Paul said, “Pray for us.”

“”Pray for us,” Paul asked believers.  “Pray for us,” I saw not once, not twice, but three times in a row this morning in my Bible study.

I open my eyes each morning and give Him thanks (not only if I feel like it) and then as I begin my Bible reading I ask for a word. So, I may not have the exercise habits and the writing habits I wish for, but this one thing I do. I begin my day with Jesus.

I commune with Him and I expect and receive responses. So often it goes like this morning.  He tells me more than once and more than twice so I can’t miss it.

I got the message, or the message’s beginning:  There are some people on the front lines in ministry who need prayer, who need strength for the arms that hang down.

The joy of the Lord is our strength, the Word tells us.  So, I pray for joy for them, and so forth.  A few people come to mind and I press in for them, then go to John and we pray in agreement.

Then comes more revelation and more word, such as the word “refreshment”, which also stood up and waved at me three times.  As John and I discussed this, as well as the negative reactions of two special people to something we said, we see they are the ones who REALLY need our prayers, and whatever else God leads us to say and do for them.  “I think,” I said to John, “they misunderstood us because they see and look at everything through the lenses of hurt and discouragement,  Through woundedness, grief, and oh, such fatigue.

So we pray and beseech God for wisdom, for the right words and the deeds, and He answers us both.  To me He imparts that oft-forgotten truth:  lead with the love example.  To John he says send an e-mail, or a card – one so full of grace and love and appreciation and thanks that our hearts cannot be misunderstood.

“Pray for us.”  Pray with us.  God never intended any of us to walk these paths alone, and one of the enemy’s biggest pressures is the pressure to make us feel we are alone, forgotten, unloved.

Prayer is love.  Prayer in person is love on steroids.  I try to emulate a famous minister lady who says when she sees someone in the grocery store and they ask for prayer she stops right then and there and prays with them.  “Let’s pray!” is much more comforting than, “I’ll pray for you . . . (someday, sometime, maybe, probably not).”

Yesterday, knowing my dad was in a place he detests being, doing a hard and difficult thing, I said to my daughter, “Call your grandpa and tell him we just prayed for him (we had just prayed for him) and that we love him.”

Every time, any  time anyone is on your heart, take it as an unction to pray.

Pray for you, for me, for people in high places and people in low places.  Pray for the Body of Christ.

“Pray for us.”

P.S.  Don’t miss Friday’s Home Front Show – at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time go to 1360am.co, wait for it to load, then click on “LIVE RADIO” and be blessed!

Happy Mother’s Day to Me, Maybe Not So Much to Others

I wrote a poem for my own therapy this morning after thinking over a women’s meeting I attended earlier this week.  The group leader suggested that Mother’s Day is not a happy day for most women.  She said something to this effect:  they either have a terrible mother, a mother who recently passed away, aren’t a mother and want to be, are estranged from their children, have children far away they miss terribly, were a mother and blew it, etc.

I felt, sitting there among women who appeared to agree with this, that I wouldn’t answer the question of the night entirely truthfully.  The question was this:  What annual holiday, event or occasion is your favorite?

There was some bah-humbugging, and answers such as, “Memorial Day because I don’t have to do a thing” (because someone else’s sacrifice made such a society and therefore such a day possible?); and “I don’t like Christmas, it’s too much work” (rejoicing and celebrating and giving and showing love and looking at lights and listening to beautiful music and thanking God for Jesus is work????); and of course there were positive answers as well, but no one mentioned Mother’s Day as their favorite..

And so, to the question of the evening I answered, “Christmas.”  I wanted to say “Mother’s Day and Christmas and my birthday and my anniversary and violent thunderstorms rolling down the canyons and deep fog settling over the peaks.  I wanted to say my favorite time is early morning when the sun shines on the rocks on the cliff behind my house, and Fall, and really October through December when we have birthdays and our anniversary, and Thanksgiving (Yay!!!) and then gift shopping and gift making, decorating, caroling, wearing red sweaters, getting the tree out of the woods and making a popcorn garland (last year was the first time we did this – so cool!), Christmas music and movies, driving through town to look at the lights, reading Christmas stories like The Night Before Christmas and looking at the art in The Legend of Holly Claus and anything by Jan Brett, packages in the mail, and on and on.  Then comes the after-Christmas party, and my birthday and New Year’s and then the glorious quiet of January.

