Monday, December 24, 2012

Peace on earth...and in my home

Yes-
It's been a while.
We've been without in-house phone, internet, and anything else associated with it for the last couple of months.
It's been great! It's been a season of adapting, creativiy, simplicity, and gratefulness that we want to remain.
It's been peaceful.

And this brings me to my focus point-

"...And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ( Isaiah 9:6)


As the angels sang glory to God in the highest, the lyrics to their chorus included "peace on earth, good will to men." With the birth of the savior into the world, the prince of peace introduced himself to humanity.

In the Hebrew, the word for peace, Shalom, indicates more than what we generally attribute peace to be. It is more than just a quietness or an absence of confusion. Peace represents wholeness and completion. So when the angels sang of peace on earth, they were telling us that with Jesus comes wholeness and completion.
Immanuel, God with us, ushered in peace personified, manifested as one of his own creation.

When we truly find Jesus, we find a peace that is beyond natural understanding. It is a peace that the world can not comprehend, yet is available to all.
This is why he came -in the humblest of beginnings- to give us peace, to make us whole, and to abolish fear with his perfect love.

May you experience in this season and beyond the peace of the Lord that comes from finding the true gift- Jesus Christ.
-Chantel

Yeshayah 9:6

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

6 (5) For unto us a yeled is born, unto us ben is given; and the misrah (dominion) shall be upon his shoulder; and Shmo shall be called Peleh (Wonderful), Yoetz (Counsellor), El Gibbor (Mighty G-d), Avi Ad (Possessor of Eternity), Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rest- ain't nothing wrong with that

Rest  

Verb
Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

la·zy  

/ˈlāzē/Adjective
Unwilling to work or use energy: "he was too lazy to cook".Characterized by lack of effort or activity.

It's easy to confuse the two. Be careful to know the difference. Be careful to understand the motive of your heart. I find myself guilty when I'm sitting or lying down simply because my energy is zapped-either physically or mentally. The word lazy pulses in my thoughts, more times than I care for, during these times. I realized the other day it was the manipulating tactic of the enemy trying to make me feel condemned, and thus over work myself, depriving me of rest that God himself desires for us.
Jesus himself pulled away to replenish himself. That was not selfishly done. It was actually a selfless act.
In ministry, whether in the home, or the church setting, do not be afraid to rest. God designed rest for these mortal bodies, so we will be more effective ministers/servants to the body of believers as a whole.

Genesis 2:2 And God rested...from all his work which he had made

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet

Warmest thoughts and prayers,
Chantel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Already Done


Much of Isaiah 53 is written in past tense. It's like it happened, before it happened. Isn't that amazing? Revelations refers to "the lamb slain before the foundation of the world". The plan was already performed in the realm of eternity.
Now there are three verses in Isaiah 53 where there is a shift in the tense. Neither, past or future, but remarkably, the ongoing present.
v3"He is despised and rejected of men..." Of a truth, He is.
V5"...with his stripes we are healed". The healing that his stripes made available is available still. V7"He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter". He is and always will be the one and only sacrifice for all.

  This chapter is a remarkable look at the realm of eternity. In it is past, present, and future all wrapped in one. It serves as testament of the eternal God- the almighty omniscient Spirit, who is Jehovah. What better hands to have your life in.
Warmest thoughts and prayers,
Chantel

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A mighty fortress

A fortress is a shelter of protection. It comforts as it sheilds. It brings peace as it holds back the forces on the other side. It towers above the plain, bringing things into plain view.  In the fortress one is not caught off guard. There is a watchmen for the fortress.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved.-Proverbs 18:10
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliever - Psalm 18:2


God is in the midst of her

Why we give feminine pronouns to some things that we do, I am not sure of. Maybe a linguist can tell us, but I am not that.
I am, nonetheless, a her.

So when I read Psalm 46 for the something thousandth time in my life it struck a different chord.

First God is my refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT HELP, in trouble. Therefore I will not fear; even if the earth is removed and though the waters are raging about me.
Why?
He is our present help.

Then look-
There is a river.  I pause. I praise God for the river. For he promised that his Spirit will be in me flowing like rivers of waters.

There is a river, the streams, whereof, shall make glad the city of God. Yes! Yes, for there is joy in the Holy Spirit. He has made me glad.

