Friday, February 25, 2011

The right person....

This morning I'm feeling EXHAUSTED, weary, worn out. Tired of fighting the same fights... Teaching the same lessons... Saying the same things.... I started to ponder, "What if God chose the wrong person for this job?" Maybe I'm just not good enough, patient enough, smart enough, kind enough to be the one to do THIS job.

That's when it hit me. Moses. Moses didn't think he was enough either. Moses said but God I'm not eloquent.... but God I'm not a leader... but God I'm not... and God said, "I am."

I would like to propose:  if you don't feel too small for the job in front of you then maybe you aren't positioned in front of the right job. If you feel qualified.... If you feel trained...  If you feel big enough to do this.... Then what room is left for God?  See if Moses could have convinced Pharoah all by himself, God's power and glory would not have needed to be revealed.

Like Paul said, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power will rest in me." (2 Cor 2:19)

Today is going to be a day where God's POWER is revealed through his very weak, exhausted and weary child. I am at the end of an exhausting week which is near the end of an exhausting month. I am not going to worry or stress about how I am going to get through this day. I am going to put one foot in front of the other and do the best I can while waiting and watching for God's POWER to be revealed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Worship Wednesday: What if the Mountain is You?

Take 7 minutes of your life... Watch this video... It is an original song by Dave Loftis (GREAT set of pipes on this guy!  I promise.)  But listen to the lyrics and contemplate this simple idea... What if YOU are what is holding you back from what God has in store for your life.. Yeah... I know.. It cut me to the quick too!  Hope it ministers to you today.

Birthday cake...

(I know this may seem like I mis-posted this blog and meant to put it at my cooking blog, but be patient with me... it isn't mis-posted.)

When planning a birthday party, one of the most important parts is THE CAKE.  There are SO many options available to you:

*make a cake from scratch
*make a cake from a box mix
*buy a cake from the grocery store
*buy a cake from a specialized bakery

And there are also a CRAZY amount of hybrid options:

*make the frosting from scratch but the cake from a mix
*pay a friend who dabbles in cake decorating to make a cake
*buy a pre-made angel food cake and frost it yourself

As you see, there are SO MANY MORE ways than just one way to make a cake.

Life's like that too.  There is more than one way to worship God:

*as a family
*with your church family
*hands in the air
*quietly seated
*flat on your face

And there are a CRAZY amount of hybrid options:

*alone in a private room just you and God
*in the almost privacy of your car
*at church
*at a meal with friends

In just about EVERY area of life there are so many OPTIONS!!!!

*dress standards

and on and on and on...

I've been pondering the concept lately of why so many of us (especially Christians it seems to me) seem to live with this opinion that we should all "look" alike.  So many of us seem to mistakenly identify differences as sin. Christians can't:

*have tattoos
*choose not to spank their children
*send their children to a public school
*vote for Obama (oooooh my she's getting political)
*listen to secular music
*wear pants, shorts, words written on their butts

It confuses me continually. Please do not mistake me. I am NOT exempting myself!  I CONSTANTLY catch myself doing the, "I would never..." thing in my head.  I am not exempt from this disease.  There was a day when I looked VERY disdainfully down my nose at any Christian who would consider participating in yoga and all of its eastern mysticism and SATANISM!  It's funny how God sometimes makes you eat your words... I actually now find yoga to be a very relaxing practice (oh no she did not!  did she just admit in PUBLIC that she is a Christian and she does yoga????).  It is my personal belief that yoga CAN be done for the pure relaxation of the practice and that when calming one's mind and spirit one CAN focus on the one true God instead of anything mystical.  You do NOT have to agree with me on this, but I guess that's my point....

Why can't we all just allow people to arrive upon their own convictions? Why can't we let each person's Christianity and convictions and lifestyles and parenting choices and wardrobe malfunctions be THEIR choices and let THEM live with the consequences?  Why can't we all just get our eyes on the mirror instead of out the window?

I know.  I know.  There's that pesky little verse in Galatians:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore the person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1

I know and believe in this verse; however, I think too many of us apply it a bit liberally.  See the words that JUMP out at me are "caught in a SIN" and "gently"....

I was JUST discussing this lately with a friend... How when "restoring a person gently" we need to be ABSOLUTELY 100% sure that we are restoring them from SIN. Yoga is NOT sin. Tattoos are NOT sin. Alcohol is NOT sin. Adultery IS sin. Murder IS sin. Lying IS sin.

