Sunday, April 29, 2012

DAY 635: JOHN 17

So good to be home! Time away even in brief amounts is so good for perspective. Physically tired but refreshed in so many ways. I afed relying anxious though. I'm not generally an anxious person and I'm thankful because it feels yuck. Extreme exhaustion seems to trigger a feeling of anxiety in me. I don't even know if that's the right word for it since I feel very much at peace, my body is just physically unable to relax.

Look forward to hashing out all that went on this weekend. For tonight I need to get caught up with my amazing husband who not only did laundry and kid wrangled this weekend, he also built me a laundry storage unit. Plus if I don't get some serious sleep tonight I'm going to head straight into crazyville. A weekend of very little sleep combined with an already sleep deprived state is not good.

JOHN 16:
Love the pray Jesus yearns for and prays for those that are His. We too should have this yearning for people to be one with the Father as we are one with the Father.


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DAY 634: PSALM 46&62

I don't know what it is about the water but it's incredibly calming to me. Being out in God's beauty and being able to see the stars at night are making me yearn to move. I miss my family. I don't care where we live as long as I'm with them.

My attempt to write this earlier failed. So tired so will have to write down everything another time. Great time with God and the girls here but missing my hubs and kids in a big way!! Haven't been able to connect with my mountain man since is almost none existent here.

Another random thing guts hurt. Think staying away from sugar has really helped me more than I could imagine. More motivation to kick it again tomorrow and get back on track.

Did I mention I miss my family?


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Saturday, April 28, 2012

DAY 633: JOHN 16

Really been thinking about an article I read about "me time". My head is not quite on straight tonight as I know I'm tired and feel guilty for not setting up my family well to leave on this retreat. I look at today and all I see is self absorption, missed opportunity and lack of love. I treated my kids as nuisances instead of the objects of my affection. Maybe this is the reason for my great excitement over this weekend. I need new perspective. I've been tapping into the wrong things to give me life. Oh if I could learn to take each step remaining in Him. I can't wait to be with Him, to have all the obstacles of this world removed. I can't wait.

Feel like God has been prepping me for this weekend all week. I have felt weary. Again maybe just the thought of my departure this weekend allowed me to be honest about it or to see it. Super moms don't grow weary. To even admit that I need this weekend is possibly a step in the right direction. I don't want a weekend by a lake as much I want Him to transform me. I want to be stripped down so that he can grow me to be more like Him. I don't even need that I just want Him. My bones are aching for time with Him.

JOHN 16:
It's sad but I can't really process what I just read. Yet this verse, the very last verse is crystal clear.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV)


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Thursday, April 26, 2012


I'm going to cheese out tonight because I need to stick my head in a bible and prepare for this retreat. This timing of this retreat could not have come at a better time as I feel my tank is at an all time low. I've never been this excited about getting away as I am this time. I could be feeling this way just because I know I get to take off this weekend. It could be the four stubborn kiddos bucking me on everything. One in particular has really surprised me lately. He really wants to do the right thing. The really cool thing is that this kid is not a people pleasure at all and so his desire to want to do what is right and good really seems to be motivated out of a really good place.

Although getting yelled and screamed at on a regular basis is not my favorite I truly am okay with these head strong defiant kids. They are good kids albeit sinful kids. My prayer is that in their stubborn independence they choose a passionate relationship with Christ that is their own. I prayer that their desire to go their own way will bode well for them as they carve their biblical path through the jungles of this postmodern world we live in. Their strong little personalities are a wonderful sharpening stone for myself as well. It's the most painful and wonderful part of the blessing. I am being taught slowly but surely how to surrender and to remain so that I might learn how to love these wonderful sinful messes just as He loves me.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DAY 631: JOHN 15 (18-25)

Somebody peed in my Cheerios this morning. Woke up grumpy!! Kid drama early in the morning set me off on the wrong foot. I don't know if there is a full defiant moon out or what but its been a ROUGH week. However, I am so stinking excited about an upcoming retreat this weekend!! Looking forward to recharging my batteries and spending the weekend with some awesome ladies!!

JOHN 15 vs 18-25:
I don't have too much to say about this passage but it's really good. All us people pleasers should read these verses daily. On a daily basis I should be asking whether I am trying to please man or am I trying to please God. Why do I do the things that I do? Even "good" things can have the stench of sin if I'm motivated out of selfish reasons. This passage is convicting because I want to be liked. Not worth gaining the approval of the entire world and walk in darkness. God help me to be bold. Shine light on my motives and help refine them to be pure. Change my heart to desire your approval over anything else.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DAY 630: JOHN 15(1-17)

First thing on my mind this morning, adoption. I think it's always on a slow burn in the back of my mind. I still don't understand everything and why it's gone down the way it has. Have a feeling time we put on the wait list already is part of the equation. Who really knows though? Waiting patiently until we are once again given a green light to proceed. In the meantime Bella is such a beautiful reminder of God's perfect plan and timing! Very much in love with that perfect gift of a baby girl.

