Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior"

12:47 PM 2

     So it has been a while since i've put the old pen to paper, but I had a moment a couple of nights ago that is totally worthy of a few words.  My youngest son Fred was up all night sick and so as you might guess, so was I.  The amazing thing is my husband never heard a sound, hmmm.  This next sentence may come as a shock to you but it was a night that I will cherish.  Every sleepless hour I will hold dear.  Apparently, when holding your son in your arms in the wee hours of the morning one is able to reflect on a whole slew of things.  As he lay helpless in my arms breathing heavily in an attempt to ward off the unending congestion I had one thought run through my mind.  How mind blowing is it that the God of the universe chose me to be the mother of someone so infinitely special.  This perfect being depending on me for his very survival, how in the heavens could I ever do justice in raising this precious soul that God has entrusted me with.  The next image that crossed my mind as it has a hundreds of times before was this...       
 
Here you see Nakia and Belinda, two of the orphans that I grew attached to while on my first trip to Haiti.  These smiles have filled my heart and I will never be the same.  It has been almost a year since I had to leave these sweet children behind.  The plane ride home was one that will forever be singed into my memory.  The first class seat that I somehow managed to occupy due to who knows what was no doubt coated with a trail of tears.  As I thought of them last night I couldn't help but wonder, Who will hold them when they are sick?  Who will comfort them from their nightmares and dry their tears when someone breaks their heart.  Who will tell them that they are beautiful and more importantly who will tell them of their creator.  The Almighty God who made them to do great things, how will they know Him?  I cried as I sat there rocking my precious Fred knowing that the love and hugs he has received already in his lifetime will far outweigh those that countless of orphans will ever know.
     Those that are close to me know that I have always dreamed of adopting one day.  When, how, if, where, is only in the hands of the Lord.  But this I know for sure, children are a gift, a masterpiece of the Almighty.  They don't come with instructions and they can make your life very difficult at times, but they also can bring a light into your world that is so warm, so bright, and so fulfilling.  I have also learned that being a mother is not simply giving birth to a child and in fact often times some of the greatest mothers are those who have never given birth.

Being a Mother means your life will change.

Being a Mother means you automatically become a nurse, counselor, driver, cook, teacher, etc!

Being a Mother means countless sleepless nights as you fret over a high fever or battle the dreaded stomach virus!

Being a Mother means you say No when "everyone else" is saying yes!

Being a Mother means you forgo your friendship with your child while they are young so that you can be assured it remains when they are grown.

Being a Mother means you withhold from giving them everything they want so that one day they will understand the value of what they have.

Being a Mother means you love their father with all your heart even when the world says to give up.

Being a Mother means that you show them Jesus everyday in everything you do.  Sunday mornings are just a bonus!

Being a mother is the greatest title I will ever know aside from being a Daughter of the Lord God Almighty.  As I awake to my four children in the morning (or however many may join our table) who may or may not be in the best of moods I will remember the gift.  The gift that I have been given and therefore must pass along to my children.  The very fact that I was so special, so unique, that the Lord of creation came to earth as a man leaving behind His throne on high, the most perfect place in all creation.  All in an effort to give me the hope of sharing in His glory one day.  That hope is worth it all.  That hope is the very thing that I place everything else in my life under.  It is because of that hope that I am compelled to give my children the very best of what I have to offer.  Thank you Lord for the gift of my four children and I praise you in advance for anyone else you may send our way!
"Jeri" (my heart)

This sweet angel called me "Mamma" the whole time we were visiting the orphanage.  Simply to be hugged and touched was a treat to these sweet babies.
Psalm 127:3-5 NIV 
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. 
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Monday, January 21, 2013

A MOMENT OF SILENCE

12:50 PM 0
IT'S THAT MOMENT THAT EVERY MOM LOVES AND DREADS AT THE SAME TIME.  WHEN EVERYTHING IS QUITE, NOT A SOUND TO BE HEARD, AND THERE IS A CHOICE YOU HAVE TO MAKE...DO I ENJOY JUST A FEW MORE SECONDS OF PEACE (or in my case, finish straightening my hair) REASSURING MYSELF THAT THE KIDS ARE FINE...OR...DO I GO AHEAD AND ACCESS THE DAMAGE???

IM GUESSING HE WAS REALLY ENJOYING THAT COFFEE

NOW THATS THE LOOK OF A MAN WHO'S JUST BEEN CAUGHT!

JUST ONE MORE SIP!

LOOKS LIKE HE THOUGHT HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO CLEAN IT UP??

NOT THE CREAMER TOO!!!!!!! THAT STUFF'S A FORTUNE!!
JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I am the Woman at the Well

11:29 PM 1

I had to repost this blog I wrote several months ago because I was once again reading one of my most favorite stories in the Good Book about the woman at the well.  Every time I read it I am completely drawn to this woman and what it must have been like to sit and chat with Jesus.  I can only imagine!!