And the winter rest.

Then Spring hints and pushes at winter’s slackening hold with the first crocuses peeping through the snow.  And robins venture out.  Thank you, God, for Robin Redbreast.

And there’s this morning, when I said to John, “It’s truly springtime!  The ground is absolutely saturated, and the redworms are crawling all over the drive, and the aspen leaves are growing by the minute and the dandelions are here!”

And my thoughts go to my children, hoping for springtime in their hearts, and I pray for one’s salvation, for one’s answering God’s call to preach, for one’s owning his own business and excelling therein.  And for the one at Fort Benning, Georgia –  as I write he’s nearing the end of a 12-hour ruck march – I pray for strength and protection for his spine, for a second (or third) wind, and most of all, that he will give God all the glory for His unmerited grace and favor.

This is the glory of motherhood – being used by God to fight for our children, God’s children, all children, and to never give up until the victory is won.  And God is so marvelous as to bless the childless with spiritual children.  Many are the children needing a surrogate mother, a spiritual mother.  Whether we have natural children or not, whatever our mothering situation and status may be, we are women, and therefore uniquely qualified to nurture and to fight.  And to win.  In Him.

And so, even with great sorrow and a history of prayers for women regarding children – aborted, lost, wayward, rebellious, sick, sorrowing, never conceived – I nevertheless reserve the right to glory in this day, and in the hope of His calling.

And here’s my poem, Happy Mother’s Day to Me.

Happy Mother’s Day to me,

I say because I’m free

Free to win and free to dance

Free to seize another chance.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to me,

Blessed by God to really see

Life to give, life to share

Anointed of Christ who truly cares.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to me

From the God of Love to Be

All He ever hoped and planned

Life so good, life so grand.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to me.

 

The Home Artiste and Mother’s Day

LAST WEEK THE RAIN AND FOG AND THE CHILL CAME IN – AND THE BARELY GREEN ASPEN TREES WERE SHROUDED IN CLOUD.  MY DAUGHTER REBEKAH RIGHTLY DISCERNED IT WAS THE PERFECT TIME FOR A TEA PARTY AND SOME GOOD CONVERSATION, WITH SOME LOVELY MUSIC.  I HAD BEEN PLANNING TO DO SOME PAINT PREPPING, BUT IT WOULD KEEP.

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WEDNESDAY MORNING WAS MUCH THE SAME AND WHEN I ASKED JOHN IF HE WAS STILL SURE HE WANTED A SMOOTHIE FOR BREAKFAST IN THE INTEREST OF TIME, HE WASN’T SO SURE.

SO HERE’S WHAT WENT DOWN:

I PUT SPROUTED AND BUTTERED BREAD IN THE OVEN ON LOW, AND THE SERVING BOWLS AS WELL – PUT COLD BOWLS INTO THE OVEN BEFORE TURNING IT ON, NOT AFTER IT’S HOT. (IF I HAD BEEN GOING TO SERVE FRIED EGGS, I WOULD HAVE ALSO HEATED THE PLATES – FOR FOUR PEOPLE I HEAT SIX PLATES, THEN I HAVE ONE EXTRA ON TOP AND ON BOTTOM, AND WRAP IN DISH TOWELS WHEN I TAKE THEM OUT AND THERE’S NO STRESS ABOUT THE HORROR COLD EGGS!).

THEN THERE’S ALSO A PLATE TO PUT THE EGGS ON AS THEY’RE FINISHED FRYING, WITH A LID OR COVERING OF SOME SORT TO KEEP THEM WARM UNTIL SERVING.  WE CALL THESE EGGS “DIPPIES”, AS YOU HAVE DONE WHITES, BUT YOLKS NICELY RUNNY AND GOLDEN FOR DIPPING TOAST INTO!  (I LEARNED TO CALL THEM “DIPPIES” FROM JANE BROCKET IN “THE GENTLE ART OF DOMESTICITY – EXCELLENT, JANE IS!)