God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved. God is in me. I will not be moved. He is my rock and my foundation. I will not be moved,
God shall help her, and that right early.  God will help her. God will help her. God will help me. It is God's will to help me, and not just help me ,but help me early. Not, right in the nick of time;  EARLY!
Hallelujah! I am that her that God is in the midst of. I am that city, a city set on a hill that can not be hid. And you know what? There is a river that flows in me, and when I am in trouble, God is my early help. He is early because he is already present.
Praise God.

It's humbling to think of the many things the city reference entails. We are to be the city of God. And as his city he is a tower and a fortress unto us. He is our refuge. He is the place that can be run into for safety. When God is in the midst, it's a beacon to Satan and his foes that God is our help, and if God is for us who can be against us.

Just as in times of Kings and armies of men, the enemy will have to think twice to make an attack. and when the trouble comes not from the enemy, but from the raging elements of the life, He is our present help. What a comfort!

Let God be in you and He will fight for you, for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

What's the name?

 
I am blessed in this season of anticipation as we wait for the arrival of Baby D number 6.
We had the Fantastic Four
then the Fab Five
I need a name for the Six of them.
That, and more importantly,a  name for this little one as well.
Thankfully there is still time : )




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My help comes from the Lord


Ever heard the story of the man caught in a flood, forced to climb the roof of his house, and in desperation he prays to God for help? A row boat passes, whose passengers offer help but he refuses saying that he is waiting on the Lord to help. A bigger boat passes by and the same scenario.  Then a helicopter flys by overhead and offers help, but again, he refuses, saying that the Lord is going to help him. Well soon enough the water rose until it was well over his head. The conclusion here is obvious.

In a similar vein my husband and I found ourselves in need of help. We were facing a situaton that seemed to snowball beyond our control until it reached a point of desperation. I prayed. We prayed. We looked outside for assistance. We were given the run around. We praised. We gave thanks. We knew the Lord would come through.
How? We weren't sure of that.
When? On time.

At one point my husband decides we need to ask for help. I hesitated. What would this say about- us? How would we look? His readiness to ask for help convicted me. How foolish of me I thought. He pointed out that it would look more foolish for us to be knocked down from what could have been avoided than to ask for help in avoiding the inevitable.

Like the man in he story, I wanted God to help, but I was expecting it in a different way.
How foolish.

In the course of 2 days, the only thing overwhelming us, per se, was the  aid of our loved ones . It was like night and day. As soon as I swallowed my pride and asked- it was given.

As a matter of fact things were being given without asking. God used people around me to offer help.
even as the help was coming I found myself  refusing the amount of help.

"Here take this"
" Oh no I couldn't take all of this"
"I insist"
" Maybe just half?"
"Well ok then, if thats what you want." Whew, I thought. I saved them some money.
How foolish. even in need I wanted to appear , what? Socially ettiquette? not so desperate?

Father forgive me, for trying to direct your help rather than accepting it fully.

And still his grace is sufficient. We are still in the middle of this trial, yet we are on the coming out end of it. God is gracious. He is still sending help, by the hand of our neighobrs and family of God.
The biggest thing in this however, is the revelation not just of his hand, but the revelation of pride in my heart. I did not know it was there.
God is so full of grace.
When I ask, it will be given, and I will receive of the Lord, how he decides to bless. I am still learning. I am so glad he is patient with me.

My help comes continually from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.- Psa 121:2



Friday, August 31, 2012

He's my everything

One of my originals;

the object of our worship & Sowing God

ChristianityToday.org
Encouraging Words Daily Devotional for Women Today's Christian Woman

August 31, 2012

today's verse

"But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the LORD their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the LORD's command not to imitate them.

They rejected all the commands of the LORD their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire. They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the LORD's anger.

Because the LORD was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land."
2 Kings 17:14–18
view in context

encouragement for today

Idolatry is a pervasive and devastating sin. What you worship is what you become. God tried everything he could to get his people to love and obey him so he could fulfill his wonderful plan. But his people continually refused to listen. They turned from him again and again, and eventually God had to judge them and let them reap the fruit of their heart and actions. It may take time, but we always reap what we sow. Are you sowing in the soil of truth, love, obedience, and faith in the one true God.
—Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Can We go?

My children asked me this after we read the book of Jude for our morning worship/devotions this past Friday.

     "Can we go?"

My thoughts were reaching. Well the right answer is of course we can, but it's just not convenient- right? I so wanted to. I really missed it but...

The children- 5 of them- with me- going?

