Jul 30, 2010

Yep, this is what I feel like today!  Out of energy, tired, exhausted, and just ready to be a pole potato like our Mr. Squirrel here. (Husband took some great photos huh?)

We spent the day yesterday at Chicago's Six Flag Great America.  My girls had earned free tickets through a reading program during the school year, and very sweet Grandma bought Husband and I our tickets for the day.

Can I just say this place is exhausting?  I have no idea how far we walked for the 12, yes I said 12, hours we were in the park.  My girls were troopers and loved every minute of it.

K is a crazy woman and goes on EVERY rollercoaster!  I can hardly even watch them, let alone ride them!  A and I were much happier with our feet on the ground!

Anyway, it was a great day, but I still feel like the squirrel!


Pursuing Godly Friendships

Jul 28, 2010

I absolutely love chatting with blog friends through Twitter, Skype and blog comments.  It is so much fun to be able to send a quick little message to friends at any random point in time during the day.  As I have gotten to know so many of you, a theme has presented itself about friendships.  We all agree that we love our blog friends and that we have made special connections with many through our blogs.  But the strange phenomenon I am seeing is that most of us have in real life (IRL) friends that don't understand our love of blogging.  Most have commented that their IRL friends don't even read their blogs, me included.  Does anyone else find this just really bizarre?

I have to admit that I have a certain sadness about this situation, because I feel I am laying my heart and soul out on the web for all to see.  But my best friends have no interest in reading it!  It becomes almost like living in two different worlds.  My heart's desire is for these two worlds to merge as one. 

My heart's desire is to have friendships that are true and deep, immune to crazy schedules and family obligations.

My heart's desire is for friends who will take the time to sit under a summer gazebo and talk about nothing and everything.

My heart's desire is for a friend who wants to pray together through every day life.

My heart's desire is for friends who drop by unannounced just to say hello.

My heart's desire is for friendships where I feel safe to show the real, authentic, transparent me.

My heart's desire is for friendships with women who want to grow deep in the Word.

My heart's desire is for a friend who understands every piece of me and loves me anyway.

My heart's desire is for a friend who sticks with me through thick and thin.

My heart's desire is to be the same kind of friend to others.

Just like our relationship with God cannot be nurtured and grown on the fly, neither can our friendships.  In our world of drive-thrus, instant payments, on demand television, immediate downloads, and overnight deliveries, we have somehow lost our persistence in pursuing depth in relationships that are right in front of us. By missing out on these opportunities, we create cocoons for ourselves that manifest into loneliness, depression, and unhappiness.  God has peppered through his Word many examples of lasting friendships:  Mary and Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Jesus and John.  The book of Proverbs
states several times that friends can be closer than family. 

So how do we find women who can fulfill our desires for deep and meaning friendship?  Pray.  I'm sure some would see this as a cop out answer, but don't forget that God instructs us to bring every desire boldly to the throne of his grace.  James writes in Chapter 1:6&7, "But when he asks, he must believe  and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."  David exhorts us to trust, delight and commit to the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart.   Remember friendship is by God's design. 

I have also decided that I am going to approach a couple of my current friends and share with them my desires to deepen our friendship. I don't know what will happen, but it is worth pursuing in an intentional way.

And for my online friends?  My desire is to make them my IRL friends by visiting when I might be near their hometown or meeting them at conferences.   I am very excited to say that I have plans to meet three this summer! If visiting isn't feasible, I will continue to encourage and talk with them on Twitter and Skype, building those relationships as well.

How about you?  Do you feel like you live a double life as a blogger?


I Was Headed in the Wrong Direction

Hi, I'm Cherie, and I'm an alcoholic.

This could have been my future.  Thankfully, by God's grace, it did not come to fruition. 

I've shared with you the story of my first marriage ending in divorce.  One of our favorite pastimes was drinking.  That was our entertainment.

I could tell you countless stories of the way God protected me and my family from certain tragedy as a result of drinking, but I won't, because my Mom reads my blog and she worries enough!

When my daughter and I moved to this town in 1995 during my divorce, my drinking finally started to slow down.  I no longer found it appealing or entertaining.  I was battling depression, and drinking certainly doesn't help that illness.

