Friday, June 30, 2006

Honey Out Of The Rock

" When you believe & come to Christ, you must leave behind you & your own righteousness, all your holiness, duties, tears, humblings etc & bring nothing but your sins, your wants & miseries. Else Christ is not fit for you nor you for Christ."

One of the things I did on my retreat was to read through Honey Out Of The Rock by Thomas Wilcox. I highly recommend it to all.. it's a short easy read and rich with God's truth. I grew up in a Christian home and attended church most all my life. But I never really got the Gospel and how it impacts my daily life. I remember hearing "evangelistic" messages in church and thinking to myself. "Oh great, a gospel message... I guess I could just take this time to pray for those who aren't saved." Or I would think, "yeah I got the gospel give me what I need to do now." Years & years of this thinking lead me down a path of being "sanctification" focused. In a very subtle way I began to base my salvation on works. I would not come out and say I was saved by works but sadly that is how I was living. Oh how thankful I am for the Lord opening my eyes to all that I was missing. Even though it's been a few years now since I have been surrounded by gospel centered preaching/teaching & ministry, the way I used to think still has an effect on me. Often I find myself living in a low level of guilt or condemnation. Especially when confronted with ways I need to grow in Titus 2 areas. Which is nothing but the sin of pride at work. If I didn't actually think I had something to offer my sin would point me to Christ and his finished work not leave me discouraged & fainthearted.

" You must every day renounce as dung & dross your privileges, obedience, baptism, sanctification, duties, graces, tears, meltings and nothing but Christ must be held up. Every day your workings, your self-sufficiency must be destroyed"

What sweet words to my soul!

Here are a few more quotes that stood out to me.

" Do not legalize the gospel as if part remained for you to do, or suffer & Christ were but a half mediator, as if you must bear part of your own sin and make some satisfaction. Let sin break your heart but not your hope in the gospel."

"To be looking at duties, graces, enlargements, when you should be looking at Christ, that is pitiful and will make you proud"

"Remember your sins, Christ's pardonings; your deserts, Christ's merits; your weakness, Christ's strength; your pride, Christ's humility; your many infirmities, Christ's restorings; your guilt, Christ's new applications of His blood; your failings, Christ's assistance; your wants, Christ's fullness; your temptations, Christ's tenderness; your vileness, Christ's righteousness."

Hallelujah What A Savior!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mini Retreat Time

Yesterday I received the greatest gift one could receive as a mom with young kids. Well actually I'm sure any mom would appreciate this gift. One of the Pastor's wives here at Gilbert, Janis Shank, took my kids the entire day for the purpose of giving me extended time in the word. A time to do some extra long soul searching/praying/seeking God's wisdom etc. I had walked through with Chris the day before how I could best use this time. In talking through my recent struggles and what I felt the Lord has been trying to teach me I set a goal to spend my day being refreshed by the gospel. My soul has desperately needed to be reminded of the big picture. At this point I did not need a book on mothering or being a wife or spiritual disciplines. I have recently taken those kind of things and in my pride turned them into legalism. Well this was my goal and God was more than faithful! My soul is deeply refreshed and I had sweet communion with the Lord.

I will take the next few days to share some of the things I learned and some quotes from my reading. Off to take the kids swimming!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Maybe 5:30am isn't so bad...

For the past two weeks Chris & I have been getting up at 5:30am. We were asked to lead worship for Blackstone. Hosted by Alliance Defense Fund. It was a great two weeks. One, I had a nice hour drive each morning with my husband. Although the first half was all about playing loud music to wake us up the drive home lent itself to many purposeful conversations. Another perk was the yummy Ritz Carlton breakfast we got each morning. And finally and really the bigest highlight was that I was able to start each morning off with worshipping the Lord! Special thanks to my dad for coming over each morning to be with the kids! Blackstone taught me something that I have needed to learn. 5:30 am really isn't that bad. Actually the sun is completely up and I can make it through the day getting up that early. Now,I'll admit the first week was hard. It was sometimes painful getting up that early and I was dead tired throughout the day but the second week got a little easier and I found myself convicted of a whole chunk of time in the morning that I had been missing out on.

Now, unfortunately, my kids have found that nice chunk of time in the morning suitable for them too and since summer began they have been rising quite early. There were mornings that my dad would come at 6 am and both kids would already be up. In perfect timing the Girl Talk Blog began a series on scheduling, just as a suggestion. I benefited greatly in reading their suggestions and was reminded that my kids don't have to get out of bed just because they are awake! They can be trained to stay in their rooms so that mommy can do her devotions among other things that the early hour allows. So we began this week with a princess alarm for Taylor that talks to her and she may come out when Cinderella tells her a story :-) And Trevor has quickly learned to play with toys in his crib until it's time for breakfast. I have broken through the hardest part of my body adjusting to waking earlier and we have even added in Devotions with Daddy for Taylor.

Now not for a minute do I think that I have gone from bad mom to good mom. Or because I was struggling with my devotions and have now found a better time in the day for them, that somehow I am more accepted before the Lord. I am fully aware as I posted earlier, that there is nothing that can take away or add too my acceptance before the Lord. It is only because of Christ's blood shed on my behalf to pay for my sins that I am righteous. But I do feel that I am better taking advatange of the Grace God has given to me through his word and being purposeful in training my children. I long for the day where my kids awake early not for room time or play time but to have devotions of their own!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A New Addition To The Family...

