Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DAY 314: ESTHER 8

I'm sure a lot of this has to do with my general overall grumpy mood but I'm not a big fan of Esther. If Esther hadn't stood up she would have died anyway. Is it really bravery if you have nothing to loose anyway? The King is nothing but nice to Esther but this book of the bible totally gets all up into my issues with men. The gold septer stuff is really obnoxious and irritating to me. The King is Esther's husband. Why does she have to jump through so many hoops with him and walk on egg shells? I grew up walking on egg shells and it completely sucks.

I know there are some great messages in this book about pride, chasing after the wrong things, God's faithfulness and how I need to check my own fear and reverence for God. Right now I can't bring myself to have a healthy fear of the Lord. I know He could take my next breath but I need Him to be Abba. I grew up knowing fear and trembling, relating that to God makes me want to run for the hills.

In my continued rebellion I'm writing nothing about this chapter and quiet possibly the rest of the book. I hate that this book has gotten all up into my junk. I hate that it's still my junk. I hate that this book of the bible makes me want to puke in my mouth a little bit. It's times like this when I feel like I've done nothing but tread water for years. Am I still just here? In many ways I'm in the desert right now. I'm sure I'm being over dramatic but my fight is gone and I don't know how to do anything but dig my heels in. When will all the broken pieces be put back together? So done with all of this.

D
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Monday, May 30, 2011

BOY MOM MONDAY

You know you're a boy mom when you have to ask your child several times to keep their head out of their siblings bottom.

DAY 315: ESTHER 7

Great weekend with my family. Have lots to be thankful for. Feeling tired and rebellious this evening. Didn't want to read today and just overall want to check out. Prone to wander Lord I feel it prone to leave the God I love... This stinks and yet I'm still going to check the box today.

E 7:
Esther has her final banquet with the King and Haman. She asks her request to the King which is to spare her life and that of her people's. The King is enraged and asks whose the culprit. Esther tells him Haman and the Kjng has him hung on the very gallows he made to hang Mordecai. Justice is not always seen like this on this side of heaven but our God is just and justice will eventually be had. Can't wait till that stinking Devil is locked the truck up!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

DAY 314: ESTHER 5&6

Might as well start of with some much needed confession. Ate an entire cinnamon roll for breakfast. Gasp! I know that's not evil but it's a good indicator about where my heart is right now. Yesterday while getting ready for the block party I snapped at my kids. I had just swept and vacuumed and they tracked sand and water into the house. I could not control the words that were coming out of my mouth. I know that sounds lame but I knew I was going down the wrong path but I could not slam on the brakes. Hate that in that moment I communicated to my kids that the mess they made was far more important than they are to me. Breaks my heart when I know I tell them with my words that they are anything less than precious and loved. So thankful that God's wonderful grace is sufficient in my daily weaknesses, failures and shortcomings.

I'm so tired of my pregnant self. The short temperedness, grouchiness, exhaustion, nausea and general overall feeling of ick. Done with it. Frankly, I'm done with being too darn stubborn to cling to the feet of Jesus through all of it. I feel like a big fat whiney cry baby. I should be able to suck it up and do this thing. I don't need help because dang it I should have this under control and be conquering it with ease. When will the broken tapes and lies cease to play anymore? I see the brokenness in this thinking and yet can only seem to extend this kind of grace to another.

His words "you don't have to be so strong" echoes in my head and yet I don't believe Him. I am beginning to understand His goodness despite the circumstances, yet I still don't trust that He won't abandon me.  I turn aside when I need Him so that He won't turn aside first. When the need is great the risk is worth it. I can turn to Him in great need yet stumble in the middle ground. This my friends is painful.  Seems like I've been swimming in the pain the last couple of days. Nothing crazy but I keep bumping into things. The pain of adoption on hold, of innocence lost, of a broken childhood. Who knows what fun treasure chest awaits tomorrow. There is a new found joy in the pain knowing that beauty lies just on the otherside.

E 5:
Esther enters the court of the King and she is received. She requests to have the king and Haman come to a banquet she prepares. They do and the King asks Esther what her request is and she once again asks for his presence as well as Haman's the next day.

Haman sees Mordecai at the gates and he is filled with rage that Mordecai continues to disregard him. He gathers his buddies and his wife and boasts about all that he has and then whines about how Mordecai steals all the joy he has in his accomplishments. Haman's pride is his complete and utter demise. His wife suggests he build a gallows and have Mordecai hanged.

E 6:
The plot thickens. The king had trouble sleeping and has the records read to him. He remembers that Mordecai saved him from being assassinated. The King wants to honor Mordecai since he was never given recognition. He asks Haman what he should do for somebody that the King wanted to honor. Haman thought the King was thinking about him so he spouted off what he would have wanted. When he finishes the King tells Haman to do exactly what he said to Mordecai. Haman had actually had planned to ask the king if he could have Modecai hanged. Haman honors Mordecai but is disgusted and acts like he is mourning afterwards. When he tells his wife and buddies what happened they begin to realize his plot to kill Mordecai and the Jews will not happen.

The big picture here is pride will always get ya in the end. It's not good!

D

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Friday, May 27, 2011

DAY 312: ESTHER 3

Let the weeping begin. I started last night and continued onto today. So not a fan of crying especially crying in front of people but I have a feeling it's here to stay. Honestly, the thought of it makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little. Hopefully, I'll eventually get used to it.

Block party tomorrow. Excited about the beginning of something new on our street.

E 3:
The King promotes a guy named Haman to be his head guy. Everyone bows down to give him respect and honor except for Mordecai. The other officials ask him why and he doesn't really give a response but he tells them that he is a Jew. The other officials ask Haman about Mordecai's not bowing down and Haman is angry. His pride, arrogance and insecurity leads him to desire to kill all the Jews. Haman goes to the King and tells him about a group of people that should be destroyed and the King not knowing what Haman's true motives are gives Haman his signet ring to set the wheels in motion. All Jews were to be killed man, woman and children on a certain day.

God has begun to set the stage for something big. Again in this chapter the theme of pride and insecurity pops up. Left unchecked these things can lead to all kinds of crazy sin. As a believer who struggles with both of these in particular I'm not going to kill anybody over it but the death that can occur is a spiritual one in myself. I think this is exactly what happens when we leave pride unchecked, we die a slow spiritual death.