As I began to heal and start my life over I realized that I no longer needed it in my life.  I had met many new friends at the church I was attending, and they had tons of fun while being 100% sober!  I couldn't believe that so much laughter and community could happen without alcohol. I began to evaluate all that had happened during my partying days, and not much of it was good.  We had spent literally thousands of dollars on this kind of entertainment, at bars and at home.  I had spent hours of my life belly up to a bar, and even more hours heaving into a toilet all that I had just purchased with my hard earned money. I began to see just how senseless this entire activity had become. 

I am proud to say that I haven't had any kind of alcoholic drink in over fourteen years.  Not because I have any religious conviction, but because I have chosen to not take part in an activity that really has no good side.  Yes, I could stand on religious conviction, as this is what almost everyone thinks when they see me drink pop instead of alcohol in social situations, but to me it isn't necessary.

In complete honesty, I  have a hard time with Christians who drink.  Yes, I know the bible says that Jesus drank wine, and that it is OK as long as you don't get drunk.  But why?  Why take part in an activity that has such a narrow line of tolerable and intolerable?  Why give your children this example?  What happens when they partake in consuming alcohol and accidentally drink too much, all the while thinking they were still under the legal limit and they are involved in an accident?

I was once out to eat with the women of my small group.  (This subject has divided our group for a long time, as we all have our own views of acceptability.)  There were seven of us sitting around a table at a restaurant.  Many had ordered drinks before dinner and were having their seconds during dinner.  The waitress wasn't the quickest at picking up the empties, so bottles and glasses littered the table.  I was not comfortable.  I live in a town that is large, but is very much about community, so I see people I know quite often when out.  I would have been horrified if someone I had been witnessing to had walked past my table and saw all the bottles and glasses of drinks.  In II Corinthians 6:3, the Bible says, "We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited." 

I do not want my ministry to be discredited. I want my life to be a living example of the glorious riches I have in Christ Jesus.  In my life, alcohol has no place.


Be sure to check out my other blog, Capturing Beautiful, to see my photo entry in Word Filled Wednesday!


A Really Wrotten, No Good, Very Bad Day

Jul 27, 2010

My soul is weary. It is not necessarily a bad thing, just a fact of life for a crazy Monday in July.  All five of us were home today and it provided for a crazy day.  I don't really know why. But boredom set in today with my girls and they had a hard day.   I had gotten up early to enjoy some quiet time with my Lord.  He woke me at 6:15 am, which is quite unusual for me.  So after some great prayer time, I expected a great day.  It just wasn't in the cards-Satan must have been shuffling.

I know when I am talking to moms, whether your kids are school age or toddlers, you have had the kind of day that I had.  Everyone needed something...ALL.DAY.LONG.  Don't get me wrong.  I love that I am loved so much by my family.  I love that they want to be around me.  I love that they check up on me to see what I am doing every second of the day...NOT!

That was just the kind of day it was.  I guess it wouldn't have bothered me so much if I didn't have so much to do.  I have two different graphic design jobs I am working on right now, both with deadlines this week, and working from home isn't looking quite so plush right now!

Having been fully frazzled and unable to concentrate on anything, this verse flew through my mind:

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him."
Psalm 62:5

And I am reminded that today is a new day, another gift from the Lord.  I pray it will be different than Monday.  I pray I will have more grace and patience for my children.  I pray they will have the first fruits of my energy. I pray my priorities are in order.  I pray they forgive me for my shortcomings yesterday.

Ever had a day like that?  Have you ever been able to stop it in it's tracks in the middle of the day before it ruined the entire day?  How did you do it?



Jul 25, 2010

A few weeks ago on the Completing Him Challenge, Courtney asked us to talk with our husbands about how he would rank in order of importance the things I do for him around the house, putting them in a Top 5 list.  Obviously, it has taken Husband and I a few weeks to get this down on paper and time to discuss it.

I knew when I asked him to do this, that I might be surprised by a few things on his list.  What shocked me though, was that a few things I thought for sure would be on there, were not!  So here is his list:

  1. Keep the living room picked up and vacuumed(family of 5, you know the story)
  2. Keep the car clean(dog travels with me sometimes, very hairy)
  3. Keep our room picked up(slow at putting laundry away and books everywhere)
  4. Keep the yard picked up(garden tools and kids toys)
  5. Keep the kids consistent on chores, piano and reading(I lose momentum)
So you can see I have some work to do!  I loved doing this activity because it keeps us on the same playing field.  I asked him the question because I want to do things that keep him happy and are important to him.  I don't want to continue spending time on chores that aren't that important to him, and miss those that are.  It is really very related to the love languages we have spoken about before.  I can show him how much I love him by taking care of the things that matter most to him.

