From My Heart

From My Heart

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grace

Since Grace's birthday was a couple weekends ago I am going to dedicate this week's post to her!!! In my last post I shared a little about how she became so today I want to tell you a story about her but first I decided to google the word grace, here are a few things I came across that really hit home for me:
Grace is the only thing that gives us power to stand
Grace is a free gift
a special favor: privilege
These three statements sum up our Grace but today I am going to focus on the first statement: Grace is the only thing that gives us power to stand.

In December 2005, Grace was 2 almost 3 when I had a miscarriage. Grace was my reason for living during these weeks and months that followed. When I look back now I truly believe if not for Grace I literally would have laid in bed and mourned myself to death. She was the only reason that I got out of bed in the morning. I am not trying to take anything away from Cody, he is my husband and I love him but during this season of my life I knew he could manage without me but Grace, on the other hand, relied on me for everything because I was her provider during the day. If it wasn't for the fact that she wouldn't eat or drink that day if I didn't get up and do it then I wouldn't have gotten up. It wasn't my lowest point in life but it was definitely one of them!

I remember one day we had been somewhere, we had just pulled up to the house and for some reason I started to to cry again. I don't remember what would set off my tears but I remember it seemed like that's all I did. It was just the two of us and I remember laying my head against the steering wheel and crying uncontrollably and then all of a sudden Grace says "Mommy, Jesus is holding our baby in his arms right now." When I looked back at her all I could see was the peace of God surrounding her and I remember picturing Jesus holding our unborn baby in his arms at that very moment! I know Grace did not completely understand the entire situation and she for sure did not understand what I was going through but in that moment none of that mattered. She did not know what I needed but God did and He knew the only way to get through to me was to use Grace to do it. Through her God gave me power to stand and to get through the rest of that day and the next and then week and then month and then months until I felt like I could function and live again.

Grace is everything opposite of me and some days are a huge struggle when it comes to us getting along but I try my best to remember that season in my life when I got my strength from her each day. I get busy and I often forget that she is a special favor to us from God, she was my greatest desire and my answered prayer. I need to remember, each day, to thank God for her, I need to be oblivious to her weaknesses and imperfections, I need to look past all the wrongs and show her the love she showed me when I was the most unlovable.

God has a plan for our special favor and as I see her grow each day I cannot help but wonder what He has in store for her life, it makes me excited and nervous all at the same time. I know her road will not always be smooth but I pray she holds tight to God along the way and I pray that she will give many others the power to stand just as she did me on that day!

God Bless,
Denissa

Monday, January 16, 2012

One of THOSE days!!!

Does anyone, besides me, ever have one of those days where you just do not like being a mom??? Please, someone agree with me!!! Sunday was one of those days for me!! My three kids could not get along at all, it was constant arguing, tattling and crying from each of them! On top of that the house was a disaster and I was beyond exhausted!!

Grace's 9th birthday was the day before so we had a skating party for her. I am still amazed that we have a 9 year old!! I can still remember how excited we were to be having a baby...

Cody and I got married when we were 18 and 20 years old (I am younger than him, just to clarify!). We had been married for almost a year when we babysat for one of Cody's cousins and decided that was fun and we wanted a baby of our own. I look back now and wonder what we were thinking and I thank God that His timing is perfect! I did not get pregnant until I was 22 and I turned 23 a month before Grace was born. There were times we were so discouraged that I hadn't gotten pregnant yet. I prayed and questioned God daily. All I wanted was a baby and I just could not understand why I was not worthy enough to be a mom. We decided to buy a bigger house in hopes that we would have a new baby to bring home to it soon. Well we were right and God is faithful! One month after closing on the house I had a positive pregnancy test! Can you say EXCITED!!! I still think back and giggle because God had it all planned out from the beginning and I didn't even realize it!!

Now fast forward nine years and add two more kids to the mix. Our house is loud and chaotic and unorganized and it seems to have shrunk a lot!!! There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for our three blessings but there are also some days, very seldom, that I wonder why did I want this job again!? Grace is 9 going on 16 and I am already dreading the teenage years!! Justice is 5, all boy and very level headed!! Hartly is 2 and well she is just Hartly!!

