Saturday, March 31, 2012

DAY 606: LUKE 17

Fun day today! Fell off the no sugar wagon but how often does a gal get to attend a high tea? Food was great and completely worth it! Will jump back on tomorrow and on Monday it's time for this gal to rise early and run. On another note made a comment about looking frumpy today and my daughter totally repeated it about herself. I am fearfully and wonderfully made no matter how much I weigh. I have got to remember this if not for my sake for my daughters sake!

Saw a sweet beautiful little girl who was adopted from Ethiopia today and almost burst into tears. Hate this! Can't explain the ache this causes my heart. Wish it did not exist. It would be a whole lot less complicated.

LUKE 17:
Keeping this short because of in home date night. Great chapter. Would like to dive into commentary at another time. Interesting verses that I'm not 100 percent sure of the meaning.

The ten leper story pulls at my heart today. I am one of the nine who does not say thank you. I grumble and complain about the gifts God has given me. I want to grow to be more like the one who comes back praising God. I don't want to miss the blessing held in the inconveniences I grumble and complain about.

D

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Friday, March 30, 2012

DAY 605: LUKE 16

Wow this chapter is crazy strong. The story of the rich man and Lazarus pierces the heart. May I not be lazy and complacent in sharing the gospel. May my eyes be open to those around to love. May I not pass by the Lazarus's in my life because I'm too busy or full of self to notice them. Super glad I gave that stupid burger away now. May I give it all away.

D

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

DAY 604: lUKE 15

Went to a homeschool co-op open house today and I left encouraged. I'm encouraged about our choice and the opportunities available that I didn't even know existed. Also met a pack of teens who were "normal" and not socially awkward or nerdy, just your average teens. Talked to a few of the teachers about all sorts of things including their own children. Talked to one teacher who was a engineering genius and got a load of wisdom dumped on me. Wish the guy would teach a parenting class. Praying he's still teaching when Paul is old enough to take his class. Growing confidence about my ability to do this thing.

LUKE 15:
The crowds of sinners are hanging around Jesus while the Pharisees are off to the side wondering while Jesus is hanging around all these sinners. Jesus then launches into the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. I was the lost son and now I fear turning into the brother. I hear my kids say it every once in awhile and I expect it more as they get older, the chant over what is not fair. Life isn't fair and Jesus didn't come to be fair he came to be just. Wish I could get that into my own heart that it's not about being fair.

Those silly ole pharisees. I wish I could just point a finger at them and shake my head but I can't. I can't judge because often times I'm just like one of them. I'm prideful and I think my way is best. Pride takes its little friend insecurity and the three of us have a Pharisee party together. May I always remember my first love. That fire and desperation to be in God's word when I first truly believed that He would forgive a wretch like me. May I urn for Him as I yearn for my very next breath. Change this stubborn, prideful, selfish heart oh God and change it to be more like you!!

D

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DAY 603: LUKE 14

Been dreaming about an Inn and Out burger protein and animal style for a week and I knew I was going to get one today. Went through the drive thru baby screaming and started doubting my decision with the long line but then remembered how well worth this burger was going to be. Back on the road and there's a homeless man at the stop light, I was hoping to miss the stoplight so he would see me with my beloved burger. Red light. Had the thought that I should give him that burger. I didn't like that thought so I handed him some peanut butter crackers instead. Window rolled up now and "give him your burger" echoed in my head. Surely I must have had that wrong. Not my precious burger that I had been craving and looking forward to all week. Yep MY burger. I gave it up but not with a happy heart. I can't help but wonder how often I give God peanut butter crackers when I should be giving him my Inn and Out burger. I have a fridge full of food, that man didn't. It could be because of his own choices or uncontrollable circumstances. It matters not. He's still somebody who God loves and my love for others should trump my love for cheeseburgers.

This story isn't about how awesome I am but rather how far I still need to grow. I almost chose disobedience for a stupid burger. A burger! It's not worth it and this is what I try to teach my kids. Hey kids put others first and don't think of things as more important unless it's an Inn and Out burger. May I be the kind of living example who not only gives away her burgers but does it with a joyful heart. I have so much to give thanks for! May I always remember to give God my best when I see that Inn and Out sign.

LUKE 14:
Chapter starts out with a bang for me. Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath at a Pharisees house and then launches into a story illustrating humility. The Pharisees thought they were better than everyone else and kept trying to trick Jesus. Jesus keeps trying to woo them to repentance but their pride is so thick that they can't see that salvation is beckoning them right in front of their faces.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:11 NIV84)

I need to practice and work on humility daily. It's a constant struggle and one day I pray that I would be humble and not even realize it. I'm a wretched sinner and I'm lost without Jesus and that makes me better than no one! It's by His grace that in saved and by His faithfulness that I am changed.

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33 NIV84)

May I be willing to give up everything for the sake of Christ. May I give up comfort, time, my plans, money, my cheeseburgers and whatever else God asks of me. I want to live this life with eternity in mind not for the things of this world.

D


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DAY 602: LUKE 13

Today wasn't as refreshing as yesterday but it was still good. Thankful for these crazy kids and simply amazing husband. A friend came over to help me fold laundry this afternoon. It's humbling to have people help me with house work. I feel like I should be able to pull myself together enough to run a clean, tidy and tight ship. One of these days I'll get over the fact that I'll never be supermom. I've at least learned to accept the offers of help when I used to not.

