Thursday, June 30, 2011

DAY 343: GEN 15

Falling asleep sitting up. My big ole pregnant butt is so stinking exhausted and I literally ache. So glad the pace of the last couple days is not the norm. Early thirty will come way too soon tomorrow so this will be freakishly brief.

GEN 15:
God promises Abraham a son. I'm curious as to how old Abraham is at this point. Will need to investigate tomorrow. I also wonder how many years Abraham and Sarah had tried to conceive a child. Were they beyond past the heartache of infertility? God shows Abe the stars and tells him his descendants will be like the stars too numerous to count.

Vs 6:
And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord declared him righteous because of his faith.

Abram doesn't hesitate in his believe, he just dives right in. I want faith like that. I feel at times and for certain things my faith is more like Abram's but most of the time I'm too bust fighting and questioning to dive in.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DAY 342: 1 KINGS 19

Friends this journey with God is crazy. Absolutely crazy. His words never return void, ever. I was listening to Kay talk tonight and things began to click together. I truly believe the Moses at the beginning of Exodus was insecure and not the humblest man in all the earth that he became. There are several things in these chapters that point me to believe this but that's besides the point. When I look at the journey that God took Moses on, it was not marked by comfort or ease. It was one incredibly hard journey and this is what God used to help mold him to become a humble man. The journey is hardly ever easy and I believe it can be detrimental to us if life is always filled with ease.

James 1:2-4
Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

The biblical greats of the bible faced adversity and trials. Abraham's waiting and longing for a son produced a man who was so full of faith that he was willing to sacrifice his own child. Paul, come on that dude faced every kind of trial and he was awesome! Talk about a superhero for Christ. The list goes on and on. Then consider Solomon. That dude had it going on! He started out strong but at the end his fizzled. Sol had no obstacles, he faced no big adversity. I'm not saying it was the reason why he became an idolater but it did him no favors in the long run. Who knows maybe Job would have ended up this way too had he not faced the trials that he did. What I do know is that difficult times just like conflict is not a bad and it can produce such beauty.

I prayed that my life would be marked by James 1:2-4 living. Much fear and trembling when into that prayer. I'll be okay with trials but God can you please only make them these kind of trials? What is the point of achieving the Promise Land if I have not my God?

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8 NIV)

If facing trials and adversity will continue to grow me to know Christ more and become more like Him then so be it.

In all of this the two things that stood out to me the most in 1 Kings 19 is how God appeared in a whisper and God's provision for Elijah during his time of affliction. The whisper points to the need to be quiet and still. In our busyness and insane pace of life we expect to hear God in the trembling rocks of an earth quake or view His power in the strong and mighty wind or in a blaze of fire. God does speak in these ways yet most often I believe He appears to us in the whisper. His beauty and majesty are shown in the quietest of ways, in the things we daily take for granted. It's when I go about my day on my plan and on my schedule that I miss it. I don't want to miss the whisper anymore.

God provides for Elijah in the desert. Seeing this could not have been more perfect for today. During those trials that I am so fearful of God can and will provide. How incredibly good is our God!

D
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DAY 341: COLLECTIVE

Spending time with my hubster equaled watching the documentary Blood Money. Might not be much of the quality time experience for some but for us it was right up our alley. My heart is heavy. I'm reminded once again that my sin is no different from the abortionist. I'm no different. I've been rescued and redeemed by the great I AM.

E 34 Vs 6&7:
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The lord, the lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation."

Forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

I can't help but be faced with the atrocity of abortion and not wonder what role God would have us play in the fight for life. I asked and His answer was clear, adoption. This is where my confusion lies. With our heart and our desire to help end abortion domestic adoption makes the most sense to me. I do know that God would lead us down the path of international adoption to lead us straight to domestic adoption. I can hardly make sense of it all but I know with great confidence that God has clearly called our family to adopt. The when, the how and the rest of the details will all fall into His place in His sweet precious time. For the first time since we started this journey I feel much peace about waiting for God to speak. I keep wanting the neon sign and I believe He has one for us. I've desired that the children that are to be ours would be dropped into our lap. I'm not opposed to fighting for my kids but I don't want to fight without God and in vain. So I sit and wait for the Lord, the great I AM to speak.

Exodus 34, Judges 6 and Jeremiah 1 all fit together beautifully. Loved this verse in E 34.

Vs 14:
You must worship no other gods, but only the Lord, for he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.

I love the wording of this version. The jealous God thing always seemed controlling and oppressive to me. Jealous in light of the fact that he is passionate about a relationship with each of us is beautiful. Why is passionate about this relationship despite the fact that we are covered and stained with disgusting sin?

J 1 Vs 5:
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

We were not all created to be prophets yet we were all created for a purpose. That purpose was never to live a safe and comfortable life. It was never about glorifying ourselves but to have a passionate relationship with the great I AM in order that we might glorify HIM.

Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah were all shocked to be called by the Lord. We have the benefit of having access to His very words. We should NOT be shocked when He calls us. Not when He calls us to strike up a conversation with the young mom at Mcd's or to start a neighborhood bible study or whatever the case may be. He will give us the words. He will lift our hands. He will guide and direct us. He does all the work and all we need to do is to be willing. Willing to say yes Lord, here I am. I desperately want this passionate relationship and love affair that God is jealous for.

Today I am using my precious VBS time to spend time with God. When I got home Joshua had fallen asleep in the car. I prayed that the transfer would go well in order to truly have a quiet time. I grew angry and even questioned God why the transfer was a miserable failure. Doesn't He want me to have a quiet time? Of course He does He just wants to teach me that perfection is not what is required. He can teach me and fan the flames of passion even when there is a cute and fussing poopy toddler about. My time is much more fulfilling even in the chaos when I chose to walk with God and His plan for the day instead of focusing on the growing monster of a to do list. Today I am choosing to honor God and walk in His ways. I may not get a single thing done, even though there are lots of things that really need to get done, but I will begin my journey to have not just a relationship with God but one filled with passion.

D


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Monday, June 27, 2011

DAY 340: EXODUS 34 & JUDGES 6

Note to Self: When provided the opportunity quiet time first THEN do those meaningless tasks that seem so incredibly urgent at the time.

Kids took forever to fall asleep and little bit is still up shaking things up in BrownTown. Kicking myself for not doing this earlier.

E 34 & J 6:
Not enjoying the skipping around as much as I normally do. Believe it or not my head is all up in Job. That's really funny since before LE Souffle I didn't want to touch Job with a ten foot pole. Looking forward to diving into that book with much zeal in a couple weeks.

Going to delay my writing for today to spend time with my hubster. I did read and thoughts are rolling around in my head as usual. Might pick up later.

D


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

DAY 339: EXODUS 34

Oy! Should have done this earlier today. I read but wouldn't sit down and do the good I ought to do. Frankly I chose the mission to seek and destroy the laundry monster over everything else. It seemed like the right choice at the time but in retrospect it was most definitely not the best choice. The best part of this morning was sitting in the midst of chaos and giving thanks. I was frustrated at never being able to complete a single thing from start to finish and ticked that reclaiming one area of the house results in the utter destruction of another area. The kids were wild and tired and my constant grumpitude made for an unpleasant situation. I thanked God for the day and that it was hard. It's in the difficulty that He grows me. Frustrated that I continually loose sight of what's most important but trying to embrace the few victories sprinkled into the muddied water.

E 34:
Another interesting chapter. Can't possibly think straight enough to comment. I love how Moses fasted from bread and water while he was on the mountain. Man does not live on bread alone. Powerful stuff.

D

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

DAY 338: EXODUS 33

Reading the Well Trained Mind and getting pretty fired up about our upcoming homeschooling adventure. I've looked into all kinds of different curriculum and camps of homeschooling. Les and I have talked about our vision for our children's education and what we desire to teach our kids. This book describes what we are trying to accomplish and gives a very tangible framework on how to accomplish those goals. I'm excited about teaching our kids and frankly learning right along with them. Until beginning to research education I had no idea how much my own education lacked. It's almost embarrassing the vast amounts of missing knowledge I possess. There is definitely still an amount of fear and trembling about entering into this process but growing more confident that if this is the road God is calling us on He will provide for us every step of the way. This is just another opportunity I have to cling to His feet.