Les playing some old Radiohead. Oh the memories of a time spent so far away from God. I was withering on the vine and used everything I could get my hands on to just numb the pain. Even then He was with me, protecting and providing provision. I was loved and longed for even while I chose to walk in utter darkness. I pray my kids will never know the pain of walking this path.

Tired today. Sinus and ear infection still hanging around and sapping much needed energy. It's like I'm growing a tiny little infection baby in my head. Almost felt weariness today. Not exactly but close. The monotony of the making of food and the endless dishes, laundry, mess and need for grocery store trips. Even as I write that I realize what a fool I am. These are all signs of the over abundance of provision for us. I'm like the Israelites who received manna and them complained about it. Must thank the One who allows the endless laundry, dishes and mess. They are blessings from above.

Been stuck in homeschool land the past several weeks. Planning for summer and wanting to have curriculum narrowed down for next year for the homeschool conference coming up in May. Lots of pressure. If I don't pick just the right path I'll be stuck with it forever and Abbie and Paul will be doomed to grow up to be juvenile delinquents.

JOHN 16 vs 1-17
This passage is dense and rich. I could write a book just on this first part of the chapter. How would I possibly watch the next episode of Downton Abbie if I did though? Just keeping it real about my rebellious and foolish heart.

This verse really caught my eye tonight.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2 NIV)

Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. My kids are walking in my footsteps and are little kings and queens of comfort. If a task or chore involves hard work or doing something not enjoyable it Results in wailing and bashing of teeth. These poor little beings can't fathom the necessity of doing something that's hard or unenjoyable. Now where in the world could they possibly get this from? Could it be from the person who just grumped about being weary of having to wash clothes in a washing machine and do dishes in a dishwasher? I want my children to understand that it's the hard and difficult things in life that makes us grow. If they run away from everything that is difficult they will miss out on growing. God uses hardship and difficulty to prune us. Love the definition of pruning:

  1. Trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, esp. to increase fruitfulness and growth.
  2. Cut away (a branch or stem) in this way.

It's the difficulty that allows God to do the painful pruning. It's when my children are extra defiant and difficult that my own sinfulness is exposed and can be pruned back. 

My backyard is a beautiful reminder if this right now. Our rose bushes are the most beautiful that they have ever been. Les has pruned them back every year and now the rose vines are bursting forth with new life. The pain God allows in the pruning process is a wonderful and living thing. I must remember this as I disciple and patent my own children. Allowing painful situations into their lives is a loving thing to do. God please prune the heck out of me. May I rejoice in the hardship and pain of it knowing that you are growing me to be more like you.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

DAY 628/629: JOHN 14

Had to get up and take drugs and load the dishwasher so found some energy to write. Beautiful day today. Neighbors out and about. Excited about mixing it up with them again. Abbie had a great idea about a once a week VBS we could do during the summer for our street. The child has wonderful ideas! Thought about how to make it happen but came to the conclusion that it's too premature to try such things. One day we will be in the perfect life stage to pull off something like this, the time is just not right now.

I'm reminded again what a wise decision it is to wait on a neighborhood VBS as our house is a wreck once again. It was great since we cleaned Friday but something happened in two short days to make it crazy again. Too much activity happened. It seems lame but as our family grows one missed load of laundry or not enough time to run the dishwasher results in chaos. You would think with us not being home it would be cleaner. Tis not the case. It only takes a few moments for a clan of Brown's to make something messy.

This morning we headed off to the park for a family homeschool field day. I prayed for a community of other home schooling parents and God has answered in huge ways. I was sad my favorite part of our family was at work today and missed out but I'm glad we went even with the added chaos to the house. I left feeling so encouraged. A common theme that is echoed with HS moms is how the picture we have in our head of what we want our school experience to be is nothing like reality. Perfection can't be achieved day after day. Daily I have to deal with five little sinners and two big ones, myself included. I can't help but be confronted with my children's flaws and sin nature as well as my own. This part is difficult and not my favorite obstacle but it's one of the ones that is growing me the most.

I am so stinking tired. Paying for my romp out in God's creation yesterday. Pollen is killing me softly. Today marks 8 wonderful years of marriage. Had no clue it could be this good. As good as it is I know we still have area to take ground in so that marriage can be even better. Love that!

