Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Edition of....Welcome to...My Life!

Our normally very punctual Spanish teacher was MIA.  I was on a mission of search and, if need be, rescue.  I zoomed out of the church parking lot and drove down the road to his home.  Thoughts of his recent mini-strokes raced through my mind.  Was he ok?  Was he in the hospital?  To make matters more precarious, our Italian pastor was, at this moment, trying to teach the 5th-8th graders Spanish.  Our teacher had to be found before permanent linguistic damage was done!  

(Seriously - I am grateful for a pastor - or any person -who is not afraid to jump in and do his best in any situation!)

I pulled my large van into Senor S'. driveway.  In spite of my concerns, I laughed at the sign on the garage in front of me:  "Beware of Dog."  I had seen his "dog."  It was a 3 lb. Chihuahua.  Beware indeed.  HA!

Chuckling to myself, I got out of the van.  All laughter subsided when I heard a ferocious barking mad yapping and saw "Tiny" come rushing at me with his ears back, muscles tensed, and teeth bared.  I jumped back in the van and stared at the sharp-toothed canine which continued to bark and growl at me.  

Now, anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to watch Jurassic Park knows that the little guys are the most vicious.  What they lack in size they make up for in speed and bite.  So it seemed with "Tiny".  I was terrified he would jump up and sink his razor-like teeth into my ankles.  Not the way I wanted to continue this already interesting morning.

Finally, "Tiny" gave up his hostage and wandered towards the road.  Yes, the road.  Now, instead of me fearing for my life, I was now fearing slightly concerned for his.  Actually, I could have cared less about him, I was just worried that some poor soul on their way to work would run over this family pet and they would feel horrible.  Not to mention, I would have been the one in the driveway just watching it happen.  What to do?  I called the dog. 

"Here dog."  

Ok, so I wasn't really convincing.  He just looked at me.  What was I going to do if he came over?  Pick him up and put him in my van so he could chew my hands off the steering wheel as I tried to drive home?  Cars are actually having to slow down and swerve a bit in order to preserve the life of this...this...dog.  

After a few minutes of having complete control over my nerves and the last 20 drivers on the road, "Tiny" decided he'd had enough fun and went to find amusement elsewhere.  Namely, the ditch on the side of the road.  I had come to the conclusion that there was something seriously wrong with this dog's mental capacities, but now I know better.  He is just a typical, control-driven Chihuahua.  

Or, as my friend so fondly refers to them...a drop-kick dog.  If only I had...

After snooping around and finding absolutely nothing and successfully pulled out of the driveway without running over "Tiny", I drove back to the church where our homeschool co-op was being held.  Turns out, the Senor S., had arrived shortly after I pulled out of the driveway.  All's well that ends well, right?

Moral of the story:  never laugh at "Beware of Dog" signs.

Welcome to...my life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Beautiful Relationship

I don't do this often, but as I have been too busy to write anything of my own and because this article was such a tremendous blessing to me, I am asking that you please go to Janice's blog today. Jan, her husband Dan, and their children are on the road right now on deputation. The Lord as called them to work with another missionary in Zambia, Africa. Jan & Dan love the Lord with a passion and seeking Him is an obvious priority in their lives. 

As you read Jan's article, I know you will be blessed. Oh, and I know they will be grateful to all who pray for them!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Testimony

I am taking an English course in our Bible Institute this semester.  I'm auditing it as I've always been one of those students who LOVE English and writing!  The following is my assignment for this week.  I pray you will be blessed.