E 33:
How do I even begin with this chapter? It's sweeter than the piece of chocolate cake I just ate and let me tell you, that cake was good! The one thing that stood out to me the most about this chapter is the intimate relationship Moses had with the Lord. God doesn't play favorites with His children which means He desires to have this same type of relationship with each of us. I see God as Father and friend in this chapter. I'm also reminded that I'm incredibly unworthy and my sin and lack of understanding keeps me from being able to see all of God's glory. I shove God in the box all the time and make my view of Him more like me. The contrary is what I long for and desire. My hope is that the more I am able to view the glory of God, the more I will become more like Him.

I couldn't help but think about how rare the Moses' can be. In all of God's people during this time period the ones that truly stand out are Moses, Joshua and Caleb. The rest are easily stained by the world. I know these three guys were not the only upright amongst the Israelites but the general behavior of the Israelites as a whole suggests that most were lukewarm at best. I don't want to fall amongst the ranks of all the rest. I want to be one of the few; yet I know that it comes at a cost. I always have enjoyed going against the grain. Hopefully this quality will serve me well in this pursuit. One of my favorite things about God is that He is against the grain. He takes the wisdom of this world and turns it upside down. I simply love this. As much as it can be painful at times I love when God flips me upside down. He does this because His love for me is so vast. The same face to face relationship He had with Moses is the same kind of relationship He desires to have with me. I want to grow to be like Moses to understand fully that the Promise Land becomes useless garbage if my God is not there. My desire is to want and crave God more than anything else. I want my body to ache and my bones to grow weary without Him. I no longer want to grow to starvation before I realize that I desperately need food.

I'm probably raming and not making much sense. This chapter is much like what the Well Trained Mind has been recently. I've had this picture in my head about what I want my kids school experience to look like and there it was in black and white. I read this glimpse of what Moses relationship was with God and that's exactly what I want. I want face to face. I want to know Him more so that I might better do His will. My first thought was that the only thing missing is the practical how to accomplish this picturesque relationship. Yet it's written all over the wonderful book. Be still. Remain in me. Be thankful and rejoice in all circumstances. Be humble. Walk with me from sun up till sun down. Rely on me for strength. The list goes on and on. I've been walking around in my sleep the past several weeks. Unfortunately I struggle with spiritual narcolepsy and it happens often. I am easily lulled to sleep. Arise of sleeper...

Love this version of Ephesians 5:16
Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

The light is shining and I'm thankful for my never failing and always faithful alarm clock.

D

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Friday, June 24, 2011

DAY 337: EXODUS 4 & JAMES

My heart is heavy tonight. Instead of reading my bible first I did some googling in search of an article on gender selection and feminism. The pro-abortion rhetoric of choice is heart breaking. I read a paper on a feminist website about the philosophy of using medical technology to base abortion on gender and disability. The thinking is so flawed and yet they are so incredibly blind to it. It all comes back to self and the desire to make oneself God. Selfishness is the absence of love and is the root of all sin. This is the very reason why all sin is viewed the same in God's eyes. I am the same as the militant abortionist, as the sex trafficker, the rapist, the child abuser, ect. I am selfish and daily I throw love out the window to pursue self. I want to separate myself out from other sinners, to put myself in a better standing and view myself in a better light. Yet, I'm just the same as every other sinner no matter how heinous I desire to make their crimes out to be. I am in desperate need of God's grace just like everybody else. The weight of this is heavy. In my flesh I'd much rather sit here angry over the insane thinking of militant abortionists and believe that I'm better than them.

Today at McDonald's there was a mom with a little boy and a newborn who was hanging out all over the place. The thought "you should go talk to her" crossed my mind which was instantly followed by "I don't want to do that". I moved to a two seater table in order to watch my kiddos better and the thought that I should engage her and her friend possibly her mom came across my head again. My response? If God provides opportunity then of course I will. What the heck does that even mean? He provided opportunity the moment she walked into the door. My name is Jonah!! I admit many times I don't want to engage because I'm selfish fool who doesn't want to put forth the emotional or mental energy. I have one word: selfish. Why would I ever think that I'm too tired to love? I could smack myself. I'm thankful for a God who extends His wonderful grace to those who repent and who offers second chances.

More bits of confession I ate chocolate cake tonight and I'm pretty confident I'll eat more later too.

EXODUS 4:
I lost my LE Souffle book so I'm going to continue on in Exodus 4 which has been rolling around my brain and I'm going to read James tonight. Once my beloved friend who is on the 365 Challenge with me emails me her daily email I'll know what chapter I should be on.

Back to Moses and his insecurity. I've really wanted to dissect Moses conversation with God because insecurity is such a struggle for me. When I think about it the miss today at McD's had a whole lot to do with insecurity. How am I going to strike up this conversation? What if it's just awkward? What am I going to say and how do I switch it to meaningful things? Frankly it was just easier to sit on my butt and do nothing than to try to go to Egypt. The big glaring problem with insecurity is that it is self focused. It becomes all about me and what I think I can do instead about it being all about God like it should be. I'm so tired of living a life so incredibly self focused.

I do find it interesting that Moses is pretty stinking obedient and willing to follow God's command up until it involves other people. Things are cool when the relationship is just between him and God. God tells Mosey to throw down his staff and he does. Moses is so freaked by the snake he jumps back and yet he's willing to pick it up by the tail when God tells him. He doesn't hesitate or argue with God he just does it. Moses is much more reluctant to bring his faith into other areas of his life. He doesn't want to deal with Egypt and he hasn't brought God into the mix with his family. I have areas of my life that I don't want to bring God into the mix either. I want to remain stubborn and self reliant. I want to stick to my definition of strength instead of being willing to allow God's glory to shine in my weakness.

Off to read some James. I'm sure I can use a little more conviction tonight. It will be delicious with my chocolate cake.

D
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

DAY 336: EXODUS 4

I'm tired and have a perma headache and little bit is still up and kicking it. Better day today and there were times I even felt like my old self again. Still struggling to find my way out of grumpsville.

Meat Up went well tonight. For a night we expected to be solo it ended up being a pretty solid turn out. It's fun because every week there is a different dynamic and a new flavor. Looking forward to seeing what God does with all of this.

E 4:
There is so much symbolism and things not blatantly obvious in this chapter that completely flew right over my head in this chapter. It also feels like there are so many things unsaid between the dialogue of God and Moses. At first it appears that right off the bat Moses is pretty humble. I'd like to argue that his responses are more due to his struggle with insecurity and the skeletons in his closet than about humility. I believe Moses grew to be humble as he learned to walk in the power of God's strength during the great exodus. I could be completely wrong but the very thought is incredibly comforting to this insecure prideful gal.

Not sure I can go on as my eyes refuse to stay open. So lame yet I must remember this is not about perfection it's about inhaling God's Words everyday.

D

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

DAY 335: EXODUS 3

Three sweet Brownies running warm, snotty and sore throated. It was a lazy day filled with pj's and movies. Didn't have it in me to leave crying babies or a sweet tired husband to run off to bible study tonight. Curious as to what everyone talked about this week. Job is not an easy read and challenges Christian entitlement. It pangs the very heart of parents as we are forced to realize our very own children must be held onto loosely.

Reading The Magicians Uncle to my Brownies and I love the part of Aslan singing Narnia into existence. The description of his strength and power coupled with his gentleness is so great. This is only a very limited glimpse of who God really is.

E 3:
The famous burning bush. It's funny, I just read a critique of Christian Classical Education from a secular prestigious school teacher. The teacher pointed out a possible problem during the grammar stage of learning due to the hierarchy of learning but the biggest beef was grounding students firmly in the Word of God as the everything of life. How could children who are taught to believe fairy tales such as talking burning bushes be anything but brainwashed instead of educated. To chalk up God's display of power this way is sad.

There's several verses in this chapter that I love just because of the way they are worded.
Vs 4:
When the Lord saw that he had caught Moses' attention, God called to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
"Here I am!" Moses replied.

