Mother Teresa Said One Thing Happening In America Every Day Is Destroying Our Peace…And I Agree

I just love the wisdom and boldness with which Mother Teresa spoke.  We should praise God for women like her.

 

The United States records over 2500 abortions A DAY.  And those are only the documented ones.  If you hate murder but think abortion is ok, you are a hypocrite.  It is murder in it’s WORST form.  Read this.  Pray for our nation.  God’s wrath is a real thing and I fear it is imminent.

Mother Teresa’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, 1994 (3.5 years before she died)

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.

And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere – “Let us bring the child back.” The child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things – to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.

But what does God say to us? He says: “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.”

The Honest Truth About My Struggles With Contentment

Do you struggle to find joy and fulfillment in the mundane?  I.  Totally.  Do.  One minute all is well and the next minute life has lost it’s meaning.  I’m kind of fickle.  Or crazy.   Or is that just called female?

I’m guilty of feeling guilty (is that a real thing?) about our ministry as a family. I often wish we could do more….more for family, more for the church, more for the lost. I’m guilt ridden often that I don’t have more hours in a day to be everything to everyone!  For realz.  I have that desire.  I think I have God to thank for the wonderful spiritual gift of mercy.  A heavy gift for my heavy heart.  I want to fix your problems.  Maybe I should have been a therapist?  Or maybe I need a therapist?

I am a passionate girl…about life…and Jesus…and my kids…and my house…and loving people….and our church….and I’m SO excited about His work in my heart. I feel a fire and excitement about being missional, but I often feel my hands are tied at home with kids and wiping bottoms and homeschooling.  To be vulnerable and raw with you, sometimes washing dishes doesn’t seem like its anywhere near reaching this lost and broken Hillary/Trump loving world.

If you peeked in my kitchen window while I’m washing dishes, a lot of days you’ll find me deep in thought. What am I daydreaming about? Everything ELSE I could be doing and how meaningless these dishes seem.  I’m thinking about paper plates and a nap and changing the world.  I told you I’m crazy fickle female.  But you get the idea- what you’d see is a frown.  A discontented spirit.  A downcast, heavy hearted, dish hating frown.

The problem isn’t my location or my responsibilities…the problem is the posture of my heart.  So, while the work of Jesus in my heart is beautiful and wonderful, and a burden to see the gospel go and move and change is right and good, if I begin to see the children God gave me as a hindrance to His mission, I am clearly missing the point.  Right now, they are the ONLY mission I’m SURE about.  All the other stuff I can pray about and weed through with Shaun as the opportunities and desires come.

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Maybe all of this isn’t making sense- I’m rambling.  I do that.  Where’s the coffee?  Or the wine?  It’s only 1:00?  I’ll have the coffee.  Because I’m a good mom.  I don’t drink during the day!  Anyway, this is my blog.   I do what I want here.

This video was so incredibly refreshing to me today, a day that my heart-posture has been downward since my feet hit the floor.

I’m headed to my kitchen sink to do dishes while I talk about Shopkins with Reagan, Lego competitions with Hutch and Bentley and prepare little Levi for a nap……with a smile.  Turning the posture of my heart upward is so important.  Though it might feel like meaningless Shopkin and Lego banter, they are what God wants me to tend to today.

Take a few minutes and watch this.

 

Not Your Typical Anniversary Post : This Is Real Life

The last year has been one of the most difficult, fun and adventurous years of our life, no doubt.

Shaun has led our family with incredible amounts of boldness and courage mixed with precious grace and tenderness.  He is an incredible husband who knows how to balance work and me and family all so well.  I am so incredibly proud of him.

He is humble, loyal, patient, loving, trustworthy, hard working, selfless and kind.

With every passing year, I truly love him more.  Our marriage has not been perfect. In fact, there have been seasons where we’ve disagreed more than we’ve agreed. There have been people and circumstances that have nearly torn us in two.  Shaun doesn’t falter.  He is with me. Loud and clear. That’s so wonderful.  The trials have given us a story. And a safe place with each other.

I have watched him hurt so deeply, as people turned their back on us it seemed…. and in the middle of it, he reminds me that we should preach the gospel to ourselves and realize how much forgiveness is necessary over vindication.  Looking like love is more valuable than being right.  His precious prayers and Christ centered thoughts have surely protected our family.  Shaun is so long suffering and faithful to love and pray for his enemies. What an incredible thing God has taught me through the broad shoulders of a husband that handles it all with such grace and kindness.