D

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

DAY 311: ESTHER 2

A trip to the land of all things wholesale and wonderfully wild children has left me pathetically exhausted. This will be short as I'm falling asleep.

E 2:
Really don't like this chapter either. In fact, it makes me a little sick. This is like a disgusting version of the bachelor but instead of the bachelor only sleeping with a handful of the women, he sleeps with all if them. If he likes the girl and can actually remember her name then he can have access to sleep with her again. I know this King did not walk with God but it's still puke city for me for many reasons. Esther is most favored amongst all the women and is made queen. Her uncle who has raised Esther stands by to keep tabs on her daily. I wonder what it was like for him to have Esther in this situation. The King's harem was treated to a posh lifestyle but it's still disgusting.

While Esther's uncle is watching out for his girl he discovers a plot to kill the king. His hero status is recorded in the book of records. God's moving and working out His plan in this situation but having a hard time getting over the rest of the junk tonight. Really dont like this chapter.

D

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DAY 310: ESTHER 1

Started the day off marveling at my amazing husband. An hour or so later I got pissy over a simple request. God has done an amazing work on my heart but I am still very bent to my own selfish desires. Speaking of the heart, while chatting with God this morning and praying for an incredible family and the children they have opened up their hearts and homes to, God gave me a glimpse into my own heart. I've always wanted to be a foster parent for as long as I can remember. In high school I read the David Peltzer books and my heart broke. Reading how a child who has experienced awful experiences at home often go into horrendous foster care situations stirred my heart even as a punk teen. I had been under the impression that the reason it was not time for us to become foster parents was because of the young ages of our kids and their tender hearts. I'm sure that plays a part but the real reason is me. God has grown my heart to truly be vulnerable to give and receive love. This is a fairly new thing for me. I've had walls of steel guarding my heart for a very long time. To have opened our home and to have loved a child freely at this stage and to have been willing to experience intense heartache would have probably set me back. God has definitely allowed me to experience heartache over last year but nothing that I could compare to the ache of loosing a child you have loved dearly. I do look forward to being the BrownTown group home someday but I'm learning more and more everyday that God's timing is insanely perfect! Speaking of perfect I got to hang out with a cherished friend and enjoy this most perfect day.

E 1:
King Xerxes throws a crazy lavish feast for all his peeps which last a hundred and somewhat days. He then throws another 7 day feast for nobleman and poor alike. The booze and the food flows freely. While Xerxes is throwing his bachelor feast Queen Vashti throws a feast for the lady folk.

On the 7th day of the feast the King is pretty hammered and has his eunuchs request the presence of his wifey so he can show her off to his drunk buddies. The Queen declines the tempting offer to be shown on the meat market in front of a bunch of drunk dudes. The King is furious. He asks his top dawgs what he should do. They in all their wisdom say that if nothing is done all the women in Persia will begin to usurp their husbands authority. So Xerces issues a proclamation that Vashti is no longer queen and that husbands should rule their households.

This is not my favorite chapter. The combination of pride, drunkeness and bad counsel is a combination that stinks. I grew up under a tyrannical ruler. Control was huge and was won by domination and fear. Respect was of upmost importance. However, a heavy hand that is not motivated out of love is never respected. In fact, the opposite always seems to be true. Respect has to be earned and true respect can never be forced upon a person. Coming from this background the whole submit and respect my authority bit has been a lot to swallow and can generate a lot of anger for me.

I have seen a man lead in such a way that I willingly follow him. Being married to less has given me a new view of what submission and respect can look like. I'm willing to follow my husband to the ends of the earth because I know that man loves me. His desire is never to control me but to love me. That is the kind of man I'll follow even if in the moment he chooses to lead us down a path that I would choose differently.

I guess my point in all this is that this chapter gives submission and male headship a bad wrap. This is definitely not the picture God intended. However, it does make two other strong points.
1. God can use foolish and sinful actions to accomplish His plan and for His glory. 2. This chapter makes what Esther did even more amazing. If Xerxes was a level headed, wise, God fearing man Esther's story wouldn't be all that impressive. Since the King was known for his rash and foolish behavior Esther had a lot to loose.

D

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DAY 309: NE 13

Didn't rise early. In fact, had my husband put on Boz so I could keep the bed company for another 30 minutes. I did manage to give my kids baths and take them to the library. If you've never taken four kids under the age of six to the library then you've never truly lived on the edge. Four out of five of us were crabby, myself included, but we survived. Got home and put on a toddler acid, AKA the Wiggles, and snoozed on the couch for an hour. Got a boost of energy this afternoon and was able to run around the yard with the kids and a neighbor friend. Hoping these afternoon bursts start creeping into the morning.

NE 13:
The first couple verses had me scratching my head.

Vs 1-2:
On that day the book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people. They found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite may ever enter the assembly of God, for they had not met the Israelites with food and water, but instead had hired Balaam to curse them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into blessing.)

This seems so contrary to God's grace. The current Ammonites and Moabites were being punished because of the sins of their ancestors a thousand years back? Then there's the case of Ruth the Moabite. After reading commentary it sense. These people groups couldn't just live in Jerusalem and claim God's blessing. If they wanted to reside in Israel they couldn't lead a double life, they needed to turn for their old practices if idolatry and follow God's way. It's the same as us Gentiles today. We have to turn from our life of sin and accept the free gift if grace to share in the Jewish inheritance.

The rest of the chapter Nehemiah is kicking tail and taking names. The previous chapters the Israelites make a covenant with some pretty specific promises. Nehemiah returns to Babylon for about 10ish years and when he returns Judah has returned to chaos. They have neglected to observe the Sabbath and upkeep the temple. They have also begun to intermarry with those of the surrounding pagan countries.

Great verse for believers who have chosen to date a nonbeliever.
Vs 26:
Was it not because of things like these that King Solomon of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. But the foreign wives made even him sin!

Nehemiah casts people out in this chapter, rips out his hair and others all due to Israel's sin. It's crazy how in just 10 years the nation Nehemiah leaves that is on fire for God has once again drifted. This drift was probably something that was slow. Lord may I not slowly drift and leave you, the God I love.

In this chapter I got a small glimpse of how legalism can creep in. The hearts of the Israelites were not in a good place. They were blatantly disregarding the covenant they had made to God as well as God's very precepts. I can however see where adherence to the law can become an idol itself. Again walking the middle path and not straying to the left or to the right is something we can not do without God.

