Something to touch you…..

Such a touching story with heart felt inspiration. I believe it too will reach you….

awomaninspiredbygod

My Story

My earliest memory of my life is when I was somewhere between the ages of 4 and 6, and it is a horrible one. Having been lured into a secluded place, my innocence was shattered. I can’t remember the exact age…I only know that we lived in California until I was six, and it happened while we lived there. That innocence would be repeatedly shattered by various men throughout my life. Additional incestuous encounters left me broken and confused.

I grew up as an angry, bitter child who learned to enjoy the attention she got as a victim. I looked for negativity in every situation, in every sentence, and reveled in the offences I could find there. I, literally, looked for something to set me off, and then I enjoyed running to cry about it.

My father and I never connected. A string of hurts from my end…

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We owe our teens a bit of attitude….

We as parents sometimes have to find that ‘tude…you know the one, the “I am in your face because I love you”  ‘tude.

 Just a reminder that we must be open and frank with our teens.  You nor they will regret it.

Here is an excerpt from a blog written by a teen on pornography…

“Pornography whether its images or written words that stir the imagination, it’s all a distortion. That’s not what Sex is, it’s not even what love is! Anything that is sexual sin is not “true” love.  With the combination of a child’s natural curiosity and abuse as the spark that started the fire to what would have been my destruction, I began to get into pornography.” …”I didn’t even know what sex was! All I knew was it was a foreign word that I learned from 7th Heaven, and on that episode it was a big deal. And not too long after I learned that if I said “sex” the babysitters would squirm and get uncomfortable… which magically, sex became my favorite word to say!   As all of this slowly unfolded my parents did not really fill me in too much, more than anything they put boundaries on what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Though I had seen those life altering images, I didn’t really want to see them again, but I didn’t really lose the taste for suggestive, pornographic, or “just on the edge” material. From late night infomercials, to online chat rooms, my interest began to grow. Each thing was a step further for “true” satisfaction and each step further became “not as big as the last” and “still not quite enough”. From reading material that I found in my own home that was meant for married couples, to heated stories online it just kept growing.

All was a distorted view of sex as if I was looking at a mural through broken glasses; the picture can’t be seen for what it really is because though you can see the mural through the glasses you’re not really seeing how it truly looks.

Through the broken glasses all you see is shame and hurt where sex is all about you (selfish) which just leads to more brokenness and emptiness.

True satisfaction, contentment, and wholeness are found only in Christ alone.”

From Amber M “Through Broken Glasses”  http://www.xxxchurch.com/teens/

As you can see it’s not just our boys, but our girls too.  It’s not just the computer or laptop at home.  With more and more teens using iPhones and tablets that have internet capabilities supervision has gotten to be a full time affair.  Even game systems like PS3 can be an open door.  Check search and browser histories on a regular basis.  Have a rule that you are the only one allowed to erase history.  After all something erased is something to be hidden.  Come up with rule and boundaries that work for your household, then stick to them. If they can not follow the rules, take the device away and have them earn it back.  If the ground rules are established at the very time the internet begins getting used it will be so much easier.  If you wait till there is a problem, well…the fight will be on!  But I can not emphasize enough that the fight and time will be worth it.  Our children deserve it!

Here are some surprising stats:

Americans aged 13 to 18 spend more than 72 hours a week using electronic media—defined as the Internet, cell phones, television, music and video games. 

87% of all teens are online.

1 in 7 youths received sexual solicitation online.

 Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old.

15-17 year olds having multiple hard-core exposures – 80%

8-16 year olds having viewed pornography online – 90% (most while doing homework).

7-17 year olds who would freely give out home address – 29%

 7-17 year olds who would freely give out email address – 14%

Children’s character names linked to thousands of pornography links 26 (Including Pokemon and Action Man).  Watch what your child gets when using search engines.  What could start as an innocent search could become problematic.

Are you having the time of your life?

This week has been very interesting.  When the Lord has something to say…He does not just say it once.  I have found in my experience the message comes thru in many ways, but always the same message.

James 4:13-17 (HCSB)

 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.  15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.

Sometimes we get so busy with the ‘business” of the day or planning tomorrow we forget that our purpose is found in TODAY.  Each day we have a purpose.  If we are preoccupied we may miss those nudges, or whispers of the Holy Spirit.

“One of the great reasons God wants us to rise up as a body of believers to worship together at His throne is so He can draw all people to Himself.  There is a great harvest to be had in the world, and our worship — in purity, truth, and holiness, inspired by the Holy Spirit — will pave the way for each of us to do our part.” (The Prayer That Changes Everything, Stormie Omartian)

If we are not focused on our Lord we miss the boat.  Simple as that.  So if you have a problem with what “Mary Jane” has worn to church … Check yourself.  If you are worried about what translation of scripture I am reading from … Check yourself.  If you are so focused on someone way of speaking rather then the message itself … Check yourself.  If someone’s business is preoccupying your mind, and your behavior (how your treat them or speak of them), you are probably misplacing your focus.  Life is too short for this kind of monkey business!  If they have wronged you personally then there are biblical ways for that to be handled.

