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All of the gifts that I am so very thankful for!

I have been reading the book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.  I have just a couple of chapters to go, but it is such a great book to remind me to give thanks in all things.  Give thanks when I want to, when I do not feel like it.  God calls us over and over in his word to give thanks.  And something that Ann has learned on her journey to giving thanks; she feels joy when she thanks God for everything.  I am not sure about you, but I love to have joy in my life!  God wants us to have joy in our lives!  I am just starting this journey of learning to be on my knees in thanksgiving!  But since today is Thanksgiving; I thought it would be a good start to my giving thanks.

1. That I have a bible in my own language (many people groups do not)

2. That I can freely worship my Lord and Savior (about 30 countries are persecuted for their believing in Jesus Christ)

3.  That God is God and I am not (I love this statement from a song…how true…my life would be a mess if I tried to be God in my life).

4. That God saw my need for a Savior!  That he would send his one and only son, for a sinner like me.  That I am saved by the saving power of Jesus Christ!

5. For my husband’s care and attention to me and the kids

6.  The laughter that we experience as a family!  It always feels so good!

7.  We have a warm house this fall/winter season!  We have the money to pay for the heating bills

8.  That I have appliances that make running a household much easier

9.  Good food to eat everyday!

10.  Gas in our cars to get us where we want/need to go

11. Greg’s great job which provide the resources to supply us with our needs and wants

12.  Taking a baby/toddler out of the bath and snuggles that follow

13.  Having Leah be such a big helper to mommy around the house

14.  The ability to home school my children in a state that makes it so easy!

15.  I am thankful to the homeschooling families who fought for the rights to do so!

16. Family Bible time together in the evenings

17.  Great friendships that help to encourage me in my life

18.  Playdates for the kids (and the moms get a chance to talk and catch up)

19.  The internet at my finger tips…I can look up a recipe, stay in touch with friends, and listen to all my favorite music on you tube!

20. My cell phone!

21.  Family vacations with Greg’s parents

22. Listening to Focus on the Family and Family Talk broadcasts daily!

23. The wonderful backyard for us to explore, play, and appreciate God’s beautiful design!

24.  A play set that was given to us for free

25. That we are able to recycle so easily here at our house!  We average 1 to 2 bags of garbage a week for a family of 5!

26. That my kids are the best of playmates!  They love having each other to play with all the time

27. That I live in a country that fought and still fights for the freedoms we have!

28.  The ability to read!  So thankful to my first grade teacher for the lessons, so I can have access to so much with this skill

Those are just a few of the blessings that God has blessed me with.  There are sooooo many more!  I know that I struggle with the blessings that God gives that are not considered blessings by me (sickness, death, hurt, hard times, etc).  But if I really trust God’s word and believe that He does all things for our good, then I must understand that everything that happens can be turned around into good.  We might not be able to see it in the moment, but in hindsight later we have seen how these trials have deepened our dependence on God and our relationship with Him.  Maybe we can learn from one another when faith still shines during the trials.  God does not promise that we will never have hard times.  In fact, he tells us as Christians, we will have trials to go through.

Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

I wanted to share some of my thoughts this Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tiffany

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

November 6th 2012

Most people know why November 6th 2012 is a big day for our country.  But few know why it will be a big day in our home.  November 6th, 2009 our 3rd child Elijah Thomas Heim died and went to be with God in heaven.  It was a day I will never forget, one that is still etched into my brain.  Sometimes I would love to turn back the clock and change history; that is not to be.  If I truly believe Jesus to be the way, the truth, and the life than I must believe that God is sovergn over everything.  He has the power to do the impossible.  He could have prevented Eli from dying, but he did not.  I have been at peace with this fact for a long time.  I never doubted God’s goodness, his love for me, or his love for Eli.  I might not understand why Eli died that day, but I do know that I will see him in heaven one day.

So this coming election I will not only get to vote for Life, I will vote for Eli.  I will send him and all the precious babies in heaven a message that life is so important.  That the taking of human life is not acceptable, it is not the way of our Heavenly Father.

I got this from an article and wanted to share it in regards to a common remark about why people would consider themselves pro-choice.  This was the same answer I would give before God came into my life.

 

Imagine if I said, “Don’t like slavery, then don’t own one.” Or, “Don’t like spousal abuse? Well, then don’t beat your wife!” If I said those things, you would understand immediately that I did not grasp why slavery and abuse are wrong. They are not wrong because I personally dislike them. They are wrong because slaves and spouses are intrinsically valuable human beings who have a natural right not to be treated as property. Whether I personally like slavery or spousal abuse is completely beside the point. If I liked spousal abuse, you would rightly say I was sick! You would not resign yourself to say, “Well, I guess abuse is right for you but not for me.”

