Saturday, October 27, 2007

Count It All Joy......

I know this is not on the schedule, but I wanted to share this with you. I think it goes right along with our prayer month and everything!

Hi, thought I would keep you all up to date on the progressions of my cousin Darcy and family, after the news of the fire! What a tragedy, but they are counting it all joy!

They do not need anything except prayers. If you feel so inclined to give anything, gift cards from Walmart, Fred Myer and Home Depot would be greatly appreciated. I cannot imagine loosing everything to a fire, and then having the whole church come to your aid with clothing, food and offers of shelter. Darcy said it is overwhelming the responses she is getting because of this tragedy.

Some of the responses were not so favorable, however! Below is a response to a letter she wrote to her uncle, explaining why God would do this to people. It is an overwhelming and uplifting response. I thought you would enjoy it!(Don't worry, I got the author's permission to share this!) (The white is her uncle asking the questions!)
RE: Count it all joy...
Dear uncle,
Thanks for the encouragement about the rings. we're going to start sifting though the mess with a metal detector on Saturday, so wish us luck!
As for the rest of your note, I understand you are concerned about us, but I just can't let it go without replying to some of your assumptions and statements. I took the time to read your letter, now I hope you take the time to glimse into my heart.
(She had answered some personal questions here, that I thought discrete to leave out!)

First of all, you said "God did not make your trailer burn down; God did not burn up your belongings either. It was an accident, or just something went wrong - God did not make it happen"I completely agree with you. It was an accident. But God uses these "accidents" and the trials in our lives to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him. Good can come from every situation if we have the eyes to look for it. As a matter of fact, I believe that God MAKES good come if we let Him. Do you have any idea what this trial has done for us, for our family and friends? We have grown closer and stronger than we've ever been. It's caused us to see how temporary the things in this life are and what's really important. Do you know what's really important in this life, or has your worry over the things you own obscured that?

You said God is not in control of your decisions to do the right things, to make sure you are protected, and that if something like this happens it is not an unrecoverable disaster. I will also tell you both this - it is foolish to go through life thinking that God is in control and thinking "I don't have to do anything and God will provide, make everything better and protect me". Of course God is not in control of our decisions...He relinquished that when He gave us the capability to MAKE decisions. It is our job to make wise choices, but sometimes even when we do, things happen anyways. I believe that we're in a partnership with God when it comes to our lives. He asks us to make wise choices and be responsible and we ask Him to take care of what we can't. Sometimes He lets us suffer from the consequences of our actions and sometimes He saves us from them. It's all about our hearts and what we most need. That's what it means to have a relationship with the God who created us. Never in my life have I thought "I don't need to do anything and God will provide." Instead i think "I will be responsible and do the best I can with what I have and trust that God's heart towards me is good, and whatever happens in my life happens for a reason." But maybe you don't believe that God's heart toward you is good. Maybe you think He's just up there somewhere and doesn't really care what you do as long as you try to be a good person and maybe go to church once in a while. If that's your veiw of God I feel sorry for you. The God I know "knows the number of the hairs on your head." (Matthew 10:30)

You said You both have two lovely little girls that you must protect and provide for. God will not provide for them, it is your job to do that. You have to work, and be responsible and not wait for God to provide - you have to provide for yourselves and those two little girls - God did not create those little girls you two did - and it is your responsibility to provide for them.
But God DID provide for our little girls...He gave them parents who love them and only want the best for them. He gave them a daddy who works his tail off to provide a comfortable home, good food, and nice clothes. Of course we have to work...but God provides the work. He gives us the strength and the love to be able to provide for our children. The Bible says "every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the Father above." (James 1:17) Do you dare to think that the blessings in your life are all a product of your hard work and your good choices? How arrogant! We are nothing without God and it is He who blesses our endeavors, even when we ignore Him and take the credit. And God DID create our girls...if you don't believe me, read Psalm 139.