The Lord saw that he had caught Moses' attention. You better believe the Lord had caught Moses' attention!! I can picture this exchange. Alright buddy now that I have your attention i've got something important to tell you. I've heard how my people have been suffering. I haven't forgotten them. Instead I have a plan to deliver them to their own land that is flowing with milk and honey and I want you to be a major player in my plan.

Vs 12:
And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

This is shows the faith Moses had to have to follow God's command. Other than the burning bush at this point there was no other sign God showed Moses. He just said the proof I have sent you will happen after the fact.

Vs 5:
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

A reminder of how holy God truly is. He's not my magical warm and fuzzy genie in the sky, He is a powerful God!

My favorite of the chapter.
Vs 14:
God said to Moses, "i am who i am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'i am has sent me to you.'"

I AM who I AM. This is what is so interesting. Our God is so incredible and so complex. Our minds can just not fathom the fullness of His majesty. As awestruck as I can become with God it's only a tiny fraction of who He really is. God is incredibly complex yet the message is so simple, love. When we walk and operate out of the love God gives us everything falls into place. Love conquers all and that's no fluffy fairy tale either. I AM who I AM. Simple yet such sheer power in those five words. I love this amazing God of mine!!

D


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DAY 334: JOB 42

Day two of Hammer of Thor and I must confess that I spanked my child while angry not once but twice. What is worse is that I feel justified in it since this child was going to be spanked angry or not. The sheer defiance and disrespect is jaw dropping at times. The irony of it all is that this child was receiving the consequence of sinning in anger. I can see the mirror held in front of my face and yet I still feel justified. Spanking while angry is not the kind of parent I want to be but considering I was hit, spat at, screamed at and then had to wrestle the child down in order to bring down the hammer of Thor I feel thoroughly justified. What's even more ironic is that my kiddo probably felt just as justified in his actions as well. Pride is the essence of all evil. I did confess my anger and asked for forgiveness both times. Bleh.

Tonight I sat by Lukey's side as he fell asleep. It's been awhile since I've had the feeling that we would someday loose him. Tonight as I watched him struggle to keep his eyes open and heard his breathing change the thought "this is what it's going to be like" crossed through my head. We exchanged smiles, I kissed his sweet perfect little hands and I prayed that I'm just a crazy kook whose is accustomed to the bottom falling out. It occurred to me tonight that whether I'm just silly or God in His goodness is preparing my heart I'm thankful for this day with Luke. These precious children are not mine to keep, they are His. Every single day with each of them is an amazing blessing and a gift even on the hardest days. I feel ashamed that I take the days I've been so freely blessed with for granted. Every single day is a gift from God. Every day that I get to spend with Les and my Brownies is a most amazing gift that I need to give thanks for. Lord help me to live a life filled with gratitude instead of a life filled with grumbling and shaking of fists.

JOB 42:
I'll be honest I'll feel asleep while trying to figure out what in the heck all of this means. All I can really come up with is God's sweet mercy. God is angry at Job's friends for being wrong about Him yet their consequence is to offer 7 rams and 7 bulls and to have Job pray for them. Our God who is slow to anger doesn't deliver a severe punishment for their foolish thinking.

Job humbles himself before the Lord and God restores everything that was taken away from him and then some. God doesn't have to do this for Job and yet He does. I still have trouble with the fact that I know the loss of his first 7 sons and 3 daughters still stung. Although God gave Job 7 more sons and 3 more daughters and lived to see six more generations of children and grandkids the ache for the loss of his first set of kiddos probably never fully went away. As a parent this is sometimes hard to reconcile yet I have to go back to the fact that our children are ultimately the Lord's to do with as He pleases. This is not easy yet where I desire to be.

D

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Monday, June 20, 2011

DAY 333: JOB 41

Bringing down the hammer of Thor in BrownTown. Attitude has gotten way out of control around here. Trying to balance grace with swift justice. Seen some fruit already. Think I might line all four up in the AM and dole out swats early in hopes of a wonderful tude free day. The truth is I've been lazy in my parenting lately and I'm reaping the reward of my own disobedience. My kids do not like to see each other suffer consequences of their disobedience. Pretty sweet to see the love they have for one another. Other than sympathetic wails during times of justice they have been at each others throats. I totally get why this is so upsetting to God.

JOB 41:
Okay so there's still parts of this that's really hard to swallow. In my translation of Job in Ch 40 the word hippopotamus is put in place of Behemoth. In Ch 41 the word crocodile replaces the word Leviathan. When I look at the descriptions of the mere hippo in regard to CH 40 I'll be honest it's seems incredibly exaggerated. I don't believe that I worship a God who exaggerates. This has made Ch 40 & 41 seem a little bunk. However, it's much easier for me to swallow the idea that there existed animals such as the behemoth and leviathan that I don't understand.

I read ahead a little last night and the word crocodile really got to me.

Vs 1 & 2:
"Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook?

The first thing that popped into my prideful head was yes they can be hooked. Swamp People, duh! Then I googled the differences between crocs and alligators. The crocs Job would have been familiar with would have been the awful mandating crocs from the Nile. They were huge and deadly and would have made the hunters on swamp people cry. That made sense to me. I once again was confronted with my incredibly prideful self.

Read today and it was a lot easier to read until I hit Vs 19.

Vs 19-21:
19 Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth.
20 Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.

This just seems like some made up bull if it's just regarding a crocodile even one from the Nile. However, plug in the word Leviathan and I'm happy as a clam. For better or worse this is where I'm at.

My favorite verse of the chapter:
Who will confront me and remain safe? Everything under heaven is mine.

This reminds me of the fear I should have of God because of how stinking powerful He is. This makes my pride almost worse. Who am I to think better of myself than I should? Who am I to question God? Who am I to try to place myself upon the throne? Who am I and yet I do. In light of God's awesome power I can't help but stand face to face with God's sweet amazing grace.

D

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

DAY 332: JOB 40

I am so unbelievably exhausted despite the best nights sleep I've had in weeks and a nap. I'm quiet certain this will be short.

JOB 40:
I'll have to revisit Vs 7-14 tomorrow because it's really really good. Don't have the brain power to put my thoughts into words about it now.

Vs 15-24 goes back to animal kingdom. I hate to even admit this but chapter 39 and the last part of 40 have hints of mythology to me. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is but it's hard for it to not feel hokey pokey to me. Do I believe this chapter is God breathed and accurately describes the power, might, creativity and order of God? Yes but the style of writing kinda gets to me. As much as I know without a doubt that God is God there still are moments when I question whether or not this is a big ole crock. Those moments are brief but still always surprise me when they pop up.

D


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Saturday, June 18, 2011

DAY 331: JOB 39

Basking in the complete and rare silence of our house right now. My sweet husband offered to take four wild children to church tonight solo so I could rest. Exhausted today and have napped off and on all day. Not sure if I'm getting the funk Paul had or if it's allergies or baby growth spurt or a combination. Either way I'm pretty wiped today. Taking advantage of this time to take a shower without wondering if any of my children are destroying the house or mangling each other. It was quiet nice. After this email there's a very good chance I'll be taking Tylenol PM and calling it a day. Starting to feel achey besides normal pregnancy aches and pains so pretty sure I caught the VBS Flu.

Sonogram was a bit disappointing today but still glad we did it. It's always great to get a peak at a miracle and it was cool to be a lab rat in order to help DPRC volunteers train. No fancy 4D but maybe I'll get another chance for the swank before we meet Baby Popcorn. They guessed at gender but I had no clue what they were talking about by the picture and they said not to bank on gender just yet. Since I didn't see it and the tech was a complete rookie I'm not holding my breath either way. Today wasn't exactly what I had hoped for but still glad we did it.

Ethiopia is continuing to slow down on adoptions. I'm more able to see the big picture now, kinda. In ideal world would have made most sense to bring home Baby E after Luke when wait was short and craziness was low but could not imagine our lives without Joshua. Baby Popcorn could have been none existent and halfway through the wait list Ethiopia could shut down completely. Things not looking good over there. I don't understand the path we've been on but God does and one day we will bring home our sweet little boy. In my flesh I want to go running over to Buckner but feel that this is the season that I need to just wait and pray for the families that know their children by name but will have an incredibly long wait in front of them before they can bring them home.

