Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rejoice In This Day?

Have you ever had one of "those" days when you just "know" it will be bad? Let me tell you how a day of mine was last week......

I wake up to feed Elijah around 6:00am. After changing his diaper and putting him back to bed I began my daily time with my God in prayer. I was not feeling well but decided to persevere and spend time with Him instead of going back to sleep. About 30 minutes later around 6:45 am the girls wake up and then here comes "E" around 6:50am. For my children...this is early. They don't usually get up until 7:15-7:30. So for them, getting up early is a big deal.

"Great" I think to myself murmuring inside. " they are going to be cranky all day, fussing and fighting with one another, complaining in that whiny voice I can't stand and disobeying me each chance they get." I say a quick prayer to God for a "gentle spirit and soft tone of voice inspite of their attitudes."

I get up and thus began my morning......

As soon as daddy walks out the door for work "E" starts the disobedience. I tell him to go to my room for discipline. He starts to yell, "I want Daddy! I want Daddy!" as he is crying and now has managed to wake Elijah up again. In my frusteration and sin I reply," Fine! You want Daddy? I will go get him!!!" And off I went to stop AJ and call him in to discipline "E".

As AJ is in the back with "E" the girls get in a squabble over something minor. I remind them in a harsh voice, "We NEED to be loving to each other! This is what God wants!!! Not for us to be easily aggravated over LITTLE things!!!" At this moment I look onto the ground to see the long piece of yarn stretched across the room I placed their the week before, I am immediately convicted.

AJ finishes talking with "E" and as he walks out the door he gives me a soft sweet smile and reminds me in a gentle way, " Remember Christine, God has given you this day. He has preordained it this way for a reason." My heart is softened at the reminder. Until.....

I shut the door and Elijah has managed to get the box of cereal and poured the rest of the box on the ground and is spreading it. I clean it up putting it back in the box... off of my dirty floor which has not been mopped in 2 weeks because a child decided to drag my mop through the mud for fun and leave it behind a car without us noticing it and I run over the mop and ruin it... So I bring our dirty cheerios over to the table and tell the kids, "we don't have much, you get two small bowls each." This is not a lot for them as they can eat a box in one sitting...yes, my thin little ones can do this!

Off to the fridge I go to open the door and find we have enough milk for about one bowl... Sigh...we each have our TINY amount of milk and toast with peanut butter along with the cereal.

As we are eating one of the children decides they don't want anyone to look at them which upsets the others and starts bickering back and forth. I could have easily became angry at them BUT...

God in His wonderful way placed the song in my heart..."Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice" clap, clap. ""Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice..." instead of getting upset with the children joy filled my soul. God's strength took over my flesh and I began to smile and sing the song to the children. We all sang it and guess what happened? All of our hearts went from murmuring to joy.
I thank God for HIS strength and joy and ask Him to keep this fresh in my heart and in the children's.

Remember me saying I felt sick. Well, I was quickly getting worse and had to go lay back down in bed. I sent the kids to do their morning chores and put Elijah back down for his morning nap.

About 5 minutes after getting in bed, the kids come in and ask if I need anything. I assure them I am fine. "E" insists I need to have a drink of water and runs off to bring me back 2 glasses, one with ice, one without. Katie Faith says, "if someone is sick they need a fever damoniter thing ( thermometer)" and runs off to find one for me. Kaylyn says she will "watch the kids" for me and "get Elijah if he cries or the phone if it rings." I thank them for their kindness and compassion.

About 30 minutes later I go into Kaylyn's room and lay on the bed. They are supposed to be in there cleaning but are easily distracted by things. So I give them each things too pick up. In the midst of this. "E" asks his sisters if they want to sing songs to me to help me feel better. They choose a few and began. Their notes are off tune, they mess up on some words, they were loud, but they were the most beautiful notes and words to my ears. To know they were singing because they love me brought warmth to my heart.

God convicted me that day. As I got up in the morning it was ME who was murmuring most in my heart, it was ME who was not being loving with my tone of voice, it was ME who determined I WAS going to have a bad day. I sat my children down and told them I was wrong for my attitude earlier and I had sinned against them and God. I asked for their forgiveness. I repented to God.

Inspite of my raunchy attitude and sinful heart, God chose to bless me. Remember that piece of yarn on the floor? That is there to represent "longsuffering." In our morning devotions we are discussing CHARITY ( Love). The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13 " Charity sufferth long" so we placed a yarn to remind us to be long suffering with one another. When we are not, we walk on the yarn and pray for God to help us and remind ourselves how He is patient with us so we need to be patient with others......Gos is so patient with me. I sin against Him all the time and yet He forgives me and still loves me. How much more should I be patient with my children and others!

God blessed me with joy. Even though I was complaining in my heart and was aggravated. In His Word it says "Rejoice In the Lord ALWAYS"...not sometimes, not only when everyone is getting along, not only when the day is moving along like I want it to, BUT ALWAYS!!! This means when there is no milk for breakfast, when kids are fighting, there is a big mess on the floor, or maybe you have a co-worker who just annoys to no end, or a traffic jam on the interstate, flat tire, the fridge stops working, you just find out you have to be on a special diet after having blood tests done, a child of yours decides to poo-poo on the ground and the sibling goes and steps in it(Hi to my mommy friend who this happened to today!)......whatever the circumstance...rejoice!

This is the day that the Lord has made! Preordained the way HE wants it...maybe to teach you patience, maybe to to give you rest in the midst of a busy week so everything goes just like we want it to for that day, or to grow you in an area you have been praying God would help you in ( mine would be meekness), whatever the day is like, Yes...WE must rejoice in it.

Are you rejoicing today?

