Would you be willing to sacrifice?

The beginning of the year I started reading through the bible with a group of wonderful ladies. Last week one of my readings was Genesis 22, as I was reading this section just spoke to me and really made me think.

(Genesis 22:1-12 ESV)

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

This story in Genesis 22 about Abraham and Isaac has always been one of my very favorites. It is a true story of faith in the almighty God and knows that He will provide. When you read the story it amazes me how when the Lord cam to Abraham, told him to sacrifice his only son; Abraham set out to do it without question. Each time I read this passage it makes me think of the times when God wanted me to do something and instead of just doing it I question.

Now, Abraham was and still is considered a man of great faith. Even with a difficult request, he was faithful that God would provide. Look at verse 7, Isaac asks where is the offering; Abraham with tremendous faith says “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” That is and amazing sentence, because even though God had sent Abraham out to sacrifice his only son Abraham had faith that God would make the provision.

If God made provision for Abraham then, God who loved us so much that He sent His only son would make provision for us. When was the last time God asked you to sacrifice something? Did you do it without question, without pouting without hesitation? When was the last time God told you to do something and you just did it, having faith that if a provision was needed God would provide?

Would love your thoughts.

Tracy

Advertisements

Football Senior Night (A Mother’s Heart Part VI)

Now, my son is on the football team but not in the way you might think. Stefan is on the film crew. He has served on the film crew for 2 ½ years. So Stefan comes home and asked his dad and myself if we would like to escort him out onto the field senior night. You can probably guess the answer was yes. I was so excited, we were not sure if they were going to consider the film crew for senior night. In the past the film crew has not been included but Stefan has become close to the football team and the coaches. Funny thing is the D line otherwise known as the defensive line adopted Stefan as member.

That night……………

We got to the field around 5:30pm and we were escorted to the area where all the other parents were standing. We gathered with the parents of some of Stefan’s friends and of course starting talking about how none of could believe the kids were seniors.

As I stood there waiting I took a moment and just watched my son as he laughed with his friends. Two of them who have been friends since they were in the 3rd grade were joking and playing around. For a moment they were little boys playing. Then I realized they were young men getting ready to start a new chapter of their lives.

That night I also prayed, Lord let me be like Mary after the birth of Jesus when she treasured up all those things and pondered them in her heart. I wanted to remember every moment and treasure them all.

They lined us up; the film crew was right behind the football players, then the mascots and cheerleaders. I found it amusing that Stefan, and two of his best friends were right together.

We need to pause a moment…..

In the ninth grade Stefan took a computer class (he ended up taking 2 classes) and his teacher was also the defensive line coach. It was this coach who introduced Stefan to filming. He also became a mentor and friend to my son. In fact every time I see him he tells me what a wonderful young man I have raised. He is one of those teachers that I am so thankful that has been in my son’s life.

Now back to our game night……….

When it was time for the ceremony to begin the other team members cleared the field with the coaches. The ceremony began and each seniors name was announced and they would say who was escorting them onto the field. The football team has a tradition after they walk through the color guard; each player shakes the head coaches hand then runs through the rest of the team. It is a way for the rest of the team to show there respect for the seniors, it is something the team has done for years.

As we walked down the field and the announcer called my son’s name, tears welled up in my eyes. I was and still am a proud mom of my young man. There we were the three of us dad on one side, my son in the middle, and me on the other side. In those moments I thought about when he was little how he would walk between us and my husband and I would hold his hands and swing him. I thought about his first day of school all those years ago. Our picture was then taken and we walked through the color guard. The principle was at the end he shook Stefan’s hand put a medallion around his neck and told us how proud he was of Stefan. At this point we thought that was the end.

The head coach then came up to Stefan told him what a great job he has done filming the football team. He then pointed over to the football team that were still lined up and said go ahead son run through your team they are waiting for you.  I wish you could have seen the look on my son’s face. You see in years past only the football team runs through the team this year the coaches and team wanted to include Stefan. He was ecstatic. As my son ran over to his team, I saw out of the corner of my eye, the coach (the one who has both mentored and been a friend) was moving from the side lines. He had been on the side lines to watch his boys walk and be honored. Now he was trying to get to Stefan. When he did he reached out and gave him a pat on the back. In that one moment I saw how much he cares for my son. It was amazing. Stefan ran through his team, as I watched I heard the team cheering him on and even calling him “shaggy”, one of the nick names the team calls him.

This night was everything I thought it would be and more. I was both exciting to me and difficult. It was an ending and yet a beginning. That is one thing I have been learning this year, his senior year. There have been many and will be many last times but there are also many firsts. While this was the last game for the seniors, it was also one of the first times the seniors were recognized.

Mothers remember to ponder each of those memories and treasure them in your heart.

Looking to the Past and Going Forward

It seems that every year around this time many of us are writing down our New Year resolutions. You know the things we did in years past that we no longer want to do in the up coming year or things we want to do better in the up coming year. I have done the same thing in years past, but three years ago I was challenged to do something different.

A few years ago my husband had stepped down from a position at a church and to say the least I was hurt and broken. Looking back now I had been in a difficult season in my life. I was depressed and felt as if the entire world was against me. I literally wore my hurt like a badge. I also felt as if I had no friends or at least no real friends. I felt abandoned. I thought I was alone but I was not God never left me. It was during this time that I realized in order to regain ground I was going to have to run to God with all my might. We started attending a church and little by little God was restoring me not back to where I was but rather to where He wanted me.

That December just a week before the new year the pastor preached a sermon that spoke directly to the part of me that was still hurting and in need of healing. I do not remember the entire sermon but what I do remember was this: “Don’t take the junk you are caring this year into the next.” For the next few days I just could not get that phrase out of my head. So I began to pray and just ask God what I needed to do.