JOB 39:
This chapter is like an episode of animal kingdom. I even learned a thing or two about the ostrich. There's no verse that stood out and made my mouth hang open but the chapter as a whole is the perfect reminder that nothing is coincidence, nothing. God planned and specifically designed each and every animal right down to their behavior traits. Not only that He cares about His creation even though they do not have souls. If God would care for the beasts of the fields with such tenderness and love how much more does He care about us.

It also has made me think that the many qualities that I possess that are not my favorite or the talent I wish I possessed was all in God's amazing plan. I should celebrate the way God made me more instead of wishing I was made some other way. As a parent it's easy to see the beauty of personality traits that make parenting more difficult at this stage. I can also see traits in my children that are really good but if left alone without guidance could turn into something not as beautiful. I love how training and shepherding are necessary to help bring out the beauty. What an honor to be a parent? What bigger role will I ever play that will have more lasting impact than this? Love it!

D

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Friday, June 17, 2011

DAY 330: JOB 38

Weepy again but not tears of grief. I am a sappy hormonal mess. Trying to be okay with this. Tired so this will probably be short. Had breakfast solo with my hubster this morning thanks to an awesome friend and VBS. Confessing ahead of time that I'm going to shove my face into a piece of delicious strawberry cake made by a sweet friend for Lester's birthday.

JOB 38:
This chapter is just too much to even try to tackle. It's filled with God's majesty. It's really cool and it's a humbling reminder of God's awesomeness. Who am I to ever question God? He has His reasons and I need to trust that God is incredibly good!

This chapter is like a delicious steak dinner. The images it produces of God's creation is incredibly sweet.

My favorite verse is part of 6 and 7 when God talks about laying the earths foundation.

"who laid it's cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"

This is so beautiful to me. Love the hint of sarcasm I detect in this chapter too. Just sayin.

D


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

DAY 329: JOB 2

Going in for a sonogram on Saturday and hoping to see if this little monkey dunk is a boy or a girl. Going on our second sono but I still haven't gone to see my midwife yet. Guess I should get on that.

Better day today. Incredibly frustrated during nap time today but tried to remain in Him. Made better choices over all and was willing to abandon my plans which always turns out better. Started our day off sitting down together as a family. Sets the tone for our day in a very good way.

JOB 2:
Marked stuff off in my actual bible and now I'm typing this in a mostly dark bedroom cuddling with a sweet baby. Will try to wing it the best I can. This chapter starts off almost identically to Ch 1.

Vs 3:
Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause."

I don't like how "even though you urged me to harm him without cause" is worded. I looked up several different translations of this verse and frankly I don't like any of them. I don't like the idea of Satan being able to urge God, persuade God or movedst God. I instead like to picture God telling Satan to jump and Satan jumping. This is not how God works with us so why would the way He relates to Satan be any different? If humans can persuade God through prayer why wouldn't Satan be able to as well if in the end it all works out for the glory of God?

Vs 9:
His wife said to him, "Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die."

I love the question "are you still trying to maintain your integrity"? First off I get an image of the power a woman holds in her tongue. She has the power to build up her husband or to tear him down. Secondly, this most definitely points to my sheer lack of integrity. I'm willing to ditch integrity for much smaller reasons that this. Yet I so want to be grown to be a woman who is not willing to ever compromise her integrity.

Vs 13:
Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.

"No one said a word to Job". I'm beginning to understand that some of the very best things we can do is to not say a single word.

D


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DAY 328: JOB 1

Another day that I wish I could take back. I didn't get up early and in my rush to get out the door I snipped and snapped at the kids. My parenting would not have won any awards today. It's not about a prize, it's about the state of a heart and mine is in need of a tune up. Tonight as I headed to bible study and confessed I asked God what was up. The answer believe it or not came blaring out of my radio.

Philippians 4:12-13
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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I have not been content this week. I feel like I'm twenty paces behind this week and it's driving me bonkers. I've had it in my head if I could just get up early and spend time with God I could straighten this mess out. There's definitely some truth to this but my focus has still been about me whipping everything into shape out of my own strength. If only I could wake the dead, check off my God box then I could kick some tail and take names.

John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

I haven't remained in Him this week. Prior to Baby Popcorn I was falling into a groove and wasn't relying on God to get through my day much. I was walking with Him but didn't need Him to grab my hand. I'm being reminded yet again that I'm dependent on Him for my very next breath. I got a small picture of what it would be like if I did remain and rest in Him while walking to my car tonight. There's a whole new level of goodness God wants to show me if only I'd remain.

Prone to wander Lord I feel it prone to leave the God I love...

JOB 1:
I've been putting off reading today out of fear of my response to this upcoming week. After my Esther explosion I'm weary of entering into another week of insane emotions. Last time I read through Job there was lots of anger. I remember specifically questioning why God would even enter into a pissing match with Satan. Very mature and humble I know. This time after having just read Genesis I have new eyes to see.

Vs 7:
"Where have you come from?" the Lord asked Satan.

Satan answered the Lord, "I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on."

God asks a question that he already knows the answer to. The question is why does God do this? Why does God even engage with Satan? I know why God continues to engage with us in our sinful state, He wants to restore relationship with us. He sent His only begotten son to die for us so that our relationship could be fully restored to Him. So why does God continue to engage Satan? I believe it's because Satan is also God's created and God wants to restore relationship with him. That kind of love is beyond comprehension to me.

I can't help but think about Satan then. It's not like Satan started off evil. He became prideful and then desired to become God. I can't help but go back to the tree in the Garden. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If all Satan knew was complete and utter goodness then who was tempting him to become like God? If Satan had never fallen himself would Adam and Eve have eventually sinned anyway? Has Evil always existed with Good? Can Good be Good without Evil? All this just makes my head hurt.

I believe God is so Good that He desires even for Satan to humble himself, repent and turn back to God.
I think this is what Job is all about. It's God's attempt to show Satan how futile his attempts are in the end and that it will not end well for him. Isn't that what God does for us? He opens our eyes to how futile our ways are without Him.

If God is so good then why would He allow His children to be hurt in the process of His attempts to restore relationship with Satan? God is so Sovereign that He can turn our trials and our suffering into something that is for our good.

James 1:2
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

Consider troubles an opportunity for great joy. It's an opportunity for God to draw us closer to Him in order to grow us, shape us and mold us.

The parable of the one lost sheep is sticking in my head. He leaves the other 99 in order to pursue the one. This leaves the other 99 open to attack because He does not want the 1 to be lost forever.

I'm off on a crazy tangent and never dreamed I would end up here tonight. Ive got to get some sleep so I'm out.

D
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DAY 327: GEN 8

Got a house full of tired and cranky Brown's. I'm sure I'm the leader of the pack. Mommy guilt is setting in as I'm still a grumpy gus and I hate it. I need to get my butt up early and start my day with Jesus and yet I refuse. I woke up at 6am and while I started conversing with God I dropped off to sleep again in a matter of minutes. Sleep is good but orienting my day around Christ would be so much better. I've relied more on my Coca Cola to help get me through the day than I have God and for that I should feel guilty. I'm a grumpy mess because I'm looking towards the wrong things to give me life. I'm on my own agenda bumping into this and that. It's the reason why my last few days have felt as if something was missing or lacking. Oh how easy it is to fall back into mindless patterns. Bumping into this or that and being tossed by the meaningless wind. I don't want my days to be filled with mindless and meaningless clutter. I must arise early and be with my King even if I resemble the living dead.

GEN 8:
There are a few things that stuck out to me in this chapter. One thing didn't stand out directly but caught my eye in notes in my study bible. Noah and his family exercised an extreme amount of patience. Even after Noah had released the birds and one had brought back an olive branch and other never came back they did not leave the boat until God told them to leave. Knowing myself I would have thrown myself out a window and had been swallowed up by a gianormous mud puddle. Now that my lack of patience is glaringly obvious it's easy to say I might have gone crazy waiting if I had been Noah's wife. Patience is definitely an area I need to grow in. "Be still and know that I am God" rings in my head. I have a hard time being patient because I have an even harder time being still.