Today was not how I expected. Les took the day off and I had high hopes of a day filled with family fun outside somewhere. Les turned up sick, I already have had enough pollen poisoning for a week, and the kids were exhausted and unruly. So much disrespect and outright defiance today. Even got smacked by little toot several times today. This road will not easy. I pray for humility and daily I'm served a piece of humble pie by my children. Today I got an exceptionally large piece. Today was not fun and frankly it stunk. However, I can still lift my hands in thanks for today was a gift. There were so many gifts from above that rained down today. They are always there yet often I'm blind to them. Thankful for perspective in the midst of a difficult day.

JOHN 14:
This chapter is so rich but I'm so done today. I'm thankful for today but I'm spent. I do find it ironic that I quoted a verse in this chapter to Abbie today.

"If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15 NIV)

Speaking of the devil.... That child is so tired but refuses to sleep. My blood could boil. Thank you God for yet another opportunity to love. Laying in bed with her now and I'll be honest it's the last place I want to be. Kept thinking about something Ann Voscamp wrote. "When your child is the most repulsive to you that's the time when you need to draw closest to them." I'm sure I'm butchering that quote. When my hard head clanks together with my daughters a pretty sound it does not make. Thankful I get to work and fight for our relationship, it's one most definitely worth fighting for. Off to snuggle.


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

DAY 628: JOHN 13

So tired. Can barely keep my eyes open. Such a great chapter and so much I wanted to write about. Till tomorrow.


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

DAY 627: JOHN 12

Fun lazy weekend. Slow paced for the most part and lots of creating by the kids. Think we might have a couple artists on our hands. One child in particular is very much like my hubs and wants to dabble in it all. Very cool.

Trying times with my herd this afternoon but overall so overwhelmed by the blessing of my kids. Love how the blessing can be found in the constant sharpening! Met a cool gal today after RTM. She came up to me saw our crew and said I need to get to know you. I've so done that to Momma's with many before. I've even jumped in somebody's van before so I could drool all over it. Glad to know I'm not the only weirdo out there.

JOHN 12:
I love this book! The story of Mary anointing Jesus feet with perfume and wiping it with her hair is so beautiful. Oh to love Jesus that passionately. Mary gave her everything to God, her time, her treasure and her heart. Mary chose Jesus and its apparent by everything that she does.

I'm so all over the place today. Having a very hard time focusing. Had a hard time tonight at RTM too. There was a point tonight when I wondered if it was all even real. Then there was a story of life change and BOOM it all became clear again. The stories God writes in the lives of His people is so compelling. It's the reason why Mary would gladly dump her dowry all over Jesus's feet and not even think twice.

The Pharisees are blind to the abundant life that Jesus can give so they desire to snuff it out.

Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, (John 12:9, 10 NIV)

This story of Lazarus is really stewing with me this time. The man who can raise his own life also raises everybody who is willing to believe, up from the grave. Love how the people people healed served as living parables.

When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." (John 11:4 NIV)

Lazarus's death is a great reminder that God can and wants to use even the worst of circumstances to bring him glory. The people who had witnessed Lazarus come back to life were going nuts telling everybody about Jesus. God used a very sad and bleak situation to help set the stage for his ultimate plan of salvation.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

DAY 626: JOHN 12

Well tootNboch my post from yesterday disappeared. No clue what happened and no sign of it raising from the dead. Must be a reason it.

Thanks to sweet friends Les and I were able to go out on an actual date. We went to an art exhibit which was pretty stinking cool. I felt like a hipster for five minutes. Art is an interesting thing. It seems it can either be used to draw people together or a device to isolate the artist. Interesting how something do beautiful can produce such darkness. It was interesting entering studio after studio and walking in the place where art is created. Wish I could paint a beautiful picture with words what it was like to experience the art beyond what could be seen. People's stories are so interesting to me.

I'm a wanna be artist. I've always wanted to create whether it be through music or something created but it's always been mediocre at best. However, tonight I discovered my art. It's motherhood. I am daily molding and sculpting little people. May my greatest influence always be the author and creator of life.

JOHN 12:
This chapter is so rich!! Better than the steak I ate tonight. Will have to touch base with it tomorrow.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DAY 624: JOHN 10

Took a four hour nap today thanks to my awesome hubster. I didn't want to miss bible study today but knew getting rest was the wisest choice. Nap helped but still feel bleh. My guts are not too happy over the meds either. Overall the feeling of grossness prevails. Probably hurts nothing to take things at a slower pace. Hopefully in the slowness I'll be able to remember to be still and know that He is God.

JOHN 10:
Love this passage about the Good Shepherd. The picture Jesus paints of intimacy with Him is beautiful. His sheep know His voice and follow him. May I never become deaf to His wonderful voice.

