Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DAY 575: MARK 15

Bella up and wiggly so not sure how much I'll be able to focus. Lots of churn going on tonight though. Read an interesting article about helicopter parents which brought up several things for my crazy head to munch on. One which is always there is busyness. Reading through the gospels it's clear that Jesus was constantly working. In fact, often there was no time to eat and when he did try to get away the crowds would find him and follow. Yet, there was always time to stop and seek out the hearts of strangers, acquaintances and friends. Jesus was busy but all of it with the eternal in mind. Oh how often I am busy with just plain busyness and feel guilt over not being more busy. Finding the balance is oh so difficult and the evil one so easily tries to corrupt and distort what is good.

ReEngage was good tonight. It's brought up good conversation for Les and I but its also pointed out areas of insecurity. So done with battling with insecurity and it's inseparable BFF pride. Thankful for beautiful grace of Jesus!

MARK 15:
This chapter is thick with sin. Pride, envy, people pleasing and the list goes on and on. In the absolute horror of this chapter we come face to face with the most beautiful love story ever. His love for us is crazy!!

D

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DAY 574: MARK 14

Still struggling to have fun during my days this week. This life isn't about me having fun but I've got five kids fun should abound. I'm stuck in the weeds of life. Homeschooling with a sweet baby leaves room for little else. I need to get over the weeds and realize that they can actually be kinda pretty. Who doesn't enjoy a dandelion now and again, especially when handed to you by a sweet child. I'm just tired and right now it doesn't feel like I'll ever feel rested ever again.

Thankful for a fun night celebrating Abbie's birthday as a family. I don't know how she did it but she's managed to work the week long birthday celebration. I've been trying to figure out how to make that happen myself but have yet to figure it out. Can't complain there's more birthday cake that flows through this house in a span of nine days than I can shake a fist at.

MARK 14:
There's so much in this chapter that I don't ever know where to begin or to end. I've got other homework to do as well so I need to keep this short and sweet.

Oh Peter, sweet Peter. He is so bold in word and wants to kick butt for Jesus but he's still so wet behind the ears.

Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not." (Mark 14:29 NIV84)

I'm often Peter. Very eager yet run at the mouth many times when I should just be slow to speak. I like to falsely elevate myself and my status. Just writing that seems so gross but pride is gross. I'm still so very focused on myself. Women like Judy Wimberly are beautiful because they have their eyes focused on Jesus and off of themselves and their circumstances. If I want to be more like Jesus I need to keep my eyes on Him. This is so difficult when all my flesh sees is my circumstances and my discomforts in life. Jesus help me to grow to embraces difficulty, discomfort and challenges with great joy knowing that it draws me closer to you.

D

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Monday, February 27, 2012

DAY 573: MARK 13

Rough and tiring day. Didn't set my self up for success last night and things spiraled into chaos as the day wore on. Poor sweet Bella has been so fussy today. I think the meds that are helping me to feel better or causing her tummy to hurt. The rest of the crew was unruly and rude to each other and their friends. I think everybody is in desperate need of sleep. If I knew how to accomplish that goal I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Several times today I felt like balling. It's funny since today for the first time Abbie told me she just felt like crying. Oh the joys of being girl!! How great to be able to cry just because you feel like it. Wish I could embrace such things. I can look back on a day that made me want to cry and be ever so thankful. Thankful for friends and my children's friends. I had 8 knuckleheads at my house at one point and in the middle of the commotion thank God for the blessing of each and everyone of them. Children truly are a blessing!! Mine made me cling to Jesus today. I grew weary towards the end and grumpy but even in the butt kicking the blessings abound. Don't get me wrong, they are hard to see in the moment but they are everywhere.


MARK 13:
Heavy chapter. I really hope the pre-trib people are right. I'm sure for those who are being tortured and persecuted for Christ today feel as if the Tribulation has begun already. I stroll into church and read my bible with out even thinking or praying for those who are die for the sake of Christ. Even on my most difficult days I have it pretty stinking easy. Oh how I want to grow to be willing to die for Jesus and to raise kids who be willing to die as well.

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13:11 NIV84)

I don't think this applies to just being arrested. I think this holds true in every situation we want to testify to who Christ is be it with a stranger, neighbor or whoever.

D

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

DAY 572: PS 96

Checking the box due to exhaustion and can't keep eyes open. Really pretty Psalm. Must read again tomorrow.

Can't believe my baby girl turned six today.

D

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

DAY 571: PS 95

Abbie got a kitten today. Pretty confident we're a bit crazy. Praying nobody in our family is allergic to cats because she is spending her last night as a five year old asleep on her bed with her kitty. Really cute!

PS 95:
This is one of those Psalms that speaks for itself. Starts on a really high note of praise for God and ends on a low note of those who do not know the Lord. This verse stood out to me tonight.

The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land. (Psalm 95:5 NIV84)

I get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle and I forget that my days are not about me and my current circumstances. I am his, for me made me. I was created for his glory and his glory alone. This is so simple and yet I forget daily that I am his. I am his!! All that was created was for him not for me. Great reminders today about what this life is truly about. Wish there weren't so many things that distract me from this.

