October 14, 2013

i am thine.

"I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts."  Psalms 119:94

Today I am humble. 
I'm a bit overwhelmed with little things and a bit cranky.
I found solace in these words...
I am thine, save me.

I pray, "Oh God.  Here I am.  I am tired and I need you, again.  Forgive me for my weakness, my ignorance, and my sins.  Bless me with healing and strength and joy.  Help me to love more, to be humble, to be patient.  Show me your power in my life.  Bless my children.  They are yours.  I am thine.  Please Father, save me."  And He does.  Every. time.  God is real.

In a talk about Grace- "His Grace is Sufficient." By Brad Wilcox, He says, "Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin."

I hope we are living with faith and repentance.  I hope we have made holy covenants with God.  I hope we are praying daily for strength.  But most importantly, I hope we are feeling His power in our lives every day.  God is REAL.  He IS blessing us.  He wants to bless us.

Want to know what I honestly think about gay/lesbian marriage?  I think these good people are trying to create a good, happy life together.  Only, no matter how the laws of the land change or how loving and accepting society is, they will ALWAYS be thirsty for more.  Because God's law is eternal.  Marriage, between a man and a women is ordained of God.  Children need both a mother and a father.  This is an eternal law of happiness and safety and peace. 

The real problem is NOT gay/lesbian marriage.  The real problem is that God has given us all commandments and holy covenants and words of scripture that teach us how to be good so that we can have happy families.  We are all living well below our privilege. 

Are WE happy?

We have gotten lazy!  We have forgotten Him.  Christ has become our wise grandfather NOT our daily bread and water.  Personal prayer, meditation and holy INSPIRATION have taken second place to Oprah, Dr. Phil, volumes of books written by imperfect people on parenting, worldly ideas of success, and just plain busyness. 

God is REAL.  He is our Heavenly Father and He wants us to be filled with joy.  He has power to bless our lives, to teach us how to parent our children, to heal us and give us strength.  He answers prayers.  We need to spend more time seeking Him and less time trying to be happy without Him.

We have gotten proud!  When did PRIDE become a virtue and HUMILITY a vice?  We are too capable.  We are so smart that we can't see how little we know.  We have so much to eat that we don't even realize we are starving ourselves.  When we feel our weakness we just try harder to compensate for them.  Sometimes I think we need to give up and fall into GRACE. 

I love this verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

I want the POWER of Christ to rest upon me.

I found solace in the words of a man I believe to be a modern-day apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Elder Bednar gave a beautiful talk "The Windows of Heaven" about blessings that come from paying your tithing.  I believe he could have given the same talk about obeying ANY of God's commandments.  As we do what is right we qualify for great blessings.  We need to SEE and FEEL God's hand more in our lives.  I love these words as Elder Bednar describes blessings that are "Significant but subtle." 

He says, "Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve and resilience."

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

God doesn't always give us miracle grow.  He doesn't always take our puny beanstalk organization skills and advance them into perfect homemaker as an answer to our prayers.  He doesn't always zap our young children into perfectly behaved and mature specimens or make us holy, patient, and completely put together mothers.  Sometimes as we are praying for GROWTH-- He blesses us with GRACE.

Today, I want His grace.
I want to fall down at His feet empty and know that He is filling me up.
I want to be His child and rock for a moment with Him.
Today, I want to stop trying and thinking and planning and worrying and just listen while He tells me what to do next. 
Because I know Him, I know He loves me imperfect.  He is waiting for me to remember Him and return to Him.  

I am thine, save me.  For I have sought thy precepts.


Tiffany said...

Oh wow - this is good stuff! I hadn't realized just how MUCH I'd missed your musings until I read this.... Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

God also created the gays and lesbians, they are also his children.

Nicky said...

Beautiful! Exactly, exactly what I need to remember.

Anonymous said...

As a lesbian and proud parent to 4 young children, all conceived within my almost 6 year marriage to my wonderful wife, I can say for a fact that many gay people (myself included) are very happy. I love my wife, I love our children and I wouldn't choose another life - even if I could. I feel blessed by God and I thank him everyday for creating me to love, to live and to parent as a lesbian. My wife is my other half and I am so grateful that god led me to her. Perhaps acceptance of a family just as valid, loving and desrving as yours, is part of what you are meant to learn right now. I would be happy to answer any questions that might help you on your journey.

jenifer said...

Friend, thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I was raised by a single mom who later remarried and lived for years in an unhappy, heterosexual marriage. As a child, I missed the influence of my father in my home.

