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Clan Chrisdean: Scottish; Family of Christ bearers

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Some of those "Things".....


 I mentioned in the previous post about 'Some of the many facets of things one goes thru'...In our case, the journey of our daughtes homegoing...I will touch on some of those.
  First of all, regardless of our status, situation or condition there are certain things that we as believers must always be doing. One of which is "Take every thought captive". As well, we always need to be guarding against ungodly attitudes and behaviours. Now, grieving and having  bad days and being broken hearted do not constitute an ungodly behaviour. What I am noticing is the propensity for natural grieving to potentially lead to ungodly attitudes and behaviours. That is what I am focused on.
  Did I mention,being broken hearted, grieving, crying and feeling utterly broken are not ungodly attitudes?The Lord Jesus had some of those very experiences.( The tomb of Lazarus, in the garden at Gethsemane, on the cross of Calvary)  But what are we doing with them and where do they lead? If, while experiencing these hard moments, we fail to take every thought captive it could lead to:
Ungratefulness
Bondage
Idolatry
Bitterness
Hopelessness
  Lets look at each one. Ungratefulness. Ive said it a hundred times and I will say it again. So many have had it so much worse. There are worse experiences on this earth and I am grateful that we were spared additional hardship in our sweet girls passing. If you 'cant imagine' a situation being worse, talk to your neighbor or watch the news for 5 minutes and you will see what I mean.
  Bondage.One of the things that I constantly deal with, battle and try to keep in balance are, Charity things. When a child dies, suddenly to you and everyone else, their every item becomes sacred. So as I go thru things and clean and do laundry or pick up the yard, if something was Charitys, it suddenly becomes important. I was so worn out and exaughsted the other day with all of the things of Charitys that I had 'set aside' that I said outloud "IS EVERYTHING SACRED"~. Because where does that lead? Every child is important. So is everything that ever belonged to any of our 11 children that walked the earth sacred? Really? I don't know about you but that is much to much of an overwhelming task for me. How do we balance that and see it clearly in light of eternity? "Thinking right thoughts and taking every thought captive'. First of all I think of the song by Robin Mark "When its all been said and done, all my treasures will mean nothing"...it is true. Charitys trinkets mean nothing to her in light of her eternity and the life she shares now with God. Should they mean overly much to me? Overly no. Some yes. There is nothing wrong with the fact that I hold aside here baby comforter and her pink zebra stripe pillow....etc ... However when I have hadtendencies  to 'lock up' her room and keep it sterile and everyone out, well I don't see that as being healthy.
  What do I mean by Idolatry? Well, if Im putting more emphasis on my daughter who is in heaven, than my children who still walk the earth..that seems to be a type of idolatry. Why in part do I miss my girl so much? Because it is going to be a wait before I can see her again. I long to hug or hold or talk to her sometimes. Nothing wrong with that but.....I still have six children at home at the moment who I can hug hold and talk to. If Im spending unusual amounts of time missing Charity, Im losing those same precious moments with those whom I can still be with. Its not wrong to miss and long for one who has gone to heaven. Excessive longing at the espense of the ones who still walk among us is, I believe unhealthy and something that should be guarded against.
  What is the definition of Bitterness? The old Noah Webster dictionary is my favorite so forgive me if I don't entertain the modern definition of the word. This is what I mean by the word;
n.1.The quality or state of being bitter, sharp, or acrid, in either a literal or figurative sense; implacableness; resentfulness; severity; keenness of reproach or sarcasm; deep distress, grief, or vexation of mind.
The lip that curls with bitterness.
- Percival.
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
- Job vii. 11.
2.A state of extreme impiety or enmity to God.
Thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
- Acts viii. 23.
3.Dangerous error, or schism, tending to draw persons to apostasy.
  As difficult as it may be to remember, God is good all of the time. Regardless of our journey we do not hold the market on grief or hardship or tragedy.
  Im not exactly sure why I haven't struggled with bitterness (yet?) but I can easily see how one could fall into it. We don't mean to! We are hurting and heartbroken and sad, and it is understandable that we are having a difficult time. However, bitterness is a dangerous cancer to let spread. It will ruin our peace now, and our presence tomorrow. It will not soon be rooted out so it is best to not allow it to grow in the first place. 
  Hopelessness. This is one that must be fought diligently and normally on a daily basis. As you go throughout your day minding your own business, it never fails that out of the blue the realization will come to you that you are 'Never going to see Charity walk through these halls again.". (take every thought captive remember) 'True but the halls she walks now are the ones we always intended for her to walk'. 
  How about this one....On May 1 is Charitys birthday. We as a family are going to gather together and celebrate her life. Sad that we focus more on our loved ones moments of passing when there were 16 years of life and celebration in our case. We are very blessed indeed. So here is a hopeless question  "Is she 16 still or 17?" I really hope none of the littles will ask that question as I do not have the answer. What do we really celebrate when it is a birthdate anyways? How did a simple day become so complicated? Simple, because we live in a fallen world and our tendency is to not think biblically. We choose rather to be controlled by our hopelessly sad emotions than by what is true. So what are some of the true things I like to remind my self about?;
  Charity is living out the eternity we always prayed she would, with Jesus in heaven. Admittedly sooner than we would have chosen believe me. As well, as I sit here sad and lonely for her presence I love to remember that she is LIVING in heaven. She is not in the grave. She is not 'Resting in Peace'. She is living, rejoicing, celebrating the Lamb, enjoying the fellowship of millions of believers who have gone on before. The bible says she is walking on streets of gold and the Lord had, in advance of here arrival, prepared a place for her. A mansion nonetheless. She is neither lonely nor hurting or sad, she has the mind of Christ and is experiencing joy everlasting. Those are the thoughts that I remind myself of.
  I will still keep many of Charitys things and will always keep her memory alive in our family. But by the grace of God may I put more energy into loving and caring for and fellowshipping with these young charges that I am so blessed to still have an impact on. And they an impact on me:)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