Communicating with our spouses is so very important.  It gets lost in the chaos of life sometimes.  Even a simple conversation like this can refocus your marriage and get you both going in the same direction.


Paperback Swap

Jul 23, 2010

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you know I am an avid reader and frequently recommend books that I have come across that I think you might enjoy.  Many months ago I stumbled upon a website that I thought was pure genius....except I was so busy at the time I forgot about it.  Well I have run across it again and must share.

Go visit PaperBack Swap.  This is a site where you can swap books(soft, hardcover and audio) with other members.  You fill out a very short registration page, and then you are in.  You can list books that you want to get rid of onto your account.  It is super fast and easy because it uses the ISBN number.  You don't even have to take photos, as it has them already catalogued! (I love that part!)  So listing 10 books literally took me one minute.

Then once you have your 10 books listed, you get 2 free credits.  What do you do with your credits?  Request books from other members.  You never have to buy the books.  You are simply swapping with other members.  You pay the shipping when someone requests a book from your account.  If you request a book, the other member pays the shipping for you.  See how that works?  You continue accumulating credits after other members have received their books from you.  You can even print the shipping label right from your account.  They make it so easy.

The night I first listed my books, I had 4 requests to ship!  I also like that if there is a book that I am looking for, I can create a Wish List and when that book is listed, I will be notified and asked if I want it shipped to me.

Doesn't this sound like so much fun!? I just had to share it with you.



Jul 22, 2010

Praise the Lord

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
praise him with the class of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150

Any questions?


Answered Prayer

Jul 21, 2010

Hallelujah, Grace like rain
is falling down on me!

Last week I shared here that I wasn't sure how I was going to get to the Relevant Conference because I was having trouble raising enough money to buy my plane ticket and pay for hotel costs.  I've tried many avenues at getting a sponsor with no luck.

Todd Agnew sings the song "Grace Like Rain", and I absolutely love it.  It applies so very well to my life all the time.  God showers me with this grace in so many ways, which I don't deserve.

Last Friday, the day after my post, I received a call from a friend of mine and he needs some extra help at the Graphic Design company where he works and wanted to know if I was interested in being an outside contractor for them.  Well I had to think about it...................not really..............of course, I said yes!  I was blown away by the answer to not just my prayer, but all of yours.

Then my husband came home that same Thursday with a large check from my brother.  Husband had been helping him with some work to a house my brother was flipping.

THANK YOU!  I am so blessed by the prayers you have lifted up on my behalf.  I feel confident that we will be able to put aside the needed money now for my plane ticket and hotel.

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears."
Psalm 34:4

"Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!"
Psalm 66:20


And another praise for your faithful prayers, we had a fantastic few days at camp.  My 8 year old and I attended First Chance Camp for 3rd graders.  This was their first time at an overnight camp, so we only stayed for one night.  I was a counselor with 6 girls in my group.  Our theme was "In It To Win It", so we talked a lot about our faith walk and finishing the race.

This is my daughter(left) and her best friend.

So thank you again for your prayers for these girls.  We came home exhausted and happy!


My Bible

Jul 20, 2010

Over at Scripture Dig today we are sharing how we take notes or mark up our bibles when we are studying.  I have always been a firm believer in marking my bible because it helps me quickly find passages that have touched my heart in some way.  I haven't always been the best at memorizing the address of scriptures, so this helps me cheat a little! 

I also enjoy taking notes during sermons at church, and I highlight specific words or phrases that have been taught so that I can remember them better. (do you see a them that I have a terrible memory!)

Many times in the margins I will write notes that have helped me learn a spiritual truth while studying a book or in our small group

I've read on some blogs that women are on their third or fourth bible!  I don't know that I could ever give up this bible!  It represents such a living testimony of my journey with the Lord. 

The only thing that may change my mind is if I were to find a wide margin bible in my chosen NIV version so I could take even more extensive notes.

How about you?  Do you mark in your bible?  Have you been through more than one bible?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Praying for Eight Year Olds

Jul 19, 2010

I am at church camp today with a bucket load of eight year olds!  I'm praying for God's spirit to be moving in each of their lives.  Would you say a short prayer today for my group of girls:


May God meet each of them where they are right now and show himself to each and every camper!  May their camp experience be the beginning of a lifetime of serving their King.


Lost Your Keys? Jesus Can Help!!