Sensing my hesitation my oldest daughter proceeded to remind  me that we use to do this. We use to go out, and walk around our neighborhood, the last few places we've lived, and witness to whomever we met.  I talked to neighbors and passers-by about Jesus, about salvation, about hope, about the cross. It was invigorating. It was delightful. It was nervewrecking. It was fulfilling.

That was a different time, a different place, right? She broke through my thoughts again.

     "So after breakfast? Can we go?"

     "Yes"- I finally respond. Of course we can.

So we went.

We knocked on a few doors. I carried my bible. I talked to two families, both responsive. I invited them to church. I offered prayer. I figured it was a start.

The children got hot.

Two people. But it was more than zero.

Two days later I was back at it. We knocked on doors. I offered prayer, a listening ear, an invite. I prayed with a young lady at her door for healing.  I offered a bible study to a neighbor. They'll think about it they said. It's in God's hands. For one plants, one waters, but He gives the increase. Only 4 or 5 people that day. I smiled.

One day later, today, I did the same. Only 2. One door shot down my confidence bubble, as they talked loudly to one another through the open door -

     "I think someone is at the door."
     "Well they should be leaving because I have a no solicitng sign on the door."

I spotted it then. I smiled a big smile, and mimed an I'm sorry and walked away.

But still,
Planting seeds.

AS I left that neighborhood, I said Lord this is quite a challenge. Then I I felt him speak to me - it is a natural outgushing of his spirit. Don't make it harder than it has to be. Do what you are able, and God will make little into much. I may not be able to go door to door always, but he has a remnant for that. I may be able to plant a seed of the Gospel only in the supermarket aisle, at the park, or running errands. But plant seeds I must. I may not be able to hold a street revival ( Oh how I'd love to do that!) but God knows my season and my desire. He has someone for that as well.

So you too, parents of one or many, you do have a role to play in evangelizing our world. Start with the world around you. Plant a seed. Ask someone if they have given thought to salvation today. Tell someone you have been thinking about them and wonder if you could say a prayer for them. Ask someone if they'd like to have a bible study over lunch or dinner one day.  Be a neighbor, be a friend build a relationship with those around you. Just step  out in faith , and shake off fear.

So can we go?

Yes, because God equipped us with his spirit to do just that.




Thursday, August 9, 2012

Awesome finds at a yard grab

I just want to share. Maybe brag a little. But I am excited about what I got FOR FREE from a neighborhood yard grab.
It could have very well been a yard sale from what I heard of the awesome stuff that was there for the taking. But I am thankful that I was in the right place at the right time to score these awesome items- FOR FREE!
 Ok so enough with the suspenseful intro.

 A stack of number and color, reading worksheets- less work for me

Just like new in the boxes!

The flower Match Garden Patch Matching activity and it's wooden box

The 3 yr old matching flowers- one of the various activities you can do with this set


Working on the time matching activity  Money and Time Set

A write and erase book of shapes for tracing and writing.


And my super special Score
( drum roll please)

A wicker basket full of cloth diapers and some laundry soap. Complete with extra soakers, hemp and cotton, liners, silk and fleece, An All in One, A BumGenius whisper wrap, fitteds and more.

What a blessing!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God said it, and that settles it for me


Image from the Web
This morning in prayer I asked God specifically, among other things, for his wisdom and leading in responding as he would with bickering between the children.
 Father how do I respond when one says " He hit me"?
How do I respond when one is crying or whining because one has a toy the other wants and the one with the toy won't budge because " I had it first" or " It's mine"?
How do I respond when someone tells the other that "mommy said this or that" but they don't believe her and I have an upset child on my hands?

Then the lord began bringing passages of scriptures to me.
The passage in Romans 12 that says to prefer one another before yourself
The passage in Matthew 5   that says blessed are the peacemakers
Another that says to  love your neighbor as yourself  and  do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.
 And yet another that says children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right  as well as  rightly divide the word of truth  ( They must make sure what they are to obey is according to the source).



They are to be obedient to the Word of the Lord. They are to be taught to obey Jesus. If they do not obey Jesus there are negative consequences that follow, and positive consequences if they do.
I must lovingly remind them that the most important thing, and the biggest blessing comes, from Obeying God and his word.


So when these scenarios come up I will respond with the word. If they fail to obey the Word I will respond again with the word, encouraging me to train up a child in the way they should go  and  whom the Lord loves, he chastens.


