Unanswered Prayer

Recently I have received gut wrenchingly painful emails from women who are suffering in broken and troubled marriages and a season of unanswered prayers. I tell my children often, “God is always watching, he is always listening and he cares for you”. I pray that one day when “mommy” isn’t there to comfort their hurts that this truth will be so ingrained in their minds, that they will always sense the ultimate comforter there with them.

On Monday in my quiet time I read Psalm 121, which says: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.”

Dear reader, if you are struggling with unanswered prayers – please know that God does not slumber. He is still in control. He will not let your foot slip. Please persevere in prayer.

I’ve attached this song by Casting Crowns titled “I Will Praise You In This Storm”. As you listen – if you need to cry, cry. If you need to pray, pray. If you need to praise the Lord, praise Him. Ultimately, if you are carrying a burden – drop it right here and now into God’s lap. Jesus says he is our great shepherd and we are his sheep – we are not donkeys. We were not created to carry heavy burdens. So leave your burdens with Jesus and praise him. The darkness will lift as you praise him.

Lyrics to I Will Praise You In The Storm

I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day

But once again, I say
“Amen”, and it’s still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper
through the rain“I’m with you”

And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives
And takes away.

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are

No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side

And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again

My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper
through the rain“I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

So I say with confidence to you dear reader, “God is always watching, God is always listening, he does not slumber, He cares for you.” Persevere in Prayer.

Walk with the King!

What is Ministry?

I received this poem in an email yesterday right when I was sitting down to write my next blog post. The words rang with such truth that I thought – “this must be tomorrow’s post”. As you read this poem – apply this first to your ministry as a wife and mother and second to those inside and outside your church.

WHAT IS MINISTRY?

Ministry is….

Giving when you feel like keeping…

Praying for others when you need prayed for…

Feeding others when your own soul is still hungry…

Living truth before people when you cannot see results…

Hurting for others when your own hurts cannot be spoken…

Keeping your word when it is not convenient…

Being faithful when your own flesh wants to run away.

-Author Unknown (Leanne Hardy)

As a young girl my mom had me memorize Luke 9:23: “Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” As a follower of Christ, we must learn to deny ourselves and follow in the footsteps of our Savior – sacrificing all for him who is worthy. I pray today that you would be willing to minister to your loved ones even when life is not rosy and finding the strength is not easy.

Walk with the King!

Will You Choose Joy or Defeat?

Little eyes stare up at me, her head is hot and feverish and she’s thirsty. With her lamby lovie in one arm and her purple blanket in the other she heads to the couch to get some rest and drink from her sippie. I lay a cold wash cloth on her head and the dimple gleams for a moment “thank you mommy.” She chooses joy.

Little eyes stare up at me as he begs to play monopoly. Exhausted I answer, “Not tonight dear”. Son’s countenance falls…my heart feels heavy too – “go get the game.” We play, we laugh, we love. We choose joy.

Leader husband is weary…problems, troubles, burdens and cares bring hardship in his work. We cannot lift his burdens for him – he must carry them on his own. But he is not alone. Little hugs and kisses, cuddles and cards are made – he chooses joy.

How do we stand the hardships of life? How do we as weary moms and wives help those in our home as they face their own hardships? We have weary pilgrims in our house who need comfort, rest, love and a replenishing of spirits. We must role model defiant joy! We must choose joy and smile despite our feelings of defeat at times..

We have the power to bring joy to our entire family.

As I walked along outside in the cold last week – something beautiful caught my eye. My hydrangea was blooming – yes, it was nearly December in Ohio and one little bloom was fighting to survive. As a matter of fact it seemed defiant. In the midst of hardship, even snow – that bloom smiled and glistened in the November chill! Oh to be strong like this bloom. To be able to smile in the face of hardship.

We do have a choice – will you choose joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”


As I grabbed my camera to capture this bloom with definat joy – it winked at me and whispered, “see me, I can rise up and sparkle in the sunshine despite the fact that I am surrounded by trouble and death. You can too!”

Walk with the King,

How A Mother of Ten Deals With Weariness

I have been receiving emails from moms who want to know how to deal with the weariness of being a mom. So I emailed my facebook friend who always has joy in her journey – Jeanette Wood. We crossed paths on her blog at A Moment With Mom . Today she’ll share her “secret” with us young moms.

Here she is:

My name is Jeanette Wood(pictured at right). I am the wife to my best friend, Joe, and the mother of ten children ages 21-5(pictured above along with their grandparents). Six children were born from us physically and four were born from our hearts through adoption. We have a special needs child, our adopted son, who was born with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).
Life is always busy at my home but also blessed! Our days are often filled with home school activities, living on a robust farm, and sharing our lives with others. Currently, we live on 16 acres where we grow our own food, raise beef cattle, have our dairy cow, sheep for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, geese, cats and dogs for pets and horses as well.
My husband is a truck driver and is often on the road for a week at a time. I have had to learn how to juggle the demands of the day with him long distance. We enjoy living simply and have spent many years of our marriage living ‘off the grid.’ Living without electricity, washing our cloths in a creek, harvesting our food from nature, cooking over an 1800′s wood cook stove, growing our own groceries and learning to process the food we grew or raised.
The Lord has and continues to do a transforming work on my life Courtney. Often people ‘see’ who I am today and believe I must of never suffered the pain of sin, had a perfect childhood, made all the right choices, had a perfect marriage, never weathered life storms and yet that is simply not the case.
Here’s what I asked Jeanette: “Having 10 kids would overwhelm most of us – is there one verse that you would recommend to a weary mom and tell us practically speaking how you overcome the challenges of weariness so you can enjoy your children.”

