I Can Only Imagine

Recently I’ve been thinking about the end times and Jesus’s return. There are days where listening and reading about what’s going on throughout the world that I think the end must be near. Then I look at my 2crazylittleboys and I think about all the living we have left to do. And then I want to laugh. As if any living we have to do here on earth could be even a fraction of the goodness that is a waiting us in Heaven.

I imagine that all the things MercyMe describes in this song will happen when we see Jesus. I believe will we stand in His presence and fall to our knees. I believe there will be times where we sing His praises and times where we will be unable to speak for His overwhelming glory. I believe there will be times that we will dance for Him and times where in awe of Him we will be still.

Whenever I think of Heaven, I think of sunlight, or I guess it is better said Sonlight. For the glory of God will shine so brightly there will be no need for the sun to shine. I think of it being warm, the perfect temperature in the perfect place. Warmth and light and God’s amazing glory.

I think of the Garden of Eden and how lovely it must have been. All of God’s creation in perfect harmony. God’s creation as we see it today is remarkable and how amazing must it be to see it while standing in His presence?

And on cold and snowy days like today, I look at my front window and see His creation covered in the most lovely coat of white as the flakes fly from the sky. And then I think of it in the terms of Heaven where I imagine it to be warm. And I think of the absolute joy it brings my 2crazylittleboys to watch the snow fly and then to go out and roll around in it.

How could something that brings so much pure joy not be found in Heaven?

Can you imagine a Heaven where it is the perfect temperature and there is snow?

It boggles my little human mind, but I know that it is possible. I can only imagine what it will be like, and I know even the best things that I can imagine don’t even come close to how amazing it will be.

I can only imagine.

Can you imagine a Heaven with snow?

rolling,

rolling,

rolling,

rolling,

rolling down the hill

rolling down the hill

I Can Only Imagine
MercyMe

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
forever worship You
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

Has Anyone Fed the Fish?

On Saturday, I shared with you how the Zombie Apocalypse is going to begin. Yesterday, the whole family spent the day in our pajamas resting with the hopes of Monday everyone being well again.

So much for that idea. Last night, Cameron started throwing up again and it has continued into today (although not nearly as bad as Saturday was).

I did get one decent nights sleep to keep the zombie-ness at bay. However, through my coffee fueled caffeine haze, I’ve noticed some other things that happen when kids are sick.

1. Of course, is Zombie-Mom.

This is important enough to mention it again. For the warning signs and what to do, check out Saturday’s post.

2. Hands-off Dad

For the record, this is not a complaint. Dad is to keep a safe distance from sick kids. He is the breadwinner and must go to work. He can not go to work if he is also throwing up. He also must be well for all the random trips to the store to get supplies for Zombie-Mom and sick kids. Because Mom is a zombie, this will require more than one trip. As soon as Dad gets home, Mom will remember one more thing we have to have.

3. There are never enough pillows, blankets, sheets.

Without fail, your sick child will throw up on every blanket you try to wrap around them. And their pillow. And your pillow. And the spare pillow.

Which leads to

4. You will run out of laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets and vinegar (which makes a great fabric softener).

Every time you turn around you will be starting another load of laundry. This is a never-ending process. You may also find that your washing machine may sound like there is a monster inside it trying to break out. It is almost impossible to make the washer level when you put pillows in it. This also leads to complaints about the noise said washer is making.

5. Pet fish may die.

Seriously, does anyone know if I fed the fish today? What about yesterday? And while we’re talking about it someone should probably clean their tank. And maybe feed them.

6. You will have a large supply of juice and crackers. They will be the wrong juice and crackers.

The goal is to get some food and liquids into the sick child. Our go-to’s are juice and crackers. Something that will hopefully settle the child’s stomach. Of course, the child doesn’t want those crackers. They are the wrong size/shape/flavor. The juice? Also wrong flavor/color. It doesn’t matter what crackers and juice you get. Just know they will be the wrong ones.

7. Well child will suddenly need 3000% more attention than on a normal day.

Most of this attention will be needed when the sick child is throwing up or you are trying to clean up the sick child. Expect the well child to stand right in your way, trying to hand you a book as you are running to find the bucket for the sick child.

And the worst part for us today is this:

8.

The view from our front door

The view from our front door

 

It’s snowing. And all my sick child really wants to do is play in the snow. Not today, dude. And probably not tomorrow.

The Right Words or the Wrong Words?

Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve been writing a lot this month. November is National Blog Posting Month. The goal is to write a new post every day all month. That’s 30 posts in 30 days.

