Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Christmas Gift

I am overcome...

Oh that the Lord would use our children to deliver us!  That serving our children and persevering in His Name is serving the Lord Himself.

May I cherish them as I do our Lord and like Mary see all that the Lord has for me, through them, even for today.  Come Lord Jesus.  That the Lord would esteem the lowly position of His servant...  may it be unto me as He has said.

1 Timothy 2:15
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Matthew 10:40
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

Matthew 18:5
And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Mark 9:37
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Luke 9:48
Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Christmas Blessings!

That we may we be found in His love and humility,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nothing Better To Do

John 15:12-14
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  

Motherhood really does require your life, all that you are and ever hope to be.

As I stood atop the hill in the shade of the breeze way and saw the glory of the sun shining on the grass in the blueness of fall in Florida, I felt my spirit lifted with the rush of air and whispered affirmation.

Yesterday I had struggled in the depths.  I had cried out to the Lord, my God, saying desperately over and over again, "I can not do this!"  And though I looked for solace in those I knew, it was to be found in the face and voice of a yet unknown friend, a sister in the Spirit and fellow daughter in the purpose of training our children in righteousness.  Hope she whispered, grace she gave, with hugs and smiles and empathy she strengthened me.  I watched as the breeze blew her stray hair and her long lanky boys ran and tussled with my smaller ones, gentle giants.  "Do not worry", she insisted, until I clung to His Words of hope and assurance, until she saw my spirit rise.  Promised to pray, we both did and walked away.  That was yesterday, the valley I had just come through, with the strength and compassionate guidance I had found, it could only be attributed to a God who had seen and heard my silent, desperate, and frenzied cries.

Yesterday, the lies of the enemy had come like relentless waves.  "You have so much more you are capable of, so much better than this, and you aren't even able to do what you are trying to do...".

But now, as I am found in the warmth of the Son, with the answered cries of yesterday still fresh, I reply in gladness and agreeing affirmation, "I have nothing better, than to love and be loved by my children in the season of my life."  There is nothing better for me to do.

Today, I stand upon this hill and watch, as my daughter all golden and free runs in the open air, in the joy of a firm foundation and a Mommy who still stands upon the Rock.

This is the work of the Spirit in me: to lay down my life for my children.

And the next time the enemy whispers worthlessness and futility, I will agree with my heavenly Father, and set the lies straight.  Yes, I have nothing better to do!

For the love of Christ, and the love of my children,

Carmen Sunshine

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is That Real, Momma?

Psalm 111:9-10
He provided redemption for His people;
He ordained His covenant forever—
holy and awesome is His name.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow His precepts have good understanding.
To Him belongs eternal praise.

It really is all black and white.

Our God, and His world, is of absolutes.  Always.  Never.  Beginning and End.

As we walked through the theme park, every ride, every aspect invoked questions of reality.

"Is that real, Momma?"

I heard it over and over again, until I was worried they weren't enjoying themselves.  So I started to divert the questions.

But then I realized, they are discerning.  The very thing I want them to hold on to, to learn, to develop.  Discernment.

Is that Real?  'Cause I need to know.  That question applies to all things in my life, just as it applied to my children walking through the wonderful make-believe world of Disney.  No, that's not really real.  Yes, that IS real.  You will fall out of the ride if you don't hold on.  No, those flying elephants, crocodiles, evil spirits, skeletons, (add noun here), aren't real.

As we laughed at my children's need to know, and how they see everything in black and white, I began to ask myself.  Where's our moral compass?  How do we know which way is true North?  Are we even paying attention and making sure of it?  How often are we distracted with whether or not we are enjoying ourselves  so that we are not evaluating the situation for all it really is??  There is a better response.  I need to know.  "Is that real?"

What really matters?  How do I respond?  How do I discern the meaningful and leave the rest?  Where's the line between reality and non?  There is no gray.  Stop trying to interpret and explain.  Is it real, or isn't it?  Because, if it's real, then maybe I need to be scared out of my mind, and if it's not, then I needn't worry at all or give it a second thought.  Tell me.  Secure my heart and my steps.

I need to know.  And so, instead of chuckling at my children for being so dogged with their hard and fast rule of 'is it real', I adopt it myself.

Look at the world around you, in the situations you find yourself in throughout your day to day, and ask, "Is that real?"  What really matters where I am right now?  Eliminate the distractions.  I can not think of a more applicable question nor a more needful answer.

And my kids got it right.  They teach me every time.  My Father is the one who knows.  He is the maker of this place, and He leads me through it.  So, I run to Him.

Psalm 119:124-126
Deal with Your servant according to Your love
and teach me Your decrees.

I am Your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand Your statutes.

It is time for you to act, O LORD;
Your law is being broken.

Lord, lead us aright, according to Your Word.  May we walk in wisdom and confidence.

Glad to be home,

Carmen Sunshine