Wednesday, March 29

Today has been a day of blessings for me. Most days are, quite honestly, and I miss it. So I'm thankful for the opportunity to pause and remind myself of them. Today I am copyrighted!! I don't know if that's actually true, but I have an article published at I am so thankful! The best part about it is the people that have made comments to me from around the world: Danny from Singapore, Becky from Celina, TX, Sharon from Alabama, and Vicki from North Carolina have all touched me and blessed me in ways they will never know. How fabulous is that? I have no idea what the sign on their church says where they go to worship and I have no idea the color of their skin, but they are each my brother or sister in Christ. Isn't family in Christ so wonderful? I have always prayed to bless others with the words I write or speak, (1 Peter 4:10, 11 -- YIKES) but I have been blessed ten-fold by the people that have responded to me. My blessings abound and I currently am listening to my children shout and squeal while playing in the hose -- it's almost 80* and it's supposed to be 38* in the morning. I need a scientist and/ or pediatrician to tell me why playing with water always involves shouting -- it's just never a quiet activity. But that reminds me of another host of blessings that I have in precious, healthy children. I have no time to list them here, but I will 'count my blessings one by one' while I fold clothes!


Blah, blah, blog

Okay, I'm seein' all these other blogs blow me away. I originally started my blog as a place to post my 'polished' writing (if that is not your opinion of the previous posts, please keep it to yourself!) but have recently seen how much fun a thread of someone's thoughts may be. I will TRY to keep up with 'News of the Stirmans' here, but the main news (for me, anyway) is that I am currently working full time until April 20th. Which means that I have exactly 5 minutes of 'blog post time' before I have to do the before bed, hour-long sprint of making lunches, picking out clothes, packing backpacks, signing folders, and gathering laundry so that I may go to bed early so that I may rise early -- neither healthy, wealthy, nor wise, but exhausted and stressed out at the prospect of doing the same thing all over again. Oh, and somewhere in there I have to see who gets disqualified from "The Amazing Race". And in the 3 minutes since I have been typing, Ashley has been giving a running narration while packing her lunch of exactly how many items in the refrigerator are furry and how we have no fruit to speak of. If you are a full-time working mother -- my hat's off to you and you can try twelve ways to explain to me how you do it, I will still never know.
Well, there it is -- my 5 minutes is up! Maybe in my tomorrow's 5 minutes I can tell you about Riley's baseball or latest quip, or Ashley's Bible bowl or basketball. Until next time, be blessed.


Only someone this cute in a baseball uniform could get me to watch a game! Posted by Hello

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I hate baseball. There you have it. Just as my delay in seeing "The Passion of the Christ" calls my citizenship in heaven into question, I feel certain that my loathing of America’s past-time also calls my United States citizenship into question. But there it is – I hate baseball. So God, having the fabulous sense of humor I feel any loving Creator should have, sent me a son. A son who, in his 7th year, wants to play baseball more than anything. Soccer? Nope. Basketball? Nothin’ doin’. Baseball? Sign him up!
Sign him up we did. Now we’ve invested in cleats, hats, socks, belts, and numerous other items that seem to be essential for playing a game of baseball. Now I spend my evenings sitting in the not-yet-warm West Texas wind watching small children learn to "throw a string, not a rainbow". I figure in a one hour Little League game (and I think I’m being optimistic to assume it will only last an hour) the ball in motion and all subsequent action will total approximately 12 minutes of that game. My son’s part in the action may total about 4 minutes. Again, I believe myself to be an optimist.
I admit that my disdain has had to give way to minor dislike as I watch the enthusiasm that my son has for the sport. Minutes waiting for practice to begin (PRACTICE, mind you – we haven’t even had a game yet!) are painstaking agony. Minutes at practice fly by all too quickly. The little leaguer gushes with knowledge and excitement after each practice. Finally, last night I admit my heart thawed totally toward the sport. I commented, in all honesty, "Well, I’m really glad that you seem to like it." His response was nothing less than incredulous: "Like it?!?! Are you kidding?!?! It’s the best thing that ever happened to me!!!" Now, keep in mind that my son’s life is not necessarily fraught with hardship unless you count unloading the dishwasher and feeding the dog difficult manual labor. But if baseball is the best thing that ever happened to him, then buy me some peanuts and CrackerJacks, I don’t care if I never get back from the old ball game!
I have laughed to myself at how little it took to change my view of the game – simply the fact that it is the delight of one of the loves of my life. I believe that those of us blessed to be parents are given that task in order to get a tiny glimpse into God’s love for us. Lately I have been perplexed by the verse "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) What if the desire of my heart involves 6-pack abs and single digit clothing sizes? I have no hard and fast answers (nor hard abs) but I do know that this spring West Texas day was one of the best things that ever happened to me. And I do believe that it tickled God to no end for me to tell Him so. I also believe that as I continue to pour out my heart to God and know Him as the loving parent He is, the desires of my heart will more closely match His. Without a doubt, HE is the best thing that ever happened to me!
Batter up!