Jul 16, 2010

These keys hung on the wall of our living room while I was growing up.  They were a decorative piece that I had a hard time not taking down to admire and play.  I always loved them, and knew they were one of my moms prized possessions(or so I thought).  Imagine my surprise when we moved Mom into a new house, my husband came home with these keys in a box!  I thought for sure he had stolen them from Mom!  She wouldn't give them up of her own accord!  Husband was quite tickled by my response when I discovered this treasure had landed in my home!

In Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven."  He was talking to Peter as he declared that His church would be built through him.  But the same could be said of us.  If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you also have received the keys to the kingdom.  Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 13:11, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you."

So what do you do with your key to the kingdom, the knowledge you have received by faith?  Do you hang it on the wall, place it on a shelf, forget where you put it?

Our faith is meant to be shared, to shine among men, to be the salt of the earth.  Don't let your faith hang on the wall of your home being shared with no one, gathering dust.

Live it, Love it, Share it


Are My Plans Going to Fail? Am I Really Going?

Jul 15, 2010

When I discovered the Relevant Conference, I was so very excited.  I had just begun to really spend time developing my blog and was trying very hard to make connections with other bloggers.  I quite literally stumbled into a Twitter party that was all about going to Relevant.  I planned right away to talk to my husband about going, and I purchased a ticket.  I didn't know how I would pay for the rest of the trip, but I began planning to raise money by selling some items on Etsy and doing some graphic design work.

My plans were working, and I had raised the needed money to purchase an airline ticket, twice.  But two different times our household came upon some financial stress and I had to raid my Relevant fund to use it for household expenses. Ugh.

And now as we approach very quickly less than 100 days until the conference, I still do not have the needed money to pay for an airline ticket and hotel and my time is running out.

Would you pray for me?  If God wants me at Relevant, he has all the resources in the world to get me there, and He will provide.  However, if I have misread his intentions, I want to accept His answer with grace, as my disappointment will be heavy not being able to meet so many of you face to face.

Thank you, my dear Sisters in Christ!


You Were Not Made to Fit In, You Were Created To Stand Out

Jul 14, 2010

Do you ever feel like you don't fit in?

Do you have those days where you feel a little alone?  Do you ever have a day when you feel like no one understands you?  I know many bloggers feel their online friends know their true heart better than the real friends that surround them daily.

Do you ever have a moment when you realize God doesn't want you to fit in?  

He proclaims many times throughout scripture that we are not to be  "of this world".  When you search that phrase at crosswalk.com, many references pop up.  I thought the most interesting was that when those three words are strung together as I have them here, the scripture references point to Satan being the ruler and prince of this world.  When it is a reference or words of Jesus, it is an exhortation DO NOT be of this world.

Read this beautiful love letter found in the book His Princess: Love Letters from Your King:

"I know you want to be accepted by others, but you were not made to fit in.  You, My princess, were created to stand out.  Not to draw attention to yourself, but to live the kind of life that leads others to Me.  Remember, it's your choices that will pave your path to life.  I will not force you to do anything. I have given you a free will to walk with Me or to walk away from Me.  I want you to know that you can put on your crown at any time and let people know that you belong to Me."

 As I walked through my garden this morning, as I do every day looking for new blooms and butterflies, the blackeyed susan growing proudly and alone amongst the purple coneflower really struck me. I have felt for a long time that I don't fit in with others around me, and I am finally ok with that.

I wasn't made to fit in, I was created to stand out

I'm linking up today over at Seeds of Faith for iFellowship.  Come on over to meet some great Christian bloggers!


My links are to Affiliate partners as I seek to add a few pennies to our single income household!  If you choose to participate, Thank you.


What My Husband Needs

Jul 12, 2010

It is amazing how long we can live in sin and bury it deep in our subconscious.  That is where we construct the excuses and spin it into something different, something we are more comfortable with, something of which we can live without guilt.

In out watered down society where right isn't always right, and wrong isn't always wrong, even Christians begin to see the lines muddled.  Sometimes in our societal roles, but usually the lines become blurred when we decide for ourselves which of God's commands we will obey, and which we think we might just ignore.  We interpret scripture so that it sounds like what we want it to, as to not be convicted to change.

 "The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.  In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.  Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer."
I Corinthians 7:4

This one is really pretty hard to switch up to change so it looks good to me, so I've always just skimmed it and  kept right on reading!  Our Senior Pastor always joked that if his wife tells him no, he asks what they are praying about!

