Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DAY 495: MATT 7

I'm mailing it in tonight. I'm too terrified about the evil that has the potential to manifest itself in a couple hours to truly focus. Hoping it's a strange coincidence and I'm just exhibiting symptoms of pregnancy and I won't be weeping and nashing my teeth in the bathroom later tonight.

D

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DAY 494: 1 TIM 6

Woke up in a gross funk. So hard to get up out of bed and face the day. On days like this I'm even more thankful to be a mother of four kiddos who won't allow me to indulge myself in an entire day with covers pulled up over my head. I realized once again that my prayer and pleas for patience was really a desire to have God take away my mess so I wouldn't have to struggle today. I want God to wave a magical wand and make the birds chirp and turn my frown upside down so I can sing and dance all over the house and turn into the mother of the year. There was no waving of magic wands today, just a gentle whisper that there is beauty in the struggle. This is an unexpected lesson that keeps popping up this pregnancy. I can't say that I'm a big fan since they only way to learn is to actually struggle but I'm thankful. The view I have of God's goodness and love has grown these last 9 months and that has been well worth the internal struggle.

1 TIM 6:
Great chapter. Paul gives a charge to those who have masters. Submission can appear like such an ugly word. It's not an easy thing to do and a lot of us carry hurts and baggage in this area. Yet when we are obedient and are willing to submit we begin to realize the blessing God truly intended in submitting to one another.

Paul continues the chapter by discussing the harm that comes from the love of money. Very interesting how this is paralleling with Matthew 6 right now. There is a verse or two in this section that seems to point to the faulty thinking of the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. God desires for us to learn how to be content. Being content in our circumstances doesn't benefit God it benefits us.

Paul closes out this letter by giving Timothy a big pep talk. It's inspiring and I could camp here since its so up my alley. It's hard for me to not get geeked up when I read about fighting the good fight. I want to fight the good fight! I wish it looked differently than it sometimes does but hopefully I'm growing in this area. I want to kick butt and take names. Conquer and destroy but sometimes fighting the good fight means just means not giving up and continuing to persevere even when it's hard as heck.

Vs 12:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV84)

Thank you ladies for allowing me to daily fill your inboxes so that I'm held accountable for at least attempting to fight the good fight on a daily basis.

D

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Monday, November 28, 2011

DAY 493: MATT 6

Growing very weary of this constant contraction craziness. I start the day off fine but towards the end I'm completely worn down. When I stop to think and try to get a dose of perspective I remember that patience and endurance will be needed daily not only to raise this child but all of them. Another week or even two in light of the rest of this little girls life is not that big of a deal. Trying hard not to feel like the crab fishing captain who thought he had 34,000 lbs of crab in the tank but in reality only had 13,000. Cried this morning again over our son. I know there's purpose in this kiddo baking longer and it's not just for her. Feeling weary and defeated but ever so thankful to be on this magnificent journey. He makes all things beautiful in His perfect time, of this I am convinced more and more.

MATT 6:
I love every word of this chapter. I feel like I'm lacking what I need to pour my heart out about it. It's probably because the chapter is just simply too long to dissect in one, two or possibly even three settings. The sections on storing up treasure in heaven and not worrying have been two things I've clung to, to try to stay grounded in a world so contrary to Christ. Would love to dive into more detail and will later if I feel led. Tonight I'll try to keep my focus on the Our Father.

I think maybe like the Beatitudes, the Our Father has been a collection of words that sound pretty and nice but have never truly penetrated my heart. Thankful that despite the cause of its meaningless tumble off my lips it now has meaning and life.

Vs 9:
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, (Matthew 6:9 NIV84)

Father help me not forget the holiness of your very name. Please don't allow me to go through the day forgetting your majesty and your power. Open my eyes to know you more today.

Vs 10:
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 NIV84)

It's all about you God and not about me. Help me not forget that today is about glorifying you. I need your help to lay down my own desires, plans and agendas for today and to embrace with joy your plan even when it's different from my own.

Vs 11:
Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11 NIV84)

Help me to rely on you today and not fall prey to my own desire to be self reliant. Help me to be content with the provision you offer even when I think I need more or it doesn't show up in the ways I expected.

Vs 12:
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 NIV84)

Help me to be more like you full of mercy, grace and forgiveness. Show me when I need to let things go and extend grace and when I need to share my hurt and disappointment with my brothers and sisters. Always remind me of the log in my eye and the sweet amazing grace you daily offer me. Help me to understand your love, mercy and grace more and more so that I might in return show it to others.

Vs 13:
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' (Matthew 6:13 NIV84)

Help me to lean into your strength when I am weak and not look to other things to find fulfillment. Search my heart God and expose those things in me that keep me separated from you. Help me to walk in truth and in light and to cling to your law and to your ways.

D

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DAY 492: MATTHEW 6

Today has not been my finest of days. Took neighbor kiddos to church this evening and I'll confess I wasn't excited about it. I don't feel like I'm pregnant I feel like I'm wearing a heavy fleshly suit. Maybe having to constantly battle with my obnoxious and sinful self is part of the curse. Weary of wearing my big suit of selfishness. Add on top of that being face to face with my gross pride and I am so thankful that Jesus paid it all. Going to church isn't about me. Not sure what I was looking for tonight. Maybe deep down I was hoping my tank would become so full that my water would break.

MATT 6:
Hate this but I took Melatonin tonight and it's actually working!! Sweet!! Most definitely coming back to this heavy hitting chapter tomorrow. Did get hit across the face with the very first verse.

Vs 1:
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1 NIV84)

I would not say that I ever start off doing "acts of righteousness" to gain recognition but I'm pretty confident that the combination of a deceitful heart as well as a prideful heart can lead down this road easily. This verse is just a great reminder that if I'm not doing "good" things for God then it's just like me chasing the wind. Life is way too short to be spending it chasing the wind.

Thankful for the promise of zzzxz's despite the continued prelabor saga of 2011.

D

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

DAY 491: MATTHEW 5

Need to have a baby so I can start sleeping again! If this kid hasn't come by Monday I look forward to doing an Indian Labor Dance.

This chapter is packed so full of good stuff there is just no way to even begin to tackle it without being up all night. All of it ties back to one thing, the heart. We can appear righteous and follow all the rules but if our heart isn't in the right place it matters not. God is not impressed with our box checking, He wants our hearts and a willingness to offer up our everything.

