Wednesday, March 31, 2010

True Woman '10

I had the privilege of attending the True Woman conference in Chattanooga this past weekend.  It was the first of three conferences (2 others in Indianapolis and Ft Worth in the fall).  You may remember that I also went to the True Woman '08 conference in Chicago.  My initial thought when I heard about this conference was that I would not go this time, but after discussing it with some other ladies, we decided to go.  I'm so thankful that I did because it was so refreshing and challenging. 

Here are just some brief things the Lord taught me. 

  1. Challenged to love and serve my husband.  This is something that I seek to do, but I was reminded once again why it is so important.  So often I become critical and instead of affirming him, I am negative and remind him of what he isn't doing.  We are both sinners and I need to give grace to him as I expect him to give grace to me.  On Saturday, there was a panel discussion and one of the speakers on the panel said, "Keep short accounts with your expectations.  Give your husband room to grow and give him grace."  Josh needs my affirmation, not my condemnation. 
  2. Challenged to teach and pray for my children.  My time really is short with my children, even though sometimes the days are very long.  I was challenged to make the most of my time with my boys.  The Lord has given me such a wonderful opportunity to teach my children and I need to not be so distracted with the unnecessary things:  the internet, a spotless house, "me" time.  On Friday morning, Fern Nichols of Moms in Touch led us in a wonderful time of prayer for our children.  I do fervently pray for me children, but I was reminded to be in constant prayer for them and to model for them a life or unceasing prayer. 
  3. Challenged to teach and model biblical womanhood in my church.  I have taught Bible studies to the women in my church, but I know that I need to do more.  Why?  Because I want the ladies in our church to embrace biblical womanhood and not what the world calls womanhood.  Unfortunately, our culture and our churches have been so influenced by feminism that we don't even realize that every area of our lives has been touched by feminism.  I want to live a counter-cultural womanhood and teach it as well so that women will live for the glory of God. 
  4. Refreshed by the worship through singing.  If you have ever had the opportunity to be led in worship by Keith and Kristyn Getty then you know why I was refreshed!  Their passion for the Lord spills over into their worship and their songs bring you to closer fellowship with the Lord.  If you don't know who they are, check them out at 
If you haven't heard of the True Woman movement, I would encourage you to also check out their website:  Nancy Lee DeMoss of Revive Our Hearts is spearheading this movement and her passion is to see women living out biblical womanhood in every area of their lives.  If that is your desire as well, you can read and sign the True Woman Manifesto on the website. 

Also, if any of my readers live near Indianapolis, IN, or Ft. Worth, TX, make plans to attend!  I promise it will be worth your time and expense.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Disappointment and Death

I do like to post a couple of times a week, but lately that seems impossible.  Last week was crazy, unexpected, and not according to our plans.  

In February, Josh told me that he had planned a surprise getaway for us the third week of March.  We were to leave on Monday, the 15th, and come home on Wednesday, the 17th.  Because of the nature of Josh's job, we have to take mini-trips during the week since we have to take vacation time to miss a Sunday.  As you can imagine, I was so excited!  We have never taken a surprise getaway (and we have only been away one other time for a marriage conference) and I couldn't wait.  My parents were going to keep the boys for us and of course they were thrilled as well. 

Sadly, our plans were canceled on Saturday night because a lady, who was a shut-in, in our church passed away Saturday night.  She had been moved to hospice at the end of the week and Josh had been to see her multiple times in the hospital, so we knew it would be soon.  In fact, we made the decision not to go before we found out she died.  We didn't want to be on the road and have to come home - that would have been even worse. 

We did wonder why the Lord allowed this to happen at this time, but we know that he is sovereign over all things and death is never convenient.  However, the Lord revealed to us fully on Monday morning why our trip was postponed.  We received a call around 9:30am that a very faithful man in our church had a massive heart attack and had died earlier that morning.  It was such a shock to us and to our entire church.  He was such a godly man and a death that sudden is hard to understand.  My last memory of Mr. Charles is of he and his wife coming forward last Sunday morning to pray for Josh.  Mr. Charles took his wife's hand and then took Josh's hand and knelt down and prayed for him.  He will be missed in our lives and at our church. 

Instead of going to Asheville and visiting the Biltmore (Josh told me about the getaway), my parents came to visit us, Josh wrote two funeral sermons, and then preached two funerals last Wednesday.  I haven't seen him that exhausted in a very long time. 