I accept your family. I am glad you and your wife are happy. Reading your comment made me glad for you. I imagine there will come a day when your children also yearn for the influence of their father. I believe God, not man, designed children to be created with a mother and a father.

Saying that, I do not mean to sound proud or demeaning. The point of what I wrote was to admit that I still have a ways to go in creating a happy family. Sure, my children have both mother and a father, but we still have much to learn.

Obedience to God's laws brings blessings and power. God has many laws. He loves all his children. I'm very aware that we all have much to learn still.

jenifer said...

Ps- I would love to sit down with you for an afternoon to ask you questions. I have no doubt there is much I could learn from you and your life experiences. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Children need love, stability, security, trust, predictability, fun, disiplin all of which can be provided by a mom and dad, mom and mom, dad and dad, or just a mom, or just a dad, or grandparents. Yes, God made laws and rules, God also made gays and lesbians.

jenifer said...

What a well-written comment. I am not as good as you are at being concise. I agree with you. I do believe that God has taught us the easiest way to be happy and to create an eternal family. But he made us all with strengths and weaknesses. Some of us struggle with addictions, some of us struggle with our tempers, some are murderers and child molesters. It is a shame that God didn't insist one passed a test before being able to create life. Someday I believe we will stand accountable before God for the lives we have created. Children today, if they live past conception, are born into many less than ideal situations. I would never assume the right to judge your home as better or worse than mine. I would also never hold my family up as the ideal (trust me, we are still working on good bum wiping and teeth brushing). You and I are both trying to raise our children the best way we know how.

I never intended to offend you. I do believe that children deserve to be raised in a home with a loving father and mother. I was not. God compensates. My children are being raised by a mother and a father-- I am certain there are many other things He will be compensating for.

I believe God has given us commandments to show us the best, safest way. I believe marriage, ordained of God, is between a man and a woman. I do believe that is the best way. Now, if God only gave us one commandment, you could say I think my family is better than yours or more holy. But, and this is the whole point of the blog I wrote, I believe we have been given many commandments. I might have done OK finding a husband, but heaven knows I am far from a perfect mother.

May our loving and merciful Father in Heaven bless both of us as we raise our children. I know that He loves me and you and ours. Grace saves us both. Good luck with all those young children!! No matter who we sleep by at night, we are both mothers who need inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Hi. It’s me, the lesbian mom of 4. This is actually only my second post (though with a few other posts on this thread, sharing my outraged sentiments how could you possibly distinguish)? First and foremost, your use of the term “father” to describe my children’s anonymous sperm donor, speaks to your complete ignorance on this issue. I am sorry that you did not have a good relationship with your biological father, but that has no bearing on my family situation. I am sure your mother, as a single mother did her best. Single parenthood must be a hard and difficult job. But although I can empathize I can’t directly relate because I am raising my children in a two-parent household, much more similar to your family (I suspect) than any single-parent household. I do not know my children’s sperm donor. My children do not know their sperm donor. He is not their father. The only individuals in the room when my children were conceived were my wife and I.

Second, judge if you want, but please do not pretend that you are not judging my family. The Bible is a wonderful book in that it has various interpretations given a person’s life and experience. A child, reading the Bible, sees different lessons and meanings from reading the same passage that an adult reads. People from different cultures interpret it differently. It is a bridge, a connection to God. When I read that marriage is between a man and a woman in the Bible, I as an adult, know the historical context of the book and know that literally, at the time, the only way a family occurred was with a man and a woman, (sperm + egg = baby). I think we can both agree that advancements in medicine have caused changes in the family. Your family likely would be very different were it not for the benefits modern advancements. I would hope that if nothing else, your recent struggles would at least have taught you that. I know that God led me to my wife and has blessed my family with 4 beautiful children. Thus, I know that my marriage between two women is right. You pass judgment by purporting to interpret my family’s relationship with God. You have no direct reason to have any interpretation of God’s views on gay families. You are not gay (unless your husband is actually a woman, in which case I retract my previous statement). You were not raised in a gay family. Any statement your make against a gay family is judgment because it is not coming from your families relationship with God It is coming from your need to compare your family to my family and to judge your family to at least have the fact that your are headed by a man and a woman as somehow more holy than my family headed by two women. My family and our relationship with God has nothing to do with you.

There is far too much judgment in this world, and whether intended or not it has led to a lot of hatred. I pray that you never have to experience that. Maybe I have wasted my time replying to this, but I couldn’t let such a harmful comment go unanswered. Please think about what your write and put into this world. And please educate yourself on the many types of wonderful families that may be a little different that yours, but are still living a life of God.

jenifer said...