I used to read through the Beatitudes and it just sounded like a nice list of qualities. I hoped to one day possess one of those qualities. A person who has surrendered their life to Christ should reflect all of these things. The more we come to know Christ we should begin to realize that it is us who are the poor in spirit. The more we know of Him the more we begin to realize our desperate need for a Savior. Blessed are those who mourn, again as Children of the Lord we are the ones who are comforted, who can cling to hope and faith in Jesus when we mourn. We should be learning how to be meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, be merciful, pure in heart and peacemakers. These are the very things that should distinguish people who claim Christ over nonbelievers. You better believe if we are living out our faith and being salt and light in this world that we will be persecuted. It may not be the same persecution that others around the world are experiencing BUT the darkness does not like light. This isn't just a feel good poem it's a blueprint of what our lives should look like. For so long I have been one of those who heard but really had no clue what the heck was being said. I would read Jesus words and it was just things that made me feel good or things that should be quoted on a poster of a beautiful flawless Jesus holding a lamb. Instead the gospels and the very words of Christ are like marching orders. It's not words to make us feel good it's words to live by. I don't want to live out a feel good life. I want to live a life that is New Testament worthy!

D

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Friday, November 25, 2011

DAY 490: MATT 4

Less than 4 hrs of sleep last night. Brain not working. Can't make much sense of Matt 4. The temptation in the wilderness has always been fascinating to me. Pretty cool to see Jesus slinging around the sword of truth and kicking serious tail. Jesus doesn't even entertain the attempts of Satan, He smacks him upside the head with truth instead. All the more reason to be in God's Word daily.

Jesus begins calling his disciples. Love the responses of Peter, Andrew, James and John.

Vs 20:
At once they left their nets and followed him.

Vs 22:
and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4:20, 22 NIV84)

There is no hesitation to answer the call of Jesus. They left immediately and followed. Love the picture of faith these men had. It's easy for me to later point a finger at their weaknesses sitting on the other side but they left immediately! Beautiful faith!

D

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DAY 489: MATTHEW 3

Think I'm officially done with my adoption grieving process and I'm finally excited to meet this baby. Very thankful for this crazy and hard pregnancy. God has been using it to refine this self reliant and stubborn girl. So thankful for a loving Father who is faithful to teach and disciple me even while I thrash and kick about. A sweet friend reminded me that it's okay to bring everything to God even my disappointment and complaints. It wouldn't be good for me to live there but sometimes it takes a good soulful vent session to remember that God truly is good. Thankful for the reminder that I don't have to be joyful about all circumstances I just need to learn how to give thanks and be joyful in all circumstances. So thankful for the amazing women God has put in my life that point me back to Him.

MATT 3:
Loving Matthew so far. I love me some John the Baptist. He could eat Ron Swanson for lunch. In verses 1-12 John brings it strong. Jesus doesn't surprise anyone when he calls out the Pharisees and Sadducees. They had probably given the Jews a bad name for a long time. Unfortunately, there are still many modern day Pharisees. I myself am one trying to recover. John is pretty clear about the fate of Pharisees who place their salvation in the hands of their own good deeds.

Then Jesus comes to be baptized. I know I'm probably missing a lot about the interchange between John and Jesus but in my limited view this part of the chapter is still incredibly beautiful.

D

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DAY 488: MATTHEW 2

I hate doing this but in all authenticity this evening I've decided to throw myself a pity party. Maybe if I just throw it instead of fighting it I can move on. Les came down with the stomach funk last night and it's thrown me off. Today was not at all what I had hoped for or envisioned as the eve of Thanksgiving. It's not even today that causing my grumpy butt, it's the fear of the Thanksgiving Puke A Roma around here that has my undies in a bunch. I wanted to have a baby sometime this Thanksgiving weekend and I know I won't if people in BrownTown start dropping like flies. I hate that I'm more concerned about puking out my own guts than my poor sweet husband. I already feel tapped physically right now. I can't fathom fighting a stomach bug on top of it.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV84)

I hate being such a whiney baby the day before Thanksgiving. I have so many reasons to give thanks. This situation is not my dream but it's really not that big of a deal. I can't help but think about the Holmes Family right now whose son was newly diagnosed with cancer around the same time their fourth child was due. I can't imagine having to be away from any of my children while they are in the hospital to give birth. I am weary and feel like a horrible wife but none of this will end in death.

Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1 NIV84)

He is ever so good!! When my eyes are focused on myself and my circumstances frankly it's hard to give thanks. Thanks for letting me have a pity party. It's not about me and I'm thankful for that reminder once again.

MATT 2:
I'm going to leave my commentary for another time. Contrax I've had all day are ramping up and in order to fully ignore them I need to go to bed.

D


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DAY 487: MATTHEW 1

Celebrated the beauty of adoption with sweet friends tonight. I can not get adoption out of my head either. It all ties into so many things. I think it all comes back to trying to figure out what BrownTown supposed to be all about. It can be confusing trying to understand what our thing is supposed to be. In many ways it's definately family and upholding the value and the beauty family. Both Les and I are strongly pro-life and I see how adoption fits beautifully into fighting for that cause.

I was talking to a sweet family tonight who have adopted one sweet boy and are in the process of adopting his baby sister as well. The bio momma is pregnant again and they are praying through what that means for the future of their family. At one point somebody made a comment of not understanding how she could be allowed to continue to have more babies. I understand that line of thinking. Why do so many kids have to be brought into the world drug addicted and many often have futures that seem very bleak. However, that mom who is a drug addict is also a daughter who God loves. Are children only a blessing from God when born to people who have their stuff together? I may be a lot more with it that a drug addicted prostitute but my sin is the same. Children are a blessing and as much as we want to think that we have control of creating them when it comes down to it, it's always God who breathes the breath of life. We can not create life apart from the blessing of God. Who are we to think that certain lives have more value than others. This wasn't the heart of the people I was talking with but really this is what it boils down to when we really stop and look at it.

Tonight I started reading Matthew as an attempt to prepare my heart for the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child. The book starts off with genealogy. Oh how in my flesh I would love to see that genealogy reflect the upmost righteous in character. Instead its a list of a bunch of sinners. It's a reminder of man's fallen nature and that even bastard children can become apart of a legacy of something beyond themself, a legacy of something incredibly beautiful.

If you've managed to read this far I would covet your prayer on wisdom and direction on what is next for our family. Ethiopia's situation does not look good right now as far as adoption goes. In my limited sight domestic adoption seems perfect with our hearts for life. Yet there is also this heartbeat for Africa that we can't exactly explain or even seem to shake. Pray that I would wait patiently for the Lord to reveal His plan. I've chosen to remove myself from the ring this time and wait for Les to lead out when he feels its time for our family to do so. It will be hard for me to be quiet and still and wait. I ache and long for our son to be with us. I won't lie I sometimes wish this wasn't supposed to be part of our story. It would be easier to just stick with having biological kids. God hasnt called us to easier though, He's calling us to glorify Him and to experience the beauty that only He can create through adoption.