Please consider the issue that all human life is precious.  And please vote!  November 6th is too big of an election not to.  Even though I would rather be in bed and weeping over my precious Eli; I know that he would not want me to stay in bed.

Trusting in Jesus,

Tiffany

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Why we do not celebrate Halloween

Last year was the first year that we did not partake in any Halloween activities (trick or treating, parties, decorations, etc). We are definitely not in the majority of our friends and relatives and are often thought of as strange for not celebrating Halloween. And that is ok. But I wanted to share with some of you why we choose not to partake in Halloween activities any longer.

Some might wonder: Is it because we are morally superior? Is it because we think we are better Christians? Is it because we like to challenge the status quo? To answer all of those: NO!

The more Greg and I were reading God’s word on a consistent basis (this used to not be the case years ago), the more we were convicted to take a look at how we were living. We started to question what television would be watched, how we would spend our time, what clothing would be pleasing to God? We wanted to start thinking about pleasing God and not man. And before this we were about pleasing man and fitting into the crowd. Because of these decisions we do not always fit in with what the majority are doing. But I have to say, I do not think what the majority of Americans are doing with their time is very pleasing to God.

I remember being convicted over a series of a few weeks that Halloween really is something to look into and find out why we were trick or treating and carving pumpkins. The kids loved Halloween…dressing up, getting candy, passing out candy. But just because my kids loved it I could not put aside God’s convictions and not look into the holiday.

What I found was that Halloween had very pagan backgrounds, with false God’s being worshipped, devil worship, and other customs that are very dark.

Jesus brings us light, not dark.

So after much discussion, prayer and talking with the kids we decided to not celebrate Halloween any longer. And the kids did not miss it! I was really surprised, but they really want to be pleasing to the Lord too. We had the kids’ friends over and held our first “Praising God for Fall party”. This year our church is having a special Martin Luther Reformation Day on Halloween and then that evening there will be a chili cookout at a church member’s home with the whole church invited. We just started attending our new church in April and we are starting to notice that we are not at all misfits when it comes to how we choose to dress, celebrate, spend our time, etc.

Most of our friends and children’s friends are Christians. We are the only ones (besides families at our new church) who do not celebrate Halloween and that is ok. I am not asking you to stop celebrating. I am not implying that you are worshipping false Gods if you do. But I would love for you to take a look at the history of Halloween and decide for yourselves after much prayer and consideration. Sometimes it is hard when we deny what is fun or important to us, but Jesus did tell us to daily deny ourselves. I know I tell the kids that they must deny all of their wants. They would eat candy, sweets, and junk for all of their meals if I did not have them deny their wants and cravings.

God is so good and I want to do things that please Him. Because He is my redeemer, my Father, and my Savior. Not because I feel like it is another rule to follow. I want to follow Him. When I became a believer I left my old Life and became new. The New Testament tells us that this will happen to new believers. I would not look back for any reason or anything that I might not feel comfortable partaking in anymore.

Following Jesus,
Tiffany

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Does this make sense to you?

Ok…so here is a very hard topic to talk about! Abortion!  There I said it.  Sigh.  I can remember back in college when my stance was pro-choice.  I would say, I would not have an abortion myself, but felt like it should be an option for those who were raped.  I believed what the left wing party was telling me.  I did not look to God for the answers.  I did not believe that God gives us these precious children, that is is not about the physical act of sex, but that God’s hand is in creating life. 

God has brought me so far on the this topic and I am very openly pro-life.  How can I not be?  So many people wept with us when Eli died.  Would those same people have wept if they had not met him if I have aborted him?  What if I knew that Eli would die very early and chose to terminate his life in the uterus to save myself the pain?  I would have saved myself the blessing of knowing him, holding him, nursing him, loving him.  Life throws us hard choices, hard roads to follow, but if we seek Him, we have someone to walk with us. 

Now I come to this question…state governments can take babies right from birth from mothers who have chosen to harm their baby in uterus from consuming alcohol, drugs, etc.  But it is legal for these mothers to kill their babies.  And that late term abortion is legal.  I guess I just do not get this fact?  I do not agree that it is ok for mothers to injure their babies with narcotics or alcohol, but neither do I agree that should be legal for these mothers to abort their babies. 

