Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Best Friends from Washington
When the time came to move again, my mind went back to the same line of thought as before, I won't possibly be able to find as good friends in Guam as I have in Washington and Virginia. You see how stubborn I am? Sometimes I just don't learn the first time. Not surprisingly, God has blessed us so graciously again. Now I can't imagine never having met such wonderful, encouraging and caring friends as we now have here on Guam. I just stand amazed at God's faithful blessings that pour out on us through others. And hopefully I will be able to remember that the next time we have to move; there are good and wonderful people God will bring into our lives no matter where we go. And sometimes He will only bless us with them for a short time before one of us moves on to bless someone else, somewhere else, but how amazing it was to know them for even the shortest time!
'Salt of the Earth' friends in Virginia
Thank you to all the people I have been blessed to call friend. God has poured so many blessings on me through the friends He has brought into my life. I look forward to all the new friends I will make in the future as we continue to move as the Navy needs, but while I am here I will savor those I have right now for as long as I can!
Encouraging friends on Guam
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
But sometimes we all need not to just step out, but leap out on faith!
I need to be reminded of this often myself. I fall into my emotions so easily. Satan uses those opportunites to his best advantage. Preying on me at my lowest point. I don't get a reply as soon as I expected, or things don't go exactly as I hoped and I start wondering what I did wrong, if I am good enough, if I made a mistake thinking God could use me, or even more crazy- did God make a mistake Himself in laying something on my heart, in giving me a mission for Him?
I know, crazy right? God doesn't make mistakes, not once in His infinite existence. So what would make me think He is going to start now? No, God knows what He is doing, and He knows what we are capable of, though it may not be easy or comfortable for us.
Personally, I have been struggling with a lot of discouragement lately. Part of it is getting caught up in all the 'what if's and fear that comes with doing something new. I try to keep in mind why I am feeling discouraged though. Why is Satan taking this opportunity to fill my mind with self doubt? Could it possibly be to prevent me from my mission because of the good it could do? What a positive thought! If Satan is trying so hard to keep me down, I should want to go forward and make that leap even more! There is no better way to beat the enemy than by doing as God wants me to.
So when you are feeling discouraged, like you couldn't possibly make a difference or matter that much for God to use you; remember Satan obviously thinks you will matter or why else would he be kicking you while you are already down! Often if the task seems too easy with no obstacles, that is when we should be reevaluating our direction. Praying for God to show us His path, and not taking our own. If Satan isn't attacking and throwing down obstacles in the way, it may be because he doesn't see us as a threat!
I say bring on the hardships! Its when I learn the most and can truly know I am on the road less traveled. After all, the road less traveled, the narrow path, is bound to have more bumps and branches in the way verses the common, easy path.
...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy
that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and was set down
at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such
hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in
your souls. ~ Hebrews 12:2-3
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be
safe. ~Proverbs 29:25
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Months went by and occassionally if she showed interest I would place her once again on that porcelin throne, but nothing ever happened. Eventually Jon found out we would be moving to Guam the following summer; we decided with such a big move it wouldn't be a good idea to really get into potty training until we were settled in Guam. So again we put it off for a few more months. In those few months, right before our little family was about to move overseas, I found out I was pregnant with Zachary. As expected I had about 4 months of nausea and was not about to try something as daunting as putting Natalie on the potty every half an hour during that part of the pregnancy, I would just wait until that passed and I was more comfortable. So I picked a day after the nausea had subsided. I decided didn't want to be changing the diapers of both my kids, one at a time in diapers would be enough! But I quickly realized that was easier said then done.
Natalie had learned how to really be stubborn. She didn't want to learn how to use the big girl's potty at this point. And as my belly grew, I didn't have the energy to fight her over it or to sit in the bathroom with her as she sat on the toilet, happily I might add, for 15 minutes at a time just refusing to go, then she would sweetly ask for her diaper each time I took her off of it- the 'fight' part began when I told her no more diapers. That lasted for about 4 days with no success before I gave in.
Now at three and half years old, Natalie has finally gone one full day diaper free AND dry!! Of course we are bribing her with M&Ms, but somewhere down the line we will just have to 'forget' to give them to her and see how often she begins to forget them herself when she realizes how much better she will feel about herself, and how much more comfortable she will be, not sitting in a diaper full of her own bodily waste. Until then I just pray we have many more dry days and that Natalie continues to be very excited about using the potty on her own.
My big girl going potty and wearing panties!
How long did it take you to potty train your children? Any tips or tricks you would like to pass on to the mommys of toddlers?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Natalie wanting to be just like mommy as she shops!
Wonder who she picked this on up from?!
