Monday, February 14, 2011

Emilie's Valentine's Day Present

I woke up this morning and Randy called to tell me to go to the computer. I went and got on and he sent me a link to this video. Hidden for me were three Valentines from the kids. They had made this video for me while I was at work on Saturday, I had no idea.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What I shared at my sisters shower

I wanted to post what I shared at my sister's shower a few weeks ago. I don't want to loose it because it is such a good reminder to me of how God works in our lives as moms

To Sarah,

I am so excited for you to have these beautiful baby boys. I can tell you that the first few months are CRAZY. I can guarentee you that you will feel like you have no idea what you are doing, trust me that is a completely normal feeling. I remember calling Mommy and asking her if it was okay if I took a shower while Autry was sleeping. Just remember that everyone has gone through the feeling of hopelessness, everyone has struggled through figuring out how to breastfeed, everyone has wondered why won't their baby just fall asleep. You are going to have two precious little bundles of joy and at times you are going to feel completely wiped out, and at times you are probably going to feel completely overwhelmed. I have two things that if you don't remember any other parenting advice from anyone else remember these two things. That may sound a little self centered by I whole heartedly believe that if you can remember these two things then you will be fine. 
In their first 6 months of life the best thing you can do is ask for help and accept help in whatever form it comes in. The main person that to be  asking for help from our heavenly Father. In Philipians 4:8 it says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. " When you feel like pulling your hair out, when you feel completely overhelemd just sit down and talk to God. I remember one day when Addie was about 4 months old, Which would of made Claire about 19 mos, and Autry was a little over 3. Addie and Claire had both beeing crying all day, Autry had thrown several fits and I was about to loose my mind. I left everyone crying, I went in my bedroom, locked the door and sat down on the edge of my bed in tears. I was grumbeling in my heart and felt like I was at my breaking point and I just heard this voice in my head, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God."  I told him I felt like I was going crazy, I told him I was in over my head an overwhelmed, I told him that right now I don't even like being a mom. I completely layed out my heart to the Lord. When I left my bedroom a few seconds later things weren't any better on the outside, but my heart was at peace. I knew that I had a heavenly Father who loves me and that he was getting me through and helping me through the day, a great big powerful God that is by my side at all times. A Father and powerful God that I can talk to and wants to hear (even though he already knows) what is on my heart. The kids weren't any better that day (it was a rough day), but my heart was different. 

This brings me to point number two. Remember the cross and the significance of the cross. 
  • Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
  • Romans 3:3, "Non are righteous, not even one."
  • Romans 5:8, "but God showed his love for us while we were still sinners Christ died for us."
  • Ephesians 2, "among whom you all once lived in the passions of your flesh, carrying out the desires of your body and mind, you were by nature Children of wrath like the rest of mankind, BUT GOD being rich in mercy becuase of the great love which he has loved, made us alive together with christ, by grace we have been saved.

We are sinners and there was no good in us that we should choose God, but God loved us so much that he died for us, if we accept his gift of salvation and ask for forgiveness of sins, in the richness of his mercy, by his grace he will forgive of of all our sins, so that one day we can be in heaven with him. 
Sometimes as a believer we tend to forget the importance of what Christ did for us on the cross. We think that  after we are saved the Cross has less importance to us. This could not be further from the truth.
 Every morning we need to be at the cross repenting of our sins and asking Christ to give us his grace and strength to get through the day.  As a mom I am hit with this truth over and over again. I cannot be the mom I want to be without Jesus. I get mad at my kids, I am selfish with my time, and most days I am thinking of myself and not how I can serve my family. 
Almost every time that Claire sins and has to be disciplined we sit down and talk about her sin and how Jesus died for her sin. I ask her why did Jesus die on the cross for us and she exclaims, "Because he's rich in mercy! Because of the great love with which he has loved us!" Your children are the best tools for humbling you, and Claire reminds me all the time how much Christ loves me and how rich his mercy  is. 
This is the truth that we need to be clinging to every day! As a mom this is the truth to keep at the forefront of you mind every day. 
Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the full armor of God. You will get discouraged and beat down as a mom. You will sometimes feel like not getting out of bed because you are just too exhausted. There will be times when you are just sick and tired of serving Andy and your little boys. These are the times when you need to talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. For me this has been life changing, and I know we have talked about it before but I want to stress it to you again. When you start to have wrong thoughts in your head it is time to turn back to the cross. Instead of listening to the thoughtw in your head that are only meant to discourage you, talk to yourself and tell yourself the truth. If you think you are a bad mom, tell yourself that God has saved you and has given you the power to be an excellent mom. If you don't feel like serving your family, tell yourself of the awesome privilege God has given you to take care of these little boys and to serve Andy. When you find yourself getting mad at Andy for something that has more to do with your exhaustion than anything else, tell yourself Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God through Christ Jesus has forgiven you. When you are just feeling down, discouraged and frustrated you can tell yourself that there is reason to rejoice because Christ died on the cross for you and that you are saved by his marvelous grace. 
Being a Mom is one of the best most rewarding things in the world. There is so many things that I could tell you at this point about raising and training your kids. I could relay countless funny stories and countless stories of when I have blown it. I could give you tips on how to train your kids and tips on how to be a great wife to Andy. As I prayed about what to say, I feel that the Lord wanted me to share the building blocks upon which all of that is built upon. Learning to turn to Christ daily and Learning to bring all my anxiety to Christ has been something I have learned and am constantly learning again and again and I know that if I don't have these things in place my life is going to be a lot harder and discouraging. 
You are going to be a great Mom and I am so excited for this next journey of life that Christ is going to lead you on. 
Your Sister