Luke 12:22-31(HCSB)

22 Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? 25 Can any of you add a cubit to his height[a] by worrying? 26 If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?

   27 “Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 28 If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you—you of little faith? 29 Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. 30 For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

   31 “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you.

 

Simply put we are to put the Lord first.  All the rest will find its place.  God’s got it covered!  So let the Lord speak to those you see as having an issue.  It’s between them and the Lord.  And if we simply do what He has asked…His messages will get thru!  I promise!

Matthew 25:41-46

41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!  42 For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’   44 “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’   45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’   46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This is what the Lord has asked of us…to Love the unlovable (see 1Cor13).  Of course if we are worried about our next paycheck, or what Martha is baking for snacks (because she never makes enough), we might miss the boat.

Today is your purpose and the people that we encounter.  Do as Jesus did. Love them.  Time is limited, Life is too short for missed opportunities to let His light shine bright in us!

On Raising a Child With Disabilities

I have never read anything that better described what it is like when you first realize what your in for, once the news sets in that your life, your family is not what you thought it would be….you are now a part of an “elite” group of blessed people raising a child with special needs.

Please read….it really depicts a reality that many do not have the pleasure of experiencing, of living.

 

Welcome to Holland

An Essay by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It’s like this….

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans.  The Coliseum.  The Michaelanglo David.  The gondola in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands, the stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland”.

“HOLLAND?” you say “What do you mean Holland?  I signed up for Italy!  I’m supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan.  They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease.  It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks.  And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place.  It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you’ve been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.  Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandt’s.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go.  That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be  free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

My Boys & Allowances

I have never paid an allowance.  I have never agreed with paying children to do their part in a household.  Parents unselfishly drive, grocery shop, wash, ect. Once a child is on their own no one is going to pay them to do what is right.  No one is going to pay them to clean up after themselves.

It’s my personal belief that paying an allowance teaches an attitude of self entitlement.  Not paying for some of the extras help the kid figure out what he/she is going to do about it.  Want that bike….go mow lawns….need more air-soft pellets, go stack wood for the neighbor.

I found this article that also explains it perfectly:

 Most commonly, a family is an interdependent group of people living together in a love relationship.  Members of the family depend on each other and work together for the benefit of the unit as a whole.  They share most everything and do not benefit by keeping separate accounts of “yours and mine.”  Just as parents make dinner, wash dishes, clean the home, and offer transportation without expectation of allowance… children should be trained to contribute in much the same way.

By paying children for daily chores we are actually robbing them of their opportunity to contribute based on love, and instead teaching them that they should be paid for their contribution to the family.

 So what about reward for excellent behavior?  Rewards should be given for going above and beyond the normal call of duty – thus earning a bonus – but not for performing everyday tasks.

You get paid for a job, and your home comes with responsibilities that you do not get paid for, yet there is a satisfaction for being responsible.  Lets teach that lesson, not a lesson of self entitlement.

BUT if you are going to pay allowances here is a great suggestion:

A Proper Distribution

Since allowance is a tool used to train the child on the matter of proper money management… what about taxes?  I believe children should have taxes taken out of their allowance in order to paint them a more accurate portrait of how money is handled in “the real world.” Some may find this legalistic, but I’d rather they be as prepared for reality as possible.

Here is a solid outline for proper distribution of their allowance.  Take this and make it your own based on your situation.

  • 15% giving – Based on gross amount… taken before taxes or anything else.
  • 10% to taxes – Just as we have to pay taxes as an adult, we should give the child a similar opportunity… after all the idea is to train them.  Put this amount back into their college savings fund or some other savings account to be used for their future.  It may not seem like a lot, but remember… every penny counts!
  • 25% to savings – What to save for?  This is a very personal matter to be determined by the parents.  If nothing else, simply save it to save it.
  • 25% to bills – This is a very powerful concept, so keep an open mind here!  This money should go back to the parents and gives the children the unique opportunity to contribute to the household bills.  This builds confidence, self-worth, and an unmatchable feeling of usefulness.  This philosophy can also be used to teach them to conserve spending on household utilities, groceries, etc.  As much as possible, try to involve them in the bill paying/grocery shopping process… doing so will give them a “vested interest” in cutting costs.
  • 25% to spending – This can be used as the child desires, but be careful here – proper use of this portion is critical in shaping their future spending habits.  If they want to spend it, they can spend it.  If they want to roll it into their savings, they can do that as well.  If they want to help out with bills, that too should be welcomed!  I think  you will be surprised by how much of it they simply want to give back to you in an effort to further “help out” with the costs of running the home!  Always make yourself available to help them make these decisions.

