Friday, December 27, 2013

The Love of My Life

Tomorrow is December 28, 2013.  I finally get to see my sweet sweet baby again!  He will be ten months and one day old.  He's going to be so big!  He had so much personality when he was born, and now it is going to be that much bigger!  I can't wait to see how much he has grown-I've seen pictures, but I can't wait to see him in the flesh.  I can't wait to hold him and look into his beautiful eyes!!  It's going to be great!  

While I am so excited, I am also terrified.  What if he rejects me?  What if he doesn't remember who I am? What if... what if... what if... All of the normal rational things that very well may happen, because he is just a baby.  Those things terrify me.  But that is ok.  It is worth it to see my sweet love.

I will definitely be posting soon to let you know how it goes!!  Stick around guys! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

God The Father

This is going to be a long post but bare with me!

I originally wasn't going to include this in my post, but I feel like it flows well with what I want to say so I will.  I attend Agape Baptist and I absolutely LOVE my church.  We have gospel communities and the one I attend meets every other Friday.  

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Currently our Gospel Community group has been focusing on how God desires believers to interact with one another, love one another, and the types of relationships they should have.  Tonight we talked about how to truly disciple children.   Here are some of the highlights:

1. Lead by example.  Do not just tell your children what you expect from them, but do the things you want them to do and avoid the things you don't want them to do.

2.  Repent to your children if you wrong them and be willing to repent in front of your children if they see you sin.

3.  Train a child in the way they should go.  Raise them with the values and lessons they need for their whole lives.  Give them the tools to make the right decisions when they have to make them without you.

4. Take advantage of the moments in everyday life when you can point them to Christ and show His hands-on activity in day to day experiences.

5.  Tell your children you love them and are proud of them just because of who they are, not just when they've done something to "earn" it.  Show them unconditional love.

6.  This one was huge.  There is a difference between punishment and discipline.  If you look at the new testament, Jesus endured the PUNISHMENT we deserve.  God doesn't punish us, but He disciplines us because he loves us.

      A. Punishment: has an aspect of revenge; action=consequence
      B. Discipline: pointing a person in the right direction towards improvement;                             done in love

There was ALOT more included in the conversation, but this is my summary. 
It's funny because you often think of parents being proud of their children. However, the whole time we had this discussion, all I could think about was how proud of my parents I was!  I have the most amazing family in the world.  And my parents did things right in raising us.  I remember them doing all of these things growing up.  I remember every time we got a spanking or disciplined it started with an explanation of why it's wrong and it was followed with a hug and an I love you.  My parents truly discipled us  and raised us in a Godly and biblical way.  They loved us unconditionally.  We may not have realized it in the moments as children, but looking back it is clear they always had our best interest in mind!

Now I am going to narrow in on my Dad a little more.  I have always been a daddy's girl.  My dad and I still, to this day, go out on "dates".  We have long talks late into the night.  We laugh at things nobody else does.  He is the most amazing man I know.  I love my dad so much!  I am so thankful for him.  
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God/Jesus plays many different roles in our lives-husband, master, friend, Lord, Savior, and also Father.  I have never felt the need to see God as my heavenly father.  I have often pointed other people to that, especially people who don't have their fathers in their lives for whatever reason.  But I do have my dad-and he's the best dad ever.  So I didn't ever feel the need to look at God as a father. I say this humbly as well.  I battle with whether or not that is right or wrong.  However, I do see him that way now.  

It's always been easy for me to see Him as master and Lord.  Unfortunately it hasn't always been properly balanced, and so therefore I tried to earn His love/approval.  After having a child of my own, I understand how He loves me a little more.  There is NOT A THING Brody could do to make me stop loving him.  He could become a rapist and a murderer-and I would be completely disappointed in him, but I would still love him.  That could literally never change.  I've always "known" God loved me unconditionally, but to realize it and experience it is a completely different thing.  To know that I can approach God the way I can approach my dad is so liberating.  It helps me to trust Him more in knowing that even if He gets disappointed from time to time and has to discipline me, it will always be surrounded by love.  As I realize He sees me as His child and He adores me, I don't have to worry.  I don't have to struggle with the pressure of what I do.  I can rest in what Christ has done.  I can be free from myself and works and religion.  I am free to love Him and be loved by Him.  A huge weight has been lifted.  I am a free child of my precious heavenly Father.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Iron Bowl

So the great thing about living a life following Christ is that you never fully arrive.  The farther I come, the more I grow and improve, the more I realize I will never stop needing to grow and improve.  Not only that, but I NEVER would have thought God would have used a football game to gently humble me.  

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As most of you know, along with the Thanksgiving weekend we also had the annual Iron Bowl.  It was intense to say the least.  Alabama made a lot of mistakes and Auburn, who is just incredibly lucky, brought the competition.  I'm not mad that they won.  I was mad at the referees.  The game was very close the whole way through, and there were some game-changing calls that screwed Alabama up completely.   I didn't feel like it was a fair game, and I would love to know who would have won the fair version of that game.  So what's the point?

Like I said, I was very mad at the referees.  I automatically assumed they were dirty.  They had to be getting paid from someone else to throw the game.  I've noticed that as I have gotten older I have no faith in people with power.  My assumption of every single politician in this world is that they are dirty, unhonorable, scandalous, untrustworthy, etc.  I have always looked for the best in people, but for whatever reason I have been completely and irrationally judgmental on those I honestly don't really know anything about. 

I realized this after "seeing" myself react to the game on Saturday.  In the game there were clearly and indisputably bad calls.  However, it could have been honest mistakes.  It doesn't automatically mean the officiators did that on purpose.  There are so many problems in our government, it is ridiculous.  That doesn't mean that every politician is crooked.  However, what I realized this weekend is that even if they are, it DOESN'T MATTER!!  

The honest truth of the matter is I'm no better than the worst of the worst and neither are you.  The truth is that those of us who have been saved had to be rescued from ourselves.  The truth is that there is an active, living, and sovereign God who knows all of our hearts and our intentions.  He knows the ones with good intentions and the ones with bad intentions.  I don't need to know.  I just need to trust him.  As the only one who can control anything, He is the only one who needs to know anyway.  So, I don't have to worry about the crooked politicians, or the unfair games and life circumstances.  I just have to trust my Savior.

I say all of this to say that I hope Brody doesn't grow up with the same cynical mindset as me.  I think it is getting more and more difficult not to be that way.  Things are slowly getting worse and worse.  I hope he can stay strong through the immorality, but also in a love for others that is balanced with wisdom.  That is my hope for him.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm A Warrior!

So, I mentioned in previous posts that I wanted to get into shape.  I've been running and working out a lot.  I went from not running at all ever (except for when you had to "run" a mile in PE in school) to running a 5k!  yay!  Granted, I run at a very slow pace, but now that we have accomplished the distance, we are working on the speed. 

Anyway, my cousin, his wife, my brother and I did the Warrior Dash on November 2 of this year.  It's not just a 5K run, but it's also filled with crazy intense obstacles (at least for me; they were nothing for my brother).  I did them all and I ran the whole thing! logo
I feel so accomplished after completing it!  If you feel up to, you should visit their site, and see all the crazy obstacles.  It was so much fun!  And I have to give a huge shout-out to my brother Robbie.  He encouraged me and coached me all the way through it.  If it weren't for him I would have never accomplished it.
Now I am working on getting faster.  I'm enjoying (and hating at the same time) the process of getting stronger and building endurance.  
If you have goals, do the work to reach them!  It is completely worth it.  Everytime we are working out my brother says, "If it was easy, everyone would do it."  Stand out.  Don't give up on yourself.  YOU CAN DO IT!