Bunco Night

I have a confession -- I make my entire family re-arrange their lives so that I can go to Bunco night, and I frequently dread going. I don't dis-like being there, but I dis-like turning over the supervision of dinner and clean-up, packing of lunches, baths that don't get taken when I'm not home to go have my 'lady time'. It rarely fails, however, that something at Bunco will make me laugh until I cry, then laugh again as I lay in bed trying to be quiet and let Troy sleep. Last night at Bunco I did just that. It was sorely needed! And, just for the record, there is a singing group entitled, "HoneyCrack". It's a group of gentlemen, and Troy questions their sexual orientation (which, actually, would explain a lot!) but their mere existence cracks me up!


A Mother Asks 'Why'

  • Why is it my fault the Sonic coupons are missing?
  • Why do I allow myself to feel guilty that my children are being deprived of more sugar and fat for the day?
  • Why do they have to put their fingers on the computer screen to play on it? Are they aware that we do not have an interactive screen?
  • Why must any venture outside include a tromp through the mud and a collection of grass clippings?
  • Why (and since when) are all of my belongings community property? Will I ever get any of them back in the same condition that I last saw them?
  • Why do small people who make me this insane also make me weak-kneed, goofy, in love with them?


The Father of Lies

John 8:44
"When (the devil) lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
He’s called the father of lies by the Son of the Most Holy. Lies are his entire modus operandi, his very native language. Why, then, do I even listen? Why do I give any weight at all to the constant barrage of lies Satan sends my way? Perhaps that’s part of it – there’s no end to the lies. Too often, Satan knows our insecurities, our weaknesses even better than we know ourselves.
"Your husband can’t possibly really love you – not when you look like you do (or keep house like you do, or cook like you do)." "You’re a horrible parent – your poor children don’t stand a chance coming from your household." "No way. The sins of your past are too awful, too horrible. What if everyone knew? God can never forgive you completely. You’re basically useless to His kingdom."
The lies start so small and innocuous, like a minor but constant drip. They come at me most often when my life is good; at times when I don’t feel the urgent need to cling to God for every breath as I do in times of crisis. I am not as well-armed to fend off the attack. As I absorb each lie, they continue to spiral and snowball until I am completely bowed down. I’m a weary soldier, marching to the cadence of an evil leader, a slave to the father of lies. It is then that I BECOME useless to the kingdom of heaven! Ooooh, isn’t Satan sneaky that way?
How can I possibly break free? How do I get out of this trap? That’s the glorious part! It’s as close as my Bible, and takes as long as it takes my knees to hit the floor! When I turn my face to Him, to know His glory, I know without a doubt I am loved completely by Him. I can claim the lies as the lies they are. In John 8:32, Jesus tells his disciples, "The truth will set you free." The good news continues in verse 36, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Hallelujah, and may I be free indeed!
David understood how the whole process works when he writes in Psalm 26:2 &3: "Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." David knew the freedom from sin that comes with walking in truth. He was also fully aware of how that can be accomplished. Walking continually in the truth. Satan is too consistent in his attacks for me not to be consistent in my defense against the attacks.
To me, the best news of all of this is found in James 4: 7 and 8. Not only do we learn that we, as heirs of the Father, have power over Satan ourselves, we learn the Creator of all of the universe will come to our aide and be by our side. The lies of the father of lies begin to lose their power as I turn to His glory.
James 4:7,8:
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and He will come near to you."
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