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A Difficult Task

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Today I accomplished something I wasn’t sure would have ever been possible.  I have spent about a year writing a book.  My “Work in Progress” has been just that, a work in progress.  I have had days when I thought of giving it up and days when I couldn’t stop writing.

My idea of what I wanted it to look like was not God’s idea so there were many times when I felt the old writers block.  I knew what the story needed to say but I couldn’t get the words onto paper.  It wasn’t until I surrendered my writing to God’s desire and words that things would flow again.

The story is about returning to God but I wanted it to be greater than what God wanted it to be.  I had amazing ideals for the number of chapters and the number of words but what I didn’t take into consideration was His ideals.

God is able to make His point with fewer words than we can and that is just what He did.

I am pleasantly surprised at what has been birthed out of my surrendering and obedience to God.  I cannot wait to share it with others.  If you would like updates on how it is going, you can visit my website at www.sarahjaneho.com or my Facebook page.

In the meantime, remember His plans are greater than ours and He has our path planned just follow His lead.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.  May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.”  Romans 15:4-5

A few weeks ago I posted a question on my Facebook page regarding Old Testament Laws and whether or not they apply to us today.  Many Christians believe that the big 10 (the Ten Commandments) still apply but the other 593 are no longer relevant.  Why choose only those ten?  I can understand how the commandments pertaining to sacrificing no longer apply because Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrifice but how does that negate all the other ones except for the Ten Commandments?  I kept seeing responses from people about how the old “Laws” are no longer relevant and my response was, “well then why do you still follow the Ten Commandments, they are part of the old?”  Not one person could come up with a definitive answer, they just kept dancing around the subject.

It was becoming so frustrating for me because every person had what they believed to be the absolute reason why but they still could not explain to me why they obey the Ten Commandments still if they do not obey the others.  I had to just let it go and realize that I only need to worry about what God was speaking to my heart and have patience for others because I am instructed to live in complete harmony with others.

Patience can be problematic for me because of the person God created me to be.

I recently took a personality test and spiritual gifts test for our church plant, which I have taken before but somethings stood out that I found quiet interesting.  For instance, I am a dominant personality, which I knew, but the description was wonderful.  A dominant person thrives during multitasking and high stress situations, they do not have the patience for others meaning when they see a job that just needs to be done they just do it.

That is totally me.  I just do it.  Not because I feel as though another person cannot accomplish it but because if I am free to do it for them then they can get something else done that I am not able to help with.  I have never been big on just sitting around and waiting.  If a group I am in is trying to get something accomplished I am usually the first to say “get a move on it.”  I know, not the nicest way of saying it but seriously, get the lead out and move forward.  I tend to clash a bit with those who want to sit around an analyze everything.

Recently, like the Facebook post, I have been placed in situations where God is reminding me of patience.  No I haven’t prayed for patience recently so I know that is not why He is reviewing it with me.  I believe He is just taking time to work on my people skills so that I can revert back to harmony in situations that get under my skin.  He is teaching me so that I may be fully prepared for the promises He has given to me.

I may have times in my life when I need to let it go (hard for me to say that phrase without thinking of the Frozen movie) which can be difficult.  But I need to just remember, I am being refined for His promises which work best when I am in complete harmony with others.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

Since I was a little girl my Daddy would take me out on a date for our birthdays.  His was four days away from mine so we made it an annual thing to celebrate together.  There were years that we celebrated by eating at Taco Bell and others were we sat and talked; it was our special time.  Fast forward about thirty plus of those special annual days to the very last time I got to spend my birthday with him.

On my Daddy’s 74th birthday he had four strokes.  Since he was such a feisty person my Mom, three sisters and I all believed he would recover well.  Just short of two years later, I got a call from my Mom asking me to come for a visit because the doctors do not think he will make it much longer.

My sisters and I scheduled visits a week a part from the last.  This way he would see one of each of us per week for a month, with me being the last in order to overlap our birthdays.

I called him before hand to tell him how much I loved him, what an amazing Daddy he was to me and that I had planned on being there for our birthday celebration.  With tears in my eyes, I told him that if he felt he needed to go that I would be okay.  Not to hang on for my sake.  That he will always be in my heart and I would understand.

He made it.

I celebrated one last birthday at his side with about 10 helium balloons tied to his hospice bed.  I was also able to see him give his life to the Lord and will feel forever blessed to be a part of his salvation story.  He died a week after I left.

The next year without him was so difficult for me, even weeks prior to our birthdays.

My girlfriend Rebecca knew the pain I was feeling and took me out to be my Daddy substitute.  We had a great time so a year later she suggested we invite more of my friends.

Last night was another such occasion.  I was able to spend another birthday with some girlfriends as they encircled me with love, knowing the sorrow I still feel without him.

Thank you: Debbie, Athena, Sara, Casey, Jennifer, Felicia, Jenn, Adrienna and Tori for they fun evening.

Thank you to my lovebug, an amazing husband,  for corralling the kiddos while I enjoyed an evening with girlfriends and a full day to myself.

Thank you to my sisters and friends for all the birthday wishes.

I am lifted up every year by God’s love and these people reminding me that I will see my Daddy again someday.  Who lifts you up?

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

What was she to do?

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.'” Luke 1:26-33

Can you imagine being told your child will be the Son of God?  We know Mary had faith in God but could her brain truly wrap around all that meant?  We struggle with understanding how God could allow things to happen to us like loosing our jobs.