God has been doing a big work in me and my heart has been stirring on many things.  This is just one of them.    
I have been disobedient to the above command and disobedience is sin.

My family is probably reading this with their jaws on the floor, but it needs to be said. {sheepish hand wave}  My husband and I have a very healthy relationship in this area, and we really enjoy each other.  But I have told him no way too many times...and we weren't praying!  And every single one of them was for selfish reasons.
 #1 Reason:  I'm tired. Pathetic.

Ladies, our God is faithful.  I'm sure you probably never imagined that you would have to pray about sex, but if you ask God to give you the drive, energy and the desire to satisfy your husband, guess what, HE WILL.  Sex was His creation and because He has made the above directive in his Word, He will help you to obey it. But you have to ask!

Your husband was created to enjoy the site of you, how you smell, and the feel of you in his arms.  When his desire for you is not met, his life begins to get off kilter.  He may grow grumpy, selfish, moody and distant.  If allowed to go on long enough, it becomes a bad pattern.  Don't let your marriages go down this dreary road.  Recovery is difficult.

Have I perfected this myself?  Hardly.  God and I have been working through it.  But there have been a few nights when I didn't allow myself to say no.  And guess who was blessed?  ME!  (ok-we were both smiling-just as God intended!)


Motherhood Shortcomings

Jul 9, 2010

I'm not sure how this happened, but all three of my girls love to cook.  They did not get that trait from me, as I don't really enjoy spending tons of time in the kitchen.  So when they get all excited and want to help make dinner, I cringe!

Mothers sometimes have to dig deep to find the needed patience to get through the day.  I have to borrow patience from the next day when my girls are in the kitchen!  Don't get me wrong.  They all do a fabulous job while cooking, but it just makes me crazy for some reason.  I can't complain much about D, my 19 year old, because she is a fabulous cook and I obviously don't have to oversee her anymore.

But put a 10 year old and 8 year old in the kitchen at the same time????  Help Me!

I don't know what it is that puts me over the edge.  Maybe it is lack of control, maybe it is trying to explain the process to ears that aren't listening, or to a child who is already trying to go three steps ahead of me, or a child that is shooting rapid fire questions so fast that I can't even answer them.....you see my problem.

THEN add grease poppin' bacon??? 
AND a steaming hot griddle???
Yes, it makes me a nervous wreck!
But it has to be done.  *sigh*    As future homemakers, they obviously will need to cook.  It probably wouldn't be nice for me to ban them from the kitchen and send them out into the world only able to make a sandwich.

Our dinner of breakfast was delicious, so maybe, just maybe, I will let them cook again in January!


Morning Quiet

Jul 8, 2010

Several weeks ago I committed to getting up early (for me about 7:30) to spend time reading my bible and concentrating on some very specific prayer.  This is my new quiet place.  A beautiful spot in the mornings on my back patio enjoying the new day with the birds praising with me.

I am so glad that I have stuck with this commitment.  My intent was to create this new habit through the summer when I didn't have to get up quite as early as I do during the school year.  Then once school started in the fall, I wouldn't have a hard time getting up a tad earlier.

I thought the discipline of getting up earlier than everyone else would be hard, so I have been covering it in prayer.  God has been faithful and I am absolutely loving this time with him.  Some mornings I have even woken before the alarm clock!  That is totally a God thing!


The Mother Load of Bargains!!

Jul 7, 2010

I often watch the paper for garage sales that advertise rubber stamps.  I am often disappointed because when I get there, I might be lucky if 3-5 stamps are out for sale.  But not this last weekend!!

 I stopped at this garage sale, quite by accident because I just happened to be driving by.  A lovely woman has been selling her stamped creations for years and had decided to get out of the stamping business.  She was selling single stamps for $1 and sets for $3.  Many of the sets were Stampin' Up and weren't even cut apart yet!  I spent $22 for this stack of stamps.  I figured out the retail price to be near $168 and most of them were never used!  I am in Stampers Heaven!

Now to just find some time for creating........


Praying for the Future

Jul 6, 2010

I can hear wedding bells in the distance.  The gown has been carefully selected, the reception is ready to entertain guests, the honeymoon is longingly awaited.  I am the mother of the bride.  I praise God for the man He has selected to be my daughter's husband.

