Thursday, May 3

Unconditional Grace

Why does the thought of it scare us?
why does the church feel as though we should keep it in check?
As if by us giving out too much grace to the people that God brings through our doors will promote more sinful actions. Grace will make them think they can live however they want, But when we truly understand the gift of grace it has the power to transform our hearts. That is God's job not ours.

Someone the other day said, "what goes around comes around" and that they even love that phrase.
"Karma", we love that one too don't we?
Our whole system is built around the principles that good things happen to good people, and therefore Bad things happen to bad people.
God came to save the lost AND the self-righteous.
As soon as I start to do good works and feel good about them it turns into self-glorification. There are no good works APART from Christ...and if we think there are we need to go to the word.

Romans 3:12
"All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

We want credit though, don't we? We need Christ, we are totally depraved without him. There are some people who look good, (i.e. Oprah, Gandhi), but if we really believe what the Bible tells us in Romans, and they aren't giving the glory to God for their good works then it is all self-glorification.

Ephesians 2:10 also tells us
 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

 Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds;and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Grace trumps all the ideas that our actions bring us good or that if we are bad we jeopardize being loved by God.
Grace says, "Good things happen to BAD people"
you okay with that? let me repeat it
GOOD things happen to BAD people
now obviously if you choose a life apart from Christ sadly bad things will happen to you (and eternity in hell).
Those who are in Christ were bad before/without Christ and therefore Christ blessings are in spite of our bad actions, not because of our good actions. He is the only good.
His Grace is so beautiful and unconditionally!
if we are to be Christ-like, we should be unconditional with grace too. We shouldn't put a limit on our grace card.
When we rejoice over bad things happening to bad people, we are forgetting that our hearts are wicked too and that we also were on a path to hell before Christ saved us.
If we want Karma to be the measuring stick for all of our actions, then we (Christ followers) wouldn't even have the promise of eternity with Him.

Grace is free because if it wasn't, none of us could afford it!
- Tullian Tchividjian 

I hope you all have a great day and remember to thank God for the good works he is allowing you to do and don't forget to give someone GRACE today!



Monday, March 12


Brent and I first started looking for some help working through some marriage things about 3 years ago, We started by seeking out a pastor at a very prominent local church.
When we walked into his office he didn't even ask our names. when we started telling our story, he stopped me and simple asked, "have you forgiven him?" I remember thinking how to answer that...I said "well I forgive him for it and then he does it again and then I forgive him and he does it again." He said well you haven't forgiven Him yet, he then gave me a piece of paper with a prayer about forgiveness and gave Brent a book to read, then said he couldn't help us until we did these things(his words were don't even call me until you have done these things). we gave him our email address and phone numbers and that visit was the last we heard from him....I have always been a little angry and frustrated at the way it was handled. Do I need to forgive my husband? YES! but was that really what you tell a hurting person? as if forgiveness comes so naturally to human nature, if it did nobody would need counselors. In the last 3 years (and with the help of true believers, who desire to see reconciliation among couples) I understand more about forgiveness. I read this blog post the other day from one of my favorite blogs, here. The title to me is so appropriate, "The most expensive gift I ever gave" because well it pretty much was.

Once we come to a realization of how broken and messed up we are it's much easier to give Grace to people. I don't think you can tell someone to just forgive if they don't understand forgiveness. For me in my marriage what should have been explained to me was to Forgive, but when new hurt comes don't bring up the old. Deal with the new hurt and the forgiveness and grace that comes with that situation.

To bring up all the past times he did this particular thing was making him feel as though he couldn't separate from his past mistakes no matter how hard he tried. Forgiveness and trust are two different things though. I think too many times we get them mixed up and think that forgiveness has to be earned and it should be a gift, building back trust does take time and has to be earned....

anyway if you haven't yet, go read that post!


Thursday, March 1

Embrace the camera!

I've been having a hard time getting a pic of me that is non-scary, I'm trying to get more pictures of me with my kids, but right now I'm luck if i even get a minute to myself a day!
So I'm showing one of my favorite recent pics of my two older boys and I
yesterday, when i was catching up on some of my favorite blogs I cam across Ashley's post.

She has a way of making me cherish the times I have with my kids, always making me second guess my time with them and just how I view them. She talks about her mothers forts and how they were a favorite past time...somewhere along the way I grew up too much and by that I mean I forgot what it means to be a kid. I'm realizing how important it is to encourage my boys in their imagination and join them in their adventures. I think the most used words around my house from me are, " boy's look at this mess" and "pick up!". I'm really trying hard to not have a panic attack (you think I'm kidding...I'm not) when there are toys all over the floor. There will be time to clean the kitchen or even days when I miss the little toys.....
anyway go on over to the Anderson crew's blog by clicking on the "Embrace the camera" button at the top of this post and link up to your own picture of you with your kids! Have a great day!