Nope it's not my turn yet.... but today the Daukas' got another addition. Let's see this makes five daukas babies under four & two more coming in a few months. Wow!! Actually come Oct it'll be six babies under two. Thanks to Carrie & I who just had to get our second & third in before the boys turned two :-) My sister-in-law gave birth, she would add finally, this afternoon to a healthy little boy named CJ. He was 7lbs something.... sorry Carrie my pregnancy brain is kicking in. But both mom & baby are doing great! Here are some pictures of CJ just a few hours old.

Taylor loved holding a baby!!

There's the proud mommy!

Taylor & I with Uncle Keith, aka dad

And the beautiful boy!

Holding my newborn nephew made me so excited for the day I get to hold our little girl! That day is fast approaching too!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A budding Artist

Ok so I try not to use this blog to brag about my amazing children... but allow me just this once, or maybe twice....

Taylor has always been into coloring. She, from a young age, would sit for an hour maybe more and color. About six months ago her pictures starting taking form. I remember back in Dec. when she brought me a picture and said she drew the moon how amazed I was. Finally a picture that was more than colorful scribbles.

Then a few months after that she began drawing faces. Where she learned how to do this I'm not sure, I never sat down and taught her. To be honest I can't draw at all! I have no ability in this area at all!

Then she took interest in writing and drawing nature items....

Yesterday I bought her a book on how to draw people step by step. When we got home she wanted to immediately begin drawing. I told her that she could begin on her own and after starting some laundry I would come help her. Here is what I returned to...

Thanks for indulging this proud mamma! Watch out Picasso here comes Taylor!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

After A Long Day....

I took the kids swimming the other day at my parents house. And when they swim they swim hard. We swam for a few hours than came inside to eat lunch. Here is what happened to Trevor...

Yep he took a few bites and fell fast asleep in his highchair. It was the cutest thing. I can confidently say he has never done that before- he was out!!

Justification For Mothers

Our church has just concluded a four week series for mom's and the last message was done by our Sr. Pastor Rich Richardson on Justification from Galatians 2:16. It was outstanding! I thought I would share some of my notes for all of my mom friends out there or for anyone who needs to be freshly reminded of Justification.

Justification: Our status before God, legal term, absolved of all guilt, right before God, totally accepted.

Meaning God's love is not based on your actions.... so as a mom when I've missed a week or two of my quiet times God's love for me hasn't changed. Or when I sin in anger against my children, God's love for me hasn't changed. Or when I see a sin pattern in my life that just keeps coming back, God's love for me hasn't changed. Justification is not something that comes and goes. Why? Because it not how good I can do but how good Christ has done for me. We can't smuggle works into our justification.

This was so encouraging to me- I often try to bring works into my salvation or acceptance before God. My temptation is condemnation- especially when it comes to mothering. I am so aware of what I can or should do better, aware of my weakness but instead of being driven to the Cross and the Gospel I am driven to condemnation.

He gave us Four Symptoms that may appear when Justification is NOT functioning:
1. When we see our children's sin as a reflection on us not a as a blessing.
* We should praise God when our children's sin is revealed because it give us an opportunity to deal with their hearts and point them back to their need for a Savior.
* Our children's sin doesn't change God's opinion of me
2. Morally neutral things become "big" issues ex:scheduling, schooling etc.
* Principal is we are called under our husband's leadership to lead our children in the nurture & admonition of the Lord. We are to teach them the Gospel, methods of doing this will look different for every family.
3. We regularly compare ourselves or other moms
4. Easily overwhelmed ( THIS ONE HIT HOME FOR ME )
* We can't live for expectations- thinking my day needs to go according to schedule or a certain way for it to be a good day.
* It's a good day because I have been saved from the wrath of my sin and I am completely justified before the Lord!

A few of my own thoughts:
This doesn't change the fact that we are called to train our children and live according to the word, but I believe having a solid understanding of Justification can change motives. For me I still need to seek time in the word, but not because it effects my standing before the Lord but rather my deep love & need for the savior drives me to want to spend time with him. I can still schedule out my day and the children's day but not because I "have" to in order to be a good mom but because I think this would best bring honor to the Lord for the day. And when it doesn't go according to plan, as often it doesn't, I don't let it effect how I view myself as a mother because God does not view me in this light.

I praise God for this amazing truth!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Heat Is On


It may not be officially summer but it might as well be in AZ! The heat is on... up to 112 to be exact. I'm not sure if that's why I'm so exhausted all the time or if it's because I'm entering my eighth month of pregnancy or maybe it's due to having two young kids :-) But it has been a more of a fight these past weeks for energy. Which I appreciate, because little strength helps me in my fight against self sufficiency! Summer days might actually equal busier days. I'm taking both kids to swim lessons a couple days a week and Taylor has a ballet & tap class. It's going to be a fun summer. Chris & I have desired for some time now to get a slide for the kids. Being that they can only go outside if they are swimming we thought it would be a great idea to get some kind of play structure for the kids to have indoors. We brought this home last night and the two played for hours! Finally something in our house that Trevor can climb on and not be told "no". He was in toddler heaven!