 Thank you Father. Your Word said " be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make my request known unto you. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep my heart and mind on you."

 Isn't this so true?
When we just give it to God, he gives us resolution- peace in his word. Amen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

His Present Help

today's verse

"'Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?'"
Matthew 26:53
view in context

encouragement for today

Jesus spoke these words right after his arrest. They provide a clue as to how he possessed the amazing self-control to stand before Pilate and endure the unimaginable pain of the suffering that followed. He knew the power at his disposal. Self-control comes when we have faith that we are ultimately safe in God's hands. When we lose control, we act out of a sense of poverty: "God won't help me, so I'd better act—and fast!" When we remind ourselves of the vast resources we possess in Christ to do whatever he asks of us, self-control is the result.
—Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

Monday, August 6, 2012

Early to Rise

 wow I should do this more often

This is the thought that runs through my head when I am up about 6am being productive. I am throwing in a load of laundry, tidying up the downstairs, since the children didn't quite get to it the night before. I am enjoying the joyfulness of taking care of things. The children are still asleep. I am motivated to get things done because of the quiet and the less distracted moment of time. It feels so good.

The children get up one at a time and I can give them a simple breakfast. I am already down here, rather than my usual sending the older ones down to get things tended to breakfast wise. I see their faces as they peek around the banister
" morning mom"
"Good morning"
I have a smile waiting for them.

I have spent some quality time with the Lord.

And you know what, this is not a dream. It's reality. It happened this morning.

I don't do this often.
 Most days are like this:
 I creak my eyes open at 7 AM. I look at the time, knowing that soon I am going to get a knock on the door. I want to sleep, but I want to pray. I hate trying to pray with the door knocking so I better get up now. But I am dragging, maybe half of the time.
If this is a "good" morning I get an hour alone with my heavenly dad. Still I am tired. Other time I get 15 minutes and then the knocking begins. I've told them in the mornings they are to stay in their rooms until I invite them out. They are to pray if they are awake. They don't always listen. Especially the younger ones.
 I somehow hold them off until 8AM. They are hungry. I tell them they can go make bowls of cereal.   I prepare myself for spilled milk and wasted helpings. I grow annoyed at the thought. I am too tired to go down and supervise. I am intimidated by the toy and clothes I will meet in the hall way. I grimace at the thought of seeing my son's room, right across from mine, in disarray. This means the day will be spent talking and cleaning. I do not want to face that. Just yet. A few more minutes maybe?  I hope for the best.
 Finally I go down and sometimes things have run quite smoothly. My oldest daughter does well of taking charge and taking care. The baby is happily in his chair eating cereal. Sometimes I go down and the mess from the night before greets me loudly. I don't like to start the day trying to clean dishes just so we can eat breakfast, but many times that's the case. Not all the time. But many.
And then I'm like a locomotive when I start. We clean dishes, and the kitchen and the stove and the whole downstairs, and, hey since I'm here let me get this laundry, but wait you guys still have to eat....
At the end I'm over tired. I am spent from talking and delegating tasks and having to make sure they are done and done well, and responding with grace to the moans of the work load. It's 2PM where did the day go?

But when I rise early, my disposition is quite different. One hour makes such a huge difference. I have that quiet time before the children rise  to get some things done without tripping over them and being breathless from trying to guide them in actually helping.
I notice when I rise early I greet them with a smile as they arise. I am ready to meet the day, instead of the day meeting me, per Se.

I wrote a list yesterday that included me getting some energy back. Part of my solution was to go to bed early, and to rise early.
I know this may not work for all. I know this may not work for me all the time. New babies, for example may not like what I have in mind.
 But I have noticed the trend in my early risings. I like that start to my day, rather than my norm. I want to make peaceful risings my norm.

Early to bed and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise- Benjamin Franklin

She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family

- Proverbs 31:15 
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

-Proverbs 31:15

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How we School

To start off ,my children go to public school. I always schooled them before entering public school for Kindergarten. Ideally my desire is to shool them at home year round, but right now
this works for us. For this season. For now.

But when we do school at home, which is now during the summer months and school breaks, we all love it.
This keeps them sharp and on their toes for the next school year.

