Taking Life One Step At A Time

Taking Life One Step At  A Time

Sunday, February 27, 2011


For a few days now I've been feeling the babe within me move. I have to be very still to feel it, but it is definitely noticeable.

Baby movements during pregnancy are so encouraging. They reassure me that the baby is growing and alive. Tiny movements remind me that I need to care for myself and the child within me. And most importantly, they cause me to focus on the miracle of a LIFE growing INSIDE of me!

Psalm 139:13-16 says, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." - ESV

I read that and I marvel at God's care for every little detail in forming the body, mind and soul of a human being. He does not make mistakes! Scripture says that He knits together each babe. Are not His hands up for the task? He, who created the entire universe, also created the life that is forming inside of me. What a miracle!

So tonight as I hope to feel those sweet flutterings once again, I will marvel at the wonder of God's creation - specifically the little one resting beneath my heart.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Worship in Pain

My sweet husband has been working to compile a set of gentle worship songs that will encourage and bless me during labor in a few months. I know we're ahead of the game, but he's quite excited about the project and I've really enjoyed listening to his selections.

But as I listen, I can't help but wonder if I'll have the same type of worship experience as I am in pain. Bringing a child into the world is not exactly comfortable and worship-inducing.

But perhaps it should be. I'm just beginning to reflect on the idea of worshiping through labor. Delivering a child - created and grown by God - should in itself be a way of bringing glory to the Creator.

I know I still have a lot of thinking to do on this, but I'm beginning now to pray that when the time comes for this child to be born I will be able to focus not on the pain, but on the One who has created life and who will sustain me even through the pain and hours of labor. It must be possible, because we were created to glorify God in all things. All things includes even child birth!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


About a year ago, Haiti and Chile both endured horrific earthquakes. The effects were devastating to both countries and many people were rendered homeless.

Now, we don't typically let our kids watch the news because of some of the really scary stuff about murders, thefts, fires, rape, etc. However, when there are major world events happening, we often talk with the kids about it and ask them to be praying in specific ways.

One of our children's hearts was captured by the stories of these two earthquakes. Would you believe that he has diligently prayed DAILY for the people of Haiti and Chile?!! And not just them in general, but he also specifically prays for the orphans to find homes.

I was surprised after a month or two of his ongoing prayers. But even tonight as he prayed at bedtime, his heart was crying out to God for the Hatians and Chileans. Talk about persistence!

It makes me wonder what I'm persistent about it prayer. Is there anything that grabs me so completely that I pray daily for a YEAR about it? Hmmm.

Aside from praying for my children and husband daily, I really can't think of anything. Sure, there are things that I've prayed for for several years - salvation of loved ones, sanctification, healing, etc. But I can't claim that I've taken each of these requests so seriously that I have brought them to the Lord day in and day out.

Why not? The Bible tells us to be persistent in our prayers. To pray without ceasing. That God hears our prayers and answers them.

But if I'm honest, I would have to say that I am so very self-centered that I just don't think of what I should. My heart doesn't break for the things that break God's heart. My foremost desire is not often to cry out to God for the desires of my heart. To be sure, too often I try in my own strength to fix what I can. And once I've done all I can, then I'll cry out to God.

How backward I am! My first response should be to cry out to God. The One who holds all power in His hand. The One who created everything and everyone. And only after kneeling before His throne and begging for His grace and mercy should I then seek what He would have me do.

My son has it right. And I hope to learn from him.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Politics Schmolitics

Some days I find it really hard to keep my mouth shut.

Josh and I made a decision before entering the ministry that we would keep our political beliefs to ourselves. Oh sure, we vote and have our convictions, but we don't want to muddy the waters of our church by entering into political debates.

Sometimes that's hard though. Like when we invite people for dinner and they rant and rave about their personal convictions. Or in times such as this when there are so many people angry about a bill that will affect all government employees in our fair state.

I have friends that are strongly pushing for both sides of the issue. And although I can see the reasoning on both sides, I definitely lean heavier in one direction.

But I'm keeping my mouth shut.

The Bible says in Proverbs 12:15 "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice."

I believe the Bible has the most accurate advice that we can get.

This is exactly why Josh and I refuse to get involved in political debate. We trust that as people grow deeper and stronger in the Word, they will be moved by the Spirit to make sound decisions. Our job as leaders in the church is not to guide people to follow us politically, but rather to guide them to Christ. If we can teach people to search and understand the Scriptures, then they will make wise choices.

So, that's where I fall politically. Not republican or democrat. But a Bible advice-seeker approaching the issues through prayer. As God's people, we need to cut through all the mud-slinging and anger and decide what would really be the most God-honoring response. Because when it's all said and done, shouldn't we be glorifying God even through our politics?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Be Still

ESV Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

ESV Isaiah 41:8-10 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Today I was anxious. I was fearful.

I was in tears.

One of my sweet children went to a birthday party with a friend today. I can only claim to know the family a little. Actually, I only know the mom and kids, but I've always enjoyed their company and had no reason to fear when sending my son with them to an afternoon of fun.

Until he was over 2 hours late coming home.

I realized in those moments that I really knew very little about these people who had my most precious cargo in their care. Although I tried calling their cell phone, there was no answer and no response to my message.

As fear began to creep in and worry began to choke me, I prayed. But I was so overcome with the "what ifs" that I was unable to experience the peace that Philippians promises.

Josh and I began calling the place where our beloved son was supposed to be partying - with a plan to call the police next and check on any accidents.

But thankfully, as we were beginning these terrifying phone calls, their van crept into our driveway. And I sobbed. Thankful that my son was unscathed and home safe and sound. Shamed that I had not put more trust in the only One who can truly be with my children every moment of the day and night.

Matthew 6 begs the question: Who by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

If anything, I think I took a few hours off my lifespan tonight! And as I sit trying to calm down, my body is reacting to the stress. The babe within feels unsettled, my nerves are shot and I just want to have a good cry. Frankly, I don't know how those who worry much are able to live a productive life!

As I work to calm down, I am listening to one of my well-loved CDs. Kari Jobe has a beautiful song called "Be Still". It is ministering to me in a way that nothing else has in the midst of this turmoil.

He is here for the broken and life to the one who is undone.
He is peace to the wounded and hope for the helpless one.
He is here.
Be still, my soul, be still.
When the waves rise against me and the wind tries to draw me away
I will stand on the mountain and safe in Your arms, I will sing ...
Be still, my soul, be still.

Be still, my soul. And rest on the God who sees and hears all, who can carry even the heaviest burden. Be still.