This is the day...

  We  know that blessed verse. The one which bespeaks the Sovereignty of God. " This is the day thAt The Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."
  But, have you ever had one of those days when this version more aptly applies to your stAte of mind?"This is the day that The Lord has made. I'll get out of bed and deal with it"??
  That is more how I feel on occasion! 
  There are so many facets of things one goes through, and things to deal with when there has been a life trauma.Or in our case, the passing of our beautiful 16 year old Charity. I share my journey with you, in the off chance that you may derive comfort from knowing that you're not alone in how you feel or in your experience. 
  I'll never forget Patsy Clairmont talking about a pathetic mama who was rotting in jail for abusing her child. The mama said " if I knew that it was normal to feel so frustrated I wouldn't have felt so hopeless and alone"
  I recall for myself when we lost Nathaniel at the very beginning of my second trimester , reading on the Internet a dear mothers identical experience. It made me look away from myself and realize thAt I didn't hold the market on loss and grief. I don't get comfort from others pain but when you see a person survive a tragedy it gives you hope that you can survive it as well. 
  Regardless of our cross, the fact that He came to give us life and give it more abundantly, still applies to us soldiers who have been wounded in battle. 
  I can never thank The Lord enough for all of the encouragement I've received along the way from saints who have walked my path. 
  The Rogers family, the Lancaster family to name two. Such godly examples of grace. 
  Our prayer is still that The Lord would be glorified in and through Charity's life and our prayer is that we would honor Him in our journey of grief as well. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You Learn Something New Every Day....

( Our beautiful Charity being the teacher!) 
   I have just recently learned something. Not thrilled about it, I consider it a problem and I intend by Gods grace to deal with it. Im grateful He brought it to my attention.
  The other day as I was mindlessly cleaning up , my ears heard one of the little boys call for Charity. I didn't really notice that he had said that or that I heard it, but at once it made me relax and sigh.
  Do I seriously think at this point that Im living a bad dream? Do I REALLY think that I am going to wake up and this all be unreal? I know Im awake, I know this is not a dream and I do not expect to wake up until I truly wake up in Heaven with the Lord. (1 Cor 13:10 comes to mind here; 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away)
  As soon as what was in my heart, travelled to my brain I thought....strange. Then I asked my son who he was calling. Shaylee our dog. Oh, of course. It seemed odd to me that I had the response I did but I brushed it aside and went on with my day.
  Until....as I was waking up one morning I heard what sounded like a herd of elephants coming down the stairs (which is Charitys favorite way to do stairs) and again I heard a (frustrated) child call to Charity. Boy I just woke up with that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when everything is right in the world! You know, like the rare times when the entire family is home and it is Christmas morning or something. Yea that. So, same response from this mamas heart. At peace, relaxed and hopeful and 'all is right in the world'. Sigh! 
  I literally had to shake myself out of it and examine what was happening.
  Don't get me wrong, I don't believe there is a wrong way to mourn and I am not opposed to myself being imperfect (as I certainly am) or being weak or haywire or what have you. Yet...I really don't care to live the rest of my life in BONDAGE.
  Yes bondage. Am I truly only ever going to be happy and at peace again if my daughter comes down the stairs? Well, what kind of a Christian life is that? Ok, the unbelievers are free to hopelessly mourn for that which can never be ,but do you think that is Christs plan for me? Somehow I don't think so. (1Thes 4:13 comes to mind;But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.)
  So all I can say is "Working on it". Something worthy of being noted and given to the Lord who promises to be my ever present help in time of need(.Ps 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea) As Ive said before, this world has OH SO lost its luster for me. I am however, not willing that I should pine away the precious moments left to me in ungratefulness or discontent. Christ died that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