I remember my friend telling me that when she was pregnant with her first child she was eating a sandwich at Subway.  A complete stranger walked up to her and was very upset that she would be hurting her baby with eating a deli sandwich.  Now I do not want to debate the ideas of eating lunch meat while pregnant, but my point is that there are a TON of warnings and of DO’s and DON’TS while pregnant just in case it might be harmful to the baby.  So that makes me think that human life is sacred and people care to help the baby stay healthy while in uterus.  So why is abortion still legal? 

I read this article and saw the picture of a woman who was pregnant with twins and was going to abort them at 20 weeks.  She was rather pregnant looking since she was having twins and seeing the picture really make the story all the more real to me.  She said that she already had daughters at home and did not want anymore.  I do not wish to bring this message with hate; but with love.  We all sin, we all fall short of the glory of God.  None of us are perfect.  And I myself fall short; daily.  But I want to be clear that while I do not hate; I do not support pro-choice.  God does not support pro-choice.  He is very clear in His word about the sanctity of human life. 

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/twenty-weeks-pregnant-with-twins-but-last-week-she-had-an-abortion

Please join me in praying for those who feel like abortion is their only way.  Pray for the workers who conduct these abortions.  Pray for the hearts of those who play hand in politics, law makers, judges who can make a difference for standing up for Life. 

I love living in America.  I do not believe we have a perfect country, government, or policies.  We cannot since we are in a fallen world with fallen people.  But I am not proud of living with abortion being legal.  I will vote for Life in this election.  I will always vote for Life.  I may not agree with other policies or the Republican party; but I will continue to support LIFE. 

God’s Blessings,

Tiffany

I love

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Happy Birthday Eli

Today is Eli’s 3rd birthday.  I often wonder what he is doing right now in heaven on his birthday.  While my heart breaks because I am not with my little guy, celebrating with him, eating cake with him, and cleaning up all the frosting smudges; I know that his party in heaven is more than I can even imagine.

Our fourth child Reece was born 2 days before Eli’s first birthday.  Reece was born on Aug 10, 2010.  Eli was born Aug 12, 2009.  We were released from the hospital on Aug 12 with Reece.  It was a blessing and hard day all together 2 years ago when we brought Reece home.  I was very nervous letting Reece out of my sight even though he wanted to sleep the day away and I wanted to visit with Leah and Jonah.  Since Reece was my fourth child I felt like he was my first again with hovering, checking, and worrying.  But I have learned that it is good to be safe; worry is not from God.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

This year on Eli’s birthday we were just finishing up our first family camping trip.  Our new church has an annual camping trip on this weekend every year and asked us to come.  Greg has camped his whole life and talked me into it.  It was an experience, but one with many good memories.  Also we have decided that a leaky air mattress was not very comfortable, so we will be buying a new one before the next trip!  Our Pastor was doing the church service back at our church this morning, so he asked an elder in the church to preach the message.  We had songs of worship, prayer, and a message.  Very much like a normal church service, except outside on camping chairs and in the dirt!  The sun came out for church this morning and it was glorious after days of rain and clouds!

At Eli’s funeral I was told to choose songs to sing.  One song that I really wanted to sing was the song Breathe by Michael W Smith.  I think that song stuck out so much because Eli died from SIDS and stopped breathing.  Our previous church where we had Eli’s funeral used to play that song from time to time.  After his funeral that was the only song that would bring tears to my eyes and sometimes cause me to go and compose myself.

I had not heard our new church sing that song yet.  Until this morning, on Eli’s birthday.  I know God sends these little things to share with us that Eli is doing great, and that how awesome it is that he is in heaven.  I know God put on my heart sadness, but happiness too.

Some of the lyrics:

I am desperate for you

I am lost without you

Your holiness presence living in me

Your very Word spoken to me

I know that God wanted me to hear this song with my family far from our normal church setting on Eli’s birthday.  I know that I am lost without God.  I am desperate for God.  Where would I be without God?  I would be trying to fumble through life on my own strength.  I would fall every time.  I would fail.  How awesome to know that God is there to lift me up!  To catch me when I do stumble, and to show me that narrow path that He has laid for my life.  I know that my trust and whole being is with Jesus and one day I will meet Him in heaven.  I know that Eli will be waiting.  What an awesome gift Jesus came to this earth to give; eternal salvation!  He sent His only son for us!  For you, for me, for your neighbor. Let’s not waste another second on giving our lives to the Lord, accepting him for the One and Only God.  Eli was taken so quick and I know that all of our days our numbered.