D

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Friday, February 24, 2012

DAY 570: MARK 12

Whew! Homeschool non-birthday party playdate done! My husband was awesome! Looking back on today I'm overwhelmed at how God has blessed Abbie and me with an awesome group of homeschooling folks. I thought I was going to be a lone ranger on this and I'm not and I'm ever so thankful. Yesterday Abbie told me "thank you for being my teacher" and I almost burst into tears. We've hit a rough patch lately and her words were music to my ears.

MARK 12:
Jesus tells a hard to hear parable about a group of unruly tenants. The religious leaders hear it, understand Jesus is talking about them yet they refuse to repent. They would much rather worship their dead religion of self love then follow the One true God.

Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away. (Mark 12:12 NIV84)

This is so incredibly tragic and heartbreaking. It points out God's great love for each of us that He would allow us to choose to reject Him.

The Widows offering is always so challenging. This always makes me think about Francis Chan. He once once said if you are saving up money for an emergency fund what is more of an emergency than children being sold as sex slaves. How can you even argue with that? What if that girl was your daughter or your son? I think of the scene in Schindler's List where the guy starts looking at the things he owns a and says "this watch could have been one more life". This can all be so very confusing. Our tithing "feels" sacrificial but is it really? I'm sure those people lining up to drop their loads of cash in the offering box back in the day thought they were giving sacrificially too. I have a sweet friend who is doing an experiment of sorts of giving. It's been fun hearing about her experience of learning there is much joy to be found in giving of things that are not just leftovers but of valued or wanted things. I pray that God would show our family to not buy into the lie of the comfort of this American Life and fall into the trap of "needing" certain things and miss out on the kingdom and the great joy that can be found in giving.

D

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DAY 569: MARK 11

It took 6 hours to go to 3 stores today with 5 children. It was insane but glad to have it under my belt. This was the boost of confidence I needed to rock the grocery store once again with Bella in tow. I don't have to fear being caught nursing in an aisle while the other four wreak havoc. It just might happen but nobody will die if it does. I am so darn exhausted though.

MARK 11:
Don't have much to say about this chapter which is probably due to the six hours of craziness. This verse stuck out to me though.

And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written:
" 'My house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" (Mark 11:17 NIV84)

Couldn't help but think about the televangelists who try to make money off of innocent people. Get your green prayer, or send in money to be healed. You don't set up camp claiming to be on God's team of you are planning on scamming His people. A day of reckoning will be coming and it will make the day Jesus riffled up the money changers in the temple look like a picnic.

D


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DAY 568: MARK 10

Just lost my post. Could cry. Too tired to try again.

D

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DAY 567: MARK 9

> Went to the dr. today for my ear. When he was getting the history of my ghetto ear he acted like I was a total nut job. Glad I didn't tell him last ear infection I used breast milk to get rid of it. Pretty sure he would have had me committed. The good news is my eardrum didn't burst. The bad news is I have a giant hole in my eardrum and my ear is infected along with my sinuses. I go back in two weeks so we can figure out next steps. Several options included the word surgery and hearing aid. Thanks for playing but no thanks. Obviously I need to take better care of the vessel God gave me so I'll try not to be a big baby.
>
> It may sound weird but thankful to get the diagnosis of a sinus infection. The last several days I've been wondering if my iron was low or the ole thyroid sluggish. This morning I would have paid a million dollars to stay in bed. The infection also explains why my "caffeine" headaches wouldn't go away. Abbie fought me pretty good on school today and I was ready to throw in the towel on the whole thing. This too now makes sense in light of just not feeling all that great.
>
> Today was hard even without all the goop going on in my head. My favorite part of the day was trying to manage three muddy boys in a tub while trying to flush out the eye of my oldest who was wailing over a foreign object in her eye all while holding a screaming baby. These days are wonderfully hard. Saw some really beautiful things today too. Luke realizing that his brother was more important than something he wanted on his own. Paul stepping up and leading out. Abbie overcoming a horrible attitude. In the midst of the chaos of these sometimes crazy days I see glimpses of such remarkable fruit.
>
> Tomorrow starts lent. Want to pull myself together to celebrate this time in a meaningful way. Hoping to pull off one or two new traditions this year. We shall see.
>
> MARK 9:
> So much greatness in this chapter. It's hard going through one chapter a day. I'll just focus on the Demon Boy today. The transfiguration just happened and Jesus goes back into town with Peter, James and John. Love the people's response to Jesus.
>
> As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. (Mark 9:15 NIV84)

I want to be overwhelmed by wonder with Jesus. I want to daily run to His throne with joy and excitement. I do some days. A lot of time I'm more excited about running to a brownie or whatever I can find in the moment to check out. It's easy for me to be all about Jesus in the big things but I forget Him in a lot of the little things. It's the little things that make up most of our lives. I don't want to miss opportunity to be with Jesus and be overwhelmed by wonder.

Moving along dad of demon possessed boy asks Jesus to help if he can. Love the interchange between Jesus and the father that happens next.

" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:23, 24 NIV84)

Everything is possible for those who believe. Pretty stinking awesome! This verse is misused I think but love it anyway. Love how God heals our disbelief, and sinful struggles. It's beautiful. We don't have to come to Him perfect or even cleaned up. He loves us as is and is powerful enough to change us if we are willing.

It's funny that unbelief is mentioned in this section. This description of the boy sounds a lot like a seizure disorder. Does this mean that certain illnesses or disorders are the result of demons. I can almost hear Wagner saying all illnesses are demonic in nature as they are a result of our sinful fallen world. I feel like this passage could have very interesting implications. Wish I had the mental capacity to be able to write out all that this passage gets spinning in my head. For another time.

