Friday, September 30, 2011

DAY 434: PSALM 40

Fabulous day with my family but I'm exhausted. We were blessed by free tix today to the FW Science Museum and had dinner with friends we love. The weather today was phenomenal which made today all the more wonderful. It's been a crazy month in BrownTown and we were hurting for some fun family like this. Feel very blessed.

PSALM 40:
Great Psalm. Filled with great and uplifting verses. I could probably write about it for hours. First two verses are on one of the Seeds CD's.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:1, 2 NIV)

Still learning what it means to wait patiently for the Lord. Patience is not my strongest attribute. I feel like the rest of this passage describes exactly how I feel about what God has done for me. I called out to Him while in the slimiest of pits and He set my feet on a rock. I am so very thankful that God never disappoints and He has changed my life in crazy unimaginable ways.

There's so many more gems in this chapter but too exhausted to do them justice.

D

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

DAY 433: PSALM 39

I'm a total grump today. Late night due to insane heartburn and loud music and a wake-up call that was way too early for my liking. The fact that I want to sit here and complain just irritates me even more. I have nothing to complain about! An Iranian youth pastor is being put to death today because of his faith and all I can do is whine about the beginnings of a cold, a failed nap and my kids constant hanging all over me. I'm touched out, exhausted, and uncomfortable and all the reasons for it are wonderful and amazing. Oh how I long to live a life not focused on myself yet I'm still so incredibly full of myself.
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Can't say my attitude changed on my own but at least chose to take the Les's foolish route and lean into God this afternoon. Operating out of my own strength is getting me nowhere. I did not turn into a creature bursting forth with joy or energy this evening but God did provide exactly what I needed moment by moment.

Abbie is taking what she has been learning at 5:30 Rocks to heart and took an opportunity to show initiative by cleaning up the backyard. I watched her from the window excited to have an opportunity to praise her. She came inside red faced and cute and super excited about her accomplishment. I loved having an opportunity to celebrate her by having a cookie party in her honor. It's been a struggle with her the last couple months but we're finally beginning to see some fruit. She's becoming more diligent with handwriting even though she's not a big fan as well as other signs of heart change. I'm proud of her and thankful that we stood our ground even though it's been painful at times. I'm not confident we are out of the woods just yet but I'm incredibly encouraged. Think she's finally understanding that obedience leads to freedom where as disobedience leads to less.

Luke has stolen my heart. He keeps giving me the sweetest random kisses. Tonight he lost the privilege of being apart of the cookie party since he colored on the backdoor and made a huge mess in the bathroom. While everyone was eating cookies he sat there and asked me to forgive him. I forget what a tender and sweet spirit he has since he's always causing a wake of destruction around him. I really need to work on my gentleness with these boys. They indeed need a good pop of correction but braced with much gentleness. Need God to grow me in this area especially since these boys and their childish ways can ignite my temper like nobody else can.

PSALM 39:
David is still pretty broken up about his sin and he's reaping the consequences of what he has sown. I'm not confident and I should look it up but I'm assuming this is due to his sin with Bathsheba.

Vs 1:
I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked." (Psalm 39:1 NIV)

I will put a muzzle on my mouth. This just continues to be a great reminder in light of James 3. I need God to craft an uber strong muzzle to help me to control my mouth not only in the presence of the wicked but also in the presence of the righteous. Listened to Elizabeth Tamlin's talk on James 3 this afternoon and enjoyed it. Love her heart and again it was filled with great stuff on controlling the tongue. I want salty and sweet words to flow from my mouth, not bitter words filled with decay.

Vs 6:
"Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be. (Psalm 39:6 NIV)

In vain they rush about. The pace of life in America is so crazy. I'm growing weary with my phone because it doesn't do exactly what I want it to do in that very moment. This pace of life, the rushing from here to there, only breeds discontentment and impatience. I often get caught up in this crazy rushing about. One of the beautiful things of being a grumpy pregnant homeschooling hermit is that I've gotten a chance to break away from some of that crazy rushing about. I'm not running from school to practice to appointment to playdate to whatever. The pace can be insane and it sucks away the soul little by little. I pray that I am wise with our schedule. That I'm not a fool about the things we invest our time in. I'd hate to live a short life rushing here and there and miss the most important things.

Vs 7:
"But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:7 NIV)

I hate that I often need to be taken to this this kind of place to realize that my hope can only be found in the Lord. It's takes being in a place of desperation to realize that operating out of my own strength is useless. I wish i got this just as much when i am at the top of my game and the world is all as it should be.

D

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DAY 432: PSALM 38

I'll start off by confessing that I never did my BS homework for this week and have yet to memorize the verses for the week. Will do so despite the fact I wasn't there today. I knew we'd be at Dr. H's this morning getting meds for an infected ear. So thankful for a bonus day to lay low and maybe just maybe get caught up on a few things.

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Didn't get caught up on a single thing but got a decent nap in. It's amazing how rest can bring a fresh and new perspective. House is still a complete wreck yet the feeling of being overwhelmed has subsided. Nobody is going to call the sticky and crunchy floor police on us and I'm starting to make friends with the scary spider living in our bathroom.

PSALM 38:
This psalm is a little on the depressing side but it's so great to see David's repentant heart. He truly wants to walk in the ways of the Lord yet he is also a sinful man. He doesn't take his sin lightly and frankly my own sin should cause me to have the same response as David. It should break my heart and remind me of how broken I truly am. I need to be reminded of how desperate I am for a Savior.

Vs 4:
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear. (Psalm 38:4 NIV)

I think the weight of our sun should break us yet i think the trick is to not stay in that place and allow shame to set in. I think at times there can be a fine line between a truly repentant heart versus wallowing in shame. Shame has everything to do about us and has nothing to do about God. Shame pushes us further from God where as Repentance brings us closer to God. The state David is in is not a bad place to be as long as it causes us to turn from our sinful ways and it causes us to run hard and fast back to Christ.

Vs 5:
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly. (Psalm 38:5 NIV)

This is some ugly imagery but we should not take our sin lightly.

Vs 18:
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin. (Psalm 38:18 NIV)

This is where our hearts need to grow. We need to being willing to at ourselves in the mirror with clear focus. Own up to our sin and be troubled enough by it to want to turn away. Praying I learn how to stop being a dog who returns to their vomit and turn away from the folly of my sin. May God grant me the courage to take a deep hard look at the things in my life that are sinful and keep me separated from Him.

D

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DAY 431: JAMES 3

Never fully woke up today. Been fighting the feeling of being overwhelmed by a growing and never ending to do list with not nearly enough energy. We had gotten into a nice rhythm with keeping the house decently clean and as caught up on laundry as can be expected. School thrown into the mix makes it hard to keep things even decently clean and I feel like we are beginning to slip back into chaos. I know this isn't reality but when my house is so bad that I don't want to invite my sweet neighbor over to join us for dinner it's an indicator that things are off. I either need to just learn to figure out how to just roll with it or figure something else out. I'm never going to fully be caught up but goodness is that list ever growing long.