We are thankful the Lord's timing is best and we hope to take our getaway some other time, Lord willing.  I have been reminded through this experience that our plans really are in His hands.   As James 4:15 says, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."  Please pray for Mr. Charles' widow, Mrs. Nell.  She has lost both of her children (one 5 yrs ago and the other just 6 months ago) and now her husband.  My disappointment of a trip postponed is nothing compared to her grief and sorrow. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

9 Months of Fun

My little Josiah is 9 months today. It really does seem like that I was pregnant just a mere 2 months ago and now he is nearing the end of his first year. My time with him has gone much faster than time with Thomas or it just seems that way. Since it was just Thomas I could concentrate all my time and attention on him, but Josiah has the added blessing of a sibling to interact with everyday. There are definitely wonderful things about being the firstborn (not sharing parents), but also wonderful things for younger children (the joy of having a sibling).

What Josiah is doing at 9 months:

  • Still sleeping great. He has dropped his 3rd nap (I'm glad!) and just has a morning and afternoon nap. Sometimes I'm able to squeeze an errand in between he and Thomas' afternoon nap.
  • Scooting backwards. He isn't crawling yet, although he has been on all fours a few times, but he does scoot backwards. I'm in no hurry for the crawling. Thomas didn't crawl until 11 months. My boys are content where you put them!
  • Babbling all the time. Around 8 months he began saying "da-da, ba-ba," and sometimes "ma-ma." When he wakes from his naps, he often lays in his crib babbling until I get him - so cute!
  • Loves big brother more each day. He gets so excited at everything Thomas does. His whole face lights up and he squeals with delight - I love it!
  • Reaching for everything. I have learned not to put things within his grasp or it will be gone! He has spilt food recently because he grabbed a spoon or container before I knew what was happening.
  • No teeth. Not even signs of teething. I know some babies don't teeth until late, but Thomas was 6.5 months when he got his first tooth and had 8 by his first birthday. I really thought siblings would teeth around the same time. Guess I was wrong!
  • Loves to eat! He can eat a whole banana (mashed of course, see above comment!) after he has had 3 cubes of peas/squash/sweet potato/mixed veggies. He really likes to eat and I'm trying to teach him to sign "more" because he gets really impatient when the food doesn't come fast enough or if I don't have the next thing ready.
Josiah really is a joy to be around. Life is just a big party for him. This week we were in the car and we heard him in the backseat laughing and squealing and clapping just because. Thanking the Lord today for 9 months with my sweet "Jo-boy."

He has a cold in the picture (see his poor nose) and you can't see it here, but his hair is really blonde now!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Great Learning Website

I have found a wonderful new website called No Time For Flashcards. There are so many wonderful learning and craft ideas for toddlers and preschoolers. It was a website that I found through another website (you know how that goes!) and I liked it so much that I bookmarked it and have been back over and over.

One of the crafts I have used most frequently is her crafts with letters. She has a craft (often multiple ones) to do with each upper and lower-case letter of the alphabet. Since Thomas is learning his letters right now, this has been really helpful. For instance, a couple of weeks ago he was having a hard time learning the letter D. I went to the website and found two different crafts using the letter D. We made a dragon and a duck with the letter D. And now he knows the letter D with no problem.

There are also tons of crafts for animals and holidays and just fun stuff. Check it out if you have a child and tell me what you think. Here are some pictures of Thomas painting an elephant.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Greater Works

At the beginning of the year, our church had a week of prayer.  It was entitled Greater Works: Asking for a Decade of Growth in Grace!  Josh really wanted us to begin the year asking God for greater things in this year and the next 10 years, as we just started a new decade.  The desire for this prayer week grew out of John 14:12-14:  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works that these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  Those are some truly powerful words!  Whatever we ask in His name, He will do it.  Do you believe that?  When Josh preached through the book of John last year and came across this passage, I really had to stop and ask myself, "Do I pray believing that God will answer my prayers?" 

The key to this prayer is "whatever you ask in my name."  What does that mean?  Josh explained that to ask something in Jesus' name is to pray according to His will and His character.  We know what God's will and His character is by reading the Word.  For instance, we know that the Lord desires for His people to worship in Spirit and truth and so we pray that our church would worship Him in Spirit and in truth.  These are some of the "greater works" Josh listed in his sermon:
  • More people repenting of sin and trusting in Christ
  • More lives changed by the gospel
  • More hatred of sin
  • More hunger for the things of God
  • More families studying the Word together
  • More evangelism taking place at home and work
  • More people called and sent as missionaries/pastors
  • More people embracing biblical manhood/womanhood 
Since this sermon on January 3, and our week of prayer, my prayers have changed and I see evidence of God moving in my life, my family, and our church.  Do you pray with dependency and expectancy?  Do you long for God to move in your life and in your church?  Your church can have a wonderful preacher (of course I think we do!) and have the best worship leader and Sunday school teachers, but if we aren't depending on God and expecting Him to move, then we are trying to accomplish spiritual things in our power and it will fall flat.

I hear so many people say, "I wish God would change our country" or "We just need another revival to get people saved."  What we need is for believers to be on their face before God asking Him to save people and to change us and our churches for His glory.  May it be!