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My Grandma

Last Friday on January 28th my mom was going through some papers that she had found concerning my grandma's death. My mom found what I had written to share at my Grandma's memorial service, along with my Grandma's testimony and obituary. As she looked at it she realized that exactly 7 years prior my Grandma had died. I was on the phone with her as she found this and was struck profoundly by it. My first thought was I think this is God wanting someone to come know him as a result of my Grandma's life. My Grandma was an AMAZING women. She loved God with all of her heart. I saw the gospel lived out daily in her life. If you want to know the gospel go here. Every day my Grandma prayed that her family would come to know Christ as their personal Savior. Every person who know my Grandma knew of her great desire that all of her children would come to know Christ. At her funeral person after person stood up and told her family how she wanted them to know Jesus.

Here is a copy of her testimony and of God's great goodness in her life.

The Testimony of Philippien Hubeek

I am going to tell you about myself and how the Lord cared for me. I was born in Indonesia. There were 8 children in the family. My parents were Christians and we had a Christian upbringing. We went to a Christian school. We had a good and happy life. Then in 1942 the war with Japan broke out in Indonesia. It didn’t take long for the Japanese to come to Java, the island where we lived. We had to run to the bomb shelter now and then, but to us it was just a game because we lived so far from the action. Then one afternoon the Japanese police came to our house. He told my father, “get dressed and take one set of clothing and come with us.”
We were all crying when my father left. He turned around and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a couple of days.” We believed him because he had done nothing wrong. The days became weeks. The weeks became months. My father never came back. He died in prison. We lived in a company house so they told us we had to leave. We sold everything and moved from a 6-bedroom house to a no bedroom house. First we had everything and now we had nothing. So you see nothing is permanent here on earth.

After we moved my mother got very sick. The doctor came to our house and took my mother to the hospital. I still don’t know why he came to our house, who had called him? My mother died in the hospital. We had no money for the funeral but you know what? God took care of that too. There was no money coming in. Nobody worked. There were no jobs, but we never went hungry, we always had something to eat. God provided. The church we belonged to said is was not safe for us to stay by ourselves and they took us in one child to one family. I found a job where they made thread from cotton. I worked there for a short time then moved to Ambasawa, a town where the concentration camp was. I saw my father twice before he died. Then Japan lost the war. We thought we were free, this was not so. Holland gave Indonesia back to Indonesia and now the Indonesians put us [the Dutch] in concentration camps. We stayed there till 1946, then we were freed, but I still had no place to go. They transported us from Talo (central Java) to Jakarta. Jakarta was full and I had no family there, so I went back on the ship to Surabaya. I kept on praying for a place to stay. In Surabaya I stayed in a concentration camp again. God took care of that problem too. One afternoon I sat on the curb in front of the concentration camp with some other people feeling hopeless. A car drove by and it was my uncle. He was not looking for me, he did not know that I was there. He was looking for his aunt and uncle, but found me, his niece. After a couple of days we had to go to another concentration camp, but my uncle was getting the papers ready for me to come live with him and his daughter. See, now I had found a place to stay, God provided.

I found a job where I met my husband; we got married and had 6 kids. Life in Indonesia was not very pleasant after the war, so we left and went to Holland. The boat trip took 40 days. We stayed in Holland 3 years and had one more baby. We applied for a sponsorship in the U.S. and within 6 months we had one. The Presbyterian Church in Albany, Oregon sponsored us. Finally a church to go to. So thanks to the Lord for what he had done for us. We did not know how hard it was to listen to a sermon when you don’t understand what the pastor was preaching. We went because we were sponsored. There were no jobs for my husband because he was a mechanic not a farmer. We had some friends that moved from Corvallis to Seattle to work for Boeing. One day she was looking in the paper and found an ad in the paper from Kenworth. They were looking for mechanics. So she called us and my husband went to Seattle to apply for the job. He got the job and started working the next day. I stayed in Oregon with the children until the school year was over, then we all moved to Seattle.
We moved in with my friends and lived in their basement with seven kids. It was not easy to rent a house because there were no houses to rent, it was 1962, the World’s Fair was in Seattle. It was not easy to live with another family especially when you have so many kids. We were looking for a house to buy and the Lord led us to Kent where we found a cheap house, where I still live.