I DUMPED HALF A JAR OF CHUNKY CINNAMON APPLESAUCE INTO A PAN AND ADDED WALNUTS AND RAISINS AND BEGAN HEATING. THE TEA KETTLE WAS FILLED AND HEATING AS REBEKAH SET THE TABLE WITH MILK IN A CREAM PITCHER, HONEY, ETC.

I HEATED THE TEAPOT WITH HOT WATER THEN EMPTIED IT AND SET IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STOVE ON THE WARMING ZONE, ADDED FOUR BAGS OF ROOIBOS TEA AND COVERED IT WITH A TEA COZY ( I WOULD MUCH PREFER A NICE ENGLISH BLACK TEA, ACTUALLY) – ALL READY FOR BREWING. ANOTHER THING I WOULD HAVE DONE IF IT WERE REALLY A COLD DAY IS USE STURDY THICK MUGS AND RUN HOT WATER INTO THEM FOR A BIT BEFORE SERVING TIME.

A PACKAGE OF THIN PORK CHOPS CAME OUT OF THE FREEZER AND WENT INTO A SKILLET WITH WATER TO BEGIN STEAMING APART AND COOKING (I COOKED THEM UNTIL THEY CARMELIZED AND MADE LOVELY BROWN GRAVY, OR AU JUS).

WE HAD LEFTOVER MASHED POTATOES SO I MADE THEM INTO BALLS AND PUT THEM IN THAT SAME SKILLET AFTER REMOVING THE PORK CHOPS INTO A SMALL SKILLET AND PUTTING ON A BACK BURNER ON LOW. ONCE THE POTATO BALLS WERE BROWN ON BOTH SIDES, I PLACED THE PAN ATOP THE PORK CHOP PAN AND PUT A LID ON TOP.

WHEN THINGS LOOKED TO BE NEARLY READY, I DUMPED LEFTOVER HOMEMADE SOURCREAM DIP AND A CUP OF LEFTOVER CHOPPED ONIONS AND SAUTEED THEM GENTLY IN A MIXTURE OF BUTTER AND OLIVE AND COCONUT OILS.

I WHIPPED UP SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH PEPPER AND SEA SALT, POURED THE STEAMING WATER INTO THE TEA POT.

NOTE:  I HAVE A SAUCER READY TO DUMP THE TEA BAGS ONTO BEFORE SERVING, AND A SAUCER OR POT HOLDER TO PLACE THE TEA POT ONTO FOR TABLE PROTECTION (THIS IS ALSO A POSSIBLE ISSUE WITH HOT PLATES, IN WHICH CASE THE TABLE SETTER PUTS A NAPKIN OR A PLACEMAT AT EACH SETTING.

YOU MAY THINK THIS SOUNDS COMPLICATED, BUT IT’S SIMPLY A MATTER OF DOING THINGS IN ORDER, AND GETTING INTO GOOD HABITS.

HAVING A LITTLE HELP IS NICE, TOO. IF YOU DON’T HAVE HELP, THOUGH, YOU JUST PREP AHEAD OF TIME AND THINK THINGS THROUGH.  SET THE TABLE, FILL THE CREAM PITCHER, PUT THE HONEY AND STRAWBERRY JAM ON THE TABLE (NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IN THAT JAM!), WHIP YOUR EGGS AHEAD OF TIME, AND THAW THAT MEAT AHEAD OF TIME!

WHEN IT LOOKS LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IS READY OR JUST ABOUT, POUR THE EGGS IN TO SCRAMBLE AND WHEN THEY’RE NEARLY DONE RING THE BREAKFAST BELL (YES, I DO HAVE ONE!)

OH, AND IF YOUR LOVELY DAUGHTER PUT ON MUSIC FOR YOU, AS DID REBEKAH WITH COLD PLAY’S “SOMETHING LIKE THIS” BE SURE TO DANCE ABOUT AND SING A BIT. WHAT A GIFT TO YOUR FAMILY:  A HOT, DELICOUS BREAKFAST WITH A DANCING, SINGING, SMILING MUM.