This is a day in my future.  Having three girls, this scenario is often on my mind.  I wonder, I worry, I pray.  It is especially heavy sometimes because I have been through divorce, and that is something I never want my girls to experience.  So I pray.  Is it too early to pray for the future husbands of my children?  They are 19, 10, and 8.  I don't think so!  Truthfully, I wish I had been praying much longer for the husband of my 19 year old.  What do you pray for someone you've never seen or met?  Someone you know is out there somewhere, even possibly in another part of the world?  I pray that

  • he will be a strong man of God
  • he is guided by the holy scriptures
  • he has a servant's heart
  • he will be a good father
  • he will be a spiritual leader in his home
  • he wil be a provider for his family
  • he respects and honors my daughter
  • his mother is training him right now in Godliness and character
  • he is a man of integrity
  • he is shielded from pornography
  • he lives a life of purity
And then I trust in my Lord, that He has a plan for my children, and that the faithful heritage that has been passed down to them for several generations will continue through them and their children.

Are you praying for your children's spouse?  What else can I add to my list?


The Witness of Joy

Jul 4, 2010

Our family had so much fun on Independence Day!  We traveled to Grandma's on Saturday morning and spent the day with family.  Sunday we attended the parade and then on to the carnival. We had told the kids they could ride on 2 rides.  But then we saw this:
Great big balls that the kids get zipped into then pushed out into a giant pool.  They rolled all over the place, tried to walk, crawl, stand and had an all around great time!  The girls got out and were all smiles!  We walked a little farther and saw this:
 K was ALL over it!  Flipping every which way and screaming with delight!
And A was happy just bouncin' up and down!

When the girls came down off the bunji jump, they couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces.  You know who else was full of joy beyond belief?  ME!  I had so much fun watching THEM have fun.  I wore my smile for a long time too!

And I thought, is this how God feels about me when he watches from heaven as I enjoy the blessed life with my family that He has given me?  Zephaniah 3:17 says this:  "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." 
He will rejoice=He will celebrate!
The joy that fills my soul watching my children is but a small sampling of how God feels about me.  And he feels the same way about you.  Can you feel it?  He is watching over you now with great delight!


Is Too Much Sleep a Sin?

Jul 2, 2010

Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.  Proverbs 19:15

So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? Proverbs 6:9

If you love to sleep, you will be poor. If you stay awake, you will have plenty of food. Prov 20.13
These are hard hitting words for someone who loves to sleep(*sigh).  Even worse, many translations use the word "sluggard", which means "lazy person", not just one who loves to sleep. Just ask my family.....any of them, even extended family know this about me.  When I was a teenager I slept until noon.....literally, almost every day.  If my children would not come to find me in the mornings, I could still stay in bed that long.  I make excuses to my husband that I just need more sleep than most people.  Sounds reasonable doesn't it?

But I have come to discover that I don't think God agrees with me.  Why?  Because in the last several weeks of my time in the Word, this theme keeps popping up.  Now you know most of us Christians don't believe in that kind of coincidence!  That means the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me something, if I am willing to listen.  Is sleep itself a sin? No.  We all know we need rest and  God commanded rest, but too much rest can lead to sin.  If I would rather sleep than serve my family, I am being selfish.  If I would rather sleep than be intimate with my husband, I am not keeping the honor of my marriage vows and God's plan of submission, as my body is not my own. If I would rather sleep than  put in hours working, I am not helping my family financially.  See where it can lead?  And I have done all those things!

I decided several weeks ago that I really needed to concentrate on getting up earlier than my kids this summer to establish a CONSISTENT quiet time.  I can't say as it has ever been consistent, as my times always varied when I would scratch out some time to sit quietly and read or pray.  But my guilt about sleeping half the morning away each summer morning really began to wear on me.  When I was getting up at 9 or later, the kids were already very awake and moving on with their day.  I was getting up and being thrown into the day's activities without having even gotten my bearings for the morning.  It was making me even more grumpy than not enough sleep!  I have now been getting up around 7:30 to head out to my patio for prayer and study.  And I am loving it!

I know for morning people, this seems like a trite problem to have.  But I have never been a morning person.  I have even prayed for God to make me a morning person.  But that would be too easy.  Then it would require no sacrifice from me.  Look, I even used the word sacrifice, like I am really suffering by getting up earlier! 

Deep seeded mindsets can be an extreme challenge to overcome.  I have rationalized my sleep needs for a long time with varied excuses. Satan loves the strongholds he places on our minds. I have now laid them down at the foot of the Cross and asked the Lover of my Soul to change me.  Only He can be my strength and power in weakness.  Surrender.

Do you have something you need to release to the Throne?

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