Monday, May 18, 2009

Celebrating Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

"Love is not finding the perfect person, it is loving an imperfect person perfectly."

My niece has the above quote on her Facebook page. I'm not sure where it came from, but it has provoked some thought. Of course, no one is perfect; however, you single girls -- be careful not to settle for any guy who comes along.

You are unique and special and deserve the best. There are awesome young men out there, and it's best to just wait until the right one comes along! In the meantime, concentrate on becoming the best you can be. That way you will attract the right type of person.

Thursday Jerry and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. It hardly seems possible. The years have flown by! He's not perfect and neither am I, but he is perfect for me. God knew exactly what I needed when He brought Jerry Gray in my life. We are opposite in a lot of ways -- which makes him truly my other half. I need his perspective! We each have learned to appreciate seeing a different viewpoint.

To love perfectly is a dream--one I'm not sure exists. Marriage is hard word but well worth the effort. I believe the only way we can come close is by crying out to God everyday for Him to love through us. It takes commitment, and I'm so glad Jerry has overlooked my faults and stuck with me through the years!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reflections of a Blessed Mom

Psalm 127:3-5: Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and I don't take for granted the children God has blessed Jerry and me with. Raising kids is definitely not a walk in the park. It's hard work but well worth every ounce of effort it requires.

When mine were young, I knew they would be world changers but some days secretly wondered -- would it be positive? I know I didn't do everything right, but I tried and then prayed -- and prayed -- and prayed!

As Jerry and I partnered with God, we have been able to see Proverbs 22:6 come true: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Although they are not old, they are adults -- and are doing a good job at it!

Allow me to brag a little about my kids:

Jerry and I had been married almost four years when Erik was born. We were so ready for him to arrive. He enriched our lives in ways we never imagined. As a young child, he loved matchbox cars and books. He used to sleep with them both. Sometimes there was hardly room for his little body. As he grew, sports became his new passion.

His first year of t-ball, he sometimes threw his glove in the air and sat in the outfield. However, as he grew a little older, the competitive part of his personality kicked in. He became good at every sport he attempted. We stayed so busy in those years just keeping up with practices and games.

Today he is a teacher, coach and the athletic director of his school. I am so proud of him and his awesome wife, Lauren, also a teacher. They now are investing in the lives of their students and other teens as well.

Kevin, was born when Erik was three. From the very beginning, Kevin was drawn to musical instruments. One Sunday while in church, I noticed Kevin had escaped from the nursery and was headed for the stage, his favorite spot. He wanted so badly to get up there and perform.

From an early age, he began playing the guitar, drums and writing songs. It was no surprise when he moved to California at 18 to make his mark on the music industry. As a young child, he would never take "no" for an answer. That drive has been necessary to see his dreams fulfilled. We are so proud of the way he has continued to do what He knew God wanted him to do.

His newest CD, "Now is Your Moment," is almost complete. Some of his music can be heard at www.kevinmichaelgray.com and purchased on I-tunes.

Nate was born five years after Kevin, and has just completed his second year of college. When Nate was 12, he began a venture with a team from his youth group, "The Nate Gray Show." With a video camera in hand, they did random things and played it for the youth group. Nate's love for video and production was born at that time. He is very gifted in this area and has worked in the field quite a bit for his young age.

He also has been involved with Young Life for a number of years, and now is leading some high school students himself. I don't know what all God has in store for his future, but I know he will continue to make his mark in this world in a positive way.

For those of you who are in the midst of training your children, some days it's fun but others, it's tough! Just hang in there. Where you are weak, God is strong, and He can give you the wisdom you need to raise little men and women of God who will change their world!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Out of Balance

Mark 6:31: Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he (Jesus) said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

While washing clothes recently, I suddenly heard loud rocking noises coming from the laundry room. My load was unbalanced, and my washing machine was sitting in the middle of the floor.

Do you feel like your life is rocking you back and forth and moving in a wrong direction? As women, keeping balance is a constant battle. There are so many demands on our time, and we feel we must do it all!

Jesus understands our dilemma. Even he was so busy at times he didn't have the chance to eat. Mark 6:31 reminds me that I must take time away from the craziness of life to be refreshed -- spiritually and physically.

In Mark 6, Jesus and his disciples went to a solitary place to be alone, but when they got there, a crowd had already gathered. Instead of being frustrated, Jesus had compassion on them and ministered to them.

As women, we have to be flexible too. We may plan on some rest and relaxation and be forced to change our plans due to unexpected circumstances. In those times, we can rely on the compassion of Jesus living through us.

Because of Jesus' willingness to give up his own plan, people were ministered to, miracles occurred in their midst and when he dismissed the crowd, he was finally able to spend time in the presence of God that he needed.