D

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TRUE CONFESSION TUESDAY

Pretty confident I've forgotten how to cook for my family. Don't know what I would have done this past month or two with out my amazing Rockstar hubster. Hoping to pull it together this upcoming week and get a meal on the table for my family.

Monday, May 23, 2011

GIRL MOM MONDAY

You know you're a girl mom when amongst the smell of stinky feet and urine, the sweet precious smell of Strawberry Shortcake Chapstick breaks through. There's nothing in the world quite like Strawberry Shortcake kisses from an adorable little girl.

PRAY FOR KATE

Please continue to pray for precious Kate McRae. They had an encouraging MRI but the road is still very long and unknown. Please go to her site and join me in praying for her and her family.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate

Hate that any parent should have this kind of prayer requests but may God's glory and His goodness be known. May His comfort embrace sweet precious Kate and her family.

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DAY 308: NE 11&12

Operation Get With The Program was a nice thought but overall a fail. Had to drag myself out of bed at 8:30. So much for 7:30. Joshua woke up at 6am and once I got him back to sleep I should have just gotten up. Instead I saw it as a fabulous opportunity to sleep for another hour. Had some really awful dreams during that extra two hours so would have done me a lot better to just get up.

Thought about praying after I got up but could only muster my normal good morning God. I don't function well in the morning and add baking a baby in the process it's just all over. I did seize an opportunity to sit down and pray for a block of time mid-morning. To stay focused I wrote down my ACTS and decided to pray through Proverbs 1. Set a timer for 30 minutes and went to town. Kids ended up coming to see what was going on and I quickly explained I was praying and continued to do so. After I was finished Abbie said that sure was a long prayer. The scene today definitely wasn't the quiet serenity I had envisioned would happen to start my day but my kids got to hear me model how to pray and there is a big win to that. Had to cut it a couple minutes short because baby homeskillet would not simmer down but overall not a perfect start but a good one.

Felt like the walking dead for most of the day. I guess I had hoped spending more focused time in prayer would put a little pep into my step. Not so much. The dead did arise at 3pm for some strange reason and I was able to sweep and vacuum the living room. Crazy how a simple task like that can make things feel better. Battled with the bigs all afternoon over cleaning their room. Very frustrating. I know I could have probably handled things better but it was down right ridiculous today. They finally pulled it together when our neighbor showed up. Amazing how that works!

NE 11:
Record of the leaders, priests and other Levites who remained in Jerusalem.

NE 12:
List from ch 11 continues and then launches into the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. The thing that stood out to me today was the role of those who were to offer thanksgiving and praise was mentioned several times. There were Levites whose sole responsibility was to offer thanksgiving and praise. It is interesting to me how complaining can be contagious as well as how a thankful heart can be contagious. It's cool how this very role was to help remind God's people to give Him thanksgiving and praise. I wish my heart was bent to give thanksgiving but I'm much more likely to be a complainer. This goes hand in hand with my love affair with comfort. Nobody likes to be around an Eeyore.
I wouldn't consider myself to be an Eeyore per say but I want to learn how to give thanks to a God who deserves the upmost praise. A beautiful benefit of a heart that beats with thanksgiving is joy. I want to be that reminder to people that our God is awesome and we have much to give thanks for.

D
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

DAY 307: NE 10

Pregnancy insomnia is killing me. Need to make an actual prenatal appt and get something so I can sleep at night. I don't want to cross the bridge to crazyville this pregnancy. 

Kids watched Tv this morning while I tried to snooze. There's no shame in some pregnancy tv but I relied on my own strength all day long. This morning was mediocre at best and it didn't have to be. Baking Baby Popcorn is another opportunity God has given me to cling to Him and rely on His strength but often I choose to go my own way.

Tomorrow kicks off the new face of prayer for me. I still have no idea what this time should look like. The thought of getting up early makes me want to cry. Starting my day talking to God sounds awesome but the physical act if rising sounds horrible. Shooting to get up at 7:30 and hoping my Brownies will sleep in since they are still up and partying. My goal is 6:30 but will roll back the clock little by little to get there. Staying in bed till 9am sounds a whole lot more appealing but there is such joy to be found in obedience.

Passed out more block party flyers this afternoon. Really is great being all up in our neighborhood. Actually eating dinner at a neighbors house tomorrow night. Wrote the names of all the neighbors we've gotten to meet on the stage of the new building. Look forward to seeing how God blossoms and grows the church on our street. This is a prayer request I generally don't like to ask for but please join us in praying for beautiful block party weather on Saturday and pray that people would be stirred to come.

NE 10:
At the beginning of this chapter is the list of priests and Levites who signed a covenant to obey the laws of Moses. The rest of the chapter describes the laws that they are making a covenant to follow.

I'm pretty stinking dense tonight and I'm not pulling anything crazy from this chapter. What I did find interesting though Whole reading through just a few of the laws is that a person could potentially follow every command without fail yet their hearts could still be jacked up. I love how Jesus came and shook all of the rule following Pharisees up. They were great at teaching the law and following the law but they missed out on the very most important thing and that was love. Our picture of what love is as a society is totally jacked up. Real love is a crazy powerful thing!

D

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

DAY 306: NE 9

I had high hopes of productivity today. I envisioned a slayed laundry monster and a pine sol fresh house with vacuumed minty fresh floors. Reality happened instead. I could not get my booty up out of bed today. I must have slept at least half of the day away and was in bed at least three fourths of the day. If I could have made myself get up I'd be feeling guilty today but there was no budging this pregnant sloth today. My sweet husband has continued to serve and love me well through it all. Love that man!!

I was talking to someone the other day about how my continuous struggle with guilt and shame was actually better this week. I got kicked in the face with it Thursday night. We've been off on budget this month due to fastfoodathon 2011 and other expenses that we normally don't have. I had a good chat with God about it this time. Normally I just spin my wheels. Shame and guilt defused. Unexpected income has trickled in this month. Some may say it's coincidence but I say it's God hand directly providing. He cares deeply for the nauseous momma who wants to cook dinner for her family or eat what's in the fridge but can't gag it down. He cares about the little things.

Still very weepy. Just watched a clip from What Would You Do that was filmed in UP. The clip is about abortion and people show up left and right to try to get the girl not to have an abortion. They offer to pray with the couple, ect. So proud to be a Texan right now and of course weepy. I'm a hormonal mess!