Monday, February 27

Big Decisions

Well here we are the week of a HUGE decision....up until this moment right now I just assumed it was something we needed to do, something we needed to decide so that we wouldn't have any more kids. Brent and I from the beginning talked about our dreams of having 4 kids and I always wanted 1 girl.....Our family feels complete. Why then am i sad? I mean we are going to be REAL responsible adults and move past the baby stage and on to other things. After this Friday having another baby will be nearly impossible, why do I hate final decisions so much?? I haven't even prayed about it, I think I'm doing it to make those around me happy to show them that we can be responsible....but the truth is it is mine and Brent's decision. I'm not really sure money is the reason to not have a child, we cant even afford the 4 we have....these are all the questions that are flooding my mind right now. At this point our kids are going to have to work their way through college anyway. I don't think I want one more, but I am getting nervous that I can't come back later when my last is turning 3 and I'm turning 30 that I can't go there and say do I want another one? The doctor even seemed shocked that we would make this decision at 27 and 30...I LOVE the baby stage, I love my children. Society says that 2 children is enough, even that one of each is perfect.....why should I let that influence such a big decision?

I'm laughing that I'm even thinking of 5 kids.....I don't want 5 and am not sure there I ever do want 5, just not sure I like knowing we can't change our minds later.

Brent works very hard to provide for our family, and I also have a college degree and could go to work if I needed to when the kids are a little bit older....We aren't on welfare, we are homeowners and have 2 cars and no car payments. If people aren't helping take care of our kids then it should just be what Brent and I want.

anyway Brent is going through with this on Friday
Is it time to move out of the diaper phase and into the school phase?
I really feel like I should have prayed about this, I know I should have.

these are just my thoughts, carry on...haha

Wednesday, February 22

Lampshade mobile

First of all, let me introduce you to our Gracyn
She took her first breath on Jan. 10th weighing in at 7lbs and 2 oz. We are having so much fun with her, she definitely brought the pink into our blue world!

I've been working so hard to get her nursery just right and girly, searching for the perfect mobile for above her crib. I found this off of pinterest
So I decided to try it myself....go get yourself a cheap lampshade at the thrift store for .99
From Drop Box

1. I tore off all fabric and liner from it
2. get it to the bare frame
3. collected all my favorite fabric scraps
4. tore tons of strips (you can cut 1/2 in strip in the fabric and just tear) I like rustic edges, but if you don't you can just cut it straight all the way.
5. I just started with a dot of hot glue and just started wrapping the fabric really tight, and when one strip ended I started with another strip...this is the part where you get to make it your own. I added the little bows after with leftover strips. I would hot glue a dot every couple of times I wrapped around to keep it from unraveling, but you can do whatever you want.
6. I cut out some circles and birds from scrapbook paper. I duplicated everything so that you wouldn't see the back of paper. I glued 2 circles back to back with the string in between.
I LOVE how it turned out, it's the best kind of doesn't have to be PERFECT! Its original
meanwhile when I craft my kids tear the house up
Eli rode this around the kitchen and living room chasing Gage, all I could get was the back of them!
I hope you find time in your day to do something fun for you that doesn't consist of wiping butts and changing diapers....cause that's what I do to keep sane!:)


Tuesday, September 20

The Gospel is for Sinners

I think I mentioned a while back that I was reading a book called, "Give them Grace".

It's a book about how to train our kids by the gospel that God plus nothing is EVERYTHING. How to teach them that being good is beyond their control.

well anyway I read a chapter last night that was great for me as a parent (they are all good, but this one was great!)
It is titled, "God loves all His little prodigals and pharisees."
It talks about how we all have two types of kids, the ones that are rule breakers and rule keepers.
I personally was ALWAYS a rule keeper, somehow thinking that by keeping the rules I was meriting favor with my parents.
Which led me to have a self-righteous pride, this is toxic because inside it makes me feel like I have some goodness in me apart from Christ, "I'm okay after all" attitude. We always view our parents happiness and God's as the same.
Our Children need to be taught that mercy ALWAYS trumps law.