I'll end with one of my favorite verses.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

This full life that Jesus gives doesn't always seem to stack up to a life that's full in the worlds eyes. The abundant life this world offers is a cheap knockoff that will end with this world. The full life Jesus offers never returns void and paves the way to eternity.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DAY 623: JOHN 9

Today was rough. I feel so incredibly run down. Kids were really tired today and were as grumpy as their momma. After breakfast I raised the white flag and curled into bed with Bella and put on a movie for Joshua. The three bigs were too busy bickering to hear the tv. This is odd since normally they are able to hear a tv with in a ten mile radius. Needless to say when I'm done at 9am and ready to take a nap that's not a good thing. I'm so done with antibiotics. I'm on my third round in four months. So thankful for the discovery of them though. Thankful for amazing healthcare provided to us by WM and that it's easily curable infections I'm battling instead of something worse. Even today with a painful face and kids screaming at me I'm thankful. It's hard days that make the good days so beautiful. I'm thankful for the grumpy, defiant, strong willed children who make a mess in my home who are helping to grow me to be more like Jesus. When I think about that side of the blessing of having kids I want 30 of them. Sign my stubborn, grumpy, impatient butt up because when I die I want to reek like Jesus. Thank you God for hard, kick me in the face days.

This is starting to become my favorite book of the bible. By far my favorite gospel. Jesus keeps healing people on the Sabbath and it's hacking off the Pharisees like nobody's business. Our Luke is quite the pot stirrer. If there is a ruckus going on there's a pretty good chance he's behind it somehow.

Today Les texted me this:
"Thought about how Jesus was an instigator and riled people up. Reminded me of Luke."
I was so thankful for this point of view today. Perfect timing while being in John because Jesus is purposefully getting the Pharisees all riled up. He comes in and challenges their entire system and they are so hacked about it. At the same time he's stirring the pot he's stirring up a group of disciples who are in complete awe of their savior. This chapter is so money. It's better than any steak dinner. Love me some Jesus and I love me some Luke. Praying that instigating little boy learns how to stir things up for Christ.


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Monday, April 16, 2012

DAY 622: JOHN 8

Today I watched a crew of three for a sweet friend. Abbie went to a playdate for awhile and goodness was she missed. As I was wrangling my sweet grumpy Bella, my other little and two of my friends littles I realized I am out of the hardest part of littleness. When I had Joshua I was in full on toddlerdom. I've moved onto another stage that includes older sibs to help wrangle littles and let me tell you it's a most beautiful thing!!! Of course in my craziness it's a little bittersweet. It will never again be three diapers and the wonderful chaos that it can bring. So very thankful tonight for these beautiful children God has blessed me with even though I could not get them into bed fast enough tonight.

Love the first hand action that John writes about in regards to the Pharisees and Jesus. There's some in the other gospels but not the same way John portrays it. The irony and the tragedy of them not getting it is crazy!!

The story of the adulterous woman hits hard tonight. These verses brought much comfort to me tonight.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:10, 11 NIV)

This love that I can't possibly fully comprehend woos me more and more the more I get to know this Jesus. It is more beautiful than words can say. It's this love that has me desire to die so that I might truly live.


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

DAY 621: JOHN 7

This weather is beating me down. Pollen and arthrity from weather is making me feel haggard. I was feeling so stinking good post no sugar and now I'm once again dragging. Now that i know how good i can feel its a drag to have it go away again. So thankful though for good health, I take it for granted daily.

Interesting day today. Reminded today that life is an adventure that can take you anywhere even on the most average of days. Thankful for God's perfect timing and the ability to rest completely and fully on Him. He writes the most beautiful stories in our lives if we allow Him. 

This chapter is full of drama. This morning it was refreshing and this evening as I read it, it's chaotic. There's even a part where Jesus tells his brothers he's not going to the festival of shelters but then ends up going after they have left. This from commentary is a sufficient explanation to me.

a. I am not yet going up to the feast: Some compare this statement with what it says in John 7:10 (He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret) as if they caught Jesus in a lie. Schopenhauer, the German philosopher of pessimism, pompously said: "Jesus Christ of set purpose did utter a falsehood." But Christians have observed for centuries that if Jesus said He would not go publicly as to attract attention (as His brothers wanted), but that did not preclude Him from going up privately.

This truth is so good and explains why people get hostile about Jesus.

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. (John 7:7 NIV)

That's all I got tonight. Sinuses aching and ear throbbing. 


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Saturday, April 14, 2012

DAY 620: JOHN 6

This chapter is crazy rich. Somebody needs to make a modern day telling of this book. In this chapter you get to see the fickleness of the human heart. The crowd once eager to soak up the very words of Jesus at the beginning of this chapter, grumble and desert him by the end. I want to think better of myself and wag a finger at their foolishness but I too am a fool. These people had a hard time getting over the fact that Jesus claimed to be the son of God. They knew where he came from and his family and it was hard to reconcile this information. Then Jesus starts talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. I know what this means thanks to hindsight but these people didn't have the benifit of that. I might have been just as foolish and walked away. I did turn away for far less.

