Motherhood Monday

Let The Little Ones

This week I was reunited with one of my pastors from when I was a little girl. My conversation with him became the highlight of my entire time away. He told me that he had great joy in seeing me serve the Lord, because since I was a child I was on his heart and he prayed for me, believing that I would make it through the struggles and challenges he knew in his heart that I would have to face.

I have not seen this man since I was 9 years old and he has continued to pray for me. I was so blown away.

Over the years I have had many leaders and older christians come to me and say essentially the same thing. That I was placed on their heart and they’ve been praying for me. I know there was a battle for my life, that the enemy wanted to crush my spirit, but the Lord raised up men and women to war on my behalf for my salvation.

At church yesterday, our lead pastor spoke about baby dedications and the church’s involvement in the lives of kids. He asked if we could make room for children, and allow them to grow, have fun and be supported. He took a baby in his arms and committed to being there for him, and being a positive, godly influence on his life.

As I have been thinking about this, I’ve asked myself what would have happened if those people who prayed for me, would have ignored what was being placed on their hearts. What would have happened to me if they had brushed me off as “only a child”? What would have happened if they prayed for me once, then when I was out of their lives, forgot about me?

I don’t know what would have happened, but I know that I want to be obedient to praying for a child. Not simply my own kids, since that is easy to be burdened for, but for whoever the Lord asks me to commit to pray for.

What if we could see an entire generation of kids raised up to be anointed, empowered, equipped leaders because us a little bit older than them took the time to pray for them? Would we do it?

My hearts cry is that people would be burdened to pray for my son. That Caleb’s destiny would be fought for by men and women who love the Lord. I hope that he has many godly people he looks up to and wants to be like.

The leaders that had the most impact on me as child, were the ones that took the time to talk to me. I remember my senior pastor in Nanaimo, BC, patiently answering the questions of an 8-year-old girl wrestling with why I needed to pray if God knows my thoughts. He is still a man who I deeply love and respect today.

I am thankful beyond what words can even describe for the people who God has brought into my life. I know that I do not simply receive it for my own purposes, but so that I can do the same for others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

As the Lord brought comfort to my soul through the prayers of many saints, so I now must be an instrument of comfort to the many kids who will not have some one fighting for their salvation.

 

All praise and glory be to the One who orders our steps and watches over our lives!

 

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Faith, Hope & Love

Guest Blogger: The Finite Reality of Life

Today I’m excited to welcome David Whitrow to be one of my guest bloggers for while I have been away this week! Please check out his blog http://plans2prosperyou.blogspot.ca/

 

The Finite Reality of Life

Life is limited. We only have 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week. No matter what you do you can’t add or subtract from that time. We all get the same amount. Each moment is valuable because of the simple fact that each breath we take is one closer to our last. My intent is not to be morbid but rather to inspire those around me to live each day to its fullest.

Think for a moment how much of your life is spent in negative thoughts and situations. For me the largest stress in my life is my debt load. I have expended countless hours figuring out how to juggle everything I owe and get all my payments paid on time. That is until I got fed up with it all and made a conscious decision to change my life.

Those of you have followed my blog you will know that I am devoted to getting out of debt and I write this I am nearing the end of that journey. You see by the end of this month I will be completely consumer debt free. I will still have a mortgage but credit cards, credit lines, student loans all that kind of stuff are GONE! AND I AM PUMPED!!!!

When I started down this road to financial freedom, my major motivation was the natural freedom that I was attaining. The bible says in Proverbs 22: 7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” If you know me you know that I have a heart for adventure specifically through mission and ministry after missing out a great missions opportunity I realized that because I owed credit card companies money I was not free to live the life that Christ had waiting for me and if I ever wanted to step into what God wanted for me I had better wake up and take better care of my finances. And so that’s where my focus and journey began.

Now about 8 months later I am reaching my freedom in the natural and I am realizing a greater spiritual freedom than I could have imagined.

Consider this, how much time to you spend each day wondering how you are going to pay bill x or credit card y. Now imagine what happens when that fear is gone. What kind of opportunity does that open up? Our lives are finite which means every moment spent stressing over unpaid bills is a moment we can never have back. It’s a moment that we couldn’t spend enjoying the good things in life.

I am excited for this new season of life. I think about how much I obsess about finances and am so eager to be able to take all that wasted energy and move it to the things that fill me up. What revelations does God have for me now that I no longer have thoughts competing with His attention? What inspiration has been there right on the tip of my brain unable to be worked through because attention and energy has been diverted for so long?

In closing, all of the above is born out of a realization that I was making short term choices that were having negative impacts on my long term happiness. And so I ask what choices are you making today that are stopping you from living in the fullness of what God has for you tomorrow? Is today the day you draw your line in the sand and say enough, to grab a hold of all that Christ has for you? I hope it is because really life is just to short to live without thinking about tomorrow.

Blessings

 
David Whitrow

http://plans2prosperyou.blogspot.ca/

Faith, Hope & Love

Guest Post: Jessica Peters

Thanks to Jessica Peters for today’s special guest post! 

 

Hi!

My name is Jessica Peters and I am a friend of Monica’s , who I got to know through the Masters Commission program in Regina SK. We were roommates for 8 months, and I was privileged to get to know and spend time, with such a wonderful person 🙂

So, a little bit about me. I am a MK (missionary kid) and also a PK (Pastors kid) and have lived on the mission field with my family, for the last 12 ½ years. The majority of my childhood memories take place in the little village I live in, that is pretty in much the middle of nowhere…..

I absolutely love living on the mission field, and even though I was back in Canada for bible school, I knew that I was called to stay in Guatemala on a long-term basis, serving the people of this community.

Many of you may be asking what I do, so I will tell you!

I am en ESL teacher in the five elementary schools that my parents run. Yes, five schools! I teach grades 4-7 in each school. Meaning, I spend all 5 days of the week going from school to school, teaching 450 students a little bit of English. The kids are wonderful and lots of fun!

Because I live in a third world country, every day I am surrounded by poverty. Each of my students come from very poor families, and have never known what it´s like to live in abundance. Many of them come to school hungry, and the only meal they eat all day, is the one they receive at school, some black beans, rice and corn tortillas.

But the thing that gets me every time, is the thankfulness I see in their hearts. Every day, when I am in the kitchen at the different schools, serving hundreds of plates full of some plain black beans and some white rice, I listen to each child say ¨thank you¨ as they line up to get their food. And it´s not just a ¨thank you¨ that is said out of etiquette, they truly are thankful for what they are receiving.

I thank God for the opportunity to be constantly living in an environment that reminds me of how much I need to be thankful for. I have a roof over my head, shoes on my feet and hot meals on my table each day. I have clothes that aren´t dirty and covered in holes. I have a mom and dad who love me and treat me well, which is more than I can say for many of my students.

As North Americans, we are so blessed by what we have, and yet, so many times we take it for granted. God has given us so much to be thankful for, and I pray that I will always remember how blessed I am.

So to all of you who are reading this, I just want to encourage you to take a moment to look around you, and see the things that God has blessed you with. To thank him for the country you were born in, and for the opportunities you were given. May you continue to use them for His glory and for His Kingdom.

 

May God bless you,

 

Jessica

 

Visit Jessica’s Blog: http://www.myscrapbookstylelife.com

Personal Challenges

Becoming a Dad and Being a Dad Are Different Things

Today is a very special “Fatherhood Friday”. I want to thank my guest blogger Josh Chalmers for his vulnerability, openness and honesty. I know that you will be blessed by his words, and I encourage you to check out his blog:  http://joshchalmers.wordpress.com

Blessings,

 

 

 

Becoming a Dad and Being a Dad Are Different Things

 

When your wife gets pregnant, it starts a new season in your life—a season of anticipation. If you are like me, you likely don’t have the same kind of burning desire your wife does to have a kid. After all, most people don’t make parenting out to be a very appealing prospect. Think about the last time you heard new parents talk about their experience, what always seems to stand out are sleepless nights and bleary-eyed days, endless crying, and diapers full of strange colored poop. So when I am fully honest, I can’t say I was especially pumped when I found out Laura was pregnant.

