Thursday, July 30, 2009

THE GAME OF LIFE

One night this week while sitting around the dining table playing the LIFE board game with my husband and children, my daughter commented, "Every time I get ahead, something else comes along and takes all my money." I laughed. "Yes, dear. That's life."

Or so it has seemed with our life as of late. Two weeks ago one of our commodes became unflushable. Once our two year olds toothbrush was retrieved from the pipes by my husband and his trusty plumbing snake, the commode again began working properly. However, just a few days later our dryer stopped working. For a family that normally washes ten to fifteen loads of laundry a week, a dryer tends to be more of a necessity than a luxury. This I have learned as for the past week I have been hanging clothes out to dry like they did back in the old days. It is a much slower process and not nearly as many clothes are able to be cleaned, dried, and put away in a day's time.

On Friday the kids and I were on our way home when all at once I smelled an overwhelming stench. Dacey was riding in the passenger seat of the van and shouted, "SMOKE!" I looked over to her to see black clouds and sparks coming from underneath the dashboard. Praise God that the old country road we were driving on had a shoulder and we were quickly able to pull over. I told the three older kids to get out and run as I very quickly unbuckled our two year old from his car seat and ran to safety with him. Hubby (who was a mechanic in his younger years) praised my efforts. "If you'd driven any further," he stated, "the whole van could have gone up in flames." Praise God there was not much damage to the van. Some wires had shorted out, and my husband will be able to repair it with little expense.

Later that same day the kids and I were hanging clothes out to dry when I noticed our cat toying with something in the grass. Since she'd killed a snake and left as a gift for us earlier this summer, I stooped down to see what had caught her attention this time. Yep, it was another snake. This time it was not a harmless grass snake. It was a rattlesnake. Tommy dutifully and quickly attended to it, and the kids and I were again safe.

When trials of life seem to overwhelm us, we can sit, sulk and cry, "Poor, pitiful me," or we can stand resolved, trusting God knowing our place as victors, as overcomers, and as more than conquerors. We can feel discouraged and defeated, or we can trust God as Job did when he said, "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."

Jesus told us that He came "so that we may have life abundant." It is hard some days to feel like we are living an overcoming, abundant life when we become so bogged down in the things of this world. Our gift isn't an easy life. Jesus' gift to us is eternal life. He warned us that "in this world we would face troubles", but also assured us "to take heart because He has overcome the world."

I praise God for the life He has given me. It is a grand and exciting adventure... filled with happiness, joy, and love but also with its fair share of drama and chaos along the way. That's how it is in this game called life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost Back to School Time Blues

As time for our next school year quickly approaches, I have found myself feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the task ahead.

Dacey will be starting 6th grade this year. As she pointed out to me the other day, "Just three years and I'll be a Freshman, Mom!" She announced this with much more enthusiasm than I appreciated.

Perhaps it was that single declaration that has me feeling so much more stressed this year than what I typically experience. Or maybe it because in addition to teaching Dacey 6th grade and Jaden and Isaac 1st and 3rd grades, I will also be attempting to begin 3 year old Kindergarten with Connor... not so much as to teach him, but more to keep him occupied while I am busy with the other three.  (Though I am sure it will indeed be a learning experience for us all!)

Yet while beginning to organize things for our school year I am feeling anxious. There are computers to be reformatted and loaded with new programs. There are lesson plans to pull together for four different grades. There is factoring in the unexpected that tends to always interrupt a perfectly good homeschooling day.

As I think of what lies ahead, I am reminded that I am on this journey because it is what God has chosen for our family. I walk this path out of obedience to Him and because of my love for my children. It isn't always easy, but Praise God, that I do not have to do it on my own. He is there with me.. providing me strength where I am weak...motivation when I lack enthusiasm...confidence when I feel inadequate....He is there with me always.

1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.


Matthew 11:29-30 - Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

2 Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.