Over the last few days of the year God began to reveal what I needed to do and that was to ask for forgiveness because I have been holding unforgiveness in my heart against some people. I kept hearing the question “Do you want to keep going like you are right now?” I was going to continue into this new year with unforgiveness and still broken. I then sat down at the computer and made  a list of those I needed to forgive and I wrote them a letter. I did not bring up what they did or how I was hurt I simply took responsibility for not forgiving. New’s Year’s Eve I put those letters in envelopes and put them in the mail box praying over them and then I released them and told the enemy that he no longer had a hold over me it was done. When I put them into the mail and walked away I felt lighter and better than I had in months. Now please understand in writing those letters it did not excuse what they did or did not do that is not what it was about, it had to do with me not them. God will deal with them but at that moment He, my Father was dealing with me and what I needed to do.

I learned a great deal from this difficult season in my life but what I remember each year around this time is the statement. I have no desire to take any of the junk from this year into next year. So you may ask how is that done.

1. Pray ask God if there is anything in your life that you need to let go of. Things like anger, bitterness, unforgiveness…….

2. Then ask God how He wants you to deal with it. For me it was writing a letter. For you it may be to go to that person.

3. Do what God says to do.

4. Remember you may or may not be received but you have to be obedient to God. I never heard back from the letters however one of those letters restored a friendship with a couple a year later.

I still make a new years resolution list(mainly because I just love a good list), but I also include doing a spiritual check to make sure that I am not taking any extra baggage into the New Year that is not welcome.

A Christmas Thought

I was watching the movie “Elf” the other night. I love to watch all the different holiday shows. Anyway there is a line in the movie that “Buddy the elf” says ” The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. It is one of my favorite lines in the show.

Well, last night my husband and I went ot Sams to pick up a few things and as we left I became sad. I realized that in that store I did not see many people smile or even say Merry Christmas. I then thought about that line and I really wanted to go back in and just sing as lound as I could “We wish you a Merry Christmas” just to see what would happen, but we were already outside.

The next store we went into I smile at every person I came into contact with and as I was checking out I said Merry Christmas to gentleman checking us out. He said it back and smiled.

So my thought is this when you are out and about this time of the year take the time to smile and spread some Christmas cheer. You don’t have to sing it you can just say it with a kind word or a smile.

Merry Christmas.

Homecoming Dance…… A Mother’s Heart Part V

Before I really get into this event I need to give you some back ground information. Stefan is not one who goes to dances in fact he went to the homecoming dance his freshman year and the past two years decided not to go. My husband and I talked with him over the summer and told him that we really wanted him to go to both homecoming and prom his senior year. Our thought behind this request was him experiencing everything possible his senior year.

So here we go………..

It was a month out and we were all sitting around talking, Stefan had just found out the date for homecoming. Being the mother that I am, I asked him who he was going to ask to homecoming since he was not dating anyone at the time. He said that he had not decided who to ask but he wants to go with someone just as friends. Ron and I thought that was a good idea, considering we know most of his friends.

The girl is chosen……….

Stefan decided to a friend of his who is a junior, they have been on the Robotics team together for 3 years and they are friends. So one Saturday she shows me, Stefan and Ron her dress it is a beautiful blue.

Shopping with Dad………..

The boys (meaning the husband and son) went shopping to buy a new suit and tie for the dance. When they got home and showed me I have to admit tears welled up in my eyes.

So the day of the dance……..

Now, I have to admit the day of the dance was a very interesting day. Stefan went to robotics that morning. He came home decided to take a nap and at 3pm he says “Mom I want to get her a flower for her wrist.” Ok, so please tell me that I am not the only mother whose child waits till the last minute. Well, since we had to go pick up the truck (Stefan was going to use the truck that night) from Ron’s work we decided to see about finding a flower. We get about 2 ½ miles and the car started smoking, we added water but it just was working. We finally made it to get the truck, and then it was off to find the flower. 3 stores later we finally found it. Thank you Lord.

Time to get ready………

I did get to laugh. You see Ron my husband had to work that night so he could not help Stefan with his tie. How do you learn how to tie a tie when your dad can’t show you, easy you find it on you tube and watch over and over and over till you finally get it right. I have to admit I wish that I had a picture to show you it was so funny watching my 6’5 son leaning over trying to tie that tie. Now, when Stefan walked out all dressed up my first thought was where is the little boy in the man that is standing in front of me. He looked so grown up.

Time to leave……….

I walked my son out to the truck and took one final picture; he climbed in and went to pick up his date. When I turned to go back up the stairs I began to cry. Tears just streamed down my face. All I could think about was how much my little boy had grown up. When he went to the dance as a freshman I drove him this time he drove himself.

Moms treasure each moment with your babes because one day they are dancing with you and the next they are dancing with someone else.

Here is a picture of Stefan and his date…. (She gave me permission to post the picture.)

Are they not so very cute.

Oh by the way here is what happens when you get students together and some of them like engineering.

They build with whatever they can find or recycle.

A Date to Remember: Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941

It has been 70 years since our country was plunged into WWII by the devastating bombing ofPearl Harbor.

It has been 70 years since our country was ravaged with bombs atPearl Harborkilling over 2000 people and wounding over 1000.

It has been 70 years since battleship row atPearl Harborbecame the grave yard of so many of our brave soldiers.

It has been 70 years since we heard the words of President Franklin Roosevelt “A date which will live in infamy”.

It has been 70 years since some of the survivors of the different battle ships like the USS Arizona and the USS Utah swam to shore.

There are still saviors from that day that are still alive and remember the friends and servicemen who lost their lives that day. I find it interesting that there is not much mentioned today in the news about the “date which will live in infamy”. Let’s not forget that many lost their lives and many were wounded on that fatal day.

As you go through your day say a prayer for who gave their lives, those who remain and their families.