Welcome to my blog! The title "To Train Up a Mother" refers to the profound effects our children have on us, and how as we set out to "Train them up in the way they should go"...we find just how much God wants to teach us through them! These are my daily musings; a young mother to seven little souls on loan, how I've been so blessed by opening my heart to His plan and gift of CHILDREN, and...how I'm being totally transformed along the way.
I'm Liz, wife to Brian, and a homeschooling Momma to our seven wonderful children. We believe that children REALLY ARE a GIFT from the Lord, and have been blessed incredibly by trusting HIM with the number and timing of these gifts, trusting Him to provide financially, spiritually, emotionally and practically in the raising of them. We also homeschool them(sometimes more in theory than practice! haaaa!)
I was born and raised in Skagit Valley, WA. and met my amaaaazing better half Brian, at the tender age of fifteen. By seventeen,I didn't see any point in refusing his proposals any longer! We were engaged in October of my senior year of highschool, invited the whole school to our great big happy wedding,got hitched the friday night before Spring break. (Now that's the way to do Spring break ;)
We both always knew we wanted a lot of kids, but our conviction to actually release the timing and number of that to their Creator, came graaaadually.
My big "15 minutes of fame" came this January when I gave birth to my seventh, a little daughter Juliet Mercy, in the passenger seat of the family van while driving to the hospital. (Don't miss the news clip on that one!)
We went to the Veteran's Parade in Arlington with our fun Kirkman cousins! This is pretty much the red carpet for me. I would pass up Leonardo de Caprio and all his liberal friends any day to shake the hand of one of these men.
Unlike Leo, these guys aren't real sure about all the attention. They never did what they did for the politics or limelight and if you make the mistake (like I did) of calling one a hero he will quickly correct you and tell you that the real heroes are all their friends that never came home. But we know they are heroes too and we love them.
The kids thought it was so amazing to see real life heroes. I think they were kinda bummed when we piled back into the van without getting to shake any hands or tell them how thankful we are.So when we spotted these guys in the alley on our way out... we couldn't help but track them down! The cream of the crop no less!!!Three Veterans including WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War! (Silas was quick to proudly tell them that his own Papa Tim served in Vietnam.) I think he made a real connection.
Commander Bill Morse gave us his card and they offered to come over sometime and do a special home school day for the kids! Look at their faces. These are proud kids. This made their day!We watched them go and I wondered what mix of feelings they must have on days like these. I wonder if they really know what they mean to us, and how thankful we really are. I wonder if they know that they are still blessing us by their lives long after serving. Both those who died and those who fought and still live to shake hands of the younger generations and inspire them to greatness. I hope they know... ...that my little boy came home and got right to work on a hat and flag just like theirs and informed me that he now wants to be a "flying soldier"... Thank you Veterans. We thank God for your service and we rejoice in your life.
Proverbs 21:1 says that The King's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD. He turns it wherever He wishes.
So... we need not loose sleep over the heart of our new President, right? We now begin to pray for him and in so doing, realize that this all has just as much (if not more!) to do with our hearts as it does his! And this, my friends, leads me to my point...
Where is your heart today? What's the initial gut reaction when you think of praying for your new President? Are you there yet? Did it take you awhile? Are you nauseous?
Have you, like me, run the gamut of emotions even despite your confidence of the Sovereignty of God? I confess that I spent Tuesday before the polls came in, weeping for the lost children of my unsaved friends. Not the intangible, theoretical, hypothetical lost unborn children, but the actual I-dearly-love-their-Mothers-and-wanted-them-to-live-desperately-but-now-don't-even-have-a-grave-stone-to-even-bring-yellow-roses-to... children. The ones I don't let myself think about on a daily basis in order to function.
It came out of nowhere, with no PMS to blame, and hit me very hard. I wept for their mothers... and vacillated between grief for the lost... and ANGERtowards my fellow "Christians" for allowing such atrocity. I watched the elections later and felt brief shock, mixed with frustration that I couldn't cry tears of joy with Oprah and my fellow black Americans at seeing a black man come to the Presidency. I wished I could have. But I could only think of the statistics and wonder if Oprah realizes how many more little beautiful black babies will not see the light of day as a result of this "historical" vote.
I felt pity watching all those people swaying to the music, waving their flags, rejoicing in vain hope of a new human savior, dancing in the streets, weeping, arm in arm, briefly united in a cause... because they need to put their hope in something, and I guess this is it for them.I was able to watch them and clearly see a misplaced hope. I felt disgust, wondering how many ignorant voters Leo, Brad Pitt & Paris Hilton alone got out to vote...
And then as I heard the Obama hymns and saw the magnitute of the worldwide worship for this man... I felt that familiar flash of fear betray a heart off course and a need to dive back into the Word and let my LORD direct my own heart in the direction that He wishes, just as He will direct the heart of my new President, as He wishes.
So... I did. (And I let my husband make me a nice strong Pina Colada too.)