My life is very busy and it is very easy for my focus to veer away from God. Everyday I am guilty of letting the "needs to be done" become a weight on my shoulders. Sunday it was more like a bizillion pounds caving in on top of me!! On days like that it is so hard for me to hear God's voice beckoning me back to Him. Thankfully I had a women's Bible Study to go to and it helped put things back into perspective. I realized that on days like that is when it is most vital to look for joy. Most days joy is all around and I don't have to look for it but there are days when it is not as visable to me. It's kind of like the sun on a very cloudy day; the sun is still in the sky we just cannot see it because the clouds are covering it up. I realize that when I have to search for my joy is when I am changed. In other words when I face struggles, really face them and not try to hide from them, that is when I grow into who God has designed me to be. God never promised that if we walk with Him our journey will be easy but He did promise that if we walk with Him, He will guide us through the deep waters. To me that means there will always be joy in every situation but it's up to me to discover it and to accept it!!!

I adore my family and my life. It is not ever perfect, we have our fair share of mountains to climb, as you all do, but I know that my God is a lot bigger than any mountain!!! :)

Dear bothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3 NLT

May your days be filled with joy, even if you have to search for it, God bless,
Denissa
Waking up to birthday cake!!!

Good...

cRaZy!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Made New...

I read my Bible every morning as soon as Grace and Justice (JC) leave for school. I used to open it and flip through it to different books and verses and then one day it hit me...I'm not really getting anywhere... So now I read an entire book at a time. I also check off the books I have completed on the contents page at the front. It is my goal to read every book in the Bible before I die!! :)

Right now I am reading Isaiah. I'm only to Chapter 13 but already I can relate my life, especially my past, to the Judians. In chapter 1 Isaiah is preaching about religious hypocrisy...

I grew up in a christian home, I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 8. I went to church with my family every Sunday morning and night and on Wednesday evenings. I knew without a doubt that God is real and that he cared for me. I knew he was there whenever I wanted him to be. As I got into high school I was a super christian when I was at church, around my parents or other "churchy" people. I was a chameleon; I could change personalities in a split second!! When the "churchy's" were out of sight (or hearing range) I went back to being a foul mouthed, mean girl. I realize now I was religious hypocrisy.

My study Bible says "They fasted, said prayers, celebrated holy days and brought sacrifices to Jerusalem. Yet the people's worship was not from the heart, and it was not accompanied by the personal holiness and social justice that God requires (Leviticus 19:13-17). Religious hypocrisy can result from selective obedience, from lip service to God's law without changes of heart and life to back it up. People who parade their piety for others to see often have little desire to truly obey God. Instead Jesus calls us to be authentic before God and with others, to obey his entire word, and to go beyond mere formalism and appearance in our devotion to God. (NLT Study Bible, Tyndale)

Wow!!! I look back now and I realize that described me perfectly; I claimed that I loved God and sometimes I acted the part but when it came down to it I had no clue who my amazing creator really is! This makes me sad for myself and for the people that I was mean and hurtful to. Seldom a day goes by that I don't wish I could hit rewind and get a do-over, oh the things I would do differently, but that is not how life works! I may not can go back but I can go forward and learn from my mistakes. Even though I may not be able to go to each person individually and ask their forgiveness, I can go to my heavenly Father and confess my mistakes and ask his forgiveness. Isaiah 1:18 (NLT) says "Come now let's settle this," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool." That, my friends is grace, God's grace!! But, on the stipulation that we are sincere, we have had that heart change and we are authentic where ever we are, who ever we are with and even when we are alone. He offers it to each of us and I will take it, receive it and hold on to it with all my might!

I am still a work in progress and each day I pray that I am authentic in every thing I do and every where I go. I have a wonderful church family and godly friends that help keep me accountable. But above all else I now know that God is my refuge and even in those moments when I stumble he still loves me unconditionally and he is waiting for me to turn to him and ask, not beg, just ask for him to make me new again! And let me tell you, he is faithful every single time!!!

Is there anything you need to settle with God??? Do you need to be made white as snow???

God is waiting...


God Bless,
Denissa