This is my first November blogging, and I decided to take part. 30 posts in 30 days is a lot for me considering I normally post once or twice a week, but I was willing to give it a try.
I didn’t realize this was going on until Monday the 3rd so I missed the first two days, but I posted 9 days in a row. I was doing great until this past Wednesday.

Daylights Savings Time coming to an end finally caught up with the boys and I, and Wednesday I crashed before I could get my post finished. I woke up Thursday with a plan to do two posts in one day, including the Worship Wednesday post I had missed.

Connor and I spend the morning listening to songs on YouTube until we got the right one. I was half way through my post when my iPad froze up. It would not let me type another word. It was annoying but I figured I would finish it later.

Thursday evening I got into a discussion about tithing in a Christian mom’s group on Facebook. It was inspirational, and I began to blog. The majorities point in the group post was that you absolutely should have a home church and you should absolutely tithe only there. I have a very different view on tithing that I was going to share with you.

I was a good portion of the way through my post when my iPad froze up again. I couldn’t believe it. I tried everything I could think of, and I was able to type everywhere BUT on my blog.

I got onto Facebook and shared my troubles with my friends. I said that although I was planning and trying to post every day, apparently my words were the wrong words because every time I started writing, my iPad froze.
A friend of mine responded with an amazing thought.

He said that maybe my iPad was in league with Satan. Now the way he said it, I think he was joking. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought he could have been right. As possible as it is that God stopped my words, it seems equally possible that Satan stopped them.

What if instead of my words being wrong, they were too right?

Honestly, I’m not sure what way if either it is. Maybe I have a first generation iPad and it just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe my words were wrong. Maybe my words were right.

Regardless of what it was causing my blogging issues, I missed two days blogging and, at this point, I’m not sure what the rest of the month is going to look like for me. Blogging every day has felt right and been huge for the blog. In the last week, I had two record breaking days with over 400 different readers (compared to the 150 readers I normally have in one month). The words have come easier these last two weeks than they ever have before.

Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow. Maybe I’ll see you next week. Either way I know we are both exactly where God needs us to be.

And for fun, this is what we did today:

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An Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Dear Glenn,

Friday night I wrote a blog post asking my readers to watch your show this evening. I didn’t know what you were going to say. I just knew that God wanted me to share that message. I shared with you what I had written and you replied to me. You said the kindest things about my faith. That alone is a story that I will tell for the rest of my life. It meant so much to me.

This morning I watched the radio program and listened as you gave teasers about what this evening’s show was going to be about. Let’s be honest, it made me extremely nervous. I don’t know that I could have been more nervous if I had actually been on TV with you. I had put myself out there only on faith in God that your message was going to be important.

I was sick to my stomach all day waiting for your show to begin. But at five o’clock as you began to speak, I felt completely at peace. I’m not sure you were more than four or five sentences in before I knew you were going to share about your health.

What an amazing and terrifying story.

I could relate to so much of your journey for I have a similar one. I started having health problems at 19. I started having dizzy spells which would cause me to fall. I had such horrible headaches, and I started having terrifying problems with my eyesight. I was originally diagnosed with an earache and put on medication that caused my heart to race so fast I thought I was going to die.

Eventually I was diagnosed with a rare condition called Psuedotumor Cerebri, a fake brain tumor. It’s hard to diagnose because my body behaved as if I had a brain tumor but there was no tumor in my head. Over a period of eight or so years, my symptoms would come and go.

You told tonight about a doctor telling you that it was your faith in God alone that caused you to be able to get out of bed. During my last flair up, my doctor told me that there was so much pressure inside my head he had no idea how I was able to stand or see. He was sure that there would be lasting, permanent damage to my eyesight.

I went through the treatment, again. There was a lot of prayer during this time. We prayed not only for me to be well but also for me to be healed. I did become well and my doctor was amazed that I had no issues with my eyes. I remember clearly him telling me that if I had walked into his office for the first time that day he would have no idea I ever had Psuedotumor Cerebri, an uncurable disease.

My journey was much different from yours but so very similar. God truly performs miracles still today.

I remember those times when your programs changed. I remember how odd I thought it was at the time. I remember wondering what was going on. I never thought that you didn’t care anymore. I knew there had to be more to the story than what I had. There was a couple of times I would change the channel or just turn the TV off, but I kept coming back because I knew that whatever was going on it was important.

The message of love is such an important one. It feels as if so much of the world has forgotten that we need to love one another. And sometimes I wonder if people have forgotten what it means to love. Loving someone isn’t always agreeing with them. Love isn’t even always liking someone. Jesus told us to love one another. He never said we had to agree or even like each other as long as we love each other.