It's rather informal, as in, we don't do it everyday. But they will remind me that we did no school work today, and " what's up with that?" (They don't actually dare say that, but they are concerned when the miss out on school work)

 So here are some pointsof how we school:
Math for the Kindergartner
Math for the 4th grader
  • Momma made work sheets cuz i'm smart like that
  • Computer generated print outs from abcteach.com or other nifty sites
  • Read-alouds
  • momma made flash cards
  • computer games like those on abc-ya.com or starfall.com




The Rundown:
 My 3 yr old knows her numbers, shapes and ABCs, and we are working on number and letter recognition.  We play UNO to help with her colors and numbers, and it's super fun.We are concentrating right now on the letter T since that is what her name starts with.

Number and color fun- UNO anyone?
My Kindergartner is working on Primer Dolch sight words with sight word bingo on abc-ya.com. She reads pretty well at the "Ready to Read" level one. She knows her sounds and blends well. It's words like "two" that are not pronounced as they look, that throw her for a loop- hence our sight word concetration. She absolutely loves to read! She is working on basic level addition, adding with pictures/visual aids up to 10.

My 3rd grader is working on multiplicaiton, double and triple digit additon and subtraction as far as math goes. She is excited about starting her fours times tables. I boosted her confidence by giving her the seccret for 10's and 11's. She was too thrilled. So doing the twos was a breeze. We tried threes and I will transition in the 4's slowly. She reads on a 5.2 reading level. So we are workingon reading comprehension. Word problems and mini book reports fit in here.

Working on the science


My fourth grader is working on place values in the millions. He is exellent on multiplication and divison. I am going to broaden his division work with longer digits. He reads on a 5.5 to 6th grade level so he is too workingon reading comprehension. I give them bible passages to read, then summarize in their on words what it meant to them.

Group wise we get some science, arts, and history in.

Homemade finger paints

Just the other day we watched vids on babies growing in the womb since mom is pregnant. Everyone was fascinated.

We got out to a river some weeks ago not far from us and excavated stones.

This weekend the plan is some biology/zoology. We'll call it, the zoo- we'll see : )

Monday, July 30, 2012

Home made finger paints


Going to try this today : )
Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel Dillard

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I was made to praise Jesus

(I do not own this image)


In all I do, let it bring you praise
 

Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What it is like to (NOT) sleep at night


Taken from the Amber Dusick Blog
*Note: If you view this on site please be aware I edited word(s) so as not to offend

I've always been jealous of my husband's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It isn't his fault that he is a deep sleeper.  But I can't help it.  It totally pisses me off.  
We climb in bed at 9:00PM...
Sleep1
By 9:03 my husband is completely asleep.
I'm nursing my youngest and haven't even begun to think about sleeping yet.  I lay there motionless, pretending to be calm and relaxed so he'll fall asleep. Anyway, I'm cold since the blankets aren't on my top half.
Sleep2
So I pretend to be sleeping but really I'm going over the "to do" list or re-winding conversations from earlier.  Or having pretend conversations that might happen in the future.  On a good night the baby settles pretty fast.
Sleep3
Finally, around 10:00PM he is asleep.  Success!  He rolls over and my body is my own for the first time all day.  I can pull up the blankets a little.  I close my eyes for real.  Start to relax and let go...
Sleep4
Until I hear a noise.  
Becoming a mama has given me heightened spidey senses.  A tiny noise a mile away wakes me up like a mama bear, ready to protect her young.
My husband did not inherit this quality with parenthood.
Wide-eyed, I strain my ears to hear.  This particular noise is one I'm all too familiar with.
Sleep5
Enter 4.5 year old.  I thought he was asleep by now.  He has no concept of being quiet while people are sleeping, so he barges in loudly asking for random [stuff]*.  I have to jump out of bed and rush him out of the room so he doesn't wake the baby.  This attempt is successful about 50% of the time.  Lets assume it was successful tonight.
Sleep6
So now I'm in the hallway, hearing my 4.5 year old's demands and bargaining with him.  Water, bathroom or covers on or off, etc.  I have no real power here, I'll agree to anything to get him back in bed quietly.  When he has exhausted all the standard stuff, he finishes by needing to tell me somethingvery important, like "I saw a rock today on the ground and it had dirt on it and I forgot to tell you! " and I steer him back to his room.
Sleep7
By the time I head back to my bed, the baby has turned into a starfish.  Legs and arms stretched out, taking up my whole side of the bed.
Sleep8
I slide next to and under him being careful not to wake him.  I can't move.  I'm scared to breathe.  This is a very delicate situation.  I have to move him.  I have to risk it.
Sleep8alt
The first attempt to move him just makes it worse.  He swings both arms and legs on top of me.  He is stirring now so I can't move a muscle.  I'm like a statue while I listen to his breathing to hear when he is in a deep sleep again to move him.   
Sleep9
Finally, it is midnight and I've successfully moved him.  I haven't heard my 4.5 year old in a while so he must be asleep too.  I fall asleep for the first time!
Sleep10
Until I'm woken by a foot in my eye.  I try to ignore it.  A foot in the eye is a sign that he is starting to move into a lighter sleep.  This means he'll wake up completly to nurse soon.  
Sleep11
So we're nursing again.  I'm half asleep but not mostly just feel like a zombie. My mind wanders to weird stuff.  I close my eyes and see flashes of people and places like a dream except I'm awake.   
Sleep12
Finally he settles again and rolls away.  It is 2:30AM and I can finally get somereal sleep!  It is very unlikely that either kid is going to wake me up again. Sweet sleeping bliss.
Sleep13
Until the two cats come in at 5:00AM and announce that they are hungry.  They continue make this announcement every 15 minutes or so.  I ignore them.  But they know.  They know I'm their target. They know I'm awake no matter how hard I pretend.  They finally settle on my feet so that they will be alerted the moment I stir.  I get a few more minutes of sleep.     
Sleep14
Only to be woken at 7:00AM for a new day.  My 4.5 year old skips into our room and gleefully sings, "Morning!  It's morning time!"  Which wakes up the baby who replies with "Mownin!"  Then they start jumping on our bed.  
Even this doesn't wake up my husband.  He is sound asleep. Sometimes I look at his chest rising and falling with his breath to confirm that he is alive before unleashing the kids on him.  
"Go see Papa" I grumble. 
Sleep15
They have to poke his head and repeat "Papa!" over and over and he finallywakes up.
And what is the first thing out of his mouth?  The one and only thing I DON'T want him to say?
Sleep16
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.



