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Monday, January 2, 2012

My Baal . . . Selfishness



Then the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord saying, We have sinned against You, for indeed, we have forsaken our God and served the Baals." My idol: SELF!

This was from my quiet time this morning!!!!!!! I was convicted, I guess. I feel like I have sinned in this area, but I'm not convinced! I'm praying for the Lord's real true and undeniable conviction.

Amorri was here this past week! We had so much fun. We don't normally get to spend that much time with her bc she's with her daddy most of the time she's here. But because he was in the hospital from the gunshot wound she was with us ALL week. We had a blast. I was wondering why it seems so much more fun when she's here. Last night I threw around many possibilities. This morning after reading that verse I believe it's because I give my life away @ that time . . . I'm not selfish. I want her to have a good time so I'm not concerned about how I'm going to get my time, my rest, my refreshment! The thing about it is, that's only temporary. I know I'll only have to do that for a few days!! How do I then make that my lifestyle. Dying to self continually!!!!!!

As I cried out to the Lord this morning like the Israelites. I confessed to the Lord my fear of starting well on this journey of self denial, but then failing miserably. I've been down this road before and I've never made it very far. Well that's not true. I've grown a lot in this area, but I don't continue down the road. I travel a distance and, I guess, figure I've gone far enough and stop traveling. I may even turn back a little.

It's amazing how the Lord brings His message from many different areas. Yesterday @ church Terrance was preaching from 1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which WAGE WAR against your soul."


The Lord is amazing!! Even as I'm typing this I remember reading this about a month ago in one of my mini bathroom quiet times :) and being struck by the idea that my sin was WAGING WAR against me!!! I was struck then about how serious that sounded and that's exactly what Terrance brought out yesterday!!

ALL OUT ASSAULT!!!

Which means there is not a time that I can let my guard down! I have to be CONSTANTLY @ war , by the power of God's Spirit.

I was also struck with the idea that my struggle is the war God has given ME to fight. Everyone's struggle is different! Theirs will not be like mine nor mine like theirs.

Also from the sermon yesterday, we'll constantly be @ war until the Lord returns. If I'm looking for a break, I'm looking for the wrong thing! That may be part of the problem with my fighting!!!! That truth caused me to want to embrace whatever my fight is! I can't get tired of fighting the same fight year after year. Knowing that should the Lord deliver me from this, He will reveal another area in which I'd have to fight. If I wasn't fighting this same thing over and over it would be something else, no less difficult! I was clear of all this yesterday, but I didn't have a particular sin issue to attach it to! Now praise God I do!!!

This selfishness I've served and not God!! The Lord has revealed this many times and I've experienced such freedom when I'd surrender to the Lord's will and call, but over time I wouldn't continue. So as I cried out to the Lord this morning I confessed my lack of perseverance and prayed that He would uphold me in the fight against my self! I know I can't do it without His help! I've tried far too many times, far too many years!!

So AGAIN I surrender to this call from the Lord because that is what this is!!!




The Lord has called me. . . through my circle of influences, my hearts desire, prayer and circumstances . . . to this very thing! This parenting, this homeschooling, this minstry!




It WILL require much more of my life than I really want to give! It's not unreasonable though, Jesus gave it all for me!

John Piper on time tweeted:

@JohnPiper: There are dreams that should wait for the age to come. The world is fallen and there are other things to do. They will come.

There will be a time when the war will cease and I will have time for other things. Even in this life that day will come. But this isn't it and ultimately rest will only come when Jesus does!! Can I embrace that? A life of work and war for the Kingdom of God and the Glory of the King!! O how I long for the answer to be a final YES!!! but I know it's only by God's grace. I need it so much!!! and I know that it will be a constant fight!!! I'm at war and it's a battle for my soul! By God's grace, I'm ready to fight!!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My updated list . . .

