Am I failing?

So let me paint the scene from this morning for you. I was getting ready for church and a 90th birthday celebration. My dish was in the oven, clothes in the dryer, and all the boys were out feeding the cows. It was just me and the girls. I noticed that it was a little quiet, so the thought of them possibly being outside near the road sent me going through the house to check on them only to find them in the kitchen. They had pulled chairs up to the counter and had found the bowl of cereal my oldest had left on the counter. Of course, they did what any two year old would do! They were sticking daddy’s work keys in the milk and painting my Bible, the counter, and my phone with this fruit loop flavored milk. Needless to say after looking back on it my reaction was a “bit dramatic.”

Now don’t be shocked, I can’t believe that I’m on an island by myself with this. Surely you have had your moments that you are not proud of. I had scolded them and sent them running to the play room only to have Ella reaching for me to hold her. I wondered why she would want me to hold her when I just got on to her. Yet, I was relieved she doesn’t hate me. Can you believe, as I’m writing this right now, I had to stop and put the same child in time out for throwing a fit over a broken pop tart. Shall I say dramatic! 🙂 I know what you’re thinking. She probably learned her “dramatic” reactions from me. Sorry, but my scolding does not involve falling out kicking around in a circle on the floor and carrying on for ten minutes after. However, my snappy responses to their “adventures” are SOMETIMES less than what my vision of perfect parenting looks like.

Why is parenting so hard? I ask myself every day if I am ruining my children? Am I doing enough to lead them in the way the Lord requires of us as parents? The truth is…I’m not sure. We all know that these precious littles don’t come with a hand book. Yes, there are a vast amount of parenting books. Maybe I need to invest in some. I read several before they all came along, but since they arrived I’ve been kind of “winging” it. At least I can say we are happy, alive, and healthy. 🙂

It’s funny to think of how grandparents “parent” their grandchildren. They shower them with love and anything they want. I  think they feel more free to do those things without the pressure of hoping they will be perfect. That’s where I think I fail as a parent. I want my kids to act perfect and do all the right things to impress others. You’re probably laughing right now, because you feel the same way. We need to take notice of grandparents. They have raised their children and they see now whats important. I don’t think know they will not be getting everything they want, but I will be trying to show more love when they make mistakes.

Who wants to be scolded from our heavenly father every time we mess up? I mess up every day and sooner or later I would feel as though he will one day have enough. Thankfully we know what his word reminds us of in Psalm 86:15 NLT:

But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

His mercy and grace NEVER runs out on us. We I should look at his example towards us. He lovingly redirects us when we don’t make the right choices in our “adventures.”

Parenting is hard, it just is. But let’s not forget that…

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

As I mess up I plan on letting my kids see and hear me ask for forgiveness from HIM and them. I will let my kids see how to learn from their mistakes because it’s through our example that they learn how to have a close relationship with the Father.

So, to answer my own question… the direction parents should be leading their kids is toward having a relationship with the one with unfailing love, mercy, and grace.

 

God Loves Variety!

When I was younger, I often wished I had a different nose, smaller thighs, thicker hair, and nicer clothes. Sadly, I could probably name a few more. I would look at other girls and find something beautiful and then wish I had that. Some of you probably did the same thing, and some might still struggle with feeling as if your good enough or finding your purpose. You might wish you had more money, a better car, or a bigger house. You might have even wished for someone else’s talent.

Are you comparing yourself with the Joneses or with God’s standards? It took a long time for me to get where I was content with who I was and what I looked like. I used to (and still do) remind myself that God doesn’t make mistakes. If he wanted me to look and act like someone else then he would have made me that way! God wanted me to be different than others just as he has made you different because God loves variety!

2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV – For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Who are we to say what is normal or the standard? Why are we wasting our time wishing we were something else instead of enjoying and embracing what an amazing and unique creature God has created? No one is like you! Not even identical twins are 100% the same. You may be very similar, but still two people!

1 Corinthians 15:41 NLT  The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

Amos 4:13 NLT For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!

Isaiah 40:26 NLT Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.

How incredible is our God! Did you catch those verses? Each star has its own glory!! Not only that, he calls each of them by their name!  That’s the way you and I are to him as well. We each have our own glory and he knows us by name! There are over 7 billion people on earth. Oh, how this shows that God is not boring! He loves variety!

