Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Aidenism...from September 24, 2012

The other night as I was reading the boys' bible story book in which it had verses about loving your enemy. I told them that I wasnt sure if I had anyone who I could say was my enemy (not that I'm perfect but God has gaurded me well and help me forgive those who have hurt me in the past). Aiden's response was wise beyond his years; "Satan is our enemy, but we can't love him he will make our hearts cold and black".

Not really the message of loving our enemies that our reading was illustrating but possibly a more important lesson for us to talk about at that moment. It generated a conversation that God is good and Satan is evil and we should only love God.

I'm participating in my church's women's Bible study for the first time and we are doing a study on spiritual warfare so far it has been very good. Now in these modern times we do not have the same obvious idols as they did in Bible times; however Satan still has the same tactics to pull us away; deception, pride, guilt, shame, lust, the list is endless. However we are not doomed because loved us so much our sin has been forgiven through Jesus' blood, and with the power given to us by HIS holy spirit we can live a righteous life. Will we still make mistakes, oh my goodness yes we will but if we simply remember the wise words of my 5 year old..."Satan is our enemy" we can be on gaurd and alert to his ways, and pray for God's wisdom and grace to cover and protect us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Season and Empty Laundry Baskets

Well I have not blogged for almost two years and now with my recent decision to take some time off from facebook I've decided to revisit my long lost blog. I have had a lot to share in the past two years just did not make updating this blog a priority. I'm hoping to use the blog as a way to journal my thoughts, and feelings, as well as keep folks updated on the Eckstein's going ons!
I will also do my best to upload pictures on a regular basis for those who live far away and would like to see my adorable sons (who wouldn't, right?:).
With fall just around the corner I figured now was as good as time as any to start blogging again!

So now with that said thought I would share a little of what I've been thinking about lately..

Laundry baskets
Each time I do laundry and the baskets are empty I feel like I've accomplished a lot and get such a feeling of acheivement. Most everyone reading this with families can predict whats coming next...those baskets stay empty for less than an hour in our house. As crazy as it may sound I've been thinking about this fact for the last two days. The fact that laundry baskets are never empty for long, and how that is a great metaphor for our or at least my life. We may have thought we have overcome one sin but then it rears its ugly head again or another more damaging one takes over; how discouraging on both accounts, never being done with laundry and never living a sinless life, right? Yes it would be quite discouraging and depressing if I did not have my faith in God who sent his only son to free me from my mistakes and sinful nature. So yes life is like those laundry baskets we may repair a relationship, treat a symptom just to have another preverbal load of dirty laundry sneak into our lives but through the TRUTH that is God's word I know that this life is temporary and trials, misteps, dirty laundry gives me a chance to grow. How boring would life be if we didnt grow? So I will praise God when things are going well and my laundry basket is empty and I will pray to him for guidance and wisdom when the dirty laundry of life piles up once more!

Monday, January 3, 2011

DEC 2010

Click here to view these pictures larger

Today's Devotion

Giving Praise!

"Praise the LORD O my soul; all my inmost being, praise
his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benifits-who
forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases~Psalm 103:1-3"

Okay I know I know it seems like I've been talking a lot about praising and worshiping
but that is what God has laid on my heart today. I'll start with a little story
about our morning....around 8:30 this morning both the boys wanted to watch the
DVD Nana got them from her VBS (Vacation Bible School) which had all the music
from VBS with lyrics and videos. Aiden woke up at 6:30 and already watched a
little bit of TV so I didnt want then to have any more screen time, but figured
this DVD viewing would benifit all of us; as we were dancing and singing to the
DVD I was almost in tears of joy hearing Aiden sing along and watching Evan
dance and play air guitar (yes he can do it pretty well) while I praised and
danced myself. Yes it is Monday and its hard to be joyful, and as I wrote last
night its okay to be uncomfortable---and let me tell you I was very
uncomfortable about 2 hours ago when I struggled to get the boys to take a
nap---and I leaned on God through KLOVE, and a car ride, and they both fell
asleep and are still napping!! A side note about being uncomfortable I really
believe that when we do rely on HIM during our challenging times we will be
blessed as I just was when my mother in law showed up to sit with the boys about
an hour ago so I could go for a run and continue to praise HIM while listening
to my upbeat Christian music. And you know what she was also blessed, being a
very busy, caring, loving person she seldom has time for herself and she read a
book my mom loaned me (that of course I have not even cracked open) and asked to
borrow it! So on this first Monday back to reality you may feel uncomfortable,
but I give you this challenge listen to a Christian song, read a chapter in the
Bible, and turn to HIM you will be blessed!