MATT 1:
The stage has been set and the Messiah is coming soon. There is so much I love about this chapter. The scandalous lineage of Jesus complete with prostitutes and adulterers and other imperfect sinners. A faithful Moabite woman is also found here which hints that Jesus will not only be just for the Jews but for the Gentiles as well. There's hints of the amazing orderliness of God and how everything has been planned out and set into motion in His perfect timing.

Vs 17:
Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. (Matthew 1:17 NIV)

Then we are introduced to Mary and Joseph. Not much is mentioned of Joseph but in the few descriptions it's quite clear that he is a man of righteousness and he has a desire to pursue to God. I can't imagine how Mary and Joseph must have felt through all of this. I love this beautiful beginning to this amazing story. I look forward to reminding my heart over the next 28ish days of why we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.

D
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Monday, November 21, 2011

DAY 486: PS 72

Crazy weepy today. Now I'm just crazy tired. Loved the slow pace of a cloudy snugly day. Prayed that God would change my heart to be thankful today and He most definitely answered. This is totally the reason for the water works all day long. Thankful that He so graciously answers the prayers of His children.

PS 72:
This is really a beautiful Psalm. It can be read in two different ways depending on who the King is, Jesus or David himself. Either way it's pretty stinking awesome. Love David's heart in this Psalm for the hurting, the poor and the needy. David is all about justice. I completely know what that looks like since one of my children is Captain Justice. I love his heart on desiring to protect and deliver swift justice but it most definitely needs some refining. Don't we all need refining though. It's easy to look at my kids and wonder why they can't deliver perfection on a consistent basis. I hate that I often hold them to standards that I myself often can't meet. My sinful nature doesn't come out in the same way, but I too am in constant need of grace, discipleship and refinement. I'm thankful that King Jesus came to rescue us from our sinful selves. I pray that I am able to learn how to offer and show grace the same way Christ daily does to me. Overwhelmed by His great and mighty love today and the goodness He lavishes on those who love Him.

D

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

DAY 485: PS 71

I feel like the little boy who cried wolf. Today I feel much like I would feel if I went to L&D and got sent home. I've never thought anything bad about a woman who has done this but I can imagine how they feel and I'm feeling it today. Les staying home on a Sunday is a pretty big deal. He was prepared and ready in case of such an event but I feel lame not having a baby to show for the day off. I do have most of my to do before baby gets here done now so that feels great! Most important is the Jesse Tree! After two years of failed attempts I'm fired up that all the ornaments and the the tree itself is ready to go for Advent. Wahoo! Feel like a dork but much more prepared to have Bella actually come. Speaking of "Bella" discovered last night that a dumb character in Twilight is called Bella. Not fired up about that association but whatever. This baby is Isabel Grace and there's no going back now.

So today was filled with consistent contrax for an hour on and off. I'd finally get to a place where I would be okay with the fact no baby would be coming today and something else would happen that would get me back on the thought of impending labor. I was telling my hubster about how frustrating the whole thing was and he said to view this as an opportunity for patience. He was kidding but he was so right. I want to be able to control this somehow especially with the pressure of a day off spent. I can't control when Bella comes. I can't control when our adopted son will come home. I can't control a single thing about my children's lives. I can try like mad to control things the way I want to but I'll always come out feeling frustrated and a bit crazy. Today I was going to try Operation Evacuate Baby with the three tried and true S's. When the fear of the heartburn it could cause when I'm already a fire breathing dragon was worse than the thought of pushing this babe out I decided to re-evaluate. My heart behind my motivation to get this girl out is all wrong so it just wasn't worth it to me. Next week it might totally be worth it but for today I rest assured that the time of little bits arrival will be perfect!

PS 71:
Love this Psalm. In light of all my insane hormones over the last several days it was like a soothing balm.

Vs 1:
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame. (Psalm 71:1 NIV)

The thought of being put to shame is never my idea of fun but beyond that I am so thankful that I can take refuge in the Lord. It's only been till recently that I've found that not only is He a refuge He has become what I turn to for refuge.

Vs 8:
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long. (Psalm 71:8 NIV)

Today while listening to worship being streamed into my house I realized that in all this emotional and hormonal churn I've felt the last couple days I've lost my focus and my center, Christ. Oh how I wish I could keep Jesus locked into focus as I walked through all my days. Yet I'm most often a distracted girl being pulled and swayed by one thing or another. I'm thankful for this time each and every day to fix my focus back to Jesus even if it means just for a moment. I'd get sweated away and carried out to sea without this time everyday. Now if only I could learn how to live out my daily walk like verse 8. There is something so powerful about thanksgiving. It takes the focus off of ourselves and keeps our eyes on Him. I know why Ann Voscamp is so very passionate about learning to live out a life of thankfulness in all circumstances. It's hard for me to live this out even during the very season of giving thanks. May God change my heart to lift my hands in praise and thanksgiving all day long.

D


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DAY 484: PS 70

Was just about to write about how I must of just had some bad gas to think this kid was coming soon and now she is painfully working herself so low that she's either going to just fall out or I'm going to have a third cheek by morning. Yep that's the longest sentence ever. Can't think straight with all the grindy grindy.

I thought when I hit the 37 week zone I'd be less focused on Baby E and totally excited to meet Bella. Still not quite ready to meet Bella and still so sad over Baby E. I can't help but think about how different things were last year. There were frustrations and set backs in our rush to complete our dossier. Having the ability to truly compare the events of this year and last the urgency to get things completed and ready feel very much the same. There was so much celebration and joy over getting everything completed and on the waitlist before the end of the year. I know there will be such incredible amounts of joy and celebrating once sweet Bella Grace finally arrives. We prayed on January 1st that BrownTown would become a family of 7 in 2011 and He answered our prayer. God's hand has lead every step of our adoption process as well as the blessing of more Brownies that are biological. Through all of this I understand on a much smaller scale the ache and longing God has for us to be apart of His Family.

PS 70:
Short Psalm. Love this verse.

Vs 4:
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
"The Lord is great!" (Psalm 70:4 NIV)

I don't understand why God doesn't just take the shortest route possible on things in life. I do know that the journey He takes us on to go from A to B is part of the beauty and growth of it all. Thankful I don't always see the full picture and that He's growing me to be more and more okay with that. I am glad that I can always go back to the fact that the Lord is great!!!