Here's my challenge today. I said it once already but I blabbered on so maybe the point was lost.  There are MANY different ways to make a cake!  So why not stop looking out the window and start gazing in the mirror. (I know I'm mixing up my analogies but I'm pretty sure you catch my drift.)

Have a great night everyone!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The God inside "a Jami"....

I had a Jami on Friday. Oh boy! Did I have a Jami!  Let me set the scene... and remember I haven't slept in FOREVER!

The Friday prior, I had a service man out to work on our washer.  If you have been a long time reader of this blog you will recall that this washer is NOT old.  Just eleven months old to be exact.  This is the THIRD time we've had to have it serviced (can you say THANK YOU LORD for a warranty?!?!?!?) and the man reported we would need ANOTHER new transmission (what is UP with this lemon???) So anyway after a week with no washer, in spite  of a trip to the laundromat, WOW! were we READY to see the washer repair guy return to install the parts which had FINALLY arrived.

So I went downstairs to get my morning work started, and Jeremiah came running downstairs, "Kiah ran away!" I rushed upstairs to assess the situation.  As I did, Noah called to say he was chasing Kiah through the cul de sac  behind our house. I got in the van to drive the leash to him.  I found them, but by the time I did they were in the field BEHIND the cul de sac with some random man I'd never met (a neighbor who came out to help Noah).  I traipsed through snow drifts in FLIP FLOPS to get the leash to Noah and watch as Kiah took off across Madison Road into the cornfield across the street.  I traipsed back THROUGH the snow bank in my flip flops and got in the van to depart the cul de sac, pass our house and get on Madison Road.

As I passed my house I saw the washer repair guy in the driveway.  I stopped to tell him I would be right back, and he informed me he could not enter the house until I got back... ERGH!  I got to Noah and random nice stranger (I'm starting to wonder if he was really an angel) and found Kiah was just PLAYING with us!  Zipping around the field... Coming close then going far away... Finally, random stranger tackled her and Noah was able to get the leash on her.  We traveled home and let the washer repair guy in, and I was EXHAUSTED and thinking what a Jami!  Little did I know....

We did school while the washer guy fixed our machine.  We did a happy dance because we could wash clothes again.  Meanwhile I received a phone call for work which was IRRITATING to say the least!  All I have to say about that is, "Do you want a job or not people???  Don't treat me like a bill collector!  I'm trying to HELP you get this job!"  Okay I'm done with my rant.

So I finished up that tangled situation and Noah came into my office, "Mom," he said very quietly and depressed, "I think I lost my cell phone when we were chasing Kiah." OHMIGOSH!  Actually this did not come as a big surprise to me, because I had tried to call him at one point during the fiasco, and he didn't answer.  But too much was happening then for me to process what that meant.

We hoped back in the car and traveled over to the first field Kiah frolicked in because I was pretty sure he had called me from that field and then not answered after that.  Noah said we should pray, and we did. The wind was whipping like CRAZY!  There was a high wind advisory that day. And I kept calling Noah's phone and praying he would hear it.  I also prayed that God would lead him to that phone. Noah tracked the sound of the phone zig zagging across the field.  I could tell he had the "scent" of it.  Finally he threw his hand up in the air in VICTORY! He found it!  It wasn't in a puddle.  It wasn't gnawed up by an animal. It wasn't lost forever.  He found the proverbial needle in the haystack (which shall from now on be called the cell phone in the corn field)!  Imagine our surprise therefore when he opened it up to find the ringer was disabled.  What in the WORLD had he heard then???  All of a sudden the MIRACLE of finding the phone in that HUGE field became breathtaking as we realized he could NOT have been hearing the real ringer.  God must have been leading him... whispering to him via the sound of a cell phone ringer because that phone's ringer was OFF!

Here I am finally at the inspiration part of my blog today:

God is ALWAYS inside "a Jami."  He is there!  I don't believe He causes the bad things to happen, but I believe He is right THERE making a way for good to come of it.  I believe that He laid His hand of protection over that tiny little cell phone for HOURS until we realized that it was gone.  Then He led us to the right field (through the whispering to my heart about the unanswered call) and STRAIGHT to the phone (through my son's ear which is finely tuned to sounds AND to God's voice). Not because that cell phone was SO important.  But because He wanted to teach us a lesson.... And likely because He KNEW that I would BLAB that lesson to all of you too.