Give the children all their money up front, so they can see it and physically handle it.  Then help them divvy it up according to the distribution system you set up.  Also, include a statement of distribution so the child can see where all their money goes; just as your employer does with your paycheck.  Do not simply withhold a certain amount, because you want them to be as involved as possible.

Why So Complicated? A Call To The Church To Simplify.

One issue that has come to the forefront in my walk as of late is that we tend to complicate our purpose in Christ.  I absolutely love to read, mostly non-fiction.  I crave to know why others believe what they believe and how they got there.  In other words I can easily find myself in the “Theology Trap”.  Not such a great place to find yourself.  Our Lord came to CLARIFY- even SIMPLIFY.  The last thing HIS message needs is innovations and complications.  For Jesus Christ is the same today, as yesterday, and tomorrow.  So is His message.

Acts 9:31 — Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

There are points that just leap off of the page to me as I read.  ONE is that the church had peace.   …Living in FEAR OF THE LORD and ENCOURAGED by the Holy Spirit.  {Resulting} in increased numbers.

When I read Acts, I keep in mind that the passages are “descriptive” rather then “prescriptive”.  Here the church had PEACE.  Does your church have peace?  Does my church have peace?   Well before that can be answered lets check our FEAR OF THE LORD out.  Do we really know what we are asking for when we ask God to draw near?

2 Peter 3:11-12 –Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[a] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

That passage is a perfect example of why we should have fear for The Lord.  If we have a correct fear for The Lord, then how would that reflect on our behavior?  Our heart condition?

Psalms 76:7-9 — It is you alone who are to be feared.  Who can stand before you when you are angry?From heaven you pronounced judgment,    and the land feared and was quiet—when you, God, rose up to judge,   to save all the afflicted of the land.

We are to rightly fear The Lord.  Therefore humbly be able to approach.  Just like a child approaching a parent with respect and humility.  A right fear will bear an indescribable closeness.  There is nothing closer then a child and parent in a right relationship.

Psalms 147:10-11 –His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,  nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;11 the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

A lack of fear is a result of an unrepentant heart (Ro 3:18).  We must be repentant to be right with The Lord; fear of the Lord leads to repentance (2Cor 7:9-11).  Fear of The Lord movtivates the Godly into right and holy living. (Ps 40:3)  Reverence is profound respect and love, and awesome fear.  A believers pursuit of holiness begins with total fear of God, not panic or dread but a deep awe and respect.  Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pro 1:7) and that the consequences of sin should be feared (Pro 28:1-4).  The fear of God leads to and understanding of Him and His holiness (Pro 2:5 & 9:10) The fear of God gives instruction and leads to humility (Pro 14:26, 27)  and fear of God results in blessings and honor (Pro 22:4)  Believers should be inspired by the Word to fear God!  (Ps 112:1)

2Cor 7:1 — Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

We complicate God’s Word, His Message so much with over thought, over discussed theologies.  It’s simple!  Fear The Lord!  Come to Him!  He died for ALL so that we may live for Him.  So that we may know peace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit — Others will then see and know The Lord by our fruits.

2Cor 5:10-15 —10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

I compel you… DO NOT COMPLICATE!

Just a Vent (2-14-12)

Dear Parent, Neighbor, Co-worker, or Friend,

We have all heard the saying “Can’t judge another unless we have walked a mile in their shoes”.  Problem is too many of us believe we have.  Once we come a parent, well then we seem to think we know about parenting(no matter the situation). In my search for that job that would not compromise my commitment to my boys, I have heard just some of the following:  Well, can’t he use a microwave(like I didn’t think of that),  They would be just fine-they need to figure it out (as if I don’t want them independent),  Where’s your mother/family, can’t they help you more? (If that was an option don’t you think I would be using it?)

My son was declared totally disabled for a reason.  I am paid SSI because it has been PROVEN he must be helped/supervised.  SSI is not a bonus. It is not a pat on the back.  It is my “reality” check that I get each month.

All the rules changed once Nate turned 12.  He is too old for daycare facilities.  He does not require medical attention so an in home aide is over kill. “How come the school is not teaching him?”   I just LOVE this question.  I especially love it when it comes from a person who doesn’t even know what an IEP is.  The school does a wonderful job with the tools, space, and staff they have available.

What is my job is to make sure he makes his appointments, gets the supportive services necessary, has an appropriately written IEP that is followed up on constantly.  My job is to be to my son what he needs, and that my friend is a job you could never imagine~~no matter your experience.

And I have not even begun to list the needs of my other son.

So has this mama bear been a bit riled….maybe.  But I’ll get over it.  And no matter what, I know that it’s okay, because I feel that you truly do care.