Just because I believe differently from you does not mean I am ignorant, judgemental or uneducated, as your comment suggests.
1. No matter how advanced technology has become, sperm + egg still = baby. Saying that, I am educated enough to acknowledge that many "sperm donors" never act as fathers.
2. I interpret the Bible different than you. I also believe you can acknowledge a commandment without judging people. When Christ stood by the woman taken in adultery he did not say adultery was not wrong. He said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

I'm not sure if I have ever met you, but I do believe I would like you and your family. I'm sorry that you were outraged by my blog. I believe we should pay 10% tithe, I pay 10% tithing. I am not standing on the corner judging everyone who doesn't pay that. You can believe in a standard without being hateful or critical of those who aren't living that standard. I vote republican and I don't accuse democrats of being ignorant or uneducated.

I can see how your family situation has many benefits. I would never assume to judge which is better- a single-parent home, a gay/lesbian home, or even a heterosexual home with dysfunction. You may well have a home and family that functions more ideally than my home and family. Judge me if you want to. But, saying that I believe "the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife" does not mean I am condemning you, your wife or your children.

There are many who believe having eight children is irresponsible. Many of my closest friends have chosen not to have eight children. Many I know thought I was stupid and wrong for not aborting my last baby. We are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs.

Thank you for your comments. I have always believed you could be a lesbian and still be living a life of God. I am glad that my friends who read this blog can read your comments and feel that also. I normally wouldn't push my opinion so strongly, but this is my personal blog and I do think it's important that readers who come here understand what I'm trying to say. Again, thank you to all the "Anonymous" who commented.

jenifer said...

PS- as I've been getting dressed and thinking about these comments I really wish I knew the "Anonymous" better. Because, if you were my friends I would joke with you about how my claim to be "non-judgemental" has less to do with personal righteousness and more to do with my aversion to mathematics. I'm afraid by the time I begin the judging process my brain gets too full of plus and minus and I get confused. In the end, I think we will all end up falling short and needing some heavenly extra credit.

Additionally, I would enjoy a light-hearted conversation on how I might be a lesbian if the professor is actually a woman. (He does make gravy much better than I do. He is also way too opinionated about where the pictures get hung.)

I'm certain that every time I open my mouth I have the chance to offend someone. This is not my intent. Really, I'm a nice person just working here in the trenches just like you. I do believe in standards, commandments, and guidelines but I have no desire to judge you. I'm having a hard enough time trying not to pee my own pants.
Have a good day!!!

Anonymous said...

You certainly are entitled to your beliefs, opinions, ideas, religion, and life style. Just keep what you think of other's life styles and beliefs to yourself and you'll be fine, they really don't want to know. Another Annonymous.

jenifer said...

If you don't want to know my beliefs or opinions, I'm not sure why you are reading my blog? ;)

Anonymous said...

I am learning something from both parties in this conversation.

While I have gay/lesbian co-workers who are Christian (some married to their partners), I have never asked them how they justify their behavior based on Biblical principles and doctrines. I now understand how one couple explains and defends their decisions. And their decision is between them and God, and ultimately they are responsible to Him for their decision. Just like it is between me and my spouse.

I personally believe that God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman who love and care for each other, and that this union is the ideal setting in which to raise children. In "real life" there are situations that deviate from this ideal, and yet God loves each one of us. Yet I do not believe that he condones any type of sexual relations outside of marriage (between a man and a woman). That includes gay/lesbian, but also co-habitation, adultery, "open marriages", etc. Just because the relationship is consensual does not mean that God approves, in my view. He can still love us while not approving of our choices. He blesses us for those teachings which we do follow, even if we do not follow all of them.

I really find it interesting that so many Christians (and pastors) will pounce on the issue of gay marriage and condemn the partners, while ignoring (or even condoning) other types of sexual relationships outside of marriage. That does not seem consistent to me.

And I suppose that while this is your blog and you do have a right to your opinions, you have to expect that a loaded issue like this one is sure to bring supportive and non-supportive comments from both sides. I'm sure it's difficult to walk the line.

Again, this has been an informative conversation for me to read. Just know that I side with you on this one.

Anonymous said...

Lesbian mom of 4 here again. I did not intend to imply that you are uneducated in all matters, but you are clearly uneducated in dealing with lesbian families. Referring to an anonymous sperm donor in a lesbian family is akin to asking a gestational surrogate if she planned to keep her baby. Or asking a couple who newly adopted a child if they were going to involve that child’s “real parents.” Or referring to the father who conceived a child with his wife using a sperm donor, due to male infertility, as the “other father.” It is terminology that is highly insensitive at best or downright rude and maliciousl at worst. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed that you were merely “uneducated” in alternative conception and did not know the proper terminology. If this is a mistaken assumption, please feel free to correct me.