Luke 13 vs 18-35
I'll be honest I'm feeling quite rebellious this evening and don't want to do this. I'm so darn fickle. Yesterday such a great time with God and today I'd rather not. I'm so thankful God doesn't take it personal and wipe me off the face of the earth. Some parents do take it personally and I'm sure at times I do too. One of my kiddos today told me he didn't want a mommy anymore and that he was going to kill me. Instead of bursting into tears I burst into giggles. I know he loves me and has no clue what his little jabber jaws are even talking about. He's a sinful little turkey but aren't we all? I'm glad God knows this about us and loves us despite it.

Favorite verse of this passage:
"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! (Luke 13:34 NIV84)

Oh the heartache in this verse. How He longs for us to bask in the riches of His love! Somedays I choose to remain nestled under His wings and other days like today I run away. Oh to learn how to remain in Him moment by moment day after day.

D
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Monday, March 26, 2012

DAY 601: LUKE 13

Feel like I can breath again. House still an incredible disaster. Still not caught up from vacation laundry and switching over clothes is proving to be insane with five kids. But oh the joys found today in dirty BrownTown. A sink full of dishes means we have eaten breakfast and lunch. The inability to bend down and unload a dishwasher is from a beautiful sleeping baby carried on my chest. The kid mess from four amazing kids that God created out of His very own image. Being a mom is so incredibly hard. I'm sharpened daily. Given opportunities to control my unruly tongue, practice patience, grace, and humility. I am given ample opportunity to die to self, my agenda and my wants and to serve. It's incredibly painful but I am thankful for the death that is occurring in me. Today was not perfect by any means. I was hit and screamed at and at one point three little boys were howling at the top of their lungs but today has been beautiful and I am beyond thankful.

I've been thinking about this whole evil spirit thing. It is mentioned yet again in this chapter today. Satan hates my guts. He hates my husband and my children. Heard that from someone somewhere and it's really sticking with me now. Is it possible that my clouded focus and the periods of time I find much dissatisfaction with my children that it's not just a matter of me being a poop? I know that I am ultimately responsible for my actions but could those rough patches where life is a complete struggle for no real obvious reason be the work of the evil one? Does God allow the demon of dissatisfaction and selfishness to taunt us for the sole reason of us getting stronger? I am beyond thankful for today. Thankful for the breath of fresh air running through my lungs. I am basking in the joy of the Great and Almighty King. I wish every day was like this and one day it will be and even better than i could ever imagine day after day. Yet today while there is great joy there is no building of spiritual muscle. I get to sit back and enjoy the growth that has occurred but there is no bulking up in periods of time like this. Both times are needed, the difficult and the joy filled. May I learn to give thanks in every single circumstance. Nothing has or will ever happen to me that has not been ordained by God and I believe that God is a very good God. If its horrible and it's happening it's because it will eventually prosper me. Thankful that my spiritual spring is matching the actual season.

LUKE 13:
Didn't get to finish and I've completely forgotten what I read.

Turn or burn
If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' " (Luke 13:9 NIV84)

This is hardcore. God is so incredibly gracious and loving but He is a just God. He is so not a fan of the lukewarm.

Crippled woman on Sabbath
Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"

When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. (Luke 13:16, 17 NIV84)

Love these two verses. Love how Jesus referred to the woman as a daughter of Adam. Not sure why but to seems to be referring to her in such an affectionate way. Jesus is all about truth. Suckas wanna tip him up but he doesn't get all bent out of shape and flustered He brings truth!!

D

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

DAY 600: LUKE 12

Interesting day. Been praying for new perspective and God has answered. The mess and muck mattered not today as I cuddled and played games with my Brownies today. Overwhelmed with how the Lord has blessed us. He truly has restored the years the locusts have eaten. These crazy amazing kids are so stinking awesome!!

Tonight at church was a little strange. I hesitate writing this in fear of sounding hyperspiritual or like a freak but that wouldn't be authentic would it? So tonight at church there was a man behind me that sounded like he had Tourettes. My first though was how uncool it is when I joke about Luke having it. It's sinful when my so called humor comes at the expense of another. The the noise kept coming. A sound that mimicked a baby crying, profanity and the growling voice of a man. A boldness and righteous anger and great pity welled up as I sang before my God. Angry at the thing that was trying to destroy this man's life. I believe tonight I witnessed a modern day possession. I can't explain the boldness I felt tonight but it felt as if I could have cast the damned spirit out. I know this sounds totally crazy and frankly maybe I am. All I know is that if I walked in the boldness of Christ that I felt tonight the impossible could happen because of His great name. I know this sounds completely whack and I'm not one any longer who wants my relationship with God to be an emotional response or feeling. I do feel like I got a little taste of what the bible meant when the disciples and Paul were bold.

LUKE 12:
I can't pass up the passage I read last night. Several verses in verse 35-48 intrigued me. These two stuck out the most.

"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:47, 48 NIV84)

Much will be demanded from the one who much has been given. Much has been given to me. I have access to a ton of bibles in different versions and formats. I am free to worship without fear of persecution. God lead our family to WM where God has used CR, Shelter and now Re-Engage to transform our lives. Much has been given to me. Much will be asked and much will be demanded in return. I have never really thought about it but we are a privileged few. We are so rich in Christ if we are willing to choose His riches.

Vs 49-53
I gotta be honest I don't really like these verses. My flesh is wooed by the rhetoric or tolerance. My desire to be non confrontational hates these verses.

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. (Luke 12:51 NIV84)

I completely get this but goodness is it ever uncomfortable.