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the
believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1
Timothy 4:12 (NKJV)And these words which I command you today shall be in your
heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them
when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and
when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:18 (NKJV)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Now I don't believe my God would ever cause horrible crimes to be committed, but I do believe God allows Satan to tempt us or throw us in the path of someone else he is tempting. But God knows our strengths and our weakness. He knows how much we can handle, and God wants us to turn to Him in our moments of pain and suffering. Just as in Job; God allowed Job to be tested by Satan but God had the power to stop it when He chose. And remember in the end , after losing everything Job still trusted and took comfort in the Lord? Then he was blessed above and beyond what he had lost!
I want to be like Job. Not that I want to lose everything I hold near and dear. I cherish my family and it would break my heart to lose them; though I like to think I would be strong and still take comfort in the Lord, trusting in Him to see me through. But I have my trials, much less then the loss of my family, that I have been very angry with God. Not that I completely lost my faith in Him, just that I couldn't wrap my mind around the 'why'. I was angry with God just as a child gets angry with his parents. And as a parent, I hate to see my children upset with me, it breaks my heart, but what I do is in love because I want only whats best for them. And it is the same way with God. I don't always understand why but I need to learn to constantly trust in my Heavenly Father. He only wants what is best for me.
With that said, I want to trust in the Lord that He will give me the strength to share my scars. I don't understand them all completely, but I know I want them to honor God. I believe by being open and honest; by taking off my mask, that I can also help others begin to take their own masks off. Our scars should not only be beautiful to God, but to each other as fellow believers. We make connections to one another through similar interests, hobbies, and just about anything we may have in common; but I think we tend to overlook the connections we can make through our past pain and grief. I think, especially as women, we hide these scars away ashamed of them. Just think of all the encouragement we could give to one another and all the new bonds we could form through the sharing of our scars! I know I find it so very comforting to hear about someone else who has gone through the same thing as I have because I can know they truly understand everything I am feeling as well as knowing I am not alone! Logically I realize I could not possibly be the only one to have been through any number of my scars, but emotionally I still feel alone until I am able to connect with someone who fully understands. Suddenly I find peace in knowing I am not alone, others understand and have been through it before me and came out victorious in Christ! And then I can hope to someday be that friend to someone else who is hurting and share with them my own scar so that maybe they will find the same peace in not feeling alone anymore! Through truly none of us are ever alone when we know the Lord. And praise God, He can make goodness come from anything!
I pray that you may always remember that and maybe someday you will be able to take your own mask off, share you scars and reap the blessings the Lord will bestow!
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is
faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but
with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to
bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
And we know that
all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the
called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
Friday, July 10, 2009
Another cloudy gray day.
We have been in Guam a year this month and I still cannot get used to the constant humidity and heat. I don't like the rain here. Even just the cloudy days are enough to mess with my mind. I sit inside my well air-conditioned apartment on the fourth floor looking out at the downpour and dreary gray sky and I imagine sitting out on the lanai enjoying the cold weather, only to actually walk out and feel a too warm, uncomfortable breeze in the air. I walk out my door without a jacket expecting to be reminded I need it by the chill and steam from my breath, only to be slapped in the face with the heat. I long to run through the cold rain to my car bundled up in my warm coat with the hood pulled up to protect my hair while the bottoms of my jeans get just drenched from the puddles I splash through; instead I just run through the rain getting all my thin clothes wet and my feet soaked because why would I wear anything but flip flops here?! And of course compared to the rain in Guam, Washington rain is almost a light sprinkle, a mist but on Guam when it rains its like God has just taken a huge bucket and emptied it over the island. You can't be in it for only a minute without looking like you just jumped in the pool fully clothed!
The downpour begins.
Then there is just the fact of how sudden it can come on. Sometimes no warning and it just hits you. Other times you can see the wall of rain as it approaches and you can only pray it takes a turn for a different direction! Sometimes it seems cloudy and gray so you may make an educated guess you WILL be rained on, other days seem bright and sunny before it starts. Just because you wake up to a beautiful day outside doesn't mean it can't take a turn, and the same goes for when the rain stops. It may be minutes or it may be hours. You may wake up to a dull, gloomy day and have a beautiful blue sky in the afternoon. You just never can tell!
I suppose though in all fairness there are some good points to the rain here. I would definitely be more likely to go out and play in the tropical rain. If I were to do that in Washington without my jacket I would probably catch a cold! And let's face it sometimes it is fun to just go hop from puddle to puddle, or dance around letting the warm rain hit you face and just enjoy the shower from heaven. Or I could have my own love scene like in the movies; completely drenched standing out in the pouring rain, my love rushes up to me sweeps me off my feet as we share in a passionate kiss with the rain streaming down both of our faces. Maybe that is something I should look into while we are here in the midst of this tropical weather!
Still, I do miss my Washington rain, though I think from now on I will try to make the most of Guam's rainy season while we are here.