Saturday, July 5, 2008


11 years......I can not believe it has been that long? Where has time gone? I still feel like a newlywed!...

July 13, 1995 I was at a hotel in Melborne, Florida waiting to fly out the next morning on a mission trip to the Bahamas. I was playing the game Spoons with some others I had met when I was introduced to a guy, AJ, about my age. "He seems nice" were my first thoughts and then I returned back to my game. Next morning while flying over the crystal blue Atlantic ocean I spoke to AJ trying to get to know the group of people from Louisiana I will be spending the next week with. He was stand offish so I quickly went to the next person....

My love for the Bahamians were especially for the kids. I loved to spend time with them. No time for beach, boat, snorkeling trips, no time to rest. I wanted to share about Christ. I wanted to play with them. I wanted to know their concerns. As I would spend my days with them AJ began to join me in ministering to these precious children. My days were now filled with a partner to share our joy with Christ.

As the week ended we had become friends who decided to keep in contact....long story short...we began courting ( dating with the intentions of marriage) long distance. I knew AJ was a man of God desiring to live his life for the Lord. This was and is the most important requirement for a husband of mine.

July 13, 1996 AJ asked for my hand in marriage with the permission of my father.
July 5, 1997 I walked down the aisle, with AJ singing to me a song he wrote just for me, in my white lacy dress, hair pulled up the way he requested, and a big grin on my face.

This was the first day of being Mrs. Christina ERWIN. :) The beginning of a new life.

Throughout our 11 years of marriage we have had our good times and our times of trials. Though these were hard I count it as good trials as these are times that made our marriage stronger in Christ and less in our own fleshy desires.

AJ, the person I can go to when I need prayer, a question if I don't understand something in the Bible, he is my best friend, my protector, my confidant, the one who makes me laugh, my encourager, the wonderful father of my 4 children, my snuggler, my goof ball, he is the one that points me to Christ, and most importantly...he is a man of God. He is "MY MAN".

It has been 11 wonderful years of marriage to AJ. I still have frequent "Love Bursts" ( a burst of excited love that makes me want to hug him as tight as I can and giggle with a big smile) for AJ. I still look forward to the time he comes home each day as I can't wait to see him or to hear his voice on the other side when I answer the phone......

In my heart I will always be a newlywed...always proud to be the "Mrs. Christina Erwin".

I love you, My Man. Happy 11th Anniversary!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Date with husband

Could you feel the love in the air Friday and Sat.? Because I was radiating with love! My overnight date with AJ was a splendid time. He reserved a nice room at a very nice hotel at the heart of the French Quarters. In our room were plush towels, plush pillows, a sitting area, a desk and more. At one point we were confused about this long but pretty piece of fabric under the table. We were astonished when we found out it is a cover so we don't have to see the cords ( only for the rich people!) to the lamps. On the rooftop it had a large pool overlooking the Mississippi River. The view was nice.

Once we arrived and settled in we decided to go for a walk down to Jackson Square, hand in hand. They have many artists, music, live statues in the Square. Sadly, also many palm and tarot card readers. There is a beautiful cathedral with amazing paintings on the ceilings and glass windows. After our stroll we went back to the hotel and dressed up for dinner. I enjoyed putting on my new dress for AJ, he liked it a lot. We went to a nice place to eat a friend had recommended to him. I wish I could say the food was good but I was congested and couldn't taste a thing. The common people we are, we did not know how to eat at this place. We were eating things with the wrong items and there were 3 forks! Who knew it took 3 forks to eat a meal! We enjoyed ourselves, laughing and talking the whole time with an occasional kiss.

We went back to our room after dinner as AJ started to feel sick. He was sick for the rest of the evening. So, we enjoyed a nice evening in the room while laying on the bed. We talked about our love for each other, "old times" , our love for each other...life together and the trials God has brought us through in the past 11 years. Our love for each other, our kids, and our love for each other. It could not have been nicer...except for AJ being sick to his stomach. :(

Sat. morning we went downstairs to the hotel's resteraunt. Did I mention this was a nice, rich hotel? AJ's SMALL glass of orange juice was $4.00! And it was fake! My bagel with cream cheese...$6.00. AJ had yogurt with fresh strawberries and granola...$4.00 I think it was. He enjoyed it a lot but we could have gotten it from Target for about $1.00! We lifted our glasses up for a "cheer" of another wonderful 11 yrs. and more in marriage.

After breakfast we went for a swim in the pool, it was nice and refreshing to AJ...me...let's just say goose bumps galore!!! It took me 20 minutes to get in BUT I got in! We swam a few laps and challenged each other in different tricks.

After we said our goodbyes to our room, we went to a little place down the street for lunch named Johnny's. It is a poboy shop. It was delicious. Prices were good and service was nice. Next time we go down there to New Orleans we know where to go to eat.

Our last stop on our date was a new Insect museum that opened 2 weeks ago. Call me strange but I like bugs. The bugs in there were AMAZING!!! ( Yes Taryn...they were!) They had everything from ants, beetles, millipedes, butterflies and more! They had little areas you could touch and pick up the bugs ( I picked one up just for YOU Taryn...what a friend I am!). After 2 hrs. it was time to go. It was a fun museum, AJ and I enjoyed ourselves greatly.

A short time later we headed back to Baton Rouge to get our children. Though we had a good time we missed our little ones a lot. It was nice to see their smiling faces and arms in the air waiting for a big hug.

I thank God for a great husband. He planned a great date for me, and although a few things didn't work out liked he had planned, I am thankful to all of his efforts in putting this together. He didn't have to do this for me, but as he put it, he "loves" me and wanted to do something special for me. And I love him also. More and more each day!