D


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Friday, November 18, 2011

DAY 483: PS 69

Great day spend with my hubster thanks to sweet friends who watched my Brownies. It's been way too long since just the two of us got away alone. Felt pretty good today but got smacked with reoccurring nausea today. Every time contractions ramp up so does feeling pukey. I feel like I can't possibly have a baby feeling like this. I'm done with all the digestive issues that have gone on the last nine months. I feel like the biggest brat for even writing that. I have no reason to complain. There are so many people who are dying of starvation and will die as I write this. There are sweet kiddos, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, you name it who feel yuck because the medicine that will save them is also what tears up their bodies. My temporary discomfort is what will bring forth new life. Such a beautiful picture of what happens to us on our journey closer to Christ. It's uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful to die to self so that we might become more like Christ and find true life. May my heart grow to find much joy in all the discomforts of life knowing that in the end it produces much beauty.

PS 69:
Another beautiful Psalm. It's slightly overwhelming trying to figure out how to tackle Psalms like this. They twist and turn but there is so much greatness packed into such a short chapter. I love how God has created some of us with the gift of creating beauty with words. I get excited thinking about what it will be like to listen to the very words of God. Each and every word will be filled with more beauty than we could ever imagine. I've never really thought about this being part of experiencing the majesty of God. Ive always loved this verse but it's coming alive to me in more depth and I'm more excited than ever to one day be in front of my Creator and it be better than the greatest thing I could ever imagine here. When I think about all the temporary discomfort I whine about here on earth compared to an eternity of unfathomable joy it's makes it seem completely worth it.

However, as it is written:
"What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived"—
the things God has prepared for those who love him— (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

D

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DAY 482: PS 68

Very thankful for today. Somebody is praying me up because for as yuck as I was feeling last night I woke up feeling so much better today. Not 100% but well enough to push out a hambone. I thought at one point today that Joshua was going to get a baby sister for his birthday. We were at the Rat Palace and I was getting some good contractions going right on top of each other and then nothing. It's Luke all over again. I'd be fine if what I consider real labor only lasts 30 minutes like it did with him. My favorite midwife starts baby duty Thanksgiving morning so I'd like to keep this stinker in till then. Something about having a believer deliver your baby that makes it truly great.

PS 68:
This psalm is really pretty. Lots of strong imagery that I really enjoyed. There's too much to really be able to tackle but beautiful Psalm none the less. This verse resonated with me the most.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5 NIV)

One of the greatest joys I've stumbled across in this 365 Experiment has been to truly know what this verse means. For a long time I'd hear this verse and desperately wonder how God could possibly fill the void I felt my entire life for a father. It didn't seem possible that a heavenly father could possibly fill that ache for love and affection that I missed out on growing up. It's not like I could hop up in God's lap and have him stroke my hair. I don't know exactly how it happened or what's changed but I now know what it is like to run and jump into my Father's lap. Beyond thankful!

It's interesting running into this verse now as I've been pondering something my counselor in high school once said to me. I can't remember word for word what he said but basically it was that it was okay if I desired for my stepdad to be a father to me. Of course in my stubborn strong self reliant exterior my answer was heck no! I haven't moved much on my stance but I'm sure there is digging to be done in this area. There is a desire that he would have been a different person but there was nothing about who he was that made me ever desire that kind of relationship with him. Fear of him was so deeply entrenched from the get go that I think there was never any room for such desire. Confident there is still work that needs to be done in this area but thankful for the beautiful story of healing and redemption that God is weaving in my life.

D

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DAY 481: PS 67

Feeling like a big fat whiney baby. Caught some kid funk that is attacking the region from the top of my head down to the bottom of my neck. Thankful to knock out this minor irritation and funk before Bella gets here. Still can't believe we're about to have another baby.

Lots of things of things churning around in my clogged head. Can't think clearly enough to separate them out and write anything coherent about any of it. A sweet little boy has decided to curl up in my lap and that's not helping one bit.

PS 67:
Vs 1:
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— (Psalm 67:1 NIV

Heard this a lot growing up. It always brought so much joy. I think the reason for the joy was that it meant church was finally over. I know this became true the older I got and some of the stories of the people who attended I was aware of, my own families story included. Everything was very pretty on Sunday but there lacked a faith that spread into the other six days of the week. Jesus was only good enough for Sunday's. Clearly not an inspiring faith.

Vs 2:
so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. (Psalm 67:2 NIV)

I love the heart of this Psalmist. May our lives as believers reflect the Creator of all. I desire this as well. If its through blessing, awesomeness, but if it's how we respond in the midst of walking through the valleys than so be it. I'm growing more and more comfortable with the idea of the latter than I've ever been. I tend to forget that I was created to glorify God not the other way around. I often want to throw in stipulations on how I think things should go, as if I'm entitled to a life of comfort and ease. In my flesh, I'm always going to want to walk the path of least resistance.

Vs 6:
The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us. (Psalm 67:6 NIV)

Les and I have talked a little about the beauty of working and tilling the earth. The farmer is totally dependent on God. I love the glimpses I see of this on Ann Voskamp's blog. The giving thanks for what has been produced from the ground. How awesome to see the illustration of how God is the only one who can make things truly grow. It's beautiful.

D

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DAY 480: 1 TIM 5

Thought there might be a possibility of it being game on this afternoon. Completely not ready to have a baby this week. Looking like this kid is going to pull a Luke. Thats totally fine because I refuse to push out a baby till the kid funk I caught is gone.

1 TIM 5:
Head is clogged and throat on fire so my brain is not processing much at all. At first glance the stuff on widows is like whu, whu, WHAT!? Then as I read on it made total and complete sense. The only thing that seems to be lacking is the case where a widow has young children. I am guessing that community was a huge factor and if a single widowed momma had to work her kids could come with her or somebody in the community would gladly help out in this area. Should read up on this more but unfortunately not motivated enough to do so.

I really like the last two verses of the chapter.

Vs 24&25
The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. (1 Timothy 5:24, 25 NIV)

This is just greatness. Good or bad eventually all things will be brought out into the light. I think the sins that trail behind us are the trickiest of them all. Either we hide them on purpose or we are unaware that are hearts are deceitful. I pray that God would continue to search my heart and reveal the areas of my life where sin trails behind me. Thankful that He is ever faithful to do this out of His love for us and that He is gentle and kind not to ambush us with everything at once.

