Prayer and Jesus in schools

It really bugs me when people say things like “we need Jesus back in schools” or “things would be better if we put prayer back in schools”. I mean hearing these comments and others like them really strikes a nerve with me.

I am a CHRISTIAN, a Christ-follower! I am a born-again believer. Meaning that I believe that Jesus died on the cross for ALL my sins. And I now have a relationship with Him. We are bound together in a covenant relationship. He lives within me.

I will be happy to answer or explain this to anyone who has genuine questions regarding the previous paragraph.

But back to the point.

Every time I enter into my children’s school Jesus goes with me. He will never leave me or forsake me. So I cannot keep Him locked in my car while I walk my kids to class, or pick them up early…where I go He goes. Every time a Christian enters a school Christ is already there! We cannot keep Him out. Not even if we tried.

And then there is the part on prayer…no one can stop me from praying at my kid’s school! It may be regulated how I pray…not too loudly to disturb students, not with force, or other ways that would break the law. However I am free to speak to God in my heart EVERY TIME I cross the threshold of the school building.

So please stop telling people that God and prayer are not allowed in our schools. These comments may hinder someone. We as Christians need to stand together and pray for the people who are in the schools where our children go. We need to pray for the administration, teachers, lunch ladies, custodians, bus drivers, service men and women, everyone that comes in contact with our children!

So I am making it my personal mission this year to put prayer back in schools. Meaning every time I walk in the doors of the school I will pray! I will pray for my kids, their classmates, other students, administration, teachers, and everyone who walks the hallways at their school.

I will take Jesus to school and I will pray there too.

 

Getting too comfortable

So yesterday I asked the question to our Women’s ministry Facebook page: Where are you most comfortable? And most of them answered “at home” or some variation of that. Which for the record would have been similar to my answer as well.
 
The question came from a sermon I watched called “Comfortable vs. Effective”. To be honest it hit a little close to home. Maybe you can relate? I don’t want to be comfortable, okay maybe I WANT to be, but it is not who I am called to be!
Lately the Great Commission has been on my mind. You can go and read it in Matthew 28:16-20. But I will give you a quick overview. Basically the whole chapter is about the resurrection of Christ. The ladies are headed to the tomb. There is an earthquake. The guards get scared and report it to the elders and chief priest. They devise a plan and say someone stole Jesus’ body. The women meet Jesus at the tomb. Jesus sends them to go and get the disciples to meet him in Galilee.
Okay all caught up. Then the GREAT COMMISSION states:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So this had to be very, very important. I mean Jesus was GONE to HEAVEN. He then came back to earth to deliver THIS message!!! In all honesty I probably would have fallen into the “some doubted” category. I mean this is HUGE. He was DEAD. And He came back to tell us this! He wants us to GO and MAKE disciples.

This is where I want to be clearly understood. I am comfortable at home too so hang with me a moment. When are we going to stop being comfortable and begin to get effective? I mean REALLY EFFECTIVE. Not just the showing up at church on Sunday, part-time kind of Christian. When are we going to “GO” outside of our comfort zone and “MAKE” disciples??? Jesus came back from Heaven to tell us GO MAKE DISCIPLES!!! It’s kinda important.

Before I hear too much “well God blessed me with my home, so He wants me to be happy and enjoy it…” I want to say I agree…to an extent. While God has most certainly blessed me and Robert with a great home. I really don’t think God cares too much about my home. God cares about me, ergo He cares about my home. However I think God is much more interested in who I offered my home to? Who I invited in out of the cold? Who I gave shelter to?

When we first bought our home almost 3 years ago. Within a month of moving in we opened our home to a young couple who needed help. It was not easy, it did not “feel good”. It was hard. I struggled. I was frustrated. But ultimately I was obedient. Which then makes me ask myself, am I still obedient? Am I still doing enough? Am I capable of more?

YES.

So this may just all be for myself. But I am ready to be uncomfortable. {{Help me Jesus}} I want to be effective. God has commissioned us in a great way (see what I did there). So let’s GO and MAKE disciples. Let’s stop hoping it happens, and DO IT! No excuses!

I want be who I was called to be. Change me. Move me.

Stay focused on Christ. Have faith in His works. Be intentional with your Christianity. Choose to be effective.

I’ll end by asking what the pastor of the sermon asked as he closed out. Do you think Jesus was comfortable on the cross?

Dealing with the diagnosis…

Let me start by giving a quick backstory. Robert (my husband) went to the doctor less than a year ago with strep. While there he talked to her about a few other things going on. She sent him for a complete blood work up. Since then he has to go back every few months and have his levels checked and monitored. Well the past few times there has been small traces of blood and protein in his urine. So we were referred to a nephrologist (kidney doctor) which resulted in nothing. His doc was still persistent so she referred him to a urologist (bladder doctor). They sent a scope in to check his bladder and there it was…a tumor.

A TUMOR…that was not what we expected…that was not part of the plan…however God is in control. The doctor told us it is small, it is removable and it is curable. They are pretty certain it is cancer. He goes for surgery tomorrow January 5, 2106 to have the tumor removed.

So the question we have been asked the most is “how are you guys?”. Well I think we are pretty much the same as we were before we heard the news. Yes we were a little surprised. But to be honest…I think we are doing very well.

