Friday, March 1, 2013

Elimination vs. Moderation

Well, it's been an interesting February in the Bean household.  And I'm not ashamed to say I loved it but I'm also glad it's over.  So here is a recap of what went on.  For several months this past Fall I became more aware of how often I found myself on Facebook or playing Bejewled.  I was completely in shock when I overheard my 9 year old tell someone that he was addicted to video games.  I had to stop and take a long hard look at how much time my family was spending glued to electronics.  So after much thought, Ty and I decided that our family would take an electronic break for the month of February.  I thought picking the shortest month of the year would help ease my children's pain when I told them our plan.  Well the 2-3 fewer days didn't seem to impress them.  They were not thrilled in the least.  But once I unpacked my bags of goodies from WalMart and Hobby Lobby they cheered up a bit.  Did you know it's expensive to be creative?  But I'm eager to report that we played board games,  played card games, put puzzles together, tie-dyed shirts, molded clay, read books, painted by number, road bikes, jumped on the trampoline and we accomplished all of this on the first day.  So I asked myself, "What do we do now?"  I mean seriously I used to think i needed 25 hours in a day.  Now I find myself praying that the hands on the clock would move.  "Is it bed time yet?"  Don't get me wrong.  I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and my kids.  And to be completely honest we have had a couple of cheat days.  My youngest son turned 7 on February 9th.  So for a treat we set the timer for one hour and allowed them to play on their Kindles.  Then back to the hiding place they went.  Yes, we hid all electronics.  We didn't want any unnecessary temptation.  We also allowed some cheating when my oldest spent the night away from home.  I found it to be very difficult when we would visit family members whose children were not being tortured, as Brady would say.  We had even started the month saying that television would only be watched as a family activity.  This lasted only a week. We gave them a little more leeway when it came to movies and cartoons.  A weekend with 60 mph wind that keeps you inside without T.V. is something I couldn't fathom.  And I wasn't going to watch Ice Age Continental Drift one more time.
Okay, so what did I learn during this experience?  I learned that elimination is unnecessary for our family but moderation is a great idea.  I also realized that this month was as hard or harder for me than the kids.   I had been using electronics as a babysitter.  "Give me just a minute and go play your video game!"  I found myself saying that quite often.  To tell you the truth I love my alone time and with the kids enjoying their games I had plenty of it.  But I had to ask myself, "Who do I want raising my kids?"  Are iPads, Kindles, iPods and Nintendos bad?  No!  But can too much of something be bad? Yes!  I'm saying it people.  Posting on Facebook every 30 minutes is unhealthy!
Finally March is here.  Praise Jesus!!!  Hudson can stop asking, "How many more days?"  But I'm so glad we experienced a (semi) electronic free February.  It made us find some new hobbies.  It brought us closer together and It also made us remember how blessed we are.  But with the month of March comes a new plan.  Electronics will be limited.  I don't want to find ourselves back in the "addicted" category next month. The Beans will be playing more board games.  Our family will be seen riding our bikes on the beautiful new trail along the Lovington Highway.  I'm excited to see what new things we will enjoy as a family.  But there will always be a time and a place for Super Mario Brothers.

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's been awhile!

Hello there blogging world!  I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post.  I took a break to put some priorities in their proper place.  I find that every once in a while I need to re-evaluate my life and ask the Lord a few questions.  Sometimes He answers quickly and other times I have to wait.

I have found myself in a new season of life.  I am confident that God has called me to write and to teach.  But at this particular time I am certain that my role as wife and mother are the most important.  Many of you may say, "Duh."  Although I knew my husband and children were at the top of my list, I tried to pack so many other things onto that list.  With twenty things on my list it didn't matter who was number 1 or number 20.  None of them got the best of me.  We know this as "spread too thin."  Ty says many times that you have to say a thousand no's to just one yes.  This is so hard but so true.

At this time I am learning to be patient and content right where God has me.  I'm reminded of David.  He had just been told that he would be the next King but he had to go back out and watch sheep until the appointed time.  How frustrating that must have been!  You are next in line to rule a nation but you have to keep watching sheep until that day comes.  Though I have not been called to kingship, God has shown me snip-its of His plan for my life.  I'm super excited for Him to bring me to the places He has for me.  But in my spirit I know it is just not time.

Maybe you are there too.  You may be waiting on your future mate, your freedom from financial debt or your perfect job opportunity.   Most of the time waiting is not much fun.  But I am learning to trust God.  I trust that He has the best in store for me.  I trust that He will not fail me.  And I am also aware that there is much to be done while I wait.

