Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ouch, another thorn.....

These last few weeks I have been learning a lot about grace.  Why is it so hard to do the right thing in the eyes of the Lord? I get so frustrated at times, but I know that if I am not obedient in this area, I am doomed.

I found myself in this position again just this past week. Someone completely rocked my boat, mind you, this wouldn't be the first time. Of course, the thorny fleshy me wants to confront this person face to face, eyeball to eyeball and ask.."what in the world?? are you doing this on purpose?? i mean, really. why must you torment me?"

I have learned to stop, take a deep breath, pray and pray some more during these times. This is not so easy to do though. It has taken so many years, and so many lessons learned to get to this point.

After many imaginary conversations in my head to set this person straight, I heard something whisper in my heart.."Show her love." I knew it was the Lord, but I didn't want to hear it. "No, I don't want to show her love, I want to show her the door! She needs to know she is wrong, and how hurtful she is and how she continues to grate on my nerves."

"Show her love, Jill. No matter what she does. I don't care what she says or does. You will show her love."

Ugggh!!! Not what I want to hear. I shrug my shoulders and let out a huge huff.

I know God is right, He always is. It is just hard, so hard sometimes.  Ouch, another thorn is being removed.

"How can I show her love, Lord..what can I do?"

Before I could even finish the sentence, I knew. He showed me a gesture that I needed to extend to this person.

I knew this would be hard for me because in my mind it would not teach her a lesson, it would make me seem like a fool. It was so opposite of how I wanted to react.

"My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts higher than your thoughts." This verse came to my mind. Oh Lord, you get me every time!! Sometimes, I wish I didn't know better so that I could just get the last word in and vent my anger. But, I do know better. He knows I do.

After obeying Him, I began to have peace. I started praying for this person. I started imagining how God views this person, and how He loves her. Who was I to want to strike back at one of His children? I know He is protective of ALL His babies. Including me, thankfully,.

My heart is at peace now. It took some time, but I am learning that despite the pain of obedience and going against every molecule in my flesh, doing God's thing is always best. My thorny old flesh still gets the best of me a lot. But, I am happy to say that this time it didn't.

removing one thorn at at time,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

It is finished....

~a picture of the cross that we nailed our words on~
Today I am mad. I am angry about a word that has paralyzed me and created an imaginary world of falsehood and unrealistic scenarios. As I ran today in my neighborhood, I was pounding the ground with my feet and imagining this word under them.

It all started at church on Sunday. After a great service, our preacher rolled up two very large wooden crosses to the front of the church. He then told us to look in our church bulletin and find a blank piece of paper. So, I did. He then told us to write down the ONE thing that holds us back. The thing that keeps you from jumping to the next level in life and in Christ. The thing that holds you back from fulfilling your purpose. He said to pray about it before we wrote it down. I immediately thought of the word I would write down. However, after a minute of prayer, another word came into my head in big, bold, blinking red This word was the root of the other word that I was planning on writing down. God knew this.

I took that small, stark white piece of paper and etched that big ugly word on there. It made my stomach ache just writing it. I then folded it in half. Shame came across me as I folded it...this was between God and me.

Our preacher then told us to come up to the front and nail our paper onto the cross. Ummm...what?? Now, I have to walk up to the front?? Oh boy. This was not going to be easy. I thought for a minute about just tucking that piece of paper back into my bible and forgetting about it. Then I thought better of it. God wanted me to do this. I needed to do this.

So, there I went. I got in line behind a young girl and accidentally stepped on her heel. Oops. Not a time for stepping on somebody's foot.

As it became my turn, a man handed me a big hammer and a small nail. My first thought was.."Oh, gosh..I hope I can hammer." I mean, it is not something I do everyday.

I took that ugly word and I pounded it into that big wooden cross. It was done. My word was given to my Lord. I walked back to my seat a little lighter, a little different.

This week has been tough. God is working on me, and in this area. He wants to set me free, and I want to be set free. The hard part is letting go of something that you have gripped with white knuckles for dear life, a very large part of your life.

So, as I ran this morning, by myself....I thought of that word and what it has done to me. It has not been a friend to me. In fact, it has been my enemy.

Thank you, Jesus, for another day of progress. My, not "my" word, but "that "word is on your cross. The power that rose my Jesus from the dead is the same power that will heal this little girl from the scars of that word. It is finished.

no looking back,


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just say YES....

A lot of things going on around, driving, driving and more driving. Our schools are about 20 miles from our home..yes, 20 miles. We didn't exactly think about this when we moved out here to the beautiful country. However, we have learned to deal with being far away from most civilization and actually starting to cherish it. In fact, those 40 minutes in the car are the absolute favorite minutes of my day. Really, they are. We talk, we pray, we learn our scripture, we laugh, and we sing...LOUD.

It is the biggest joy of my life to be a mother. I learn more and more from them than they will probably ever learn from mommy dearest here. They are the loves of my life..second only to their handsome Daddy, of course. ;)

Anyway, I have been really trying to be a YES mom to my little lambs lately. Before you scratch your heads and log off...let me explain. For example..."YES, you can help me cook dinner, YES, you can spread those brownies in the pan even if they end up lopsided, YES, you can set the table when company comes,YES, you can burp the pledge of allegiance in the privacy of our own kitchen, YES, you can eat your dessert before dinner tonight. (this one is only about once a week, but it happens), YES I will read you all 5 of those books tonight, YES, you are the most handsome or beautiful child that i have ever seen, YES, you are the smartest and coolest kid in town, YES, i will eat lunch with you at school, YES, you CAN do it!"