You said Praying will not make this better, only your hard work and taking from this the lessons that YOU have to be in control of your life and you ARE in control of what you do and how you do it, and YOU are responsible to provide. Do you really believe that prayer accomplishes nothing? Do you think that God cares so little for us that pouring our our hearts to Him doesn't do any good? Do you really think that you can be in complete control of your life? Is your Jesus so small that you think He's left us on our own to figure out this "unforgiving" life and lick our wounds by ourselves? That's a scary place to be and I don't envy you in the least.

You said just go ask the hundreds of thousands of people in California who are battling to save their lives today. I can tell you this, they are protected and it is not God who will provide for them, it will be the insurance companies. So you would rather put your trust in men and their insurance policies. How is that "taking control of your life" when you're placing your life and everything you own in the hands of imperfect men who aren't out to help you or do anything but make money? I'll take my chances with God. (by the way, I have nothing against insurance, just the inconsistancies of your thinking.)

Now let me answer your questions:
Did prayer save your belongings?; did it save your wedding rings?
Since when is the purpose of prayer to get what we want? I didn't ask people to pray for that. I asked to pray for US...that we would see the good even in tragedy...that we would be drawn closer to one another and closer to God...that we would know what direction to go and what step to take next.

What have you learned from all this?
That everything we have is temporary. That the things that matter the most in our lives cannot be destroyed by fire. That God is good and He does work miracles, even little things that we wouldn't think matter to Him. That even in the midst of tragedy, there is always hope. Remember the garnet cross that your mother always wore around her neck? My mom gave it to me for my 21st birthday and it was in the trailer when it burned. The next day, Sky and I were kicking through the outskirts of the rubble when we saw something sparkling in the sun. There, lying on top of unrecognizable ashes was Nana's cross. It wasn't even blackened. The nightstand and jewelry box it was in were nothing but ashes. Coincidence? Or God speaking healing to our hearts just when we needed it?

You call youself a Christian. Do you even know what that means? You say you believe in Jesus. Do you even know who He is? Christianity is more that a ticket to heaven or a moral codebook. It's a way of life, an active relationship with a living God. A God who created us, cares about us, and calls us His children. Sky and I have that kind of relationship with Jesus, and so do our friends. Do you? Are you confident that your heart matters to Him? That what happens in your life matters to Him? Do you live every day with the knowledge that "neither life nor death, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"? Or are you too busy trying to control your life to even think about such things?
Jesus said He came to give us abundant life. Do you think you can find that apart from Him? God's heart toward us is is always good. He allows us to suffer from our mistakes, learn from them, and press on. My Jesus not only died so that I could be free, He LIVED so that I could know what it really means to live. I do not live in fear. Fear of getting to the end of my life and wondering if I mattered. Fear of losing things that seem important but in the end are just things. I know that I am investing into my life and my children's lives the things that really, faith, hope, and joy. Those are the "possesions" that can never be burned up. At the end of your life, what would you rather your kids said. "My dad had lots of cool stuff, bought plenty of insurance, and now I get it all," or "My dad taught me what it means to truly love, to live life with joy, no matter what the circumstances." All the insurance in the world can't compare to that.
I appreciate your concern and understand that you love us and want what's best for us. But your fears are misplaced. Call me a religious fanatic, but at least I'm a joyful, happy religious fanatic. while everything else in this life can be taken away from me, my joy can never be taken away. My love for a God who knew me before I was even born can never be taken away. Even when I don't understand why things in my life happen the way they do, I know for certain that God is in control and that His heart towards me is only good. I pray that you can find that same joy and confidence that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Your loving neice,
Darcy =)
Wow, isn't that great! God has certainly been with my cousin, and I thank the Lord on my knees for that! I can see that the Lord is with them, and will continue to provide!

Have a great day, and may you be encouraged as I have!
Laura H.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Prayer Request!

I know this is a little early, but this is very important!

My cousin Darcy and her husband Sky, and their two daughters, Kailey and Faith, lost their home to a fire today. All they owned went up in smoke, and was buried. Why is it that a family, who loves God, that something like this is happening to a christian family? Darcy was in town, with the babies, shopping and Sky was at work, when the trailer went up. Please keep them in your prayers, as they are now homeless, and without their cherished possessions. At least they have God, to comfort them. And their babies will be without their clothes!
So, petition the Lord on their behalf, as they assess the situation, and find what the Lord wants them to do!
Laura H.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Mayden Is....Prayerful!