NE 9:
Verse 3 sums up this chapter well.

VS 3:
"For one-fourth of the day they stood in their place and read from the book of the law of the LORD their God, and for another fourth they were confessing their sins and worshiping the LORD their God."

Confession and worship go hand and hand. When we've laid out our hearts to God in confession worship becomes an incredibly beautiful thing. We dethrone ourselves and place God where He rightfully belongs. We remember His infinite goodness in light of our fallen sinful state. How can we not be moved to worship after confessing?

The rest of the chapter is praise to God and recounts the history of the Israelites and God's loving faithfulness despite their sinful ways. At the end of the chapter the Israelites come together to sign a covenant to the Lord. This had to be an incredibly moving day for God's people. Gives me goosebumps thinking about it!!

D

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Friday, May 20, 2011

DAY 305: NE 8

Great day with the family celebrating Luke's 3rd birthday. A family nap was a beautiful present for me! My fuss was a little short for our captain of self-righteous justice but his actions were all understandable. One day I look forward to watching Paul's passion for godly justice blossom.

NE 8:
This is a pretty freaking awesome chapter. The people gathered together and asked Ezra to read to them God's Word. They had a desire to be fed by the only one who could satisfy them. While Ezra read the bible for six straight hours they were convicted and wept. This is Nehemiah's response to their weeping.

Vs 10:
He said to them, "Go and eat delicacies and drink sweet drinks and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

I love this and it's so good for me as I struggle with shame and guilt. When convicted of sin there should be true heart felt repentance but God doesn't want us to stay downtrodden. He wants us to celebrate the victory we have through Him and the work He is doing in our lives. The joy of the Lord is our strength! These are really beautiful words to me.

I've most definitely been in isolation mode due to my foul mood and overall just feeling off. I haven't had much good to say or wanted to talk about anything much because I feel gross and I'm always exhausted and overall crabby. However, despite my sour disposition I've been so weepy over knowing all the strength I possess through Christ Jesus. I have found great joy and happiness in knowing the riches I have in Christ. He is my treasure and He is my reward.

Something flipped inside of me when I was willing to trust that God is good even if Baby Popcorn went to be with Him early. That wall that had been keeping me from truly embracing my Savior was smashed down on that day. I'm not guaranteed a single day on this earth with my husband or my kids. I am however blessed to have the beautiful gift of today. Even now as my heart is willing to lay down my most cherished blessings fear creeps in that God is preparing me for something awful. He might be but He might just be drawing me closer to Him just because He loves me. He loves me either way but in my flesh I want nothing but sunshine and lollipops.

The Israelites observe the the Festival of Shelters. They go out and make and live out of temporary shelters for 8 days. This hadn't been observed since the days of Joshua. I'm sure the thought of living in a temporary shelter was not a fun idea especially when you could just sleep in your house. Even if the Israelites thought this they were still obedient. The Word of God was read every day during this festival.

Vs 17:
So all the assembly which had returned from the exile constructed temporary shelters and lived in them. The Israelites had not done so from the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day. Everyone experienced very great joy.

Obedience does give rise to great joy. It can be hard at first but obeying God truly is the path to great joy.

D

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

DAY 304: NE 7

So tired. My hatred for the smell of food and nausea is started creeping back this evening. Thought for sure I was out of the woods after several good days. Still shooting for Monday in Operation Whip BrownTown Back Into Rhythm Day but holding it loosely. Normally I can convince my body to keep going. Baby Popcorn is now running this Mothership and when the tank is empty there is no coasting or running on fumes.

Got to see a sweet friend visiting from out of town the last couple days. My heart hurts that she has to go back to her new home. This is a very good thing for me! Generally my heart has been encased in such a rock hard material that even the loss of a friend wouldnt not phase me. Thankful where God is growing my heart and freeing it up to not only give but also to receive love.

NE 7:
The wall is finished! I can totally get a sense of Nehemiah's humility in this chapter because he doesn't go on and on about the completion. It's a plainly stated fact and he immediately moves on. I can almost envision him saying "of course it's done, is that such a big surprise when God was behind it?". This dude has done his best not to shove God in a box.

The majority of this chapter is the recounting of the lineage of the returning exiles. Before I completely pass out this is my chapter favorite.

Vs 2:
I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.

Feared God more than most people do. There's not a competition for the "Most Holy" award but it would be pretty stinking cool to be known this way.

D

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DAY 302: NE 6

Still stuck in the first trimester haze. I'm aiming to bust on out of it starting Monday. I've got to get this family back into a rhythm. 

Reflecting back on my day I realized that I missed an opportunity this afternoon with a neighbor. I missed it because this afternoon I chose to followy own path and my own instead of choosing to be obedient and yielding to God. I'm tired and grumpy so I chose to disengage and disconnect instead of walking on the right path. I knew what I was doing yet chose not to do the good I ought. So I missed a prime opportunity to pray with a neighbor. I miss out on too much when I choose to walk in comfort and rebellion instead of in the light. I chose a crappy burger off the dollar menu this afternoon instead of top of the line steak. 

There is victory in this situation though. This afternoon my next door neighbor came to me. She came to tell me about her broken air conditioner and the amount of money it's going to cost. It wasn't too gripe and complain. I honestly believe the financial burden of something like this was weighing heavily on her and she came to tell me. She also came to tell me that this weekend her daughter is going to prom. Inbetween the lines of her words was her saddness of her daughter getting ready to graduate and leave to go to college in Washington and her fears over finances. Thankful that she is coming to a place that she would want to talk about this stuff even on a surface level. Really wish I had prayed for her in the moment. Think it would have moved our relationship to the next level and would have been something I could actively do for her situation to help. Praying for another opportunity.

NE 6:
Nehemiah is getting whooped up on in this chapter. People plot to kill him in order to stop the completion of the wall. His adversaries get his people to join them in their plot. They threaten to tell the king a bunch of lies to stir up trouble but Nehemiah just responds that all of that is made up lies from their mouths. He completely trusts God to be his defender and his champion. I absolutely do not respond well in situations like this. Not that I've ever experienced persecution to this degree. I want to jump into a situation and defend myself at all costs. I gotta rise up and protect number one. This is completely contrary to what God teaches. Jesus says to turn the other cheek. This does not mean that Christians should be living doormats and that we shouldn't set boundaries BUT it means we do not have to defend ourselves against others. God is our defender and our protector. Saw this great verse that goes along with this on FB.