Oh, one of my favorite verses is: Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Let’s face it; life is simply hard at times! There are so many challenges we face, struggles we wrestle with and unexpected courses that take our breath away. Life is not for wimps and some days I wonder if I am not the queen of wimps! However, the Lord has faithfully taught me over the years and continues to do so.

Let me share what I have learned. There are three things sure to bring a spirit of weariness in my life.

1- Trying to do things in my own strength. I will never forget the day the Lord talked to me about this lesson. I was a young momma of three, driving across town to take a meal to a friend who had just come home from the hospital. My day had been overwhelming and I was in tears as I considered the dishes I needed to do, the laundry that was piling up and the school lessons I still needed to grade. As I prayed for help, the Lord reminded me that I can come up with many ‘wonderful ideas’ but that doesn’t mean they are His ideas.
If I just do the things I think are wonderful and don’t carefully pray about what He wants me to do I will become weary. I won’t have the measure of grace to see me through, the strength to complete the task before me nor the joy to share with others in the process. I won’t have the confidence to endure the trials because I don’t have the confidence of knowing I am right where He wants me. This means that I must take time to sit at His feet, that I must truly study His Word and prayerfully considering my thoughts and actions.

2- Getting caught up in ‘rights.’ When I start counting offenses, or thinking about what I deserve, what’s right or what’s fair. I’m sure to grow weary and fast! I am constantly reminding myself, and the children, that we were “bought with a price- we are not our own.” My days are ordered by the Lord… good ones, bad ones and ho-hum ones! Each day God is doing an eternal work in my life for His glory and my own good. I must release what I feel I have ‘rights’ to and allow Him to simply work.

3- Expectations. This is related to the second issue yet, important to mention specifically. Expectations are dangerous to have and often lead to weariness. We all have certain expectations to some degree but it is important to let go of the expectations that keep our relationships in turmoil. I have learned to inspect my children’s work instead of expecting them to do it. I have learned to appreciate what my husband does instead of expecting him to do something for me. I have learned that I have Joy when I am considering how I can serve others instead of how others are serving me.
There are still many times when I remind myself that I have done all I know how to do and now I must wait for the Lord to accomplish His work. “Duty is ours results are God’s” is one of my favorite quotes from John Quincy Adams. I must continue to do what I know He has called me to do even when I don’t see the fruit of my labor, for in due season I will reap a reward!

***********************

Thanks Jeanette for sharing!!! Wednesday we will hear again from Jeanette when she shares a list of practical things we can do to manage our homes without weariness. For more encouragement today from Jeanette go to A Moment With Mom. (Last week she shared wisdom on Potty Training, Laundry Issues and Sibling Issues) You will be blessed!

And just a side note, my life verse happens to be Galatians 6:9!! If you don’t have it memorized – I highly recommend you jot it down and begin to memorize it! God has used it in my life to combat weariness more times than I can count!

Walk with the King!

I Gained A Bit of Perspective This Weekend


Room #1 – Imagine your husband is called by God to go to the mission field – so with a 6, 4 and 1 year old you pack up all your belongings and for the first time ever you leave the US to head to Argentina to become a life long missionary. Imagine the sacrifice – leaving the comforts of your home, your family, your church, your friends, your language, your car, Target and Starbucks!
Saturday night our church put us on a simulated missionary journey and the true scenario above was the story of our missionary speaker whose children are now in their 20′s. At this point – we all assumed a simulated call to the mission field and moved to room#2 where we began to think about raising support. A missionary to Jordan got choked up as he shared about the hardship he went through raising support for his wife and 3 children during the economic down turn in America last spring. He faced a lot of rejection and discouragment and spent much time on his knees in prayer dependence on God.

After raising support we moved to room #3 where we discovered the training involved for missionaries. Some spend years in Bible school and then language school before departing to begin their ministry.

Then with fake money in hand we moved to room #4 – time to get our passports, airline tickets, a Dr. check up and fill out mounds of paper work! We moved from station to station completing these tasks.

Then down the hall we went to board our plane to the field – we showed our passports and tickets and boarded our plane – the kids LOVED this part! With rows of chairs lining the hallway and stewardesses speaking another language – we enjoyed refreshments and a view out our window.
Once landing we went through customs – that was a hassle and we had to do some bribing to get us all through with our extra baggage! Then we boarded the very crammed bus with chickens on board and headed to our new home.

We arrived out back behind the church where tiki torches were lit and a bonfire was going.

Around the campfire one missionary shared his struggles – his ups and downs of his 20+ years of missions work. Our hearts were warmed with inspiration. I was thankful that my children could experience such a neat journey and have their eyes opened to the fascinating stories of these courageous men and women of faith.

I know that the kids of our age adore Lebron James and Hanna Montana…but can I just say – these heroes do not compare to the real heroes that stood before us that night. These brave and noble missionaries are the true heroes.

Who are your heroes? Who do you encourage your children to be someday? We need to expos our children to these heros through books, the web, or by attending these kinds of conferences.

Missionaries were a huge shaping force in my childhood heart. Our children need to know that they too serve a HUGE God who is worthy of such sacrifice. May we as moms and grandmas NEVER forget the sacrifice that some are making right this moment to further the gospel. We must pray for them and take a little perspective from them on how posh our life really is…and how much more we could serve God if only we had the courage!

John 3:30 “He must become greater, I must become less.”NIV

Walk with the King!