Vs 19:
And all the various kinds of animals and birds came out, pair by pair.

I really like this simple verse. I know I've looked over it before. Noah and his family let loose all the animals that had been cooped up for over a year and they all end up strolling out two by two? The Fall had happened and there should have been some serious Wild Kingdom going on but there wasn't. The animals strolled off together hand in hand two by two. The fact that they didn't all die or get diseased while on the ark for over a year is also a testament to the supernatural provision that God was suppling to Noah, his family and all the animals.

Noah gets out and immediately builds an alter to worship the Lord. God is pleased by Noah's sacrifice and vows never to destroy all living things on the earth ever again. In verse 21 it says "people's thought and actions are bent toward evil from childhood". Just a good reminder of who we truly are and the abundant grace God lavishes so generously on us!

D

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BOY MOM MONDAY

You know you're a boy mom when you know a look like this will be able to get a certain little boy out of a lot of trouble some day.

DAY 326: GEN 7

> Distracted tonight so it's hard to really wrap my head around this time. Feel like I've been crushing my daughter with my words. This crushes me. So tired of dealing with my fleshly pregnant state. Feeling a lot better and hoping to be back in a groove soon but I'm always in a constant state of irritation. I don't want to be touched or bothered or put out. I want to spend my days alone in a comfy bed with good food and an endless supply of wonderfully mindless movies. There is a part of me who wants that but maybe just for a weekend. I'd miss my husband, my amazing little brownies and the community building on our street. Exhausted by constantly fighting the hormonal dragon that is also obviously growing in my uterus. Nothing like a little gratitude to put a dragon in it's place.
>
> -surprise run ins with an incredibly handsome man while on a caffeine run
>
> -sweaty red faced little boys with over sized t-shirts on
>
> - long afternoon naps nuzzled between four warm and cozy Brownies
>
> -churches who offer VBS and who love to teach children about God
>
> -the story of Joseph which reminds me God always has a plan in the midst of trials
>
> - lazy summer evenings chatting with neighbors
>
> - the sounds of summer
>
> -tea parties with silly little girls and their baby brother
>
> -the wonder giggles of a beautiful little girl
>
> -a running AC
>
> -ice water with lemon
>
> -fleece blankets
>
> -grace upon grace upon grace
>
> -the gift of new life and being able to share it with friends
>
> -modern medicine which can kick cancers butt
>
> GEN 7:
> When I really stop to think about all that transpires in this chapter it blows my mind. God sends all the needed animals onto the ark, insects included. Can you imagine being shut in an ark with all those animals? It's wasn't just for 40 days. It was an entire year before Noah and his family set foot on land again. Puts my pregnancy pissing and moaning into perspective. I'd much rather face the irritation of pregnancy hormones than be shut up in a floating zoo for over a year. How did Noah and his family respond to this crazy uncomfortable situation? Probably with crazy gratitude. They had a first hand view that the alternative was a lot worse. This was the path God chose for Noah and he was thankful and "Noah did exactly as the Lord had commanded him". This is faith and trust at it's finest.
>
> I love how it was God who shut them into the ark. Noah built the ark exactly according to the Lord's instructions but it was God who shut them in and saved them. This is a good reminder for little miss self reliance that real provision always comes from God.
>
> On an ending note can you imagine how frightening it must have been for those out of the ark as well as for Noah to experience rain for the first time? It says the underground waters burst forth from the ground and it rained in mighty torrents. God's strength that is manifested by the weather is insane. I still look at pictures from Joplin and my mouth hangs open in horror and sheer amazement all at the same time.
>
> Will have to catch up on Ch 4&6 another night. Although getting energy back I'm still running a quart low.
>
> D
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

DAY 325: GEN 6

Wanna watch the last of the game we recorded but I know if I don't do this now I might fall asleep standing up. Tried to practice Sabbath today but honestly I have no clue what this is supposed to look like. How do I observe Sabbath when laundry is piling up and dishes are screaming from the sink and floors desperately need to be swept and vacuumed? Possibly it's less about ceasing and more about the attitude and the heart. Again, what is that supposed to look like? Tonight at church there was a battle raging in my mind. Hard a hard time fighting the fleshly condition of my mind. It was filled with ugliness and it was a battle to stay focused. It's been a couple weeks since I've been able to go to big church so I was excited about corporate worship. It was a let down or rather I felt like a let down. I was looking forward to my cistern becoming full tonight and it wasn't. I can't keep thinking about that song "it's all about me, Jesus. And all this is for me, Jesus." I'm sketchy on some of the lyrics but it's supposed to be it's all about you. I approached the throne today wanting to get something out of it instead of my desire to worship my King. Ive still got so much to learn.

GEN 4:
Good chance I'll only get through a short summary of Ch 4. Falling asleep sitting up. Well, fell asleep. To be continued tomorrow.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

DAY 324: GEN 4

Must start with confession. I am a sinner daily but this is glaringly obvious. Made a huge pan of wonderful brownies for our Meat Up this Thursday and couldn't keep my mouth off of them. My filter is so gone right now and the self control is low. I've definitely struggled with loose lips lately and obviously what I put into my mouth has also been a struggle. Pregnancy has brought out some ugly stuff in this gal.

The Meat Up this week was great. Judging by how many hot dogs we went through it was a success. Even had one of our neighbors go knocking on people's doors to get them to come. We've yet to pass out flyers yet. I'm blaming it on the heat. This past week our Meat Up was definitely a lot more worldly. We got a better taste of what we're diving into. Great stuff though and info we learned that can be used to approach some of our neighbors about Jesus.

If you think of it pray for me. One of our neighbors is an odd duck and he's really responded to our front yard living and comes over often to talk. He can be kinda rough around the edges with the kids and he knows everything. In my flesh he wears me out but my desire is to love him and see him how Christ sees Him. Please pray that God would give me His eyes for Mr. Motor and that He would steer conversations to open up doors to speak the gospel. Also one of our neighbors is back from out of the country. Please pray that while he's here we would also have opportunity to proclaim the Good News and to have meaningful conversations. Pray that God would break our hearts for our neighbors and hive us eyes to see and that He would soften and ripen hearts to hear about His great and wonderful love.

GEN 3:
Right off the bat we see how Satan twists and distorts God's Words and the truth. We also see how he not only twists the truth he flat out lies. Even before the Fall actually occurs the first tragic game of telephone begins. When asked about the tree of Knowledge Eve says that the fruit must not be eaten or even touched lest they will surely die. God never said anything about touching it. He said do not eat it! The Church has been notorious about tacking on their own rules in their own zealousness. I know that I too can get easily entangled in this trap.

Vs 5:
.... You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.

Two things are interesting here. 1. You will become just like God. Isn't that exactly what we want? I want to be my own God and make my own rules and go my own way. I want to be ruler of my own little universe. Heck I can see why Mormonism is appealing. In my flesh I want to rule over my own planet too!! 2. Knowing everything, both good and evil. Adam and Eve had no knowledge or concept of evil up to this point. Talk about ignorance is bliss! The animals got along, they never had to kill for meat they got to play checkers with God. Sign me up!! Well, I'm already signed up but I'd love to take the Rapture Express now. In their attempt to be like God they got more knowledge than they bargained for.

Vs 6:
The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! ...

Come on! All the fruit in the garden looked fresh and delicious. If I was in heaven's bakery and the most wonderful treats ever were available I don't think the fresh and deliciousness of the forbidden pastry would get me to fall, unless it was a brownie. Eve wanted to be like God and know what He knew.

Vs 7:
At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness....

The word suddenly shakes me to the core here. Their was instantly and suddenly consequence to their sin. I think sometimes it feels as if consequences are delayed but the truth is in the moment suddenly their our consequences and relationship always suffers. It's crazy how fast shame over nakedness occurs. The beauty of our bodies and the beautiful picture of sex in marriage, tainted. Enter lust and insecurity among many other fun treats.