God is THERE in the midst of our catastrophe!  He is THERE!  He doesn't want the chaos and craziness to be happening to us but we live in this evil, sinful world and there is NO way to avoid ALL of the yuck of the world we live in. But do NOT be deceived!  He is RIGHT there! Waiting and working and planning so that SOMEHOW even your worst tragedy turns out for your victory.

Hang on my dear friend!  Wait for it!  Wait for it!  There it IS!  The God inside "a Jami"!

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's all about the zzzzzzzzzz's.....

BWAH!!!!!!!  I have not slept in a week and a half!  (Okay to be real, I haven't slept in 11 years 4 month and 13 days but who's counting?) I tell you everything goes to pot when you're not sleeping well. My healthy living resolution? out the door. My patience? I think it's hiding in IL with half of our state senators. My clarity of mind? Well, I guess I never really had that one.

I can't figure out exactly WHY I'm not sleeping well. Our children have been randomly taking turns coming into our bed each night, but that's nothing new. There is a bit of added stress with Auntie Marge being in the nursing home, but I've DONE stress before. I have SIGNIFICANTLY increased my writing for Demand Studios in an attempt to get John home more. But idk... it's a bit of a mystery.

Anywhoos... this blog really isn't about my sleeping problems DIRECTLY it is about what they correlate to... so let's move on.

Sleep seems like such a small thing. You don't really have to DO anything.  It doesn't require special equipment like a treadmill. You don't need a qualified instructor like for Pilates. You don't need a doctor with a degree. You just lay down and close your eyes and VOILA! Your body makes magic. It rejuvenates!  It relaxes!  It HEALS!  Sleep is VERY important to the well-being of your body, even though it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Prayer's like that too. It seems like such a small thing.  It's just talking to God.  It's not delving deep into theology. It's not even reading the Word. It doesn't require any tools or gadgets. You don't need a professor with a doctorate in Theology. You just talk to God (or listen), and VOILA! magic!  You are rejuvenated!  You are relaxed!  Walls are broken down!  Infirmities are healed! Broken hearts are mended you are HEALED!  It is my proposition that prayer is the SINGLE most vital ingredient to a Christian's well being.

Take a little time today and PRAY. It will do your body, mind, and soul GOOD!  (Oh and don't forget about the sleep too!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A woman who fears the Lord.... (part 2)

Yesterday's post was getting TOO long so I had to cut it into 2.  Make sure you read it though or today will make NO sense at all.

Soooooo, one day last week, I was putting Hannah down for a nap. As she and I snuggled in my bed, I gazed into her beautiful face... those criss-crossed eyes, that flawless skin, that GORGEOUS smile that lights up my world (even though it is missing a baby tooth), and that itty, bitty nose that it OH SO MUCH cuter on her face than mine... They melt me!  COMPLETELY!  ALL the time!

So I started the routine:

      Me (gazing upon the beauty of her loveliness):  OhmiGOSH Hannah!  You are just SOOOOOOO adorable!

     Hannah (with a giggle):  I know Momma!  

     Me:  I could just gobble you up you're so cute!

     Hannah:  hee hee hee (at this point I was gnawing on her neck a little so she HAD to giggle)

     Me:  But Hannah, you know that's not what's important right?

     Hannah:  yes Momma

     Me:  Hannah, what does the Bible say?

     Hannah:  Beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised 

And it HIT ME!  From outta nowhere!  a KNOCKOUT punch delivered from the mouth of my sweet little girl!

     Beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised 

I heard the whisper from God, "Do you believe it, Jami?"

His voice grew a little louder in my heart, "Then why don't you live it, Jami?"

SCREAMING through the halls of my soul, "A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD IS TO BE PRAISED!"

I believe that!
I preach that!
I am INSTILLING that, DEEP, DEEP in my daughter's heart, but am I living it???

If I'm living it, then why...
     do I beat myself up every time I button my jeans?
     do I cringe every time I find a new wrinkle?
     do I roll my eyes at the sight of a new gray hair?
     do I put SO much emphasis on SO many things that just DON'T matter in the grand scheme of things???
          spotless kitchen,
          perfectly attired children,
          orderly life,
          picture perfect scenes

I needed so badly to hear my Father teaching me, 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

Do you need to hear that today too?  Then let me SCREAM it at you:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

I know you want to feel beautiful.  I know how great it feels!  Sunday as we got ready to go to the Super Bowl, I put on makeup and did my hair.  John said, "Why are you getting all dolled up to go watch a football game?"  I replied, "It just makes me feel good."  Feeling pretty is fun... 