John 10:1010 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly

  I wonder how many of us do this in other areas? A lost love, the death of a vision or a dream. I  have heard  how great of a loss it is when a family loses their home and every earthly possession.  Whatever the tragedy or cross,that weve been called to bear, do we resist the rod? Do we resent what the Lord in HIS  goodness has seen fit to bring to pass in our life? Do we even accept it, but in our heart never rest in the peace that He offers. Never really accept the Comfort that He offers and that only He can truly give?
  Im all about us saints taking the time we need to be conformed to His image, the process of sanctification is slow and, admittedly, painful. But holiness and godliness should be what we are after. That should be the goal. Sometimes we crawl there, some days we run...other days our hearts fail within us and we want to run screaming the other way. I understand. More than that, God knows. He knows our frame and He knows our hearts. In and of ourselves friends, we can do NO good thing. Christ in us, the hope of glory. The hope of life, the hope of redemption and restoration. He will do the work in us and through us in due time if we let Him. Lets let Him , shall we?
 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change change change.....

  James 1:17:  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.


  I tend to whine now and then about how much things have CHANGED for me in the past few months. I do feel a bit overwhelmed at times. I don't whine because I think I deserve better but because it is difficult to adjust to my 'new life' now that things are so changed in our household.
  We went from a mom and three teen daughters running the house to.....me. I assure you I do not come close to equaling the ability of us four gals together. The proof is in the...chaos~
  Isnt it nice and comforting to know, that in this crazy world...where nothing stays the same, that God never changes? He is the same. Reliable, sure and steadfast in Who He is and what He says?
 
  1 Thessalonians 5:18
 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you


  Hmmm. What does someone in my "situation" do with a verse like that? In EVERYTHING? Wow. Ok, well I tend to be a practical person and assume that the Lord of Heaven is all wise, far wiser than I, and that He knows the best way, and that His ways are above my ways and His thoughts are above my thoughts. Because it doesn't seem 'logical' to me to give thanks in all things, does not determine that I will not. So, whine as I might, I do thank Him for this new season in our life. Im trusting that He will lead me and teach me and guide me in my daily routine and HELP me, where I cannot seem to help myself!
 
  Hebrews 4:14-16
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


  How do you like that one? That is one worth hanging on to :) If youre going to take the 'good' you have to take the difficult as well. So I take both, give thanks in all things and go boldly before the throne of grace that I may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Boy do I need it. Daily? No...minute by precious minute.
  I honestly don't see clearly now how I will 'manage' the day to day. Partly because Im still grieving and that is wearing. Partly because although I am light years healthier now than I was two years ago, Im not up to par as I should be. However I DO know this,


Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Philippians 4:19
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:37-39
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

   Yea, all of that ought to get me through the day:) How about you?
 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

We are a vapor

  When I look at that beautiful picture of my 'girls' from the last post, it is nearly 'overwhelming'..
  Just last year at this time, we had 9 children living at home. By the end of this year I expect to have 5 (if everything goes as it is for Machaira;).....
  Overwhelming isn't necessarily a BAD thing. It is just. WOW....
  For the past several years it has been 'Me and the girls'. Our life has primarily revolved around 'The girls'.  The girls determined when you could walk into the kitchen, they handled all of the parties, daily meals, majority of the house keeping, and too much of the child training I regret to say....
  I remember when the 'big boys' moved away that I thought "I need to remember not to plan life around certain children because they grow up and move away and the dynamics change!"....well apparently I did not sufficiently learn that lesson because I did it again with my 'girls'......
   The Lord called Charity home, He then led Abby into the wilderness , and now Machaira...hehe well lets just say she may be 'moving on soon' as well.
  So I find myself left here, for the most part, with NO big girls. Can you say 'life changing events'.....How can you lose a child to death, then another to the world and then yet another to ...life, and not lose your mind and peace and faith with it?
  All I can say for me is, it is the same way Ive dealt with everything so far.
Take every thought captive. Think right thoughts. Believe God when everything by sight says not to, not trust my feelings, but trust in the unfailing immutable Character of our Great God. Let me also add that ones mindset cannot be maintained easily without the comfort, consolation and occasional admonition of the saints. There are some dear, dear , precious friends that help to make me who I am. And to mention, my godly husband who is not only strong, but knows his strength comes from the Lord. Like most men Im sure, he is solid and unwavering. I cannot begin to speak of how grateful I am for that man. He truly is the better half of this union.
  So enough of my whining. Why bother posting this at all? Well my greatest desire, when it comes to those outside of my home, is to be an encouragement. To share my failures and struggles so perhaps you can learn from them and not have to travel some of the difficult paths I have. I recall in the kids John Bunyan cartoon, "Smooth out the path for the pilgrims that follow"...I guess that is the heart of my intention.
  So here are some thoughts; (Tracylea Slinkard Im stealing part of this from our conversation;)
  As moms we say that our children are the Lords. I fear however that we don't really understand how. Pray that the Lord show you so that you need not learn the hard way like me.
  When a child goes to heaven you realize they are His to call home at will.
  When they walk away from your home and life in rebellion you realize you have no control over their will.
  When they grow up and away and move on, married or career or college you realize they are not yours to keep.
  Our children REALLY are the Lords. Such a difficult thing to realize when they are young and home and you are in a season of peace and safety and tranquility.
  It is also a peaceful realization to come to though. In Whose better keeping could they be in? Is there anyone who could love them more? He is the King of King and Lord of Lords, yea, I want my children to belong to HIM. Don't you?
 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Choose this day whom you will serve...