God knows what happened and when it happened yet God continues to seek Adam in relationship by asking rhetorical questions. God seeks out Adam and Eve not vice versa. Christ seeks us out. In our shameful fig leafed state we are too broken to know how to seek the only Love that will truly fill us up. He comes seeking us and knocks on our door, over and over again.

Vs 16:
...And your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master.

I don't have the time or the eloquence to expand of this but I see this played out everyday. In my own life, the lives of friends and just the world in general. Women want to rule yet God commands that we submit to our husbands and sin in general has lead to the inequality of men and women in general. Women are second class citizens in lots of areas around the world. I do not believe this was God's desire for His daughters but as a result of sin it has occurred.

Vs 21:
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

This verse gets me big time. The moment Adam and Eve God could have struck them down dead. He doesn't. Instead He seeks them out longing to restore relationship with them even though it will never be the same here on earth. Not only that He clothes them. He provides for their needs and takes care of them in such a loving manner. This is our God! We mess up and He extends His grace and His provision over and over again. Oh the great and mighty love of our Father!

Vs 22:
... The people have become as we are...

I love the we. A reminder that the Trinity is alive and ever present. Jesus is their in the garden, the very tree of life. Come on could that word picture be anymore beautiful?

Will have to hit Ch 4 and 5 tomorrow.

D

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Friday, June 10, 2011

DAY 323: GEN 3

I'm totally cheesing out tonight. I read and it's good but attempting an in home date with my man and this chapter can't be wrapped up in a few short words. Hopefully, I'll get back to this tonight but we went swimming for 5 hrs today so I'm not banking on. You'll get a double dose tomorrow and I'll elaborate on how our Meat Up went this week.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

DAY 322: GEN 2

Okay didnt get up at 6:30 but scrapped my booty out of bed before 7:30 and made breakfast for my family. Not my goal but I'm willing to call it a success. Still in a lockdown with cleaning with my kids. Think I need to reconsider my approach. Praying about what that would even look like and how everything is going to work come the Fall. No stress or anxiety while thinking about how to manage the wonderful chaos of our house and Homeschool my children BUT feel confident this is what God is calling our family to for this season and since He is Lord of the details I don't have to sweat it. When I loosen my grip on things I tend to find that the details all tend to fall into place.

Just for conversations sake having one of those none ideal quiet times with a Lukeypotomus rolling and tumbling all over me. However, with our Meat Up tonight I don't want to give my last 5% to God. Rather hit Him up before I'm on my last leg.

GEN 2:
This chapter starts out with God designing the seventh day for rest.

Vs 3:
And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.

He declared the seventh day holy because he rested from his work. Holy people! We run around at a crazy ragged pace neglecting the Sabbath that is holy because we are unwilling to rest and trust our God that the details will get taken care of. Our tanks are empty and our joy falls at dangerously low levels yet we keep pressing onward giving no heed to rest. Rest is for the weak, we'll sleep when we're dead. Foolishness. I have been a fool for so long. I have made busyness my idol and my escape for a long time. If a loving and all knowing God would create this day for rest even though He himself does not need or require it why would I ever be foolish to neglect this soul space I desperately need. God please give me the wisdom to know what this holy day of Sabbath should look like for me as well as my entire family. Let me be willing to pour out my entire self but not at the expense of neglecting the Sabbath you've not only given to use as a command but also as a gift.

Vs 7:
And the Lord God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person.

Breathed into it the breath of life gets me every time. Everything else came into existence by the mere sound of God's voice. He could have created man the same way but this creation was different to God. It was to be special and beloved. God breathed His very own breath giving the man His very breath of life. This is just the beginning of the incredibly intimate relationship God desires and longs to have with each of us. He longs for it and desires it. Isn't that crazy? He has nothing to gain from a relationship with us yet He started off the creation of man with a very intimate act. The breath of life, gives me chills.

Vs 18:
And the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him."

God not only creates woman when he creates Eve, He creates the first Powerhouse. This was God untainted view of what marriage should be. One man and one woman joined together as one. It's absolutely beautiful but one bite from that apple and the beautiful picture God intended began to get distorted. It became about ourselves and what we could get out of it instead of the sacrificial love God always intended. Oh how the stain of sin taints the beauty of God's creation. Yet God's plan's will not be thwarted and it will once again be as God had originally intended.

Vs 25:
Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame.

As a believer who struggles with shame the thought of living in a world with none is a wonderful concept. Shame was something God never intended for His sons and daughters to experience. Can you imagine walking around nakers in front of God and feeling absolutely no shame? I can't exactly wrap my head around what that would be like but I know it's gotta be absolutely awesome. I think I've run out of time amongst these wonderful wild ones. Till tomorrow, God willing.

D

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

DAY 321: GEN 1 (LE SOUFFLE)

Starting Le Souffle today and excited about a change of pace and a new way at looking at the Word. Going to try to start reading again from an actual bible. I want my most prized possession when I die to be my bible. Not going to get all legalistic about it but when opportunity arises I want to put my hands on actual pages not a cold hard phone.

Today was the day I got a swift kick to the pants and I'm convicted that I need to get my booty out of bed in the morning. I need to be obedient and trust that God will provide all that I need to last from 6:30am till whenever pregnant or not. Our family operates better when I make breakfast and we can start the day off together praying and in the Word. This is a clear and simple way I can be sacrificial and love my family well.

Other than refusing to get out of bed this morning went pretty well. Dishes were stacked and house in disarray yet I chose to choose the best thing and play with my babies. We all played together with blocks. I loved being in the center watching all that their beautiful minds came up with and created. Stole away time to invest in each kiddo individually and steal kisses and hugs. Finally got back on the devotion train with Abbie and Paul. Slowly but surely order is coming back. Naps were had all around which was great since I was dragging five paces behind all day. The afternoon was chaotic as I chose my agenda over what was best for our family. Kids have been bickering and fighting with each other all day and I was just done by the time Les came home. Better choices on my part would have lead to a more successful afternoon. Thankful for an evening away listening to the awesomeness of God's Word. Exactly what I needed this evening to fill my tank. It's still crazy to me that there are many days that I drag my feet to get into the Word. Looking forward to the day my obedience turns into the utmost passion.

GEN 1:
What's not to love about the Creation story? God spoke and bam the most beautiful things were created. What's crazy is that I can go day upon day all up in God's creation and not be simply awed at my God. Nothing is impossible for God yet I'm so easily able to get myself worked up in a tizzy. Being in God's creation has always been a way I've connected with God but I'm lulled to sleep easily and don't see the marvelous wonders of the everyday. I need not spend a second worrying about anything when my Father can just speak the Word and majesties are created. When I go outside and see the trees in my yard I should be reminded of who God is and I should tremble with the knowledge of how great my God is.

The words "and so it was" really struck me this time. God spoke the words and so it was. The knowledge of this is crazy to me. All the little things I obsess about or worry about are such a waste. God spoke out His plan for my life and so it was. Nothing gets past Him. He is a God who pays close attention to the most minute of details. He cares deeply about those details. Why do I worry? Why do I waste energy getting so worked up over the tiniest of details when "so it was"? And so it was reminds me that my focus needs to constantly be on Jesus. I need not worry about the insignificance in life which beckons me to turn my eyes away.

Vs 26:
Then God said, "Let us make people in our image to be like ourselves......

To be like ourselves!! Ephesians 4:1 "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."

We have been called to be like God. It's a standard none of us could attain by ourselves. Yet God knew this as He spoke those very Words and He knew that by His death on the cross we too would share in the righteousness of Christ.

Ephesians 5:1-2:
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We can't attain the standard of Christ likeness but we can stop excusing our short comings by grace abuse. We are to be a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God. Am I walking in obedience or am I walking comfort? These words from Vs 26 have so many implications it's mind blowing. This is what His word should do, blow my mind!

Vs 31:
Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. ...