Friday, July 20, 2012

Water Over Rocks

Our Adventure at the River 


"Mommy, my girt is wat"





skipping rocks ( or throwing rocks at his sister, hmm)


A Happy Mother

Psalm 113:9 NLT
He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.
Praise the LORD!



It dawned on me that this is not exclusive to biological or even legally adopted children, but I believe this happiness is fulfilled through or spiritual family.
There are children in our neighborhoods in need of the compassion and nurturing a mother provides. There are children in our churches, or young mothers in need of a mothering figure to lend a hand in carrying for little ones.

The Lord gives the childless mother a family in many ways, making her a happy mother indeed.

Warmest thoughts and prayers, Chantel Dillard

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Letter to my brother

I went back and read a letter I wrote to my brother some time ago. It brought things back to memory that I want to stay in the front of my mind. I hope it also brings encouragement to  some of you as well.
(C)2012,2008 Chantel Dillard

3/28/12

Dear Brother,
 I was elated to have a letter from you. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write back, but things are as they are to be right?
I just came back from an awesome conference and it has ignited my soul so fiercely. God spoke to me while there and told me to do a thing that seems so unthinkable. I know he is prompting me to trust him so much more deeply than I have been. I know he is giving me an opportunity to exercise my faith and I can watch him do the things that /I think are outside of his care. It is just so hard to do. We say we trust God but when it comes to it in reality we are so quick to take back what we said out of our mouths. God help me.
God wants me to spend the majority of my time with him. He wants me to give him most of my time of the day, not just more of my time. I said God then what about the house and what about the children, and what about dinner and what about this and that? How do I balance it all? God spoke so clearly to me when he answered- Don’t. You are not supposed to balance it- that is the problem. You are trying to control what is not yours to control. You are trying to play God. I humbly had to ask him to forgive me. I asked him to forgive me for worry, because I had no idea that worry was in my heart, but me wanting to control every detail of my life, is worry’s ugly sister. 
I must admit that I have still have not done well on that front. I have still, even this day, kept putting my time with God on the back burner- thinking to myself, okay well let me just get one more thing done. Okay just one more thing and that way I can talk to God without distraction. Excuses, excuses…
Boy is it hard for me to let go and trust that what is, is what must be, for if I am in his plan, then every aspect of my life is going according to his plan no matter how much it seems to be taking me the opposite of what I think his plan should be for me. As much as we know it in our hearts and minds, it is still hard to grasp how much GOD really IS In CONTROL. He is. We have to accept that, and lean into that. It is my comfort. I am learning more and more each passing day to see each moment of my life- the frustrations and the elations (and everything in between) through the eyes of a loving and merciful God. He said ALL things work together for my good, and I have to live like I believe that.