Yes, we are coming up on that new topic again. I think this is the most important subject yet! Being prayerful is one of the most important links to the Heavenly Father! Therefore, as Maydens, let us encourage eachother, by praying for eachother. That is what I think A Mayden is Prayeful should be about, praying for eachother!

What do you think? I will write done my pray to you all on here, when November comes around and let us see how many voices will lift to Heaven. Those who are not authors but wish to participate, please email one of us, with the subject, A Mayden is Prayerful, asking for prayer requests and such. We would be glad to do this. November is Prayer month!

Have a great Day!

Laura H

Lord Give Me Patience!

I know I haven't been on in a while. I have been busy. Well today, I had to stay home from school because my ride got sick. So I get to write with you all today! Hallelujah!
Patience means waiting!
What do I mean by this? I mean, we have to realize that we do not get the gratification we want at the moment, but have to wait for the time when the Lord thinks it is right for them to obtain it.
We ask the Lord to give us patience, but He doesn't give us Patience, He gives us the opportunity to learn patience! Life is full of lessons needing to be learned, and if we need to have a virtue, the only way we are going to receive it, is by learning with the hardships and trials that the Lord sets before us to grow!
Begging the Lord to send us the right man, saying we are ready for him, not realizing that maybe we have a lesson in patience and humilty to learn! And whatever lesson he has for us, it is for our good!
I found that I do not like my college experience, and therefore am asking God to do everything He can short of causing me to become invalid, to get me out of the situation. But I have heard the voice inside me say, " Finish out the Quarter, this is your lesson in patience!" Very well, Lord, if that is your wish!" He doesn't want me to be there, and I am getting a lot of flack from feminist family members, who think I need to be properly socialized. But the wishes of my Dad and my God come first!
So, what am I going to do in the meantime? Wait patiently for the Lord to reveal it to me! In that meantime, I am working on getting my first book published! Hallelujah! That also requires a great deal of patience!
May God be with us, and give us continuous lessons of Patience for us to learn!
In Christ,
Laura H

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Waiting Game

When I think of patience, the first thought that pops into my mind is typically that of short term patience--the waiting in a long, annoying line type of patience. There are so many little irritating situations that might come up day to day that require a bit of patience on our parts,but, truly, patience is much more than that. Patience is about persevering with a joyful heart when times are tough, waiting on God's time for blessings that might be to come, and using this time He has provided to prepare effectively for what the future might hold. Many times in my life, I have sought God's counsel on this or that choice/plan, only to be told to wait. Several times I was deeply disappointed when I had to wait for something yet again, but came to realize through more time in prayer and reading the Word, that there are tasks I must undertake to be ready for what has in store for me. God's timing is perfect, and He always knows what we are ready for, even when we may think otherwise. Learning to humbly submit to the "waiting game" He may have in store for us at different points in life is so very important.

There are many events in life that we quite naturally have to wait for, and seeing God's perfect plans in action are just marvels to me. As children we must submit to our parent's authority and wise leadership as we are not ready to lead ourselves. The blessings of knowledge and wisdom come from learning, watching, and waiting. We wait again as young ladies to see what path in life God might be calling us to. Our future husbands are people we must wait to meet and marry, and our callings as wives & helpmeets something we must spend ample time preparing for. When our newlywed minds begin hoping & praying to have children, waiting happens yet again. We must wait on God's time to be blessed with a little one in the womb, and must wait many months to meet this new member of the family. All during this waiting, our time must be spent patiently growing and learning for our impending motherhood joys. By God's wise design, much of our lives, particularly our youth, is spent waiting, growing, and preparing ourselves for blessings and callings to come in the future. Submitting ourselves to His will allows us to develop our character and to learn of & develop our gifts to better serve God & our families, both now and in the future. We have wonderful opportunities to not only prepare for the future might hold, but to accept our waiting game with patience, humility, and contentment, and honor our Heavenly Father while doing so. Our patient waiting can bring us many fruitful blessings: answered prayers, spiritual maturity, wisdom, hope, and the deep pleasures of knowing and relying on our King more & more.

