By Grace Alone

The real life struggles of a Christian mom

My Complaining Heart March 2, 2009

The Israelites are at it again.  Grumbling, that is.  A recurring theme in our BSF study of the Life of Moses this year is how the Israelites continue to grumble and complain in spite of all the wonderful things God has done for them.  Last week, we studied Numbers 11, in which the Israelites once again complain about the manna God is miraculously providing for food each day.  In our lecture, our teaching leader said that we often think we have the right to tell everyone how we are feeling at all times, especially if we are unhappy about something.

She might as well have been talking directly to me.  Even with the sinfulness of complaining being pointed out to me again and again in this study, I still struggle with a complaining heart.  I definitely think everyone around me needs the full story whenever something is bothering me, and there are plenty of things that bother me.  I have to admit, one of the things I look forward to when my husband gets home from work is being able to unload on him all the hardships of my day.  The complaining heart rears its head over and over again.  And Numbers 11 reminds me that each time I complain, I am sinning and even rejecting the Lord and His provision for me (verse 20).

And then there’s the fact that I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my third child.  Those of you who have walked in my shoes know exactly how this could lead to some complaining–complaining that even seems justified until you look at it through God’s holy eyes.  When I first heard the BSF lecture on complaining last week, I thought, “People ask me how I’m feeling all the time.  How am I supposed to answer honestly without complaining?”  Our teaching leader pointed out that God desires our gratitude, regardless of our circumstances.  I need to ask God to take away my complaining heart and replace it with a grateful one.

At first, I just aimed for outward change with regard to complaining.  My husband may not have noticed much change yet–sorry, honey, I’m working on it–but I have tried to answer the “how are you feeling?” questions with less complaining and more thankfulness.   Instead of cataloging every ache and pain for everyone who asks, I try to say I am mostly feeling good and thankful to be having a healthy pregnancy.

As I’ve made this outward change, I’ve noticed that there has been an inward change going on as well.  The aches and pains don’t bother me as much anymore.  They are simply reminders that God has given me the privilege of carrying this baby girl for 31 weeks, and that she is active and growing.

I still have work to do in this area . . . it is hardest to not complain to those I am closest to and other favorite topics of complaining that I need to deal with.  There is a fine line between being honest about my struggles and complaining.  While I want to be open and honest, I also want to glorify God with my speech and not grumble about any of the gifts He has given me–including my kids, my husband, his job, our home, and our finances.

The REAL test will come in 2 months when the baby comes and people ask, “How are you doing?  Are you getting any sleep yet?”  I better start asking God now to show me how to be thankful for sleep that comes in 2 hour increments!

Advertisements
 

New Seeds Music CD November 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marissa Henley @ 8:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m slowly emerging from the first-trimester fog and hope to be back to blogging soon.  In the meantime, I want to tell everyone about a new cd from Seeds Music–“The Power of Encouragement.”

power

I was fortunate enough to get this cd a while ago, and my kids LOVE it.  Their favorite songs are “Take Heart” and “Go.”  My favorite is “A Servant to All,” which talks about anyone who wants to be first being last.  One day after we’d been listening to this cd, Christopher decided to give up his turn to choose what video to watch and quoted the verse!  I have to admit, this has only happened once, but it made my day!  This cd is upbeat and the Bible verses are terrific ones for both me and the kids to commit to memory.  I highly recommend it!  We also have the Faith and Praise cds, and they are excellent as well.  Click here to see a previous post I wrote about these great cds.

 

Sowing Seeds of God’s Word August 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marissa Henley @ 9:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Galatians 6:7-9: Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

One of my most important jobs as a mom is to plant seeds of God’s truth in my children’s hearts. Two great tools I have been using recently are Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em in Your Hearts CD and my new CD’s from Seeds Music. I love the Steve Green CD, but the Seeds music CD’s are FABULOUS. (Thank you, Julie, for introducing me to them!) They have adults and children singing, but it is so well done that I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself listening to them even without kids in the backseat. Honestly, the Ephesians 2:8 song brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. I have the Praise and Faith albums, and I plan to order the others soon.

It is such a blessing for me to watch my kids as they listen to God’s Word set to music. I pray that God will take these seeds we are planting and grow them into living, active faith in Christ. I’ll admit it, I’m becoming a bit of a fanatic. It is hard to get excited about singing about bus drivers and climbing spiders with my kids when we could be singing, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). There’s just nothing better than the Word of God.