Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What I was trying to say...

" Fruit-bearing is not a matter of being strong or weak, good or bad, brave or cowardly, clever or foolish, experienced or inexperienced. Whatever your gifts, accomplishments, or virtues, they cannot produce fruit if you are detached from Jesus Christ. Christians who think they are bearing fruit apart from the Vine are only tying on artificial fruit. They run around grunting and groaning to produce fruit but accomplish nothing. Fruit is borne not by trying, but by abiding." -John MacArthur

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. " -John 15:5

Monday, May 24, 2010

A New Mission

Chris and I were walking yesterday and talking about why it is that we don't share the Gospel with people in our lives who don't know Jesus. I was thinking about people that I know who share the Gospel constantly and I think the difference is that those people are totally enthralled with Jesus Christ. They love him so much. He is as much a reality in their life as the need to eat food and drink water. They think about eternity with him, and they think about what eternity without him would be like. Not only do they share the Gospel all the time with everyone, but their lives look other-worldly. By the decor in their home, the clothes on their back, their conversation, how they use their time, you can really see that their citizenship is not here. They are the type of people that you look at and think, "Well, they're different." But, it's good different. My life looks a little too much like the lives of the unbelievers in Jackson. I'm not partying and getting drunk and blaspheming the Lord, but I am valuing my appearance, complaining, being discontent and squandering my time.
I want to be a patient and Christ-centered mom. I want to lay down my life for my child. I want to be super gentle and humble in my interactions with Chris. I want to be his main encourager and his comfort when life is hard. I want to grow in my respect for him and my desire to see him be like Christ. I want to share the Gospel with people I interact with who don't know Him. I want to share the Gospel with all the people I interact with. I want to disciple people with a pure heart and true affection. I want to pour out my life for the church the way that Christ poured out his life for the church. The problem is that I make these my goals. I can idolize things that are really pure desires. When I make these things my idol it is so easy to feel guilty, defeated, overwhelmed that I don't measure up.
My new mission is to love Jesus Christ. I want to think about Him all the time. I want to think about the Gospel and think about how precious it is. I want to ponder the compassion and the love that Jesus had for sinners. I want to think about his selfless abandon. I want to want God's glory the way that the Son wanted the Father's glory. I want my life to be about the Gospel because I think that's the way to bear fruit that will make me the wife, mother, and Christian that I want to be. Sounds so simple.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Selfless Mother

I read 1 Samuel 1 and 2 this morning and am so struck by Hannah's selflessness. When I read verse 11 I am tempted to think that Hannah's desire for a son is selfish. I've always been taught that you don't bargain with God. You don't say, "God, if you give me this, then I will do this for you." Hannah almost seems to have that attitude when she prays for a son, but then you see what a godly and sacrificial mother she is and you know that her initial prayer for a child was nothing but genuine.

I remember hearing a missionary at Masters share with a group of girls in our dorm that when she got married she prayed that the Lord would not give her any children if they were not going to love and serve Him with all their hearts. What a noble prayer! Her concern with the things of the Lord was far greater than her concern for the things of this world. In the same way, Hannah was not dreaming of years of motherhood riddled with children's books, outdoor games, sibling rivalry and little league. She knew that the child in her womb belonged to God and that she would only have a few short years with him at her side. She vowed to bring him to the temple and leave him there once he was weaned. She would have weaned him at 2 or 3 years. So, when Samuel was 3 years old she took him to the temple and left him there so that he could assist Eli in priestly duties. Then, she prayed. She prayed with joy that she was blessed to bring a child into the world that would serve the Rock and Redeemer. She prays that the proud would humbled, the wicked would be judged and that the Lord would care for His saints. If this isn't a woman who has her priorities straight, I don't know what one is!

Hannah's treatment of Samuel almost seems wrong when you compare it to what the world values in a mother today. How could she leave a three year old at the temple and then visit him once a year? How could she nurse him for 3 years knowing she would not have him after that? She was able to do this because she trusted in a faithful God who would care for and honor her son's commitment to him. She loved the Lord more than she loved her child. I pray that I could be a mom that is this selfless and heaven-minded! I bet it will be really easy to get caught up in my kid. I bet it will be easy to run to their defense and to be emotionally swayed by their cries and their pleas. I pray that I would grow in my heavenly mindedness now so that when my baby is born I can think rightly about them. I want to see them as an instrument for me to grow in humility, sacrifice, service and discipline. I want to pray that the Lord would use them for His glory and His purpose. The Lord had a specific plan for Samuel and He used Hannah's selfless love to bring about his plan. I know that God's plan for my child will be much different than that and by His grace I hope to have many years to enjoy my child. I so look forward to all the special moments that a mother has with her baby! But above those special moments, I want to value God's glory and His sovereign plan for my family, whatever that may be.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Thank you Molly Wilson for your gentle rebuke to get me to start blogging! I always check my blog to see what my friends are posting and I always think, You need to blog. So here I go!

I'm 17 weeks pregnant now and things are going well. I don't feel NEARLY as sick as I was several weeks ago. Praise the Lord for that! I still feel a little sick at night, but nothing like it was in the first trimester. I can only button one pair of pants, the other ones I have to wear fastened with a rubberband or with me BellaBand (which I don't wear often... it's kind of annoying to have to readjust it all the time). I had my 16 week appointment last week and things are going well! I'm so thankful that the baby is healthy. I can feel the baby kicking every once in a while and it really makes me so happy! Every day I think, "I can't wait until October to hold my baby!" With all of the health issues that I've had, I'm just so very thankful that this pregnancy is going so smoothly. Everyday I think about labor and delivery and how very excited I am for that day! I got several books from the library about natural birth that I'm excited to go through. I'm hoping to educate Chris a little because he really has no idea what to expect.

Some other new things, we recently moved to a two bedroom apartment that we love. We have a washer and dryer, a dishwasher (thanks to Leslie and Eric!), a baby room, a beautiful view and patio. Frazier wears a collar so he can't get off the property and that has been such a huge blessing. He gets to hang outside all day which makes him a much happier puppy. Chris and I bought a punch card to the rec center in town and we started swimming laps this week. What an incredible workout! I feel like I am getting the same cardio as with running, but without the impact on my back and legs. I love it so far. We've also been trying to hike a couple times a week... but this week it just won't stop snowing so we haven't gotten out yet.

There's a lot I'm missing here, but I just wanted to quick update everyone. The Lord continues to challenge and grow me. Lately I have been seeing my sin so much and it's been really hard not to mope about it. I'm trying to rest in His grace and in Christ's sacrifice rather than wallowing in self-pity over my sin. I'm thankful that God is making me more and sensitive to things of Him. It's encouraging to think that He PROMISES to grow me into His likeness in Christ Jesus!