D

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

DAY 599: LUKE 12 vs 35-48

Waited to long to do this and now I'm falling asleep. Productivity happened today. Not on a scale I had hoped for due to my sweet baby girl but Les and I have a clean closet and a new place for me to hide. My sweet husband fed me all day. So appreciative of his support in my no sugar nuttiness. Been weak the past couple mornings but once I get going my energy level stays the same all day. I'll take that!

My Aunt decided to visit today. In some ways excited since it helps explain my grumpiness and emotional craziness the past couple days.

LUKE 12:35-48 -
Interesting passage. Must get an earlier start and comment on it tomorrow. Will close tonight thankful that I have been given much,

D

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DAY 598: LUKE 12 vs 1-34

Distracted tonight as my heart is aching with sweet friends who have opened their hearts and homes to children who needed a home. I asked Les the other day where he was sitting on all things adoption the other day. With everything still bogged down in Ethiopia and our hearts still stinging over Gladney it seems like Ethiopia's door is shut right now. Foster to adopt makes the most sense but I'm not sure I'm strong enough. To be completely honest it would be so much easier for adoption to not be written on my heart. Our babies are pretty spectacular and there are families we could support in their decision to foster and adopt. Yet there is an ache for a child or children that my womb will never hold and it's scary. Adoption is such a beautiful mess. It's not all sunshine and lollipops. I fear that adoption could shake this family to the core and yet bless it unimaginable ways as well. Hardship produces a beauty that can not be replicated in times of ease.

LUKE 12 vs 1-34
Great stuff in these verses. The last verses in this passage struck me tonight as well as commentary for The Rich Young Fool (vs 13-21)

"Here is where the deceptive nature of the heart is such a challenge. We often mask our covetousness by claiming we are on a righteous crusade."
-David Guzik

Boom! Great kick to the gut right there! The heart is deceitful above all else isn't it? Thank you God for your Word! It is changing me and exposes the grossness of my sin.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double‑edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NIV84)

Vs 22-34
This section was beautiful to read after reading the story of Elijah to the kids tonight. The provision that happens in Elijah's is pretty stinking amazing. From the way God feeds Elijah when he's fleeing from Jezebel to the way the oil and flour never empty for the widows jars. God provides.

I was at the dentist today and listening to the dr tell us about their teeth. The thought crossed my mind about how are we going to pay for all their braces since they inherited a nice overbite from me. God provides. It may be braces it may not but I don't have to worry about such things. A man today was sweet and excited about our family. He said we all choose to invest in something and children are a wonderful thing to invest in. I believe that too. God has our family covered. He has blessed us abundantly with five amazing kids to invest and pour into daily. He cares more about us than the ravens.

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (Luke 12:24 NIV84)

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:32, 33 NIV84)

Do not be afraid little flock. Love those words. Can't stay focus but I could list every single verse in that passage. Am I going to have faith and believe God or not

D

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

DAY 597: LUKE 11

Today started out rough. Hit a beautiful place today of just not feeling like I could do it today. I leaned in hard to God and He answered. Things didn't get easier and it was still difficult but I wasn't walking alone. A sweet friend shared her heart today and it completely resonated with me. I feel overwhelmed when I don't live up to the standards I set for myself. My sense of failure turns into anger at my husband and at my kids. I don't know how things are going to get done on a daily basis but I do know that normally it gets done at least enough for us to move onto the next day. I wish I could get over myself and stop trying to be super mom. It's robs joy and causes chaos. I need to rise before my kids again and pray daily that I would relinquish my desires for the day and be willing to follow God's lead.

LUKE 11:
The rest of this chapter is just so sad. Read some in the OT tonight to the kids and it too was just sad. I think about the friends that I know and where our country is headed with moral relativism and it's just heart breaking.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DAY 596: LUKE 11

I'm grumpy and I want a frosted sugar cookie that's sitting in my kitchen along with several large handfuls of M&M's. I don't get what my obsession with M&M's is even about. They were never a favorite. Over all today was better than yesterday. (stupid cat is sitting right next to my head. why on earth do we now have a cat?) I still just want to scream and kick something.

LUKE 11 vs 1-32
Didn't want to do this today. I don't want to be sharpened or have a mirror shined in my face. I'm grumpy and feeling rather rebellious. After reading I always feel better. Unfortunately falling asleep and phone battery about to die.

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." (Luke 11:1 NIV84)

I want to be teachable instead of a prideful rebellious fool.

Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first." (Luke 11:26 NIV84)

Feel like I'm living this out with the whole sugar thing. Quit sweets allowed it while pregnant and slowly but surely got completely out of control. Feel like I'm in a worse spot than I quit sweets to begin with. My heart lives to reach for comfort at every turn. If its not sugar it's another thing. I'm not a sugar addict, I'm a comfort junkie. May God loving push me out of my comfort zone and show me that there is much joy to stepping out.

D


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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DAY 595: LUKE 10

I want to shove my face into a bag of M&M's. I have a raging headache, feel depressed and I want to kick the cat. Didn't start off this way but it slowly creeped up on me as the day wore on. Hopefully detoxing from my BFF sugar won't get much worse than this. I think the worst part so far is feeling hungry all the time. I don't feel satisfied until I've indulged in something sweet. I could cuss profusely right now. Hate that my vacation high is being ruined by this. I could cry right about now.

LUKE 10:
My heart is in a not so good place tonight. The parable of the good Samaritan and the story of Mary and Martha are so incredible. I love that when the teachers of the law tried to trick Jesus they always got a wonderful smack down with truth. They were so hung up on the law. God cares about our hearts more than anything.

