Monday, March 25, 2013

My Children, the teachers

Hi.  My name is Elaine.  I'm the push-over mom.  I let my boys get away with wayyyyy more than I should, because I constantly hear this nagging voice that says "These are the children you prayed for constantly."  Yes, they are indeed the children I longed for; the children I desperately prayed out to God for.  But Sunday, I told that little voice to "Keep quiet!"  It had been my excuse for far too long.  The time was near where I had to put my foot down, and I needed to do it now more than ever. 

There is a battle of the wills occurring in the Killian household.  It's me against my boys.  We've had a rough couple of days.  When did parenting become so hard?  If it only gets harder, where do we go from here?

I'll confess, I thought parenting would be easier.  Don't all of the moms (friends, sisters, your own mother) in your life make it look easy?!?  My boys are walking all over me as a mom.  I don't want to give the impression that Kade and Kohen aren't good kids, because they are.  They just don't listen to me At. All. 

It's been a busy weekend for us.  The Easter drama at Church was this weekend, and I worked in the nursery every night.  Naturally, I took the boys with me so they could have a little bit of play time.  Last night was a disaster!  Kade would not listen to anything I told him.  I was so angry that when I took him outside of the room to punish him, I couldn't even spank him. (Can we all say "push over mom?!" together!)  I needed time to cool off and regroup. 

When we got home, Kohen pitched a temper tantrum.  For the first time, he lay in the floor crying, kicking, screaming.  I was at the end of my rope.  So, I did what any good mom would do.  I picked Kohen up, grabbed Kade by the arm, and I marched both of them strait upstairs to bed.  I changed clothes into PJ's while listening to screaming, crying, kicking, GAGing, kids...and I made them go to bed.  I pulled their room door shut.  Then, I sat in their room in the floor (in front of the door) so they could not get out.  I didn't talk.  I didn't console, and to even my surprise I didn't cry.  I just sat there through all of the "I want to go downstairs" and the "I want my daddy's" that a girl could handle. 

Almost an hour later, both boys cried themselves to sleep while laying in the floor at my feet. Score one for mom, but it literally took all I had in me to follow through.

It honestly was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  Possibly Ever.  It totally broke my heart, but I knew that it was now or never with the boys.  I must stand my ground. 

So, what has God shown me through this...

It was certainly eye-opening to how I behave at times in my Christian walk.  I have said my share of "I wants" and refused to obey His desires for me.  I've probably pitched a few temper tantrums when I didn't get what I wanted.  As I inhaled my bit of respite after the boys finally went to sleep, I could only think of how exhausting I must be for the Lord at times.  I knew he gently corrects me, as I was doing with my boys, but how it must break His heart when He must do so.

So, today I want to thank the Lord for this new insight (and for the patience and strength from last night).  Even the small blessings and temper tantrums can be for our good if we allow them to be.

"And we know that
all things work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his."
Romans 8:28

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013: Purpose Journey

One week in January has already came and gone.  (Christmas will be here before we know it!)  Last week, I tried to be more intentional about my time.  I would ask myself if I could find my purpose in many of the things I did, said, etc. 

I'm not really sure where I am going with this new life focus or what God wants to show me, but I'm opening myself up to be a candidate for anything He wants to teach me.

Some things I've accomplished this week towards Purpose 2013:
  • I started a new Sunday School unit with my 5th graders yesterday.  I challenged them to find someone to share Jesus with this week.  I used a simple illustration with Dum-Dum suckers about how sharing Jesus with one person who shares Him with another person sets witnessing in motion.  Every day if each person shares Jesus with another the amount of people doubles...within a week, 128 people can be witnessed to.  Then I showed them some Smarties candy and told them if we challenged ourselves with telling more than one person about Jesus, look how many more people we can reach.  It was a stretch, yes, but the kids actually got it.  We decided by the end of class that we didn't want to be a Dum-Dum.  We wanted to be a Smarty.
  • Sent out a few text messages and emails to friends I was thinking about last week.  I let them know I was thinking about them and praying for them.
  • I called two friends I really miss.  It is true that if you want to keep your friendships that you need to devote time to maintain them. 
  • I began reading "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers and spent less time watching TV.  It has been so good so far, and I have literally found it hard to put down.
  • I celebrated an anniversary of the horrific car accident from 1998.  God continually reminds me of His mercy and grace.  I know He was with me that day, and I don't ever want to forget how He brought me through that accident.
  • We spent some time with our nephew Alex who was in town from Montana.  We had a family dinner at my BIL's house and enjoyed time as a family. 
What did you do this week with purpose?  How is God using your One Word for 2013 to teach you?