Last night I went to a group for other Mommas homeschooling and it was refreshing. It's interesting how many camps there are in the world of homeschooling. It's awesome to know that great results can be found through out the different and varied approaches taken. Les and I are pretty sold on the Classical Route as far as education goes. As all things, we've learning how to hold things loosely though. One thing I do know is despite the lack of perfection, the head butting and life that happens inbetween I love teaching my daughter. I never would have chosen to Homeschool but it's pretty stinking awesome and I'm thankful.

My latest round of pregnancy drama has ended up being nothing more than an infection. Things are a little shorter than the average bear but I'm not the average bear so no need for unpleasant intervention such as bedrest. Never been so thankful for half an inch! This is the interesting thing. If yesterday I had gone in and the results were different I can assure you that I would have been clinging to Jesus today. Instead I leaned into my coca cola which failed miserably and I'm having a hard time wanting to dive into the Word tonight. It truly is interesting how trials drive us closer to God.

JAMES 3:
VS 1:
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1 NIV)

This was a great verse to read as I've been missing teaching a bit. It has been fun as the Brownies get older being able to talk on a little more about God then when they were younger. Little kids has never been my sweet spot though. Frankly I don't have the brain power or the time to rub more than two brain cells together but at times I do miss teaching about Jesus. I think the taught of being judged more strictly is exactly what I needed to read. I wish I had understood this more when I actually was teaching teens about God. When I first started out in student ministry I was so eager to learn and be mentored by other youth pastors. I remember asking a youth pastor what he thought the most important thing about student ministry was. He said to uphold integrity at all costs and gave the example of even using the word sucks as lack of integrity. Unfortunately I was a complete bonehead and didn't fully get this at the time. I'm beginning to understand the value of integrity more and more.

This chapter is filled with great verses about how deadly the tongue can be. I know I've still got a crazy long road to go to learning how to control the beast living in my mouth. This verse is really hard to read.

Vs 9:
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. (James 3:9 NIV)

This just cuts to the core of it all. One minute we're praising God and then the next minute we're cursing at our brother or sister who was made in God's very image. This is no easy pill to swallow and brings it home for me. How dare I ever think of myself better than another person who Christ also died for to set free.

James brings it home describing worldly verses Godly wisdom and closes with this beaut.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17, 18 NIV)

I read this and it's a nice list that reminds me that I still have a lot of work to do. So thankful that the work is not all mine to accomplish. I just to be willing to be transformed, it's God who does the work in me to be more like Him. He not only died for me, He loves me enough to change me. Amazing!

D


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Monday, September 26, 2011

DAY 430: PSALM 37

Wowzers! What a day! I'd love to elaborate but that will have to wait for tomorrow. Think we've finally landed on a name for Baby Popcorn. It's funny how names are just like that perfect wedding dress. When you finally land on it, it makes perfect sense. Need another day or two to marinate considering the day but glad to be closer to a name for this sweet baby girl.

PS 37:
This psalm reads like a proverb. Lots of great and wonderful verses. Here are just a few.

Vs 7:
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7 NIV)

It is hard for me to be still and wait patiently. Praying that God will refine me enough to be able to do this someday.

Vs 8:
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8 NIV)

This is great as I struggle with anger still at times. However, the latter half is even better. Do not fret - it only leads to evil. Ive never quite thought of worry as something that leads to evil but that's exactly what it does!

The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23, 24 NIV)

I wish I had the brain capacity left to comment on this verse but fading fast. Love the thought of firm steps and being upheld by the very hand of my Savior. What a wonderful thought to drift off to sleep with.

D

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

DAY 429: PSALM 36

Not sure how focused I'll be able to be with a funny boy with underwear on his head running around saying "I'm a chicken" but it's worth a try. More crazy contrax this morning and afternoon. This laying around business is for the birds. Pretty confident this is par for the course but really struggling with not wanting to be foolish. Thankful for a sabbath that was filled with physical rest.

In a toe to toe with an EGR right now. It's a great workout on how to speak truth in love in gentleness, self control and patience. It's so hard to see people choose to walk in darkness and embrace lies rather than run like mad toward the light. There is a sweet girl that was in my Shelter group last semester who I love dearly who is running like mad to fling off all that entangles her to be free and walk with Christ. What is it that makes one person run like mad toward Jesus and another substitute His goodness to embrace worthless lies and bitterness?

My kids are now pretending to trick or treat together and it's an awesome sight. I love how they love each other.

PSALM 36:
Beautiful Psalm. Verse after verse speaks truth and of God's goodness.

Vs 2:
In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. (Psalm 36:2 NIV)

David is speaking about the wicked here but this verse rings true to my own struggle with pride. Oh how I hate that this is a sin issue for me. I hate that in my insecurity I elevate myself above others to feel valuable and worthwhile. May God continually search my heart and give me eyes to see my sin and brokenness and my desperate need for a Savior.

Vs 5-7 is the verses of a song by Third Day. Can't hardly read it without the song going through my head and the impression my husband does of the lead singer. Great and wonderful words that so rightly were set to a modern day tune. It is hard to fully grasp onto concepts such as God's love reaching to the heaven's though. I've only just begun to understand the greatness of my God.

Vs 8:
They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. (Psalm 36:8 NIV)

I love the imagery of this verse. I want to be fully satisfied in God in this way. I want to drink in deeply from His great river of delights. I don't want the delights to be of this earth either. I want to be fully delighted and overcome by His great abundance because I know fully who He is. I want to dine on a five course meal of Jesus. I want to know Him inside and out and I want to be transformed by this knowledge.

Vs 9:
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9 NIV)

Ah the elusive fountain of life. It can only be found in one place and that's Jesus. I'm so thankful to have discovered it. I only wish I hadn't wasted so much time running towards death.

D

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

DAY 428: PSALM 35

Listening to my husband make pancakes with my Brownies while I stretch out in bed. Incredibly thankful for a husband who continually serves me and who loves his kids like crazy. My body feels like it's been run over by a truck or a Brownie Mobile. Kids piled into all corners of our bed the last several days. I've woken up to a foot in an uncomfortable place more times than I can count. I've also seen the images of sweet babies nestled together in the sweetest of ways. These kids love each other and it melts my heart to witness.

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Great day of purging which lead to an even messier house. Crazy how messy an organizational task can make a dwelling. I'm ready to curl into bed and sleep for 24 hours. Tonight was rough as we once again had to walk through deception, control issues and utter disrespect. It's hard not growing weary of this. We've decided to ditch the spanking for sneaking and just get rid of stuff instead. Although we've seen heart change from the boys it's not been very effective for our oldest. She's a tough cookie. Hoping we've finally figured out how to help detour her from sneaking. I'm sure it will be an ongoing battle as she learns that her way is not the best way. Praying this lesson isn't nearly as painful for her as it was for me.