All He had made was excellent in every way. As women do we fully get that? We are excellent in every way! Yet we live in a world that tells us constantly we are not enough so that people can make money off of God's excellence by selling us crap. We are excellent in every way. Can you believe our God feels that way about us? My friends I am tired of living out of the lie that I am anything less than the excellent creation God has made me to be. My body is wonderful despite the imperfections caused by being able to be a part of the miraculous miracle of life. The loose skin, the dimples stretch marks, the grey hair, wrinkles and effects of gravity are all perfect in every single way despite what the world may try to sell me.


And I'm out!

D
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

DAY 320: E 5

Did not get up early. Complete slacker. So hard exercising self discipline lately. As usual Ephesians was great. I'm exhausted and since there's no way to cover this chapter without being super long here's one verse I've always loved.

Vs 14:
This is why it is said: "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

It's so easy to be lulled to sleep. I do it often yet I want to live a life with eyes wide open.

D


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Monday, June 06, 2011

DAY 320: EPHESIANS 4

Got an update from Gladney today. It's funny I've been recently talking about how my anger towards them has subsided and if I could right now I'd reach through the Internet and punch them in the face. So many things about the email were upsetting. I think Les and I are going to try to make one last effort to break through their policy and if they are unwilling to budge then I'm ready to wash my hands of them and more on. I read lots of articles on Ethiopia this afternoon and all signs point to the fact it's probably going to take years to bring home our son. Even if we stuck with Gladney the likelihood of this happening again is high. I will not be grieved over another pregnancy ever again. No words can accurately describe how incredible my children are and the blessing that they have been to Les and I. I will not shed another tear over the discovery of another precious Brownie ever again unless it's a tear of joy.

With all that my heart grieves over the plight of families in Ethiopia and around the world. My heart grieves over the orphans in our world. My heart grieves with those precious friends who have opened their homes and their hearts to God's children whose hearts grieved right now. Adoption is most definitely not for the faint hearted or for wimps. In all these situations God is Sovereign and He will reign. Gladney can't keep us from bringing home our son. I want to peg them as the evil beast but I know this is not reality. Their inflexibility in their policy is extremely disappointing and frustrating but God's hand is over all of it even if it means wasted time with an agency.

On another note, so thankful for sweet time with sisters this morning. Just another reminder of how active and living God's Word is. I look forward to diving into God's Word with other women the next five weeks and talking about all the great treasures they have discovered in His Word.

E 4:
I feel like this is what I was looking for after my rough tango with Esther. Soothing balm for the soul. Encouragement to be all that God created me to be and hope that even though I'm far from a lot of these qualities God's love and His grace covers all.

This verse struck me the most and there are lots of good ones in this chapter.

Vs 7:
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Grace has been given. I'm still living under the pretenses that love with God is conditional and my actions and my behaviors truly disappoint Him. I know I can't earn His love and I don't feel like that is my struggle, it's more the desire to not constantly disappoint. Grace has been given. I've read words like this many times yet today it either came alive or struck a new cord. In those I heard "I know you intimately my child. I know your hurts, your habits and your hang ups. I know what you struggle with and what you wish you could change. I know that it's hard for you to feel irritated and short tempered. I know you, all of you and I love you just the same. My grace has been given to you. May you wrap yourself in it and know that I love you and that I am God." How's that for a message out of four simple words.

In verse 17, 18 & 19 I couldn't help but think this is where America is headed.

Vs 18:
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

This to me is moral relativism in a nutshell. It's just a darkening of understanding.

Vs 19:
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Having lost all sensitivity. I rented Little Fockers this weekend and although it was kinda funny I felt a little dirty after watching it. The humor was not worth being exposed to the other depravity it contained. Years ago I could have watched this and it would not have phased me.

Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I always feared becoming one of those nerdy Christians who don't watch anything but PG movies. Maybe it wasn't the nerdy that got me maybe it was the self righteous. I don't know but I just can't watch or listen to what I used to. Life is too short and time is too precious to fill up on junk. I've eaten too much media junk for way too long. It's not that I'm holier or it's just that if it's not redeemable in any way it's just a waste of my time.

On that note I'm out before this gets too ridiculously long.

D

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

DAY 319: EPHESIANS 3

Tired and all I want to do is watch mind numbing television like Swamp People. Trying to slowly steer this ship of a family back on course. It's been a wonderful two month hiatus from life but ready to get back our family routine. First thing is first slaying the laundry monster or maybe it's the evil dirty dish monster. Speaking of dirty dishes I've managed to start cooking for my family again. That's a win. Joshua now starts his nights off in his very own big boy room too. We've got four Brownies crammed in one 10X10 room and it's absolutely fabulous. Never would have imagined such a thing but they LOVE it! Joshua oddly enough is excited about joining the ranks of the bigs by joining them in their sleeping quarters.

Tonight my daughter once again schooled me in life as a mother. I was trying to load some dishes while nuking dinner and Joshua face planted into the dishwasher door. He was squealing and crying so Abbie came over to hug him and try to console him. He wouldn't stop crying so she told me "Mom I know you're trying to unload the dishwasher but can you just stop and just hold him". Ouch! She was oh so right. My kids are exhausted from a long weekend of play and I thought little bit was carrying on but even so stopping to hold that cute little monkey would have been the best thing to do. While eating dinner I realized his crying wasn't carrying on at all judging by the nice bruise forming on his cheek.

I pray that my kids would parent even better than Les and I do. Hopefully they will keep the good and with Christ's help transform the mistakes. I do know part of the legacy I want to pass on is consistent time in the word. I can't guarantee as adults they will want to pursue daily quiet time but I want them to at least know that it's something we are passionate about because it is of the upmost importance. I wish I could say that after over a year of only missing a few days of being in God's Word that I yearn and desire it everyday. Not so much. A lot of days it's a battle to do the good I ought to do. With that I'm convinced people's lack of consistency has much to do with an overloaded schedule. I absolutely think a schedule busting at the seems is one of the biggest killers of joy but the real battle is beyond us. It's a spiritual battle and it's raging all around us and there is someone out there trying to keep dust on our bibles. His Word penetrates the heart and transforms lives. It's powerful and the devil knows it.

E 3:
The first part of the chapter is about the gospel being for the Gentiles and the Jews alike. It's the gospel that brings the Gentiles into the body with God's chosen people, the Jews.

The last part of the chapter is a prayer for Ephesus. I want what Paul is praying about. I want to be able to bust prayer like that! It's hard just picking a verse or two because there is no good breaks in Paul's tempo. He doesn't have a short sound byte, it's more of a long flowing sound byte instead.

"Rooted and established in love" really stands out to me. I want to be rooted and established in love. I want our family to be rooted and established in love. This is where it is at. If God's church was rooted and established in love can you imagine how fragrant all of our lives would be. People flocked to Jesus because he was love in the flesh. This kind of love would make those around us who didn't know God desperate to know Him. Now this is the kind of life I want to live. To abandon self absorption and to plunge deep into love.

Vs 16:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

This pairs well with the miracle of the 5000. Jesus had just been told John the Baptist had been beheaded. He was grief stricken and exhausted in all kinds of ways. He stepped onto a boat to find a moments rest but the crowds recognized him. Because of who he was connected too, he could step off the boat pour out his love despite his grief and exhaustion because of the power God gave him to his inner being. It comes full circle to me when I think about the widow pouring out the remaining flour and oil only to see God refill it. May I have the boldness to pour out my life everyday knowing that if I trust God he will equip me with the strength that I need. I rely way too much on my own strength and I fear taking his yoke upon me.

I will end here but there is a sheer treasure trove at the end of this chapter.

D

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Saturday, June 04, 2011

DAY 318: EPHESIANS 2:11-22

Went to a skate party with my baby girl today. Got misty eyed as I skated hand in hand with such an amazing little girl. So thankful to be blessed with the precious gift of Abbie Girl. Can't believe how fast the time has flown by. Really can't! We are beginning to enter new stages in BrownTown. It's not just land of the toddlers anymore. I still just can't believe these amazing little people these Brownies are growing to become. I know we've only just begun but I want to embrace the dawning of a new era in our family. I know all too soon this will also all begin to wrap up and we'll begin to step our toes into the waters of adolescence. So very thankful to have the most amazing honor and title of Mommy.