I want to be Mary but I'm a total Martha.

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41, 42 NIV84)

I want to choose what is better. I live in the tension of the reality that there is dishes to be done from breakfast, lunch and dinner. At least a load of laundry is made a day and there is always bathrooms to be cleaned and a wake of destruction from 3 wonderful boys. I don't want to get caught up in that. I don't want the never ending piled up to do list to ever interfere with cuddles, romping and make believe but it does. I don't want the temporal to cloud and blind my focus of the eternal. I want to forget about all the worldly things that appear to give me value and worth and simply bask in the fact that I'm the daughter of the great king. God please help change my Martha heart and mind to become more like Mary's who chooses what is better.

D

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Monday, March 19, 2012

DAY 594: LUKE 10 VS 1-24

Today marks the first day of going sugar free. Not just cutting sweets, trying to cut out added sugar too. I'm a sugar addict and my waistline can't hide that fact. Did great when I gave up sweets for a year. I gave myself free reign during pregnancy and after and I think I might have ended up worse than I was before. So crazy to me that sugar addiction is linked to alcoholism. I am the daughter of an alcoholic so my love affair with sugar is not surprising.

Got a good look at my fat suit yesterday. Not fired up about it but really trying hard to embrace the fact that whether I'm 100 pounds or 200 pounds I am still fearfully and wonderfully made. My weight does not determine my value and worth. Doing a better job leaning into this than I ever have. It's still not easy and the self deprecating comments to completely silence. Overall though it's very apparent that God has really grown me in this area. Thankful.

Today was not easy and the condition of my house is driving me bonkers but I'm thankful to be back into some kind of routine. Hopefully it will stick tomorrow. Had one of those homeschool moments today that I envision in my head when I think about homeschooling. All four kids around the table working on a project excited and fully engaged. Wish all schooling moments were like this but since they are not I treasure each time it's flawless. Abbie didn't fight much today but gymnastics was the reward for being diligent. Lots of sass and tude from that one today. I see my pride in her and it makes me crazy! That child and I are cut from the same mold. Praying that doesn't mean she will make the same choices I did or have my addictive personality. So glad God has her in His hands.

LUKE 10 vs 1-24:
Keep getting distracted from this and now I want to drift off to the wonderful sounds of thunder. Little miss has been struggling with either reflux or congestion issues or both at night. Leaves for a sleepy momma.

I don't know why but I never got that Jesus sent out 72 others before.

After this the Lord appointed seventy‑two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. (Luke 10:1 NIV84)

These are not part of the twelve but Jesus calls them on a great mission none the less. They too are to rely fully on God for provision for their journey.

There is so much greatness in this passage but once again falling asleep.

D


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Sunday, March 18, 2012

DAY 593: LUKE 9:28-62

Re-entry was hard today but not as brutal as I had anticipated. This week will be nutty trying to get back into the grove of school, packing away winter clothes, getting caught up on laundry, and defunking the house. I pray my eyes will stay focused on the right things despite the to do list.

Les and I have been talking about what we want to take away from our trip this past week. Kicking around the idea of doing a year long no tv experiment. My kids don't watch nearly as much as they used to so detox won't be horrible but there will definitely be some adjustments to be made. I might end up getting my chickens sooner too which is exciting. Chickens or no chickens I think it's clear to us we need to start cutting out extra clutter and noise that adds chaos.

Worship tonight was good. My heart fully connected for a full 28 non interrupted seconds. Hate that I'm so easily distracted and I forget the simple truth that He loves me and that's enough. I think maybe I understand now the difference between doing and being. When I'm caught in doing mode I rely on myself. However, being is an overflow of my walk with Christ or my remaining in Him. That probably makes no sense but it did for me.

Going to see if I can help inspire my kids to look beyond themselves and give. Some sweet friends are having a garage sale to raise money for adoption and hoping to get them into the purging spirit to help the cause. We have way too much stuff which oddly enough is another killer of joy.

LUKE 9:28-62
My head is too jumble to go through much of this. Transfiguration is mind blowing. I just read the words tonight but when I really stop and think about what the verses describing the transfiguration are saying its mind blowing. Speaking of mind the whole demon thing is still very interesting to me. How would this demon possessed boy been taken today? Would he been diagnosed as having a seizure disorder and medicated? In this account of demon possession Jesus rebukes the spirit and heals the boy. It's interesting how much the devil likes to get into our minds. I hate how he twists and distorts everything.

Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. (Luke 9:42 NIV84)

This verse caught my eye the most today.

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62 NIV84)

Since I'm not a farmer I had no context as to what this was even talking about. In commentary it talked about how a farmer when plowing had to keep their focus on something in the distance to keep the rows straight. If he took his gaze off the object the rows would become crooked. My rows are most definitely crooked. I'm hoping that by eliminating the distractions and the idols in my life my rows will become straighter and the crop more plentiful.

D


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

DAY 592: LUKE 9:18-27

Left at 7:30am and just got home at 11:30pm. Longest road trip yet and no DVD player to aid in the epic journey. Littles started crying when we got here that they wanted to be at the cabin. They are not alone. I wonder if you live in the mountains if the majesty wears away over time. Today while driving away I was thankful for the hard times in life. It's the dry and rough patches that makes the good stuff all the more sweeter. May I learn to give thanks not just in the mountains and for the majesty but for the difficult and mundane as well.