Jeremiah 32:27 (New International Version)

27 "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?


How strong is that verse? Even better do I believe this and if I do, am I willing to live it out? Opposition, trials, struggles, tribulation? Is anything too hard for God? I have a fun feeling that BrownTown is in for a good whooping. I don't want to be all doomsday but we are about to start treading in a new area. We are about to open our home and our lives to all the people on our street. It's much easier just having a few fun moments of face time with our neighbors within a stones throw. We are about to start proclaiming Jesus on our street. I know what it can look like when you put yourself out there. It can get ugly but nothing is too hard for God. I don't think it's a coincidence that God will have walked with me for about a year in His word and His truth before launching our neighborhood bible study. I definitely don't think Him drawing me to more intentional and directed time in prayer is a coincidence either. Somebody please remind me I knew this was coming and where it is coming from when opposition indeed begins to hit.

D


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DAY 301: NE 5

Felt nausea free till right about now. Wahoo!! Even now I just feel car sick from being dizzy. Hoping to be starting to come down from the first trimester festivities. Still really tired. Today I think it was more from the insomnia than baby baking. Benadryl is becoming my BFF.

More time knocking on doors today in our neighborhood. Only one half of the street left. A lot of people have seemed genuinely interested this year for the block party. Will be interesting. Getting really excited about what God has in store for our street this summer.  Already being exposed to stories of pain on our street. Praying God softens hearts and people allow Him to be their restorer.

NE 5:
My brain is not working but the gist of this chapter is that there were some Jews who were poor and the wealthy Jews were using this as an opportunity to make some easy extra cash instead of helping out their brothers in love. Oh the tension of money. The Jews were obviously not living out Acts in this chapter. I have to be honest I'm incredibly thankful we are where we are at financially because we have less to have to decide what to do with the excess. I know there are areas even now where we could be more kingdom minded. Since feeling sick I've felt entitled to eat what I feel like eating instead of what's around the house. I've lost count of the number of sausage egg mcmuffins I've shoved in my mouth the last couple months. The smell of food has made me sick so I've had our family avoid cooking at all costs. All of this is understandable but on a slim budget it's not the wisest of choices. Frankly I've been able to dismiss some of that in the name of entitlement.  All of this again is understandable. When the thought of everything else made me want to puke enjoying those 900 hundred egg mcmuffins wasn't a bad thing. I think the thing I'm trying to get at or the thing this points to is my discontentment. Let me see if I can explain.

A got to meet up today with a friend who was telling me about a teacher who tried really hard to get into a prestigious private school so that his kids could go there. He found that his kids grew discontent with what they had or lacked in comparison to the kids whose families paid full tuition for them to go there. If we lived in a grass hut in Africa you better believe I would find contentment eating whatever food came my way no matter how nausous I may be. It's the subtle things that creep in to cause discontent. Honestly I think this has a lot more to do with my heart in general and where I'd like to grow verses the fast food I've eaten over the past couple months.

My overall struggle with comfort seems to suggest that eventhough as awhole I feel content I battle with discontentment on a daily basis. My day was wheels off so instead of looking forward to time being quiet with God I'd much rather watch mind numbing television or spend wasted hours on the Internet looking at stiff that does not even matter. Folding laundry is not what I want to do so I'll spend this bonus five minutes I've found filling up on Facebook. The list goes on and on. Small subtle undertones of discontentment which draws me to comfort rather than Christ. 

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:11-12, TNIV)


I think the key in this verse is "I have learned". I want to learn how to be content in any or every circumstance or situation. I'm so not. Daily I'm not. This honestly has nothing to do with my desire to be perfect or a holy super duper mega Christian. Discontentment draws me to comfort not to Christ. I'm tired of filling up on cheap substitutes when what I really want is some Jesus. God doesn't miss out when I reach for a brownie instead of Him. I'm the one who does. I have left that evil bastard of a deceiver sell me his cheap initiations over and over again. He has spent most of my life killing me slowly, stealing joy from me, and destroying the life God has chosen for me. I am done. I want my treasure and reward here and now. Give me Jesus! I want to live that abundant life Christ died to give me. 


I have no idea how I ended up here but I know it's a good spot to be in. I feel no guilt or shame over allowing my buddy discontentment to roll with me for so long. Heck I didn't even realize the dude was there. Now that I know I ready to learn how to kick him to the curb. My plan? Get my prayer on. Starting Monday I'm going to start getting my prayer on. I have no clue what this will look like but I figure I got until Monday to figure something out.


D





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Monday, May 16, 2011

DAY 300: NE 4

Got off on my days somehow and I'm actually on 300 today. Unfortunately I'm grouchy, irritable and tired. This is definitely not the fruit I was hoping for on day 300 but it is what it is. Another day of floundering. Paid the piper for going nonstop this weekend. My body didn't want to move and I was super crampy today. Bad news on the moving is our house is still recovering from the weekend and I had hoped to make some ground today. Good news was baby peepers still wanting to be cuddled and held a lot and Luke wanted to cuddle this afternoon too. Probably would have missed these incredibly opportunities to snuggle if I had the energy to push through my to-do list. Can't believe my Lukeapotamus is 3 today. He is an incredible force to be reckoned with and I'm so thankful for him!!

Kicked it outside this afternoon and we ended up having two neighbor girls over for pizza. One of them is the girl whose baby shower I went to and her sister. Great impromptu opportunity. Love this weather!!! It's providing the perfect opportunities in our hood! Passed out flyers to our block party to one fourth of our street tonight. Most people were home so it was great getting to meet folks. Looking forward to what God is going to do on our street this summer!

NE 4:
This chapter is not an uplifting read but a good reminder to persevere despite opposition or bumps in the road. The Jews begin to face opposition. The people around them begin to give threats of attacking them as well as constantly belittling them. The Jews begin to grow weary and are only about half way done at this point. They are urged to keep going and now inspire of their fatigue they have to work with weapons and take shifts guarding Jerusalem. They must have experience times of discouragement yet they continued to press on and persevere despite their circumstances.

I think it's easy for me to think that my life as a Christian should be about ease especially if I'm pursuing what I think God is calling me to do. The contrary can be found through out scripture. It's during these times that we are able to lean on God and grow deeper in our walk with Him. I wish growth did not have to be so painful. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS and AGAIN I say rejoice. I want to grow to be this kind of person. Always giving thanks in everything.