D
>
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Monday, February 20, 2012

DAY 566: MARK 8

Lukey survived the coin drama on 2012. Everyone is incredibly exhausted especially the two dudes who stayed over night at the hospital. Not gonna lie today was a bit rough. So weird not having Luke around for most of the day. Incredibly sweet how everybody missed Lukey. Hearing Paul and Luke converse over the phone today melted my heart. These knuckleheads love each other and I'm so thankful for each of them.

Couldn't help but think about how incredibly hard it would be to loose a child. The silence of their absence and the void that would be left would be a constant reminder of the incredible loss. Selfishly I pray we would never have to endure that kind of hardship. It's a great reminder to embrace the day and not sweat the crazy things that they do.

Not sure how much longer this will be. Heavy eyelids and a painful throbbing ear.

MARK 8:
Great stuff in this chapter just can't keep my eyes open.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34, 35 NIV84)

Hard call but oh so worth it!!

D

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

DAY 565: PS 94

Mailing it in today. One child at Medical City awaiting a coin extraction, one squeaking, and three others still up over excitement of brother swallowing coin.

Hubs and Luke staying in hospital overnight. Who knew all this drama could ensue over one quarter.

Ps 94:
Fave verse.
Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord,the man you teach from your law; (Psalm 94:12 NIV84)

D

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

DAY 564: PS 93

Basking in the oxytocin paradise today and feeling incredibly blessed. Fat and happy today on contentment and thankfulness.

PS 93:
Five simple verses. A sweet reminder of the majesty of our God. Blown away that we get to be face to face with God someday. Nothing in this life will compare to greatness of being one day in the great and mighty courts of our God.

However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"– (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV84)

Blows. My. Mind.

D
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DAY 563: MARK 7

My sweet little one sounds like she's trying to cough up a hair ball so we'll see how this goes. Love this baby by the way. Operation Hospitality went well once again tonight. We went with old friends tonight who agreed to play a good ole game of canasta. Thankful for these sweet friends who were our first in Dallas. Loving Operation Hospitality so far!

MARK 7:
Bella wiggling and making this hard to write so this will be brief. Clean the inside first and then the outside will also be clean. Today I managed to jump into an FB debate about women's reproductive rights and religious freedom. Nice how it's called reproductive rights. I always get fired up about such debates. This passion often leads me to be angry at the people I debate with. Although hot and bothered I say my debating opponents in a new light and I was able to remain loving and not make it personal. It's okay to be angry about abortion but to be angry at the person I'm talking with gets me nowhere. As I was thinking about that and my recent discovery over how incredibly selfish and unloving I can be I realized that God is continuing to clean the inside of my cup. I haven't become more selfish over the past several months. I've been this selfish and even more so my entire life. I can't clean my cup if I don't even realize I'm dirty. Thankful for God loving me enough to hold up the mirror and show me.

Vs 24-30 is disturbing to me for a few reasons. Disturbed me in Matthew too. The thought of you g children possessed by demons makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Hate this! The banter between Jesus and the little girls daughter is disturbing to me too. I'm sure this is possibly a cultural barrier for me but the wording is bothersome.

I've got more but I'm out for tonight.

D
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

DAY 562: MARK 6

Lots of churn today. I keep trying to turn the thoughts tumbling around in my head into sentences that can be strung together. What my churn boils down to is a set of tasks for me to do so that I might be a better person. Rest more. Remain more. Rejoice more. Stop saying the word love and actual show it. Get up earlier. Prioritize time better. Juggle more. Exercise. Hop on one foot. Yada, yada, yada. Yes, there is a long list of things I should do. I really like the idea that there are things I can do to make me a better more perfect person. Jesus wants me to just come and be. Just be. It makes me uncomfortable. I'm a Martha who desperately wants to be a Mary.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10 NIV84)

Be still. Everything within me screams do while God quietly whispers just be. It's in the doing that I feel worthy to be loved. Yet if there is something that must be done in order to receive then it isn't love in the first place. I don't know how to love because I still don't know how to receive love. I don't know how to receive love because I still feel unloveable. Although this wound is healing it's still their. That just about makes me want to cuss. Maybe. Just maybe we all believe to some degree.

It's the perfect, unstoppable, never changing, always pursuing love that makes me uncomfortable. He loves me like that and all I have to do is just be? I am so unworthy to be loved like that. The truth is I AM unworthy YET in His perfect love He not only calls me worthy, He calls me lovely and daughter as well. Teach me how to love like this oh God.

MARK 6:
There is just so much in these chapters. It's impossible to touch on all of it. When Jesus sends the disciples out to preach the gospel I'm always amazed at the instructions he gives.

These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. (Mark 6:8, 9 NIV84)

Jesus wanted them to trust God fully for their provision. I really love this. My family has experienced God's provision in crazy ways and we're heard story after story about God's provision from others. This is still so challenging though! To look beyond what I can see and not listen to worldly wisdom is so incredibly hard! I'm like the disciples who see the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes yet I get caught up on not taking bread for the journey.

Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. (Mark 6:51, 52 NIV84)

The disciples witnessed miracle after miracle yet their hearts were hardened. This is me. I see God show up in so many places. I hear stories that stop me in my tracks, make my hair stand on end and tears stream down my face. Yet, my heart remains hardened and I forget what God can do. I shove Him in a box and make Him small. I take it for granted and become fat on entitlement. My heart becomes hardened. May I embrace the hardships that come my way which humble and soften hearts.

The beginning of the story of the feeding of the five thousand caught me off guard. Jesus and his disciples were trying to get away to a quiet place to have a time of rest and solitude. The people saw them go off in a boat and met them where they were going. They were already tired and exhausted and the author writes again that they hadn't even gotten a chance to eat. This is Jesus response to the people:

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. (Mark 6:34 NIV84)

This was written for me. My minions follow me in my get away ship all the time and often I treat them like a distraction. Hate this! There's nothing that I'm doing, quiet time included, that is so important not to have compassion on my children. God help me to have patience and endurance to love the ones you've blessed me with whole heartedly.

D


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DAY 561: MARK 5

What can I say about today? Set an alarm but still couldn't get my booty out of bed. Got up with my earliest riser and just as anticipated my sweet little bit woke up too. Felt very accomplished at bible study today since we had a dr appt before hand. Pride comes before a big fall. As soon as I sat down to drive home I ran head first into a wall. Bella's last several nights of restlessness have finally caught up with me. I could have have cried this afternoon. Speaking of crying I made my sweet girl cry this morning because of my foolish loose lips. Abbie is very stealthy at removing my necklaces. I have told her before not to take them off since she's broken a necklace before. (I'm so fancy!) It's obvious where this is going. Took my necklace off and broke it. In frustration I sarcastically said thanks for breaking my necklace. Waterworks ensued. The child needed a gentle correction not a frustrated sarcastic remark.

I feel like I'm a broken record lately. I'm sorry for being a jerkface will you forgive me? My poor sweet husband has been sick and instead of using this as an opportunity to love and serve him I've been snappy and mean. I'm being squeezed right now and it's ugly. I hate what's coming out, but it's a beautiful process of death. Bring on the death! I wanna grow to be more like Jesus!!

On yet another note if you see me tell me to shut up!! I talk too much. Too much at my kids and just too much. Want my words to be fewer and my ears to grow bigger. This will be hard.

MARK 5:
This chapter is crazy! Jesus casts out Legion, the bleeding woman is healed and Jairius's daughter is raised from the dead. I could write for days on this.

The whole demon possession thing is pretty creepy. Seems like there was a lot of it back in the day which makes me think there's a lot more around today than we think. Can you imagine seeing the crazy cemetery as a same man or better yet watching his exorcism and the destruction of the pigs. Just another reminder that Satan and his homies are truly out to kill, steal and destroy. Hate that so many people have bought into his lies!!! It's the subtle ones that are the hardest to avoid.

Favorite verse of the chapter:
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34 NIV84)

The bleeding woman was scared when Jesus asked who touched him. Jesus was God, He knew who touched Him yet he never missed an opportunity to engage. She was brave and told Jesus she had touched him and his response is so incredibly loving. Be freed from your suffering. Love this!

Love the story of Jairius's daughter. This verse is pretty stinking sweet too:

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe." (Mark 5:36 NIV84)

Ignore what the world says!! Don't let your circumstances cause fear, just believe. Love it!!

D

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DAY 560: MARK 4

Demon cold still lingering and is making a move down south. At least my throat isn't sore anymore. Bella is still pretty miserable, looks like Joshua has an ear infection and Les is laid up. Good times over here! Not sure how much better I could have made today for my family and friends but I feel like I missed out on many opportunities today. Lack of planning bites me in the bottom again. Nobody is going to die but darn I missed out on opportunity to love on my husband and my kids better. Maybe one day when I'm not so dead tired by the end of the day.

Today at the grocery store a lady complimented the kids on being so well behaved. She missed some of the prior shenanigans but it was a good lesson on perspective. She was a Mee Maw and has probably seen it all. The kids did look pretty cute holding hands together. I'm sure she missed the fact that they were ramming each other into things. On another note things were a whole lot easier with out the smallest boy. It's always easier with one less than I'm used to.

Overall today I was once again reminded that I'm incredibly selfish, lack follow through and need to work on planning better. Realizing this used to make me feel horrible about myself but on this day of Love I'm reminded that despite my sinfulness and shortcomings I am so incredibly loved! For that I am thankful!!!

Going to be another long night. Bella having trouble breathing. Poor kid!

MARK 4:
Can't really focus tonight. Frazzled and kicking myself for not taking Bella to doc right about now. Glad she's going tomorrow! Another long night. So thankful to have sweet babies to be up with.

D

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Monday, February 13, 2012

DAY 559: MARK 3

Just kinda survived today. Not sure 900 cups of coffee would have done the trick today. Will be super fired up once Demon Cold 2012 is officially gone forever.

MARK 3:
Couple verses really stood out to me tonight. Jesus is in the synagogue on the sabbath and a man with a shriveled man comes in. The Pharisees constantly watch Jesus so they can find a way to accuse him of wrong. Jesus speaks words right into their religiosity and heals the man with the lame hand. The pharisees are unable to argue when Jesus slings the sword of truth at them yet they would still rather cling to their man made god of religion. I really like this verse in this section.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. (Mark 3:5 NIV84)

Jesus was angry that the Pharisees false religion was leading people astray and yet He longed for them to repent. Such righteous anger restrained and crazy wonderful love.