PSALM 35:
This Psalm isn't the easiest for me to read. The ironic thing is that this is the attitude I've often taken with God. Deliver me from my enemies (my pain and suffering) and I will praise your name. I don't want to be the judge of David's heart here and I'm sure I'm off by several degrees but this is the way I read this Psalm. Rescue me God so that I might glorify you. I believe God can handle us crying out to Him in any and all situations. He can handle it when we say a certain circumstance stinks and it feels like our heart is being ripped out of our chest. I believe He hears us when we pray and at times beg to be relieved of the pain of our circumstances. However, I want my heart to grow to the point that in all my cries out to God, my pleads and petitions that I am willing to say praise be to God even if it means God's glory comes out of my suffering instead of my relief.

D


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Friday, September 23, 2011

DAY 427: PSALM 34

Hard to be bleh on a day as beautiful as today. Today Baby Popcorn hit 29 weeks. I ate candy corn to celebrate. Thankful for my reason to be completely and utterly exhausted today.

PSALM 34:
Great Psalm again about the joy of knowing the Lord and walking with Him. Battery about to die and Little Bit rubbing my belly is a little distracting but oh so sweet.

Vs 3:
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:3 NIV)

I love this verse! The thought of all of God's sons and daughters together glorifying the Lord is awesome. It's great when you are together with a friend talking about how great is our God. It really makes a soul rejoice. We should be gathered together singing and praising His wonderful name together.

Vs 5:
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:5 NIV)

This is the kind of beauty I want to be marked by. I want to be beaming with radiance because more and more of me has died and God is able to be seen more and more. Praying I learn how to truly seek this and not worry about the sagging skin and other body parts, the deepening of the wrinkles, and the crown of gray adorning my head. May my daughters get a true of what real beauty is all about. May my boys and my daughters future husbands desire a woman who possess the beauty of a life adorned by Christ.

Vs 8:
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8 NIV)

I want to shout this to those who do not know the Lord. Taste and see how incredibly good He is. Stop walking away from Him and living in darkness. Come experience the abundant life Jesus has to offer! To myself I want to stop eating all the things that are artificial. The things that bring only death and emptiness. I want to fill up on the goodness of the One who can satisfy. Everything else is like eating American Chinese Food. The fullness only last a short while and in a couple hours you'll be left hungry again.

Vs 9:
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing. (Psalm 34:9 NIV)

Those who fear the Lord lack nothing. I wish I would rest in this more. Les and I have been talking about the mass amounts of food we're already consuming and how crazy it will look like when these Brownies are teenagers. It's easy to wonder how we are going to do this and if it even makes sense to have more kids. Those who fear the Lord lack nothing. Just like God promised Abraham a son and that his legacy would be as vast as the sands on the seashore so will God provide for BrownTown. Abraham trusted God's promise so much he was willing to sacrifice his own son. I want to have this much faith in God. His promises are true and He will always provide for our need in the moment. We won't get everything we want but if we lean on Him we will lack nothing and shall not be in want.

D

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

DAY 426: PSALM 33

Checking the box tonight. Feeling very Bleh today and having a hard time shaking it. My uterus was hacked this morning so it was a movie marathon in BrownTown this morning. Haven't been to the library this week and having a nice stack of books would have been helpful and so much better than the boob tube. Threw our day off and I was never able to reign it back in. More sad emails this evening and frankly it feels as if the world is imploding. I know that it's not but gee whiz! Psalm 33 is a psalm that would generally make my heart sing. It's all about God's goodness. I know all of these words to be true but today my heart is disengaged. Maybe today I'm just frustrated about living in a place that is not my home. Frustrated at my blahs since there is so much to give thanks for yet finding it hard to push through.

D

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DAY 425: PSALM 32

I'm emotionally wiped. Matt's funeral and then tonight randomly watched Praying for Lior and the tears fell like a faucet. The difference between the Piper's Family and Lior's is that the Piper's have a hope in a Messiah that has come. I'm also grieved that so many babies with Down's are aborted. This grieves my heart down to the core.  

On another note, I sat with Les up in the NASA control center for the funeral and got to see my husband in action. He's pretty stinking amazing. As skilled as he is at his job, there are so many other things that he has been gifted in that makes him shine even more. I am so thankful for the man God has blessed me with. I fail daily at loving him the way that he deserves. Hoping that I am able to hold onto this intense gratitude I feel for today, for the many things and moments I take for granted. We are never promised a tomorrow.

Got up this morning to do my bs homework and pray. Oh how I wanted to sleep for another half hour. God wooed me awake. I needed that time with Him this morning more than I needed extra sleep. While praying for Abbie it occurred to me that possibly her desire to hold onto her current struggle has much more to do with her desire to have control and less about her desire to commit the actual act. Either way it's not good and evokes the same consequences but has given me a new perspective. We try so desperately to hold on and control whatever we can and yet that only results in chaos and bondage. It's when we release the white knuckled grip of control that we find ourselves truly walking in freedom. I think Abbie got a taste of that today and I'm beyond thankful for it.

PSALM 32:
Great Psalm. I wish I had it in me to dive deep and piece by piece but I don't. Keeping it to two verses tonight.

VS 3:
When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long. (Psalm 32:3 NIV)

I lived my life this way for so long. All the hiding and deception. (huh? That struggle rings a bell.) Even once I was running after God I was held in bondage out of fear that once people really got to know who I was they'd leave. In CR I finally began to experience the freedom of bringing things into the light. My hope is that one day I would grow to hold back nothing. I'd toss aside all the justifications, fear or whatever and let everything be brought into the light. I try my best to be authentic and hope to have smashed the masks I used to wear with ease. I know there's always room for growth and have yet to fully arrive. My heart is deceitful and I must always remember this. Thankful for friends and a loving God willing to expose the ugliness.

Vs 11:
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11 NIV)

I love me some Jesus. One of the things that stood out to me today is that I am so excited about going to heaven and being face to face with my Maker. Yet, I know so little of Him still. It's obvious when I read verses such as these. I take great delight in God but I can't say my life is marked by rejoicing. "Rejoice in the Lord and be glad"!! Why am I not doing this on a daily basis? Rejoice in the Lord for He is your prize. A Lukeypotamus just walked in so I'm out. Won't you join me in rejoicing?

D

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DAY 424: JAMES 2

More of the same from my sweet girl. I want to bang my head against a wall. Who knew you could develop an addiction at age five. There's not much left for us to do other than to pray and get hot and heavy with scripture memory on this. I confess I have not prayed enough about this. I've prayed tons about wisdom on what to do but so much less for God to change her heart. She's an amazing little girl. This thing she is struggling with though will take her down a treacherous path. Parenting is not for wimps.

Wanted to memorize James 1 but as usual have yet to start. Hopefully will have a couple verses down before tomorrow. This won't be long today as I'll be doing my BS homework. I don't know why I struggle with being humble about this. It's ridiculous.

JAMES 2:
The Tea Show is making me sleepy. I think it's starting to work a lot better on me than on J.