D
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BOY MOM MONDAY

You know you're a boy mom when you see a puddle on top of the toilet tank and you instantly know it's pee.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

DAY 297: NE 3

I am so incredibly exhausted. Between a busy weekend on the go and dealing with a sweet baby punkers with an ear infection I could fall asleep standing up. Spent most of the weekend outside which was great because the weather is beautiful. I'm itching up a storm but so worth. 

Started the day off at the baptism. One of favorite days at WM. The testimonies and just everything about it. Choked up during worship. So beyond thankful for my life with Christ. He's changed everything and the best part about it is He's not done yet!

Saw the Breedlove's at the baptism. Once again I sat misty eyed as I watched their three Ethiopian kiddos playing with their biological kids. One is about the age of the boy I dreamed about. This of course makes me want to adopt a sibling group. I can picture coming home with a small gaggle and our Brownies loving on them as if they have always been in our family. I realize the transition would not be this beautiful a picture but eventually I could see it turning into something incredibly beautiful.

Went to a neighbors baby shower this afternoon. It's so strange being at one for a nonbeliever. Everything is just different. People are excited for a new baby but the excitement of new life isn't there in the same way. I probably am making no sense but it was markedly different although I can't give big details as to why. On another note there is already a little bit of buzz about our block party coming soon. The buzz is mainly due to our little evangelist Abbie but it's fun to hear neighbors talking about it already.

NE 3:
This chapter is a list of the people who helped rebuilt the different sections of the wall in Jerusalem. By now most of you are familiar with my hard time with
lists and details. I really liked this chapter though. The phrase "next to him or next to them" was used all through out the chapter. It's beautiful. The Jews coming together working next to each other, side by side, to accomplish a goal. This is how the Body of Christ should work together. We see this happening in the body but imagine the beauty of it if this happened on a bigger scale and globally. What would happen in neighborhoods if believers joined together to have impact regardless of race, background or denomination. I don't know but I love envisioning what this chapter looked like and getting a taste of God's vision for His Kiddos.

D
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

DAY 296: NE 2

Phone about to die and head about to explode. Fun day none the less. Blessed by Rangers tickets today. Kids have been begging to go and we weren't sure we were going to be able to make this happen this season so it was a very unexpected and fun surprise to be given tix by a friend. Love how God works even fun little things like this out.
>
> Little man sick. Ear infection and judging by his lethargy and fever probably something else as well. He slept most of the day despite the ruckus and excitement of the game. Haven't seen him this sick since he had the flu.
>
> NE 2:
> Nehemiah is asked by King A why he looks so sad. He prays during the conversation that ensues with the King and through God Nehemiah finds favor to return to Judah to help rebuilt the wall. The King helps him by writing letters that would give Nehemiah permission throughout the Trans-Euphrates region as well as provide the the timber for the project.
>
> Phone about dead so I love how God places us in just the right situations at the right time to accomplish His will. This happens in good circumstances as well as bad. I can't help but think "always give thanks for EVERYTHING". Need to get better at this. Everything is for Him and His glory.
>
> D
>
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Friday, May 13, 2011

DAY 297: NEHEMIAH 1

Don't know where to start. I'll be honest I didn't want to start at all. Thank you for allowing me to fill your inboxes on a daily basis. Your accountability on this journey means more than you'll ever know.

I think one of my hesitations to write this today was trying to break down NE 1. Nehemiah like Ezra appears to be a prayer warrior. It's encouraging to read about but it's also convicting as heck. My prayer life could probably be best described as apathetic at best. I really hate admitting this.  I think my struggle is that I feel like God's gonna do what He wants to anyway so what's the point. I'm fine with His will being done. There's so many examples in the bible where prayer had lasting impact. I wonder what would happen if I'd push past the prayer apathy and pray like I used to. There's lots of flare prayers going on all day long but I know God is calling me to the longer blocks of prayer on my knees. I don't even know where to begin or how to add this time in. In my flesh it seems almost impossible to find this extra time. Yet I know God is so incredibly faithful that He will not only find it for me but He will multiply the time.

NE 1:
Nehemiah hears from his brother about the condition of the Jewish remnant. They have yet to be able to rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem which has rendered them targets for the surrounding people. They are in a state of just surviving instead of thriving.

Nehemiah weeps, prays, and fasts. His response isn't just a momentary emotional response. I am so guilty of being moved in the moment but am left with no action. Probably part of my problem is that there are many things that get me fired up, I'm still not sure what my one thing is supposed to be. After being at Cornerstone today I'm reminded of what I think it's supposed to be but still lost on what that is supposed to look like.

I think this is where Nehemiah is at at this point. He hears this news and is moved. He's not sure what he's to do but he knows he wants to be part of the solution. So prays and fasts and fasts and prays. He prays for months asking for God's direction. This my friends is what I need to be doing.
I need to be doing this about our future, our current neighborhood, our adoption.

God help me to carve out the space to pray. Not only in regards to time but also in my heart. I wanna be all about you so please help me to clear away the life clutter and the distractions.

D

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DAY 294: EZRA 8

Great night with the CG gals. I noticed that I've definitely got my first trimester isolation on. I started feeling gross again this morning and honestly I just don't feel like going anywhere. Somedays all I want to do is curl up on the couch all day long. It did feel good to have adult conversation tonight and I feel energized by it. I'm sure the twenty cokes I drank and actually eating food didn't hurt either. Can't stand water at the moment and of course the idea of Sprite never entered my mind. Gonna be a fun night tonight!

Good stuff tonight. I think I uncovered another reason for my desire to be supermom. I struggle with the feelings of unworthiness. The lie I have bought is that if I'm anything less than supermom than I must not be worthy of the blessing of my kiddos. I heard myself describing what I think I should be doing and part of me understood how crazy it sounded but the other part still didn't believe it was crazy at all.

Forgot to mention this last night but yesterday when I saw Baby Popcorn and how simply amazing new life is I understood what God meant when I heard Him say "do not fear pregnancy". It definitely didn't mean what I had hoped but it was so sweet and gracious of God to show me not only what He meant but the sheer beauty of new life. It's something that should never be feared because life is something that can never occur outside of His will.

