Worship

Jesus, Sweet Jesus, You are my guiding Friend.
You save me.
You love me.
I worship You.
I thank You for what You are doing in our family’s life.
I thank You for what You are doing in our home.
I thank You that You are in charge, not me.
I thank You that You are helping me learn to rest in You.

You are Holy.

You are Mighty.

You are God.

Quiet Mornings

This morning I made it a priority to get up early and have first things first. This, for a couple of reasons, has always been difficult for me, and so I’ve never really had it established as a habit. I’m sincerely hoping to change this, as it is about impossible to have quiet time reading and meditating on the Word, writing, and prayer at any other time of the day. Besides, there is something beautiful about enjoying time with Abba as the sun rises. 🙂 My heart longs for quiet time with Him. Mommies and Daddies, don’t forget that you need to seek out your Abba Daddy. He’s always ready to speak with you, and He won’t even complain if you wake up at 3AM and run to Him with a concern.  He’s the bestest Daddy ever.

A bad school day.

Those who know me well know I am usually very patient and long suffering. But some things really push my buttons. And it’s usually my kids on a bad day, which doesn’t make for good parenting from me. Let me just tell you about today. 😉

My two older girls were begging to do their school work. Mom’s dream, right?! I was happy, and got out their work books and pulled out pages that are very much in their capabilities-should be a piece of cake for them. I explained the directions, made sure the first one was done correctly, and then left the room to order some pictures and library books. Figured I would have some quiet time to accomplish these needed tasks. WRONG.

They started arguing.

I ignored them. Classic mom move.

They kept arguing, and someone screams.

I go investigate. No school work accomplished. H was heartbroken that S had moved a piece of furniture 2 feet from it’s designated location. I set things straight and set them back down to their school work.

S comes running in and rams into my elbow as I’m making online purchases. Not cool. Of course she says she hasn’t finished her page yet. No, she says she doesn’t need help. Ok, then go do it!

A few minutes later S begins running around in circles singing loudly to bother her sister. H starts yelling at her to stop, and of course that eggs S on even worse. S gets a time out.

15 minutes later H has one word written down. She usually flies through these pages, finishing at least one page every 5 minutes. I have a feeling school today is not going to go well. I love the days when I can tell them what to do, and come back in a few minutes and they are finished and smiling. That is usually how it goes! They are really great daughters and students-I probably sound very spoiled right about now. 😛 Just some days are completely the opposite. Today is apparently one of those days.

I didn’t deal with everything well. I spoke in anger to S, and told her we were done with school work for the moment. I have no idea what the root is behind all the squabbling. No one needs a nap or is sick as far as I know. Maybe after I finish dealing with the online business we can try again when I can give one on one attention…

Thanks for listening, I feel a little more sorted out already.

2014-A Year of Major Change and Growth

Time for a TBT of major proportions! Each year I review my calendar and list the major events of each month. This year should be fun, it was a very eventful year!

January:

~I met my Biological Grandma, Uncle, and siblings for the first time. Quite a crazy swirl of emotions for sure! I was so grateful for the chance to meet them.
~Toronto “Catch The Fire” conference. An awesome and fun trip. (Our first time to Canada!) Also stopped at Niagara Falls on the way home. Stunning.

February:

~My friend Bekah got married!
~H turned 5 years old. Where does time go??
~We first toured our house with the realtor and put in an offer.
~My biological father came for a visit, my first time to meet him. We had a great couple of days getting to know one another.

March:

~We sold the little Aladdin Camper trailer that had been in our family for 4 generations to some good friends who really were excited to have it. We were sad, but couldn’t take care of it any more.
~Closed on the house!! And then our life got crazy. 😉

April:

~Celebrated 6 years of marriage!
~Put in many hours to demolishing the interior of our home.
~Participated in a race to support TeamWAR.

May:

~Several family members graduated from College.
~We officially changed our address, even though we were still living at our old house.
~Continued working on the house, got to pick paint colors and kitchen cabinet colors.

June:

~Went to a revival in Dayton.
~Joshua took off work and our family spent many hours helping us pull together things at the house so we could move in.
~MOVED!!! On the 23rd we moved in to our new house. We had one bathroom sink and toilet working. The tub almost worked. Oh the memories!

July:

~Busy getting the upstairs bathroom functional-bathtub and second toilet and sink work!
~Many trips to Lowes.
~My birthday.
~Many days of being sick from over doing it. Began to realize I couldn’t pretend to be super woman and survive.

August:

~Restoring Lives International conference. Much needed refresher and restoration break.
~Our Sister in law had twin boys!
~Many more trips to Lowes. Considered asking them to move to our street…
~Had an extended family crisis that really shook me up. Praise God for a solid husband and the Lord’s mercies.

September:

~Went to see Georgian Banov speak/play. He told me I should start this blog! Aaaand here we are. 🙂
~We went to COSI for a family date, it was a fun time.
~H finished Kindergarten! We went to the zoo to celebrate.