Great chapter on favoritism, judging others and what a life of a person who has faith should look like.

These two verses strike me the most.

Vs 4:
have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:4 NIV)

I don't want to be a judge with evil thoughts. I don't want to be a judge at all! Yet I know that I place myself on the judges throne all too often. Just one of a million reasons why I am in such need of a Savior.

VS 13:
because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13 NIV)

This verse coupled with the verse above is scary. It's so incredibly comforting too. My hope is that God would give me eyes to see His Children they way He does. That I would grow to have a heart that is filled with compassion and mercy as opposed to judgement.

D

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Monday, September 19, 2011

DAY 423: PS 31, JAMES, MATT 14

I'm still at a loss for yesterday's events. I imagine my husband is even more so as he has known Ann for so long and went to HS and college with Matt. Life is but a vapor. James captures this so well in chapter 4.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)

I spend too much time obsessing over things that I should not obsess about. I'm generally not a worrier but I do struggle with bottom falling out syndrome. This is getting better as I grow to rest more and more in the fact that God is going nowhere and His love is vast and His plan for my life is oh so good. I can't seem to get away from the theme of persevering while in the midst of a storm. With my BFO syndrome it's hard not to wonder why this has been in my face so much lately. When it comes right down to it the why matters not. The Lord is teaching me that my ways of self sufficiency are not honoring to Him. He is redefining what the word strength means to me. As long as I continue to cling to myself and rely on my own strength I will never be all that He created me to be. My relationship with Him will never grow to the depths that He desires us to move to together if I cling to these false believes and struggles that are broken.

I'm continuing to have signs of preterm labor. Yesterday morning I had contractions which resemble more of what I'm accustom towards the last several weeks of pregnancy and I started spotting again this morning. I've read up on preterm labor and could probably give a class on it now. I've also spent several nights looking up the outlook of babies born at varying different weeks of gestation. I'm concerned and I want to be prepared but I wouldn't say I'm scared. To be quite honest I'm more concerned about what kind of impact this could have on having future Brownies. But even this I need to surrender. I'm having to learn to surrender the desire for my plans to come to fruition and embrace the story that God is weaving in our lives. This sweet baby Girl's birthday was set before the world even began. I'm thankful for a new opportunity to give thanks and celebrate each week Baby Popcorn continues to bake. I need to remember this when I'm 40 weeks.

JAMES:
I really love this book. It's just such a good and wonderful kick to the pants. If I had to sum up James it's a manual on how to live a life walking towards Christ and away from the things of this world. The book starts off with a big bang busting up the worldly idea that in order to find joy and happiness our circumstances must be blissful. He moves on to rattle the cages of people who claim to be Christ followers yet show no evidence by the way they live their lives. As Christ followers our lives should be remarkably different than those who don't claim Jesus as their Savior. Sadly enough most often this is not the case. This is true for my own life.

I've lost my train of thought as it's churning with so many things. It's not a tumultuous churn more of a desire to piece together all that God has stirring in my heart. Before I end though I must share that I feel God once again continuing to refine what it means to be a submissive wife. There is much control that God desires for me to continue to lay down. Things such as my own schedule during the day and the commitments I take on ect I've held onto. I wish this was all but I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. My pride is no where near fired up about where this could lead but I know that God's desire for me to change will produce more than just humility. That reason alone would be a darn good enough reason.

D

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

DAY 422: PSALM 30

Looking around at all the things that need attention and the song "How Great is Our God" came on. The importance of all these pressing things seems to just melt away. My hope for today and for tomorrow and the next is to be given new eyes for these tasks. I pray that I stop viewing these things as toil but rather as opportunities to offer a sacrifice of love. May it be a reminder that this life is not about me. I am a forgiven daughter of the King of Kings and there is much joy to be found in this most wonderful truth.

PSALM 30:
The last two verses of this Psalm is what I want to focus on today.

VS 11:
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, (Psalm 30:11 NIV)

I don't ever want to forget that this is what God has done for me.

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As usual I ended up getting interrupted by some pretty sweet interruptions. It ended up being such a sad day yet these verses ring more true than ever. Praying the above verse for a friend who lost her husband. I can't make sense of it all. I just flat out don't understand. Yet I know that God is good. In the story He has written for each of our lives I believe He will prosper us. It's hard to understand how this combination of circumstances can prosper anyone. Yet I know that God is good.

My heart is incredibly heavy and my words have left me so I'll end with this.

Vs 12:
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever. (Psalm 30:12 NIV)

May this always be true no matter what storms may lie ahead.

D


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

DAY 421: RUTH

This weekend has been rough. I don't know if Les and I are fighting off a virus or what but we've both been feeling completely off. We've had no energy and feel faint and lightheaded. I have a to do list a mile long which includes family fun but it was hard to pull anything together this weekend. Good lesson in letting go of my own agenda I guess.

Still struggling with our sweet girl. With her age we've steered away from spanking and have tried taking away privileges instead. We came to a point this weekend where we were running out of options other than grounding her till she turned 20. We've been praying for wisdom as we've seen no remorse or true repentance with a particular struggle. It's been hard watching our daughter make choices that we know will end in death rather than the abundant life in Christ we desire for her. We've gone back to spanking with hopes that this will reap a harvest of righteousness in our sweet girl.

RUTH:
It's been awhile since I've sat and read through a book of the bible like a novel. I've been struck on my one chapter a day formula mixed in with other sporadic scripture. Ruth is a super short read and I was reading it to the kids upon the wise prompting of my hubster. I realize this is not a big accomplishment but think it might change the way I do things. Other than
Psalms and Proverbs I might just read through the books I'm going through completely to get the big picture and then go back and break it down chapter by chapter. There's beauty in processing God's Word both ways.

There's such greatness in Ruth. Naomi and Elimelech make the decision to leave the Promised Land to live in Moab during the time of famine. I'm not completely certain but I imagine the time this occurred was toward the end of the era of Judges.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. (Judges 21:25 NIV)

The truth is that during this time Israel did have a King. They just chose not to let God be King and ruler in their lives and things were all messed up. Israel is a mess and nobody is obeying the commands God has set forth. I can see where it would be easy for Naomi and her husband to justify leaving Israel and going to country filled with idolatry like Moab. Not much was setting Israel apart from the other countries around them anyway. Naomi and Elimelech don't appear to be a shining example either. Their sons marry Moabite women and Naomi is just plain bitter due to her circumstances. Yet there is something that Ruth is drawn to in this family. Ruth is upright and noble in character and her faithfulness to Naomi demonstrates a yearning to know the Lord. The story of Ruth has much more to do with her character and her desire to pursue the Lord than carrying on Naomi and Elimelech's legacy. The legacy and blessing that comes forth out of faithfulness and obedience pours out onto others. I think this is so stinking cool. Our obedience has the ability to either positively or negatively effect others. It's a different ballgame when our actions affect more than just ourselves.

I love that God used a devoted Moabite woman to be apart of not only David's lineage but Christ's as well. The Israelites were God's chosen people but His plan all along has been to adopt all who believe into His family.

This is my favorite verse of the book.

And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. (Ruth 3:11 NIV)

How great to be known by being a woman of noble character. I want this to be what I'm known for by others. I want it to stand out so much more loudly than anything else. Instead of bring known as the lady who drives a big van or is loud or anything else, I want people to say oh she's the one who oozes Jesus. There's a long road ahead of me but I'm thankful to at least be on it.

Back to Ruth, this verse speaks volumes of who she is and the work God has done in her and the kind of man Boaz is. I picture Boaz as an older gentleman who never married. Possibly his pickings were very slim in Israel back in his time. People weren't obeying the Lord and it might have been hard to find a woman who was noble in character. Boaz didn't want to jump at just any opportunity. He wanted to marry a woman who loved the Lord. I can't be certain about any of this but it isn't a crazy guess considering his character through out the book. This book isn't just a great one for Abbie but for my boys as well.

I could ramble on and on but I'll stop here. Inspired once again by this book to continue to seek my Savior and do the hard work to die more to self and grow to be more like Him.

D

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DAY 421: RUTH

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Friday, September 16, 2011

DAY 421: PSALM 29

So thankful for the impending rain. It's interesting how some areas can be flooding while other areas are in drought. It's easy to think at times if I could just swap things around I could fix all the problems. You know maybe play a little Bruce Almighty. That didn't end up turning out very well. I don't always understand His ways but God is awesome and mighty and I find much peace resting in the fact that nothing ever sneaks past Him. In all things, He is weaving a beautiful and amazing story of love.

Lots of mention of how God's voice thunders over things. Very appropriate on an evening when there is hope and anticipation of hearing some awesome thunder. This whole Psalm leaves me with just awe and wonder of our awesome God.

Vs 2:
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. (Psalm 29:2 NIV)

I love the words "in the splendor of his holiness". I can't wait to see God face to face. I'd hate to leave early and leave my babies without a Momma but I'm so fired up to know that in a blink of an eye I will be completely surrounded in the splendor of his holiness and no have to struggle with the pull from this broken world. I can't wait! I don't think about this often enough though. I don't want to be obsessed with death but I want to be driven to focus on the eternal and a lot less focused on the temporal.

(ah, rain!! Sweet glorious rain!! I would not be as fired up about the cooler weather and the wonderful sound of rain if it had been abundant this summer. Love how that works!)

Vs 4:
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic. (Psalm 29:4 NIV)

When I read this verse I can't help but think about when God spoke to Elijah. Instead of God speaking through what the world would consider to be powerful expressions of nature, God speaks in a whisper. A majestic and powerful whisper. I love this about God. The things that are so strong or so powerful are always found in the least likely of things. God help open my eyes to see your powerful and majestic ways that are found in the least likely of ways. Tune my heart and my ears to hear the beauty of your whisper.

D

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

DAY 420: PSALM 29

I'm already poured out and it's only late afternoon. I'm hoping this is exactly what I need to fill up my tank. Even as I write this I have a feeling I've been on E for a reason. I feel like I'm only being given what I need in the moment if I choose to follow and lean on Him. I'm not doing very well with this. Im great will working out of a tank that is full but running on fumes and wondering if I'll make it is not a place I generally like to be.what if I stall and have to ask someone for help? Yep definately not a place I like to be. It's a place I need to learn to find comfort in being though. This will not be an easy lesson for me to learn.

Kay's talk today was greatness. It was encouraging and a swift kick to the pants all at the same time. Her wisdom on hospitality was great. I feel so inadequate as a hostess and it was so great to remember that we are called to love, not to be Martha Stewart. It was fun to hear her story about walking up and down her block pulling kids in a wagon and knocking on doors as BrownTown has experienced much the same. Our turn out has not been as stellar but I'm so thankful for the summer full of Thursday night cookouts. I was thankful that in my head I could answer that the last time we had somebody over for dinner was just last week. I'm spurred on to knock out a plan for the Fall and excited for what God has in store for our block.

On the flip side, I was reminded that I'm not interruptible the way I desire to be. I've been placing my plans and my desires above loving and serving others. It's been wrapped up in the guise of wanting to have a semi-orderly home but the truth is putting up the dirty dishes has held more priority to me than loving and serving my husband and my children.

PSALM 28:
Short Psalm. More of the same but it's still very beautiful. Again I love how prolific David's Psalms are. David loves God and songs just burst forth from within him. Abbie Girl sometimes will sing songs that she has made up about God. It's beautiful and it's some of the sweetest music I've ever heard. I wish I could get over my own feelings of inadequacy and sing before the Lord the song that He has placed on my heart. If I just burst into song singing to God it would feel cheesy to me. I know that it would be nothing but a sweet offering before the Lord. So often everything comes back to the focus being on me. It's gross.

This is a verse that isn't gross:
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7 NIV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield. The Bee Show is on in the background and I'm looking at the sheer magnificence of a darn bee. A bee!! They are amazing and it's just one type of insect in a world bursting forth with life. The Maker of all things is willing to stand in the gap for me and be the strength I need to love. Yet daily I refuse to lean in. Daily I forget that it's not about me.

My heart trusts in him, and he helps me. I'm so thankful that my heart truly does trust him now. It wouldn't seem so since it's hard for me to remember to lean into His strength. That has been a struggle in learning how to let go of self-reliance rather than trust. Although I don't always understand His ways I trust that they are good and that He loves us oh so very much.

My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise His. I want to get me some of this. The very nature of who God is should stir this very reaction in me. I get to commune with this very God. It gets me fired up but I'd love for my love and delight in the Lord to be at this level. Not so that I can get some cheap emotional high but so that I grow to truly believe and understand with every fiber of my being that He truly is my treasure and my great reward. I want my kids to have to start requesting my attention not because I'm distracted with trivial things but because I can't get my face out of His Words and I can't stop my knees from bending to pray.

D

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DAY 419: PSALM 27

I had one command today, Love. I had a good attitude about it for probably 45 seconds. I have wallowed in disobedience, entitlement, self reliance and selfishness today. I'd like to list off a laundry list of reasons why I've been having a difficult time pulling it together the last couple days and frankly even though it's understandable my actions are still unacceptable. Kay mentioned several times about leaning into God. This is exactly what I've been missing the past couple of days. I've been leaning into myself and frankly I'm a bit on the tapped side. Plus I've bought into the lie that my children are a burden. I swear I'm constantly having to drive this awful lie back to the pit where it belongs. My kids are not easy peasey but they are an absolute joy and a blessing to me. On long days or when I'm physically weary I loose sight of this. I buy into an awful lie instead of leaning in and embracing the joy of the day. I'm as stubborn as they come!

Midwife appointment went well. Got to meet the midwife I called Friday morning. I really like her and crossing my fingers she'll be the one assisting our birth. She basically has the same thoughts I do about all this possible pre-term labor shenanigans. She doesn't want to get nutty with interventions but doesn't want to completely dismiss what's been going on either. We both landed on if I start getting nervous or things start ramping up that we'll start discussing what our next moves should be. I'm sure this will be the pregnancy I totally go past my due date. Still dehydrated from pukesville so pretty sure that's the reason why I've been contracting like a beast the last two days.

PSALM 27:
This Psalm is nice and juicy dripping with goodness in every verse. I have to say it's been hard at first reading the psalms with the verbiage David constantly uses with enemies and being in battle. I've never been in an actual battle or had an enemy who has chased me down in order to kill me. However, when I put this in light of the enemy, opposition or trials the verses seem to come alive more. In a lot of ways this chapter of the Psalms goes perfectly with James 1. There is talk of pressing on in light of enemies knowing that God is ever present and a fortress in difficult times. David also talks a lot about seeking the beauty of God's face and entering into His presence. When we seek His face and trust Him to be our fortress during difficult times then there is abundant joy. If I would have sought God's face today and sought out His strength instead of clinging to my own, today would have had a greater outcome. I would have loved and served my husband well today, I would have taken much delight in my children this evening and I would have danced with joy in His presence.

I love how David loves God and appears to lean into Him. I want to learn how to ditch the self reliance and clothe myself with the strength that only God can bring. I want to live out my days in joy and peace surrounded by the shelter that God so lavishly provides.

D

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DAY 418: JAMES 1

Note to self: spending the entire day focused on self will turn you into a gianormous grumpy butt. I had a pretty stellar performance today. Grumpy about constant contractions. Grumpy about a chaotic house. Grumpy that I can't make my daughter make the right choices. Grumpy that I'm hungry but the thought of eating most things makes me want to turn five shades of green. Grumpy about a CD release party which means another 12 plus hr day for my hubster. Grumpy grumpy grumpy.

I looked at my babies sleeping tonight and I am ashamed at my attitude. I missed an entire day of basking in the joy of being a forgiven daughter of the King, wife to amazing and wonderful hubster who has a job, and mother to four beautiful Brownies. I should have soaked in their laughter and the sweetness of their hugs and kisses. Instead I wished bedtime all day today. The days are long but they are oh so few. I'm so sad I wasted yet another day wrapped up in myself. I'm so thankful that His mercies are new every morning and that tomorrow means another chance and hopefully another opportunity taken advantage of and not wasted.

JAMES 1:
I love James. It's always a good swift kick to the pants. Great reminder about persevering and then it just gets better and better after that. As always, I want to cast off the warning to the rich as not relevant to myself. Big mistake. I am rich and I forget that all the stinking time. More talk on controlling the tongue and being slow to anger. Need to tattoo that on my forehead. Then the part on not just hearing but doing and pow. It's so easy for me to get ideas of grander about how I want to change and grow but it's all fluff if I'm not actually doing it!

Its really hard to pick just one verse from this chapter bit I think this is my favorite.

Vs 25:
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:25 NIV)

The words perfect, freedom and blessed are lovely to read. Off to do my BS homework like a good little girl. Yes we are planning on going since we've been explosion free for over 24 hrs now. Fun stomach big facts though. Did you know kids can carry the virus up to a month in their poo post symptoms? Don't worry most only carry it for two weeks. Speaking of two weeks that stinking virus can live up to 2 weeks on surfaces around your house. I knew stomach bugs were just plain evil. As if I needed more reason to be paranoid. I'll tell my kids not to dig around in their boo boo's but if you see us tomorrow and run away screaming I completely understand.

D

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Monday, September 12, 2011

DAY 417: PSALM 26

Been in bed all day long. Generally I'm not able to hang an entire day rolled up like a burrito in bed but I'm still feeling incredibly weak in the knees from all the festivities last night. I'm finally starting to get hungry but a bit terrified at the prospect of eating. This definitely ranks up there with the top three stomach bugs I've ever had in my life. Reminds me very much of the one that I ended up in the hospital at when pregnant with Paul. This morning the Psalms came alive in a whole new way as I begged God to be rescued from my "enemy" and strength to carry on. He heard my cries and rescued me from the evil Rotavirus. Definitely a bit over the top but I was going to have to start crawling to the bathroom. I had prepared myself to crawl into the kitchen this morning to get ice chips but thankfully Les was up. Things finally started to ease up a bit. Just received word Lukeypotamus is the next victim to fall. Good times!

PSALM 26:
Can't focus enough to write my thoughts on it. Need to check on my Pukey Lukey.

D

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

DAY 416: PSALM 25

House is a wreck and my to do list is a mile long. First thing is first though. Time to breath. Time to bow heads and give thanks. Time to spend time with the Creator of all. That God would desire for me to stop ceasing and spend time with Him still blows my mind. I still don't run to Him nearly enough. Thinking about God and talking about God does not equal being with God. I am so guilty of this more often than I'd like to admit.

Wasn't going to write about this but can't shake it. Last night was good. Loved the scene of God chiseling away at the man. Beautiful picture and reminder of the process that God has each of us on. Loved the simple reminder that if we are not walking towards God, we're walking in the opposite direction. I don't want to just walk towards Him I want to run towards Him.

Didn't get to finish earlier. Now I feel like I'm about to puke my guts out so closing my eyes and hoping I fall asleep before I do.

D

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

DAY 415: PSALM 24

Got to see a free preview of the movie Dolphin Tale. The movie didn't have a single thing in it that I cringed at or wished wasn't there or felt like I had to spin into a teaching moment. Good, clean and inspiring family movie that my kids loved. Wish those weren't so rare.

PSALM 24:
I feel like there's several Chris Tomlin hits wrapped up in this Psalm. It's a bit distracting to me. Feeling a bit distracted anyway. The most obvious modern song tucked away in this chapter is Give Us Clean Hands. Not even sure if that's the official name of the song. It's one that gets my goat though. Would love to elaborate more right now but have just discovered that one of my children most definitely doesn't have clean hands. I'm at a complete loss. There is no consequence that seems to work at the moment. This is a battle my child has to desire to want to surrender. It was a lot easier when the biggest issues were learning have to survive in a messy house and how to change three poopy diapers at once.

D

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Friday, September 09, 2011

DAY 414: PSALM 23

I'm ready to pass out. I had hoped to knock out James 1 tonight and work on stuff for homeschool but sleep sounds so much better right now. No more bleeding today but still lots of cramping and contractions. I honestly wouldn't think twice about it if I hadn't seen what I did last night. I called the midwife on call this am and she said with my history it's probably okay but need to try to rest and take it easy. Piled into bed this morning and had a Veggie Tale and Thomas kind of morning. I snoozed off and on and those Brownies found every nook and cranny they could find to crawl into and snuggle. It was annoyingly wonderful. How they can extend so much grace to their pregnant grumpy mommy is beyond me.

PSALM 23:
This is probably one of the more recognized chapters in the bible. I think because of this for many years I missed the sheer greatness of it. It became just a string of words put together to make people feel good.

I love to imagine what life would look like to live out the first verse. "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want". To know the Shepherd so intimately that nothing on earth could surpass the desire for time spent with Him would be awesome. There are often many things I want more than Him. Comfort, food, my own selfish desires, for my will to be done are a few for starters. My desire for sleep is also another. I will end on verse 2 since it goes along perfectly with my failing eyes.

Vs 2:
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, (Psalm 23:2 NIV)

The Lord beckons me to lie down and to be quiet and still all through out the day. Too often my agenda trumps the goodness of green pastures and quiet streams. Wanting to learn how to follow my Shepherds lead and enter into the beautiful rest He provides but it's hard.

D

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

DAY 413: PSALM 22

Been spotting off and on for several days and tonight the "show" has arrived. This would be exciting if I was full term right now. I'm concerned and have been googling preterm babies born at 27 weeks but feel completely at peace. Having Baby Popcorn before we've settled on an official name would not be my ideal but God is good and He is gracious. Whether or not this sweet Brownie comes earlier than expected or past my due date God is Sovereign and I'm confident He will provide for any situation or circumstance than might arise. Baby girl is moving like a wiggle worm and I'm sure all this spotting nonsense is just how Brown Girls like to roll. Speaking of Brown Girls, Abbie said she should be able to pick her sister's name because she prayed for her. She then proceeded to completely melt my heart by talking to her baby Sis.

On another note did the first half of my BS lesson. Looking forward to diving into James.

PSALM 22:
This Psalm is so interesting to me. David starts off wondering where the Lord is and why He hasn't answered David's cries and pleas for help. Then he ponders the faithfulness of God and His goodness. Then in the middle crazy accurate prophesy of what will happen to Jesus during the crucifixion. It makes me so sad to think of Jesus longing to have communion with God during this time but God turning His face away and not answering. It had to be this way but I hate that Jesus felt the pain of separation from God because of my sin. The chapter ends acknowledging that one day every mouth will proclaim that the Lord reigns. Of course I have to go back to Narnia on this one. The thought of not only human mouths but of all creation proclaiming the greatness of Christ is a beautiful picture. Even the rocks will cry out and proclaim Him King of all Kings. Can't wait!! In the meantime, I want to live my life as a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord.

D

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

DAY 412: PSALM 21

Last instead of three brownies we had the whole crew end up with us last night. I wanted to cry and ended up waving the white flag and leaving the most adorable pile of sleeping Brown's to go sleep on one of the kids beds. Getting up this morning was brutal but sucked in up and didn't slap snooze on my God alarm. So glad I was obedient. We had breakfast together as a family and Les rocked a great object lesson for the kids. Our days are so much better when we start off our days this way. Thankful to have scored a nap this afternoon. It helped keep exorcist mommy at bay this afternoon.

It was good going to bible study today. Thankful for a day to help hem in our week and add routine to our schedule. Really excited to jump into James and 1 Timothy. This year I've committed to ditching my critical attitude towards bible study and use it as an opportunity to grow in humility. I'm committing to attending all the big group sessions, taking notes, memorizing James 1 and completing all the homework. If you hear me poo pooing BS or not doing any of the above please love me enough to hold my feet to the fire. I'm not above being able to learn and to grow this year. I've been a prideful fool for long enough. Not sure how doing BS homework will effect my daily email. I'd like to be able to do both but I'm afraid at least a day or two might have to give. I'll have to figure it out.

PSALM 21:
David speaks in third person in this Psalm which frankly reminds me of Seinfeld. George is getting angry!! Yep still not nearly caught up on sleep.

Vs 1:
The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give! (Psalm 21:1 NIV)

Love this! How great is the joy in the victories you give. This isn't just victories in battles on a field. I've learned the more I learn to lean on God for strength the more victories in my life I have begun to see. I'm still a desperate sinner in need of God's amazing and wonderful grace but their is great joy in the victories won.

Vs 6:
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. (Psalm 21:6 NIV)

I want to learn how to live out my life thankful for the unending blessings God has bestowed upon me. I've been thinking about the part in C.S. Lewis's book The Silver Chair where the thought of what they did not have drove them mad and they forgot what they were even called to do. I want my eyes to be open by all that God has given me. I dont want my grumblings and discontentment cause me to miss out and forget what is really important. There is much joy in the presence of God. I want to yearn for Him more and more.

Vs 7:
For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. (Psalm 21:7 NIV)

He will not be shaken! Love this. If we lean on His strength even during our darkest hour we will not be shaken because of His unfailing love. He is so incredibly faithful!!!

D
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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

DAY 411: PSALM 20

Went to bed late last night and three brown boys decided sleep wasn't all that important soon after I finally fell asleep. I did not want to get out of bed this morning yet it was hard to ignore the direct command to get up and love. The last several Psalms have been about the joy in following God's commands. I'm still not always joyful in my obedience but I do see the path of blessing that comes obedience.

Should have finished this afternoon and I might have avoided yelling at two of my children. I hate when I completely throw self control out the window. I've been a fleshy mess the last several days and frankly it's been rather upsetting to see the grossness. It just occurred to me why I'm a stinking mess and it's because I'm simply exhausted. I haven't been getting enough rest and as a result my self control is out window. I have no guard or filter and my sinful nature is having a hay day. Of course being in this state my perfectionism flares up and the end result is a big hot mess. I'm hot as in the brutal heat this summer not good hot.

In other news things went great having our next door neighbor over tonight. So many things about the conversation around the table hurt my heart but I'm so thankful for the opportunity to love on our neighbor. Looking forward to see all that God has in store for our relationship with her. On the flip side, the impending conversation that is looming over our heads with other neighbors makes me want to puke. There's no way out of it and I know that this is a way to help redeem my past. However, this is so not the way I would have chosen. Preparing for a bomb to explode in my face but I know God has beautiful plan in the midst of all of this.

PSALM 20:
I really love this verse in this Psalm:

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:7 NIV)

God had specifically commanded the Israelites not to stockpile horses and chariots for battle. He wanted to teach His people not to look at the outward circumstances and rely on worldly things. God wanted Israel to trust Him even against the largest army. In my battle with self reliance I know I have my own chariots and horses that I desire to stockpile. I want my life to reflect a dependence on God and a clear focus that can't be shaken by what the world says is wise.

I'm off to bed. The command to rest is not one I plan on taking lightly tonight.

D


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DAY 410: PSALM 19

Phone about to die so not sure how far I'll get in this and you might end up getting it tomorrow. Good weekend over all and very thankful for the bonus days with Les before he's so busy I forget what he looks like. Reminded tonight of the long road that lays ahead of me in learning to be humble. Pride is so gross and I hate when it comes oozing out of my pours. I want to ooze but pride is definitely not what I'm shooting for. Heard a great quote from a Christian author that I'm going to choose to cling to tonight. "We are all hypocrites in transition." I probably fudged that a bit. As much as I hate the thought of being a hypocrite I am just that. I'm a prideful hypocrite in much need of God's grace. Now to embrace that grace and not wallow in shame and guilt.