Welp, enough about me. How are things going for you? I am glad to see that you are communing with the Lord. I pray you find each day your “place” of worship- and never come out of it. I pray you run hard after God, like never before, and you let this be the beginning of greater things to come...
Be strong in the Lord, brother. Keep talking and listening to the Lord. Keep humbling yourself under his mighty hand. Trust in him, that this is his plan- for he has the expert ability at making the crooked paths straight. I love you and will try to write again to make up for the lapse in time.  Remember your royal heritage and walk and talk like the kingly priest you are.
-Channy

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Monday, July 16, 2012

His reward

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Just about halfway there at 2 days shy of 20 weeks!




I want to share a response to a blog post I wrote over at Olive Plants all Around my Table. My response encouraged, well, me! 


"We are welcoming number six very soon, and we are excited. It is somewhhat intimidating sometimes, knowing these are God's children that he has put in my care, knowing that I myself am a child in some respects and need the ever-present guidance of my Father in rearing these little ones. But I am proud of them all. I am happy to go out with them and show the world they are in my care, and my care is the best for them, and I am proud of the work of the Lord through our family. Praises be to God for my children and  what we show the world when they see our family. God's grace."

Amen.

Just Not Today....

 I am in a negative mood this morning. I got on my blog site to get those feelings out (and I don't like to use my blog as a vent area) in  hope that it will therapeutically  bring me to see even this feeling of heaviness in the light of his glory and grace.  The thing is I feel bad, guilty even, for feeling like this. But then I feel  like I am entitled to my pity party some time. I don't have the energy to put on a smile, and say Kind words and be cheery.
I know, I know- or maybe I don't know.
I could barely pray with the children this morning because I grew frustrated too quickly. Oh Father help me, as my fruit of temperance, and long-suffering are definitely  in need of cultivation.
I had a headache that grew with my impatience. I grew hot and irritated- maybe it's the hormones- but i had to turn off the fan in order for us to hear one another well during our devotions.
I just wanted to get it over with.
 I don't want to be strong today.

my strength is made perfect in your weakness


But God that seems like an excuse for me to not try. I mean I want to do nothing that demands my attention, responsibility, my delegation; I want to kneel on the floor by my bed and hope for an audible voice from heaven to direct my every step today. I just want you to say, hear do this, it's laid all out for you-- like the step by step directions in the "adult assembly required" furniture box.

*sigh

<------ That's a pressure builder. Who came up with that quote? I know my feelings of heaviness are related to my inability to control my children's happiness and contentment. I can't keep them from crying, from fussing at one another, from having disagreements, from taking pleasure in less-than-godly things ( like right now one is laughing and pointing and sharing a pic of an immodestly dressed cartoon  female heroine). I can't control their resistance to cleaning up the messes they make, or their need for me to constantly keep them focused on a task at hand that can barely reach completion unless  I am breathing down their necks ( making me want to just do it myself).

I can't control that they just don't seem to understand my passion when it comes to their salvation and protecting them from the obvious and subtle evils of this world,  especially those oozing from this tube of hypnosis called the television.

I can't control it. And trying is tiring.
I'm tired today.
I'm too tired, and I wish I didn't care so much.
As much as I try to just say "forget it" or "do what you want", I can't keep my mind from thinking on them. I can't keep my mind from being concerned with their care, and their growth and their needs. I can't help redirecting their emotional reaction to ones that are more Christ-like, having had  personal experience with those reactions and their consequences.

I've  been around and have seen the result of irresponsible, un-caring, selfish parenting.

But today I'm tired- mentally
 It's overwhelming- this responsibility of other human beings with varying personalities, and preferences, and dispositions, and maturity levels.

And then how can I demand of them, what I am still working toward?

*sigh

my grace is sufficient- for you and for them
my strength is made perfect in your weakness


Maybe in my weakness there is a a testimony to grace. In my short comings, they see that mommy is imperfect, but striving, no, pressing, to perfection by God's grace.
I pray that the times I am short-tempered, God's grace fills in the cracks. I pray that when I am in a less-than-sociable mood, that God's sufficient grace provides them comfort.
I pray in those times, that I too find grace, and the strength to carry on , after I have found rest for my soul.

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I"- Psalm 61:2

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