Thursday, May 24, 2012

What defines you?

Tonight at bible study my pastor asked a question...What defines you?

I think that is a very interesting question. It really made me think about what I feel defines me. Sometimes I feel defined by the fact that I am a mother and a wife, or I feel that I am defined by my dominant traits such as being a planner and organizer by nature. Maybe I feel defined by my petite frame. Whatever I may be feeling defined by...somehow I don't think it’s what God defines me by (or you for that matter).

Even thought all of those things may be factual in my life they do not define me. As my pastor so creatively put it “they season and flavor my life”, but never define me. Neither does our experiences or lack thereof.

I now know the answer to this question.

Definitely food for thought…my relationship with Jesus defines who I am, it really is that simple.

This leads me to another food for my relationships with others, do I allow my relationship with Jesus to shine through me and be the defining factor in me?

I am a shy person, I always have been. I am better in small groups than large crowds. I can be easily intimidated and shy away from too much interaction with people. So how do I be who I am in Christ in my interaction with others?

How did Jesus behave when he was confronted with crowds of people, he welcomed them and welcomed the opportunity to share with them truth and life.  How many opportunities does God give us each day to do the same and we pass them up because of fear?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.     2 Timothy 1:7

The next time we are faced with a situation or a circumstance when we have an opportunity to be a blessing to someone or speak truth to someone, let us have the courage and boldness to remember who we are in Christ and let that be what defines us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A tribute to my Mom, Happy Mothers Day

A tribute to my Mom…

With Mothers Day fast approaching, I am preparing to spend some time with my Mom.  This past year, she and I have shared something really dear to me…a love for the Lord. 

When I was a little girl, I always remember my Mother speaking tenderly to me, being patient with me and having so many wonderful talents that she shared with me.  I hoped someday to be a Mommy just as she was.  She always had a special way about her.  She was good at everything she did.  She had a way of making our house so warm and cozy and a place where everyone wanted to be.  She was always such a wonderful cook and we had more hot meals than we could have ever asked or prayed for.  We were loved and cherished and when you’re a child you think that everyone has a house that runs the way yours does.  I was amazed as I got older just how very blessed and loved I was.

My parents divorced when I was 6.  My brother was a year old and my Mom was left to raise us on her own.  God gave her the strength and faith she needed to provide for us not only the basic needs to live, but the upbringing she knew she wanted for us.  She taught us responsibility, manners, how to respect others, work hard and earn what you have but also to know and recognize that everything is a blessing from God. She instilled in us that who you are on the inside means much more than who you are on the outside.  I became saved at the age of 11 and simply had no idea what the next decade would bring.

My teenage years were hard.  I pushed away from my mom and from God. Being the amazing woman that she is, my Mom stuck by me and never left my side.  She gave me space when I thought I needed it but was waiting with open arms when I realized that space was not what I needed at all (just as God is compassionate to us).

When I hit my 20’s, I became engaged and got married, she helped me as I entered womanhood and prepared to be a wife.  She became my best friend and walked me down the aisle as she handed me over to my husband and into the hands of God to lead me through starting my life as an adult.

A few years later my husband and I were blessed with our daughter Brileigh.  God showed me right away that even though I had given my life to him many years back, it was time for me to renew that commitment and to bring more of him into my life, my marriage, my home and my family.  My eyes were suddenly opened to the reality of what my Mom had given to me and given up for me over the years.  I also noticed how much I had grown to be just like her in so many ways.  Parenthood has a way of waking you up and helping you see the light…but a lot of that was also the Lord.  I realized why my Mom raised us the way she did and did everything possible to protect us.  She and I began a journey together re-committing our lives to Christ.  In the process my husband and mother-in-law became saved as well.  What an amazing God we serve!  He is faithful even when we are not. 

My Mom and I spend so much time together sharing life and wonderful memories and stories of my childhood, our love for Brileigh, Scrabble, gardening, thrift store shoping, being moms and spending time in the sun, napping, cooking and spending time at home with family...but the one thing that is more important than anything else is that we share a love for God. 
It is one of the most amazing opportunities in this life to be a Mother and even more so to be a Christian mother.  I have the ability and opportunity each day to show the love of Christ to my child just the way my Mom showed it to me.  To have Brileigh raise a godly family would be the best gift she could ever give to me and to future generations. 

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15.

The world we live in separates us from God if we allow the influences of this world to determine who we are.  Christian moms who love the Lord and desire to raise their children for the Lord are one of the most important disciples for Christ.  Thank you Mom for loving me unconditionally, you have supported me, and have had faith in me and in God.  Thank you for forgiving me when I was less than perfect but most of…thank you for showing me what the love of Christ is like.  It does not matter how old I am…I still want to be like you, because you showed me that what we do each day as earthly parents (out of love for our children) is what our heavenly Father does each day for us. 

I love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day  

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful moms!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yummy Asian Salad Dressing Recipe

Asian Salad Dressing

1 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together well, preferably in a container that can it can be shaken and poured out (old salad dressing bottles or old water bottles work well).  The dressing will need to be shaken well before each use.  It will keep in the fridge for weeks. The recipe can be cut in half or doubled.

It is so yummy, so simple and really inexpensive to make. Enjoy!