E 2:
Jews and Gentiles are reconciled through Christ. Speaking of the dawning of new eras and changing of the tides I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have been a Jew back in Paul's days. The Jews were told from the very start of the covenant with Abraham that they were set apart and special. They were God's very own chosen people and they were not to associate with foreigners or strangers. This Jesus steps onto the scene and all of a sudden through Him Jews and Gentiles were to be brought together and reconciled? It makes more sense to me now why it's been so hard for God's very own chosen to be able to accept Jesus as the Christ. In a lot of ways things were completely flipped upside down for the Jews. Isn't that just the way things go with Jesus though? He flips us upside down on our heads and reminds us that His ways are not the ways of this world. Things here that are upmost value and importance here on earth are completely meaningless to Christ. The unwritten laws and ways to live life as an American or even as an American Christian or the laws and the ways that God would desire us to live. I can't imagine the tension those first Jewish converts felt. Actually, I can as I feel I live in the tension of living in the world but trying hard not to be of the world. The lines can get so easily blurred and focus can easily be lost in the clutter and bustle of life.

Maybe the tension is actually good. It's serves as a reminder that we were never meant to get too comfy here for this is not our true home. Maybe it's when the tension becomes loose that we have bigger issues we should be concerned about. The battle is constantly raging whether we are aware of it or not. I personally want to be in the fight not sitting on the sidelines. As my sweet friend Erin likes to say Devil Just Won't Win. It's a never ending battle but I wanna get in a few good licks before the victory is won. Thankful to be on the winning side with King Jesus and to follow a King who is willing to lovingly flip me completely upside down.

D

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Friday, June 03, 2011

DAY 317: EPHESIANS 2:1-10

Longer day than expected but no complaints here. I think I'm finally starting to lift out of the first trimester fog. Don't get me wrong it's still hazy and overall I felt pretty dumpy today but I see the glimmers of second trimester approaching. My kids have been killing me lately. I could eat them up with a spoon. I realize that time is slipping between my fingers and I don't want to waste it chasing the wind. Why God chose to bless me with these four amazing children, soon to be five, I'll never know but I'm so very thankful!

E 2:
I stopped at the first 10 verses. With Paul I always want to chew on and digest what he is saying. These verses are nothing new but I think my heart is slow sometimes to fully embrace what he writes about. This man was so confident and accomplished so much for the sake of Christ because he knew who he was in Christ Jesus. He didn't get the half truth of it he completely understood who he was and how good his father was. I long for my heart to fully get it. That these words don't just apply to everybody else but that they apply to me personally as well.

These verses are the gospel message written out in ten verses. We were dead in our sin and our transgression. Yet while we were still deathly I'll from following the desires of our flesh Christ rescued us and called us to the land of the living. It was out of His goodness and his grace that he chose to restore us despite our death bed condition. We are saved by faith and not works so we can not boast of our own salvation. Although it is not by good works that we are saved God created us for good works so that He could be glorified. We are saved simply because we can acknowledge how sinful we are and how desperate we are for Jesus. The verse "while we were yet sinners Jesus Christ died for us" is still amazing to me. I was the living dead. Even while I was dying and shaking my fist at God He stepped in to save me. His never ending love blows me away. On that note I'm out. Exhaustion has taken over.

D

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

DAY 316: PHILIPPIANS 1

Next book up is Job and the last time I read through it, I also had a breakdown. It was a real good shake your fist at God kinda time. So thankful for God's mercy, grace, compassion and patience. Anyway, since I'll be jumping in with the Weds evening bible study next week though I'd take a stroll through Philippians for a lighter read. Ha! Paul is so meaty and fabulous. Tried reading this morning during the wee hours if my insomnia but couldn't get my poor brain to track. Still having a hard time getting the fullness of the chapter to sink in but for what I can understand it's beautiful!
>
> The storm clouds have subsided a bit today. Lots of crying yesterday but good healing cries. Did I just write the word good in association to crying? Shudder! We kicked off our neighborhood Meat Up this evening. Two families we've had a chance to really connect with showed up and it was great. Kids played in the pool and weather cooled off enough to be bareable. Will pass out flyers this week and hopefully get some new faces over the upcoming weeks.
>
> E 1:
> There's no good starting point to this chapter. There's too much meat on the bones to be able to cover all that I would want to without breaking this chapter up into bits.
>
> I do love the analogy Paul uses adoption in this chapter. Adoption is not for wimps. For the friends I've known and the many blogs I've read adoption is a beautiful thing but it's not easy. There are many challenges and stumbling blocks that arise through out the process of adoption. As a friend recently said, "it's not all sunshine and lollipops". We are all sinful and messy. Even just in my first paragraph I mentioned another wonderful round of shaking my fist at God while going through Job. After all the love and grace that God has lavishly bestowed on Him I still choose at times to shake my fist at Him and question His goodness. I'm the adopted child who has been given every spiritual blessing yet I still run and turn my back on my loving Abba. Adoption is hard but it's a beautiful picture of love.
>
> I read verse 17 and can't help but pray this for myself and my precious family.
>
> Vs 17:
> I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
>
> The goodness of this continues on till the end of the chapter but I'll only add one more verse or else I'll be copying the rest of the chapter right here.
>
> Vs 18:
> I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, (19) and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
>
> I really like the "that you may know the hope to which he has called you". Life is hard. Period. I don't know how people do it without Jesus. I cant help but think of the McRae Family. What do you do when your daughter has been diagnosed with cancer? If you don't know the hope that only Christ can offer what do you have to cling to? It's the glimmer of hope that helps us continue to move forward in even the most desperate of times. I want to be fully enlightened by that hope. The rest of this verse as well as the rest of this chapter is also equally as rich. I will end here though as my bladder is full and I am starting to feel pukealiscious due to the need for fourth meal. Live you friends! Thank you for so faithfully walking this journey with me!!
>
> D
>
> Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

DAY 315: ESTHER 9 & 10

Done with Esther! Wahoo!!! Esther has messed me up and not in the way I like to be messed up by the bible. I don't know what it is about this time through this book but I got totally jacked. Look forward to a time when I can go back through and not have the same kind of visceral response to this book.

I've been trying to figure out what it is about this book that's gotten all up in bizness. Sure the King is a man whore but he's not a believer and doesn't claim to be. I think my bigger issue is why does Esther have to be subjected to this? Yes God uses her circumstances for such a time as this but I'm sorry her "bravery" is not all that inspiring. I would have gotten more fired up if Mordecai had grown a pair and been the leading force behind the Jews rescue. Please excuse my language and my rawness right now and frankly my bitterness.

The thing that has been eating at me and it took some digging to figure out is that to me Esther just appears to be a woman who is used. To me there is no honor, bravery or glory behind that word. I wish I could rip the stinking word out of the English language.

I've tried to cloak myself in the facade of strength. My idea of what strength is has been messed up for so long. Either way the word used does not work well with my idea of strength. Used is a word that is a part of my history. Although not true now it's as if I'm stained by the very word.

This leads to something else I was reminded of today. Love comes at a cost. I think this is true statement and applies to everyone. There is a sacrifice that must be made in order to truly love another. Other than the difficulties of dying to self, I'm completely good with making a sacrifice to love others. I realized today that I struggle with terminal uniqueness when it comes to being loved. I believe that to be loved comes at a cost as well. I think this is the reason why it's been so hard to accept the love of others. In order to be loved, I must be willing to sacrifice something or be the sacrifice. No wonder why I've been the master at pulling the Heisman. I thought not wanting to be loved was merely my fear of people leaving once they really got to know me. Don't love me because I'm not worth it and once you figure that out all you'll want to do is take something from me. Oh the brokenness that ones soul can possess.

E 9 & 10:
Despite my own personal demons that have been brought up by this dang book it ends on a high note. God is faithful and He loves His people. God changes a day that would have been filled with sorrow and destruction for the Jews into a time of victory and gladness. Even in the midst of my own destruction and sorrow I know that God has victory and gladness on the other side. I am frustrated that the victory has yet to be won but I know that it will be won.

I had more to write on this but the baby has awoken and beckons me.

D

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