(I am telling you this, because the world needs to see that life is not always easy and having difficult seasons is normal.  Your marriage might be in a difficult season.  That’s ok.  I don’t want to be that wife that paints a perfect and unrealistic picture of our life on the internet. The internet and social media can be a tool for showing real life to real people who are often in search of hope. With Christ, whatever your circumstance…all things are possible.)

No matter what, I am so thankful that we both know we are committed to our promise. I’m thankful that Christ reminds us that what He joined together nothing can tear apart.  We know Christ is our glue. There is so much comfort in that.

I am beyond grateful for the blessing of a husband who loves God and the church. As I type this, he’s headed to preach the first of two sermons today about what it means to be a healthy church member.  Because he loves and cares for the health of the local church.

It is because of Shaun that our family is founded on the Anchor that holds in spite of the storm.  Although, with each passing month, it feels like the calm is here and those storms are left behind. I’m so thankful that now, twelve years into our marriage, offenses pass quickly and our love for each other is a safe and happy place to be.  He is my safe. His arms are my comfort.

I told him the other day, I’m the happiest I have been in a long time. Because of his courage to listen to the Lord, accept this new job and move our family to Arizona, we have seen the hand of God all over. It is a blessing and I am forever grateful for Shaun’s hard work to get us here.

There is something so warm about our seasoned love.  Twelve years of life together and we are still best friends. I wouldn’t want to do this crazy life with anyone else in the world.  He makes me more like Jesus.

Photo Credit to my sweet friend at Mariel Joy Photography

Hope is All-Up-In Me

A few years ago I got the unique opportunity to write my story for another website.  It’s so neat for me to look back and see what God has done since then in my heart and life.  But the theme of hope remains, no matter what life brings.

We have adopted a baby, grown, changed, moved across the country and made new friends since this post went up.  I’m often asked about my testimony.  I’m surrounded by people who love Jesus and want to be sure I love Him too.  I think that’s just the sweetest.

Of course, I share with them bits and pieces of our story….but I love God’s story in my life and my prayer is that He will use this story in the lives of people around me.  Especially in our new city.

So click the link below to read (some of) my story.  And if you don’t know Jesus, I would love to talk with you about Him.

Read my story here.

Finding Purpose in Your Pain

Shaun and I have walked through some of the most difficult and trying times of our life the last 3  or so years. False accusations and abandonment have happened in our life.

I have often dug and begged and searched for an answer when relationships are difficult and people are unloving. I often ask God to show himself faithful, because I read that He is.  I ask God to use suffering for the perfecting of my faith, because I’m told He will. I ask God to just erase the hurt and replace it with joy and wisdom, because I know He can.   I daily have to re-forgive and ask God to point out the plank in my own selfish eye, because that’s what I need.  My own pride dealt with.  When we see our own wickedness, it’s easier to extend grace to others.  After all, we are all wretched and in deep need of Jesus and each other.

I believe the hurt we have gone through is giving us, daily, a much deeper capacity to be grace filled, tender hearted, long suffering, kind and merciful.  We are learning over and over, we HAVE to choose kindness, because we never know the battle someone is fighting.  The suffering is giving us a clearer picture of what happened to Jesus, and then my heart breaks all over again when I realize my Savior walked a road very similar but worse.  To death.  He was wrongly accused, yelled at, spat on, called names, beat up, murdered….  He truly understands our (your) pain.  He’s been there.

Could it be?  The suffering that has brought years of tears, is actually being used for good in  our lives?  There have been times I wouldn’t have said so.  But now, I KNOW so.  It isn’t over and our life is far from perfect, but God is doing something.  And I love that.  I really do.

God was preparing us for newer, smaller trials that have come into our lives.  For 3 years, he’s been preparing my heart for the responses to new hurt and changes it would face.  God never left.  He was weaving some things together to prepare me.  It’s proven true in recent months when the problems of life arise, and I believe it will continue to be true for us –  welcoming the wounding of our pride is always the better way.

We are not done.  Life is still hard some days.  God is surely taking us on a journey we never expected.  But there is joy…because there is Hope.

