Friday, September 28, 2012

It Is Well With My Soul


I have come to look forward to Fridays.  Most of you probably always looked forward to Fridays, seeing as it brings the weekend on.  But for me, Friday is the start of Jeff’s 3 longest workdays.  I am grateful to have something during the week to think upon, and then come Friday, to feed on.  I hope your soul is being fed as well.

Last Friday I wrote, in essence, about one of my favorite verses, Job 13:15- “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”  We talked about trusting the times when God is silent.  The problem is, the story doesn’t end there.  There is a reason why you can still trust Him even if He slays you.  Allow me to finish the story.

There was once a man who had many problems in his life.  He was very poor, and found the only way to make ends meet was to sit on the road and beg anyone who walked by for some food or money.  He was unable to work because he was born without the ability to see.  He got accustomed to his life...being poor and blind became the definition of who he was.  

One day, that changed.

A man named Jesus came and touched him.  The touch immediately opened his blind eyes, but it opened his soul as well.  He was seeing for the first time...in every way possible.  Of course, as seems to be customary among us humans, people began complaining.  There were some people who doubted that he really was changed.  They could not believe that a man who was a certain way all his life could possibly be any different.  They said surely this must be someone else and if it is him, it will not last.

Sound familiar?  Ever have anyone tell you that you will never really be changed?  Ever have anyone doubt the work that Jesus is doing in your life?  Ever doubt it yourself?

The man was called before an assembly and basically put on trial.  They asked him question after question about who he was, and who this Jesus was. They asked him if he ever really was blind.  They asked him how he got healed. They asked him how this was possible, how could a mere man perform a healing.  They wanted answers.  

Instead of answers, the man formally known as “blind beggar” gave them the only response he knew...the only one mattered.  “I don’t know any of the answers to your questions...one thing I DO know: I once was blind but now I see.”  (John 9:25)

Oh praise Him!  Hallelujah to the King of Kings.  Praise be to the Lamb who takes away my sins.  May Your name be lifted up!  Go ahead and worship.  Go ahead and think about the day you gave your life to Jesus.  Remember the day that you were blind and then you could see!  This is why you can trust Him.  This is why you don’t need the answer to your all your questions- because you already have it.  You had everything you will ever need the day you met Jesus.

When the crowd gathers and puts you on trial; when your life is raging and you see no way out; when your doubts and discouragement threatens to overtake you...ANSWER.   

I once was blind but now I see.
I was once lame, but now I dance.
I once was lost, but I am found.
I was dead...but now I LIVE.

This is the end of the story.  This is why we can keep going no matter what.  This is why even death does not close the book of our lives.  This is why.  
Death, where is your sting?  Death where is your victory?  My friends, your labor is not in vain.

See it or not, feel it or not, nothing can separate you from the love of God.  Nothing.


  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TMT (Talk to Me Tuesday)

It's Tuesday!  That doesn't really mean much to most of the world, but here in the land of blog it means I will be doing the Q&A part.  I did have a couple of questions submitted which I will answer, along with questions I get asked on a regular basis.  Again, if you ever want to see me answer a specific question, please e-mail one to me at artyler@mail.com, leave a question in the comment section of a blog post, or leave me a facebook message.

Grab a coffee and let's sit and have a chat. :)

1)  Are you guys going to have more kids?
Haha...I get this one all the time.  To keep it simple, the answer is "We will be glad to have whatever children the Lord sees fit to give us."  We do not use birth control, and we have entrusted this area of our lives to the Lord.  He says children are a blessing, and blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them.  If the Lord thinks it's a blessing, then I am all for receiving it!  We do have times where we practice abstinence- right after having a baby and certain times when I am having health issues (I have a chronic condition- will get more into that another day).  This is something we constantly are in prayer about...it is not about being legalistic and it is not a contest to see how many kids we can have.  It is simply being open to the blessings of the Lord, and truly believing that they are in fact blessings.

2) What homeschool curriculum do you use?
Right now I use Abeka, and plan to use Abeka for K-2 with each child.  When the kids hit 3rd grade, I plan on using Abeka for math, the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) for Bible, and for the other subjects I will be trying something called Switched On Schoolhouse. It is a curriculum which it done entirely on the computer.  The child has his own desktop and every day he/she signs in and all the days work is up and ready to go.  It is very independent and the computer compiles the grades and sends you, the parent, reports and updates.  It is very parent friendly, in that you can control all settings and be in touch with your child through e-mail type messages.  We plan on switching because as the kids get older, I will need to make sure we are set up to run independently.  The reason I will be doing Math and Bible differently, is because I do want to be involved in their education...I don't want the whole thing being done independently.  Abeka is very strong in math, which is something I want to make sure they learn thoroughly.  And as for Biblical teaching, I believe Bible and spirituality is the most important thing I can teach them...I want to be the one imparting spiritual knowledge to them, and have the opportunity to teach and lead as the Spirit directs.