When our Heavenly Father tells you to wait, delight in this opportunity He has given you and do your best to accept this time with a joyful heart. Take the time to speak with Him daily, finding out what you might need to learn or master for the future. Seek His will and look around you to see what special help you might be able to assist people with. Know that even though you are waiting, you are not wasting your time or remaining idle in your place. God has a special plan for you right in the spot He has put you in for this bit of time. And do remember, you are in good company as many of God's dearest children had times of trial and patient waiting in their lives. Abraham, Job, and Jesus are just a few of those called to a such a season, and each of their stories can serve as good encouragement to us. :o)

Picture Credit

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Haven't forgotten you....

I haven't forgotten you! I have just been so busy with school, that I haven't had time, to write. But next weekend, I will be able to, so keep holding on until then!

Laura H

Preserving patience through times of challenge

I think a great part of being patient comes through trusting God and submitting to His will always, knowing He loves us and knows best. So today, I want to share with you a post I wrote a while back on my blog:

When we pray with all our heart for something, and it just doesn't happen, what do we feel? An unmarried woman praying for a husband; a woman struggling with infertility and crying out to God; a family praying for the healing of a dear sweet child; what are they supposed to do, when they feel their prayers have been left unanswered?

I know several people in such situations; they turn to God, and from the sacred deeps of their hearts, they beg: 'Please, dear God. Just let it happen. My life is worthless if you won't make it happen'. And sometimes the childless are left childless, the unmarried walk the path of life alone despite all their efforts, and our loved ones leave us. I know people who have distanced themselves from God because they feel He hasn't been listening to them. 'I was faithful, I was a true believer, I prayed… but He didn't keep His end of the bargain!'

I believe that this attitude comes from perceiving God as someone who is inclined to punish us, someone harsh and merciless, rather than the kind, loving Father He is to all of us. Our souls are laid out in front of him like an open book. He didn't bring us into this world for a life of misery. He wants us to be happy, contented, industrious and productive.

Does it mean we will always get what we want? No.

There have been several times in my life when I wanted something badly, up to the point when I thought I can't live without it. Then my wish came true and… it made me miserable! Yes, that very thing I pursued with every beat of my heart. The thing I claimed I can't live without. How can it be?

Obviously, not everything we want is right for us. I remember when I was little, I told my mother that 'when I grow up I will have lots of money and will spend it all on sweets'… well, now that more than a few years have passed, I've realized I'm probably never going to have a lot of money – which doesn't bother me the least bit – and I will certainly not waste it all on sweets!

Suppose I will become a mother someday, God willing. Imagine me, some years from now, walking down the street with my adorable daughter. In the window of a large shop, she notices a Bratz doll, and begs: 'oh, please, Mommy, can I have this doll? Pretty please!'; I take a good long look and see that the doll does not bring out the qualities I want to instill in my daughter for the years to come: modesty and a sweet, quiet, nurturing spirit of a future wife and mother. But how can I properly explain this to a 5-year-old? She begs and pleads and eventually throws a tantrum, and in the end turns her little tear-stricken face towards me, and screams: 'I hate you!'

How this breaks a mother's heart. And how God must feel when He knows our bitterness and resentment towards Him. We choose what's best for our children. Sometimes we can explain our actions. Sometimes we know they will not understand until they've grown up. This is when we ask them to trust our judgment. Trust. This is the key word. Sometimes it's difficult beyond measure; sometimes we just can't accept it. How can this be good, we ask? How can this be right? But we must learn to trust Him. This is probably the most important thing we will ever do.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Developing Patience

The word Patience is mentioned 34 times in the Bible, this does not include entries with the word Patient though!

The meaning of the word Patient or Patience generally means one of these:
to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others
to be mild and slow in avenging
to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish
constancy, endurance
steadfast waiting for
a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
endurance, constancy,
forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

I can honestly say that I am a more patient person now than I once was. But I still have very far to go! I know many other people who are way more patient than I am. The Lord taught me the most about patience through teaching my siblings and just generally being around my siblings. I used to get so frustrated (and I occasionally do still) when they were not understanding something, doing something, or not behaving as I thought they should. But God reminded me that He has been patient with me and expects me to be patient with others.
1Thessalonians 5:14 says to . . . be patient toward all men.