LUKE 9:18-27
Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is. Despite what others think they answer that they believe he is the Christ, the very son of God. Then Jesus lays out for them the cost of following Him. I love how he doesn't sugar coat it. Following Christ is difficult but the reward is so much greater than the sacrifice.

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23 NIV84)

May I learn how to deny myself more and more.

D

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Friday, March 16, 2012

DAY 591: LUKE 9:1-17

I am so sad about leaving this place. The beauty and wide open spaces will be missed. The dream and ache to leave the hustle and bustle of Dallas and live out in the country is strong right now. I just want to live out in a place like Ann Voscamp's place. I want to be able to see the stars at night. I'm tired of suffocating my soul with busyness. It's hard not getting sucked in. Back to the city for now. The city is where we may always be and if so I need to remember we need to get out of it every once in awhile. I want to go camping next weekend just so that coming home doesn't seem so choking. So thankful for this opportunity but not quite sure how to handle the sense of loss at the thought of leaving God's creation. Need to go back home and start pouring myself into our neighborhood. I want to make the most of where God has us. Maybe some chickens and small garden will quell the itch for now. I can not believe I wrote that.

LUKE 9: 1-17
So much could be written about these 17 verses. Have to wrap this up so I can pack up to leave bright and early tomorrow. Of these 17 action packed verses these two stuck out the most.

10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida.
11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.

Actually the three words had the most impact on me tonight, He welcomed them. Jesus had gone to Bethsaida with His disciples to have some solitude and alone time. The crowds could care less if Jesus and his crew needed rest yet Jesus welcomed them. I have a lot of growth to do in this area. Busyness and flat out selfishness prevents me from welcoming them. Welcoming my children, my neighbors, my friends, or anybody God chooses to put in my path. Loves welcomes and does not act put out.

On completely different note, kinda I need to find more time to sit and chat with my oldest. I've tried bedtime occasionally but I think her real talk time might be during bath time. I need to be welcoming and sit in the bathroom while she takes a bath a talk. She always requests the company and I cant believe some the conversation that went on tonight when I was slow enough to sit. That girl is growing up. It happened so fast! I get it now more than I ever did before. I sat and listened to her pour out her little heart, cry over boys (ahhhh not already!!!) and other things I didn't expect to encounter so soon. A mother who shoos away busyness and embraces a heart that welcomes holds the key to her children's heart. Lord please don't let busyness prevent me from seeing your face and unlocking the door to my children's hearts.

D

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

DAY 590: LUKE 8

Ventured off into Taos today. Went skiing there in college once and don't remember ever really being in town. That town is dark. It completely made my skin crawl. Could not wait to get out of it. I feel like a fruitcake but it would be hard not to pull a Jonah if God ever called us there. Crazy part is that the town is right smack dab in the middle of breath taking mountains. Portland is dark but it's different. Portland is dark because there is a lack of light. Taos just felt straight up evil. I was seriously ready for someone to start snarling or hissing at us. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

Can't help but think about ole Lot in this adventure today. Why did he settle in Sodom of all places? There was no Christian fellowship and you know that place had to be giving off a crazy dark vibe. Really makes you think about where you settle down. Lot and his family paid a huge price for his poor leadership. Les and I dream about moving to all sorts of places. As you can imagine Angel Fire or a mountain town is the latest in our list of dream cities. I don't want to go anywhere without God's clear direction to pack up bags and move. In my plan when we are called to move it will involve a tin roof, large porch, chickens and a pot belly pig. It's official, I have completely lost touch with the me of ten years ago. I'll be churning butter before I know it.

LUKE 8:
This chapter is incredibly intense. There is no possible way to even scratch the surface. Tonight the story of Jesus being in the boat with the disciples during the storm struck me the most. I have difficulty in my life with this very thing. The disciples are in the boat with Jesus and they have seen him do miraculous things. A storm kicks up and begins to fill the boat with water. Even though Jesus is in the boat with them they can't keep their focus off of the storm. I know God is Sovereign over all things. I know the good I ought to do but I get so caught up in what I can see. I know that God can make anything and everything work for His glory but it's hard to keep my eyes focus on him when the boat is filling with water. I have hope that God can change this in me. The disciples that could be so flakey turned out to get it in the end. I want my roots to grow deep in Jesus. I don't want to get wrapped up and choked by this world we live in. This isn't even my home. Let my eyes really see God and may my the crop of my life reap much fruit.

D

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DAY 589: LUKE 7

Another wonderful day. So very thankful. Having a hard time keeping my eyes open tonight. Not going to fight it.

D

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DAY 588: LUKE 6

I can't get over this place, how we got it and the sheer beauty of it. My heart connects so fully out in God's creation. I know there are some spots in Dallas but there sure is a whole lot more concrete. It's going to be super hard to leave this place. Even while beyond thankful I can already see where ugliness can set in. The entitlement to a vacation every year. Oh God please help me to guard my heart. You are more than enough. You hand crafted every single star. You molded together every mountain top, you tell the wind where to blow. You knew me before the world began. I can not hide a single thought from you. I am overwhelmed by you. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. A chance to be once again inspired by you. Thank you for plucking us out of the rat race and allowing us to soak up your beauty. Light our path oh God. Simply amazed by you.

I understand how David wrote all those Psalms. He probably sat underneath the stars and his heart could do nothing else but pour out praise. I feel like manna is pouring out of the sky.