Loving someone means wanting the best for them. It is possible to love those you dislike or that dislike you. That is a message that you have been spreading. I love every time someone comes at you with anger or dislike for what they believe you are and you respond with love and kindness, to the point where you even tell them you love them. And mean it. How amazing would the world be in everyone responded like that?

I’m very excited about the stories you’re going to share with us. Man in the Moon was an amazing story. I was disappointed that we were unable to see it live but so happy when you shared it on TV. Not only did I love it, but my four-year old son asks to watch it on a regular basis, and in fact, he got mad at me tonight when I said it was bedtime and he would have to watch it tomorrow. I know you will share stories that I can share with my boys.

I am so excited for our journey forward from here. I am excited to set the world on fire with love and kindness and hope with you. It feels as if so many are feeling as if they are without hope. Hope is an amazing thing and is what keeps us moving forward rather than crumbling under the pressures the world.

In my blog, I try to write about my real life. I’ve talked about the physical and emotional hurts I’ve gone through. I’ve told of hard days I’ve had. Yesterday I wrote about how grouchy I was for absolutely no good reason. And although my audience is so very much smaller than yours, I believe you are right that, regardless of the size, audiences connect when we share the truth rather than just the best of the best.

I told my readers on Friday that I had no idea why God wanted me to share with them that they should watch your show tonight. Sitting here tonight, I don’t know how your show affected them, but I know how it affected me. I know I’m supposed to be doing something. I believe I’m right where I’m supposed to be. This is going to be amazing. God is doing amazing things and I’m thankful for my little part in His big plan.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

#LetsTellOurStory

A Grouchy Day

It’s been a grouchy kind of day around here. We all have them, and I had one today. The little things, including a four-year-old who claims to be hungry every time he finishes whatever I just made him to eat, have aggravated me.

I could come up with a bunch of reasons for my grouchiness, but the truth is that I got plenty of sleep last night and things are pretty great around here. There is no reasonable excuse for my mood. It’s just the way I’ve felt today.

What? The moment I sit down you need me to get up for something? Really?! You climb up on my lap and manage to pin my right foot down which is still tender from being broken? Are you kidding me?! You spilled your drink again?!

It’s been a hundred little things that any other day would not have bothered me, but today they all grate on my last nerve. You just finished the breakfast that I cooked. What else could you possible want to eat? More choices?! I just told you everything we have in the house! Can I please just finish my cup of coffee before I do anything else?

This afternoon we were going to run out for a bit, a little for a change of scenery and a little in hopes it would help Mom’s mood. Cameron asked if he could wear his Chase costume (the police dog he got for Halloween). Sure, I don’t care. He put it on and sat back down to play with his brother. I look up and he’s in his underpants again. Three times I asked him to get dressed and three times he put the costume on and then took it off. (He ended up not wearing it but regular clothes.)

Seriously!? It was like icing on my grouchy day cake. I need a break. I need a moment of quiet, some time to refocus myself.

And then I thought about how silly it all was. Chances are very high that someday sooner than I can believe, these little boys aren’t going to want to climb on my lap. So what if my foot hurt? Move it and snuggle up while they want to. A day is going to come when they aren’t here to fix breakfast for, and although I will love the time when it’s just me and their dad again, I will miss those mornings. They are only little like this for a short time.

And then I thought about God, our Father in Heaven. What must it be like for Him to look down on us? How many times does He have to tell us not to do something? How many times does He need to remind us?

How grateful are we that God doesn’t have grouchy days?

Can you imagine what life would be like on grouchy days if God had them? How many times does He tell us what way to go or to not do something? And how many times do we go ahead and do it?

As frustrating as it was today for me to say three times to get dressed, how frustrating could it be for God? Can you imagine if, instead of forgetting every mistake we make, He was thinking, “How many times do I have to tell you this?!” What if He just threw His hands up in the air and was done?

Maybe for this November day, we should all take a moment and be thankful that God doesn’t have the grouchy days I know we all have.

When God Speaks to Us

I believe that God speaks to us all, all the time. It’s just a matter of if we are listening to Him or not. And when we listen to Him amazing things happen.  We may not always see the results, but the results are always for His good.

Last night I wrote a post. It wasn’t at all what I wanted to write or had planned on writing. I felt God telling me that it was the right thing to do, even if it made me sick to my stomach nervous as I was writing it. Pressing the publish button was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. It was right up there with walking up stairs you can see through.