3) What do you do with the other children while you homeschool?
I honestly think this one is easier for me than for smaller families (probably the only time I can say I have it easier!  lol)  I am a bit of a throwback to older generations in that I have always believed that my kids need to learn to play independently and with each other.  In other words, I am not their primary playmate.  This may sound harsh, but I want my kids to grow up not just as family, but as friends.  Sometimes the best way to do that is to make it so they must turn to each other for amusement.  Not to mention that I am quite occupied keeping the house running!  With that said, we really don't have a huge problem during school. The kids not being schooled are either napping (the little ones) or given designated areas in the house that they can play in quietly, and they are responsible for amusing themselves- and they almost always play with one another.  This is not shocking to them, because as I said, I am very big on encouraging sibling play.  And on those days where everything is going haywire, I put on the tv.  No shame in doing what works. ;)

4) Why do you homeschool?
I could write a book on why, but let me try and be concise.
-First and foremost- in our house, we serve the Lord.  There is nothing greater I want for my kids than to have a solid, personal relationship with Jesus.  I want them in our home, learning and experiencing the Lord on a constant, daily basis.
-I want to be with my kids.  I enjoy my children and want to have a good relationship with them
-I want them to have a good relationship with one another.  I don't like the idea of them being off all day in different places, with different friends, in different classes/schools.  There are times where our kids are separated, and they do have activities/things they do apart from one another...but those are limited, they are not all day every day.  The more separated they are, the more they will naturally draw away from each other.  On the other hand, the more time they spend playing and learning together, the more of a chance they have to foster relationships with each other.
-I do not approve of the secular teachings, nor do I like them being taught things without my knowledge.  Just read news articles and you will be shocked at the things that get taught and then later apologized for.  The problem is, you cannot undo something that has already been done.  A teacher has a lot of influence over a child they see for 8 hours every day.  I want to be that influence, and I want to make sure Jesus is that influence.
-I don't want my children influenced by ungodly things.  To be a light in the world you first have to have a solid foundation, and a small child does not have enough solid foundation to withstand the constant badgering of worldliness.  When you plant a seed, you have to take great care in protecting and nurturing that seed because if you don't, then it will not survive.  But if you do, then it will have a chance to grow deep, strong roots and then will be able to withstand even the fiercest storms.
-Socialization.  I want my kids to have a wide variety of people that they socialize with.  I don't just want them to learn how to interact with kids their own age, but I want them to learn to interact with people all ages, races, occupations, etc.  homeschooling gives you the freedom to bring your kids to different places and expose them to a lot of different things.
-Ability to work at my kids' pace.  We all know the school system was not designed for individualized learning.  Kids learn in many different ways, and I want to be able to accommodate that and help them to learn and grow the best way they are able to.
-Home and family.  Again, I truly like being with my kids. I love having our family together, and I love having the freedom to do what we want as a family.  For example, we have an opportunity to go visit some friends in Niagra Falls.  We are able to go without having to hesitate or worry about school schedules.  My kids will get to meet other children, see Niagra Falls, and just have a wonderful time.  I LOVE the freedom to be a family.
I am sure there are many, many more reasons, but this is long enough and I think you get the gist.

  I will say this once- this blog is my own life and my own opinions.  You need to really seek the Lord in all decisions you make, because you are the one who needs to live out your decisions.  This is not a debate, nor is it a forum for argument...everyone is responsible for their own lives, and answers to the Lord, not to me.  This blog and all future blog posts will be written based on my own life and opinion, and I will not give a disclaimer every time I touch on what may be a "hot topic".  I am saying it now so you know my heart.  I have no desire to judge anyone or to tell you what you should do.  I simply hope my life encourages you to think, to be encouraged, and to just seek the Lord on all matters.

Have a blessed Tuesday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Sacrifice of Praise



Wow.  I am amazed at how many of you read this blog.  After I made it public, I immediately felt a mixture of regret and anxiety.  It has been easy to keep my thoughts private, and even easier to tell myself that “one day” I will write.  But now that it’s done, I have all of these feelings ranging from “Will anyone even care?” to “Oh my goodness, how will I ever be able to keep up with this!”  But when the dust settled, I realized that I am actually a little bit excited.

I have decided on a loose format.  If left to my own devices, this will turn into a once a month rambling session, which neither you nor I would want to read.  So I have decided to blog on Fridays and Tuesdays.  Fridays will be devoted to deeper thoughts and issues ranging from following the Lord to growing a marriage to raising children.  Tuesdays will be called TMT-“Talk to Me Tuesday”  (I can tell you are impressed with my powers of alliteration).  This will mainly be a Q&A session.  I get asked a lot of questions about my life, and many of them get asked repeatedly, so I figured I would take Tuesday to answer one or two questions at a time.  And if there are any questions you want to ask, feel free to e-mail me at artyler@mail.com or just ask it in the comment section of one of my blog posts.  So Tuesdays will be short and light, while Fridays we will delve a bit deeper.  Sound good?

Well it’s Friday, so let’s get to it.  I am not going to go for the gusto and try real hard to impress you...first of all, that’s not my style, and second of all if I show you my whole hand then you will have no reason to come back!  No...I am simply going to share what has been on my heart this week.  