I’m determined to use the good, bad and ugly in my life.   I don’t want it to be tucked away in my heart where it can foster fear and doubt.  I want it all to be used for Christ in the lives of others and for growth in my own heart.  Where we tuck things away and begin to wall up – love cannot live.

I love this post from Ann Voskamp.  So much vulnerability and heart.  I think I’m learning – everyone has had a bumpy road at one time or another.  What we need is more people to be vulnerable about the pain so we can learn from the tough times and walk with our friends through inevitable hard days.

So READ THIS POST

Sincerely,

~One broken to heal many.

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/06/something-to-hold-on-to-when-youre-tire-the-worlds-broke-your-heart-a-bit/

p.s. Stay tuned.  I’m gonna be blogging a bit more to keep family and friends updated on our life…a year ago we were settled into our little country home, enjoying our three kiddos, loving life in a familiar place….we had no idea God would do these things…

-adoption
-a cross country move
-a complete career change for Shaun
-apartment living instead of acreage living
-church hunting
-new friend finding
-family member deployment
-miscarriage
-broken bones

Isn’t this going to be fun!?  My Facebook inbox is flooded often with requests for our adoption story, our move story and more….so this will be a fun way to communicate/answer…call it what you want.  I just love to write.

In the meantime, let’s do life together.  Like this:

Cling to Jesus.  Find a friend who will be vulnerable.  You go be vulnerable.  Initiate.  Pray often.

 

Quinoa for Weight Loss and Happy Kids

I love Quinoa – I especially love quinoa in the morning.  It’s a healthy replacement for the sugared up oatmeal packets I usually eat.  Or, let’s be real – the Malt-o-Matey’s in the big red bag because I’m too cheap to buy the Lucky Charms…

This recipe has been such a winner.  About a year ago, I joined a Facebook challenge group for health and accountability.  The winner also happens to get some cash – so I was all about it.  It was successful for me and I lost 23 lbs.

While in the challenge, I cut my carbs and sugar to low amounts.  Since the move, we’ve eaten out a lot and really just consumed a lot of pizza.  and beer.  like, a lot.  so much pizza and beer… so my belly is back…and I am working hard to get back on track.

I ate this jump-start quinoa breakfast every morning during the challenge.  My whole family grew to love it.  So, since I need to say buhbye to my beer belly, I’m eating this for breakfast again…

Here is the recipe:

1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.  

Boil the water

Pour in the quinoa.

Turn the burner off and put a lid on the pot.

Wait 5-10 minutes for the quinoa to thicken (sort of like rice or oatmeal)

Then you will add:

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp flax seed

1 small can fat free evaporated milk

2 tsp vanilla

Stir.  Stir.  Stir.

While it’s still HOT, spoon it into your bowl and top it with walnuts, strawberries, honey and a little bit of coarse salt. (we’ve also been known to use almonds or cashews, blueberries or raspberries, and even a little brown sugar – although, I love the bite of the salt mixed with the sweet of the honey).

So yum.  So good for you.  So good for your family.

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What does 9 years of marriage feel like?

Another year has passed. We have been married for 9 years!!!!! By God’s grace. 9 years. It hasn’t been easy for us. I’ve done a lot of growing up. I still have a long way to go. But from day one, Shaun has been the most selfless, sacrificial man I have ever known. No joke. (If you know his dad, you know where he learned to give up his life for his bride. Day in and day out. At great expense to self). Thank you Papa. Your legacy will live on in your son. He gives you a hard time for giving away cars and time and money and stuff and more time and forgiveness over and over and over….but he is the SAME man you are in so many ways. And that makes me so thrilled. What a blessing to be the wife of a man who always puts others above self…..:). I sortof benefit too much from that at times.

I’ve said these words before. And I’ll say them again. It sounds so cliche’, but is true. He is my best friend. My life everyday revolves around him. Wishing he was home as soon as his tires leave the gravel driveway. Cleaning, teaching, praying, preparing dinner, all because we are anxiously awaiting his arrival home. We literally stand in the yard a lot of days around 5 watching for his car down the country road. My heart is more warmed toward him today than it was in 2004. I don’t understand it, nor do I for a moment believe I deserve it, but the blessing I have in him cannot be explained in words. My heart just sings with delight at the thought of him.

God, in a way, gave me salvation in Shaun before we were married. It is because of my relationship with Shaun and his family I realized my deep need for the Savior. The great functionality (in a world of mostly dysfunctional families) of Shaun’s family is because of their deliberate effort to keep Christ the center of their vision for family and missions. I pray Shaun and I can replicate that in our home. I pray souls can be saved by the testimony of our family life. In our home. So anyway, that’s a lot of words to say, the greatest gift I’ve ever received from God truly is Shaun, because my salvation resulted from it….and I know God planned it that way.

It’s good, I think, to make a habit of rehearsing reasons you love your spouse. Here are some reasons I love Shaun:

I love him because he loves God. He weekly surrenders great amounts of time to prepare for lessons, pray for, and love on people at our church. His heart is called to teach – and even if he wasn’t my husband, I’d be in his class. By choice. He is SUCH a wonderful student and teacher of the Word. I see God’s word thrill and encourage him and it encourages me as his sister in Christ. What a sweet thing that we will share eternity together before our Lord. And much of the urge I feel from The Lord to learn more about His word is a direct result of the things I hear and learn in Shaun’s classes.

I love him because he loves me and the kids. I know because he writes it, he says it, and he shows it all the time. He comes home from long troubling days at work, where the lives of people depend on his preparation and performance, and he somehow puts that away, puts on a smile and he is ready to serve and love on the kids and I. He helps with supper, dishes, laundry….he tickles, plays, bathes, reads to and puts to bed…and he begs me to go take a bubble bath while he does it all. Seriously. It happens. Read it again. It happens. A lot.

(Side note: Men, do you complain that your wife is too often exhausted at bedtime and therefore unavailable for intimacy, yet you’ve flicked the remote for hours while she cooked, cleaned, bathed kids, etc…..? GET UP! SERVE HER. She will feel energized, more attractive, more attracted to you and be awake and eager and ready to “thank” you for your servant spirit around the home. Be patient, it takes more than a day. Serve her continually and I promise, those walls will come down and you will reap the benefit of your selfless service. Please don’t broadcast to her why you’re serving. Check your heart and do it out of true self sacrifice because she is more important than you are. Try it. Nothing to lose, right??)

Ok. Back to why I love my man…

I love him because he works so hard. So hard. And he is a rare attorney who actually cares about his clients and feels burdened for them. I know because there are days he comes through the door with a big need for a hug after the desperate and destitute circumstances he’s dealt with all day. God is blessing his honest hard work with provision and we are thankful and prayerful that his practice can make a difference in the community. And even in times when we wonder if God remembers we have bills to pay and mouths to feed, Shaun diligently trusts God for provision. I know because I hear it when he prays and I see it in the continued joy and peace he has amidst a trying time. All the while, I’m wringing my hands and fretting. What an awesome example he is to me.

I love him because he is handsome. Nothing makes me smile more than those beautiful baby blues. He would still catch my eye today like he did in 2003. I love to look at him. I lovvvvvvve to look at him.

I love him because he is hilarious. If you’ve ever been around him for long, you know he’s funny. Like laugh-til-you-cry funny. The life of the party and most likely the creator of the party. I love that he knows how to make me laugh. I need that more than he realizes. I smile so much more than I did before I knew him. That’s why I have all these “laugh lines.”

Our marriage isn’t perfect. In fact, we’ve often told other couples that apart from Christ and our covenant before him, we might have shook hands a year or two in and walked away…..but we didn’t, because we knew something greater than ourselves was at stake. The Gospel of Christ. I need this marriage and Shaun- because it is a key part of the sanctifying role of Christ in my life. It is making us more holy. It’s removing ME from the center and putting Christ at the center so that I can love, respect and submit to my husband as we try to serve and glorify Christ in our marriage. The eyes of lost men, and maybe saved ones trying to make it in their own marriage, are watching and learning about whether or not we are a true testament to Christ and what we call his transforming power in us….they watch to see if we are different. Please, Lord, let us look different.

My prayer is that God will use us somehow to share His saving power with lost men headed for eternal Hell. My prayer is that God will use us to help sympathize with troubled marriages. My prayer is that God receive glory in all we do. Because He is worth the greatest sacrifices we could ever make. He gave his LIFE. And I live and experience this blessing of marriage and Shaun and intimacy and laughter and children….all because He gave his life. Otherwise, we don’t even exist. So I’m thankful and hopeful God can use us.

I love you Shaun Hair. Happy anniversary! You are my hero. Now and always.