Birthdays and Blessings

Birthdays aren’t always about the gifts or parties or going to a favorite restaurant. As I’ve turned another year older today, I’m beginning to understand that for me, birthdays are a reminder of how blessed I am.

Here I am with one of my biggest blessings!

No, today hasn’t been a spectacular day. It’s another day, full of the drama and duty of being a stay-at-home mom, including the mundane and messy. Yet, it’s also another day that I have the privilege to spend with my precious children and wonderful husband (who has promised to cook dinner tonight!).

Jesus brings joy in so many of the details of life. For me today, those have included:

  • snuggling with my little girl this morning
  • using my new flat iron for the first time
  • lighting a new candle and enjoying the fragrance
  • my son wrapping my arms around him so he could fall asleep this afternoon
  • writing a blog post in the peaceful quiet as the kids nap

God has also brought us one step closer to owning our first home, which is something we really weren’t sure would ever happen. His amazing timing and movement to bring us exactly where He wants us to serve Him, and then providing miraculously for each one of us, has been an incredible experience. Putting an offer on a house that we love today seems a bit surreal, considering where we were in our lives even two years ago. God has been so faithful, guiding us in each step.

If we really take an up close look at our lives, I believe we will find God’s blessings significantly outweigh the frustrations of this life.

On my birthday today, I thank God for where he’s brought me and who he’s brought into my life.

And, as my “birthday wish”, I pray that for me and for you, we won’t wait until our birthdays to thank God for every big and small way He works all things together for good.

 

 

 

Time out

Jackson has recently been spending some quality time in “time out” each day. This morning, he found himself there once again. However, on this occasion, he was not alone.

Lauren decided to join him.

She wasn’t there to pester him (which has been known to happen) or there to try to play with him because she didn’t understand why he was there. She sat beside him, patiently and quietly waiting until his punishment had ended.

This is not a photo of the kids in time out, though I wanted to take one to show Lauren sitting with Jackson. It just didn't seem right to take a picture of Jackson getting in trouble. So, here's the duo playing happily together!

This sweet act by my precious girl made me think of and thank my Heavenly Father. Even though Jesus paid the penalty for all the sins that ever were, are and will be by sacrificing His life on the cross, so many still see God as only a sin-punisher, rather than a grace-giver. Even as Christians we sometimes place our sin above God, allowing our shame to trump His forgiveness. We are children that run away and hide when we’ve done something wrong, no different from the first man and woman who God created.

When our sin is exposed, and we come to God’s feet and ask for restoration, we still deserve discipline and punishment. There are always consequences to sin, whether you are living as a part of Christ’s family, or you have not yet embraced Him as your Savior.

Yet, as I watched Lauren sitting there, sharing in Jackson’s time out, I realized that when I am experiencing the results of my decisions, bearing the consequences of my sin and am under God’s discipline, I am not alone. Even though my suffering is a result of my sin against God Himself, God chooses to stay by my side through the punishment, sharing it with me. God promised me that He would never leave me. He will never turn His back on me. I am His, and He is mine. That means where I go, He goes too.

Even to the corner for “time out”.