The character of God.  I think that if you ask 50 different people to describe God in one word then you will get 50 different words.  God is different things at different times.  When you are hurt, He is you Comforter.  When you are sick, He is your Healer.  When you are joyful, He is your Hallelujah Song.  When you are lost, He is your way Home.  Up until 2 years ago I thought I knew God.

I have never had a hard time following the Lord.  I gave my life to Him when I was 10 and never looked back.  I was determined to serve Him wholeheartedly, whether things were good or bad.  Things have not always been easy, but over the years I knew that He was with me and He was leading me.  Then we moved to Amsterdam.  We spent 5 years in ministry in Albany and while it was very hard, God was near to us at every moment...so when He called us to leave Albany and move to Amsterdam, I simply assumed He would continue to guide us.  The first thing God told us when we finished in Albany was that we were to go to Amsterdam to serve at Calvary church and we were to wait.  So we moved here and began to wait.  And wait.  Jeff got a job, we had babies, and we served at the church.  And waited.  And waited some more.  We get asked what we see for our future, what our plans are, and why we are here.  We don’t answer; we wait.  As of this writing, our moving here was the last time God spoke to us.  

Did we miss something?  Why is God so silent?  Why, when we have dedicated ourselves to serving Him, is He choosing to be so silent?  Why is He sitting by watching us suffer?  Why is He letting us look like fools?  Where are the promises He gave to us so long ago?

These past couple of years have challenged my faith beyond what I have ever experienced before.  For the first time in my life I wondered if God really was good.  If He really was faithful.  If He really could be trusted.  It also challenged everything I thought to be true about myself as well.  Would I continue to serve God even when it gets hard?  Would I continue to know Him based on who He is rather than who I see Him to be?  If He slays me, will I still trust Him?  Job 13:15 is one of my favorite verses...one I have never fully understood until now.  And even now I am not sure I entirely know it's depth.

I still don’t have any answers...but I have wrestled.  Oh, how I have wrestled.  When Jacob wrestled with the angel he came out with a limp and a blessing.  I get it.  These past few years of wrestling have left me limping...but it also left me blessed.  I know He is still there.  I know He is who He says He is.  I know I can trust Him.  I may be a bit bruised and a little more raw then I used to be, but it’s a small price to pay for grabbing hold of God.  

Don’t fear a silent God.  A silent God is just a God who is not seen, not a God who isn’t there.  And with every gut-wrenching moment of silence comes a chance for you to truly worship the Lord.  A chance to make the sacrifice of praise.  A chance to have your life’s walk be more than just a catchy cliche’.  

It doesn’t matter how wide your life has been lived...it matters how deep it has gone.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Going Public

I have decided to go public.  This will probably be the first blog post you have read from me, but it is not the first one I have written.  I have had this blog for over 2 years.  I have not used it all that much, but I have used it to document some personal things, which is why I have kept it private.  It has been my personal diary; a chance to talk to myself, if you will.  So why am I going public?

I guess the simple reason is because people have asked me to.  I have been asked many times over the past couple of years to start a blog.  Don't get me wrong...I don't particularly think that what I have to say is any more important than the next person, but I do think that my life is a bit curious to some.  I have given birth to 6 children in the last 6 years, and none of them are twins.  That is what I mean by people being curious about my life.  Heck, I am curious about my life!

I do love writing though.  I guess the challenge is actually believing that I have something worthwhile to say.  Let's face it, in this day and age everyone over the age of 8 has something to say via the internet.  I don't want to be white noise, and I don't want to be self-absorbed.  I am simply offering anyone who is interested a glimpse into my life- my mistakes, lessons learned, insights found, and jokes told.  I am chronicling my life and leaving the book open on the table for you to read.

You can go back and read my past blogs- I started with a 40-day fast, which I blogged about almost daily.  I also posted about the birth of my daughter, and an "update post".  I have not currently picked my "weekly blog" day yet, nor have I ironed out any details for how I will go about this or what I will even talk about.  How can you sum yourself up into one topic?  I love Jesus, I am a mom, I homeschool, I love to cook and eat, I watch movies, read books, laugh until I cry, and everything in between.  So I guess we will just go with the flow!

One more thing before I formally begin.  You may have noticed the title of this blog site, and yes, it is a direct September 11th reference, although it is so much more than that.  If you are not aware, "Let's Roll" is the famous last line spoken by Todd Beamer, passenger of Flight 93, right before he and fellow passengers fought their hijackers, kept them from accomplishing their mission, and heroically died in the process.  9/11 was tragic, and would have been even more so had they not fought back.  This phrase is the best summary of who I am as a person- body, spirit, and soul.  I believe in fighting. I believe in never giving up.  I believe in standing, even when you're shaking in fear.  Sometimes it looks like charging a cockpit door, other times it looks like getting on your knees and praying.  But ultimately it looks like never giving up.  And that's me.

Welcome to my life.