     Me:  But Readers, you know that's not what's important right?  RIGHT???

a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised

Get your eyes off the mirror!  Who cares about your jean size! Leave those gray hairs RIGHT where they are!  And chant it along with me:


Spend a little time "prettying" up what is important today, your soul.  Take a few minutes from your grooming routine and love on your Jesus a little bit.  It is WAY more worthwhile than plucking your eyebrows!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A woman who fears the Lord.... (part 1)

For those of you who weren't along for the entire ride, I'm going to back up and start somewhat near the beginning... 

I was never really a GIRLY girl, but I have been a cheerleader from the moment I was born.  Mom says when I was a baby she prayed a little too hard because not only did I "make the team" but here I am 41 years later and not quite done with this thing called cheerleading. Sooooo it was kinda "off" that by 2005 it appeared I would likely be a lifetime member of the M.O.A.B. Club (Mothers of All Boys)....  I mean it isn't that boys can't do cheerleading but STILL I couldn't imagine life without at least a few bows and one set of real pom poms.  

May 4, 2006, a day that shall go down in infamy. The SCREAMS echoed from Froedtert Hospital to the halls of Franklin High School, "It's a girl!"  I'm not sure who was most excited:  my mom?  the FHS cheerleaders?  me?

Fast forward four years, nine months and four days and WOWZER!  has that little girl been everything that was promised and SO MUCH MORE!  Hannah is the PERFECT kinda girl for this family:  tough as nails!!!! [last night the Peifer family stared in amazement at that girl's diamond pushups] sweet as sugar!!!!  [how many times have I picked her up from a church nursery to hear, "She followed a crying baby around the entire time trying to comfort him."] and OH the bows and pom poms!  [we have an ENTIRE basket of bows and a rainbow of pom poms]  I often marvel at the fact that God didn't just give me a girl, bows and pom poms, someone to wear a cheer skirt, but He gave me a BEAUTIFUL girl!  I tell this little girl ALL the time, "You are SO beautiful!"  I mean COME on!  She is!!!! 

Isn't she???

Someone once asked me, "Aren't you worried you'll make her conceited from telling her she's beautiful all the time?"  You know what I answered??? NOPE!  This world with it's fashion magazines, skinny jeans, and unobtainably flawless skin is gonna knock that little girl down soon enough!  I'm considering it my mission to make sure that I build her up EVERY SINGLE DAY so she feels beautiful.

Alas before you worry that I am creating a hopelessly vain girl... before you fear that we too highly value outer beauty around here...  let me get around to the point of this blog...

Ever since this BEAUTIFUL little girl has been able to talk, she has known this verse by heart, 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

Our routine goes something like this:

     Me (gazing upon the beauty of her loveliness):  OhmiGOSH Hannah!  You are just SOOOOOOO adorable!

     Hannah (with a giggle):  I know Momma!  

     Me:  I could just gobble you up you're so cute!

     Hannah:  hee hee hee (at this point I'm usually gnawing on her arm or cheek or neck a little so she HAS to giggle)

     Me:  But Hannah, you know that's not what's important right?

     Hannah:  yes Momma

     Me:  Hannah, what does the Bible say?

     Hannah:  Beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (sorry but when she was two years old we somehow got the order wrong and she just can't seem to switch it around to literally correct)

     Me:  That's right, baby.  The important thing is that you have Jesus in your heart and love Him ALWAYS!

See I know that every little girl, every single woman, wants to feel beautiful.  It's just something that is wired into us.  And I want MY little girl to have that need fulfilled.  I don't want her to grow up thinking she is too fat, too short, too pimply, too, too, too! BUT so much more than that, I want her to know DEEP IN HER HEART, that in the end, that is NOT what really TRULY matters...

a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I have a cat....

Did you ever have one of those moments where something quite obvious hits you like it is brand new?  The other day I was sitting in the living room. Job came into the room, and I thought, "Holy crap!  I have a cat!"

For those of you who don't know me "real and in the flesh" let me just say, I am the LEAST likely person to have a cat. I mean besides a mouse there is NO OTHER creature on the face of this planet who is LESS likely to own a cat than Jami Lynn Kastner (okay maybe my dad too). In my pre-cat owning days, I had a saying that went something like this, "The only good cat is a dead cat."

However, we live in the country now. We are NEXT DOOR neighbors with cows. When it gets cold in the country, mice have a way of finding passage into a warm country house.  Hence the need for a cat.  See our cat isn't just a pet. This is a WORKING household, and every member of it has a job to do.  Job's job is catching mice.  Anywhoos... that is the reason why the other day I found myself faced with the stark realization that, "I have a cat!"