Wish I could capture all that is swishing around in my head right now. The end of Luke 6 is great. The heart, the heart it always comes back to the heart. Thank y'all again for letting me fill your inboxes daily. My heart is deceitful. I want to keep things hidden. I am thankful for each of you allowing me to pour it all out. To at times bring out to the light things I would much rather keep hidden. I am thankful for each of you!

D

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Monday, March 12, 2012

DAY 586: LUKE 6

Internet is kinda spotty but I think this will work. Blown away by this place. Cabin is super cute and right out on the back porch is a great spot for the kids to play in the snow and sled. We didn't do anything to deserve this place yet God provided it. Really awe struck right now. A family vacation was on our prayer list this year and God answered. There's so many things that I want to write about tonight but I so incredibly exhausted. Thankful. I am so insignificant yet God continues to show me that He cares about the little things.

LUKE 6: 17-26
The beatitudes. Oh such good stuff. I still laugh when I read them now. Oh for so long I thought these were about somebody else but they are for me.

D

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DAY 586: LUKE 6 vs 1-16

This will be quick. On the road and not sure how long I can do this without getting car sick. Driving to Amarillo and driving the rest of the way to Angel Fire tomorrow. Will probably get there a little after 1am. Not sure what kind of reception we'll get at the cabin. In
some ways it would be fabulous to fully unplug. We did that about four years ago when we went to a cabin near Los Maples. It was awesome! Strangely enough that was called Fox Fire.

LUKE 6: 1-16
At hotel kids running around like crazy. Parents zonked. Till tomorrow in the mountains.

D

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

DAY 585: LUKE 5

Tons of laundry today and still more to be done. Getting out of town as a family of 7 is no easy feat. I want to go on and on about this amazing chapter. Unfortunately there's lots to get done tonight. Hate to skimp but I also don't want to get stuck in my own form of religion either. Lots of wonder in this chapter. Can't believe I'll get to see Jesus someday face to face. The very thought is so very exciting and frankly a little scary too.

D

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Friday, March 09, 2012

DAY 584: LUKE 4

Better day today. Thank you friends for encouraging words and prayer. Still a grumpy gus but today feels a lot less crushing. I haven't had any caffeine in several days so I wouldn't be surprised if that's not part of my problem. Oh yeah and the whole I'm selfish thing probably doesn't help either. Bella doesn't really care what my schedule or agenda is for the day. Frankly none of my kids do. Having to learn to let go even more and become less and less focused on my will is not easy.

LUKE 4:
To finish up from last night...

Temptation 2: Comfort & Ease
If Jesus had bowed down to Satan he would never have had to die on the cross. Jesus's life here on earth would have been much simpler and easier if he had given into temptation. Yet Jesus chose hardship, difficulty and intense pain because of love. Love comes at a cost. When I think about the crazy rate of divorce in our country I'm so sad that people have been fooled. They believe the lie that love is about them and it should be easy. It's hard. To truly love is hard. I wish I wasn't so darn had at it. Praying that through the years the Master of Love will teach me how to love more like Him.

Temptation 3: Vanity
Supposedly back in the day the Jews believed the Messiah would be found standing on top of the temple. If Jesus threw himself down, the problem of disbelieve would have appeared to be solved. I often fight for what I think is mine or for the recognition I think I deserve. I forget that if I'm humble God often fights my battles for me. When I let go and don't try to force the issue even if treated unfairly it often goes better for me.

Vs 14-39:
Talk about scandalous!! Jesus returns to Galilee and he is praised in the synagogues. He goes to Nazareth and into the synagogue and there is a completely different reaction. Jesus doesn't lay out a seeker sensitive sermon he busts out truth and it's not received well at all. In fact and angry mob tries to throw Jesus off a cliff.

But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke 4:30 NIV84)

I'm not doing this passage justice. Read it, it's awesome!!!

D


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Thursday, March 08, 2012

DAY 583: LUKE 4 VS 1-13

I feel like a total jerk face of a parent today. I did not enjoy my children today. Instead they were an interruption and a distraction to my plans. I failed to "see" them today. The days are fleeting and I hate that I've wasted yet another. When will I learn to put my agenda aside and enjoy the gifts that God has so graciously blessed me with? I want to wake them up right now and try over again.

I was reminded this morning of what I needed to find peace today.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3

I did not trust God for provision today and my thoughts most certainly were not fixed on Him. I was fixed on the mess around me. My desire to kill the laundry monster sleeping on my couch. Attack the kitchen, kill the floors and all the other crazy mess that has sprung up around here. It only takes a matter of seconds for more to grow. It overwhelmed me today and felt choking today. Instead of leaning into it I pushed against it and it never goes well that way. I feel so incredibly ill equipped today. And now the baby is up again. My life feels like a long list of unfinished tasks. Everything is only halfway completed. Discouraged today. I desire to keep my eyes focused on the eternal but I feel like my butt is getting kicked by the temporal. Poor me by the way who has a sink piled high with dishes and a mountain of laundry both clean and dirty. Poor me! Really? This is what I chose to get worked up about today. Really? I'm a damn fool.

Thank you God that you love this damn fool. Thank you that your grace is sufficient in my many weaknesses. Thank you that we are so blessed that it often is exploded all over our house which by the way has four bedrooms. You fed us and clothed us today. You gave us each other and most importantly you gave us yourself. Help me to shake off the funk and to once again find my thankful heart. You've given me yourself and God that is enough. It's all I need to make it through each day. Help me to guard my heart and mind from the evil one. He got me today but I pray that tomorrow I would be focused on you and not fall into his trap. Thank you so much for your love and your endless sea of grace. Help teach me to love like you do. love, your daughter

Jesus fasts for 40 days and is lead into the desert by the Spirit. Satan tempts Jesus during this time. I've read this enough now that my pride wants to sink in. I get lulled to sleep by its familiarity. Tonight I read commentary and have a new take on this passage in Luke.