Happy Monday Friends!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One Word 2013

I created this blog to help me have a written record of what the Lord is showing me during my life.   My family blog can be found here.  My infertility blog can be found here.

"I desire a deeper prayer life, but it hasn't been the easiest thing to come by.  One thing I am currently learning is that praying is something I simply have to choose to do." (page 159 "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter)

Lately, I haven't really chosen to do anything productive spiritually.  I plan out my Sunday School lesson, but other than that, I haven't had very much one-on-ONE time with God.  I know too often I find myself in a spiritual rut, simply going through the motions of life with little thought to what I am doing.  Life can often be a script we memorize, can't it? 

There are many things I want to do differently in 2013.  Last year, I jumped on the band wagon of the One Word movement.  I've seen so many of my fellow blogging friends who are picking one word for as an alternative to setting New Year's Resolutions.  This is where One Word 365 comes in to play...

"One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live
or what you want to achieve by the end of 2013.
One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.
It will take hard work, and will require intentionality and commitment.
 But if you let it, your One word will shape you and your year.
It will guide your decisions and help you grow."

So, in 2012 I picked...

If you are interested why this was my One Word for 2012, you can read more here. 

What do you want to focus on in 2013?
It can be something tangible or intangible. It can be a thought, a feeling, an action, or a character trait. Your word will be a reminder, a nudge. Something you can reflect on, that will challenge you, that will inspire you.
Your word can be anything you want it to be. All that matters is that it has personal meaning for you.
This is your word. It needs to resonate with your heart, no one else’s.
~ One Word 365
My One Word for 2013 will be

May there be purpose in all that I do, say, accomplish, and strive to become in 2013.  Most importantly, may it be with a Purposeful Heart to honor the Lord and point all recognition to Him.  Is there a word that is speaking to you for 2013?  If so, you can click here and Melanie will make you a cute little widget to post on your blog for FREE!  Then, Melanie will host a monthly link up on her blog where you can share with others what the Lord is teaching you using your One Word.  You can link up today!

Happy New Year to my Blogging Friends!  May the Lord pour out His goodness on the lives of you and your loved ones!

Friday, October 26, 2012

God Sighting...

I haven't posted in (what feels like) forever!  But, I wanted to make sure that I shared with you all one way GOD revealed Himself to me in a huge way this week.

Tuesday morning while I was driving to work, I had an overwhelming burden for a friend who is in my bible study class.  Just recently, she shared with me something very private about her life and used her situation to encourage me.  She wanted me to know that when I felt God couldn't use me in my imperfect condition that I had encouraged her unknowingly.  Since this time, I have thought of and often prayed for her.  Back up to Tuesday morning, she was on my heart heavily...  I prayed to God for her and her specific situation asking Him to move in big ways...And I was hesitant to let her know, but I decided to email her because I wanted to encourage her.

Boy did He move!  In HUGE ways...immediately...
It's almost as if when I got the words out of my mouth that God put into action His plan...

Now, I think God was trying to show Himself to my friends family, but He also wanted to show Himself to me...

I know this is somewhat confusing without delving out too many private details, but I said all of that to say this: 
Pray for others.

Just as Paul coveted the prayers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it is so important that we continue to lift each other up in prayer.  I can't accurately convey its importance.

Here is a commentary I found that says so eloquently the importance of praying for each other:

Let us learn to value the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous.
How careful should we be, lest we forfeit our interest in the love and prayers of God's praying people!
If we have experienced the Spirit's love, let us not be wanting in this office of kindness for others.
Those that would prevail in prayer, must strive in prayer.
Those who beg the prayers of others, must not neglect to pray for themselves.
And though Christ knows our state and wants perfectly, he will know them from us.
As God must be sought, for restraining the ill-will of our enemies, so also for preserving and increasing the good-will of our friends.
All our joy depends upon the will of God.
Let us be earnest in prayer with and for each other,
that for Christ's sake, and by the love of the Holy Spirit,
great blessings may come upon the souls of Christians,
and the labours of ministers.