I was born into a Christian home.  Some would refer to me as a second-generation Christian and they would be correct.  I prefer to refer to myself as blessed, for that is exactly what I am.
My parents were saved three years before I was born while they were expecting my older brother.  I was carried into church for the first time when I was just a six-week old infant.  I know no other way to spend a Sunday or a Wednesday night than in the house of God.  On my second birthday, I received my first Bible.  One of my parents snapped a picture the moment I unwrapped it and captured forever the look of complete, innocent joy on my toddler face.  I carried that white Bible to Sunday School every week as well as to the Christian school I began attending in Kindergarten and from which I graduated.  My first collegiate year was spent at a Christian college away from home and I carried that worn white Bible into my dorm room. 
From my earliest memories, I knew that Jesus had died for my sins.  I had learned that the only way to heaven was by asking Him into my heart.  I knew that if I did not get saved, I would go to a horrible fiery place called Hell.  However, my young heart had trouble comprehending all of these things.  I must have asked my mom some questions or shown an interest in salvation one evening as I vaguely remember her asking if I wanted to pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart.  As we knelt beside her bed, she told me that once I prayed, I would be able to be in heaven with her, my dad, and Jesus forever.  Though I don’t believe I was afraid Jesus was going to take me to heaven right then and there, I didn’t like the idea of dying and, therefore, chose not to get saved at that time. 
I am not sure how much time passed between that incident and March 18, 1979.  I was a few weeks from my sixth birthday and sitting at the kitchen table with my father.  I don’t remember what my father and I talked about.  I don’t remember the exact words I prayed.  I do remember closing my eyes, asking Jesus to come into my heart, and opening my eyes knowing that I was going to heaven someday! 
That was over thirty years ago.   Christ has been by my side, holding my hand every day since and has blessed me abundantly.  He has continuously surrounded me with Christians who love me.  He has protected me from potentially dangerous situations many times. He brought to me a wonderful godly man at just the right time who would become my husband.  The Lord has graciously forgiven me and loved me even after the many times I have stumbled. 
 Christ’s goodness is made most evident through the valleys of life and it has been during these times that I have grown to know more of my Savior and His love.  He helped me as I struggled through my parent’s divorce when I was twelve, and was the One on Whom I laid my burden of bitterness years later.  The Lord was my family’s Rock throughout the years my younger brother struggled with drugs, and we wondered with every ring of the phone whether he was in jail or dead.  Because of my upbringing, I knew to open my Bible in the midst of a trial and the Lord showed Himself faithful to me each time.  He gave me comfort, peace, and hope.  My faith grew as I learned that He would always be there when I needed Him.
Because of God’s tremendous faithfulness, my trust in Him grew throughout the years.  Therefore, when our son was diagnosed with a genetic disorder when he was a few months old, my husband and I were able to give him right back to the One who gave him to us.  A few years ago, our son developed scoliosis, just one of the many complications that could come from his disorder.   We were told that surgery would possibly cripple him.  We saw our son in pain for 2 years and watched him grow in faith as God proved Himself to a new generation. Though we were scared and though the future was uncertain, our Father continued to be our Light on the path which He chose for us.  He gave us great peace and grace seeing us to the end of that trial.
It would be false for me to say that I’ve never doubted God in the last thirty years. In the fall of 2008, I went through a time in my life in which I questioned everything I knew about God.  Was His Word really true or was it just a made-up Book?  Did God really exist?  Did Jesus Christ REALLY come to earth to save me?  Was He truly the way to Heaven?  Was the Christian faith in which I was raised the right way or was it just another false religion? I struggled with these questions secretly for several dark months.  I am not sure what led me to doubt, but I had been saved for 29 years and suddenly all I knew was held in suspicion.   Seriously contemplating the possible absence of God, the best Friend and Comforter I had all my life, created in me a terribly deep sense of loneliness and fear.  It was when I began to remember His profoundly real presence on many occasions, the miracles He worked in my life and in the lives of those around me, and the many times that I have experienced the peace that passeth all understanding that I began to realize that He indeed does exist.  I could not explain away those things giving me no choice but to give Him credit and glory for it all.
Today, I know God is real and I am so very grateful to have a relationship with the Creator of all.  I read His Word and He clearly speaks to me.  He continues to hold my hand throughout each day.  God’s love and His Word have been a part of my life from the moment I was born and I am so grateful that, thus far, three of my children are, what some would call, third-generation Christians.  I call them blessed, for that is exactly what we are.
“I will remember the works of the Lord:  surely I will remember the wonders of old.  I will meditate also of all thy work; and talk of thy doings…who is so great a God as our God?”  -Psalm 77:11-13

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tonight, at dinner, some of our children & I were talking about when they get married. My 3 oldest girls all agreed they want to marry farmers because that's what their daddy is. Then, my one daughter declared that she wanted her children to grow up the same way she is.

Can a mother ask for more?