D

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Monday, November 14, 2011

DAY 479: PSALM 66

Les has guesstimated that our 2011 Model will be arriving in the next 5-7 days. He's seen the craziness that is brewing before so I'd say he just might be onto something. I've been eyeing the calendar and coming up with what I think would be the most optimal days to give birth. We'll see if my plan comes together. Throat getting more painful by the hour so hoping we're more like 7-9 days away.

PS 66:
Vs 3:
Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you. (Psalm 66:3 NIV84)

Love this! Great reminder that as believers there truly is nothing we should ever fear. Nothing is too big for God to handle and He's known about everything before time ever began.

This verses reminds me of Romans 8:31. I find much comfort in this knowledge.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NIV84)

Vs 5:
Come and see what God has done,
how awesome his works in man's behalf! (Psalm 66:5 NIV84)

I do get fired up about what God has done in my life and the lives of others BUT there is a lot of work that needs to be done in this area. Come and see what God has done neighbor! Come and see cashier, waiter, friend who doesn't know Christ, ect. The come and see should frankly be louder than my insecurity, fear, sense of inadequacy, ect . Come and see that God is better than anything you could imagine!

Vs 16-20 is greatness. In verse 15 David tells believers to listen to what God has done in his life. Story is such a compelling thing. I love people's story. It's in a person's story that you truly can understand them and why they are who they are today. This verse leads into David telling of how he cried out to God yet he still praised God. The Lord was gracious to hear David's cries because of his willingness to confess his sin and turn away from it. I used to be the lukewarm who ran in the opposite direction of God yet would cry out when I was in need of help. That's not much of a relationship. God wasn't missing out but I was missing out like crazy. I refused to come and see. When I finally stopped being foolish long enough to come and see, it's been wonders of wonders.

D

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

DAY 478: PS 65

Call it foolish or not but got caught up on more than is probably needed to know on the Sandusky case. Crazy heartbreaking for so many reasons. The boys stories of being groomed hit close to home. It's these experiences that are so easy to minimize and shrug off as nothing but have the same power to shatter internal compasses. It's when people are present or know what's happening and nothing is done that flips everything upside down. Oh how Satan does his bidding to try to completely crush and destroy the beauty God had intended.

PS 65:
No turmoil present in this in this Psalm. It's simply a psalm to boast and give thanksgiving for how awesome God is. These two verses stuck out to me the most.

Vs 3&4:
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. (Psalm 65:3, 4 NIV84)

When we were overwhelmed by sin you forgave. Thank you Jesus for bearing the weight of our sin! I've called Sandusky and the people surrounding his sin lots of foul names over the last several days. I want to separate myself far away from his evil atrocities but the truth is I can't. I too turned my back to God and was overwhelmed by my own sin. Even then, caught up in the thick chocking blackness of my sin Christ died to forgive and cleanse me from all my transgressions. There are no words to describe that kind of crazy love.

D

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

DAY 477: PS 64

Saw a picture of a wedding Les and I were supposed to go to and it made me want to kick myself and cry all at the same time. There is something so beautiful to the beginning of a new family. Love me a wedding and the news of a new baby, especially that first one. God set beautiful right in the middle of the union of a man and a wife. On another note my hormones are off the chart ridiculous. I feel pretty gross and on top of that I feel like a crazy lady waiting to yell or cry at any moment. I remember just loosing it with Les when I was pregnant with Abbie over the craziest things. Not too far off right now either.

PS 64:
Vs 1:
Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. (Psalm 64:1 NIV84)

I love this. Hear me God as I lodge my complaint. I love how David never held back from God. He was always honest about how he felt. He was able to turn his hurt, frustration, disappointment back to trusting God and praising Him despite the circumstances. This is the key to always turn it back to praise; trusting that God has a reason for all things. I feel like I've had a good butt kicking this pregnancy. Even in the butt kicking I've really had it easier than a lot of people. I'm thankful that it hasn't been easy.

Vs 3:
They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their words like deadly arrows. (Psalm 64:3 NIV84)

Ouch! Another great reminder about the tongue and how hurtful it can be.

Vs 10:
Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
let all the upright in heart praise him! (Psalm 64:10 NIV84)

Once again David keeps his focus on God and puts his trust and his hope there.

D

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Friday, November 11, 2011

DAY 476: PS 63

BrownTown had been seriously missing some fun. Didn't realize it had been desperately missing until it slapped us upside the head tonight . My hubster can take something like making a Jesse/Thanksgiving Tree which is fun in itself into something that is completely awesome. One moment we're cutting leaves and the next moment we're all wearing mustaches. Thankful beyond words for the blessing of Les and for the reminder that BrownTown needs and thrives on complete and utter silliness.

Got a good chunk of time today out of the house sans kiddos. Again had no idea how much that was needed. Came home head over heels in love with those kiddos. Generally I love spending our time together as a family when Les is off but I need to remember a break every so often can actually help me to be a better momma. Starting to want to nest which shows up in cooky ways. I don't know what the deal is with baby girls but with Abbie and with this baby my obsession has been a piece of furniture. I know this time it's completely silly especially since Abbie and Bella won't be in the same room for awhile but I can't get the thought of it out of my mind.

Today one of the speakers at BB just so happened to have an adopted son. One look at the picture of their family and I could have cried buckets. I really wasn't expecting this crazy longing for Baby E right now. Even if we were still moving on the wait list at Gladney we'd still would have had Bella before bringing our son home. Praying through whether or not to write Gladney about all of this. It won't change anything BUT maybe it might help them understand that their reasoning for their policy actually creates much grief. It's so weird to be expecting a baby and yet still have a heart longing and aching for a child.

PS 63:
This psalm is so beautiful. I pray that this kind of hunger and yearning for God would develop in my own heart. Reading this psalm was a little difficult because I know two songs set to the words. Trying to read it was like the dueling banjos. This psalm will always remind me of being in labor with Luke. The song Psalm 63 is on a Passion CD that we have and after they broke my water and it felt like I was being ripped in half all I wanted to do was listen to this CD. Unfortunately, technology failed me for his birth but this is such a sweet Psalm that I can pray over my lion cub.

Vs 1:
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NIV84)

It can really feel this way sometimes. This land feels dry and weary and the thought of raising kids in it can seem overwhelming at times. Everything in this world screams the opposite of what I want to instill in my kiddos lives. I pray as my kids grow older they would earnestly seek for truth and desire and long for God to be their God.