What are you waiting for?

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 3:17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
Trusting in Jesus,
Tiffany

 

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

How many classes are too many?

A very close friend of mine recently told me all of the classes that she signed her children up for.  My friend home schools and is a mother who loves and craves to be at home.  But I think it is the world around her that challenges those ideas and makes her feel like her children need all these extra classes.  Her girls are in dance class, they take piano lessons each week.  She also is part of a home school co-op where they can take extra classes.  Usually she signs them up for 2 classes there.  This time she signed them up for 5 extra classes.  The classes sound amazing (science, art, gym, choir, karate, American girl, etc)  and she is thinking about putting them into gymnastics that they did a couple of years ago. She is also is part of 2 playgroups. (and field trips)

I have to admit that it sounds like I am not doing very much for my kids compared to that class load.  Leah will take dance again this year.  I asked Jonah if he wanted to take karate or something else but he does not (why push when he just turned 5 yesterday?)  They both will have piano lessons.  But after that…that is it.  We belong to a church where we will part of a small group on Wednesday nights which is another commitment that gets us out of the house and “socialization”.  So compared to my dear friend, our extras seems like we will be home all the time.  So what will we do with all of our time?

This will be my first year having 2 kids in my homeschool!  (We actually have already started this summer).  We plan on doing more read alouds, having Bible time after dinner with dad, art projects once a week (if I do not put it in the schedule I do not find the time to do this), I also have cooking with mom time on the schedule.  Normal life appointments (we all see a chiropractor now, my midwife appts, dentist, etc fill in the time too).

My friend is already getting nervous that she is overbooked.  I have never stuck in my nose in her business like this before, but I wanted to give her my thoughts.  I told her to take them or leave them, but I really saw a few things to think about with so many extra activities for the girls.

1.  Our number one goal in parenting is to bring our children up with God.  I want our children to know Him, know His word, praise Him, have a relationship with Him, know about salvation.  Going to church once is a week is an awesome time, but 2 hours out of 168 is not much time on learning about God.  I want it to be part of our everyday lives.  I just read “In a hundred years from now it will not matter if my sons were truck drivers or astronauts, what matters is that they are in heaven with me and their mom.”

2. I have a problem wanting to give my kids “things” and opportunities.  I think most parents want the best for their children.  But is giving them all these extra classes really the best?  I am not sure.  I think sometimes it could create a very “me” centered” attitude instead of a servant attitude.  If we constantly “give” to our children and do not have time for them to learn how to serve others (nursing home, neighbor, children in hospital) then are we doing what  God designed us to do?  I have to admit that I have not done a very good job of this in the past.  But I really strive to have time in our schedule to serve others.  If I am constantly serving my kids or getting them to one class from the next; will I have time to do this?

3.  Do your kids really need “socialization”?  I think the answer to this question is yes, but I do not think you have to go much outside the house to get this.  I know I might not share the same perspective on this as many, but here is what believe.  If your children can grow up learning to get along and become friends with their siblings, then they will be set for many of life’s socialization.  If you live with a brother or sister (most of the time sharing a room, bathroom, toys, etc) and can become friends and get along most of the time than you have learned skills that will be so valuable later in life.  If you can respect your elders and interact with children and adults of all ages what more do you need?  I do have my children playing with other children whom I know and trust but it is not out of a necessity; but because they want to have those interactions.  I laugh when people question homeschooling because they think that homeschool children are not socialized.  When our children enter their adult years are they ever surrounded with all of the same age adults in the workplace or other places?

4.  I know for myself that the more I am away from home the less peace I feel.  I need to be home taking care of my kids, the home, and myself.  In my ideal day I want the house to be somewhat picked up (I am shooting for this because most days it does not happen), have a nice dinner for my  husband and family, and not to feel so rushed or stressed.  The kids ask to be able to have more play time; they crave the down time just as much as I do.  Usually they start acting out because we are too busy; and that is not fair to them; even for the price of “fun” or classes.

I love my friend and will stand by with whatever decision she makes.  God chose her to be the mother of these precious ones, and if she is seeking His council first above this world than I know that she will make the best decision for them.  It might not be the same as my decisions, but that is what is so awesome about friendships.  We continue to learn from one another in this area and lift one another up!

Trusting in Jesus,

Tiffany

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

How do we go on?

I wanted to share something that I just read.  So I will first just post this here and then I will add some of my thoughts:

On April 7, 2001, the unthinkable happened.  It was a beautiful sunny day and my wife and I were out in the backyard taking pictures with our son, Sam (who at the time was almost 4) and our daughter, Delaney (who was 16 months old).  After the hot Florida sun became unbearable, we went inside to cool off.