Temptation 1: Instant Gratification
Jesus is now starving to death or pretty close to it. Satan tempts him to turn a stone into bread. Food is a legitimate need, Satan is just tempting Jesus to get it in a way that would not be honoring to God. Satan takes legit smite needs that we have and tempts us to fill those needs instantly in ways that hurt us and fail to glorify God our creator. I'm lonely or overwhelmed or the day is just plain hard so I'll fill that ache with cake. God doesn't want me filling any ache with cake. He beckons me to include Him in the loneliness, in the chaos, in the difficulty. He urges me closer to Him through out the difficulties. Sometimes I choose Him but often I choose instant gratification.

Temptation 2: Comfort and Ease
I could have gone off on this one. Falling asleep once again instead.

D

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

DAY 582: LUKE 3

It has been a crazy 48 hrs complete with a visit to the ER, stomach bug, a birthday and free cabin in Angel Fire next week. So sad to have been laid up today on Paul's birthday. Feeling better but still weak at the knees. Praying nobody else gets sick.

LUKE 3:
Believe it or not the genealogy stuck out to me the most. Something very cool about being able to trace back Jesus all the way from Adam. Jesus was always part of the plan from day one. Before God said let there be light the plan of salvation through Jesus was already set in place. Crazy.

D

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

DAY 581: LUKE 2

Feel like I'm going to yack out my guts. So thankful for stomach bugs instead of a bowel or intestinal blockage.

Got a few minutes before I feel completely horrible again. So much to write about today but going to set it aside for today. Freezing and trying to save energy. Nursing in throws of a stomach bug stinks. Sleep sweet Bella sleep.

D

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DAY 581: LUKE 2

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Monday, March 05, 2012

DAY 580: LUKE 2:1-20

Today was a wonderful beat down. Our house is in complete chaos and shambles but I feel like a superwoman! Today was hard yet I feel like I would get a well done good and faithful servant today. The kids were crazy but I kicked the grocery stores butt today. So thankful I've gotten over my fear of shopping with all of them. Today I did learn I need an organized list to make shopping as efficient as possible. It will still take me three times as long as the normal person but I'll come home with actual meals I can cook. So thankful to God for today. He's changing me and I'm thankful. Got up early enough to pray this morning and it made all the difference. Thankful, thankful, thankful!!! Good possibility I'll be Señorita Crabcakes tomorrow but celebrating the victory of today.

Gymnastics today was quiet the experience. I got to see me three oldest in full form. Abbie loves it. Can't express how awesome it is to see your child in their element. I could see her hustle and work hard and truly enjoy herself. She is proud of her accomplishments and it's awesome!

I watched as Luke was his Lukeypotamus self. He walked on the outskirts of the boundaries as much as he could. That kid is always going to unless a firm and clear boundary is set. If its only soft he'll go right through it. Really beginning to appreciate this about him and how God created his mind to work.

Paul was himself as well today. His intensity is something else. I pray he will learn to unleash this passionate focus on things of eternal value someday. He didn't win a game they played and it bothered him to the point of not wanting to participate anymore. It's very possible he just isn't able to communicate what was really bothering him but he didn't like that he couldn't do what he wanted. I completely get that. I throw fits myself it just looks different than his. Today I was at a slight loss of what to do with the kid. First of all I paid for him to go. Second I knew the kid would have fun if he would just get over it. He did end up going back out for free play and then pitched a fit that he didn't get to do everything. Feels good to know my kid because I knew he would do that.

I am so beyond thankful for these complete knuckleheads. They are all strong willed in their own way and they are teaching me more about myself than I could ever teach them. I love them so and realize the blessing that they are more and more. God has been oh so good to me.

LUKE 2:1-20
I want to stay on track with the journey so I can at least say I've been able to follow somebody else's plan to completion but I can't possibly move as quickly at least not with this chapter. It's so incredible beautiful. The words are more incredible than any steak dinner. I don't know why I fight reading so much. I am such a fickle and wayward child.

The coming of the Christ was declared to shepherds. The lower class of people that was looked down upon. God's plan is completely scandalous. This shock value loving, rule breaking gal loves this about God. God takes the norm and smashes it into bits. I simply love this. This is one of the qualities I see in Luke that although it is painful to me now I simply love and adore. This is why we should love one another. We are all created in His image.

The sharp sword of the Word pierces my heart. I saw a woman at Sprouts today. She is an EGR and I've run into her a couple times at WM. I saw her eating out of the bins and I avoided her so that I wouldn't get trapped into a long winded conversation with children running amuck throughout Sprouts. Oh how I completely missed an opportunity to love. If only I could have seen a woman created in the very image of Christ and offered to feed her knowing that God would provide the provision I needed to offer love. Instead I was way too focused on self preservation. Even on the days I think I am a Rockstar I fall below the standard. How thankful I am for this baby that grow up to die for my sun so that I might inherit His righteousness. I'm a stiff necked wayward sinner who so desperately needs a Savior. I pray for another chance, another opportunity to love.