Daily I have a fickle heart. Some moments I lean in and trust in the Messiah to provide for my every need. I drink in the water of everlasting life. Other moments I turn to the idol of self reliance, pride, food, iPhone or whatever I feel will give me life in the moment. I worship comfort and flee to momentary pleasure when things get difficult. I too am fickle like the Isrealites. Yet He loves me. This my friends is crazy. His love is so very crazy and so extravagent. I haven't the faintest clue why this heart remains so fickle in light of a love so great.

Off to an I home date night with my bearded wonder. Till tomorrow.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

DAY 619: JOHN 5

Spent a lot of today laying in bed. So much for getting it done today. I was willing but my body was not cooperating today at all. I think the ear infection, possible sinus infection and kid funk has me feeling incredibly run down. Thankful for a husband who graciously let me lay around and cooked dinner. We baked our first ever whole chicken. Kinda feel like an adult now. Kids napped today and are still up. Tomorrow will be an adventure!

This chapter is so rich but I haven't the brain power to devote the attention I want to. Jesus interaction with the man at Bethesda is interesting to me. He sees man who has been in a bad state for a long while and has compassion and asks if he wants to get well. The man doesn't seem to get the question at first. Possibly hope has been lost for a very long time for this man. Jesus steps in and brings hope. Even healed the man still doesn't seem to make a connection to Jesus. Jesus later sees him again and says this to him.

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." (John 5:14 NIV)

It's interesting to me that the man never stops to give Him thanks or anything. His body is healed yet it appears his heart has not. God goes to great lengths to rescue each of us yet some of us still choose not to listen.

The Pharisees are hacked Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and told him to carry his mat. Just like the man that was healed they see all that Jesus has done yet their ears do not listen. They know the law better than anyone and cling to it for salvation instead of Jesus. Wish I could go through verse by verse on what Jesus tells the Pharisees it's so incredibly beautiful.


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

DAY 618: JOHN 4

Judy Wimberley spoke at BB today. Love that woman! So refreshing to see a woman who has chased and pursued God and the results of that. Lots of great stuff in that talk but one was glaringly obvious to me, I do not pray enough. I don't want to add prayer as another box to check but as a way to truly use my time to put others first. Getting up early would be valuable with praying. Would be great to rise early and pray while I walk. Gotta do this!! My exhausted self hates this idea though. Getting up early is such a stinking battle!!

Hit a wall today. Didn't get up early this morning and it was a rush to get out of the door. Breakfast dishes not cleared from table and chaos and disorder were scattered around in the mad dash to get out the door. I got home from grocery shopping and wanted to cry. Felt like a total domestic failure. Snapped at the kids while trying to figure out how to put food on the table for dinner. I stopped and instead of continuing to run through a brick wall I stopped and leaned into the One who has never left of forsaken me. I stopped snapping and just enjoyed my kids. Its amazing what happens when I get my focus off myself.

My trip to the store was interesting. Kids did as well as I can expect yet we were the big spectacle at Target. It was as if people had never seen kids before. I heard Joshua repeating "you've got your hands full" at the store and it made me sad. I know for the most part that people aren't trying to be mean. However, I'm sad that my kids will grow up in a society that doesn't get that children are an absolute blessing. Don't get me wrong I do have my hands full and it is hard. Some days very much like today I get overwhelmed by all of it. My children don't overwhelm me, it's all the to do's of being part of a functioning family that can be burdensome. I don't want the to do's to blind me from the blessing of my kiddos. They are awesome, hard heads and all and I am a very blessed woman.

I love me some John. His account of Jesus's ministry is so rich. Jesus and the woman at the Well is so beautiful. I love that Jesus was scandalous and went through Samaria and spoke to a woman! He was tired and his disciples urged him to eat and yet He spoke of food from his father that would allow him to reap the bountiful harvest that was found in Samaria. What a beautiful picture for me today as I suffer with moments like today of fatigue and feel overwhelmed. Instead of getting in a tizzy I need to drink the water and the bread that He so generously offers. He gives provision to the weary mother. All I have to do is let go of my self reliance and ask.

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13, 14 NIV)

Welling up to eternal life. Beautiful!!!


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DAY 617: JOHN 3

We started two things this week that are helping things around BrownTown. I heart Pinterest right about now. Read a blog post about making bedtime go smoother. The idea was to let your children pick their own bedtime. Basically we are doing our same bedtime routine but once we are finished the kids can play, draw, whatever in their rooms as long as they are quiet. If they make too much noise or come out of their room it's instant bedtime. It's our second night and the bedtime drama has quickly faded. It's been AWESOME!! The other thing we've been doing is picking up all the toys ect that are left out by dinner. I don't have to nag or harass them to pick up their things. Keeps me from being a nagging angry troll mother. We were having the kids pay us a quarter for each toy or item they wanted back. Money meant nothing to them but physical labor does. Yesterday my boy scrubbed the pee bathroom for a toy and today a boy and a girl scrubbed cabinets, table and chairs. IT IS AWESOME!! It keeps them from making messes and things are getting cleaner than they would have been. Abbie is even starting to do the tiniest bit of purging on her own. This just proves that a pack rat can be trained to purge.

