Thirsty for God

“Oh God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” psalm 63:1
This used to be my favorite passage of scripture. I remember the sweet years of waking up early everyday, all through college and reflecting on the meaning of this verse. Oh how I truly longed to be close to God, to have His presence in my life. I remember even in my high school years before I ever attended Bible College, truly studying the Word of God. I did word studies, and read commentaries and devotionals. I even journaled about what God was speaking to me about. I did this for me, for my own walk with God, not for a project or a grade. Nobody even knew I did this. Oh, how I truly longed to be close to God.
Yet, somewhere between Bible College and Marriage and Motherhood, I somehow lost this burning desire. I say this with a very heavy heart. I do still love The Lord and I really want to have that burning intense fire to know Him again. I don’t understand how the physical exhaustion of life can drain you of the emotional longing to be close to God, but it does.
We all live very busy lives, filled with agendas and lists of tasks rarely checked off. Lets add our relationship with God to the top of our list. Help me Lord. Like the man of God once said. Renew to me the Joy of my Salvation. Oh how I long to love you like I once did.

Swimming upstream

Often I feel like I’m just swimming upstream… Like we are simply surviving, working hard and not getting very far. If I take a break I feel as though I am drowning…
Life just continues to pile up. The Lord promises that He does not give us more than we can handle, but at times I feel as though I cannot.

Anchors or Arrows?

“Lo, children are an heritage of The Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” -Psalms 127:3-5
A thought came to my mind today. Are my children an anchor, or are they arrows? The Bible tells us that our children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man. What does this mean?
When you think of a man at battle, he doesn’t just go out with his bow, depending on his strength alone, but he carries with him a pouch of arrows. He doesn’t just chose one or two arrows to go with him either, because he knows that the more arrows he has, the better a chance of him winning the war. These arrows, though they may be heavy, and may require more strength and effort to carry with him, are necessary for the warrior.
Not many people today look at children in this light. More often then not, children are looked at as anchors rather than arrows. They look more at the weight and responsibility of raising children rather than the joy an spiritual benefit that they bring to life.
Even very well meaning Christians are this way. I do not blame them, for they are also just swayed by our cultural beliefs. We are constantly encouraged with well meaning words like, “wait a year.” And “give yourself some time.” And the words we are hearing more recently, “don’t you think you have enough?”
Children are treated like anchors that hold us back from the life that we should have. Mothers put them into daycares in order to pursue a career, and to follow her dreams. Positive pregnancy tests are looked at in fear and dread rather than joy and anticipation.
Why are things like this if God says that they are a joy, and make men happy, and arrows that benefit our lives, rather than hold us back??? To be honest, I also am guilty of these same thoughts and feelings. Especially during my last pregnancy. Although I had surrendered that part of my life to God before I got married, I really struggled embracing it. Especially when God saw fit to give us 3 of the little blessings in just the first 3 years we were married. I even in my mind would try to think of ways to avoid pregnancy without actually preventing it, like to memorize my cycle so that I am more aware of the days when I can become pregnant, or to try to get my babies to nurse more frequently so that maybe it would hold back fertility longer. I tried everything in my own effort to keep God from blessing us without outright refusing his blessing. I rejoiced each time another month past after Josiah was born and I was not pregnant. Then when it happened, I found myself bombarded with feelings of uncertainty. I felt like I just wasn’t ready yet. I wanted more time, I wanted to be in better shape physically, I wanted to have more of a handle on my life. To be better in control of my children, to be keeping a cleaner house. All these thoughts overwhelmed me. Once again though, I handed those feelings back over to God. I knew He had a plan, and that this was a good thing that He had done in our lives.
This was, is, and probably will continue to be a very real struggle in my spiritual life, but as I sit here and think on it, I realize that this also is one of the benefits it these precious arrows. They grow our faith and dependance upon The Lord, so that we are even more equip to fight the battles He has ahead of us.
So as I sit here, my prayer to God is that He continues to help me to look at these little blessings as arrows in my life, and not as anchors that are holding me back from something far greater.
“As for God, his way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30a

What’s in a name?

Some people have asked about the names we have chosen for our children. Mainly because they are popular names, and names many of our close friends have chose as well. So I decided I would write a post on why we chose each name for our little blessings.
When Timothy and I were planning our wedding, God laid a passage of Scripture on my heart that sort of “themed” our life together. Like many other couples, this was the passage in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 which says;

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
As well as this passage and theme, we chose Roses to be the flowers in our wedding. Roses are my favorite flower.
When we found out, just a little over a month after our wedding, that we were expecting our first baby, we knew right away that she was going to be a girl, and that her name would be Charity Rose.
Then, on September 1, just a few short months after Charity was born, we got word that my brother David had passed away. This was by far, the hardest thing to go through. When I became expecting again, just one month later, I knew it would be a boy ad that he should be named after his uncle. We chose the name Josiah David.
With this little guy, things went about much differently. When I found out I was pregnant, to be honest, I was not ready! I was still getting the hang of the little ones I had. It made it much more difficult to embrace the pregnancy. Plus, during the time I was pregnant, we went through back to back trials.
I didn’t know whether the baby would be a boy or a girl, or what to name the baby. This was much different, bc with the others, we knew right away… Even after we found out he was a boy, (which was a shock, bc shortly before, we decided it was probably a girl) we still had no name in mind. After months of looking up names, there was one that kept sticking in our mind, and that was the name Joshua. We still kept it as a maybe though, bc we struggled with it being so close to Josiah, and didn’t want to be all mixed up.
About a month before he was to come we finally settled on it, mainly bc it was the only one that really stuck out. Shortly before that time, Timothy’s grandpa Jesse had passed away, so we decided that it fit. We named him Joshua Jesse.
So there it is 🙂

Another Little Blessing

We welcomed home our 3rd little blessing from The Lord this week! Meet Joshua Jesse Athey! He joined us on his due date Thursday, January the 2nd at 4:25 pm, after a long hard days labor.
He’s a big boy! Our biggest so far! He weighed 9lbs and 12oz, and was 21 3/4 inches. Although he is weighing in a whole 8 ounces heavier than his older brother did, he appears much smaller.
He got released from the hospital on Saturday, January the 4th, a little after noon, with a clean bill of health. Praise The Lord!
God is so good to us, to have given this life to raise up to love and serve Him! I pray that God enables and helps us to be the loving, and nurturing parents that He desires us to be.