Archives for December 2012

Mom Thoughts

Written By Amy

We are so thankful for the comments we receive…they are always so meaningful to Jen and I because they are heartfelt, honest, and let us know that you, Jen and I are connecting at some level.

Yesterday, Liz, my mother-in-law, responded to Jen’s post by email.  We wanted to share it with you becasue it is another real voice speaking into this topic.  Liz is a faithful woman of God.  She allows Him to speak into her life, things both difficult and beautiful.  Thank you, Liz, for sharing your heart with us:

I really enjoyed today’s post written by Jen.  The continuation of that line of thinking is how competitive we are with our children – sports, grades, behavior.  How I would judge (a long while ago) a child or family by how that child dressed, combed or didn’t comb their hair etc.  How I could feel jealous of another child and wonder why my child didn’t achieve the same recognition.  Or the flip side – what sort of parent would allow a child to behave that way in a store or restaurant.  It is such an easy trap to fall into – although I have been known to tell a child I did not know to return to their seat or to go and stand by their parent rather than run around the clothing racks in a store.  Just saying!!!
 

Now take that back to Elizabeth and Mary.  One woman would be the mother of our Lord and the other would be the mother of someone living in the desert, dressed in funny clothes and eating weird food.  Yet there was shared joy.  Don’t we all need that sort of trust in the Lord and His plans?  Do we all need that sort of grace to extend to each other?  And just think how both of these mothers must have suffered as they watched their children – just as we sometimes suffer when we watch ours.  And then remember how both of these children – second cousins – died.  John was beheaded and Jesus was crucified.  

Do we ever know the full story behind other parent/child relationships?  I think this is just another opportunity given to us by God to extend grace, leave things in His hands and at the same time recognize that perhaps the best reaction we can have in almost any situation is to smile, offer a quick prayer and praise God that He can be trusted and He is in control.
Thank you for your post today.  I just LOVE when it opens the door for God to stir my soul.

No Compete Clause

Written by Jen

All right, we humans are competitive creatures!  I am!  I hate to lose (I am not overly athletic, and I am not that lucky either), I hate when I can’t get someone to like me (I know not everyone does 🙁 ), I hate when I fail (which happens a LOT especially when baking cakes and daily when parenting), I want to be excellent, do more good and keep on achieving (there is always people who are better and more to be done, but I love the challenge).  Competition isn’t always bad and often it can make us better, but what do you think about this, instead of letting envy or jealousy drive us, how about we push others along, even ahead, how about we all go in it together and try to make one another better? Yeah, me try to make you better, instead of me SHOVING others out-of-the-way as I race on.  What about lending a hand instead of stepping in front (as I rush around Christmas shopping comes to mind)?

Sometimes we really need a friend and if we are so busy competing we just might miss it.  We could have friendship but we miss it, but what if you don’t.  What if you get it?  What if you see that person as a gift instead of an insult?  What if instead of being broken, you yield, you place it, her, him the situation in the hands of God and yield it to Him.  He can take it.  What if?  We ladies enjoy a good girlfriend.  Sometimes they come in unlikely places and times.  I am not sure what a teenage mom and an older (these days a 40 something first time mom) have in common.  I would think based on their ages, not as much.  There would be a lot of room to judge, envy, slander, compare and even compete.  Today, in the US there is a wide age range of first time moms. Which is pretty awesome, I think.  This seems new and trendy, however, there were a few moms a long time ago in the same situation.

Relating back to Christmas, there was an unlikely pair of women, a teenager and an older mom who got similar news just 6 months apart, “You are going to have a baby.  Your first child.”  Somehow, God saw it was good to pair these two women up.  Mary and Elizabeth’s lives would intertwine as would their son’s lives, John and Jesus, they would be born 6 months apart and they would both die young.  As easy as it would be for these moms, dads and boys to compete, they did not.  They yielded to one another.  They encouraged one another.  They blessed one another.  It’s pretty amazing.  Here’s how the mom’s shared the news “We are going to be moms!”

 

LUKE 1

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

 

In closing, I just read in James 4:11 “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.”  I think we could all take to heart why we, especially we who share in our faith, compete, judge and tear each other down.  If we yielded, to one another, if we ultimately yielded to God, if we trusted, if we believed He is Worthy of Our Trust, then, there may be a friendship, a joyous celebration for us.  Lets aim for friendships and encounters where we could push each other ahead instead of rushing in front for our rights.  Our reactions could foster a beautiful friendship or a blessed encounter instead of a lonely path of pride.   Old pregnant mom, Elizabeth and teenage virgin pregnant mom Mary, could they be coming from two further prospective?  I am interested in the idea of a no compete clause, it is counter-culture and counter intuitive, but, I see good in it.  Ultimately they trusted God and their relationship benefited from it, as could ours.

Too Old To Have a Baby

Written By Jen

So many women and men feel sorrow as they grow in age and their desire to have children is unmet.  These days, there are more and more opportunities for another chance.  I have never experienced the longings one has of being childless, but I have see the anguish wear on the hearts of people whom I love.  I have also held my breath as friends have been expecting.  Waiting in hope.  When the unbelievable happens, someone who thought they could never have a child is with-child, when it’s not as easy as you would like, you begin to realize what a miracle life is.  There was an older couple in the Bible who experienced infertility.  It went on so long that when, an angel, announced to them a birth, the father didn’t believe it.  Note to self, if an angel tells you something, even if it seems crazy & impossible, try to believe it.  (Fat chance but I will be crossing my  fingers.)  Anyway, here is a bit of the beginning of the Christmas story.  John was was born to parents who thought they would never have a child.  His life was spent preparing the way for Jesus.  They were just months apart and their stories are intertwined.  This month, in the midst of my Elf on the Shelfing, I don’t want to forget the REAL meaning of Christmas.  Enjoy.  Here is a bit of the story of the “Too Old to Have a Baby”.

 

Luke 1:5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah;his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

 

 

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