D

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

DAY 475: PS 62

Yesterday at bible study Elizabeth Tamlyn had mentioned this bible verse.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV84)

The you are not your own really resonated with me. I was thinking about it this morning and praying to be able to continue to let go of my plans, my dreams and desires so that I might be more willing to follow God's instead. In the midst of this I broke up a complain fight around our house. One kid being unkind to another because they are not playing the way the other wants. As I was talking to the oldest involved in the drama I told him to love is always more important than following your own plans. The words no sooner left my mouth than I was stone cold convicted. How many times have I gotten frustrated or ignored or been unkind because my plans were being interrupted? Often! Loving my kids, my husband or somebody in need is always more important than what's on my own agenda. If I want to be willing to surrender my plans, hopes and desires in order to follow God's I need to be willing to surrender on a day to day basis. Everyday I have an opportunity to let go of what I want in order to love. At building blocks the other day a mom said how her mom would do a lot for them but she always felt like an inconvenience to her mom. I know I make my kids feel that way sometimes and I hate that! Praying God will continue to be willing to not be my own and be willing to sacrifice what I want in order to love.

This morning despite some mayhem being willing to ditch my plans went pretty well. Post lunch time I turned into a crazy hormonal pregnant lady. The boys caused one too many episodes of destruction and chaos and I snapped. I snapped at them and I snapped at my husband. It was one of those moments where I knew I was loosing it but there wasn't much I could or rather wanted to do to reign it back in.

If you're curious to know what broke me it was Luke spilling the contents of carpet fresher in his room. The room that they were supposed to be cleaning but instead was destroying. This of course happened after he had peed all over his room for the second time. At least the first time he peed standing on the dresser, which he's not supposed to do, onto his little brothers bed. Which might not have been so bad if he and his baby brother hadn't put half the water from the bath tun onto the bathroom floor. That might not have been so frustrating if the carpet in front of said bathroom wasn't mildew smelling from Monday when they turned our hallway into a swamp. Let me not forget the broken closet door and jacked up Xbox that also occurred today. I'm blaming werewolf mommy on the full moon tonight.

PS 62:
Great Psalm tonight.

Vs 1-2:
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1, 2 NIV84)

These verses are so great that they are repeated in this Psalm. I need to figure out how to do this "I will never be shaken" thing. I got pretty rattled up today. I'm not so upset about being angry as the boys today needed to be very firmly disciplined but my heart got to a place that was not loving. So thankful today that salvation comes from Christ alone and is not earned by my deeds.

Vs 11-12:
One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done. (Psalm 62:11, 12 NIV84)

Glad that God is strong and loving and that the word in this verse is reward not punish.

D
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

DAY 474: PS 61

Pretty confident I'm going to give birth to a fire breathing dragon OR that I'm not pregnant and really I'm turning into a fire breathing dragon. Either way I'm sure my boys will be thrilled.

Proud of my girl today. Discovered more sneaking, hiding and deception yesterday. Her consequences were not favorable and rage was a result. At least she's not a stuffer. Once she calmed down she was able to apologize and ask for forgiveness without being prompted.

This morning we talked about her desire to hide her sin and not want to tell others about it. I encouraged her to tell a mom who she didn't want me to tell yesterday and to tell her teachers about what she did and how she's been struggling. The little girl who did not want anybody to know told her entire class and asked them if they would pray for her. She discovered the freedom of bringing things into the light, accountability and knowing she is not alone in her struggle. A sweet little girl in her class was able to talk about how she struggles with the same thing Abbie does. Walking with Abbie in this has not been easy but today there's is so much beauty to be had in all of it. I know we are not free and clear of all of this but today Abbie got a taste of the beautiful freedom that comes from walking in the light. Humbled and thankful.

DAY 61:
Vs 4
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:4 NIV84)

There once was a time when the thought of heaven seemed pretty boring to me. I said the sinners prayer when I was eight but when I look back on my life I had to have been in the Lord, Lord camp. I knew God and I knew that Jesus was the only way to receive salvation but over the course of most of my life the choices that I made did not reflect truly knowing who God was. My life with God was segmented and I made my own religion. I'm thankful that in the prime of my self destructive phase I did not claim to be a Christian. I wasn't ashamed of Jesus I just knew that nothing that was reflected in my life pointed to Him. Beyond thankful that while I was still a rebellious sinner Christ plunked me out of the mirey pit of hell and was willing to call me His own. Now I read verses like the one above and I can't imagine that I ever thought dwelling in the presence of the Lord for an eternity would ever be boring.

D

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

DAY 473: 1 TIM 4

Well, today I decided to pursue my igod in hopes of self medicating instead of pursuing the one true God. I am so thankful to be having another sweet precious baby girl but all this extra estrogen in my body is killing it. Oh the sanctification God wants to do in husbands and wives during pregnancy. Today I was done with the sanctifying and chose to walk in the flesh instead of lean into my wonderful Savior.

In the midst of feeling horrible today I was caught somehow in the middle of the news of baby Duggar #20 and Amendment 26. Michelle Duggar is my hero. Today I couldn't possibly imagine doing this pregnancy thing one more time much less one more day. She is on number 20! I don't know how she does it. I might just call her up and ask her. On the other hand there is Amendment 26 and since I've been pursuing my igod today I was able to read up on both sides of the argument. Reading the rhetoric against considering personhood at conception is very interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. I kept reading words such as inhumane and dehumanizing of women. It's the same thing the pro-choice side is doing and has been doing to the unborn child. The arguments on when life or personhood begins is all based on what is convenient for the pregnant woman at the time.

It occurred to me tonight while feeling like a serious miserable pregnant chump whether or not I could do this again or drag my family through this ordeal again. Really when I think about it, it all comes back to convenience which is one of the very things I hate about the pro-choice argument. Pregnancy is hard and it's inconvenient for my entire family. When it comes down to it babies and kids are pretty darn inconvenient too. Yet there is so much beauty in a life. Tonight for the very first time I completely get the quiver full movement. Children, life, this very day is a blessing from God even if it's inconvenient as hell. Would I drag myself and my family through another nine months of chaos and inconvenience? Absolutely! Life is precious and it's beautiful. To give life was so important to God that He gave His only Son so that we might have life. You better believe I think that's worth the inconvenience and discomfort.

1 TIM 4:
This is a great chapter. I love how strong Paul's words are. He is full of grace when he writes but he does not sugar coat the truth. I'm being too much of a brat today to want to really marinate in this for too long. I'm already feeling convicted about my poor choices today and frankly I just want to finish out my day being a turkey.

This was my favorite verse of the chapter though:

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16 NIV84)

Not persevering today but looking forward to jumping back into the fight tomorrow. I'm off to go breath some fire and explain to Bella that there is way too much to be done around here for her to be trying to pull tricks like she did today.