And an amazing thing happened. People read my words. Lots of people. Today I had more individual people read my blog that I had views on my best day before today. I have almost doubled the amount of views I had on my best day. And yes for big blogs my statistics aren’t impressive, but for my little blog they are unbelievable.

God spoke to me, and I listened. And all those people who read my words that normally don’t, who looked at my older posts, maybe God spoke to you, too, through me. And that is amazing.

And as amazing as all the readers are, something else equally as amazing happened to me. I shared what I had written on one of Glenn Beck’s Facebook posts. Like writing the post, I wasn’t sure why I was supposed to share with him what I had written. I just knew that I was supposed to. And not only did Glenn read it, he responded to me.  He said, “Rachel, your faith brings a tear to my eye. You are brave. Not unafraid. It is important for people to know that when you do things like that your human side kicks in and you are really afraid. But the better half is stronger. Your spiritual side is at such peace.”

How amazing to me that my faith would touch others. And maybe that’s the purpose of this blog. I write what’s in my heart. Sometimes I don’t understand it and those posts seem to reach the most people and mean the most.

God is talking to us all. We just have to choose to listen to Him. And it seems to me that the times where it makes the least sense, it has the most benefits.  It doesn’t have to make sense to us. It’s all part of the big plan.

And maybe Glenn said it best. Being brave isn’t the same as being unafraid. Being brave is when we do the things that make us afraid.

Be brave. Listen to God’s voice.

God Told Me To

I’m a little confused about what I’m about to write. I’ve tried to be careful up to this point to keep my political view points fairly vague. I’m obviously a Libertarian, but I don’t talk about most politics or what radio and TV stations I watch. That’s all about to change.

Today is a strange day. I have a post that’s 90% finished that I thought I was posting today. Before I could finish it, the boys and I had to leave the house and we’ve been on the road all day until right now. And suddenly I knew that the post I was working on was not right. This is what I’m supposed to tell you.

I’m about to use a name that is going to create emotions inside you. And I’m going to ask that no matter the emotion it creates you will trust me and give me the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to ask that you will trust me if you’ve read this blog before, and I’m going to ask you to trust that this blog at this moment is where God wants you to be.

If you read my last post, you know that I am confused by the world we live in. I don’t understand most of what’s happening around us. Some times I honestly wonder if we are in the end times. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me or for you. All I know for sure right now is that I’m suppose to share with my handful of readers what I’m about to write.

I am a Christian. I am a Libertarian. I listen to Glenn Beck more often than I don’t.

I  warned you. I pray you are still reading.

I just used a name that inflicts more emotion than when I use the name of God. And if you only know what you know about Glenn because you’ve heard others talk about him, I’m going to ask you to trust me. Or if not trust me, to trust that you and I are both exactly where He needs us to be right now.

Something is happening. If you are paying attention you can see God moving around us. I’m not sure what it is. I’m not sure anyone on this side of Heaven knows for sure. The only thing I know for sure right is that I’m suppose to say what I’m about to say.

I do not know why, but I’m going to ask you that on Monday you will watch the Blaze TV channel from 5 to 7 pm. If you have Dish Network you can watch for free on channel 202. If you don’t have the Blaze TV, you can go to theblazetv.com on Monday and it is super free. You don’t even have to give them your email address to watch it.

God is doing a great work and apparently it’s important to that great work that we watch on Monday. I can’t explain it to you. I would just ask that you trust God and these words that He gave me.

And maybe even in Monday I won’t understand these words that I wrote. Maybe even then I won’t understand why I asked you to watch or what His big plan is. Right now the only thing I know for sure is that I was supposed to ask you to do this and that I will be watching and listening for Him on Monday.

I do not know what is going to be shared on Monday. All I know is that it is important enough that these words flew out of me. This is the fastest, easiest, most confusing words I’ve ever put here.

Maybe Monday evening we can meet back here and understand it. Maybe we will never understand it on this side of Heaven. I’m asking for two hours of your life. I hope you’ll give me that much, even if I don’t know why.

Feed My Sheep

I read a news article this week. It was in my local paper but from Fort Lauderdale. Three men were detained in Fort Lauderdale. One of them is a pastor. They will have to appear in court. They face up to two months in jail and $500 fines. What horrible crime could these men have been doing when the police stopped them?

They were feeding the homeless.

I do not understand the world we are living in. I do not understand a world in which a woman chooses to end the little life growing inside her and we are to applaud her in that decision, but it’s a crime to feed the hungry.