Speaking of will I'm still mulling over adoption stuff. I think I'm finally getting to the point where I can talk to Gladney and ask them questions without being angry. I've been looking into Buckner and I really like what I've seen so far. We considered going with Buckner when we were first picking agencies but since they had completed less than 10 Ethiopian adoptions we decided to go with Gladney instead. That was in 2008 so I'm sure by now they have completed more. I think at this point God is going to need to brightly light our path and pave the way. God will have to show up in pretty big ways again financially if an agency switch is His desire for us. Trying to let go of the control I want to have over this process and just be where God has us. There was an adoption ad for Buckner at DPRC. Would be hilarious if our adoption answer was located in the very place that we would get our first glimpse of our newest miracle. God is awesome enough to do such a thing like that.

EZRA 8:
This chapter starts off with a genealogical record of the families that left Babylon with Ezra.

I love how many times I've seen the phrase "the gracious hand of God was on us". Ezra gives credit to where credit is due. I think sometimes in my Christian entitlement I feel that if God is calling me to something He should not only provide but make the road easy. Since this is expected which is jacked up to begin with I don't use the words "God's gracious hand was upon us". It is all by His grace. I love this image of a tender and loving Father providing for His children.

I don't know why but these three verse were the most intriguing to me.

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.
22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him."
23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

I love that they fasted together as a community. I think this is a spiritual discipline that is often overlooked. I do love how vulnerable and humble it can make a heart.

Verse 22 is kinda tricky to me but makes a beautiful point about the heart. On one hand I could see where Vs 22 could become a pride issue. I'm not going to ask for help. I'm sure this view has absolutely nothing to do with my very own struggle to ask for and accept help. God does provide provision through all sorts of ways and often He provides it through people. On the other hand I can see how Ezra didn't want the King to think that God couldn't protect them. Instead of relying on man for help he fully relied on God for provision. I can see where either way could work. I love how walking with God, He is much more concerned about the heart than the outcome. For me a situation like this could arise and God would lead me to rely on the provision provided through others where as for someone else what He is calling them to do is to trust Him fully and walk in faith. Love how He has us all on journeys that are best suited to draw our hearts closer to Him.

D

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Monday, May 09, 2011

DAY 293: EZRA 7

Saw the wonders of a tiny beating heart this evening. It never grows old. How God creates life is so amazing that it's beyond words. I don't know how a mother could look their baby this way and ever doubt the existence of God. It's a powerful thing. I am of course overjoyed that Baby Popcorn is alive and well but I truly believe my heart was ready to declare God's goodness tonight even if the outcome had been different. For this I am even more thankful. I could not have gotten to this place without the amazing restoration God has been doing in my heart. I truly want my heart to beat solely for the purpose of Him.

I felt honored to be in the four walls of the DPRC tonight. Everything about it made my heart full. It almost felt like standing on hallowed ground. I imagines the women who had sat in the seats of the lobby before me and those that will sit in those seats after me. The victory that is won for life in those four walls gives me goosebumps. I understand a little bit more today why the devil would choose to deceive so many mommies into destroying the very life inside of them. Please join me in praying for women who are facing difficult choices tonight. Pray that they would not be deceived.

E 7:
I'll be honest I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this. It's not the content that's so confusing I'm having a hard time engaging my heart. This truly is sad considering the great spiritual high you'd think if be on. Instead I feel worn out. This journey has been so short. I can't help but think about the hellish journey the McRae Family is on. Cancer is an unrelenting journey. Would I still be willing to say God is good if it was MY little girl battling a deadly brain tumor?

I think my answer can be found in this chapter in Vs 10:
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

For Ezra had prepared his heart. We are sunk if we have not prepared our hearts. This is the very reason I'm even doing this tonight. I hate admitting this but sitting down to read tonight is the very last thing I wanted to do. Yet I know that daily I need to be quiet and still and to reflect in order to prepare my heart. My job is easy, prepping. God is the one who does the changing.

I do like how this verse states how Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law. I get totally get this as most days I have to fight the urge to just check the box. After this battle is won the next next hurdle is actually doing what God has shown us. It's easy to read and get all fired up but am I really willing to be not just a listener of the Word but a doer of the Word. Am I willing to allow what I read transform me? The short answer is yes but it's not easy battling a stubborn prideful selfish flesh. The last one is a good challenge. Who am I teaching? Who are my Timothy's? What I would give for somebody to have taken notice enough of me and to be willing to pour into me and invest. It's funny as I write this I know all too well that my guarded heart would not have even known how to respond to this. For all I know people might have tried but I was too busy pulling a Heisman to notice. I digress.. The point is who am I able to teach and who am I willing to teach. It's obvious as a mom that my main focus needs to be teaching the little Brownies God has so abundantly blessed me with. It's so easy to want to overlook them first.

D

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

DAY 291: EZRA 4

Last night I started spotting and cramping. I bled a lot with Abbie through out pregnancy so not crazy concern. Although blood is never what you want to see when you are pregnant. There's no guarantee Baby Popcorn will make it to full term and there's no guarantee that the won't. There was a point last night that I did just stop and think about the possibility of loosing the baby and and asking God "what's the point of all this". I stopped my pity party and remembered that no matter what happens God doesn't owe me any kind of explanation. As if God was created for my personal benefit. God is good and remains good even if the worst possible tragedy happened. He owes me no explanations but I can stand firm that no matter what He may or may not allow in my life He will always be there. I find much peace resting in God's Sovereignty.

I felt better today so that combined with the spotting hasn't been exactly comforting but it's been nice none the less. I still feel like I'm sick but nausea was better today. This is a strange pregnancy indeed. Hoping to get some sleep tonight. I've had an irritating cough the past couple nights and sleep hasn't been the easiest while hacking and gagging all night long. It has provided some sweet opportunity to pray for friends and just chat with God.

E 4:
This is an interesting chapter. The returning remnant comes up against some adversaries. These adversaries are actually the Samaritans. Samaritans had created a crossbred religion. They married remaining Israelites after the Babylonian conquer. They feared the Lord and worshipped Him but they also worshipped other gods as well. Since they had a belief in the Lord they offered to help partner with the remnant to rebuilt the Temple. The Israelites in their wisdom refused their offer to help. This had to be difficult in a lot of ways as they lacked funds and human resources.

It's hard to understand why these people are called adversaries at first since they offer to help rebuild the Temple. Their true colors continue to come out as the chapter progress and they try to frustration plans of rebuilding the Temple as well as reconstructing Jerusalem. They try to use intimidation and eventually become successful when they write a letter to the King of Persia asking him to look over Israel's colored past. The remnant has been faithful yet because of Israel's past sins the adversaries succeed at halting the reconstruction for a period of time. Israel's past was used against them despite the fact that they were no longer walking the same path.