I encourage you to ask the Lord what He is wanting you to focus on while you wait for His best.  Don't get frustrated and run to plan B.  Wait on the Lord for plan A.  What can you do while you wait?  David watched and protected his sheep.  Which made him a great ruler over men.  I'm searching my husbands heart and reminding him that I am his biggest fan.  I am also spending quality time with my kiddos because they are growing up way too fast.  What has God told you to do?  I can promise you that in God's economy nothing is wasted.  That's something my friend Crill taught me years ago.

One of the worst mistakes we can make is to rush into action.  "But those who wait on the Lord, Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

With God, All Things Are Possible!

This morning I was finally able to put my finger on a recurring Word that the Lord has been showing me.  You know those times when God keeps telling you the same thing over and over but you still haven't caught on.  During my morning walk, which happens to be a new habit I'm establishing, my worship music began to motivate my prayer time.  I began praying for a wide range of people and issues.  I caught myself repeating the scripture found in Mark 10:27, "But Jesus looked at them and said,'With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.'" After walking, I continued playing my worship music as I put on my makeup.  One of my favorite songs, "Healer," was playing and it also speaks about all things being possible with God.  But the revelation didn't come until the song, "What Does it Sound Like" began to play.  The Album I was listening to was a live worship service by Bethel Church.  Brian Johnson led the people to sing a new song.  To not use words but to begin to worship God in their own way.  The presence of God is so real and palpable in this song.  I began to visualize Cowboy Junction's worship services.  Many of our worshippers are witnessing worship for the first time.  They are still a bit timid and unsure.  Many of them are still observers instead of participators.  It is such a desire of mine to see those walls fall.  I'm not saying that I desire to see a boisterous style of worship.  Because worship is not a style it's an attitude of thankfulness.  Worship is a moment of understanding that you are standing in the presence of the One who created you.  When you see it, you know exactly what it is.  And I whole-heartily desire that every human being experience it.  My mind began to wonder how I could assist in helping (making) it happen.  What could I say or do to encourage others to join into worship?  And then the revelation came. LOL!!!  I can't do or say anything to make people worship.  It's not my job.  It's not even the job of Fabian and Lesley, our worship leaders.  Then I thought, "Well Lord, then how is it going to happen?"  Mark 10:27 popped in my head again.  With God, all things are possible.  I began to be flooded with the situations I had prayed for earlier.  I was again reminded that with God, ALL things are possible.  What has happened to us?  We have tried to take on the job of God in so many situations of our lives.  Therefore, He becomes the spectator because we've taken control.
What are you trying to change?  What are you trying to figure out and make sense of?  The answer is, STOP.  It's only with God that all things are possible.  Stop trying to make things happen and begin confessing God's Word.  Honestly, I don't want it if it's not God's best.  When God is ready to move, there is NOTHING that can keep Him from doing what He wants.  Stop working it and just believe.  You do what God has called you to do and then let Him do what you can't.  We carry way too much pressure that we were never expected to carry.  God is big enough.  God is able.  God is willing.  And with God, nothing is impossible!  Let's let God take the lead again and let's see the impossible become possible.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Why even try to re-preach something that has already been done? And done well I might add. Pastor Perry Noble is up front and honest. He is real and he is funny! This Pastor from South Carolina has preached a 7 week series that has rocked my world. Please take the time to listen to each and every one of these messages. I promise you, your life will be changed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What Do You Hear?

This morning I was in the laundry room folding a load of clothes. The wind blowing outside was howling like crazy. It seriously sounded like the house was going to fall down. I was not looking forward to going outside to feed the horse. I had developed a bit of a foul attitude and began to tell myself the horse could wait. Normally Brady would feed his own horse but I wasn't going to send him out in this weather. If Ty were home, he would have taken care of the horse. But it was left up to me. And even though Ty is all the way in Houston, I could hear him saying, "Heather feed that hungry horse." So when it came time to go outside I was prepared for the worst. Now I will be honest, it wasn't pretty outside. It was windy and bitter cold. But it wasn't near as bad as it sounded when I had been warm and protected inside the house. Don't we do this with our lives? Fear of what is seems like, could be like, or sounds like keeps us from doing what we should be doing. What has God called you to do that fear has kept you from doing? We can't listen to the voices that want us to fail. We can't listen to the voice of the one who doesn't even want us to try. Satan is a toothless lion. He is all roar and no bite. The only way he can defeat us is to come on strong and keep us from stepping out in faith. If God has called you, He will equip you. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:31, "If God be for us, than who can be against us?" Don't miss what God is trying to do in your life. Enjoy the nice cozy feeling of where you are right now. But don't stay there when God calls. It may sound scary but let God surprise you. You'll be glad you obeyed. "Paint" was pretty happy that the sound of the wind didn't keep me inside.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Who is He?

God is talking but are you listening? God is showing but are you looking? God is asking but are you giving? God is loving but are you receiving? God is holding but are you surrendering?

