Blogging from a new location

August 16, 2011

Hello faithful blog readers!

Thanks for sharing in the preganacy, Kavin’s trials, and the new-mom journey with me.  It has been full of lessons and God’s grace (to say the least-lol).  I just started a new blog (look and function in process), but will be blogging from that site now… http://www.missionsmindedmama.com.  I figured that I am no longer pregnant, so needed a re-vamp and a platform I can write from for years to come.  Let’s face it, once a mama, always a mama! 🙂

Hope my musings encourage you and/or those you love.



Lessons from the Hesitant Jogger

July 19, 2011

God has blessed me with a neighbor who lives four houses down from me, also a stay-at-home mom.  She is so sweet, kind, and encouraging.  Such an answer to prayer.

So, she is very active and fit and enjoys running.  I hate running, well, I use to.  This Thursday will be the fourth time I will go out with her to jog (and admittingly walk) and I am feeling great!

It seems, however, that every time we go out, she says, “you want to run gazzillion miles?” with a smile on her face.  Well, actually, the first time it was 2, the second time we jogged a little more than 2, but TODAY… yikes!  It was 3, but 1.5 miles down hill… and you guessed it, 1.5 miles up hill.  For those who know the area, we went from Chattsworth to Nordoff on Balboa and back.

So, my thoughts:

As I was jogging the first 1.5 miles I thought “I can’t make it” and then I told myself, just focus on the next step.  Can you make that?  Yes, and yes, and yes.  And I jogged the whole 1.5 miles!  Granted I was still slower than my “coach”, but I made it!  I was thinking… any hard or difficult season, if we look ahead at the whole way we think “I can’t”, but if we focus on the next step only, soon we find ourselves going further than we could imagine.

Another thought as I pushed myself and the stroller up a killer hill, “Oh!!!  So THIS is what it means in Habbakuk that He will make my feet like hinds feet!”  Youv’e got to go up the hills to get the feet.  For a moment I imagined Jesus walking right there with me saying, “you can do it!  Keep on going!  I am with you!”  As so, in order to have “spiritual hinds feet” we have got to push through some tough “hills” in life… but then, we will leap from mountain top to mountain top, praising the Lord.  I am looking forward to both my physical and spiritual hinds feet.

Habbakuk 3:19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.






July 12, 2011

Dissipation.  That is a big word, even to this “journalism major” from college.  I visited SomaLA this weekend, a church in Burbank, and the speaker preached on Luke 21 about the end times… cool stuff.  When he got to verse 34 and read “dissipation” I ASSUMED it was something bad like being under the influence of a substance… but no.  I was wrong… AND wow… I needed to know what it meant!

Dictionary.com has a great definition that brings it home for me:  a wasting by misuse.  When Jesus was giving instructions to His disciples about the end times He virtually said, “Don’t waste!”  I infer that this infiltrates all areas of my life.  Don’t waste my time, don’t waste my resources, don’t be lazy, etc.  But in a positive way, what it means is be intentional!  Be dilligent!  Make the most of every opportunity! Utilize all your reources for what pleases the Lord.  Every miniute is important to the preparation for the end.

Being a stay-at-home mom, I can easily justify wastefulness in my lack of dilligence by saying, “I am taking care of my son.”  But the reality is, there is so much more my HEART can do in the fullness of the day by praying and worshipping.  It doesn’t change the schedule one bit.  Every chore still gets done… it is not another weight or burden, but it breaths life and purpose and Kingdom stewardship into everything.

I am tired of feeling weighed down.  Do this, do that.  Don’t to this.  Don’t do that.  You really should be more like that… all the while trying to manufacture a holy life with unholy striving… Yet the Gospel says in Luke 21:34, “be on your guard so your hearts willnot be weighed down with dissipation, drunkeness and the worries of life…”  Whew!  The Gospel is good news because it frees us from the weight of the world and brings us into freedom.  It is for freedom that Christ set us free, so therefore to not be bound again to the yoke of slavery (paraphrase Galatians 5:1).

I came home this Sunday asking the Lord to breath the life of the Gospel into every knook and cranny.  To reveal the idols of my heart and tear down those high places where I try to satisfy my soul with false things.  The biggest thing He revealed to me is being so busy and “productive” yet being weighed down by misuse of time.  What a wonderful revelation.  What a wonderful promise that as I seek the Lord, my heaviness turns to freedom and my dissipation… into purposeful life-giving moments.


Light and Shadow

June 30, 2011

Light and shadow work together to highlight the landscape of our lives… choose to focus only on the shadows and we cannot see the light… choose to see only the light and we lose the contrast that defines them both, creating the beautiful landscape.  When we stand back and see the whole picture, we see the reason and need for both. Thankful for shadows and light in my life today.

– thought as I read the Word and glance out my window to the back yard.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “ I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”


Prayer Works

June 15, 2011

I just spent a week with my cousins and Aunt from PA and absolutely had a wonderful staycation with them.  Their boys are such a joy to be around and full of life.  Aunt Janice is more like a second mom than my aunt. Kavin, my one-year-old yelled in excitement every day he saw the boys.

In all the fun and the hustle and bustle of a wirlwind vacation, there was a sweeter connection happening that we didn’t have before.  Matt, my cousin, and Barbie, his wife, have been going to church for a while now and are hungry for Jesus.  It blessed my heart to the deepest places to know they are getting fed on a regular basis with scripture and fellowship and I enjoyed listening to them share about their faith journeys.  I learned some new things from them this week about scripture and Matt’s thoughtful questions going further after the sermon energized my spiritual curiousity.  I write this with tears in my eyes, grateful for God answering my prayers for many years: that Matt would desire a deep realtionship with Jesus.  Thank you, GOD!