I think I'll start a journal. :)

Gifts #22 to #145


Jan 29,2011
#22 One Beautiful Day. Thank you Lord
One mosquitoe dead, another, fat with liquid life. Leaving the evidence of its victory on my skin.
Card games to play.
the long hug
Cheerleading, so my girl, and others like her, can thrive where they love
another mosquitoe dead
a nap for Zo
little kisses
the husband who's glad to be home
time with friends
the laugh and play of little girls @ the doll store
sweet unusual fellowhip with Christy
Chronicles of Narnia on audio
Kids eat free @ O' Charley's
The light He shines in the dark places . . . so hard, but so freeing
stealing a quiet moment on the bottom bunk
My clean room -- for a moment
warm heaters
fresh flowers
warm water to clean the dishes
my hand maiden, le dishwaher
my four year olds "mommy"
a game of Simon says with kids and daddy . . . the laughter
the priviledge of homeschooling
the mess that means kids live here . . . my kids
prayer
the Father who holds all the water in the world in the hollow of His hands . . . and loves me
story and prayer in my bed . . . sweet
At the Cross by Hillsong
Nicole's heart for the women and girls in our neighborhood
Chubby cheeks
the sound of girls beads
children old enough to clean
Bible time with Daddy
Ayden and Zo practicing for the wedding with Alaiyah as director
"brand new" mattress
Alaiyah's laughter after sick days
Ponatoes Ayden's way of saying tomatoes
My partner in child training
Days that force me to count my gifts
Our school candle
this day the Lord has made
a car that works
time and reason to clean
medicine that helps little ones feel better
Alonzo and Terrance's time together in Atlanta
The Allen's wedding tomorrow . . . celebration . . . reminder
Ayden's "the room is clean, so , so clean. i'm not tricking you"
Alaiyah can multiply, and now I can teach her to divide
Ayden's secret conversation with herself.
Her explanation of the secret. Haaaaaaa!
the little voice I still here in room long after bedtime
Alaiyah's grown up conversation
Col 1:29 and the power that mightily works within me
21 other gifts
Feb 12,2011
the wedding ceremony and the reminder, this is God's idea for His glory
prayer
warm tea
#100 vick's on the little feet
God's word that helps me know and remeber how great He is and how capable of caring for me
the bird's song
the call to today's duty, it is my service to the Lord
the challenge to evaluate, it is a continual call to look to the only judge that matters
weariness, it helps me see my need fo rhim and to rely on His promised strength
Him. . . whol always listens and who is always eager to do
Him pumping my gas, and his too, las night in the cold
the things I don't want to do . . . they force me to die and live again through Christ's power
answer to my prayer . . . how to slow down and embrace each day . . . and live and still homeschool
quietly resting children, with no coughs and vick's coated feet
long talk with the husband, really hearing his heart and rejoicing
words of encouragement given to a grind in a moment of discouragement
prayer and god's truth to remind me of who's I am and who I serve
Pastor Austin's servant heart and that example before these young pastor's
the glower's picked from the YMCA's field with my son proudly bringing his mommy more than the others
the wedding . . . my babies were so cute and so brave
time at the table with friends and my growing friendship with Jayden
the thought of His and Her journals and the capturing of our love and life together
cheeleading . . . helping my big girls grow confident
warm water in the shower
his encouragment to be free and reminder that he's always for me
little pearls, white ribbon, tights
heat
the men my husband gets to work with
20 other gifts
#145 Counting each blessing, naming them one. by. one.

In Gratitude,
Antoinette

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I so need to update my 1000 gifts list here!!! I've still been counting . . . not as much as I should or need to. . . but I've been counting, I just haven't taken the time to update here. i will soon! It's such an encouragement to me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night, I got some rare alone time with Alaiyah.

Rare, not only because of the two other little people who call me Mommy, but also because I'm not intentional about taking the time.

I'm much more often trying to get things done so that when all the kids are in the bed, I can chill!

She came in from BSF and I sat with her while she ate. I'm embarrassed to think how rare that truly is. It was so much fun!!! The child is hilarious. She said one funny thing after another. And so much more than that, I could tell SHE LOVED IT!!!!

As love tanks go, hers was full last night!! She had private time with her mommy. She even mentioned it several times today. It really meant a lot to her.





She's growing in her faith and watching God continually answer her prayers. And unlike me, she seems to always notice that He does. I love that!

Yesterday she was about to meet the training hand of (scary music ) HER FATHER. I ran to her rescue. Literally! Alonzo jokingly replayed the way I jumped off the couch!

Hee Hee!

There was a slight misunderstanding and I just wanted to make sure it was all clear.