The crowds were constantly around Jesus and his disciples and often the days were long and they would be so busy they couldn't even eat.

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. (Mark 3:20 NIV84)

The days can be so long sometimes and the daily doldrums can wear me down. Often I am frustrated at having to abandon my plans over and over again. There has been several occasions when I've just wanted to be able to sit down an eat but a sweet fussy baby has not made it easy. Jesus was exhausted yet He continued to run the race day in and day out. This spurs me on to remember these days are not about my comfort and ease and I am not alone on the journey. So very thankful for that!

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." (Mark 3:21 NIV84)

I can't imagine how painful it was for Jesus for his own family to say he was out of his mind. I hate that Jesus experienced this but comforted knowing that He understands. We truly follow Christ and live life according to His words people will say that we are fanatic Christians or weak minded or whatever. Jesus never argued. He knew the truth and He was humble enough to let their words go. I pray that I too will learn meekness, gentleness and humility. When you are right their is no need to argue much.

D

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

DAY 558: PS 92

Thankful for a nap today. I caught the snot rocket virus going around BrownTown. Not suffering as bad as the kiddos but sleep is not great with a poor miserable baby. Overall it's been a pretty lazy day. Hard to have Les run off to work tonight. Got spoiled last weekend!

PS 92:
My head is too clogged to really think and a baby is wiggling but I do love the imagery in this Psalm. The Psalmist explains what happens to the wicked and the righteous.

This verse really struck me.

They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green, (Psalm 92:14 NIV84)

Back in the day one of the things I feared most was growing so old that I wouldn't be able to take care of myself. Now I look forward to growing old and getting a chance to see the fruit of my labor and hopefully a beautiful legacy. I think of Judy Wimberly when I read this verse. She is older but because of the relationship she has with God she continues to bear sweeter and sweeter fruit throughout the years. My hope is to one day be a Judy and continue to bear fruit in my old age.

D

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

DAY 557: 2 TIM 4

My joints ache and I've got snot pouring down my face but I'm so very thankful. Last night I discovered I had more in common with one of our guests than I had thought. It still blows my mind when I think about it. Anyway, a short trip down memory lane has left me so incredibly thankful. So many women with my background have walked away with less than stellar husbands. Yet God in his goodness saved me from that kind of pain and hand picked the most incredible man for me to marry. I often take the gift that he is for granted and I most definitely fail daily at loving him the way he deserves. I pray that God would continue to grow me so that I might be a wife that blesses my incredible husband and helps him to be the man God created him to be. As a wife I really do have a unique opportunity to bless Les in a way nobody else can. May I not miss that incredible opportunity by looking for ways that I could be better served.

2 TIM 4:
Great chapter. It makes me want to kick butt and take names. Paul generally has that kind of affect on me anyway.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV84)

Really like this verse and made me think specifically about parenting. Correct, rebuke AND encourage with GREAT PATIENCE and careful instruction. I would be a killer parent if I did this all the time. I need to work on the great patience piece. I love the thought of really thinking through and being intentional with careful instruction. I don't want to instruct my sweet brownies haphazardly or selfishly for that matter. I want to impart them with wisdom on how to be godly men and women. (love that I now get to say women!)

Well, my handsome husband has arrived and it is time for our in home date to begin so I must end here.

D
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DAY 556: MARK 2

Wrote this yesterday but for whatever reason it looks like it wasn't sent to anybody. If you are getting this again, sorry.

Subject: DAY 556: MARK 2

Tonight officially started Operation Hospitality. Been inspired by Kay Wyma's talk on hospitality and a goal this year as a family is to have people over more often. The couple we had over was fun and dinner was super easy and besides the chaos of the playroom our house is clean! It feels good to break out of the "busyness" and enjoy flexing the hospitality muscle. Really hoping this begins to extend more into our neighborhood again as well.

MARK 2:
Jesus heals the paralytic. I love this story, always have.

So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. (Mark 2:2 NIV84)

I love the images this verses brings to my mind. The idea of people so excited, desperate even, to hear Jesus speak. I love that somebody was willing to let all these people into their house! I want my heart to grow enough so that I am more willing to extend this kind of hospitality. It may not be perfect. I may forget to pass out forks, our floors may be dirty and you just might have to sit on a stained couch but I want to be more willing.

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. (Mark 2:4 NIV84)

Who am i willing to tear open a roof for? This seems silly but it's a great question. Who do I love enough to be willing to be inconvenienced by? I hate that these questions point to my selfishness and to how walled my heart has been. Thankfully God has slowly been chipping away at walls and now is attacking my selfishness. I am the paralyzed man. My sins of comfort, selfishness, fear, ect have crippled me from living the abundant life God desires me to live. He is so good to forgive, to heal and to restore.

I love this story but in all honesty the thought of these men ripping open the roof is not only inspiring to me but it also makes me a bit uncomfortable. The thought of the mess and the damage caused is not pleasant. Life can be messy though and sometimes things must be torn apart in order for real healing to begin. I bet the patch in the roof was a beautiful reminder to the owners of the time Jesus was there.