October:

~I completed my first 31 day blogging Challenge!
~Our kitchen counter top was delivered.
~We went to see James Maloney speak. The Lord is increasing our faith!
~Baby turned 1 year old!
~Celebrated Sukkot in a very laid back and fun way. We camped in our living room and ordered pizza… first time we had ever had pizza delivered. Yes, we are weird. 🙂

November:

~H was baptized! Praising the Lord for her desire to obey and serve God.
~S turned 4 years old. Due to sickness we never had a real party for her… made a cake almost a month later after I gave up on having a party.
~Briefly went to my biological family’s thanksgiving gathering for my first time. It was neat. Met a new uncle and got to learn a bit of family history. Then went to Thanksgiving at my parent’s home. A sweet and fun time.
~Went black friday shopping with my siblings. What a blast!
~Had a bad infection and was down sick for several days.
~Stayed at my in laws house for several days while our house was with out electricity-therefore no heat or easy way to cook.

December:

~Celebrated JE’s birthday by installing a garage door opener. You know you’re grown up when…. 😛
~Kitchen sink installed!!! Oh how I cried. Such relief!
~Had a grand time working slowly on the house, visiting with friends and family, and doing some fun shopping.
~Went to Deer Creek lodge with my extended family for a night. Made some memories. Thankful for that opportunity. I didn’t know if they were going to make it through this year intact. Grateful that by God’s grace, they are.

This year has been a huge year of change, growth, joy, and pain. I’m looking forward to next year, and what the Lord has for us! Life is exciting, even more exciting than when I was 19 and striking out as a “grown up” with so many possibilities ahead of me. This year really has taken the cake with being the biggest, craziest, most changing and challenging year of my life. Our family and friends have really rallied around us to help us with our huge house projects, and the time and energy they have poured into helping us is great appreciated! (As well as the countless tool loans. 🙂 ) So thankful for the blessing of my husband, JE. Together we are learning and growing so much in our faith, in our life skills, and in our relationship. Thanks to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and patience, we are stronger now than we were 12 months ago, for certain. I love you babe! God has been loving us through all our craziness, emptying us of ourselves so He can fill us up with Himself. May we be pure and willing vessels in 2015!

Washing our hearts clean and new

While painting our Guest Room/Prayer Room, I was contemplating how wonderful painting is and why it is such a fun thing to do.

You take a nasty looking room:2014-12-25 15.02.08

And renew it, give it new life:

2014-12-28 16.37.58

I was struck at how much joy Jesus must get from renewing our hearts! His Bride is being restored and made ready!

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Isaiah 1:18

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:25-27

Desiring to be Desperate

Have you ever wished you had the willpower for something worthwhile? Maybe the strength to refuse those sweets and exercise more so you can lose those last 10 pounds? Perhaps the backbone to stand up for yourself in a bad relationship and turn your life around?  How about the desire to read the Bible, pray more, and become a more loving person?

I am weak. I want to desire the Lord more and more. But that strength to pursue Him is just not there. I keep falling short of being madly crazy in love with Him, getting too distracted by the struggles of life to rest in Him.

It is a good thing that having a relationship with God isn’t hinged on my strength, because if that was the case I’d obviously be a lost cause. Praise the Lord it is through His strength that He draws me to Himself! He pursues me with hot passion, I am His beloved bride, his precious one. He desires to completely overcome me and pour His heart into me. He is able.

And I am undone. My heart is overcome.

Are you hungry for love? Surrender your heart to Jesus. He will love you. After all, He promised He would, and He is always the Man of His Word.

Empty.

In the past few years of my walk with Jesus, there have been some moments of harsh realization that I was running on my own strength… and I knew that would run out of steam someday, at some point. Honestly I prayed I wouldn’t, that I would be able to handle whatever came my way with relative ease. The past 6 months have quite heavily drained me. I knew it was a good thing to reach the end of myself-one can only rely on their strength to a point. But I still fought it. Clung desperately to my strengths even when it meant running over my family-I’m a great organizer, “steam roller”, get’er done kind of girl, with the administrative abilities to back it up. I’m thankful for those abilities-but in my own strength they turned into almost a curse, robbing all of us of joy and peace. They were not enough to carry me, to carry my family through this time of change and challenge. Last night I was empty. Just plain and simple empty. I realized there was no way for me to do it. I’ve tried all the tricks in my book. I’m done.

Jesus is taking over from here.

And he met me. My sweet sweet Jesus loved on me, picked me up, and took my burden. He is real, He is true, and HE is the One making life happen. Not this girl. And I’m so very grateful and full of peace. For the first time in around 6 months I went to sleep in perfect and complete peace. No list formulating in my dreams, no tossing and turning wondering about how to solve this problem or teach this skill. Just peace. And boy it felt good! Woke up with the same peace. Refreshed. Alive! And ready for some new walking, some renewing of my mind. The name of this blog is SurrenderedMama for good reason, perhaps even prophetically. It is my heart’s cry to be utterly and wholly surrendered to my Jesus. The white flag flies quite cheerily here. Thank You Abba.