Big Brother

Ok, so I had to share with everyone that it is official………………………no, I am not pregnant, silly!  I have to share with you that I officially have the cutest kids in the world! Just a few minutes ago Jack looked at John right in the face and took his hand and (while almost pushing him over) said, “God is in your heart.”  As MY heart is litterally melting onto the floor he put his hand on John and said, “God is in your belly…God is in your chest.”  I am not sure that Jack fully grasps this concept because he asked us once if  God gets food on him when we swallow. I am loving the age of 3 more and more!! So, I decided that my kids are definitely the cutest, and I am allowed to think that because I am their mother (-:

Apple Slices

red_slicesIt was snack time at our house and we had one apple. John was the first to the kitchen (as always) so I sliced it up to share between both boys. Jack came in the kitchen and said “I want an apple.”  So I told him to get a bowl and he could share with his brother. He said, “No, mom, I want my own apple.”  He likes to eat them whole (skin and all). I told him this was the last apple so I sliced it up and he would have to share. He said again, “but I want my own whole one!!” I decided not to answer that one again and just said, “Jack, if you want some apple you will have to eat it in slices today.”  He finally warmed up to the idea and got a bowl out and enjoyed his snack even though it was not exactly what he wanted.

The Lesson: God wants to give good gifts to His children (that’s us), but I think sometimes it does not come packaged exactly the way we want it or thought it would come. We think it should look one way and when it doesn’t we complain or think that it must not be God. We must remember God’s heart toward us is good and He wants His best for us.  In other words, God’s ways are always better no matter how you slice ’em (-:

18 Months

john-messy

I think I know why God made 18 month old children so cute…because they get into everything, leave a trail behind them wherever they go, climb everything in sight (especially in the kitchen by the sharp objects) and go through 2-3 shirts a day making you want to absolutely pull your hair out and yell at the top of your lungs “Why!” but they are so darn cute about it that most of the time you just have to laugh and be really good at hiding it while you are trying to be firm and say no. This is John Olin – named after my dad and more and more like my father every day. He is pretty sneaky and turns out he has a slight cookie dough addiction (partly my fault). He is our fun-loving kid that is absolutely adorable and tests our patience every day. He had his 18 month appointment yesterday and finally weighs over 20lbs – here’s to cookie dough (-:

Abundance

What do you think of when you hear the word abundance?  Webster defines abundance as “the property of a more than adequate quantity or supply”  In your mind it would be a more than adequate quantity or supply of what?  I think more times than not we associate abundance with wealth, so let’s see what the Bible says.  

The passage that caught my eye was Psalm 66:8-12  which reads , “Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of His praise be heard; He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundace.”  Do you think abundance refers to wealth in this verse?  Well, lets go to Luke! Stay with me people (-:

Luke 12:15-21 “Then He (Jesus) said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Hmmmm…) And He told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ ” Then he said, ” This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grains and goods. And I’ll say to myself,  ‘You have penty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ ”  But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demaned from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”  ” This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Ok… so what do you think?  Here is what I got from all of this. There are several verses in the Bible that associate abundance with prosperity, land, and food but also with grace, peace, love and even soap (-: (Jer. 2:22).  So it is obvious that God wants us to live a life that is full of all the good things that He provides. However, I think more than anything He wants us to be “rich toward God” . And if our “life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions” then what should our life consist of? – an abundance of Him!

We desire to be financially secure, but can we truly be secure with just money – especially in this economy. If our security is in Christ and His Word and He never changes, then we will remain secure. If our life consists of abiding in Him and His word and does not consist in the abundance of our possessions then we will be content no matter what our financial or possession status.

At what point do we stop striving for a bigger “barn” and better investments and retirement plans  and start spending our time and energy looking beyond ourselves to fulfill God’s plans and seek to know what His heart desires??  I am not saying I am against wealth, because I believe that God will always “abundantly” supply what we need, but what are we focused on?  What was Jesus focused on when He was here?

 As I was writing this blog Jack kept coming up to me asking questions and telling me all about his books, so I got his puzzles out for him to work on while I finished up. He put together about 1/3 of the puzzle and then came back over and kept talking to me, so I stopped and said, “Jack, don’t you want to finish your puzzle or play with your trains?” He said, “No, mommy, I want you to come play with me.”  The Lesson: It does not matter how many toys, books or puzzles my kids have (and they do have an abundance), if I do not take the time to play with them they will still feel deprived.

Love- pt. 2

Ok, so I did not intend for love to have a part 2, but I was reading in 2 Samuel and David’s love for Saul  just continues to blow me away. Ben and I were talking about it last night and I realize that Saul and David were very close for many years, but I have to say that if someone tried to hunt me down and kill me several different times I would probably feel a  bit of anger and bitterness towards them. I understand that David did not want to harm the Lord’s anointed – that I get, but when David found out that Saul had died his first response was not to breathe a sigh of relief, but it says in the Word that he and the men with him tore their clothes and wept!!!  That is genuine, unconditional, Christ-like love!  He continues to speak nothing but good about Saul and praise all of the wonderful things he had done. This amazes me and convicts me. Would I feel the same way? Would my first response be love? I know that David’s response was not decided that day, but the many years up to that point when he chose to spend time in God’s presence and receive love from God that he in turn was able to give out. If out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, what are we putting in our hearts?

Love

John was down for a nap and Jack was watching a show, which meant I finally had time to get some stuff done. I was moving about doing random things and Ben came home on his lunch break. He sat by Jack and watched Charlotte’s Web for a few minutes when Jack stopped watching, looked over at Ben and said, “Dad, I love you.”  This melted my heart and I have to say I was a little bit jealous, but then I realized that Ben just took a moment to sit still by him.  The Lesson: God is love. That is His character and He does not know how to be any other way. Therefore, the problem must be with us. If we never sit still by Him  how will we ever hear and understand how much He really does love us.

Why Lessons??

I am realizing that everytime I feel like I have something to write it is always a life lesson I have learned from my kids or other various sources of inspiration, but mostly my kids. I am sure there will be a few posts that are just therapeutic rantings of a mother of two small children, but I promise to keep those short and focus on the encouragement.