Here in the book they talk about the prodigal son, older brother and their father. If your like me you didn't want the younger brother to return, I loved that I had finally secured the "best child" role, I falsely think by doing the right thing I had secured my worthiness. While that is messy it's honesty, and no better than the rule breaker brother. I'm very thankful for our Father who lovingly welcomes both equally into his arms.

Elyse and her daughter Jessica give a scenario in the book where we have two children in the pool fighting because one is cheating and the other is upset because he isn't following the rules. The mother takes the opportunity to be open with the kids about both of their needs for grace.

The Gospel is for sinners

So, how can we teach our children to rejoice in God's generous mercy and love? We know that we need to train them in rules for obedience; that's obvious. But how can we teach them about something outside the norm, such as God's joy in being merciful to sinners?....
The Gospel is not good news to those who pride themselves in their hard work. It is infuriating news. But it is good news to younger-brother types who are tempted to turn away from the faith fairly early on because they don't think the gospel is for sinners. They think it is for good people who like being "gooder".

Consistent, transparent, and specific confession of sin will help children see how their parents struggle with sin the same way that they do. Teaching David (child that is a rule-breaker) that he and susan and mom and dad are all lost, all sick, all in need of a salvation is so very crucial, whereas saying things like, "Why can't you be more like Susan?" obliterates the gospel message. It tells David that there is something intrinsically wrong with him that isn't wrong with Susan. It destroys his hope of ever hearing God's benediction of goodness over his life. It breeds unbelief and despair. And, it is false.

(Excerpt from book, pg. 71)

being the rule breaker I personally think has it's own perks, they tend to see their need for a savior much earlier and tend to be more authentic and a HUGE tool for God because they know they have been forgiven so much.

If your a parent of multiple children I would strongly encourage you to use this as a guideline or better yet, BUY THIS BOOK! I am pushing myself to work hard at showing my two oldest boys that they both need a rescuer just like their mom. I'm going to take time to not allow pride to dwell in my heart for the child that obeys often and for me to not pour shame on the one that breaks all the rules. I want them to just be the person God created them to be, and that God takes so much joy in showering with mercy those who cannot help themselves (Which is all of us).

(This book does not condone relaxed parenting and just letting your kids get by with disobedience, I was skeptical at first too!)
There are chapters talking about the kinds of rules and discipline that are healthy for our children.

anywho sorry I posted so much from the book but I couldn't find a good place to stop:)....
We all need to have faith like the little children in Mark 10, coming to sit in his lap knowing we have nothing to offer but the simple joy of letting Him who created us hold us and love on us. I pray that you and I can take to time away from the computer, our book, or whatever kind of distraction we have and decide to make the most of very teaching moment with our kids today. They are our greatest purpose at the moment.

love you all!

Monday, August 22

My Greatest Adventure

well It's official, my boys will have a little sister to protect.

This weekend was HUGE for me, I didn't even realize I had been holding my breathe the whole pregnancy so far until I saw the little pictures of my baby girl.

Brent and I have always talked about wanting 4 kids, back when the dating got serious.
When I was pregnant with Cole I wanted a boy first, but during the pregnancy with my other two boys I played the "Christian" card know the "we don't care what it is as long as the baby is healthy" I just felt like it was selfish to even ask God for one or the other because it was so minor. My heart felt like I was losing hope of having a little girl. Up until the last year, Brent and I had been dealing with a lot of uncertainty in marriage.....a long road of testing and learning what God's desire was for us.
When I found out I was pregnant with this one, I can't explain the favor that I felt. Like God was saying, "this is your second chance, YOUR personal gift". It took me awhile to get used to the idea of having 4 kids so close together.

My church had just started a series called, "God's not mad at you"....and I think this was the first time I realized just how much God cares about our heart and the desires of it. He wants me to come to him unmasked and raw....after all he knows what we want already. I really felt a peace about just going before his feet and asking him for a daughter, nothing is small to him. I am the apple of his eye, and he cares more about me than the Sparrow (and he LOVES that sparrow).

Cole and I started praying EVERY night before bedtime for a girl (Cole explained to me that he was tired of boys!)....I thought or more like believed that it was going to be a girl. People told me all the time of people they knew that had 4 boys or 5 boys and gave up trying for a girl, I got a lot of discouraging comments...even people that frowned on me saying what I wanted, "A healthy baby is MOST important!" (Like I don't know that!) I made it a point to tell people and God what I wanted.

this past Friday, the day of my appointment, I got emotional I'm talking cried by myself the whole way to the doctor's office.....When I found out it was a girl later that day I was filled with joy.

I can't wait to hold her and teach her so much! I know that little girls can be a challenge, but I'm ready to do my best.