In God's

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Today's Devotion

Pray to be uncomfortable?!

"Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far
away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy
waves. About three o'clock in the morning* Jesus came toward them, walking on
the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified.
In their fear, they cried out, "It's a ghost!"  But
Jesus spoke to them at once. "Don't be
he said. "Take courage. I am
here!*"When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the
disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they
exclaimed.~Matthew 14:24-27, and 33"

This mornings
sermon was about Jesus walking on water, but it focused less on the miracle of
this and more on the disciples response and how we are so much like they were.
As you may notice this is coming rather late and I've reflected on today's
sermon much of the day....hopefully it all makes sense as I'm usually more of a
morning person than a night owl but wanted to get my thoughts down in hopes I
could get to sleep easier.

At the end of
the sermon the preacher gave us a challenge to pray to be uncomfortable, just as
the disciples were. This was the first time in scripture that they praised and
believed Jesus was the son of God, remember they just came from watching Jesus
feed 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish!!!! BUT only when they were faced with raging
waters which were only calmed by Jesus did they believe, and praise him. God's
timing is always right on, the last week although a wonderful week I have not
really leaned on Jesus, or even read my Bible until today, and just yesterday I
was thinking "I need to reconnect with God and read my Bible I'm getting too
comfortable not doing it". Now of course I'm not saying I wish my life to be
filled with less blessings, and more heartache but I think its important for me
to remember to not be content with the status quo and always seek or pursue HIM.
So on this Sunday night when I'm feeling the impending storm that is Nathen
being gone all week in Oklahoma I'm finding peace and comfort that I can cry out
and praise Jesus who is stronger than any storm any of us may weather!

In God's Love,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today's Devotion

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him
with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are
his we are his people, the sheep of his pasture~Psalm 100:1-3

As I woke this morning I was instantly in a great mood as today is a bit of a special day,
Dec. 23rd as a child was the day we would celebrate our Christmas. We are all
excited about celebrating Christmas on Christmas this year with my parents,
sisters, brother in laws, my aunt, and of course my 5 neices but Dec. 23rd will
always hold a special place in my heart as I have so many childhood memories
that occured on this day. Okay now you may all be wondering what this has to do
with this verse well not a whole lot but hopefully I'll tie it together

Just as I woke up happy this morning, as Christians we have the wonderful joy of knowing God as our savior!! So regardless of the day we should always wake up with a joyful heart, and singing him praises. This time of year is a wonderful time of year to do just that, I know I've often gone into work
singing Christmas songs, so go ahead and celebrate this morning knowing that God
made you and loves you!

Here's one of my favorite Christmas Songs to get you started:

What Child is This
What Child is this
who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with
anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds
guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son
of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is

Nails, spear shall
pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the
Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving
hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise
a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

IN God's

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today's Devotion


You have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again~1 Cornithians 1:7

This time of year we think a lot about gifts, what we are going to get, what we are going to give, and how to arrange them under the tree~something that I still have fond memories of
arranging and rearranging gifts under our tree as a kid (Cammie and Mom do you
remember me doing that? I dont remember having any help probably b/c I wouldnt
allow it:)~and as Aiden began to take the gifts from under the tree we
rearranged our gifts....just as I remember doing as a kid. It was a wonderful
moment shared with the boys on a somewhat trying day. A local family has been on
my heart and mind a lot lately as they face their first Christmas without their
son, brother, husband, and father. I can imagine that this family is having a
difficult time seeing the gifts God has granted them with as they wait to be
reunited with their loved one. BUT we all have a wonderful gift that is too big
to fit under any tree, the gift of salvation through Jesus' life.