PSALM 19:
This is a Psalm by David declaring God's majesty and the sweetness of God's laws. The first verse was perfect for today.

Vs 1:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1 NIV)

The beauty of today after the extended period of heat is beyond my ability to put into words. I would have eaten up this weather even without the brutal summer but the intensity of the last 70ish days of heat made today all the more sweeter. I love being win God's creation and weather like this is like manna from heaven.

The last part of this chapter David talks about the greatness of God's Law. If my battery wasn't about to go I'd elaborate more. I want to find the kind of joy and desire for God's word that David had. I see the value of it more and more everyday. I want to crave it more than I do chocolate cake.

D

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

DAY 409: PSALM 19

It was so great to get up on a Sunday morning and have my husband home. I can count the number of Sunday's Les has been off since we moved from the high school on one hand. Today fueled the desire I've had to worship together as an entire family. Even if Les had every Sunday off our kids would still go off to their own kids program at church. I'm thankful for it but at the same time it's kinda sad. Families can seriously raise a kid in church and rarely end up going to corporate worship together as a family. This is really strange to me and almost seems like a miss somehow. Maybe Les's absence on Sunday can actually lead to a good thing and BrownTown family tradition. Who knows maybe we'll end up raising our own set of Banjo Brother's.

Speaking of worship I've been taking in vast amounts of Jon Foreman on Spotify and the song House of God is stuck on repeat in my head. It's Psalm 23 put to music and it's so beautifully good. The very first verse keeps repeating. "The Lord is my Shepherd I won't be wanting. I won't be wanting." The I won't be wanting part is so good. I want to live out this Psalm in such a way that I truly become a person who isn't wanting. I want to be a woman who has learned to be content in all circumstances. A woman who doesn't desire to fill longing with cheap imitations.

PSALM 18:
This Psalm is pretty long so would be hard to fully break down but great verses in here! In this song David praises God for being his strength and the rock he clings too. There's great imagery in this chapter about God's power and might. Many times I cling to God being my Father and my protector and I forget about the awesome power He possesses. I forget that He could crush me like a grape if He ever chose to. David reflects on how God loves the ones who follow God's ways and take delight in following God's law. David also paints a picture of the justice that is awaiting those who turn their backs upon the Lord.

I love that God is mighty and strong enough to walk with me through good times and bad. He truly is my rock and I desire to learn how to lean into His strength more and more.

D


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Saturday, September 03, 2011

DAY 408: PSALM 17

Can sense a definite battle in my head to keep the focus off of Christ and the things I need to work on to become more like him. Well this will be super short since I'm rocking some vertigo right now and I'm not talking about U2. IPhone screen is making it worse. Till tomorrow.

D

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Friday, September 02, 2011

DAY 407: PSALM 17

Today can be marked by one word, thankful. I wish everyday my heart oozed with gratitude. I pray that one day my heart will grow to be one that praises my Father in heaven more than I grumble and complain. I have a lot of growing to do. Yet today I easily lifted my hands in thanksgiving. I'd like to think that giving thanks is a small offering I can make to God. The truth is having a heart filled with gratitude does me so much more than it ever could do for God.

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

Our walk with Christ is so much richer when we live life rejoicing in the Lord instead of grumbling over circumstances. I have salvation and will be fully restored one day because of Christ's great sacrifice. When I think about how often I whine because I didn't get what I felt I was entitled to is crazy. I was entitled to death and a life lived out of a slimy pit.

PSALM 16:
This has been the breath of fresh air I've been longing for. Each verse is just like the sweetest of honey. My desire was to write about the richness of this Psalm in depth but Baby Popcorn has decided it's time to go to bed and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open. This is ironic in light of what I read in The Last Battle tonight but that will have to wait for another time.

D

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

DAY 406: PSALM 15

I've made the mistake of sitting down. I'm tired and I'm weary over the fallenness of the world. I received another heart wrenching email this evening. I know there is a plan and all the pain and turmoil of this world helps point to God's glory. The sadness of it all sometimes can be choking. It leads to amazing periods of thankfulness though.

Week two of Homeschool. Again not what I had envisioned and with life thrown into the mix of everything we are a bit behind this week. We'll just have to rock school tomorrow and do a reading lesson on Saturday. Speaking of reading Paul started reading today. It's really interesting seeing the difference between Abbie and Paul and how they are learning to decode words. Just like Paul's personality, the letters he sees on a page are the letters he reads. Abbie has a harder time focusing on just the letters because she wants to tell the story. I'm fascinated by it. Overall I really am loving this Homeschool thing. I'm thankful that we can take a break in the middle of the week in order to serve a family in need. If Abbie was at school it would be a little less complicated I guess but I love that in everything we do and everything we learn about we get to tie it back to God. So glad God has called us to this experience this year. Thankful. I never would have chosen this path on my own.

PSALM 15:
Vs 1:
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain? (Psalm 15:1 NIV)

If it wasn't for Jesus the answer would be no one. So thankful for God's amazing grace!

Vs 2:
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart; (Psalm 15:2 NIV)

I love the "who speaks the truth from their heart" part. I pray that God would grow me to be the kind of woman who always speaks the truth from my heart.

Vs 3:
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others; (Psalm 15:3 NIV)

Who does no wrong to a neighbor. This seems stinking impossible considering my sinful nature. It's not as if I go out of my way to wrong others but I'm extremely selfish.

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Couldn't finish this had neighbor kids over tonight while their parents did the parent/teacher thing. No haven't had talk yet. Cough, hack Vs 2 "speak the truth from their heart". Talk is coming opportunity hasn't presented yet. Praying about whether or not this is a me and the momma thing or both parents present. Need wisdom. In my flesh want to lay all this at Les's feet. Not sure that's what God is calling us to do in this particular situation. On another note talked to our Brownies about never being alone with said neighbor kid or any man or older boy for that matter. Tonight Abbie said "you're not to be alone with my brothers!". That's not the tone I wanted to use with him and yes I wanted to die a little bit. At least both know more of the ground rules. Figuring all this stuff out is no easy matter.

On a completely different note a question I've wrestled with and reminded of by a cherished friend was brought up again tonight. Is a person once saved, always saved? An email I got tonight got me on this question once again. If you were a believer once and then turn your back on God are you truly saved? I was a believer at a young age. I definitely went through a period of life where I actively turned my back on God. When I look back on that time I'm not convinced I would have gone to heaven had I died. Let me tell you it's only by God's grace that I didn't. I knew the truth yet I actively chose not to act on it. I believe possibly that I could label that time as the "Lord, Lord" phase of my life.

Just got caught up with my amazing hubster and I'm done rambling for the night. Was gonna launch into parable of the seed but that will have to wait.

D

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