     If you happen to pass by me on the road in my beloved minivan you may happen to also notice arms flying, hands raised, or kids shouting at the top of their lungs.  If you see any of these things you could be possibly witnessing my attempt to swat a leg while driving due to an unnecessary smart mouth comment or the kids yelling over each other to see who might win the award of my attention and therefore the answer to their oh so very important question, but hopefully you are witnessing the all out praise session going on as we sing along with one of our favorite bands "Casting Crowns." Praise music is an outlet for me and so therefore I have also made it one for my kids.  This post revolves around my most favorite song on Casting Crowns latest CD, which also happens to be the title of that CD, "The Well."  There have been so many mornings that I start my day with this song and it brings me to a place where I know that I am free and I know that I am loved, no matter what mistakes the day may bring.  Today I will share with you what this song means to me.  I hope this song can bring joy to your life as well.  My interpretation of "The Well," by Casting Crowns.

Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
(leave the mess of what this day or life has brought you, drop your worries, release your fears)

I have what you need,
But you keep on searchin,
(we try so hard to fill the void in our life, we search and search through various means, yet somehow we come up empty.)

I've done all the work,
But you keep on workin,
(maybe if I'm good enough, important enough, wealthy enough, pretty enough, kind enough, strong enough, powerful enough, skinny enough, ........I will feel worthy)

When your running on empty,
And you can't find the remedy,
Just come to the well.
(when all your efforts seem futile, when the race is to much to bear, and you can't make it another day, come to me. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Matt 11:28)

You can spend your whole life,
Chasin what's missing,
But that empty inside,
It just ain't gonna listen.
(So many of us do, myself included.  Sometimes I get caught up in searching my life's purpose or finding that "one thing" that will make my life or your life complete, (the perfect husband, wife, that child we've always wanted, the dream house, a car better than a minivan:-), your dream job, or that feeling of significance (what I do matters), this list could go on and on and on and on.  Ask yourself this, have any of you found that "one thing" that will sustain you? What I have found, instead, is that no matter what we may accomplish or the moment we finally get that "one thing" that we have wanted so badly eventually what always happens? We want more!

When nothing can satisfy,
And the world leaves you high and dry,
Just come to the well.
(So at the end of it all, when we still end up wanting more, where do we go?  We go to the one who can truly satisfy our thirst.  JESUS. 

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

So bring me your heart
No matter how broken,
Just come as you are,
Jesus did not come for those who claim to "have it all together."  He came for people like you and me who are sinners, broken, and at times have no idea what are place is in this life.  He came for those of us who are hurting and lost, sick and alone.  We are imperfect parents, imperfect wives and husbands, imperfect people that he loved enough to die for, even in our state of imperfection.  "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6  This verse is a powerful demonstration of God's love for us, even when at times we feel so unloveable.

When your last prayer is spoken,
Just rest in my arms a while,
You'll feel the change my child,
When you come to the well
(When I made the choice to be a follower of Jesus, when I confessed that he LIVED, DIED, and ROSE again for me and I buried the old "Jil" in the water of baptism and came up a new creation my life did not instantly become perfect and in no way is perfect now, but I was changed forever.  I will forever be changed by the realization that I do not have to be perfect, that I can't even begin to earn the gift that was given to me through the cross and that realization is a peace that I cannot put into words.  Days when motherhood is a little overwhelming or when I am in a "valley" in life I can remember that God will forever fill my thirst and more importantly my hope is not in anything that this world can provide.  It is the hope of being raised one day to a life that far exceeds any earthly pleasure.    

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more, 
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

Yeah
Leave it all behind

The world will try, but it can never fill...leave it all behind

And now that you're full,
of love beyond measure,
Your joy's gonna flow,
Like a stream in the desert,
Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me,
Cuz you came to the well.
(I can only imagine what the woman at the well must have been feeling when she met Jesus in John chapter 4.  Every time I read that story I picture myself at that well listening to the savior of the world.  My favorite part of that story is when the woman leaves behind her jar of water to run back to town to tell the people about who she met.  The very thing that she thought she needed was no longer important once she met Jesus.  Once I met Jesus it completely changed what I viewed to be important, but everyday since and probably until the day I die satan wants me to believe otherwise.  He wants me to base my importance on what this world deems important, he wants me to carry that jug of water everyday of my life and to be consumed by it, but I refuse. LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND.     

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.
(The world will try to fill your voids, the world will tell you that you are not good enough, the world will throw at you many things, the world will thrive on your addictions (drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.)  But the world will never give you PEACE.  The world will never keep it's promises and the world can offer you nothing when it has reached it's end.  COME TO THE WELL!
"Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."John 4:13
I'll have some of that please:-)

Leave it all behind, leave it all behind,...repeat

 Love and Joy to you this day!!
Jil


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