D

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Monday, November 07, 2011

DAY 472: PHILIPPIANS 4

Les has another long day and part of me wants to cry. Bigs being wise and taking naps and the littles running amuck. It will be interesting navigating early bedtime with them while allowing bigs to be up. I'm worn thin on patience with my 3 yr old mayhem. He is such a great kid but my focus has been on his disrespect, defiance and utter destruction. Feeling like I just can not possibly do this today. I feel crushingly overwhelmed by the to do list. I hate being in this spot but I know it's a beautiful place to be. So for this minute I'm going to chose to breath in and breath out, keep my eyes fixed on the cross and focused on doing the next best thing which is to love.

----------------------------------------------------
All is quiet in BrownTown which is unusual. Littles down early and Les got home a little while ago and is taking bigs on a Jammie run to Braum's. Going to seize the quiet to actually get quiet. The carpet in front of the kids bathroom got flooded somehow but other than that this afternoon was a huge success. So weird what happens when my own agenda is completely thrown out and the one thing on my checklist is to love. This is how every single one of my days should be ordered. Sadly enough I know it won't take long to forget. Thankful that God is so gracious in His reminders.

I feel like God laid out a lot of things for me today but I'm not sure how to make my volcano head regurgitate it all. Bottom line is that I've made lots of things about myself lately. I've even made having a thankful heart about me. That's pretty darn gross but the reality is I'm so incredibly sinful and in my flesh my tendency is to make everything about me. Talk about a real reason to be thankful for the sweet wonderful salvation of Christ. He loves this self centered sinner enough to die for her and cloth her in beautiful robes of His righteousness.

PHILIPPIANS 4:
I don't even know where to start on this one. Reading letters written by Paul is like dining on the finest steak. It's meaty and filling and gives strength. Every bite is better than the last. Since there's no way to do this chapter justice in one sitting I'm going to focus on the thing that punched me in the gut the most today.

Vs 13:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

This verse gets misused a lot. It's awesome when it's plucked out and read by itself. I gravitate towards this verse because it talks about being able to do all things with strength given from God. Yes! This is exactly what I've been yearning for the last several weeks. God will give me strength so I can stop being grumpy. God will give me strength so I can do all the things I normally do with my kids. God will give me strength so I can be self reliant and joyful and thankful and perfect and blah blah blah. This isn't even what this verse is talking about.

Paul writes prior to this that he has learned to be content in any and every circumstance. This is what Paul is talking about. God has given him the strength to be content no matter what the circumstance. On our own we can't muster enough strength to be able to do this. Through the strength of Christ we can find contentment even when it's painful as all get out. When we reach our breaking point and feel as if we can go no more Jesus breaks in and helps keep our feet moving in front of us.

Today as a group of us women talked today about what it meant to be thankful the words sacrifice and giving were brought up. Thanksgiving becomes a sacrifice and a giving of ones self when it's hard to lift our hands to give thanks yet we do it anyway. When I'm in a good mood and the stars are aligned I could sing and give thanks all day. It's on the days that it's hard and my flesh is so heavy that it aches and I lean in to find a reason to be grateful that God has given me much strength.

D

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

DAY 471: PS 59

I'm sure I say the same thing everyday but homeskillet is exhausted. The urge to get everything in order to prepare for Bella has hit but I can barely drag myself off the couch. Some moments the thought of her arriving closer to her due date is awesome but other times I feel like if birth is not soon I just might not make it.

PS 59:
You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely. (Psalm 59:17 NIV)

Praying I learn how to lean into God's strength more and more.

D

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

DAY 470: PS 58

Lots of families celebrating the beauty of James 1:27 the last several days. Les and I have started having brief conversations about adoption again. I'm game for whatever variation of adoption or foster care. I haven't given up on Ethiopia as I still long for a son from there that feels very much like ours. I would run to the ends of the earth and back to bring him home but I'm learning how to wait patiently and expectantly. As odd as it might seem, Baby E seems more real to me than even Bella and I can feel her wiggle and squirm. Maybe this is why I'm finding it hard to wrap my head around the fact that we are about to have two girls as opposed to four boys. I believe a big part of our adoption story is about learning how to trust God even in the crazy twists and turns. As I ponder all of it, if anything, I'm learning to lay down my own plans, hopes and dreams at the feet of Christ. He alone knows what adoption, foster care and possible the addition of more bios in our family looks like. His plans for my life have been more magnificent than I could have ever imagine. Even in the hard and completely frustrating moments I had no idea it could ever be this good.

PS 58:
I don't have much to say about this Psalm. This verse is incredibly interesting to me though.

Vs 3:
Even from birth the wicked go astray;
from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. (Psalm 58:3 NIV)

This verse has some interesting implications that I'd love to dissect but my poor aching head and non existing brain just can't handle right now.

D

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Friday, November 04, 2011

DAY 469: PS 57

I don't even know where to start today. I must start with a story about a dog that I heard second hand. Les had the privilege of working at the Right Now Conference and this afternoon Chan brought it all home. This story is my version based on what Les told me. I don't know exactly what Chan is up to but he's living in San Fran and has this thing going where he's knocking on doors and asking if he can pray with others so that they might know the power of prayer. One guy he prays with is Muslim and he says that they can't pray for him but they can pray for this dog who is scared of everybody. Time passes dog still scared of everybody BUT the guy was approached by somebody who asked him if he wanted a dog. This dog was the exact kind of dog the Muslim guy had wanted. Chan gets a text during his talk about how this was God's way of speaking to the him and he is now no longer Muslim but a Christ follower. Wish I had been there to hear Chan in person but holy smokes. God loves us so much He would send someone to knock on our door and then use a stinking dog to draw us to Him. His love is crazy amazing.

Writing this and marveling over this story I'm brought to my knees once again. I'm incredibly selfish and I often ask for the wrong things or am focused on the temporal instead of the eternal. I forget this time and time again but it always comes to love. Even if I'm not focused on loving others if I turn my attention to God's great love for me goodness oozes out. Instead I focus on my weaknesses, my exhaustion, my circumstances, ect and everything gets so messed up. I am so focused on self that I miss out on what this life is really all about. This is so stinking simple but I am constantly forgetting. I could kick myself but that would once again make this more about myself then the amazing love, grace and mercy offered to me by the Creator of the Universe.

On another note of confession I've spent more time zoning out via FB. I've felt completely inadequate as a mother of these four awesome kids the last several days. Instead of rejoicing in my weaknesses as a way to be made stronger I've tried to escape from them through other means.