As I dove into the scriptures myself this morning, the Lord led me to Thessalonians 1:5- “for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”  I am reminded that it is the Holy Spirit’s work to draw each of us into conviction.  We still have a choice and we need to pray for those we love, but the Holy Spirit’s work, not our own, is what draws us to Himself.  This week I witnessed the Holy Spirit drawing my loved ones to Himself and I am grateful to the very depths of my being.

I never thought I would be sitting in a church worshipping with Matt… and there we were, with both our families… listening to the Word and learning about the disciples.

So, we did lots of fun things this week, and all the boys (including my own) enjoyed romping around So. Cal. together.  For me, the greatest gift was seeing my cousin, whom I love so much, be interested and excited about the things of God.  It encourages me to continue to pray and trust that the Holy Spirit is working… even if I can’t see.  We are all on a journey with ups and downs, smooth times and rough.  I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to spend time with him this week and get a glimpse at Matt on his journey… as a husband, father, and believer.  I am proud of who he is and excited to see him next year when we visit.

Prayer works!  Pray for those you love and don’t lose heart… the Spirit is at work.



The Gospel

June 13, 2011
The Gospel is not some pithy catch phrase to gloss over our lives and make them whitewashed with goodness.  The Gospel isn’t some bumper sticker we place on our car as we join a club.  Instead, the Gospel is an invading force of light that penetrates every pore of our being until we ourselves become light so all the world might see.  It is my greatest pursuit that more of Jesus live in me today than yesterday.  That is only made possible by the provision of the Gospel.  You see, I use to SAY I believe, like some still do, but then live our lives as if the Gospel has no power.  It doesn’t.  Not in a life that believes but doesn’t embrace.  One of the scariest verses in the Bible for me is James 2:19- “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”  What is this faith then, that saves us?  It is the faith that chooses to allow Christ to transform us by HIS grace and not by our own attempts.  From death to life.  From darkness to light. From brokeness to wholeness.  From sinful to holy.  All made possible by the Gospel by which we live:  Christ lived perfect, died a sinner’s death, rose to life, and ascended into Heaven.  It’s simple… yet simply life altering.For me, the Gospel is everything.  It not only saves my soul from hell, but gives me everything I need for life and godliness.  When famine comes, it is my sustenance. When doubt comes, it is my truth. When fear comes, it is my peace.  I know that in the Gospel, I am nothing, but Christ in me is everything.  What a relief!  What a joy!  What a promise!

Sometimes I am scared at the reality of the Gospel.  As a believer I skim over the grotesque nature of sin so that I can live a comfortable life, not consumed with the depravity of others in order to penetrate my light in a way that will lead them away from darkness.  The questions we are faced with today with the ever-increasing wickedness around, the dissolution of morality, the severity of sickness and catastrophe;  I don’t have the answers for, so I often remain silent.  I excuse my responsibility by thinking “I don’t know the Bible enough, I don’t know their situation enough, I don’t want to damage our relationships.”

Well, the real only foolish thing is to remain silent on the one thing I do know.  Christ is life.  What that means in the places of sickness and poverty, I wish it could magically erase these devastations now (it will some day when Christ returns!).  But I am learning that the hope of the Gospel, the transforming nature of the Creator working in the lives of the believers; is available for anyone, even an awful sinner like me.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but for the brave.  It meets all of us where we are at and gives us the hope and purpose for it all … the good and the bad.  For the adventure He has me on takes me to uncomfortable places within my self and within the world.

The Gospel is not some pity catch phrase to gloss over our lives and make them whitewashed with goodness.  The Gospel is to die to myself so that others might live.  The Gospel gives me life… the Gospel is my life.  He died so I might live… and the life I live, I live by faith in Jesus Christ so others might live.  Yes, it’s sloppy.  No, I am not perfect.  But I desire to be changed from the inside out.  No whitewashed tomb here… just an overhaul in process…. thanks to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Yet, I will praise Him

June 12, 2011

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines.
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock would be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,

YET (emphasis mine) I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk on my high places.

This basically sums up the first year of motherhood for me. Yes… there have been thousands of joys every day and I love watching Kavin grow. I would not exchange the divine privilege of being home with him with anything in the world, YET… it has not been easy. From his possible death the first month of life, to transitioning to full-time motherhood… there have been many days I didn’t know if I could do it.

However, it has been in my weakness that Christ REALLY has made me stronger.  He has taken my broken, crippled feet… and given me hinds feet.  Although I am still in process, I am amazed at how far His grace has brought me in just one year’s time.

I also look around at the trials I see going on: famines, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, disease… and I too can see in these that followers of Christ or not, we ALL go through trials of various kinds.

It seems to me that we, as the church at large, do not talk about the Christian life as one of toilsome perseverance as we pitch a rose-colored Gospel to would-be followers of Christ, but following Christ does not keep us exempt from hard times. From the pages of Scripture in the verses of Habakkuk, I can see it all clearly…

Life sucks sometimes, yet even in all the mud and mire, the Lord is our strength… and THROUGH it all (not around it all) He will make our legs like hinds feet so when calamity strikes again, we will be able to rise above it and leap from the mountain top of joy, to the mountaintop of promise.

I imagine myself writing poetry like the passage in Habakkuk. As I look at current world events, my poem may look something like this:

Though the economy may fail
And children die from starvation
Though houses wash away
And marriages dissolve
Though countries rage war over greed
And the poor remain in need

YET… I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation
The Lord is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk on my high places.

Jesus promises us trouble… and victory. There is no victory without adversity.  The Gospel is summed up in this… that He DIED (adversity) and ROSE (victory) from the dead!  So too will we in Christ Jesus.