Verse 13-17 are so wonderful to me. Jesus calls a tax collector named Levi to follow. There's no hesitation from Levi, he just follows. He doesn't go and set his affairs in order, clean up his act or his house for that matter, he just goes. It's really this simple. Really. Jesus just wants us to come. I don't have to come with my super mom cape on, or a cuss free mouth or whatever I try so hard to be. I can just come, just as I am.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:16, 17 NIV84)

Oh God please teach me how to love like you do. It really is simple yet in my selfishness I make it so very difficult.

D

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Friday, February 10, 2012

DAY 556: MARK 2

Tonight officially started Operation Hospitality. Been inspired by Kay Wyma's talk on hospitality and a goal this year as a family is to have people over more often. The couple we had over was fun and dinner was super easy and besides the chaos of the playroom our house is clean! It feels good to break out of the "busyness" and enjoy flexing the hospitality muscle. Really hoping this begins to extend more into our neighborhood again as well.

MARK 2:
Jesus heals the paralytic. I love this story, always have.

So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. (Mark 2:2 NIV84)

I love the images this verses brings to my mind. The idea of people so excited, desperate even, to hear Jesus speak. I love that somebody was willing to let all these people into their house! I want my heart to grow enough so that I am more willing to extend this kind of hospitality. It may not be perfect. I may forget to pass out forks, our floors may be dirty and you just might have to sit on a stained couch but I want to be more willing.

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. (Mark 2:4 NIV84)

Who am i willing to tear open a roof for? This seems silly but it's a great question. Who do I love enough to be willing to be inconvenienced by? I hate that these questions point to my selfishness and to how walled my heart has been. Thankfully God has slowly been chipping away at walls and now is attacking my selfishness. I am the paralyzed man. My sins of comfort, selfishness, fear, ect have crippled me from living the abundant life God desires me to live. He is so good to forgive, to heal and to restore.

I love this story but in all honesty the thought of these men ripping open the roof is not only inspiring to me but it also makes me a bit uncomfortable. The thought of the mess and the damage caused is not pleasant. Life can be messy though and sometimes things must be torn apart in order for real healing to begin. I bet the patch in the roof was a beautiful reminder to the owners of the time Jesus was there.

Verse 13-17 are so wonderful to me. Jesus calls a tax collector named Levi to follow. There's no hesitation from Levi, he just follows. He doesn't go and set his affairs in order, clean up his act or his house for that matter, he just goes. It's really this simple. Really. Jesus just wants us to come. I don't have to come with my super mom cape on, or a cuss free mouth or whatever I try so hard to be. I can just come, just as I am.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:16, 17 NIV84)

Oh God please teach me how to love like you do. It really is simple yet in my selfishness I make it so very difficult.

D

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

DAY 565: MARK 1

Took a sort trip to South Dallas today and I once again got the itch. The itch to bust out of my comfort zone and be apart of something bigger than myself. The itch to be on an adventure. Then I wake up and realize I am on an adventure. It's not glamorous and most of the stories consist of wiping noses and bottoms and a bathroom that constantly smells of urine. It's an adventure none the less. I can sit on the sidelines longing for something else or embrace the mission God has me on right here and now in my home and in my neighborhood.

The first chapter of Mark starts off with words from the prophet Isaiah. He spoke of one preparing a path for the Christ. Then we are introduced to John the Baptist. John played such an incredible role in this story. The beauty of this for me today is that it's doubtful John realized the importance of his role. He was just willing to be faithful even to his death. I often lack this quality.

-----------------
This might be a strange way to jump back in but love this from commentary today.

a. Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness: The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in a dramatic way at His baptism. The work of the Spirit in Jesus was to lead Him - rather, to drive Him, and the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. It wasn't an easy thing, or a comfortable thing for Jesus to be in the wilderness, but it was a good thing, because the Spirit only does good things.

Jesus wasn't motivated by ease and comfort. I often seek out comfort and ease yet am learning more and more that the best things in life are difficult.

This is where I need to stop today. So much wonderful stuff packed into one chapter! Bella caught a cold and poor girl is miserable. Hard to concentrate with a snorting baby in your lap.

D


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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

DAY 564: MATT 28

Fridge is full thanks to sweet friends. We're inching slowly towards getting our feet under us but feeding this crew is always the most challenging. In order to cook plAnning, shopping and executing must be done. Getting the three to align is difficult. Beyond thankful for sweet and thoughtful friends!

Read an article today that got me fired up. Eric Metaxas spoke before Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast which took the wind out of his so called Christian sails. Metaxas has been inspired by the life of William Wilberforce and now is leading an inspiring life. Yet again I can't help but wonder why I'm not more bold. I encounter people on a weekly basis that I could share the gospel with yet I don't. Why? I fear being bold with people I don't have a relationship with because I don't want to seem like a nut job Christian. That is so incredibly sad to me. Every meeting is a divine appointment and miss out on the opportunity to tell others about Christ.

MATT 28:
Tonight's chapter is so much easier to read than last night. It's really hard to want to face the reality of what Jesus did for my sins. Love came down for us, to save us and we treated him like a criminal.

The heartlessness of the Pharisees is so spelled out in these chapters. Judas comes to them in remorse over what he's done and they could care less. They are all about the rules and yet their hearts are hollow. When Jesus is resurrected and the guards tell what happened, instead of repenting and choosing truth, they pay off the guards to lie. Truth keeps smacking them in the face but they would rather continue to worship themselves than cling to it.