Lo and behold, as Alonzo and I talked, Alaiyah~I learned at our late dinner date~was in the bathroom searching her heart to confess her wrong and praying that God would spare her :) She said when her Daddy walked in the bathroom with a smile on his face "her heart bursted with joy" (her words)

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I laughed so hard.

She lauged too, but was so serious!!!

She was glad to have been spared a spanking and remembered that God had answered her prayer.

She was a little dismayed that he didn't answer her prayer to get all her math facts right the next day, but she is a little prayer warrior in training after all. :)

That little late night date opened my eyes to all I will miss of my sweet girl, and my other two little people, if I just herd them together and try to get through the day. It made me want to make the time to truly know each of them individually.




I make no mistake about it~~it will take much time.

but isn't it worth it?

Alonzo was talking with a young mom @ our church meeting Sunday night. They were obviously talking about the challenges of being a stay at home mom. He asked me if I struggled with that.

Well.........

that wasn't the best day to be on display! I had had a rough time of it that day and was just not emotionally all there.

I said I was convinced that this is where the Lord wants me.

I am.

I just think sometimes I need a bigger vision for what I'm doing. Something to spur me on on the hard days.


Colossians 1:29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

I was really clinging to this verse the next day for strength to keep on keeping on. Because of the conversation the night before I asked the Lord..."for what purpose do I labor" . . . "Why do I really do all this?"

His response TO BUILD MY KINGDOM!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my part in building the kingdom of GOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Loving this husband, raising these little people, keeping this house, loving these neighbors is my part in building the kingdom of OUR CREATOR, My Savior, KING OF ALL KINGS!!!!!!

This kingdom that shall have NO END!

Let's think . . . diapers will end, days of rearing children will end, endless to do lists will end, sorrow, pain, suffering, hard days will end . . .





but this Kingdom, for which I labor and, therfore, my work in this kingdom . . . WILL. NEVER. END.

So I labor on! With His divine power that MIGHTILY works within me!






In Gratitude,
Antoinette

Friday, January 28, 2011



Gifts 10-21

My Lord who leads me like a Shepherd and carries me in His arms forever. Psalm 28:9

The grace of God that frees me to see and enjoy the gift of Christ's sacrifice without the burden of "what I must do".

This post that brought me to tears as I read exactly what I feel God doing in my very own heart at this much needed time as I look for His gifts to me each day!

Evidence of the grace to speak words that make souls stronger even as I memorize and pray toward that goal.

To look @ my son as he communicates his frustration over just a little thing and instead of my heart filling with irritation, filling with gift . . . he is God's gift to me!

My husband's stare . . . and response to my questions . . . "because you're my wife and your special and I love you"

The reminder of how much I need this list. Sigh.

A friend who trusts me with her deepest hurts in the hurting moment.

A friend who encourages me even out of her own discouragement.

The sound of my children loudly playing during their "quiet time".

Yet another king size mattress and another's willingness to help us pick it up.

Theraflu :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

There is a book called One Thousand Gifts written by a lady named Ann who has a beautiful and meaningful blog.

I pray that the Lord will continue to use the truths I've learned there to be planted deep!

I'm starting my own list of One Thousand Gifts here! I pray I stick to it. I need it!


1. Copy Cats

Last night Alonzo was trying to tell me of a blessing a friend of his received. Ayden was on silly mode and for the very first time began to mock everything he said.

Exactly as he said it. Only . . . in her 4 year old precious voice!

We laughed hard

. . . and inwardly I felt a pang of sadness that I wouldn't be able to hear her voice that way forever.

2. My life.


In all it's craziness, noise, and mess. It's MY life! My daily gift from my Father. Full of less obvious joys just waiting to be noticed.

3. The Help! lol.

Her own version of table cleaning. :)



4.This blog. It is a quiet spot in my crazy days.

. . . and an inspirations to creatively write.


5. Progress.


I had no idea my boy could write so well. and this during non-school hours.
I was so proud!
6. Pancakes with whipped cream for lunch. Simple, quick, & yummy!








7. The Sovereign Lord my shelter! Psalm 73:28


O where would I be without Him. His blood has washed away my sins.
The wrath of God...that should be mine...He took, and now He calls ME beloved!

Amazing!!



8. This man! and this our date night!!




9. Fun time with my girl.

We thought we were cute. So we posed :)





Yes this is the same day she went to the bathroom to check her hair!