Think about the mountains, oceans, and desert. What completely different places these are that he created? Even more, EVERY mountain is a different shape or height and EACH ocean a different size and holds different creatures. The world was incredibly made with a variety of climates, seasons, land, animals, plants, and US! How wonderful is it that we are a part of HIS creation and we are favored because we get to enjoy HIS variety!

Not only have we been given different physical bodies, but he gave us different talents. Your talent may be in the medical field, entertainment, business, safety, stay at home mom, creative design, cosmetology, or even teaching. Even though you may share the same talent as someone else, your talent is still unique to you! Just think of how many singers there are in this world, yet they all sound different. Don’t wish you had someone else’s talent, because God obviously chose the talent he gave you because he knew YOU were capable of using it in a way that could bring glory to HIM.

Best of all, it doesn’t even matter what your past was like. Your talent can still be used. Just look at the variety of people that brought Glory to his name. In his book, The Purpose-Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren said,

Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zachaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That’s quite a group of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you too.

In Holley Gerth’s book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream, she talks about the different dreams God places on our hearts, but this also applies to our talents and puts all of this in perspective.

Just look around you. Creation is full of variety, and each new dream is another aspect of what God is expressing in the world. Yet all those different expressions point back to the same purposes, the same desires of his heart.

Let me encourage you to not wish to have those things that you cannot take with you to heaven. Don’t try to have and be like everyone else. Don’t try and set aside your talent in search of or want of someone else’s. Instead wish to use what you have been given to show his mighty love to others, so that they can also see their talents and their lives can point others to Our Creator of variety.

Author and motivational speaker, Ken Davis says it best when he says you should live your life like you have nothing to prove, nothing to hide, and nothing to lose.

 

 

Hello world!

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I suppose my first post should explain the name of this blog, Love Led Me Here.  Everyone has their traveled road with souveniers along the way. I believe that every bump and hill in that road has molded and shaped us into the person we are today. For some, your bumps may have been a loss of someone, divorce, depression, disappointment, an unexpected change in your career, health issues, marriage struggles, financial difficulties, and the list could go on. Whatever the bumps, hills, or even mountains that were in your life’s journey…you made it through because of LOVE. It was the love of a friend, spouse, or even your family, but MOST of all it was the love of our heavenly father. He loves us through our mistakes and trials. As Paul says in Romans 8:35-38 NLT;

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threathened with death? (As the scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter what your bumps or hills have been on your road know that LOVE LED YOU HERE because God IS LOVE.

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 1 John 5:16 NLT.

This is where you are supposed to be right now. Nothing happens in your life that God doesn’t have a hand in.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

I’m currently reading Holley Gerth’s book You’re made for a God-Sized Dream, in which she shares a quote from an unknown author that hung on her mom’s refrigerator. “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.”  You see, your road has not met your dead end.  God has much more for each of us on our road. The thing is, however, that we all have made our own road map for our lives. For some it may look like this: You will graduate, go to the college of your dreams, have a fabulous job that allows you to travel the world, make millions, meet the man or woman of your dreams, have a beautiful house on the hill in the best neighborhood with 2.5 kids and a dog.  Oh, and don’t forget the white picket fence. I know everyone’s dream isn’t exactly like this, never the less, we all had a plan.

My map I created for my life was a bit different, however, there were similar things that I wanted to happen on MY timeline. However, things don’t always go as WE plan for them to go. I planned to get married much younger than I did. If MY plan was fulfilled, I would never have met my husband who I could never imagine being anyone else. I would have missed out on so much! Never once in my entire life did I ever dream of having TRIPLETS!! Twins maybe, because I feel every girl would like to play dress up with them. Oh, the joys I would have missed with my FOUR, yes FOUR, children (also which was not on my road map).

You know as you look back on YOUR road map you notice that it’s different than when you first designed it. But let me encourage you to embrace the changes, mistakes, and trials along the way and press on.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT

We are not here by accident. As the author Mary Southerland points out that if we had a built in tag on our bodies, as our clothes do, it would say, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” God has a special plan for EACH and EVERY ONE of US!! His plans are so much greater than the ones we created. He sees the incredible opportunities that we would think were out of our reach, blessings beyond measure we never thought to experience, and dreams reached that we thought were impossible. If we could just trust the one who parted the Red Sea, raised the dead, and made the blind to see to lead us to somewhere much greater than where our map points. Then you will be able to enjoy the abundant life that he promises us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for the good and not for diaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NLT

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 KJV

Where has love led you? What bumps or hills have you traveled that has led you to where you are today?