Oh so tired so stopping here. Beautiful beautiful chapter.

D

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

DAY 563: MATT 27

fun and crazy day.  this will be super short as I'm on a computer typing one handed on a keyboard with keys that stick with a sweet baby girl in my lap. great family day riding the m-line trolley and hitting up second tuesday at the dma. les took the day off and it felt like we were on vacation. we haven't played like this as a family in awhile and it filled up my tank. while we were there my phone got stolen. however, it has been recovered and will be in my possession once again tomorrow. please pray that God would use this story that is unfolding in mighty ways and He would be glorified. bella squirming and back screaming from being hunched over. hoping tomorrow there will be an incredible post.

d


Monday, February 06, 2012

DAY 562: MATT 26

Words a cherished friend of mine wrote the other day have stuck with me. She is learning to give generously of herself through time, energy and every resource she possesses. It's interesting that her journey to give comes at a time God has been showing me how selfish I am. Hoping to join this friend in a year of giving. Still not sure what that looks like but ready to get off my self focused self and learn how to be thoughtful and giving to others.

MATT 26:
VERY distracted tonight. This chapter is hard to read. I love the story of the woman anointing Jesus. That is a woman who has received the wonderful grace of Christ. She gets that this following verse is meant for her, not Jesus. This is meant for all of us. It's only by the sacrifice and greatest love story ever told that sets us free from our death sentence.

What do you think?"
"He is worthy of death," they answered. (Matthew 26:66 NIV84)

And then there is Peter. He's so sure he is willing to die with Christ.

But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same. (Matthew 26:35 NIV84)

But this is how the story really goes:
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75 NIV84)

Here's the interesting thing about all of this.
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31, 32 NIV84)

These verses are awesome and freaky all at the same time. I love the thought of Jesus praying for me. It completely blows my mind though. He died for me of course He would pray for me too. Still struggle with the idea of being His Beloved. If only I could truly get this, so much would change.

Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. Love that Satan has to ask and God has to allow. This is also hard. Hard that God would allow the most horrendous of situations to happen. Yet, by allowing it, all circumstances that happen are meant to draw us somehow to Him. The other thing is that I can't grow complacent in this fight. Satan is actively looking to bring me down. He's looking for weakness and vulnerability. I must daily be on guard. The only way to truly fight is by putting on the whole armor.

The other thing that always strikes me in this chapter is Jesus meekness through out all of this. Just even the term meek makes me think of the word weak. Yet there is such strength that is possessed in this quality. Jesus knows who He is and He doesn't need to fight for others to know who He truly is. That's how it should be for us too. We shouldn't have to fight for people to really know us, value us, treat us right, ect. We should be meek and mild knowing that it doesn't matter what others think about us or do to us because we are sons and daughters of the Great King.

D

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Re: DAY 561: 2 TIMOTHY 3

Selfish this morning. Just wanted to be the human pacifier and zone out. It gets even better. Frustrated at the kids this morning for not letting me watch the streamed service. I obviously decided to take a sabbath from loving instead of taking sabbath so that I might love even greater. It is funny how appalled I can be at my children for not loving or thinking about their siblings when I so often put myself before everybody else. Really been hating this mirror that has been shoved in front of my face but I'm thankful! Thankful that God loves me enough to hold up that mirror so that through Him I might change.

Busy week this week. I should probably take something off my plate but really wanting to get more plugged in with the homeschool community going on at WM and everything else seems necessary. Les wants me to rethink it and honestly in my flesh I don't want to. However, my flesh gets me no where so I'm going to pray about it and see what God has to say about it. The person who will end up getting the short end of the stick in my disobedience is Les. That not only dishonors Les but God as well. So here we go on my journey to learn how to be better at submitting. It's a slow and painful death.

2 TIM 3:
Lots in this chapter but really it speaks incredibly well for itself. There is an interesting section about weak minded women. It's worded kinda weird so I need to jump on some commentary. In the past I would have been angry just by seeing the words weak minded woman. I know Paul's heart is for woman not against so it is easier now not to get all up in arms. That might even make Paul's point perfectly. Woman are much more emotional and tend to rely on how they feel verses actual truth. Our feelings are always valid but not always grounded in truth.

This verse right here is just plain lovely.

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV84)

This paints a different picture than the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. EVERYONE who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be PERSECUTED. This life with Christ is no bowl of cherries. Not only do you have to die to self which is awesome you also get to face persecution. This verse pops in my head when I think about this.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4 NIV84)

We get to be buried with him but we also get to share in the glory of Christ. For those of us who can push through the dying of self and persecution business the rewards are so worth it. Knowing Christ is so worth it!!

I'll end on this beaut.

All Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV84)

I mess up daily on a lot of stuff but so thankful to be on this journey in the Word. I've got a lot of learning to do but little by little I'm training so that I might be equipped for every good work.

D
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DAY 561: 2 TIMOTHY 3

Selfish this morning. Just wanted to be the human pacifier and zone out. It gets even better. Frustrated at the kids this morning for not letting me watch the streamed service. I obviously decided to take a sabbath from loving instead of taking sabbath so that I might love even greater. It is funny how appalled I can be at my children for not loving or thinking about their siblings when I so often put myself before everybody else. Really been hating this mirror that has been shoved in front of my face but I'm thankful! Thankful that God loves me enough to hold up that mirror so that through Him I might change.