D

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

DAY 579: LUKE 1

Feel like a turd this evening. Nursing has left me with a lot of empty time to check out in iPhone land. This then oozes into just being checked out all the time. I should use this down time to memorize scripture or read the bible or find creative ways to engage with my kids despite sitting my booty on the couch.i could do all those things but I've grown lazy. I'm suffering from a really good case of lack of self discipline. I need to get back on it and the first thing that needs to happen is to kick sugar to the curb. I'm an addict so I need to cut it all out cold turkey. I'm going to allow myself to finish out cake fest 2012 and time to get a menu together but Monday March 12th watch out world because I'm gonna be an angry beast!

LUKE 1: 38-80
What a really killer way to kick this book off. Incredible chapter. I can't even imagine being alive during this crazy exciting time. Mary comes to visit Elizabeth and John leaps for joy at the very sound of Mary's voice. Can you imagine feeling your baby do that? Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of pregnancy and I miss after I've given birth. How beautiful is a pregnant momma!? Oh how so many women miss this.

How awesome is God that He would have these two miraculous births happen in the same family around almost the same exact time. God loves us so much and He cares about the little details of our lives.

D

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Saturday, March 03, 2012

DAY 578: LUKE 1

Tired. Lots of running around today. Really needed to camp it at home today to tame the wildness of this house. Reminded today that the fires of hell are set ablaze by the unruly tongue. I drug my kids around to this and that today but had a bad attitude as the day wore on. I don't want my kids to grow up and say my mom did a lot for us but we felt like inconveniences. Even if I apologize when my mouth is unruly the damage has already been done. Hearts have already been bruised. I hate that in my sinful nature mistakes have and will be made that will wound them. So thankful tonight that His grace is sufficient in my weakness. I want to be faithful and do the best I am capable of doing but I'm not significant enough to mess up the plans God has for my kids. I find great relief knowing that despite the good and the bad I do God's plan will be carried out.

LUKE 1:26-38
I've read and been told this story so many times that I think I miss the wonder of it. The angel of the Lord visits Mary. It's almost like a scene from a children's movie or a fictional story. Its all so very nice. But an angel of the Lord visited Mary! Holy smokes! For the first time in a long time I'm really thinking about what that would be like. What if right now as you were reclining in your living room, bedroom or whatever an angel showed up. I would freak out. Come on who wouldn't. An angel. A freaking angel. I'm pretty confident I'd wet myself. Mary is frightened but all in all she is pretty calm about the whole thing. Angel appears, tells her she is going to have the Son of God and she's not even had sex yet nor is married yet. I would still be freaking. This is her response to it all.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38 NIV84)

I would have had a million questions and then quite possibly argued as to why it shouldn't be me. Mary so meek and mild. I know now that the Lord has made me feisty for a reason. For all I know it just might be the cross I have to bear but I do desire to learn how to possess more meek and mildness. I want to embrace all that God sets before me with a humble heart that says let it be so for I am the Lord's servant. I want to truly learn how to be His servant.

D

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Friday, March 02, 2012

DAY 577: LUKE 1:1-25

Woke up this morning snuggled between two sweet babies with the smiling face of my oldest boy wishing me happy birthday. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. It wasn't all that long ago that I often wished I had never been born. God has given me such beauty from ashes and I am so thankful.

I could not have asked for a more beautiful day today. It was the tiniest bit chilly but clear dark blue skies. I love that my birthday is around the beginning of spring. Being outside in God's beauty awakens my soul.

LUKE 1:1-25
Love the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. (Luke 1:6 NIV84)

Upright in the sight of the Lord yet a barren womb sets the stage for this story. Not only has Elizabeth's heart and arms ached for a child but disgrace has befallen her as well. This is not where the story ends. Zechariah chosen "randomly" by lots to go into the temple of the Lord to burn incense. He is greeted by a most unlikely visitor and told great news which he does not believe at first. God has chosen to bless them with a child.

He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, (Luke 1:14 NIV84)

This verse makes my hair stand on end. It's beautiful. This joy and delight will help to soften the hearts of God's people and set the stage for the coming of the Messiah.

I love our God. I love His faithfulness. I love the beauty of His plan. All the details come together to weave the most beautiful stories of love, grace and redemption. It's in the moments that I remember that He has every last detail in His hand that even the horrors of this world seem to fade. He knows every last thing that goes on under the sun and He weaves all of it to work according to His plan and His purpose so that He might be glorified. Our God is simply awesome.

D
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Thursday, March 01, 2012

DAY 576: MARK 16

My heart is so heavy tonight. Spent hours this evening looking up the latest on the abortion issue. Thousands of babies die everyday in our country and the lives of men and women are scarred forever. What are we to do about this modern day holocaust? My heart aches.

Jesus walked through the many crowds and He saw their many hurts and afflictions. He is the answer to our deepest longing and yet many still turn away. I'm no better. I turn aside to things of this world to offer me a quick fix instead of turning to the only one who truly satisfies. This world is so broken and hurting and I'm so saddened this evening by it all. It's about time I started to look beyond myself.

Overwhelmed with gratitude for my children tonight. Even as a young child I had a strong desire to change the world. As I grew up that dream got choked out. I'm overwhelmed tonight that I am a world changer by having these babies. A new legacy is beginning and through these children, the generations of children to come the world will be changed. The ripple effect can be so beautiful and more powerful than I can even imagine.

MARK 16:
He is risen! When I stop and look at it from a distance this whole Jesus story sounds absolutely crazy. I'm thankful
for a crazy loving wonderful and faithful God who would take a broken mess of a girl and call her his own. I'm a weepy mess tonight.

D

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