On a rough day whether dealing with tantruming toddlers, mourning the loss of a loved
one, or just waking up on the wrong side of the bed remember the wonderful gift
that we all have!! I think when we recognize this wonderful gift it helps us see
the other gifts that have been given to us by HIM. For me today it was seeing
Aiden taking the presents from under the tree not to unwrap them but placing
them on the couch so he could rearrange them, taking me back to a wonderful
childhood memory~God allowed me to recognize that gift today even though I was a
bit frustrated with Aiden not taking a nap today. I pray for those families who
are facing Christmas for the first time without their loved ones that God will
provide comfort, peace, and allow them to see the gifts they have as they wait
to see their loved ones and Jesus.

In God's Love,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Today's Devotion

To God be the Glory!

"Let them praise your great and awesome name. Your name is holy! Psalm 99:3", "For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me~Luke 1:49"

We serve an awesome and amazing God!! Sometimes its hard to praise
HIM when we are struggling or mourning a loss of loved one but I know I find
comfort knowing that everything is according to HIS plan not mine, and he does
do great things for ME.

This morning I spent a lot of time in prayer
for our nanny,Karli, who 1 year ago today lost her best friend in a car accident
in which she'll be traveling the same road later today as she drives home. As
Karli arrived this morning I asked her how she was doing and I could sense her
sadness and offered her a hug which she accepted and appreciated~as I was
leaving she thanked me for the hug! I tell you this not to bring sadness to you
but as a way to illustrate how God can work through us. It was definately a God
thing as we shared that hug, I could tell she was comforted by me allowing
myself to listen to God and give her that hug. It also got me thinking why HE
chose to take such a young christian home and only HE knows but I wonder if HE
saved her from pain that may have come her way, or maybe there were many
children who needed her energetic, and loving care and compassion (of course I'd
never met her but do know she and Karli babysat together through high school).
Now for the friends and family that she left behind although painful they know
she is with her Heavenly Father. And maybe through the loss their faith has
become stronger.

As humans we often think that we deserve all the thanks
and appreciation. I must admit that my top "love language" is that of
appreciation; and although it is nice to be appreciated and thanked, we need to
stop and thank who to really give our thanks and glory to. Its something I'm
constantly working on...especially when it comes to writing these
I writing to get positive feedback and "pats on the back"---yes that is nice,
BUT who allows the thoughts and interpretations to come to me...God, so he
should recieve all the Glory and thanks!

As we get closer to Christmas
remember to give HIM praise and reflect on all the wonderful and great things
he's done for you!

In God's Love,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today's Devotion

Whatever we need he's there!

"For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation~Psalm 100:5 "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.~ Isaiah 9:6, NLT"

I love these verses, dont they offer such encouragment on a dreary Monday morning? This is going to be kind of a short devotion because the verses seem to say it all. It's hard to understand the love God has for each of us, but I think it can be somewhat compared to the love we have for our children. No matter what I know that my parents love me unconditionally and the same goes for my love for my wonderful children. I continue to love them when they hit, bite, and scream at me. I may tell them that I don't like their actions but always tell them that I will always love them. I think that God may feel the same way towards us he may not like some of our actions but his love for us never fades. And when we do or say things that may not be very godly isnt it comforting that HE is not only our Everlasting Father, but also Wonderful Counselor. We can go to HIM in prayer and say "God, help guide me". And when we have conflict with loved ones we can go to him as Prince of Peace. I know from experience that when Nathen and I have a conflict its easily diffused when we refocus our energy on God. God is always there whether we need counsel, peace, or a father...No matter what we've done, thought, or experienced God is there. As we get closer to celebrating Jesus' birth let us not forget all God has done for us.

In God's love,