 

My lack of excitement about this new season lasted quite a while; which is why I’m grateful babies don’t arrive instantly via a stork, but take a while to arrive.  I remember thinking, at least I have a full nine months to get used to the idea of my life radically changing. This was good but faulty logic. As soon as the announcement of your pregnancy is made public, everyone conspires to keep the immanent arrival of your baby in your face with helpful comments like: “If you don’t like babies now, you will when its your own!” or, “You are going to be sooo tired…” or the most helpful, “Enjoy your freedom right now, because you’re not going to have any for 18 years!!!”

 

When did my attitude change? It wasn’t when the doctor said, “It’s a girl!” or the so called magical moment when I got to hold her. Under normal circumstances, these moments might have flipped some kind of happiness or awe switch inside me, but our daughter was whisked away to NICU because of a birth defect in her esophagus. The day following her birth she had to have surgery, and she stayed in the hospital for 2 full weeks. It was so surreal, especially since we weren’t allowed to hold her for the first week. This experience didn’t make things any easier. When we finally brought her home I felt so relieved, but not excited.

 

When we got home the anticipation was over; it was time to try to enjoy this new season. I can’t say it suddenly got any easier; in fact, all the pre-game mental warmups I had performed did nothing to prepare me for the changes to our lifestyle. Some of the things people said about sleep were accurate, but I was never a walking zombie watching myself from outside my own body like other new fathers describe. My wife found it easier to have our daughter in bed with her for nursing, so she gave me the freedom to sleep downstairs, explaining that I was the one who had to work in the morning. When I talk to other new fathers most have expressed surprise at this arrangement, which makes me very grateful for my wife’s sacrifice—they do say misery loves company. Nevertheless, I did my share by staying up with our daughter until midnight or 1:00 AM when she couldn’t sleep at night; which was quite frequent in the first three months. This period was the hardest for me, because I felt like I should be so excited, and so in love with my little girl, but I just wasn’t.

 

It was even harder when I compared my emotions to my wife’s. She seemed to find it easy to express love for our daughter, whereas it always felt forced for me. I mostly kept these kinds of thoughts to myself, but my excitement started to grow not as a result of interacting with my daughter—at least not at first. My excitement to be a father sparked when my wife would make comments like, “I love watching how gentle you are with our baby,” or she would ask “Aren’t you so excited to take your daughter out for dates when she is older?” These moments were great because they built my confidence, and affirmed that my wife was seeing me as a capable and trustworthy father.

 

But after my baby started smiling at me something happened inside my heart—real joy at being a father sprouted. Once your baby is able to return your love, and celebrates your presence, you can’t help but get excited to see them. The first smile happens around three months, and the first laugh happens around six months! Now its hard to remember not being excited about being a father. The first few months might feel long, but trust me, it doesn’t take long for things to seem normal.

 

Now there are so many bright moments I could never go back. My favorite time of day is when I come home from work and my daughter is so excited that she practically hyperventilates with joy. Other great moments include playing during bath times, when she falls asleep on my chest (especially if my wife wasn’t able to calm her down), memorizing books like Moo, Baa, La La La together with my wife, seeing the grandparents loving on my daughter is more fun than I could have ever expected, reading my wife’s blog, and watching her develop in her giftings and enjoying being at home as a mother. Although becoming a father wasn’t easy for me, being a father is awesome!

 

If you are struggling with becoming a father, the following book resonated with my experience and helped me cope with my emotions (and lack thereof): David Jacobsen’s Rookie Dad: Thoughts on First-Time Fatherhood – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310279216/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=jochmyraraanr-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0310279216  (please use this link on your blog, because if anyone buys this book, I will get a percentage of the sale).

 

Check out Josh’s blog at: http://joshchalmers.wordpress.com