In Gratitude,

Antoinette


Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of School

Today has been so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to write a blog posts on my school break! Now that's huge!!!!

I went to work out and have my quiet time @ the river this morning for the first time in a looooooooooong time. I had to get my mind right for today!!!

I prayed on the way to the river that God would show me himself today! I know that God is with me and I know that He is working in and around my life all day! My prayer today was that I would see him!!!!!

While I was reading Psalm 46 Alonzo texted me to tell me to tell me that he had sent our friends, Shaunta and Eddie THAT VERY SAME PSALM .... Psalm 46....this morning!

Let's get this picture! I'm sitting in my car reading Psalm 46... meditating on God being my strength for homeschooling this year...thinking of having this as my verse for the year regarding homeschooling.

I get a text and see that it's Alonzo so I check it. He's texting me to tell me he. just. sent. that very SAME text to some friends of our. THE VERY SAME ONE I WAS READING THAT VERY MINUTE!!!!

Ok, I think you get the picture!!!

Then as soon as I walk in the door, my friend, Delta, texted me a prayer for my homeschooling day and she sent........ GUESS WHAT!!!

Psalm 46:1 with the text!!!

I said OK, OK, Lord I see you!!!

THEN

I got a facebook update to my phone from my friend, Nicole, and she was praying these exact words,

"praying that the Lord's presence will be STRONG in my life and in the lives of those around me this week!!!"


Wooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! This was all before 10:00 a.m. this morning!!

I love the Lord. He heard my cry!!!!

Prayer is reall Yall!!!!

As I was praying today, I was thinking what if the Lord really did answer my prayer THIS VERY DAY!!!! What if I could clearly see the Lord working in my life TODAY!!!!

Boy, O, boy!!! I had no idea how quickly he would answer it!!!!!

Thank you Lord!!

***************************************************************************

School has gone great today! Thank you all for praying!!! Alaiyah said school is so much more fun this year! We started off with a dance party and she really liked that. I think it's a keeper. It's 11:36 a.m. and I've done more than I planned for today!

Prayer works yall!!!!!!

God is good!!!!

Thanks for praying!!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oh Ayden!!




Ayden climbed on the couch with me today and brought me an arm full of books. To my surprise she then began to "read" them to me!!!! It was soooo cute! At times it was more like a musical because she'd break out into songs! Very random songs! And sing them with all her might and then go back to the story at hand! LOL

You could tell which ones were her favorites because she actually remembered some of the words of those books. She is the only child I've had that wants me to read the same books over and over and over again!

She read Forest Friends ($1 Target book LOL), Kitty, Kitty (another $1 Target book :), Neeghborhood Animals (Baby Einstein), Muppet Babies I Want to Do That...,
Goodnight Baby by Cheryl Hudson, and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

Making this list, I saw that few of these are the books i would normally choose to read. They are board books. Many of them we've had since Alaiyah was a baby. She loves them, though and it was so cute to have her "read" them.

Her favorite book is Hey Wake Up!! by Sandra Boynton. It is soooo cute to hear her say (or yell would be a better discription), "Goodmorning sun!! Happy Morning Everyone!!!" We read this book EVERYDAY!!!! I don't know were it is right now and that's the only reason she didn't read it today!!!

After awhile she grew tired of reading and asked me to read. Slowly, one by one, my other children ended up on the couch listening to board books!!

I love to read!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad my children love it too!!!!

************************************************************************

Ayden only wants to wear skirts or dresses!!!



She actually cried the other day when I put her on shorts! She is my girly girl!! She puts on her church shoes and wears them around the house all day!!

For her birthday we got her a gift for everyday of her birthday week. Well, I think she likes the idea. She's already making requests for her next birthday. Today she brought me Alaiyah's cute little pink Mary Jane shoes and said I want some of these for my birthday...some little ones!!!

As I type this she is looking @ me with that serious face of hers asking if I will buy her a bike!!!

We were in Wal-Mart the other day and she said, "Mommy I don't have a bike!" (as if that was news to me) "I can ride that one! I can!" I let her try because i was sure her little legs wouldn't reach the peddles!!!

Boo hoo hoo!!!

They did. and she rode the bike up and down the isle as if she'd been doing it forever!!





Waaahhhhhhhhh!!

Where is the time going? She's really grown!!!





Thank you Lord for my sweet babies!!!