Busy week this week. I should probably take something off my plate but really wanting to get more plugged in with the homeschool community going on at WM and everything else seems necessary. Les wants me to rethink it and honestly in my flesh I don't want to.

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Friday, February 03, 2012

DAY 559: MATT 24

Today was for the birds. My mind decided to take a trip to crazyville. What is it about just having a baby that makes the mind an easy target? Speaking of mind I'm so fired up about this whole SGK business. What is it about Planned Parenthood, it has the whole darn country under its spell!

MATT 24:
I want to be able to focus on this but I can't seem to do it. There is some pretty crazy stuff in this chapter. It's really disheartening and sad.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12, 13 NIV84)

The love of most will grow cold. This is so incredibly sad to me. I don't want love to grow cold but in the light of my selfishness it does. This spurs me on to press onward on the journey to die to self. I would hate to be one to contribute to this problem.

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. (Matthew 24:9 NIV84)

I was thinking about this the other day. Am I ready and willing to die for Christ? I would like to think that I am but I'm not positive. If I could be guaranteed a quick and painless death I'm in! Throw in the thought of pain and my resolve quickly fades. God please grow me to be a woman who would gladly suffer a painful death for your sake.

D

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

DAY 558: MATT 23

I'm once again going to start this knowing very well that not only is it possible to be interrupted, there's a good chance I two sleeping babies could be woken up as well. I pray even now that I choose love instead of self or circumstance should that wonderful interruption occur. Even now my heart is heavy as I've already messed this up. He wanted me to fix his googles and I dismissed him because he woke up his just barely asleep brother. I got to see the outcome while I chased a newly awoken boy into the living room. The dismissed boy with long sad face trying to fix his googles. Would the outcome have been different if that little boy was dying? The truth is he is dying, we all are. Everyday we march one day closer to death. It's sounds morbid but it's the truth. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so why do I continually live as if I'm promised a multitude of tomorrows? Just because the days are hard is no excuse not to fully embrace love. I'm tired, I feel like I've been kicked in the face and I've got a sweet sick little baby to try and console. It's hard and I feel like I'm running around in circles with no real results. I can continue to slug it out and make this day go by as quickly as possible or I can stop and use it to sharpen me. I can use each and every moment as an opportunity to die to self and embrace love. I am loved extravagantly by the creator of the universe. This should not be so difficult and yet everyday I forget to lean in and to remain so that I too might love like He does.

MATT 23:
Woo to the Pharisees! I wish that was all this chapter was really about. Instead it's a wake up call. Woo to me if I don't surround myself with community and allow the Word of God to sharpen me. Everyday I walk the thin line of being a Pharisee. Even this journey of being in the Word daily can turn into something ugly and become an idol. Just like Christ has the ability to make everything beautiful, Satan equally wants to come in and make everything that appears to be beautiful, twisted and distorted.

So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. (Matthew 23:3, 4 NIV84)

I pray this is not what I do with my children. I keep thinking about something I heard a woman say at Building Blocks. Her mom did everything for her and her siblings but she always felt like a burden. How awful to teach my children to love with my words and fail to truly love them myself. My view of love is still distorted. I like the warm and fuzzy definition of love. I don't like the sacrifice and enduring all things version of love. Love is patient. Love is kind. It's easy to be these things when everything is going perfect. It's hard when my husband is grumpy and I'm grumpy and the kids are ripping apart the house hinge by hinge and they are completely disobedient. Love is patient. Love is kind. Oh Pharisees you had the rules down but you forgot to love. Lord help me not to become like them and not for my sake but for your glory.

The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11, 12 NIV84)

I'm really bad at serving others. I'd like to think its because I lack the spiritual gift of helps but it's because I'm selfish. I have been given the worldly gift of self absorption and pride. I hate this. May this drive me to rejoice when I'm given the opportunity to serve. May I serve my husband, children, friends, neighbors and enemies with much joy knowing that it's teaching me to be humble and less self seeking.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. (Matthew 23:37 NIV84)

This just makes my heart ache. God give me eyes to see and a heart to love those that do not know you! May I seize each and every opportunity that's presented to proclaim the gospel.

D

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

DAY 557: MATT 22

Bible study was great today. You could have stuck a fork in me because I was done at 9am and was so grateful to be able to drop off my brownies for awhile. Also got a chance to be loved on by a cherished friend. Still not easy for me to receive. I can't remember what Lucina said today that resonated with me but it woke me up. Then as soon as I got home I wanted to slip right back into selfish mode. The screaming and wailing of horror from the Brownies because of the Turtle movie woke me up again. I was hoping to do this during the movie but I'm slowly and painfully learning it's not about me.

Per usual I'm exhausted but thankful for a pretty darn good day! I think slowly but surely we are starting to get our legs back under us.

MATT 22:
I don't have much today, tired and nursing baby. I think bullet points might just be as good as it gets.

When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. (Matthew 22:22 NIV84)

This verse is about Pharisees after they have tried to trick Jesus and He busts out his Jesusness. They are amazed by Jesus yet they are too darn prideful to repent. They would rather keep their awful religion than turn from their sin and follow this awesome man! It's no coincidence that this section follows the parable of the wedding feast. God is extending this amazing invitation to them but they refuse to accept it.

D

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