I do not understand a country where so many people are on government assistance but it’s a crime to feed the hungry.

I do not understand a nation that has all sorts of programs in schools to make sure children don’t go without food during breaks and weekends, but it’s a crime for private individuals to feed the hungry.

I do not understand a nation that runs commercials asking for our support to feed the hungry around when world but  it is a crime to feed the hungry in our own communities.

I do not understand.

“‘For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” –Matthew 25:35-40

Jesus told us that we should do it for the least for it is the SAME as doing it for Him. Feed the hungry as if it is Jesus Himself that is hungry.

What kind of world are we living in when every day I see commercials on TV asking me to give money to feed animals but it is a crime to feed people?

It’s times like this that make me think of Jesus hanging there on the cross. “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.'” Luke 23:34

Father, forgive us. Turn our hearts back towards You. Father, forgive us, for we do to know what we do.

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’
“And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’
“Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.'”

Been Through the Water

“John answered, saying to all, ‘I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'” Luke 3:16

 

I love the picture this song gives of a little boy’s baptism. We should all be living our lives like that little boy with the muddy feet. You don’t put your old shoes on your brand new feet. I can picture that boy’s dad rising off his feet with the hose before letting him into the house. “Mom won’t let you in the house with those muddy feet.” It paints an amazing picture for our relationship with God.

We come out of the water clean, and then walk around the world in our bare feet. And every day Jesus rinses our feet off so we are able to enter His house. There has been no one in the history of the world who ever has been or will be perfect except Jesus. Every day we all get our feet dirty. And every day, every time, Jesus is there with the hose to rinse them off.

How amazing! No matter how muddy our feet get or how often He has to rinse them off, Jesus keeps coming back with that hose. He knows that we are going to fail. He knows that some days it might be more than just our feet that need a good rinsing.

As we’re walking along in the world and Jesus is walking with us, it seems like He must be thinking, “Here we go again. She’s going to step right into that mud puddle with her brand new feet and then I’ll have to rinse them off again.” How amazing is it that Jesus isn’t thinking that. He doesn’t remember your feet being muddy the last time. He only sees you this time. And He rinses you off, and it’s like you were always clean. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12

He will remember our sins no more. Now this is in no way a license to sin just because Jesus will forgive. We should all be striving to be better. We should be trying to keep our feet clean. We will fail. Our feet will get muddy again. And Jesus will hose us off as if it was the first time.

Even though your feet are going to get muddy again, you don’t put your old shoes on your brand new feet.

I’ve been through the water.

Been Through the Water
Kyle Matthews

Preacher pulled the boy up from the water
Alleluias rose from the banks
There was a new suit of clothes from his Father
And a prayer of thanks

The boy walked barefooted all the way home for dinner
And when they laughed at his muddy feet…

He said I’ve been through the water and I’ve come out clean
Got new clothes to cover me

And you don’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet
When you’ve been through the water
I’ve been through the water

Preacher turned them around at the altar
Pronounced the boy and his girl “man and wife”
In two years they were Mother and Father
And they built them a life

And his old girlfriend saw a moment of weakness
And she said, “If you’re lonely come see me sometime.”

He said I’ve been through the water and I’ve come out clean
Got new clothes to cover me
And you don’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet
When you’ve been through the water
I’ve been through the water

He baits a hook for his grandson of seven
And says, “Soon, I’ll be free from these pains.”
The boy asked if he’s ever been to heaven
He says, “No, but I think I know the way
‘Cause I’ve been through the water.”

I’ve been through the water and I’ve come out clean
Got new clothes to cover me
And you don’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet
When you’ve been through the water
I’ve been through the water

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You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

It’s Election Day

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Today is election day. As citizens of the United States, I believe that voting is one of the most important things we can do. I have voted in every election (and most primaries) since I turned 18.

In recent years, it has felt more like I was voting against candidates that I didn’t like or agree with rather than for candidates that I actually like. This year was different. This year I was going to vote for instead of against. This year I was an extremely informed voter.

About six months ago, a candidates that I have voted for in the past and planned to vote for again came out in favor of (and may have even co-sponsored) a bill that would take away freedom instead of protecting it. I said then and there that I would never vote for him again. And today I voted for the Libertarian instead of him because I agreed with the Libertarian. It’s a whole different feeling at the polls when you vote FOR something instead of AGAINST.

Go and vote today. It’s important. We should all be taking part today. (Please vote only if you are a citizen of the United States, registered and alive.) If you want more information on voting in your area, you can check out this website.

Around here, we take voting seriously and dress for the occasion.

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