Speaking of my girl, I am discovering that we just might have a boy crazy girl on our hands. Wasn't expecting to have to start navigating some of the waters that we are right now. Thankful no hurtful drama has occurred over a particular Casanova who has captured the attention of Abbie and one of her friends. Did have to talk about how the only boys she should be kissing right now are her brothers. Geez!

He must become greater; I must become less." (John 3:30 NIV)

And done. To live and to love is to die.


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DAY 616: JOHN 2

Still feel like a complete nerd bomber from yesterday but a bruised ego is not bad for this one. Had a big target on my back yesterday and got a good beat down. Embarrassing but the end result can only be used to prosper me.

Sweet time with my big girl this morning. A sweet friend watched the boys and me and the girls headed to La Madeline. (I love saying girls just as much as I love saying boys. Blessed!) another sweet friend came over later and dropped off clothes for Bella. Thank you God for wonderful provision! This sweet friend of mine sharpens and encourages me in ways I'm sure she isn't aware of because all she is doing is being the woman God created her to be. It's quite lovely. Yet another friend showed up later with dinner for our family. Provision all around today. I needed it, all of it.

This afternoon was rough. Bella super cranky. Joshua flapped his wings this afternoon and cried as he tried so hard not to poop. He finally threw in the towel to my great relief. Paul screamed and yelled at me this afternoon and was completely stubborn and defiant. I had to sit down and console Luke as he's afraid of the cat. Took awhile trying to figure out why he thought the cats tail was going to hurt him, thank you Kong Fu Panda!! That kid's imagination is so intense. Thankful for these wonderful minions and God's perfect provision!

Read tonight and dived into commentary. Jesus's first miracle is interesting to me. His interaction with his mother is as well. Love how Jesus kicks butt at the temple later in this chapter. Crazy action packed. Chapter. Keep thinking there's something to be caught about Jesus making the wine out of the ceremonial cleansing jugs. Keeping it on the shallow side tonight. I'm tired and frankly don't want to use my brain.


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Sunday, April 08, 2012

DAY 614: LUKE 24

It's Easter and I'm ever so thankful. My lack of planning and execution this season means nothing today. We brought our neighbor and my amazing husband invited a man at McD's yesterday that I hope also came today. This is more important than all the other things we could have done. We desire to share the hope that we know to those around us and our kids are watching.

My neighbors heart is soft and I'm thankful. She is searching and I know that when one searches for truth, truth will be found. Thankful for the gift that she is and the way my children love on her.

Sad this morning not to be able to go to church as a family. Served yesterday and realize this is not the time for me to do such things. Torn between wanting to serve and knowing my family is who I must serve first. They suffered for the extra service. Need to get over the feeling of needing to do more. Training up my brownies to be disciples is enough.

LUKE 24:
Reread this chapter today. Even with all my joy over today and knowing He has risen I read this and wondered if it really was true. My logical side kicks in sometimes and it all just sounds crazy. The truth is it is crazy. What king comes and lowers himself to a lowly position and dies to save his people? God's wisdom is the complete opposite of the worlds. Love this!!

My prideful booty loved this verse tonight.

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45 NIV)

Jesus was walking along with some of his followers and they did not even recognize Him until He revealed himself. Afterwards he showed up with his disciples and the two men who were telling the story of meeting Jesus on the road to Emmaus and He opens their minds to scripture. Two things really stand out. 1) It is God who reveals himself to people. I was too stupid to choose God on my own. It was by God's pursuing and opening of my eyes that I was able to fully see the hope that could be found in Him. This also takes the pressure off wanting to seal the deal on somebody's acceptance of Christ. I can be faithful to share but beyond that it's all God.

(This leads me to another interesting thing today. Was pretty disappointed in the service today. Frankly anything would have been hard to follow after the story of Freddie last week. Nothing honestly was all that compelling unless you already had knowledge of the gospel and the stories of Jesus. As I was sitting next to my neighbor bummed I heard God say "you tell her". I've definitely talked about Jesus and asked her where she stands on believing but I think it's pretty clear I need to tell her my personal story of grace.)

2) Any knowledge or readability of the scriptures I stumble across is from God. The Beatitudes comes to mind. Read that as a little girl and on up and never realized that it was supposed to pertain to me. I am the poor in spirit and I want to possess all the qualities that are listed in that section of scripture. I have nothing, absolutely nothing to boast about except Christ.