The last 9 years of being a Mother, NO has been the prominent word. Of course, NO was and IS still very necessary with us. NO, you cannot skip school, NO you cannot unbuckle your seat belt when we pull into the neighborhood, NO you cannot just eat your roll and not your veggies...etc., etc. No's are very necessary. But, in the past, I must admit, I have used "No" when I was tired or just didn't quite feel like playing a game, or reading one more book. I would say it, not just as a teaching tool, but as a crutch when I just didn't feel like saying "YES".

I am constantly trying to challenge myself mentally and physically in the mothering department. I have so much to learn with mothering my children. It is the greatest calling of my life, and I take it very seriously. Countless books, countless scriptures, countless prayers have been read and spoken on behalf of my littlest loved ones. I consider myself an endless "student" in this department of the mothering classroom.

So, that's what is going on here...just living life and trying to make it a memorable one. Not just for me, but for them. Memories that will carry them when I am long gone from this world. YES, it is hard, very hard at times...but OH the rewards that come! We have these precious treasures in our homes for such a short length of time...let's make the most of these moments.....on purpose!

back to my classroom,


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back to School....

~the night before Kindergarten and 4th grade~
~dreaming of their first day of school!~

~a little morning note to start their first day~

~our classic first day of school, stand by the tree picture~
~in the carpool line~

~walking into school and then standing by her school mascot...Panda!~

~she was not happy at this point...tears she and I~

So, the first day of school arrived...and there was no shortage of tears. The most being from yours truly. This day is always a HUGE deal to me. It is a mark of another year, and another stepping stone for my babies. We all know that I don't like change, especially of the growing up variety. I h.a.t.e it, to be quite frank. However, I deal, I cry, and I pray. Give me a week, and I am good to go.

Presley started Kindergarten, and Joseph started 4th grade. Yes, 4th grade!!! I can hardly say it withoug a lump forming in the back of my throat. I mean, I remember 4th grade like it was yesterday. I remember my teacher, my friends, the clothes that I wore, and what we had for lunch! 4th grade seems like yesterday. Oh, how time flies.

On another note, the kids and I started learning scripture together this Summer. We would find a verse in the bible and try to memorize it by the end of the week. Some weeks were better than others. :)

We decided to keep our tradition during the school year. So this week we found a scripture and started to try and memorize it in the car on the way to school. We have a 20 minute drive, so we have ample time to recite it. This week's verse was:

"Share with God's people who are in need, practice hospitality." Romans 12:13.

To make it easier on is, we put it to a song. So it goes something like this..."Share with God's people who are in need, practice hospitality with Romans 12:13."  Can't you just hear us singing it??

Can't wait to see what next week holds!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Joseph's past year....

After reading Joseph his birthday blog post, he has kindly requested that we review his year as an 8 year here goes:

Joseph's Past year and Happenings:

~spent the night away at a friend's house for the first time...Tom Eskew's  house.

~took your first hiking/camping trip with Dad, Uncle Lee, Jordan, Presley, Royce and Anna-Joy to Panther's Creek in July

~went rafting for the first time over the 4th of July weekend

~received a ton of awards at school at the end of 3rd made us so proud

~took your second trip to Sea World in June

~took your first friend tag-along to the beach this Summer. you took Scotty Landmesser

~met one of your very best friends and next door neighbor...Logan Mayzurk.

~met another great friend...Keandre Briscoe

~started a new school and 3rd grade last August...Morgan County Elementary School

~started reading the Bible (currently on Leviticus)

~still love chocolate

~your favorite food that Mommy makes is my taco ring

~started writing your first (of many) novels: The Adventures of Captain Gummy Bear...Nana Terri was so impressed with it that she took it to her school and read it to her students. :)

~you currently want to be an author

~you read a classic...Huckleberry Finn by Mark read the short version and promptly requested the "real" version which you received for your 9th birthday.

~played your first season of basketball this Winter...Daddy was so proud!

~your favorite is still Chili's...and chick-fil-a of course.

~your favorite ice cream is chocolate...still.

~started 4th grade..yesterday. (can we believe he is already in 4th grade???)

~still the sweetest little kid in the whole wide world

~still melts Mommy's heart with his little crooked grin and big green eyes.

Nine is Divine....

~Joseph and Presley share a little hug~

Oh, so much to say, so much to say. I will start with wishing my handsome prince a happy 9th birthday!! I cannot believe it has been 9 years since I gave birth to my first child. It seems just like yesterday that I held that big, beautiful, dark-haired baby in my arms for the first time. I will never, ever forget our eyes connecting in that triage room where I had to deliver. The delivery rooms were all full! (This story sounds familiar doesn't it..ahem, Mary and Joseph?) Hahaha.

My heart is truly held in his little 9 year old hands. I love this child with every ounce of my heart. He knows it too. I think he gets a kick out of how irresistible he is to me. Oh well.

Joseph has a heart for the Lord like no other little boy I have every known. He is already so wise in all of the ways that count. His little heart just beats for others and for helping others. Joseph continues to amaze me with his laid back and easy going ways. I just sit in awe of him sometimes and the boy he is growing into.

Thank you, Lord for blessing me with this child. If I had a dollar for every time I asked You why in the world I deserve such a child, I would surely be rich. Thank you for allowing me to raise him and love him. He and Presley are the very blood running through these veins.

As I fight back tears and swallow this massive lump in my throat at the thought of him growing up, I praise Jesus for every moment spent with him. When I think of how blessed I am to be able to take him and pick him up from school everyday, the tears just flow...endlessly. Thank you, Lord.

I hope he always wants me to come and deliver his cupcakes to his homeroom. Today he said..."please come and deliver them, I want to see you." My heart melted, and I couldn't help but wonder if he would feel the same way next year. Regardless, I am cherishing these moments.

Happy Birthday, Joseph Lemuel Hill.

All my love and my heart too,