Sunday, August 25, 2013


I can think of a handful of things in my life of which I am convinced:
  • Quiet twin boys always means a mess.
  • Pencils, markers, crayons or pens left out will end up on the wall (see previous).
  • Dishes do not end.
  • Laundry does not end either.
  • My children are gracious and forgiving.
  • My husband really must love me to put up with me for so long.

These things have proven themselves to be true continually in my life through my experience. I am convinced they are true because I have seen them to be true.

Our pastor made a statement today that is valid:
"You cannot divorce initial conversion from continual conversion. If there is not continual conversion, there was never initial conversion."

First of all, salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). One must repent (turn away) from their sins and believe that Jesus' death saves them from those sins (Mark 1:14-15). Walking an aisle, repeating a prayer, having an "experience," will not save you.  You cannot ask Jesus into your heart (never mentioned in Scripture).  You can "repent and believe the gospel" as Jesus commanded (Mark 1:14-15).  The Gospel is "...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Yet, salvation does not end here. Making that first step to repent and believe is conversion. But salvation is so much bigger than just conversion. Conversion is justification--God declares you to be righteous (He gives His own righteousness to us in exchange for our sin).
Romans 4:4-5 says, "Now to the one who works, his wage in not credited as a favor, but as what is due.  But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness."
 Paul also says in Romans 5:1, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

That is still just the beginning.  The next step of salvation is sanctification.  This is the salvation process of God making us holy.  This stage continues until we die or He returns.  If you are continuing to live in your sins without repentance, you were never justified in the first place (1 John 3:6).  This verse is talking about continually living in sin without repentance.  We all sin and have incidents of sin, but this is talking about a lifestyle of sin without turning away from it.  If you have been justified by Jesus, He will sanctify you.  He has given us His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16).  His mind is not set on sin, and ours isn't either (Romans 8:9).  

The final step of salvation will not be completed until the end--glorification.  After God raises our mortal bodies, He will reunite our souls and spirits with our bodies and transform our bodies into immortal, incorruptible bodies.  We will possess a body like the one Jesus had when He rose from the dead.  (1 Corinthians 15:42, 52-57)

My questions for you are these: 
Are you convinced that you are saved (justified)?   
Are you convinced that you are being saved (sanctified)?   
Are you convinced that you will be saved (glorified)?  

2 Corinthians 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?"

Don't fail the test.  Repent and believe the Gospel.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Choosing to Honor in the Depths of Grace

I have seen several status updates by Danny Silk on Facebook about his new book, Keep Your Love On.  It seems the premise of the book is learning how to truly love and have boundaries as well.  It is learning how to honor others even when they hurt you.  I was recently in a situation where I chose poorly.  I sinned against someone I love by losing my temper.  I have apologized, but this person still seems upset with me.  I kept thinking about "keeping my love on."  How do I honor someone who won't choose not to remember when I have sinned?

Sometimes words aren't enough.  Sometimes there are no actions to make up for what you've done.  Sometimes, it is just submitting to the Lord and letting go.  It is trusting Him to make all things beautiful.  I am choosing to honor this person by not bringing up old sin, by forgiving all that has been done to me, and by praying daily that my sin is not wasted--that God will somehow glorify Himself in it.

I am so unworthy of grace.  That's what makes it grace. This situation has opened my eyes to something: how often do I refuse to give grace to others when they sin against me?  Even in this situation, when this person sinned against me, I did not offer grace--I exploded.  Pain that buried itself in my heart catapulted out of my mouth in anger like a dormant volcano suddenly made active.  No pain, no sin, no circumstance is ever too deep or wicked for the grace of God.  His grace is infinite and abundant for those who fear Him.  Today, I rest in that grace, and I hope that I can, in the future, extend it as well as He does regardless if I receive it from others.

P.S. The person I offended was not my husband.