He has risen indeed!!!


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Saturday, April 07, 2012

DAY 613: LUKE 24

I'm so tired and I so desperately want to dive into a huge bag of Robin's Eggs. Have another ear infection. It hurts, I can't hear and since I have a hole in my ear drum it's disgustingly gooey. Again I feel horrible for doing absolutely nothing for Easter. I don't understand why I can't pull myself together. Maybe the precious baby that is strapped to me most of the time can explain it to me.

Getting my kids to clean up their rooms and their mess has become such an excruciating battle. I read Kay Wyma's first chapter to her book to try to find some answers. There were a few. I do try to bail out my kiddos. Not horribly but I am guilty. In her house she had a jar full of 30 dollar bills and everyday they hadn't made their beds and their stuff is on the floor a dollar is taken away. I'm so torn on this. In some ways it seems like a wonderful idea. The thought of paying my kids to pick up their own room makes me crazy.

LUKE 24:
Jesus is alive and I'm too exhausted to write about it. So excited about tomorrow!!


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Friday, April 06, 2012

DAY 612: LUKE 23

I am grumptacular and I feel like a looser. I missed so many wonderful opportunities to make Easter come alive for my kids. I purchased a book on doing a Sedar and yet did nothing to prepare one. Also bought a devotional to follow with the kids during all of Lent and again did nothing with it. Haven't even cracked open our resurrection eggs. Busyness has been the thief. We don't do much now but it's obvious if I don't have enough time to celebrate the reason for my great joy then even now it's too much. I didn't get up early this morning and run. If I had I might have intercepted the kids and allowed my husband to get some much needed extra rest. I haven't been as strict on cutting out sugar this week. Comfort and convenience is the only reason why. I was irritated and exasperated with my children today. Instead of being thankful for the five blessings that God has given me I was irritated at their disobedience and their own short temperedness. None of this is the woman I want to be or the the woman God calls me to be. Yet today as I thought about how my daily sinful actions nailed Christ to a tree, I remember I'm not only forgiven and washed clean of my sin, I'm loved extravagantly. I'm still grumpy and fighting the feeling of being a looser but I'm thankful for the robe of righteousness I wear despite my sin because of my great Savior.

LUKE 23:
I hate that my sin nailed Jesus to the cross. Even in my darkest times and the height of my rebellion this was his thought of me.

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34 NIV)

Father forgive her for she doesn't know what she is doing. Pursue her and break her so that one day she will be yours forever.

Father forgive me when I trade in your love for the cheap worthless idols I've made in this world.


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Thursday, April 05, 2012

DAY 611: LUKE 22

Sweet little one is cranky from shots today. She wasn't alone today. Short tempered with the kids this afternoon. It's my fault too. Their disobedience is a result of my lack of consistency. Too much threatening and not enough follow through. They deserve better than that. Thankful God is Sovereign even when I parent out of the last bucket. His grace is sufficient in my weakness.

Dinner rained down like manna from heaven today. Could not have come on a better night. Thankful for sweet friends who know my lack of culinary skill and my thankfulness for meals provided! Great conversation tonight with my adopted little sister. Thankful for her and what God is doing in her life.

LUKE 22:
Did not want to read this tonight. There's always a hesitation in my flesh to hear about the death of Christ. I don't want to think about all that Christ went through to pay my debt and set me free. I don't want to be confronted with the story of the disciples arguing over whose the greatest while Jesus is trying to tell them important things because it exposes my own pride. I don't want to read about the mockers because I know it wasn't too long ago when I was one too. It pains me to read about Peters denial of Christ because I know I've done that too for even lesser reasons. Yet it's all of this that helps paint the big beautiful picture of His love for us.


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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

DAY 610: LUKE 21

I would like to eat handful after handful of chocolate chips. Pei Wei tonight. Pretty confident it was loaded with delicious sugar. Had no label so I'm denying it was there because that works so well. Got up this morning to run. So did not want to. Encouragement from a dear friend got my fluffy bottom up. Hoping this running thing starts feeling better. Wanted to pass out this morning.

Yesterday was a much better day in regards to relying on God. Self reliance is killing me. On the way home from ReEngage tonight I prayed through gritted teeth that God would crush my self reliance. I want to be dependent on Him but I don't want it to be painful. Another sweet friend texted me this verse this morning:

"Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.
Luke 22:42, 43

I want my heart to be transformed like this. I don't want the pain and suffering involved with growth but I want to learn how to surrender to God's plans for my life without kicking and screaming. In Jesus sorrow and pain an angel strengthened Him. How awesome is that!! God is so stinking awesome!