Life hits me that way sometimes too.

     "I have FOUR kids!"
     "I am 41!"
     "I canNOT do a toe touch anymore!

These things SHOULDN'T surprise me, yet time and time again they do.

Here's one that hits me like a ton of bricks over and OVER again:

     Christ died for my sins.

CHRIST the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace...

DIED a horrible, painful, disgusting, excruciating, inhumane death on a cross...

FOR MY... Jami Lynn Kastner, not some random, faceless, nameless person... ME...

SINS my ick, my ugly, the things I wish no one knew, the shameful, miserable, filthy, rotten stuff

Let it hit you like a sucker punch to the gonads!  The absolutely perfect, sinless God of this universe suffered and died for YOU! Not because you deserved it.  Not because you're a pretty good person.  While you were still a dirty rotten sinner... While I was still a dirty rotten sinner....  Christ died for us!  for no other reason than because He loved us SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much He couldn't stand the thought of living without us.

Let the beauty of that OBVIOUS truth hit you like it is BRAND NEW today.

Christ died for my sins.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Be Still...

Over the past year of my life, I have been in a battle for my family, my sanity, and my very life.  (read more)

[btw... this blog was written and submitted several months ago... No worries. John is doing well with no more recent flare-ups.  As always thanks for your prayers!]

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Tomorrow is THE day!  I am so excited I can barely contain myself.  I guess in many ways it is not THAT big of a thing... having my writing appear on the (in)courage website.... I mean: I don't get paid for it and there is no guarantee it will lead to anything spectacular.  Still I can't help feeling EXCITED!  Maybe this site will be what links me with someone who will FINALLY help me get published!  Maybe this site will lead me to MORE readers whose lives I can touch with just a little inspiration from my wacky life. Maybe this site will lead me to bigger and better things for my writing.  Maybe... Maybe... Maybe...

I remember when I was 9+ months preggos with EACH and EVERY one of my children.  I remember the eager anticipation to finally meet this baby I'd been carrying around inside of me.  I remember wondering was it a girl or a boy? Would he/she look like John or me?  Would this baby have 10 fingers and 10 toes?  Would he/she cure cancer? Write love songs? Rule the world? But all of the questions and all of the uncertainty didn't change this one thing:  I knew that NO MATTER WHAT this baby would change my life and that NO MATTER WHAT I would LOVE that child with all of me.

I feel a little bit the same now... I am standing on the threshold of this change and I have NO IDEA what this new arena for my writing will bring.  I don't know if this site will lead me to a beautiful new friend or help me get published, but I know that I know that I know that SOMEHOW it will change my life and that I will LOVE each and every new opportunity it brings me.

I'll post a link tomorrow to the original post I wrote just for (in)courage.  I'm sure it will be on my blog MUCH earlier in the morning than many of you care to be reading it :)

Have a GREAT night!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worship Wednesday: This is the Stuff

[I couldn't find this song on yet because it is so new.  But you NEED to hear it while you read!  So first before you read, follow this link and click PLAY on the music player on the right side so the song will play in the background while you read this.  Don't forget to scroll down and pause the normal music player so it doesn't clash with Francesca.]

MWAH!  I have at least three songs backed up in my soul for Worship Wednesday!  I'm tempted to just put them out there on normal days, but I'll try to hold back!  Here's the first one... heard it Sunday for the first time EVER and it ROCKED my world!

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'Cuz I can't find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35
Sirens and fines while I'm running behind

Come on!  Admit it!  Isn't this SO my life???  Isn't it so everything you've ever read about me here on this blog?  Ohmigosh!  It is MEEEEEEEEE!  Forgotten checkbook not discovered till I'm at the register... Riding lawn mower vs. Blackberry... No water! "HANNAH!  did you turn that lever again?!?!?!".... No taillights AGAIN?!?!?!?  And here it comes!  The one-two punch:

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world
Oh Oh Oh

Impatience - irritation with anything that causes delay... BREAK ME LORD!

Frustration - the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals... CONQUER IT LORD!

This week I truly do have a NEW APPRECIATION for NONE of these stressful, difficult, even HUMONGOUS things have been the end of the world... Here's one of my favorite sayings:

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

So go on today and trust that He knows EXACTLY what He is doing.  In the little things... In the big things... He knows what He is doing!

Love to you all!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...