HMMM.  MIGHT THIS BEAR PONDERING WITH REGARD TO MOTHER’S DAY, AND ALL MY FAMILY’S SO HOPING I LIKE THIER GIFTS, AND THAT MY DAY IS TRULY SPECIAL?  COULD IT BE THAT I SHOULD SIMPLY FOCUS ON REJOICING IN GOD FOR MOTHER’S DAY AND ALL IT MEANS?

I AM INCAPABLE OF PUTTING WORDS TO WHAT’S IN MY HEART, BUT I ASK GOD DAILY TO CLEANSE IT FROM ALL SELFISHNESS, SO THAT IT MAY BE FULL OF PRAISE AND SONG.  YES, THAT’S IT, OR AT LEAST A GLIMMER – I WANT MY FAMILY TO HAVE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST INKLING OF THEIR WORTH AND VALUE TO ME.  AND I WANT THEM TO SEE ME SMILE.  AND HEAR ME SING.  AND DANCE WITH ME.

THIS MOTHER’S DAY DON’T LAMENT A SINGLE THING. JUST ENJOY, AND GIVE, AND RECEIVE!

Fabulous Fatherhood on The Home Front Show Today!

John Parker and Pastor Mark Williams will be joining me today on The Home Front Show, and you can join us at 1360am.co for great exhortation and inspiration about fatherhood.

Go to :

1360am.co , wait for the page to load, then click on “LIVE RADIO”

at 2:00 Mountain Time this afternoon, Friday, May 5 for an hour of non-stop blessings.

John and Mark will be sharing their stories of redemption and restoration and I’ll be adding thoughts from our Founding Fathers on FORGIVENESS.  

As always on The Home Front Show, there’s much more than I can express in a few short sentences, so join us and encourage others to do so as well!

Thanks very much,

Bev

I Did Not Need My Economics Degree to Figure this One Out

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Just as I predicted, with the election of Donald Trump, the American economy is exploding.  And I believe that will mean fewer marriages ravaged by financial stress, more opportunities on all fronts, and most of all, I hope it means more moms will be able to be at home.  Homemakers, homekeepers, hearthtenders.

I not only hope, I earnestly and diligently pray that we are about to, once again, become a society where people are nurtured in the most excellent place of all – home.  And by the most blessed and privileged of all people – homemakers.

I wasn’t so privileged when I got the “education”, bought the Italian pumps and sported the chic haircut.  I had a fancy office all my own and a degree – a piece of paper – to prove I was somebody.

But now I have “medals”.  “You and John have medals,” a lady at church recently said to me after we stood together as a family before the congregation.  The pastor had asked our oldest son to come forward for prayer, along with John and me, before leaving for officer training in Fort Benning, Georgia.  Our other three joined us as well.  The pastor prayed, John prayed, and I managed to pray through the tears of an utterly full heart.

There were other words spoken and joys shared and then those words from a lady I didn’t know.  “You and John have medals.”  She paused and I waited as she gazed at our children.  “Your children are medals.”

Indeed.  And we fought for them.  We fought financial fears when I chucked that fancy job to stay home with Benjamin.  “It’s an opportunity to trust,” I said to John when the doctor said if I didn’t abort Hannah I would not survive.  Told I would miscarry Rebekah, again we donned the full armor of God and we fought.  Recovering from the C-section that brought us Seth, I battled for my health and vitality, and John prayed me through those wearying days.

Attempting to hear God and not our own insecurities or preferences, or the opinions of others, we stood our ground when we decided to home school.  John prayed as I sought self-discipline, self-control and patience.

Always, we suited up for battle with the Word of God in our mouths, saying what He said about our children, rather than what we wanted to spew out of our mouths.  This child is impossibly strong-willed, stubborn, willful, and I am at my wit’s end with her!  was the thought.  The words were prayers and positive scriptural confessions:  “This child is my great and glorious gift, fearfully and wonderfully made for God’s purposes and she will live in the light and bring blessings all the days of her life.”