LUKE 21:
Great chapter. Love the story of the widow. It's convicting every time I read it. She gave it all, every single thing. Oh to have faith like this and be this completely liberated from money. This is jumping off the cliff kinda faith. I want to possess this kind of faith.

Jesus predicts the end times. So many great thought provoking verses in this section. It always leads me back to the question am I ready to die for the sake of Christ? Id like to think that I am but I don't think I'm there yet. I want to be there and I want my kids to one day be willing. This self reliance idol needs to be kicked to the curb so that I can grow to be the kind of woman willing to die for the one who died for her .


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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

DAY 609: LUKE 20

Very tired. Very little sleep between sweet reflux baby and hysterical preschooler. The fear of caterpillars last night has carried over to today. Hoping the sweet sleeping boy will remain asleep and his sweet little mind will be renewed tomorrow. We can all use the rest!

I'm thankful for days like this when I wake up already completely poured out. There's no need to even pretend to be self sufficient. Instead there is a constant relying on and leaning into that occurs. It's these days that more of His beauty shines through. The impossible grump has patience and grace and love is poured out. It's on the mediocre days that I get tripped up. I think I can do it on my own and chaos and anger sneak in. It's better to just run to His feet to begin with. To know the gig is up and I desperately need Him.

LUKE 20:
Oh those pharisees. They are seeing blind men. The answer is right there in front of their face and yet they choose pride instead of life. This might be a funny verse but this one stuck out to me the most.

He saw through their duplicity and said to them, (Luke 20:23 NIV84)

He saw through their bull crap. He sees through mine. My masks and cloaks are of no use to Him. He sees right through me. He sees the ways my heart is deceptive even when I can't see myself. He loves me enough to show me little by little. He seeks out the broken pieces and molds them to be more like Him. So thankful for this faithful God. The God who would die for us bull crappers even when our hearts are of so far away. I'm thankful that He gives life to the spiritually dead and gives sight to the blind. May my days be more like today. May I not need a reason like lack of sleep to fall at your feet and ask you to walk with me every step of the way.


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Monday, April 02, 2012

DAY 608: LUKE 19

Starting off today to try to win the mother of the year award. My boys pissed me off today. It's not like it's the first time or will be the last but sometimes their antics are infuriating. Abbie and I did some school outside today and while giving Abbie her reading lesson my two oldest boys thought it would be fun to play firefighter and make sure Mommy and sister were no longer on fire. Got a couple of Abbie's school books wet. Furious!! It's only books but good grief must they destroy everything? Made them pick up house as their consequence. Sent them to their room to pick up a handful of items while I tried to console a crabby pants itty bitty and clean the kitchen. Instead of cleaning they demolished. It was just a few things dabnabbit!!! Lead to great talks with Paul and I'm so thankful for those two precious gifts but they made my blood boil today. Neither is out of the ordinary but the combo today was insanely frustrating.

Woke up early today and started the couch to 5K program. Yawn. Bella stayed asleep so that was incredibly encouraging. It was so peaceful this morning and I loved getting a chance to pray for my neighbors. Speaking of neighbors this leads me to another not so awesome thing today. On my way home from a meeting and saw a couple people sitting outside drinking and smoking while holding their baby. Wanted to drive past and look away but waved instead. I would have done that to anybody else. My heart aches for the three of them. I'm not any better but I know there is not freedom in that home. May I get over my pharisaical self and truly love.

This segways perfectly into Luke 19. There is so much in this chapter it would be impossible to touch on all of it. For tonight the story of Zacchaeus stands out. Maybe I have a soft spot for this wee little man since I loved the song growing up. I love how Jesus calls this "sinner" in front of everybody. There's no pause in Zac's response either. He doesn't hesitate because his house is dirty or wait to get his act together. Zacchaeus embraces Jesus 100% and for him there is no turning back. I love this story of redemption in Zacchaeus and those everywhere who jump in with both feet and fullly embrace the freedom that God wants to extend. The excitement over this is what I want to bubble up in me. May the joy over God's great love spill out of my mouth to my neighbors, the cashier at my local grocery store, to the waiter at Chuy's. I am too silent! God has done great and mighty things in my life and the lives of those around me. Praise God!!! I don't want to loose sight of this but I do every single day. Every time I grumble and complain I loose sight of this. God heal me like the blind man. Open my eyes to the things in this life that are eternal.


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Sunday, April 01, 2012

DAY 607: LUKE 18

Read but falling asleep. Trying to push through but no guarantees. Getting up early tomorrow and running. Better bring out the depends. Hoping by telling y'all my plans I'll actually do it. So tired.

Got to sit through most of the church service tonight. Freddie's story was incredible. Love how God sets the captives free!! Freedom in Christ seems so backwards to the world but it's amazing. Thankful for the pit Jesus drew me out of.

And I'm out. Bella up again and oxytocin too hard to fight.

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