And this is the point. The thing we must do. (No Pina Coladas before noon, ladies) ;)
God is preparing us for heaven, people. He just cranked up the furnace. He did. Not the voters. God did. He is "weighing" each of our hearts. He knows how we voted in secret, and He knows why. He knows how we now fear, anger and falter... or simply care more about catching our favorite show than searching His Word. He knows how sinful humans love to take up a "worthy" cause, throw money into charity, let the world see and hear their goodness and just generally bask in their awesomeness as they blindly speed down their high road headed to hell?
Whether you're speeding there in a hybrid or a 15 passenger van makes no difference to Him.
What direction is the "channel of your heart" flowing today and which direction might the Almighty God want it to go? Surely not jadedness, self-righteousness, fear, and apathy. Surely not running off at the mouth (or the computer) before you've taken a good look in the mirror. Realize that with Tuesday's vote, God just did re-direct the channels of our hearts. He exposed, tested, dangled our idols before us and shifted us further away from hoping and trusting in any government, leader, policy or law... and more to Himself and His promises.
If you're feeling the heat of the Refiner's fire today whether it manifest itself as fear, worry, disgust, anxiety, depression, confusion, disappointment, jadedness, doubt, anger, or even... (if you placed your hope in man and won!)... false hope, triumph, defiance, confidence and puffed up pride for your country and yourself... may you recognize it all as the loving Hand of the LORD, directing the channel of your heart, or adjusting the heat setting on your furnace. Let your heart flow like water according to His wishes. Let His heat burn away any dross that keeps you praying from those Christians who have so disappointed you. Let all of this be another revelation to you of your need for a true Savior and may you rejoice in the fact that our God, unlike man, has the actual power to save you! Let it bring you to your knees in humble, loving and confident prayers for your new President Barrack Hussein Obama whose heart is in the hands of the LORD in whom we put our trust.
Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be,
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak emptiness to one another; With flattering lip and with a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things; Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail! (yes we can) Our lips(votes?)are our own; who is lord over us?" Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, (what? You didn't know the unborn can groan?) Now I will arise," says the LORD; "I will set him in the safety for which he longs."
The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. Thou, O LORD, wilt keep them; Thou wilt preserve him from this generation forever! The wicked strut about on every side, When vileness [worthlessness] is exalted among the sons of men. ~Psalm 12
In the LORD I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain; For behold, the wicked bend the bow, They fixed ready their arrow upon the string, To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"
The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous; He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face. ~Psalm 11
I have very great peace and confidence that the outcome of tomorrow's vote will be right in God's plan no matter who gets elected. It is in His hands. My hope is not in any man but in God who "directs the hearts of Kings".
And yet, with that said, I have a lot of very strong feelings regarding the actions of my fellow Christians. I have been completely shocked this election, (so utterly shocked) to hear of professing Christians unwilling to vote on behalf of tiny, innocent, unborn babies who do not get to vote. Professing Christians who think that there are greater issues than the life of a little baby?
I meant to blog about this many, many weeks ago. I started, ranted, deleted. Many times. But... what in the world do I say to a Christian who will not vote to protect the life of millions of unborn babies???? For (what?) their wallet? What in the world do I say?
I can only guess that these people must be so very, very far removed that they think that they will not themselves be judged for their part in it and that their vote doesn't really impact that world of the unborn? That somehow... it filters down, gets dilluted and in the end, Obama, the doctor performing the abortion, or the mother will bear the final responsibility for the life of the innocent. I'm guessing....(trying so hard to give them the benefit of the doubt here)... that they must not know that it is our job? As Christians? That God will not start by judging Obama or the poor lost, deceived and exploited woman seeking the abortion but that He will hold responsible those of us who know better?
Maybe they've never seen one of these tiny beautiful silhouettes twirling and kicking on an ultrasound machine... the little four chambered heart just beating away?
I'll never forget the first ultrasound I saw. I was a very little girl and it was my first magical peek at my wonderful, beautiful, dancing little sister... Rose. I had a glimpse that many never get, through my Mom's tummy, into the unseen world of the innocent, unborn people. Real people.
When we vote for a person that we know will vote for the murdering of these innocent little people... what neurons in the brain are misfiring...? What sinful justifications and numbing of the conscience has brought us to a place where we think for one moment that we ourselves will not stand before an Almighty God, the One who "knits them together in their mothers' wombs" and have to answer for the deadly stroke of our pen? Not just Obama's pen. But our pen.
I guess the reality of this personal responsibility really sunk in while I actually picked up my pen to draw that line in ink from one end of an arrow, to another. I realized in a brand new way that I was, in fact, writing in ink, a line representing life, or death and it hit me that I will answer to God someday for that line.
And with a very, very sick, sinking feeling... I thought of all the professing Christians I know of who know better, and who will have to answer for their part too.
It's an easy vote, Christians. We vote for LIFE. We imitate Christ who laid down His own life, so we might live. Before we had a vote, He voted for us. In obedience to the will of the Father, He voted for us. So we imitate Him, walk by faith, in obedience, knowing that our Father can raise the state of this nation's economy just as easy as He raised Christ. He is a God of miracles and redemption. So we lay down whatever we have to....
....... to vote for those babies.
I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Thine altar, O LORD, That I may proclaim with a voice of Thanksgiving, And declare all Thy miracles.