There is a song, put out by many people but the first time I heard it sang was from Michael English, called “Mary Did You Know?”  He wasn’t asking, in the song, if she knew she was going to be the mother of the Son of God, she knew that, the Angel told her so and since she believed in God she knew it to be true.  What he asked in the song were things like, “did you know that He would be your Savor, did you know that He would walk on water, make storms calm with His hand, the dead will rise by His mouth?”

Seriously, can you imagine?

As a mother for five beautiful babies, whose time with them is just flying by, I cannot even comprehend my children growing up and getting married because they are my babies, let alone think of the possibility that they could “save nations” as He did and continues to do.

For Mary, even though He was her baby, He was her Lord; she needed Him and what she could give Him in life was nothing compared to what He could give her.  How can anyone wrap their head around that.

God came to Earth in human form, as the Son of God, to be born – which in itself is not even remotely a good experience for a baby – and then slept among livestock in a trough with straw for a bed.

He humbled Himself, from the very start, to love us beyond anyone’s possible understanding.

And it wasn’t just Mary who needed to just trust unconditionally in the position she was given.  It is every Daddy’s dream to have a son who they can teach “manly” things to.  Joseph must have been beside himself, at times, wondering what he could possibly teach GOD.  I know my husband gets a little disappointed if he was not able to teach our son something because he figured it out  on his own.

So what was Mary to do?  Be a mother, who loves her child, supports them and protects them even if He could do it all by Himself.  She was placed in that position and so was Joseph, for a reason.  He knew they were the perfect pair.

You are given your children for a reason, you and your spouse are the perfect pair for your babies.  Sure you may have times in prayer where you ask God, “why me” thinking you are not equipped enough to deal with the temper tantrums, mental health issues they face, disciplining a child who runs away or does drugs but God knows better.  You were hand-picked to love, support and protect, even if they can do it all by themselves.

Thank you Mary and Joseph for showing me how to be a parent, even in conditions where you may have felt inadequate.  If you can do it, I can do it.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

 

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”  I John 2:1-6

I have been in discussion over this subject with several different people lately.  Today I came across this verse again and just fell in love with it because it makes my point crystal clear.

I have known many people who are considered a man of virtue but when push comes to shove it is just an outward appearance for the show.  It makes me think of the Pharisees; they were considered men of God but in name alone.

Anyone can say they believe in God and live by His standards but if the actions of your heart do not demonstrate and match that then you are just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can go to church, Bible study or tell someone you will pray for them when in reality you do not “know Him.”  Make no mistake, when your time comes for the gates of Heaven to accepting-ly open for you or the gates of Hell to swallow you whole, if you did not know Him than He will not know you.

I am striving to live my life as a “virtuous man (woman)” and that means I strive to know Him, doing as He did.  I will learn His truth and strive to live it out daily.

Do not just be a man of virtue, be a virtuous man.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” Proverbs 12:22

Truth-telling time.  One of my biggest pet peeves is….Santa and everything he represents.  There I said it.  I CANNOT stand when parents tell their kids about Santa at Christmas, for many reasons but I will explain a two of them.

Selfish reason:  As a parent who works hard to provide for my family, why would I give the purchasing credit of presents to some dude in a red suite?  It makes no sense.

Practical reason:  Lying!  A lie is a lie; there is no such thing as a white lie or an innocent lie in the eyes of God.  Why would you tell your children about Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy?  They are all lies.  You are basically saying, “it is okay to lie to my children for a fun purpose.”  Again, it makes no sense to me.  If I want to teach my children specific values I don’t wait until later to do it because I want them to experience something “fun” first; I teach them right away.  The same would go for Santa Claus.  Parents tell their kids about Santa until they are old enough to be told the truth and not believe the lie, explaining it was just a myth or story people tell their kids.  No, don’t kid yourself, you are lying to your children.  Plain and simple.

If you lie to them now, what makes you think they will take us seriously later?  If you lie to them now, don’t you think you are teaching them that it is okay to lie?  We (parents) are their example so if mom/dad does it then it must be okay!

This is the same reason why I do not buy my little girls bikinis for swimming.  People think it is adorable to see their little girls in bikinis during the summer but what happens when your little girls become well-endowed young ladies?  Is that bikini looking adorable then?  If you think it is you may want to reconsider what message you are allowing your kids to send.

As a parent, it is my job to protect my children.  God protects His children and expects us to protect those that He has entrusted us to raise.  Protection from perverted men who stare at our young ladies and yes, protection from lies from our own mouths.

Because we are a family that chooses not to lie, the only “ho-ho-ho” we here in our house is when someone says our last name.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

‘Tis the Season!

Hey friends,

As a change of pace, from my usual post, I have decided to raffle off a couple of thank you gifts.

The first one is called “Time with the Lord” which includes: Coffee mug, Latte packages, $5 Starbucks gift card, Prayers and Promises book, Crazy Love book, writing journal, purple pen and Angel ornament.

The second one is called “Writer’s Goodies” which includes: Coffee mug, $5 Starbucks gift card, Book/laptop light, Words from the Heart book, The 2,548 Best Things Anyone has Ever Said book, monthly planner notes, pink pen, and Christmas tree ornament.

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Please visit my Facebook fan page to enter the contest.  Contest starts tomorrow morning and runs until December 17th.  I will announce the winners on my Facebook page.

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