God is and was and will always be. His character has never and will never change. He is a good God, a faithful God and a loving God. His Word is truth, it is just and it is unchanging. The bible says that we have not because we ask not. It says that He gives good gifts to His children. It says that He has a plan for our life. Not to harm us but to give us a hope and a future. The Word says that He provides all we need. Not according to what we have but according to His riches. And our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He says He is with us always. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death He is with us. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned. Our clothes won't even smell of smoke. He said that the stripes that He bears are for our healing. He is the Great Physician. He reminds us that nothing is impossible with Him. He doesn't want us to worry about life. He said to cast your cares on Him because He cares for you. He is able. The Lord said that in our weakness, He makes us strong. The Joy of the Lord is my strength. God sees us. He knows how many hairs I lost this morning in the shower and He knows how many remain. He said that He is my rock. And if I build my house on the rock the storms will not destroy me. He is my peace. He reminds us that if He be for us than who can be against us. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and the Bright Morning Star. There is no mountain too high, no valley too low and no river too wide to keep us from His love. He forgives, not just once but over and over and over again. He paid my debt that I could not pay. He loves me and He wants relationship with me. He restores and renews me. He does not keep a record of my wrongs. He doesn't sit in heaven with a pencil and a large eraser, writing and re-writing my name in the Lambs Book of Life. I am saved. I am redeemed. I am free. The same Spirit that raised my Savior from the grave, lives inside of me. I have been given authority. I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not beneath. I am a friend of the Most High God. But more than that, I am a child of the King. We have hope and we have a future. We have been given all we will ever need, to do anything we will ever want or be asked to do. We are victorious!

If none of this sounds like your life, it can. His name is Jesus and He came to give you life and life more abundant. You may be saved. You may be a child of the King. But do you know the character of your Father. Did you know He has given you some amazing things and you need to receive them? You may have once known but over time you have forgotten. Remind yourself daily of who your God is and who you are in Him. Walk with your eyes and ears open. He is talking to YOU! He is showing YOU! He is giving to YOU! He is loving YOU! He is holding YOU!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Run your own race!

A few days ago I saw a friends post on Facebook. She was commenting on being a working mother and feeling guilty when others say how important it is to be a stay at home mom. I felt her pain immediately. At this very moment I don't even remember who wrote this post but I know it is a common feeling among working mothers. So I decided to encourage all of us in running our own race in this life.

I remember being a new mother and struggling with breastfeeding. I had so many people telling me how important it was for my baby to get those first few weeks of breast milk. I remember feeling ashamed and embarrassed when I gave up and went to formula. Then there was the struggle with the boys sleeping with us. How many of you have had a family member or friend tell you how BIG of a mistake you were making in allowing your children to sleep with you? I remember trying to find just one person to tell me I was doing a good job. Just one person to tell me I wasn't ruining my kids. Even when I got someone to tell me I was okay, it still didn't seem to help. For every one person who encouraged me, there were five who told me I needed to do something different. The list could go on and on. How long is the pacifier acceptable? What is the appropriate form of discipline? I'm not going to continue because it hurts my head just thinking about it. But you know exactly what I am talking about. We all have our own stories.

This is why I write. IT'S YOUR LIFE!!!!! I am 35 years old. I've been married 11 years and I have an 8 year old child and an almost 6 year old child. I have finally figured out that this is my life. I am the one that woke up in the wee hours of the morning to feed my child. Was I a better mom for breast feeding or a better mom for getting some needed rest while dad took a shift feeding the bottle of formula? In the early 1900's, families lived in one room houses. Six kids shared a room with mom and dad. Did this ruin these children? Is your child ruined if he is encouraged to cry himself to sleep to develop a sleep pattern or if you rock him to sleep every night for the first year? People, there are far greater issues in this world. What works for you and your household? There is lots of great advice out there. Your mother and neighbor may have tons of wisdom. You may have a collection of best selling books on a plethora of topics. But their thoughts, opinions and ideas may not work for you. Just because they made the NY best-sellers list does not make them right in your situation.

To the mother who works out of the house every day, you are no worse or better for your choice. This does not define a great mother. What defines us in life is how we love each other. Do those in your life feel safe, loved and important to you? There are stay at home moms who are so focused on their soap operas and computer games that their children are raising themselves. There are also working mom's who come home refreshed and ready to give their children all the love and attention possible until bed time. Don't let others judge you for your choices in life. Let God direct you in every decision you make. You must live with your decisions and if it works for you and yours then GO FOR IT!

Be confident in who you are and what you do. Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." This is why a personal relationship with Jesus is so important. He is the only one who will give great advice every time.

Hebrews 11:1, "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." It's your race so run it!