Robert and I have opted not to ask “WHY???” We are learning to graciously accept “why not us?” Being a Christian does not exclude us from the bad stuff in life. In John 16:33 it states that “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This also addresses the question of “why do bad things happen to good people?” Because it does. Life is full of stuff, troubles, sin, and so on. We are not excluded from the mess.

Honestly I would rather bad stuff happen to someone who DOES know who God is, and what He is capable of! Robert and I have a strong faith. We have good friends and a great church family that pours love and prayers over us. And more than that they are available to us. They don’t just say “well if you need something let us know…” they show up!

So really I think we are OKAY!!!

Our God is greater than our diagnosis.

His ways are higher than our ways.

He is faithful & just.

He has a purpose.

He has a plan.

And most of all He loves us!

God knew this long before it happened. This is not new to God. This is part of the plan. So much so that before any of this was even discussed Robert and I started talking about the new year, and ways we wanted to serve in the new year. Ways we wanted to plug in. Crazily enough our conversations were very different. We decided to take a break from hosting our heart group which we LOVE. We chose not to teach a class at our church this session. And to be honest I was following blindly because in my heart I was thinking we could do more, we should be doing more. How can we be setting things aside for no given reason…well God had a reason. He already knew this was coming he knew we would need time for healing. He knew that this was all going to happen so fast. He knew that it would hurt my heart to break a commitment to teach a class that people were looking forward to. HE KNEW!!! I did not know, nor did I understand!

People have been quick to say “God’s got this” and I believe he does, but it almost seems to be said with the understanding that there is a miracle attached disclaimer…God’s got this…you will be healed. Well in all honesty that is not how God operates. God does have it…and something bad may still be the ultimate result. And in that moment He is still God.

Whatever may come He is still God. Good or bad. We pray this surgery removes it and that Robert is cured, but even if not…He is God!

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, encouragement, and availability!

Why won’t they be quiet???

AHHH as a parent we have all had those days where our kids seem to have gone CRAZY! Today I was having one of those moments. I tried to lay down and rest while the kids were upstairs playing together. I could not get comfy, my body just was not giving in to the moment. So I had a brilliant idea to try and relax in a bath. And within moments of stepping in and getting situated the kids come running in. All drama broke out. The dog had tee teed in the floor…and it was my fault she was sleeping when I got up so I let sleeping puppies lie. A mistake I am sure I hope not to repeat.

Please note we do not have a lock on our bathroom door…an investment I cannot believe we have yet to make.

As soon as I get the kids out here comes the dog. Nothing says clean and quiet like a dog trying to lap up your bath…I cannot make this up…if I could I would write fiction books and make loads of money! 

I finally get everyone, dog included, out of the bathroom. Decided to finish up, there was no sense in attempting relaxation at this point anymore. The kids and dogs were running circles in the house.

The noise was growing. I thought “why can they not be quiet”??? They have a bazillion toys to occupy them, a puppy to play with, and they have each other so what more could they need or want?!?! Why can they not be kids who occupy themselves and do it quietly??? WHY WILL THEY NOT LISTEN TO ME???

Then in that small voice I heard and felt God whisper to me…”I feel the same way”! 

{{GULP}}

I have a bazillion “toys” that distract me. They make me crazy. I get loud and frustrated (something for another post). I have people that I let distract me too. And in that moment I realized that God wanted His kids to be quiet! To be okay in the moment! To have Peace. Peace from God, and peace of mind. To stop running around in circles. To stop chasing the dog or whatever else we may be chasing in the moment. God wants us quiet too.

In Exodus 14:14 it says “The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be silent”. and in Psalms 46:10 it says “Be still & know that I am God”. WOW I needed some silence today…and in that moment I heard God telling me how He longed for me to be still & silent too. He has a plan and I need to stop running around and let Him be my peace & quiet. 

What is even more profound to me is that if I am obedient to God, I will begin to notice that my kids will be different too. 

The craziness in my life is there because I give it power and sustenance. The change in my home starts with me. And yes I have known this, but sometimes we all need a gentle reminder of what God has for us! The best part is He always has what we need right when we need it! 

Welcome

Well I finally took the plunge and decided that I would do this. I get asked if I have a blog and now I am able to say that I DO! This is going to be an exciting journey for me.

I guess most of you would ask why the crazy name, well let’s face it there are many great names and blogs out there I wanted something that reflected me. My husband calls me a “hobbyist”. I like lots of different things. To say I am one thing or another would deny a part of who I am. I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, baker, photographer, servant, Princess, deal finder, crafty person, and shopper. There are many other things I am as well but if I included all these things in the title let’s face it you would never type it all in.

I have a love for a vintage style. I like pearls, lace, and burlap. I am super picky about my vintage love. I like things old with a new twist.

As most of you know I like to bake and cook. Sometimes I amaze myself while others…no one would be impressed…my kids certainly are not.

Well blessings seems self explanatory, however I want to be clear that I not only love receiving blessings I do like to share them. Some of the best blessings in life are the ones we share.

So here I am ready to let you in to these little areas of my life. I am not perfect. I have never done this before. English and grammar are not my strong suit, in fact I misspelled “grammar”! But do like writing and sharing. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you come again!