Saturday, February 16, 2013

Faith and cotton

I have a friend I grew up with whose family grows cotton among other things. Recently her family was featured in an article, on a website called 24/7 Cotton (read article here).  I read the article because it featured her family in it.  It was talking about Cotton, crops, yields, weeds and the like. However there was one phrase that stood out to me.

“This past year, we’ve tried to go back and keep everything clean,” says Mike. “We know that it doesn’t take but two weeds in a field to have a mess on your hands the next year. We want to get them out of the field and don’t let them go to seed.”
This speaks to me because it is like the soil of our heart. We can't wait for weeds to go to seed or even  let weeds to grow in our soul. We need to go in, and get those weeds out by hand, by the rood before they spread. Weeding the garden of our heart takes submission to the Master of our hearts, our Lord Jesus. It takes the painful process of letting go of things or giving up things that are not good for us. It means praying and asking Him to shows us any roots of unforgiveness , bitterness, gossip, whatever the weed. One weed, two weeds, they multiply quickly and if they grow uncontrolled the crop of our heart can not bring good crop or high yields.  If we let the Lord get out the weeds and we do the hard work it takes to keep our lives in tune with Him, then not only will the fruit of what the Lord has sewn in us grow it will yield a good and fruitful crop that touches the lives of others for Him.

Lord, help me do the hard work it takes to keep my heart weed free. Let me yield the good fruit that you have called me to yield so that my life can bring glory and honor to your name.

Who new a simple article about cotton farming could have such a deep meaning, but it does.  Think about it, what weeds are in the garden of your heart that you and the Lord Jesus need to weed out before it goes to seed?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I hear His Voice.....

(taken on a recent walk at the park)

I hear His voice in the rushing of the stream
I hear His voice in a hope filled dream.
I hear His voice in the melody of the bird that sings
I hear His voice when laughter peals out of my children in endless rings...
I hear His voice in the softness of the dawn
I hear His voice as fireflies flit over the lawn
I hear His voice in the whisper of the rain
I hear His voice calling me to draw nearer still
to lean upon Him and trust His Will.
I hear His voice.

copyright Thelma Strobl 2/9/2013

Friday, February 8, 2013


I was talking with a friend and we were talking about our kids and the struggles of teaching and raising them.  Our kids feel the growing pains of learning and growing and discovering independence. It got me to thinking as tweens they are like the caterpillar getting ready to do into it's cocoon. They still depend on us but try to test the boundaries and resist the cocoon as it begins to form. They don't want to be restricted or held back. However, the cocoon of their family and the rules of their home are necessary so that they can grow right. Without that cocoon they could not grow in a healthy way. Now one family's cocoon is going to be different than another family's cocoon. However the basis is love.  Unconditional love is the cocoon that keeps that child safe and warm even when the child pushes against the rules.  It is in that, the child learns to make their way through life.

When the child emerges from their cocoon in their teen years, their wings are wet and fragile. They must be careful with their new wings, test them out slowly and learn to fly.  But as they do under the love and control of their parents, they become stronger so that one day they will be ready to SOAR.

I pray that as I do as the Lord called me to do in parenting that my lessons are filled with love and mercy. That I will live before them the way to fly, the way to handle independence and the rules of the world around them, and the edicts of God's word.  I want my children to soar but I want them to know that without the Lord, they would not have a cocoon, nor wings with which to soar. I want them to know that God has put in each of them a purpose, a plan and a destiny.  I do not know what God has called my children to be, but I must nurture and teach them to live true to who God is and true to who He has called them to be. But in the living, and the flying, they must be aware that their Creator, their Lord, their Father is their source and strength. As we wait upon the Lord to see His will and way, we are being created and fashioned and formed into a beautiful person who can impact the world.
As adults sometimes God puts us through the transformation of our lives again and again. Not because we didn't get it the first time, but because He is bringing out something new in us, adding to the beauty He sees in us. Submitting to the change is not always easy. Sometimes is is not comfortable.  However there is one promise that holds true:

Sometimes I submit well to the tests and trials of life. Other times I whine and cry or fuss. No matter what I do, just as I love my children, no matter what, my Father in heaven loves me, just as I am. Patiently He waits for me to learn to wait upon Him, to be still and know that He is God.  

I pray that I will listen to His voice as He continues to transform me into who He wants me to be.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lessons of obedience

As we walk this road of parenthood we learn many lessons. God has to be our guide. It isn't always easy to know when to step in and when to let your child learn a hard lesson on his or her own.  Hannah is having struggles with school because she doesn't focus. Then she has to rush through and makes careless mistakes. She is also trying to be independent at times she should be doing what is asked by her teacher. Today she was deliberately disobedient and did exactly what the teacher said the kids should not do. She has been disciplined. I told her teacher that I expect Hannah to listen and obey.  That I am behind the teacher 100 percent as she tries to help Hannah in class focus and do what she is asked. Hannah isn't doing it to be malicious but out of the need to lead and be independent. Her teacher even sees it that way.  I have to help Hannah channel this.  The only way to do so is with the Lord.  It is times like this, you do wish kids came with manuals.

The old me, would have taken this as a strike against my "mommy hood". That it proved I was doing it wrong or was a failure. However, because of God's healing in my life, heart, and mind, I know this is something God is working out in Hannah. He has a call on her life. I believe one day she is going to lead something that helps others.  However, she has to learn to balance independence with obedience. Don't we all have to learn that lesson.  

When God asks me to do something, do I strike out on my own and do it my way or do I obey?  Do I wait and listen for the still small voice to follow His lead or do I get ahead of Him? 

As a wife, I vowed to love, honor and obey. Now this obedience is not like a parent and child but as the leader of a Godly home.  Do I give my husband the lead or do I try to persuade him to do it my way? Do I let him do something and then redo it or do I just let it be the way he did it? These are all lessons I have been learning over the years in marriage. Sometimes, I do it well. Other times, not so much because like everyone else, there is a part of me, that wants it my way.  

Is my way the best way? Sometimes,sometimes not, but God's way is always the only way.  So as I think about our struggles with Hannah, I say God make me the way I want Hannah to be. Guide my steps Lord, and let me be who you want me to be, so that I can teach them to want to be who you want them to be. 

I will trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.