Patience is a virtue that requires much practice and the desire to acquire it along with daily prayer. I believe the Lord gives us many ways to practice patience daily. Think about your attitude and response when you are hot or tired and something or someone is being trying and things just aren't going well. I have the terrible habit of sort of holding it all in and then finally just blowing off all the steam which often means I say some things that are not very nice or thoughtful.
Romans 5: 3-5 is an excellent passage that says:
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Our tribulations are actually for our own good, God has allowed them to help us grow! They are working patience within us. A true story character this reminds me of is Katura in the book Princess in Calico* . She was a young girl who faced many hard things in life and seemingly much drudgery. But through victory in Christ and the tribulations she went through she developed such patience! She was a great witness to her family as she cared for them daily.

To me patience and waiting seem to almost always go hand in hand. Sound familiar? Lately, the Lord has been teaching me patience as I wait for:

* His will for my life. While the present is somewhat clear, the future is cloudy and I am one of those types of people that has a hard time not knowing what is around the next bend!

* Trying to find a car to purchase. I along with 2 of my siblings have been looking for over 2 months now trying to find a car that fits our budget and specifications. It has been a frustrating process to say the least but I know that the Lord cares about us even in smaller matters and He will provide.

* Last, but not least, is the continued patience I need to have as I wait on the Lord for the special one He has for me. Getting older (and some of you may chuckle because I am *only* 22) has made me at times almost desperate to find the one and to be married. But I know this attitude is not right. The Lord knows and His timing is perfect. I may never understand His ways completely, but His plan for me is to be patient and trust in Him.

Romans 8:24-25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Monday, October 1, 2007


As we open yet another month, and talk about patience this time, I must make a confession to you ladies, and admit this is something I constantly struggle with. I'm terribly quick-tempered and easily annoyed when something doesn't go the way I want to. What a terrible character trait for anyone, especially for a woman who sees marriage and family as her goal!

In different points of our lives, we might need patience for various things, but it will still be very much needed nevertheless. Right now it might be in waiting for marriage, for our Prince Charming. Later on it will be needed for being considerate and gentle with out husbands and children, not losing patience after the umpteenth diaper or load of laundry. And there are of course many other things that have the potential to test our patience; every relationship we have, be it with a relative or friend; habits we are doing our best to cultivate – generosity, hospitality, neatness, orderliness – all of these require a great deal of patience.

So I decided that from now on, whenever I feel I'm approaching the point where I'm about to lose control, I will close my eyes, breathe deeply and make myself slow down. And I will ask myself the following questions:

* Do I have a good reason to be impatient, angry, frustrated? Probably not. Most likely what makes me annoyed is just a normal, average everyday thing.

* Even if I have real trials, it was all determined by God. Why can't I accept it with love and a patient smile?

* If I let myself go now, will I regret it in an hour? Probably.

* Do you think it is fun to live with someone so impatient? How can you ever become a good wife without cultivating the virtue of patience?

And here are a few practical methods I've been using lately myself, to train myself in patience and pleasantness. They have been helpful to me, and I would love to hear more suggestions from you, dear maidens!

* When I feel I'm going to lose my temper, I'm going to remain silent. If I can't say anything nice and peaceful, better say nothing. Even if it looks foolish or unfriendly, it's preferable to scathing remarks.

* I'm going to practice doing things that frustrate me; and I'm going to try to do them with a smile on my face! Examples: washing dishes, standing in a line in the supermarket, waiting for the bus.

* I'll do my best to be pleasant to others, even if they are unpleasant to me, and even if I'm tired, nervous or busy.

I'm wishing you a month - and a lifetime - of growing in this incredibly important virtue of patience, which comes hand in hand with maturity and controlling your whims, and which, if you invest in it now, will bless you and your loved ones beyond measure in the future, near and far, as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, cousins and friends.