have the kind of faith to believe that God is there even if we can’t see Him? Our son had never seen God but he knew He was there and he expected to see Him. He had childlike or uninhibited faith that had not been clouded by the world.

We had to explain to our little guy that even though we can’t see heaven with our eyes that it is still real. And even though he could not see God out the window of the plane, God was always with us.

As the years passed, our son still believed that to be true. One day he found himself in a spot where he had to overcome a fear. He pressed into God with that childlike, uninhibited faith. My husband cried as he told me the story of watching our son overcoming his fear on the ropes course by saying and believing, “All things are possible with Him.” He could not see God but he EXPECTED that God would hear him and he EXPECTED that God would be with him as he did the course. That day our son finished that ropes course knowing that God was helping him.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.30.25 PMI think as adults it is so easy to forget what childlike faith is and our prayers become limited to what we know to be true in the here and now. We forget to really “expect God to be God.” I think that children have a much clearer view of who God really is and I want to encourage you to take a look at God through the eyes of a child.   We should all want to have childlike, uninhibited faith that has not been clouded by this world.

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In God’s eyes, I am…..

DSC_0272edited (1)God has a sense of humor! He woke me up last week with “she wakes before her family.” As I lay in bed, bits and pieces of Proverbs 31 were rolling through my head. I tried to close my eyes and ignore it but God was persistent. I heard “she is up before the sun” in my spirit. I climbed out of bed, let the dogs out and fed them, got a coffee cup for myself, grabbed my husband’s hot chocolate, and had it waiting by the coffee pot with a cup for him. A warm blanket was beckoning me from the couch so I grabbed my Bible and my Bible study and dug into the Word.

When my husband came out of the bedroom to grab his coffee, I laughed as I said, “God woke me up and told me that I am a Proverbs 31 woman.” Not part of a specific ministry, but God wanted me to understand how the concepts of this chapter applied to my life. I shared my rationale with my husband.

I was up before my family, I was up before it was light (daylight saving time helped make that possible), I had tended to the animals (that got a chuckle out of him), and I had his coffee cup all ready for his mocha.

For years I have felt inferior to the woman written about in Proverbs 31. If I could get a show of hands, I wonder how many other women would feel the same way. At times, I am a train wreck in the kitchen. I burn things; I add the wrong ingredient – only some of the time. If you read my Thanksgiving post you heard about the turkey that was steamed, baked, and set on the barbecue before it made it to the table. Just last week I had a pair of my undies stuck to a dishtowel from static cling. Thankfully my grown son who was helping clean the kitchen did not see the undies in the towel he was holding. The woman described in Proverbs 31 would never have her unmentionables in the kitchen!

For a whole week, God continued to wake me up early speaking the words of Proverbs 31 in my spirit. Yet I tried to avoid reading the chapter. Recently I have been studying who I am in Christ.  I find it easy to believe that I am redeemed in Christ, adopted into the Family of God, and a needed part of the Body of Christ. Those were just some of the things I found to be true in my search of the Bible, and yet for some reason I continued to be hung up on being like the woman described in Proverbs 31. She seems to be everything I am not.

One morning after my study, I was feeling a bit defeated because I could not get that perfect lady out of my head. God began to push back with His Word. Bits and pieces of the chapter I had been avoiding for years began to come to mind. He showed me what was written in Proverbs 31, doesn’t describe just one woman. The “she” is every woman who walks with the Lord. In my heart, God was showing me the qualities of many godly women. “She” is every woman who puts God first. Being the kind of godly woman shown in the chapter may look different for each of us based on where in the world we live, whether we work outside the home or at home, or if we are married or single. What each of us has in common is that we bring honor to God in all we do.

I began to realize why God brought me to this chapter. I was studying who I was in Christ and God was trying to show me that He saw me as someone I never thought I could be. I wonder if I am striking a chord in the hearts of others who feel the same way. Maybe even your heart? For years I thought she was some super woman who I could never hold a candle to. Again I wish I could see a show of hands. I know I am not the only woman to have thought, “Me? The woman in Proverbs 31? Yeah, right.”

I decided to read the chapter with an open heart and God showed me that I was worth more than rubies. I have virtue and a huge heart filled with His love that I want to share with others. He showed me that I was choosing to honor Him in my walk. As I read further, I was reminded that I have a healthy fear of Him and that I seek His wisdom and wait on His timing

FullSizeRenderI am like the woman in Proverbs 31. Yes, I make mistakes. My house is not always perfectly cleaned. I order pizza at times because my day was crazy but my walk honors God. My works are for Him and are done because of His love in me.

God looks at your heart not the dinner you put on the table. He would rather have you serve a PB and J sandwich made from a heart of love than a gourmet dinner made from a place of bitterness or obligation. My hope is that you will see who you are in God and never compare yourself to someone else like I did.

God loves you and you are worth more than rubies. You were bought with a price and it is the blood of Christ. You belong to the Body of Christ and you matter. You, my sister, are fearfully and wonderfully created and if you struggle with seeing yourself as God sees you, I hope you press into the Word of God and find God’s truth for your life.

Is there a scripture or scriptures that you cannot believe to be true for you? If there is, please take it to the Lord and ask Him to show you His truth and who you are in Him. You might be just as surprised as I was to find out that you too are like the woman described in Proverbs 31.

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The World We Live In

By Cassie of Cassie’s Corner.

