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It was the best of times...






...it was the worst of times. What a mixed week. But tonight we had a bright spot...PRETZELS! Tonight, pretzels were a gift of God.

Church is great and usually when it is, home is stressful. Then when home is great, church gets stressful. It seems life in it's entirety is not ever just totally peachy keen. It can't just be one wonderful ball of wax... and I for one don't like that balance of good/bad. I keep praying for that ever elusive wonderful ball of wax!

I decided I was going to re-claim enjoying my children after the stresses of the last two weeks, and do something fun even if it killed us. I say that because you know how you have all these great plans of how you are going to have some "family fun" and then the kids do nothing but fight or disobey and you think, "I'm an idiot to plan this." But not tonight. I was going to INSIST on fun. It was one of those days where I said, "Look kids! We're going to do something fun, and you're going to LOVE IT or I'm going to choke you!!!" Well, thankfully tonight it worked. And there was no choking involved. Praise Jesus.

Back story...

Last night I was so incredibly tired that I didn't have energy for anything special in me after getting home from work. I had wrestled with the computer the night before. You know how Jacob wrestled with God? I wrestled with a Hewlett Packard. I was trying to upload something for work and it wouldn't do it. I was mad. I said, "I WON'T LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME! NOW UPLOAD, YOU UNGODLY MACHINE!" (Pastor T, if you are reading this, please don't chastise me about not having a MAC, thank you.) Anyway, I was mad and wouldn't give up. So I sat there until I forced it to upload at 3:30 am. "Aha! I gotcha!" I trimphantly declared to the PC. Then I went to bed and got a whopping 2 and 1/2 hours sleep before Jordan came in and woke us up and had an blow up argument with his father before school. What a blessing. That's just how every parent on the planet wants to start their day. So after getting home from work yesterday, I did...more work. I never finished at the office so found myself doing some more, albeit laying down with my laptop, upon coming home. Then did some jacuzzi time with Savanna and went to bed. But I promised something better tonight.

After cleaning up supper I went for a ride on my bike. It was so nice to be out there at sunset again. It's my favorite time. While I was gone Jordan completed his 8-page paper that I made him write as one of his latest disciplines for one of his recent infractions. It was on five attributes of Jesus. He did a good job. In his closing paragraph he wrote, "I think that the punishment placed upon me by those in authority over me has really taught me a lot about the Bible. And like you have told me a million times before, it's a lot easier to do things with a happy heart than an ungrateful heart or something like that." Hopefully he did learn something. I figure if I force the Word into him enough, it will seep out at some point. Since he had completed his punishment, he could come out and do something with us. When I got home from the bike ride, Jordan, Savanna and I made homemade soft pretzels. I found the Auntie Anne's recipe off of the internet. I promised Savanna last night that we would make them. Last night they tried their own recipe that they found from somewhere else. They wanted me to help but like I said, I was exhausted so I said no. They were on their own. Well, the pretzels last night were horrible. One bite and they went in the trash. So we redeemed things tonight and I helped them with the recipe I found. It was fun to make them, they did not argue, and...the pretzels turned out FANTASTIC. Even Dustin who is a soft pretzel expert liked them. Then it was on to watching Idol.

Every time Larry and I preach a lot on marriage and the family we go through this stress. Every time. Last year when I preached at a few places that invited me to come and speak specifically on that topic, it was unbearably tense in our house each time. I can preach on the Holy Ghost, tithing or the fruit of the spirit and nothing significantly bad happens in our home. But just let me preach on marriage or parenting and shazam!!!!! All H-E double toothpicks breaks loose. Well, we've had two weeks from you know where and I almost said, "cancel this dumb desperate households series, and these three marriage conferences we're doing! It's not worth it!" Instead I decided to call a few intercessors and let them know I needed them to stand with us. They are. And we'll just keep going forward. I know it's an attack of the enemy but it's just so hard to go through it even though you know what it is and where it's coming from. Last year I came within an inch of calling several places I was asked to come preach (on this topic) and say to them, "you know...would it be too much trouble for me to preach on something else?" But I just hung in there. I'm glad I did. It was worth it. Not that our family doesn't have stress any other time. Certainly we do. But on these occasions it just seems to triple.

Never before have I realized so much the importance of specific prayer. Just when I think I do, something happens that lets me know I've only scratched the surface. It's the best and worst of times, but prayer is the key to getting us through, as well as forcing fun sometimes!

Comments

I'm with Pastor T! Macs rule! LOL!

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