And so on.  Through the years I have made the most powerful and eternally profitable investment a woman ever has the privilege to make:  I have raised my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  I have been a homemaker.

For John, the husband who supported my determination to do whatever it took to raise my children (for a time we took all four of them with us on our trim and tile jobs) I am grateful beyond all measure.

Because I raised my older children as a single mother, or rather they were raised by the daycare center and the public school system, I know the immeasurably high cost of a “real” job, of a society-sanctioned career.  I know the ever-diminishing returns on that kind of investment – investment in the world’s ways.

“I simply can’t go through that again,” I said to John when we talked about my returning to work and finding childcare for Benjamin.  It wasn’t just about my baby, it was about me, and my peace of mind.  It was about that deepest of needs in my heart, the need to make a home for my family, to be a homemaker.

A homemaker who is also a homeschooler has it made in the shade, especially if she has a strong and good husband.  Her life in no way resembles the stereotype of the harried and frantic chicken-with-her-head-cut-off mommy.  Rather, if she seeks the impartation of wisdom freely given via simply asking the Holy Spirit and reading God’s Word each and every single morning, she grows ever more skillful in battle, ever more confident and in full receipt of her rewards.  Her life is lived in rhythms of grace, rather than in sorrow and regret.

If I had it to do over in what I call my “first life” I would have cleaned houses and taken my babies with me, or lived in a tent by the river, or moved in with family.  But I would not have sacrificed my children on the altar of career, I would not have bought the line that I “couldn’t afford” to do otherwise.

I would have said, “What I can’t afford is the breaking of the little hearts and spirits of my children by leaving them in the care of, at best, indifferent workers while I go and chase the almighty dollar.

I am eternally grateful for this second chance, but regarding my older children, there are no overs.  I urge and exhort you, if you have young children being raised by others as your heart yearns for them, pray and believe God for the highest of callings and privileges, that He will make the way, that He will be the author and the finisher of your parenting, your marriage, your family.  Your home.

Then say joyously to all who ask who you are and what you do:  I AM A HOMEMAKER.

Lifting Burdens via Intercessory Prayer

 

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I was asked to pray for someone last night and I just couldn’t do it, not with any faith and fervor.  I awoke at 2:00 a.m. burdened for this person, but not in a good way.  It might be more accurate to say I was aggravated with them.

As I prayed about it I realized that intercessory prayer is not to be undertaken before there is personal heart maintenance.  Otherwise, the intercessor simply takes on the burden of the other person, rather than assisting them in giving that burden to Jesus, who can not only take it, but do away with it!

So, practically what does that mean?  It means seeing what the Word says about love, and about every single person.  It means asking God for His take, how He sees it, what He wants done in this person’s life.

Then come the revelations, the prayers of faith that build more faith, and the return to where we start:  apart from Him, I can do (pray) nothing, and with Him all things (prayers) are possible.

He’s the only Way to go.

Vision Board Success!

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I heard about making a vision board, and how the Word of God tells us in Habbakuk 2: 2 to “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it,” and that, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

I began looking through magazines for something.  For what?  Should I make a health and fitness board?  Perhaps a writing board would be the very thing, replete with pictures of great books, typewriters, quill pens, exotic locales (no doubt for research on sequels to my international bestsellers) and cash!

I began perusing magazines of all sorts, but nothing seemed right until I began cutting out those things that meant something to me, pictures and words from Christian magazines, and it become apparent to me what was in my heart, my heart’s desire.

As you look at the picture above you will see it is a board to encourage me and remind me of the love and the power and the promises of God, and how He has anointed me to share what He wants shared.

Every time I look at it, hanging above my computer, I am exhorted, motivated, and made glad.  And the vision that has been swirling in and out of my consciousness has been brought to the fore, becoming focused.

A vision board singing the truth of God’s Word helps me to run, because it helps me to remember God’s laws of love – the New Testament victories and blessings that were bought for me at Calvary.  It helps me to see.