Soon after we moved in, the Lord sent somebody to us. Dan Amuland came to our door I invited him in. I don’t even know if he remembers, but I do. He invited us to his church. The next Sunday we went. That was August 1962, when I first came to Kent Alliance church. We didn’t know the language very well so my husband decided not to go anymore. I went by myself with the children, but very soon I found excuses not to go anymore. I was tired, as it was hard to get seven kids ready for church. So I just did not go. I stayed away from the church but I felt it was ok. I don’t have to go to church; you can still be a Christian and not go to church. We raised our kids and we didn’t really care if they went to church or not. I thought, I took them to Sunday school and now it is their problem. How sorry I am now.

After all the kids grew up and left I thought finally I could rest now. How wrong I was, God had other plans for me. In 1984 my husband (he was never sick in his life except maybe a cold sometimes) died of a heart attack. Now I was really alone. But God’s ways are so perfect. I still did not go to church. Then one day my daughter in law invited me to go to Bible Study Fellowship. Well, nothing else to do, why not go. So I went. When they divided they study groups, I saw somebody there that I knew from the church. She invited me to come back to church, but I still had a lot of excuses not to go.

My daughter went to bible study with Margie Echlof. She said to me, “why don’t you go back to church mom, the ladies are all asking about you?” So the next Sunday I went, and here I am. I know now that when you give your life to the Lord He will keep you in His hands and nobody can snatch you away from Him. Just listen when he calls. Come back. He forgives you.

Last Sunday was just the right Sunday for me. When Pastor John and Cliff Morton were singing a duet, where it said, someone slipped and fell, was that someone you? And when he comes with arms wide open He pardons you. They were singing it for me.

This is my second year as an Awana leader and every year Dave James asks us if we want to sign up for another year. This year I said I think I am to old for this but I can not say no. A week ago I asked the Sunday school class too pray for me that I will make the right decision. God gave me His answer, He said go, and I will take care of you. So I will be back again next year with the Friends club again. Thank you Lord for always being there for me.

When Dave James asked me to give this testimony I was not sure that I would do it. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it, because at my age I maybe don’t have much time to tell the people about God’s goodness to me. His love and care for me.

Here is a copy of what I shared at her funeral

This last summer I got married. About a month before my wedding
grandma got really sick. When I heard she was sick I was petrified
that grandma would not make it to my wedding.
I was driving home from work and I was praying, “God please
let grandma live until my wedding.”
Then it seemed as if God spoke to me in my car saying, “Why?”
It suddenly hit me how selfish I was being. What I was praying
was that God would keep grandma here on earth where she was
suffering in stead of being in heaven enjoying God’s presence.
Revelation 21 describes heaven in this way, “He will wipe every
tear from their eyes. There will be no more crying or pain, for the old
order of things has passed away.”
The passage also talks about streets of gold, fences with pearls, and
about how God is there.
I know that grandma looked forward to heaven every day of her
life. A week before Christmas I was talking to grandma on the phone.
I asked her how she was doing, she said she wasn’t feeling very
good and then said, “you know Emmie every time I start feeling sick,
I just sing to my self the song, ‘soon and very soon I am going to see
the king, soon and very soon I am going to see the king. Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, I am going to see the king.”
Grandma and I then began to talk about heaven. One thing I
will always remember about grandma is her love to tell jokes. Most of
her jokes she got out of Reader’s Digest, and most of them were
about Noah, Moses, or Elijah. I was teasing her that she was going to
have to tell them her jokes about them.
She then said, “Emmie we are going to laugh a lot in heaven
aren’t we?”
We laughed a lot that day on the phone. When I got off the
phone with her I began to cry. I knew in my heart that grandma was
going to be in heaven very soon. But I am so excited for when I get to
heaven because I know that her and I are going to have a lot of fun.
The greatest lesson that I learned from grandma was what it
means to anticipate heaven every day. Grandma has endured more
hardships then almost anyone I know but she never lost sight of
heaven. She lived her life every day knowing that heaven was just
around the corner and she was so excited for that day to come. That
is why I chose to read this passage. Because these few verses
personify grandma’s life.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10
“For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down, when
we die and leave these bodies, we will have new bodies in heaven,
homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God himself,
and not by human hands. How weary we grow of our present bodies.
That is why we look forward eagerly to the day when we shall have
heavenly bodies which we shall put on like new clothes. For we shall
not be merely spirits without bodies. These earthly bodies make us
grown and sigh, but we wouldn’t like to think of dying and having no
bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying
bodies will, as it were, be swallowed up by everlasting life. This is
what God has prepared for us and, as a guarantee, he has given us
his Holy Spirit.
Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies,
realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is
time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus. WE
know these things are true by believing, not by seeing. And we are
not afraid, but are content to die, for then we will be at home with
the Lord. So our aim is to please him always in everything we do,
whether we are here in this body or away from this body and with him
in heaven.