  If you are grieving, might I suggest you look up RC Sproul Jr and listen to his series on grief? Not only does he know about it, but he teaches well. He has been a special blessing to my husband as we have walked this path.
  Choosing..Choice. Even in our sorrow we choose. Do we sorrow as one without hope? Do we despair as one who has no Consolation? Maybe we FEEL like that sometimes but only for a moment. Or do we choose to go with how we feel, for a lifetime?
  I remember about a month ago finally voicing to someone what I was 'thinking' but hadn't yet articulated..." I want to truly smile. Not a fake strained, I will always be sad smile, but a true smile of joy that comes from the heart".....And I do. Always, no. Most of the time? Yes.
  We must remember even in our sorrow that Gods word is true and our emotions are not to rule our lives. God is good. God is our Comforter. God is our Healer. He is the Great Physician. Are these things true when we have lost a loved one? Yes. If you don't FEEL like it, that does not make it any less the truth.
  Do you recall the first lesson I learned on that fateful day? To take every thought captive? We need to do that at all times. I cannot honestly think of a time when we should not be doing that.


  In light of the recent , unfathomably heartwrenching tragedy of the little Mo girl Hailey...I want to remind you of some other things I have said so much since Charitys unexpected homegoing.....it could've been so much worse. We are so blessed. I have had it easy compared to others.
  I cannot tell you what I have gone thru emotionally for this family. I see the whole country was moved by it. Im sure that I, like many others shared many a tear and missed many a meal over it. In Charitys situation I never questioned the Lord one time....but the tragedy surrounding that precious little one ...lets just say that I was not given the grace to walk through that...I still don't have it. I pray fervently that the Lord grant that dear family the amazing grace which He has in such abundance....I know He can, I pray He will.. Pray for them.
   I titled this post 'Choose this day whom you will serve"....because every day we need to do that. I mean, everyone needs to do that. Do we serve the gracious Living God or ourselves? We have that choice.
  In our family each of us has had to make that choice as well. Brett and I have consciously decided to 'kiss the rod' and praise the Lord. Machaira, bless her sweet heart has allowed the Lord to touch her life in amazing ways. She has flourished in adversity. What a testimony her life is to the amazing grace we often talk about. Life is moving along quite well for her...
  As you recall there were 3 daughters in the wreck. Many of you sweet dear friends have noticed Ive not mentioned Abby much.....Sigh. Yep. Choices.....It was not with our blessing, and it was at the persuasion of others that she has gone off to Oregon for a while. She has 'family' there and as far as we know she is ok. Now as a mother who has lost a child and takes seriously the condition of the souls of her children I have  particular concerns in this situation. My concerns are 'Is she walking with the Lord, experiencing peace, keeping good company which in turn reinforces good morals, is she fully trusting in Him to heal and comfort her...is she taking every thought captive? No, no, no, no and no. Much much prayer for her would be highly appreciated by me.
  I realize that Ive become a bit of a zealous person through this tragedy. How can I not though? I mean it is so easy ,as we do the day in and day out of being a wife, mother , teacher, etc..to forget the ULTIMATE PRIORITY. But when you've lost a child...you tend to look at life and children differently. At least I do. I cant really speak for anyone else...
  So, I would just like to encourage you to, every day, every moment~Take every thought captive, and choose this day whom, or rather, what you will serve. Your emotions which are unstable, untrustworthy and unpredictable? Or, God who is the same yesterday , today and forever and changeth not...
 Heb 13:8
 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them....
                                                    I choose Jesus