Do you have a prayer request?  Please share it below so we can pray for each other today and in the days ahead.

Be blessed!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"I want to be Pursued" (too)

I loved today's Girlfriends in God post written by Sharon Jaynes about the many ways that God tries to woo and pursue us.  We (as women) love that kind of stuff, don't we? 

When I met Kyle, I was so frustrated.  I had given him my phone number, but several days had passed before he FINALLY called.  Apparently, there is some unwritten guy code of a "3 day rule" (insert lots of eye rolling)!  But when he called, it was the phone call which would change my life.  I knew immediately that he was different...and I even told him early on in our relationship he would be the man I married.  Now, I'm so surprised that comment didn't send him running for the hills...
The truth is, he gave me heart literally fluttered with joy that after heartbreak I was seeing the purpose in my past broken relationships:  God was bringing me to this point in my life, to meet this amazing man He had created just for me, to love and have love me in return... 

Today is our 9th anniversary, and comparing our love story to the love story Christ wants to share with me is hard to wrap my head around.  Like Kyle, God has continually did things for me to let me know that He was mindful of me.  Most recently, yesterday...

I've been going to school to be a teacher for the past 3 years.  To make a long story short, I should have graduated last spring, but once the bottom fell out of the local economy I was skiddish of quitting my job (a job I was blessed to have) to student teach.  I realize that this shows little faith on my part, and believe me, I've spent the past few months living in regret...  Yesterday, I tried to register for one of the SIX remaining courses I need at a local community college, but I was told since my prerequisite was 10 years old, the community college would not accept it.  Didn't matter I have been a student for the past 10 years; didn't matter I already have a bachelors and associates degree; it didn't matter I had taken 5-6 other ENG classes in the past 3 years.  This one class--the only prerequisite--was too old to count. 
I was heartbroken (and may have spent a few hours crying and feeling defeated)...

I couldn't understand why God had given me the desire to teach and a student's heart (a love for learning) to only put roadblocks and huddles up in my way.  I couldn't discern whether this was a "not now" or a "no" from God. 

This is how amazing our God is...

As of last night our preacher asked us to teach Sunday School (5th and 6th graders) for the next year!  It's by no accident that we were chosen for this age group--my teaching degree will be in Middle Grades Ed.   Do you know how amazing this is?!?  The Lord knew I was so discouraged in finishing my degree that He actually provided a way for me to teach until I can finish school!  And if that wasn't enough already, He also led me to apply to another community college who has pulled some strings to get me into the same class TODAY! 

I know the past 24 hrs have been full of instances where the Lord has been pursuing me...

How is He pursuing you?  Are you paying attention?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Are you Full?

For the past 8 weeks I have been participating in a bible study called "Run 4 God."  This is a unique bible study in that not only are you becoming spiritually fit, but you are becoming physically fit as well.  It's been a hard, sweaty, wonderful, tiring, takes-your-breath-away (literally) journey.  I started out as unable to run 60 seconds without stopping.  Now, I can run 10 minutes and even ran my first mile without stopping!  There are days I still struggle, especially with the humidity and my asthma, but I have learned to call on the Lord when I am weary and He gives me the strength to make it to the next interval.

In my bible study, I read the following passage and it really hit home for me...

"My kids had a pet rabbit for years...over the became difficult for them (kids) to find time to feed the rabbit...One day we went to the cage to find a motionless rabbit.  It had died.  The kids didn't mean to starve it, or want to see their pet die.  But when you don't feed a rabbit, it dies."

I don't eat healthy, never have.  I am not really a breakfast eater, and when I am, my typical diet consists of potato chips and or chocolate bars.  (Potato chips do count as veggies, right?)  But this section really got me thinking of what I'm putting in my body...or more importantly, what I'm not putting in my body.

"Life lessons hurt...when you stop doing the things you need to do, destructive results are my spirit the Lord said, 'You know you should feed your soul with the Word of God.  When you don't, you starve me, because my Spirit lives inside of you.'"