Join Cassie each month for a new heartfelt post.  To read more of her writing go to the Cassie’s Corner link on the side of the page.  

Blessings, The Midlife Domestic Goddess.

Insanity: the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. Extreme foolishness; folly; senselessness; foolhardiness.

We live in an insane world. After graduating from college I entered the CassiesCornerButtonwork force as a Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) Parole Assistant. My case load consisted of Level 2 and 3 Sex Offenders, young men aged 15-18, who were deemed the highest risk to re-offend. All I could think was, wow, when did kids start hurting other kids so horribly. I had taken numerous classes during my four years at the university but nothing prepared me for the real life events that I reviewed in the case files of the youth on my roster. When I started with the JRA I thought I had arrived at my dream career position and I was so excited to be able to start in the field I had always wanted to be in. That excitement was cut short when my job soon turned from trying to help these youth change their lives for the better, into trying to catch them doing something wrong, so I could locked them back up. After only three short months, I was able to determine that the JRA setting was not my dream job but a sad system setting kids up to repeat bad choices and make them feel like no one believed in them.

My second post college job was at a secured drug and alcohol treatment center for 12-17 year old boys. They were all locked in rehab as their last option, it was rehab or a juvenile institution. I loved that job from start to finish. The young men I worked with taught me so much about life and what it meant to be a real person. It was there I learned how fragile todayʼs youth really are. How the choices we make as parents form and shape the choices our children make. To those boys the definition of insanity was doing the same behavior over and over and expecting different results. I always thought that was such an interesting view on life because to me, if I made a choice and didnʼt like the outcome I would just make a different decision the next time. Each young man I worked with helped to shape my view of the world as I walked out my life from behind the fence that kept them inside.

As I prepared to leave that job and transition into another branch of youth social services, I began to pray and ask God to examine my heart and desire to work with At Risk Youth. I was loosing hope in the desire to have my own children due to the pain and anguish I saw so many kids and parents going through over ten years while working in my desired occupation. I prayed constantly for the kids that I worked with, petitioning God to save them and show them who He was through me. Alas, after getting married and becoming a mother in 2006, I decided that I needed a break from full-time work as a Youth Care Specialist in 2008.

Fast forward to the present; I am now a college educated mother of two that holds a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I now pray for my own children to know who they are in Christ and for what purpose they were created. I find myself struggling to separate my knowledge of how insane the world can be from being a fun-loving person who welcomes new people into the lives of her children. I send my daughter to school praying that there wonʼt be a mass shooting or some sort of attack. I observe every person who is waiting for a student to be released from school as a potential offender or threat to myself and my children. I am constantly aware of who is around me, what they are wearing, what car they are driving, and all the other aspects of my surroundings.

I am not paranoid. I do not live in fear. I live in the here and now, the realistic part of life and what may happen at the blink of an eye.

I have so much information in my brain that in the natural is overwhelming to think of or comprehend. The experiences that I had working with At Risk Youth have forever shaped me into the person I am today. As a mother I use those years of experiences to help protect and shield my children from the insanity of this world. I am proud of the time I was able to serve caring for other peopleʼs children, it taught how I wanted to love my own. I believe with all my heart that God allowed me to see just how horrible life can be, so that I would be prepared to be a parent in the world my children now live in. For that, I am forever thankful.

 

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Five Great Summer Activities for you and your kids

By: Erin Bishop founder of The Whatever Girls

I had a great childhood and even better summers. I remember hot summer days, grape popsicles, walking to the Giant T drug store for ice cream cones, running through the sprinklers, building forts, and magical weekends at our family cabin at Priest Lake. Summer was perfect.

Now that I’m a mom, I want to recreate those magical summer memories for my kids. But, I have a lot to compete Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 1.34.33 PMwith. Kids today are never far from a handheld entertainment center, and mine are no different. All this time spent on technology leaves my kids feeling entitled to entertainment and sluggish imaginations.

My solution? This summer I’m mandating a once a week mom’s choice activity. My kids are going to get a taste of what summer was meant to be.

Here are five of my must do activities with my kids:

  1. A day at the lake: We are blessed to live in an area rich with beautiful lakes, parks and a river that runs through our city. There are endless adventures waiting to be had. We will pick a place we have never been, pack a picnic and spend the day playing in the water, building sandcastles and making new memories.
  2. Make a fairy garden: A fairy garden is a miniature garden complete with structures and actual living plants. It’s a tiny space created with love and imagination. All you need is a shallow planting dish, some dirt and some creativity. Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas.
  3. Go to a theme park: Each year my youngest earns a free ticket to a nearby theme park. We have yet to use it, but this year I intend to not let it go to waste. I like to avoid crowds, so I’ll have my husband take a day off from work mid-week and we will make a day of it. Be sure to pack sunscreen!
  4. Make s’mores: A lot of people have outdoor fire pits. We do not. We like to fire up our barbeque and go outside on a starry night and roast marshmallows by the fire of our barbeque.
  5. Backyard campout: I love not camping. But, for the sake of some late night giggles, special treats and fun times with my kids, I am willing to set up a tent in the backyard and go camping with my kids. Just remember to turn off the sprinkler system.

While these five things may not be a complete cure for summer boredom or our kids’ affection for handheld entertainment, I guarantee once your kids and mine, get a taste for what summer is really about, they will be anxious for the next adventure.

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