I know this is your blog and you have a right to your opinion. I generally enjoy reading it, since all of your other opinions have been based on your experience as a mother, as a woman, as a survivor and as a person under God. However, your opinion on gay marriage is based on no personal experience. So what else could it be based on but judgment? It would be as if I emphatically voiced my opinion that you should have had an abortion with your last child, and I grounded that opinion in the idea that God and the Bible say that to do anything else was wrong. If I purported that for you to choose anything else was to sin every single day. That your child, the one your fought so hard for, and even your marriage and other children were somehow “tainted” because they were founded on this ungodly act. And sure, you could do other things right and be a generally good person, but you were still living a life outside of god because of this thing that I, in my total lack of experience, have judged to be against God. It sounds rather arrogant and short-sighted of me to make statements as if God and I had conversations about your body, your family and your life, doesn’t it? Then suppose that I had the backing of entire churches, and people protested and rallied, “Abortion for all women with high risk pregnancies! It’s what God wants!” Politicians debated whether your family should even be considered a family at all.

Maybe you would shrug it all off, and maybe I have time and time again. Absolutely secure in my relationship with God and content with the fact that God challenges us all in different ways. Or maybe, just maybe, you would choose to try to hopefully change the words of even one person.

I care because your eight children may someday go to school with my four children. And what you model and teach your children about gay families, their worth and value under God, will color how your children treat mine. As you and I both know, children have an interesting way of interpreting their parents beliefs and sometimes the fine print of, “accept and respect,” gets lost in the screaming statement, “God says, gay families are wrong,” or even “mommy and daddy think that gay families are unhappy and wrong."

SuburbanZoo said...

Bravo, Jen! Absolutely bravo!

<3 Katie E.

jenifer said...

I hear what you are saying. In fact, I feel what you're saying and my heart goes out to you and your family. History has not been kind to many minority groups- gays/lesbians included. I hope, in fact I really do believe my children and yours could be good friends. I like you from our brief interaction. This morning I asked my kids if they would be friends with a kid who had lesbian mothers. They shrugged and said, "Sure, if they were nice."

My heart hears what you are saying and I want to agree with you to spare you and your family the awful crap I'm sure you've been exposed to. Signs that say things like "God hates fags" make me sick.

Tell me, as a mother, how you expect to protect your children if you never teach them standards and guidelines? How can you survive in today's world with the idea that there is no right or wrong? Certainly you can teach your children that cigarette smoking is unhealthy and bad for you without teaching them to hate smokers. I do believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong. I believe teenage pregnancy is detrimental to children. I would teach that standard to my children, at the same time I would love and embrace and help any teen I knew who got pregnant. I'm not a fan of abortion, divorce or pornography. My children have many friends with divorced parents. We don't drink alcohol, smoke or drink caffeine. I teach my children to wear modest clothes and not date till they are sixteen. They have almost no friends who live these same standards.

I apologize to you and to the world for any who have quoted scripture while serving the devil. The greatest commandment is to love God, the second to love our neighbor as ourselves. We ALL sin and yet we are ALL beloved sons and daughters of God. Any time I teach a principle there will be people who are not living it. If I cannot teach a principle without first and foremost teaching my children to love then I have failed.

Yes, we all need to be very careful how we teach. But, in my humble opinion, not teaching right and wrong is just as harmful as teaching it incorrectly.

I believe you can teach that there are right and wrong behaviors without teaching there are right and wrong people. I think we disagree on this.

Of course I can say something is wrong without living it. My friends father was gay. He was in the hospital often with issues related to homosexual intimacy. Promiscuity (gay or straight) promotes AIds, STDs, cervical cancer, etc.. I can see that without living it.

I wholeheartedly believe that we must have laws and standards that promote the greatest good. I imagine you do not want me telling your children that I think the lifestyle you are living is wrong. Similarly, I don't want you telling my children there is no wrong. My children and yours will be required to choose often in life. I want to teach them what I believe to be correct principles and then let them govern themselves.

This comment is way too long. I really don't need to say any of it. Honestly, I can hardly remember a time that I have talked on my blog, in my real life, or in my home about gay marriage. Almost every day I teach and preach and practice loving more. I imagine we could have your family over for Friday night games and pizza every Friday for a year and never need to talk about what happens in either of our bedrooms or even how we voted in the last election.

Again-- thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment. That takes courage. You shared your perspective in a kind way and I appreciate that.

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