PS 57:
I wish the last couple weeks I would have taken this approach instead of fixating on my lack of everything.

Vs 1:
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (Psalm 57:1 NIV)

Have mercy on me oh Lord for I have no patience. Have mercy on me for my tone lacks gentleness. I am weary from the raging hormones but in you I find refuge and rest. I find comfort in your arms and in your I find strength.

My week has not looked like this at all. Oh Lord thank you for this coke may it provide at least a 30 minute burst of energy so I can get off the couch. Help this pregnant volcano not erupt and completely mess up my kids. I pray for the strength to make it to a 6:30 bedtime. This week hasn't been pretty and frankly next week won't be either unless I get the focus off of me and fixate them of Christ.

I'm out. Missing my husband and want more scoop on this conference!

D
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

DAY 468: PS 56

I've been looking forward to this time all day today. I'm sure it has something to do with signifying that I made it through yet another long day. Feel bad for my brownies as I've just not had much energy. Luke has said a couple times over the past few days "why don't you want to play with us Mommy" and that has been quite painful to the ole heart. I feel like once I have this baby I'll be able to rock it again. My biggest beef with pregnancy is that I can't be as awesome at being self reliant as I want to be. There are so many things wrong with this.

Now that I think about it I've really been asking God for the wrong things or I have failed to ask Him for the right things. Les is normally around in morning so when we eat breakfast he reads the bible and instructs them on what he just read. Normally I pick this up in the AM if he's not there and for lunch. I've just been a total bump on the log the past several weeks. I think there's a positive correlation between obedience and regular scripture reading in our house. The boys have been pretty stinking unruly the past week and there has been a whole lot less time in the Word. Here lies my point, I ask God for patience and yada yada yada but I haven't been asking Him to help me do the good I ought to do. I know my brain is broken from pregnancy but seriously duh!

This all plays into the whole self reliance gig too. It's okay to pray for patience considering my situation but put that aside and surely I should be able to muster up enough of my own strength to do good. Right? Apart from God I can't do one single thing that is good. Just read an amazing quote "self reliance is spiritual suicide". This concisely explains what self reliance is. As much as the thought of this strikes total utter fear into my heart I pray that God would crush my self reliance. PS: Can you make that as pain free as possible?

PS 56:
Wasn't expecting my vice of self reliance to be so prevalent today now would I have thought today's Psalm would tie into that struggle so beautifully. One of the great qualities about David is that he realizes his complete dependence upon the Lord. He knows that without God is sunk. Psalm 56 David is once again in a hard spot. He begins to fear but then remembers in light of God's strength and power he has nothing to fear.

Vs 3:
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3 NLT)

This is much easier said than done. As I was reading to the kids tonight I ran across this verse.

At these three times each year, every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord. (Exodus 23:17 NLT)

I love the way this is worded. The Sovereign, the Lord. God is not only sovereign, He is THE Sovereign. Not a single thing goes by or occurs without it being ordained by God. A lot of things hinge on this. If God ordains everything as the Sovereign, how do you grapple with some of the horrendous stuff that occurs in our world? Is God good or is He not? If He is good, which I believe that He is, shouldn't we respond to the good that we receive as well as the "bad".

I am so all over the place tonight and I'm pretty confident my thoughts are not stringing together very well. So on that note I'll end here with thoughts of the Sovereign destroying my self reliance.

D


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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

DAY 467: PS 55

Let's just get right to business today shall we. I did not even have to set foot out of bed today before I began my day disobedient. Woke up at 6:30 and knew the good I ought to do yet decided to argue and justify my reasons for remaining in bed instead. Choosing to stay in bed cuddled up with my warm Brownies wasn't an evil or malicious thing but it was disobedient.

I don't know why it seems easier to me to trust God in the big things but I struggle trusting God in the little things. Frankly this morning I didn't trust that God would provide me with what I needed in the moment today. I can't help but go back to the story of the widow and Elijah. Daily she poured out all the provision that she had in order to survive and it was only then that God provided more. I'm trying to think of the song we sang today at BS. One of the lines was "Jesus you are all I need". I was struck by this. I want this to be true so badly yet daily I reach for something else in addition to Him. I need Jesus and this Coke. I need Jesus and for my day to go as planned. Whatever the case might be I don't live out my day to day as if Jesus is all that I need. God help me to wean myself off the dependence I have on worldly things so that one day I might truly be able to sing Jesus you are all that I need.

I wish I had my notes from today's talk. There were a couple other things that really struck me. On that note I can not express how thankful I am for this semester of women's bible study. Just thinking about it I get rather weepy knowing what a prideful fool I've been. God has shown me in astounding ways what an experience can be like if you are willing to view things with a humble heart. To think of all the things I've missed out on being an arrogant fool. I've yet to barely scratch the surface on the mountains of change that needs to occur in my heart in this area but I'm so incredibly thankful for this glimpse.

PS 55:
I've really got to wrap this up do I can spent some time with the second love of my life. I'm in one of those introspective moods though and feel as if I could write all night long.

This Psalm personally comes with a dull ache. This is a chapter that contains verses from Shelter. It also has always reminded me of Forrest Gump which falls in line with the same subject matter. I ache not only for my own story but for the countless stories of others and just the general fallenness of our world. There is so much pain in this world. Yet I grow more and more confident in God's amazing power and ability to set the captive free and bring all things to glorify His name.

David's heart aches in this Psalm too. To add insult to injury somebody who he has walked with and lived has turned into an enemy. My guess is that he is speaking of Saul but it could really be anybody. In all David's hurt and pain he is still able to turn his eyes to where his true help comes from. I love this completely untamed crying out to God that David is able to do yet his heart beats so much for God he always manages to stay grounded.

I could ramble on forever. So many great verses in this Psalm. Will save my blabbering for yet another day.

D

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

DAY 466: 1 TIM 3

Little bit is wailing and nashing his teeth about having to go to bed. He has perfected the art of drama which is not surprising at all since he is a Brown. I'd like to say that I was going to be faithful and rock my bs homework tonight but I am so incredibly exhausted.

Can't keep my eyes open but this verse of course punched me in the gut the most.

Vs 6:
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. (1 Timothy 3:6 NIV84)

In other versions conceited is replaced with prideful. This is harsh but it's so true. Oh how I hate struggling with pride. If only to be strong, secure and incredibly humble like Paul.

The rest of the chapter is greatness as well and a pretty convicting list. As a momma I'm an overseer in my home and it's important that I too possess these same qualities. And unfortunately I have to call it tonight on account of being unable to keep my eyes open

D

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