It's not always easy to make the leap over to a changed life. Skeletons can seem to hide and pop out at the least expected moments. Despite how Satan may choose to throw our past up into our faces, it is just that the past. Despite opposition we can rest assured that God will be our defender. God is Sovereign and His plans will not be thwarted.

D

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

DAY 289: EZRA 2

Managed to catch a mild stomach bug. It's been just enough to put me over the edge. Actually felt better when I figured out what was going on. Didn't think I could deal with nausea on top of food ripping through me like a tidal wave. Too much!!

My sweet husband has continued to serve me and be incredibly supportive and sweet. There's a part of me that wants to suck it up out of fear that he will be done with all this pregnancy chaos after this go round. Granted I don't want many more bios but I think maybe I could one more after this. Who knows my uterus might go on strike after everything is said and done this time. I may even go on strike.

This afternoon a sweet friend came over and served me by deep cleaning my kitchen and bathroom and defunking BrownTown. Very humbling and honestly hard to accept. I got up from my beloved place on the couch but still moved at sloth speed in comparison to her. Trying to rub in the love and destroy the tapes that keep trying to tell me I'm a lazy bum who needs to suck it up and get my act together.

EZRA 2:
This chapter is basically a genealogical list of the returning remnant. A remnant it was.

Vs 64:
The entire group numbered 42,360

At first glance it's not a tiny number but considering how large Israel had become this is a very heartbreaking number. God had amazing plans in store for Israel if they had only chosen to obey. The story doesn't end here. God continues to write His message of love through His people throughout the generations. He never turns His back on His people. Despite the fact Israel turned away so many times God continues to write beauty into their story. Father please help me to stayed focused on the story of beauty that you are writing instead of being overcome by my circumstances or my ungrateful heart. Help instill in me eyes that are open to your daily multitudes of blessing and the beauty of your timing, your plan and your Sovereignty.

D

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

DAY 287: 2 CHR 36

I was speaking to a friend tonight and she had mentioned how God could be using my pregnant condition as an opportunity to be loved. I always want pregnancy to be an opportunity for me to persevere and rise above to be Xena Princess Warrior Mother, AKA supermom. There's not much super momage happening here in BrownTown. There is however lots of mom can't get her booty off the couch to do anything. I think if I was puking my guts out I'd have more reason to extend myself grace for my permanent position on the couch. I'm nauseous but nothing crazy and I do overall just feel ick but I feel like I should be able to suck it up and punch through. If I was this level of sick let's say with a cold I'd suck it up and continue on. My ability to suck it up is gone. I literally cant seem to muster up what it takes to get up and off the couch. If I could remove my bottom from the couch cushion I think I could push through, but I can't. My friend is right though. This is the perfect opportunity to shut off the voices that are telling me that I'm a lazy slacker and not doing enough and embrace the fact that I don't have to be supermom. I want to be supermom and at the same time I want to go crawl into a dark comfy cave and sleep for about a month. Guess I'll have to learn how to be comfortable and feel loved in the middle ground of my couch.

2 CHR 36:
This chapter gets all up in my junk yet is comforting all at the same time. The exchange of kingship happens frequently in this chapter. Egypt comes in and removes and appoints kings as well as Babylon. When Josiah dies his son takes the throne. Since Josiah decided to oppose Egypt they were all up in Judah's business.

Vs 3:
The king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem and imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

Vs 4:
The king of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But Necho took Eliakim's brother Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt.

I can't help but wonder if all this Egypt business would have happened if Josiah hadn't decided to go into battle against Egypt. His decision not only cost him his life but it also affected his children. If Josiah had been this awful evil king this would be easier to swallow but he walked in the ways of the Lord wholeheartedly. I hate that my dang sin is going to have drastic consequences on my kids. This gets all up into my struggle with perfectionism. I need to be perfect so I don't screw up my children. This standard is impossible to live up to. I am a depraved sinner who desperately needs Jesus.

Jesus. He is the reminder that it's not about me. He is Sovereign over my victories and my failures as a mother. God works it all out for His plan and for His glory and His grace is sufficient. All I can do is chase hard after Jesus, stay grounded in the Word and be faithful to be authentic and vulnerable in community. I'm going to screw up in ways that impacts my kids negatively and God in His perfection will be able to use even that for His glory. Whew! Big sigh of relief.

Babylon enters the scene and puts in charge a puppeteer king. The only problem was that this king had a problem with authority. He was evil and did not humble himself before the Lord or listen to the prophet Jeremiah and he could careless about the orders the Babylonian king gave either. As a result the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem.

Vs 15:
The lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place.

Love is slow to anger. God shows this time and time again towards Israel and to us.

Vs 16:
But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.

God doesn't force us to follow Him. He is willing to go to great lengths to pursue us but at some point He is also willing to let us go our own way and suffer the consequence of that decision. Here ends my journey in Chronicles. Looking forward to my new journey is Ezra starting tomorrow.

D


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Sunday, May 01, 2011

DAY 285: MATT 5

Took a detour from Adventures in Chronicles to soak up some Sermon on the Mount. Les and I had been talking about what it means to be poor in spirit. I like him would read the Beatitudes but had no clue what it all really meant. It makes a whole lot more sense than it used to.

Time with God this morning was super sweet. Can't get much better than soaking up the Red Letters. It can be so quickly lost though. I spanked my boy in anger today. I became more concerned about controlling him than about the condition of his heart. Great opportunity to humble myself and ask for forgiveness.

I need Jesus ever minute. I'm a sinner who is utterly and completely lost without Him. I am the poor in spirit. It always seemed to apply to others in horrible situation. Frankly the state of my flesh is in a horrible condition.

MATT 5:
My phone is about to die but this chapter is so rich. Was struck by the word meek today. It's a quality not desired by the world but a quality Christ possessed. It's also one God would like for us to develop.

Vs 6:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.

I love for they shall be satisfied. What else really satisfies? There's no cheap imitation this world can offer that can truly satisfy.

Every single one of these are things God wants to bless us with. These are all qualities that reflect hearts that are seeking after God. This is the transformation that should happen in our hearts.

Would love to go on but phone is going to die at any minute. Till tomorrow.

D

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