P.S.S.  I just read Danny Silk's Facebook, and this was his quote which I felt goes along perfectly with what I am talking about:

The illusion that absolutely no sin exists at the top of the ladder creates the ridiculous gap between regular people, who sin and leaders, who supposedly don't. It turns leaders into liars, because they are not allowed to be real people anymore and this only sets them up for isolation and a fall. As we learn to keep our love on, it's essential that we have the revelation that people are people and we stop being afraid of people's mistakes. KYLO.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear Fellow Mom,

You ask me a lot how I manage to do it all.  You ask me how on earth I have enough time to do the things I enjoy.  You tell me you don't know HOW I do it.  And sometimes, you call me a *cringe* "supermom."

I think you say these things because you feel like you can't keep up.  I think you are comparing our lives based on the bits you see on Facebook.  I think you feel like you are not as good a mother because you're not doing what I'm doing.  And I get it because I've done the same thing.

I'm here, writing this, to tell you something:

You are deceived.

You only see a smidgen of my life, of her life, and of their lives.  You compare the whole truth of your life to only a smidgen of truth of everyone else's lives.  Some of us let more hang out on Facebook than others--I prefer to be more positive because there is so much negative being blurted out into Cyber-Land-Of-No-Consequence.  I try to be real, but you don't seem to notice those posts, just the ones where I actually accomplished something.  Either way, I can't (and won't) show my whole life on Facebook.  You're not getting the full picture, and because you're comparing your whole to my part, you are deceived.  And I get it because I've been deceived about the same things, "Can you believe how cute her bedroom is?  I still haven't decorated mine and we've lived here over three years!"  "How in the world does she have time to ___________________ with 12 kids?"  "Did she say she was making soap?"

I don't do it all.  In fact, I pay people to help me do some of it.  I thank God that at this very difficult stage in my life (5 kids between ages 2 and 8, two homeschooled, one busy middle child, and 2 year old destructobot twins) that He has made provision for me to have helpers who help clean my house and laundry and who help watch my middle child and twins while I focus on teaching my older children.

My kids also don't do it all.  They aren't involved in a lot of activities.  The older two take piano lessons once a week.  That's it.  One hour of outside activities (excluding church, but we go as a family) is all I can manage.  I don't have to taxi them to practices or games or to school or to clubs.  I cannot do this.  You may be doing this for all I know, and you know what--good for you!  You're doing something I'm not doing!!!

I put my kids to bed by 8pm so I can have a break in the evenings, time to focus on my husband, to watch a show online with him, to crochet, to read.  I've created moments of space for myself.  I encourage you to find some time in your day where you can take deep breaths and do something you enjoy.  For me, I try to do something during naptime--today, I want to sew something.  I will either include my kids in the process or shoo them away to play with one another or independently.

Sometimes I take naps during naptime because I am exhausted.  I bet you're exhausted too.  Some things can wait--dishes, laundry, etc--sometimes you just need a nap!

I want you to know something: I'm not perfect.  I don't have it all together.  I'm not a supermom.  My house isn't sparkly clean.  My children aren't bathed every day (...or even every other day...).  My books get read a page at a time, sometimes.  My kids are having to learn to play together because I can't entertain them 24/7.  Sometimes we scrap dinner and go out.  Sometimes I yell.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I stand in awe of moms who work outside the home and then come home and try to cram the rest of their responsibilities into the next few hours.  Sometimes, I ignore the house, the laundry, the kids and just do what I want to do.  Sometimes, I sit on the couch and have kids sitting all over me while we impatiently wait for Daddy to come home. Sometimes I read to my kids and try to teach the middle child her ABCs (and most of the time, I am asking the big kids to read to the little ones so I can load the dishwasher and tell the poor middle child that she's only four, and I will teach her tomorrow).

The truth is this: we're more alike than you think.  We all do what we gotta do, so instead of endlessly trying to measure up to this incomplete picture that social media makes possible, let's cheer one another on to love and good deeds so that people will praise God.  The truth is that we are sisters, and we have strengths and weaknesses, and NONE of us are perfect.  NONE of us have it all together.  I'm no supermom--she's false; she doesn't exist, and she doesn't need Jesus moment by moment like I do.  So let's throw off this yoke of bondage to perfectionism, people-pleasing, and performance-based living and just love each other.  Did you like those three P's?

You are loved, fellow mom, just as you are.