I'll give you a minute to let that sink in.  'When you don't (feed your soul), you starve me, because my Spirit lives inside of you.'

"What you do for your spiritual health you would never do for your physical health.  Not many of us are missing meals.  But many of us are missing our spiritual meals.  When you see the pictures of Africa starving to death, your heart breaks for them."

"Maybe God looks at us in the same way.  Maybe he sees us as a starving malnourished child, barely alive spiritually, and His heart breaks."

---Chapter 8, pages 83-84 of "Run for God" by Mitchell Hollis

Lord, this has been such an eyeopening Chapter for me.  It really convicted me and of the minimal time I make for you.  I have been starving Your Spirit inside of me Lord.  I am so very sorry.  Please help convict me!  While I am making time for unimportant things, convict me Lord...make me remember that it is because of You that I am here today.  It is because of You that I have every single possession in my home.  Whether its picking up a book or flipping on the TV...Lord convict me to ask myself if I've been souled out for You today?  Ask me, 'How can you be souled out for Me tomorrow?'  While I am running Lord, may it be a time that I can grow closer to You...through music, prayer, quoting scripture...In the quiet of my run, may I take the time to listen to You and what you are saying to my heart.  Help discipline me to feed my soul with your Word and things of God just as I would feed my body...may you always remind me of this analogy when I am starving your spirit.  In your precious name I pray, Amen.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Broken Seed

Today's Girlfriends in God devotional is most definitely worth the time to read.  I loved the story of how child like faith and broken seeds can still grow something beautiful.  Here's a little snippet.  Click here to read the entire article.

"You may be hopeless, clinging to the broken and mismatched remnants of your life, wondering how you can go on. Whispers of the enemy creep into your heart, soul and mind, taunting you with the lie that you are just too dirty and broken for God to love or use. Nothing you do can change that reality so you might as well give up, throwing your life away. 

Nothing could be further from the truth, my friend. Never underestimate the power of one, tiny broken seed.  Placed in the right hands, it will surely grow into an expression of His beauty for all to see."

Have any of you felt broken?  I felt broken when my high school sweet-heart turned out not to be so sweet.  I was broken when I attempted suicide.  I was again broken when I changed high schools my junior year to "start over."  I was broken when I was in an automobile accident that almost took my life.  I was broken when I went to college and sought satisfaction in worldly things.  I was broken when I miscarried my first child...and re-broken when I miscarried my second.  I was broken as I walked through infertility for five years.  I was broken when I was passed up on another job promotion.  Again, I was broken when my grandpa died before we could have "the talk" that I had forgiven him for his shortfalls as a grandparent.  I was broken when my job was outsourced.  And, most recently I was broken when I witnessed my best friends newborn baby take his last breath at 28 days old. 

More importantly than being broken, I was healed...

I was healed from my broken heart when I read "We know what real love is because Christ gave up His life for us" (1 John 3:16 nlt) and I was able to experience what true love felt like through Christ and the man I would later call my husband.

I was healed from my suicide attempt when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and He promised me  "that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life." (John 3:15 nlt) 

I was given a fresh beginning when I read, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17 kjv)

I was healed from the physical ailments from my car wreck, miscarriages, and infertility by praying, "O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me."  (Psalm 30:2) 

I was healed from my worldly habits by reading "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.." (2 Corinthians 6:17 kjv). 

I was also healed from my miscarriages, the death of my grandpa, and the death of my best friends son's passing when I read "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 kjv). 

I was healed from my job situations when I read "Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." (Colossians 3:23 nlt). 

I was healed from the bitterness I carried toward my grandpa and his lack of involvement in my life when I read "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander as well as all types of malicious behavior.  Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 nlt)

So, what I am trying to say?  What good has came from my brokenness? 

God's word is healing.  And He masters in taking mess ups and turning them into messages.  He will take your trial and turn it into triumph.  He will turn your test into a testimony...Where there are broken seeds, He will water you with his love; He will give you sunshine of hope where there's none; and He will grow something beautiful out of your heartache and broken seeds.

What broken seeds do you have?  How did God use it to grow something beautiful?