I had been playing with Sam in the living room and I assumed Delaney was with my wife, Becky, in the bedroom.  After awhile I called out, “Is Delaney with you?”  “I thought she was with you,” Becky answered.  My blood ran cold.  It had been too long not to have heard or seen her.  I knew that she had become increasingly curious about the lake behind the house so I instantly sprinted out the back door toward the lake.

As I came over the top of the hill I saw her.  That vivid, horrible image will remain buried in my mind until the day I die.  There was our sweet Delaney floating face down about ten feet out from the shore.  “Oh my God!” I yelled Not breaking stride, I ran down the hill to the shore and with one bound I reached her.  “Call and ambulance!” I yelled again.  I carried her to shore and laid her pale, limp body in the grass.  Our neighbor, an ex-marine, ran over and immediately began CPR on her, but I knew it was too late.  I feel to the ground and from the bottom of my soul and with all the strength I had in me, I wailed.

I don’t know if you’ve ever actually wailed before———I hadn’t until that day.  I had cried, I had wept, I would even say that I had agonized.  But until that moment had never wailed.  I can still hear it.  How awful it sounded.  I could write a hundred books and never adequately describe how I felt.  I would only argue that is the lowest point a human can reach during this lifetime.  Once you reach that point, as you would imagine, you never look at anything in life the same way again.

I’m a real “bottom line” type of guy, so let me tell you what my bottom line is now that this experience is a part of my life.  I have two sons now.  My life’s number one goal is to lead my sons to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. What else is there? A hundred years from now it won’t matter whether they drove a tow truck or the space shuttle.  They’ll be dead just like Delaney.  The only important question is, will they be with Delaney and Becky and me in heaven, or will they be in hell? A hundred years from now, where will your kids be?  Where will you be?

It has been my pleasure to have Kirk Cameron’s friendship for almost fifteen years.  He is an incredible example of a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend.  He and his family embraced us in our tragedy and for that my family and I are forever grateful.

More important, Kirk and his ministry partner, Ray Comfort, are wholly committed to fulfilling the command of Jesus Christ to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.”  That’s not only their message, but their  mission.  In other words, this is what they do, not just what they tell others to do.  I also know they would both tell you that this mission starts first and foremost in their own homes.

Since Delaney died——-I’ve said this countless times but it never seems to lose its potency—-as much as it hurts when I replay in my  mind the events of April 7th, I can live with that.  I can live with the rest of my life here on earth without my precious little Delaney, and I can bear it.  She’s well taken care of.  In fact I’ll never have one single worry about her again.  She’s in heaven; that’s a done deal and not even Satan can take that away.  What I can’t bear is the thought of spending eternity without any one of my children. I love them too much not to devote my life to leading them toward a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I don’t think that I love my kids any more or less than anyone else.  I’m no super dad, or super Christian for that matter.  But God has given me a perspective in my life that not everyone shares, and for that I’m thankful, and I intend to do something about it.  Life is too short not to.

 

(Tiffany now)

So after reading the above from a dad who lost his daughter in an accident it all came back to me.  Since I am the one who found Eli the day that he died that memory is forever burned into my brain and sometimes I wish that I could “not go there”.  Sometimes it is just too hard.  But on the flip side, I know where Eli is.  I know that he is with His father who loves him more than I ever could.  I know that Eli is happy as there are no tears in heaven.  I know that Eli will not sin, he will not fall away from his faith, he will not have regrets.  And even though it seems like a very long time until I will see my baby again, I am not sure on the number of days that I have.  Only God knows that and I put all of my trust in Him.

So do we go on?  Absolutely.  There is a choice, we can stay defeated, depressed, unable to care for ourselves and families (which Satan wants!!!!) or we can choose to listen and obey God’s word.  I might not want to get out of bed, but I will obey.  I  might not want to read another story to my child, but I will obey.  I might not want to go on living, but I will obey.  And soon, it becomes part of the routine and daily life again.  Soon I enjoy doing the job of motherhood that God has called me to do.  I enjoy doing this work!  Isn’t this what we teach our children?  That we must obey whether they feel like it; whether they want to; whether they understand why.  Just to obey for the sake of obeying and through that, our Father brings us out of the pit of despair.  Only He can do that, we must do our part to seek Him, know Him, and obey Him.

Blessings,

Tiffany

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized