Saturday, June 30, 2012

DAY 695: 1 COR 10 (14-33)

Great day but I'm tired. Gonna fall asleep mid sentence tired. Thankful to be sandwiched between a snoring Lukeypotamus and a precious Boo Bunny. I just might run away with this baby. Wish I could bottle her up like this forever.

Saw some Brownies conquering more fear in the pool today. They really just like to do things on their time table when they are ready. Good reminder that I don't need to push them like crazy they'll do it when it's the right time. I know a Momma whose very much the same.

1 COR 10:
Great verses packed in this chapter. These stuck out to me the most.

"Everything is permissible"–but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"–but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV84)

Great verse for this comfort junkie. Even something that may appear "harmless" may be just the thing keeping me from growing closer to Christ.

This verse is so painfully sharpening:
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV84)

If the only person I practiced this on was my husband than he and I would be better for it. I really am a selfish beast and this verse is challenging. I want this to be the way I roll instead of it being the exception like it seems to be now.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV84)

Often I want to skip the verse above this one and just cling to this. I can't do one without the other. Love seeks out the good of others before self. Love is ultimately what glorifies God.

Fading.

D


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Friday, June 29, 2012

DAY 694: 1 COR 10 (1-13)

Had a chance to run to the store with just a sleeping Bella today. The cashier was super friendly so I tried to click my brain on and engage. Saw a tattoo on her wrist with a peace bracelet. Asked about what the tat meant but before I could transition into the gospel it was the next persons turn. Of course as I was walking away I could have kicked myself because the peace bracelet was the perfect lead in. I almost walked back in but thought that would have been super awkward and stalkerish.

There's a couple things I realized through this short trip today. One is just grace for myself that I'm not having winsome conversations at the checkout. Most often I'm just trying to make it back to the car with groceries without eating one of my five precious offspring in the process. There's not much opportunity for anything during checkout much less sharing the gospel. Hey hey accept Christ and you too can be blessed with three wonderful and yet wild boys.

Another thing I noticed today was an interaction with the customer ahead of me. Cashier was making polite banter and the customer would hardly give her the time of day. I saw him drive off as I was kicking myself for missing the peace sign lead in and his car had a fish on it. I don't know what kind of day this gentleman had. He might normally be peaches and cream but instead he's worried about his dying wife at the hospital. I have no clue and it's not my place to judge. However, I was reminded that when I'm out and about with or without children I want to truly be an ambassador for Christ. I want people to see the light that shines forth from me. This can only be accomplished if I'm willing to die to self daily. Everyday I have the choice whether or not I'm going to give up my agenda, my wants, my desires and my hopes in exchange for what God has for me. I seldom do this but I want to do better. I truly do want to lay it all down to glorify the King of Kings. He gave everything for this selfish sin stained girl and I desire to give all that I can back to Him.

Lastly I'm realizing my heart is changing. I didn't even know this girl yet my heart yearns for her to know Jesus. I could tell that she was open to spiritual things just by the brief encounter we had. I pray that someone will have the boldness and opportunity to tell her about the amazing love Christ has for her. I pray that she will find the only place where true and lasting peace comes from. May God continue to break my heart for His people and not just for the friendly likable ones either.

1 COR 10 vs 1-13:
I completely dig these first 13 verses. Paul is reminding the Corinthians to not repeat the mistakes of the Israelites. Even though they were God's chosen He still disciplined them. I like the ways Paul chose to express how God disciplined them. It's almost like he's saying listen up folks if you choose idolatry over your first love you will die. This in fact is truth. These verses are also a great reminder as to why being in God's word is so important. We need the simple and sometimes strong reminders of who God is and why we should choose to obey. The mistakes people made in the bible are great learning tools for us. Can't believe I was a prideful fool who thought I knew enough of the bible and who God was that I didn't need to read His word everyday. Idiot. Just like a soldier I need to be equipped daily to fight the battle.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12 NIV84)

D


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

DAY 693: 1 COR 9

Spent way too much time catching up on politics today. I wish there was a daily email that could be sent to me with unbiased unspun daily updates in bullet points for those like me afflicted with mom brain. It's hard wading through it all and frankly it's depressing. There's still a huge part of me that wants to get crazy riled up complete with nostril flares about all that is happening. Such a great reminder today that I'm so thankful my hope comes from Christ. No matter how bleak and even scary the future of America becomes I get to rejoice that in the end I'm on the winning team. There's no need to be hostile or combative. My job is to boldly proclaim truth but seasoned with salt and full of grace. I need some growth in the bold with love department. I have much difficulty merging the two.

Had an encouraging call from a friend today. She called to seek advice after sharing her faith with a Unitarian. Honored that she would call me and encouraged at her boldness to share the gospel. Also spurred on to brush up on my own apologetics. I wish I could get the facts more straight in my head but instead I often botch the info and can't remember half of it. I'm not drawn to Christ because of the facts as to why I can believe who Christ said He was and why I can believe in the authenticity of the bible. Took a great class on this in college yet it just doesn't connect with me so I flounder to remember most of it. Confident between my pagan years of complete debauchery and giving birth to five children more than half my brain no longer functions the way that it should. Nonetheless I'm spurred on to brush off the cobwebs and fine tune my apologetics knowledge.

Great play date with a gal that actually used to date the same guy I did in high school. Oh how small our world is and how divinely God places people in our lives. Always encouraged by her. I love hearing people's stories and how God is working in their lives.

1 COR 9:
This is the boldness, passion and desire I want to have!

Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16 NIV84)

God please place on me this burden to share your word. Provide opportunity for me to tell the good news. Just like Paul couldn't keep the words from coming out of his mouth if he tried I desire to live my life with my mouth proclaiming your words instead of speaking half the nonsense that comes out of it daily.

Help me to love like this God instead of desiring to be right or fairly treated and approved of.

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV84)

Help me to be on guard Father. Help me become aware of the schemes of the evil one so that I might run the race hard and not become disqualified.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24, 27 NIV84)

Beautiful, beautiful chapter.

D


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DAY 692: 1 COR 9

Saddened tonight by the decline of our country. So many people and companies jumping onto and upholding same sex marriage. This is not an anti-gay tirade by any means it's just sad. It's sad that couples are committed enough to plan babies together yet refuse to make the ultimate commitment of marriage. I'm so sad for our country and wonder if Sodom and Gomorrah looked a little like America does back in the day. All I know is that I have been charged with a huge task of preparing my kids to live in some crazy hard times. I have visions of being a MeeMaw with a ton of grandbabies around playing on a farm. Truth is the world my grandbabies grow up to be in will be filled with lots of chaos if things don't turn around. I don't fear this but I'm so saddened by it.

Hungry and tired so this will be short and sweet. I've got some idol meat to eat.

1 COR 9:
I really like this chapter. It's short but it's message is strong. There are many things that can be gray areas and considered religious freedom. Yet our freedom should not be exercised in such a way to make a brother or sister stumble. Great reminder that our walk with Christ is not just about us. We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses and must be sensitive to others. I love Paul's genuine love for all believers.

Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. (1 Corinthians 8:13 NIV84)

He truly lives out what it means to put others first. I on the other hand struggle with crazy selfishness. This is yet another wonderful blessing in my five Brownies. They expose selfishness daily. I pray that I learn to die more and more to self.

D



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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DAY 691: 1 COR 7

I am whooped. The heat and defiant boys have worn me out. One of my pill bugs just woke up the baby which means dbl duty as the human pacifier. I just want to clock out and watch a mindless movie but there's lunches to be made, a book to be read and about a thousand other things that needs to get done. I'm not in overwhelmed mode rather I'm in I just don't want to do any of it mode. Maybe I'll sit here and scream and yell and kick and see if that gets me anywhere.

Day 2 of my sugar detox is harder. I'm not being crazy hardcore so I'm sure there is some sort of sugar in my lunch meat (ridiculous) and I'm eating bread that is made with honey but steering clear from big huge obvious offenders. I would kill for some Twix right now as I feel as if I've earned it. Oh my gross relationship with food.

I'm just a grumpy pants right now. Think this has everything to do with not being able to indulge my sweet tooth verses the difficulty of today. I HATE detoxing and I know tomorrow will only be worse. I wanna kick something!! :)

1 COR 7:
This is not what I wanted to read today. It's not bad and it didn't kick me in the guts but I approached the Throne today wanting to feel better. I wanted God to take my difficulties, my sense of inadequacy and grumpiness and make it all magically disappear. I wanted the Word to turn my grumpy frown upside down. Gross. I'm such a consumer. I wanted to go thru my God drive in, get my God fix and then carry on my merry little way. God doesn't want me to come to Him so He can offer me a quick fix, He wants me to come to Him just so I can be with Him. It's in these moments of acknowledgement that God's Word cuts right through the marrow and the bone of my soul. I often come to God so that He can give me something, instead of a desire to just be with Him. This my friends is a heartbreaking discovery. He doesn't need or expect me to be perfect for Him in any way, He just wants me to be with Him. He keeps telling me He loves me but there's still part of me that doesn't fully get that I might be enough.

D

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Monday, June 25, 2012

DAY 690: 1 COR 6 (12-20)

Today has been a big day for my girl. First day of real camp by herself. She sang songs and hopped around excited all evening. Very thankful for this opportunity for her.

Tonight this same girl tried to sneak food that we said she could not have. We made her go think about her decision and instead of trying to use the excuse that she forgot she confessed that her heart was in the wrong place. This confession was one with real remorse. My sweet girl who struggles with the same stubborn pride I do was able to search her own heart and choose truth or deception. This may not be a big deal for some but it's a huge deal for this girl. The beauty is that I can take absolutely no credit in what happened in her heart tonight. None whatsoever. I can't make her choose Jesus. I can do my best to remove as many obstacles as possible but pursuing Christ is something she will have to choose on her own, it's completely out of my hands. I know this but it's truly humbling to be faced with it dead on.

Yesterday I got a FB message from a parent of a student I had in Austin. He said his daughter was still walking strong with the Lord after her freshman year at college and how thankful he was for that. His statement impacted me. When it all comes down to it I have no control over this. I can take no fault or credit for which path my children choose to walk on. This is relieving and unnerving all at once. The best thing it does though is help crush yet a bit more pride. Thankful.

On another random note I have a full melted iced coffee sitting in my van. I got it this morning on my way to a meeting because I thought it would help me deal with the meltdowns that already spawned early in the morning. They put sugar in it so I couldn't drink it and I'm so thankful they messed up my precious coffee. It was a huge reminder that I don't NEED coffee or sugar to get through a day or a rough morning. I need Jesus and am I willing to turn aside from all the things I think I NEED in order to pursue Him over anything else. I am willing to truly offer my body as a living sacrifice to God or am I giving it up to an idol first? If only I had more coffee I could do this better. If only I was more organized, more disciplined, more patient, more homemakery, ect. I need to ditch the "if only's" and cling to the very feet of Christ.

1 COR 6 vs 12-20:
I really really like this verse:

"Everything is permissible for me"–but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"–but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV84)

I got a first hand living illustration of this today as an added bonus. Love my teacher. He rocks!! What is mastering me right now? I feel like I have a laundry list of things I could mention here. I almost made the mistake of writing that I have a lot of work to do. The truth is I can't fix the areas of my life that are broken. Only Jesus can do. All I have to do is be willing to submit and lay it all down. I need to rejoice in difficult times knowing that during the hardest and darkest of times Christ is doing a sanctifying work in me.

D



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Sunday, June 24, 2012

DAY 689: 1 COR 6 (1-11)

Watched two documentaries this weekend about a missionary whose father was speared to death by a tribe in Ecuador. It's a beautiful and inspiring story. Nobody but Christ could redeem such a blood thirsty tribe and such a tragic story. I can't help but look at my life in comparison and feel like I'm a hamster stuck running on a wheel at times. I hate when life becomes a distraction to what this life is truly about. God I pray that you would help me to strip away the clutter and the noise so that I might run nightly towards your throne instead of dissatisfying distraction.

Speaking of distraction I find that when I become undisciplined in certain areas of my life I seem to flounder in all of it. Tomorrow starts yet another sugar free adventure. Like a true addict I'm certain to binge tonight before I say farewell to one of my idols. Sad. Thankful that even though I'll be a grumpy mess and my blood sugar will be whack for a couple weeks I'll be walking in greater freedom.

1 COR 6:
I want to back the train up a bit on chapter 5 actually. Ch 4 talks about not judging and yet this chapter gets all uncomfortable and starts talking about throwing people out of the church. Way too many churches have clung to ch 4 and in their fear of "judging" or offending someone they have neglected truth. What would Paul write to the American church today? I fear it would look much like this letter to the Corinthians.


It's great how Paul distinguishes between the way we should treat believers vs nonbelievers. We are not to judge motive or judge based on gray areas but where the law is black and white we ourselves sin by remaining silent.

Ch 6 goes on to chastise the Corinthian church for not offering grace and forgiveness to fellow believers. Again this seems like such a snap shot of the Christian culture in America. On awhole I don't think a lot distinguishes us from nonbelievers in the way we love others. I may not be suing others but I know I have a lot of room for growth in this area.

D

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

DAY 688: 1 COR 5

Had lots of thoughts on this chapter earlier. Will have to jot down tomorrow. Sweet baby girl blew it out just a bit ago and is up squealing like we're at an amusement park (love this baby) and my Lukey bear just ran down the hall afraid of the cat. Going to bed with an incredibly full heart.

D

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Friday, June 22, 2012

DAY 687: 1 COR 4

Great day spent at Terrace Pool. Fun to see my two oldest ditching their floats and swimming it up. They have an appropriate fear of the water whereas Joshua does not. Luke grew into some fear as he got older but Joshua seems to have a false sense of security about almost everything. He's going to grow some gray on this Momma's head.

1 COR 4:
This chapter starts out strong. Love the first 4 verses.

Vs 3-
I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. (1 Corinthians 4:3 NIV84)

Oh to not care what others think. This is a big part of why Paul was so bold. He didn't care and he knew he had nothing to loose. I want this kind of boldness. The times are getting crazy I need to start having the same attitude Paul did about human court as well. This is how I want to live. It's contagious, scandalous, inspiring and wonderful!!

As the chapter goes on it gets better and better. Paul is on a crazy wonderful role.

These verse are crazy convicting:

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. (1 Corinthians 4:12, 13 NIV84)

I do not love like this at all. In fact I get a chip on my shoulder when I feel like I've been mistreated. This is not acting in accordance to how God would have us love. God change my heart to be fine with persecution and in the midst of it to continue to love like mad.

Yet another good gut punch:

Therefore I urge you to imitate me. (1 Corinthians 4:16 NIV84)

I want to grow so that I may have the confidence to tell my children and those God has placed in my life to shepherd this very thing. Imitate me as I imitate Christ are not words I feel comfortable saying at all. Instead often I want to tell my kids don't imitate me. I'm short tempered and lack self control. I fail every single day. Don't imitate me, pursue God with all your heart and do better than me. I'm just a sinner so incredibly thankful for God's most amazing grace.

God help me to root out my idols so that one day even though still a sinner I might say "imitate me", follow and pursue God hard the way I do. May my kids grow to know that God is the most important thing in my life. More importantly may I grow so that He indeed becomes the most important thing.

D

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

DAY 686: 1COR 3

Baby toot toot is back to his usual self today. The kid gave me a bit of a scare yesterday. Never seen him so sick. Pretty confident it was just a different manifestation of the puke bug that went around Estes. Others who went came down with the same fever. Thankful for our good health and incredible healthcare. Often I take both for granted.

This week has thrown me for a loop. A plan had been set but that got thrown out the window. I've limped around the last two days without an action plan. Today was better than yesterday but the afternoon got a bit rocky. Crafts were done, books were read, a complete load of laundry done which was put away, and dishwasher unloaded twice. I even snoozed with the littles for a bit on the couch while the bigs ate a snack. Things got done but Christ wasn't the focus so it all seems like quite the loss. Today doesn't feel like a bad day but rather it feels like a wasted day. Really beginning to hate these wasted days. The time is short and each day is precious and valuable. I'll wake up tomorrow and the youngest will be celebrating her 6th birthday and the oldest will be 12. I can't stop them from getting any older but I can stop wasting these most precious days.

Tonight I asked my girl what she would want if she could have three wishes. I'll be honest her answer surprised me. Her first wish was to meet the Duggar Family. The second thing she said she would wish for is to have 1800 children (Wowzers!). Lastly she said she wanted a husband someday who loves Jesus and who also wants to have as many kids as her. I know Les and I are far from being perfect but judging just by what she would wish for we're not totally screwing up. Whew! I'm so glad my girl has no idea how very little families are valued nowadays. I pray her desire to uphold the beauty that can be found in marriage and in children remains the same. I pray that my sinful and wretched mouth would not deceive her to think she is an inconvenience or anything less than precious.

1 COR 3:
Dude. Paul brings it strong in this chapter. This guy is not looking for approval from man but is all about glorifying God. I pray that I truly grow to care less and less about the approval of others and instead care only about what God thinks. Distracted while reading tonight and even now by a little persons feet. Forget Bella, Africa was out of the question because little man would not have been able to fall asleep without putting his feet or his hands on my stomach. One day he'll stop doing it and I'm sure I'll even miss it someday.

In all my distractedness this verse stuck out to me the most:

If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Corinthians 3:15 NIV84)

Basically the verses before this was talking about how we build our house on the foundation of Christ. It doesn't matter what the material may look like on the outside because God will shine light on it and all will be refined in the fire. I don't want the house of faith that I'm building to be burnt up during the times of great refinement in my life. I want the hard times to make my faith even stronger. I don't want to barely make it by just holding onto my get out of hell free card. Jesus is it. I'll doubling down and putting it all in. Like a fool I live life like today all too often making the days hollow and without meaning. I don't want to go day after day chasing the wind but rather running hard after Jesus. May I grow to give thanks during the hard times and the fire knowing that the end result is refinement. God help me to lay down my agenda, my hopes, dreams and desires so that I might exchange them for yours.

D



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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DAY 685: 1 COR 2

Today was going to be a crazy busy day hopping from one thing to the next. Instead the kids got to watch tv while I attended to a cranky post shot Bella and a sick Joshua. Never seen this kid taken out by a bug like this before. He's perked up a tiny bit this evening and even feels a little cooler but poor baby is pretty pathetic. Hoping he's back to his pill bug self tomorrow.

1 COR 2:
Love how Paul always points it back to God. He is incredibly humble but he is not weak or passive. Paul brings it but he's true to his reason, glorifying Christ not himself.

Love this verse:

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

This verse always makes me think of heaven. There was a time when the thought of heaven seemed incredibly boring to me. I just had no idea how awesome God was back then. Now I simply can't wait to be with my Father!

D

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DAY 684: 1 COR 1

Really can't believe how much swimming lessons is becoming this beautiful illustration to me. Paul threw a fit before lessons but swam like a champ. Not sure what the big deal was since he was such an incredible leader yesterday. He fell asleep on the way so think he was hacked about having to wake up. Abbie did incredible. I saw the fire in her belly that she possesses and even though scared, she pushed herself to lead and be courageous. Today when she stopped fighting against the fear and leaned into it she swam beautifully. It was a beautiful illustration of my life with Christ. When I stop throwing a fit and/or fighting against whatever it may be and lean in it goes so much smoother.
>
> Today Luke stepped up and showed such tremendous bravery. I've never seen the moxy in that kid the way I saw it in him today. I saw the beauty of part of his personality that I often wrestle with show up in such a life giving way today. So proud of that kid. At the same time seeing him struggle today was crazy hard. It took everything within me not to go and rescue him when he was sinking in the water. It took everything. This was a harder glimpse at what God allows in our lives. This time the instructors hand was not on him and he thrashed around and was literally sinking for what seemed like an eternity but it was to prosper him. The instructor and his mom and dad were never far away. I don't have eloquent enough words to describe the the impact this lesson had on my heart. I don't feel even worthy of this direct look into God's heart but I am so very thankful.
>
> Even as I write this and after my thoughts yesterday my mind wants to wonder what God is doing. Is He preparing me for the bottom to fall out? My breath catches in my chest at the very thought. My fear is that it is for something horrendous. Even now as I beg that this is not the case I keep hearing Him say "I will be with you". I'll be honest, this is not the answer I want. I want God to tell me everything will be okay, that I'm just being crazy. Maybe I am but even if I'm not I can't walk in fear. It will rob me of the joy that is to be found in today. God doesn't guarantee me that my life will be a bowl of cherries. In fact, the bible states quite the opposite, that I will indeed suffer. I pray that when the time comes my heart will be prepared and that I will lean in and give thanks.
>
> 1 COR 1:
> Read this earlier and now can't remember all that stood out to me. I am excited about diving into 1 Corinthians, it's been awhile and these Pauline letters never disappoint.
>
> Love this verse:
> For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV84)
>
> God's wisdom seems so backwoods backwards compared to worldly wisdom. The rebel in me simply LOVES this!!
>
> This verse is one of my favorite verses. It's a great reminder to be humble.
>
> Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:31 NIV84)
>
> I reminded constantly that the only good that I possess is solely due to Christ. I was too stupid to choose Him on my own and without Him I am wicked to the core.
>
> ---------
>
> Hebrews 12:1
> Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.
>
> One verse down, 20 more to go!
>
> D
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 18, 2012

DAY 683: RO 16

Thinking about this crazy family of ours tonight. There's a big sacrifice in having a large family. It affects everything from vacations to friendships to day to day logistics. Being apart of a large homeschooling family makes it's all the more challenging. It's not even the homeschooling as much as the fact that your kids are constantly with you. Three kids is tolerable but past that it's gets overwhelming. I can get that, it's overwhelming to me at times as well.

I'm apart of that crazy family with all the kids with those wild boys. We are quite the force to be reckoned with and either you absolutely love it or you are overwhelmed by it. A friend once told me its hard to get invited to play when you're the mother of four kids. Frankly it's true. For today I've been given a glimpse of the mighty price of having children. There is the pain of loss with this glimpse, yet all that is gone is so fleeting and temporal. I'm apart of a crazy family with wild boys but I'm also apart of a beautiful legacy that does not fade. A legacy that moths and rust can not destroy, one that with God's blessing will last an eternity. When I look at it with that perspective the blessing far exceeds the temporal sacrifices.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court. (Psalm 127:3-5 NIV)

I believe this to be true but the application like most things biblical does not come without the struggle of surrender. Maybe this is where the pain is coming from today in the laying down my plans in exchange for His plans. Bella is that ever constant reminder that His plan is so much better than mine. If He takes it all away like He did Job, His plans are still so much better than mine. So tonight I'm laying it all down once again knowing that I'm often quick to try to snatch it up again. I'm laying down my hopes, my dreams and my plans in exchange for something so much better.

I'm not sure where all of this came from tonight. Maybe it was watching my three oldest struggle with swim lessons today. Les and I both sat in the same pool watching them cry in fear and desperately call out to us. We sat and did nothing to help knowing that with the help of the instructor they will be learn to swim and will be better for it. There's going to be struggle and even pain for them in the process but the end result will be good for them and even help keep them safe. I have their limited view often and most learn that in the struggle and in the desperate calling out, He's always right there with me in the pool knowing the end result will indeed prosper me. This is yet one of millions of examples of why children are a blessing from the Lord. He continually uses them to give me glimpses of Him and uses them to woo me to surrender.

RO 16:
I want to grow faithful enough that if I had been part of this church Paul would have included me in this letter. Not that I want recognition but that it would be a testimony to how faithful God has been to change me to become more like Him.

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:19, 20 NIV)

Wise about what is good, innocent in what is evil. Beautifully simple. Considering memorizing RO 12-RO 16. We'll see. Need to make it through Romans 12 first. I've yet to meet a memorization goal, maybe this is the one!

D

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

DAY 682: RO 16

And we're back! Missing the
mountains and the cooler air like crazy. Driving the last leg of the trip I wanted to neglect seeing beauty so I could whine about no longer being in Colorado. His beauty is everywhere though. Creation points to the Creator. Saw the most beautiful sunset this evening but buildings containing stuff and things to fix stuff and eat stuff blocked the view. It was such a beautiful picture of what happens in my life as well. The clutter of stuff, schedule, busyness, ect blocks my view from seeing His beauty. Of course coming back from the mountains and being in His creation the only logical answer is to move to Ethiopia and be in the beauty and out of all the stuff. Oh my man made plans can be so silly at times but I yearn to be away from the things that are blocking my view and distracting me from the beauty right in front of my face.

Met a great gal at camp I was so encouraged by. Her story of grace is beautiful and her desire to buck the American Christian culture was attractive to me as well. As an added bonus she wants to watch all five if my kids so that Les and I can go out. Although excited about a date with my hot hubster also looking forward to getting to know her more.

Speaking of my hubster I feel like a lame wife. He's so easy when it comes to his birthday, fathers day and other things such as being sick. I still feel bad for not having made his birthday and fathers day more special. There are words I can conjure up right now to express how incredibly thankful I am for the gift of Les in my life. This is the reason why I regret not having figured out something special for him. I'm so incredibly blessed to be on this crazy adventure with Frankles.

I'm scattered and jumping around I'm sure but wanted to write briefly about the stomach bug that went around camp. I started the week off in crazy fear of catching the darn thing along with the rest of my family. I slowly changed my fervent prayer for protection against said stomach bug to surrendering to whatever was to come. Friday night as I was paying homage to the porcelain throne I was actually able to give thanks. It might sound crazy but I believe I was blessed more by getting the darn thing than if I had not. God is so incredibly faithful. On this note I'm closing up shop for the night. Exhaustion has just hit me like a ton of bricks.

D

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

DAY 681: RO 15

Phone about to die. Made it to Amarillo. Still feel yuck from stomach bug and not a lot of sleep last night. Kids still up. I'm out.

D

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Friday, June 15, 2012

DAY 680: RO 14

Yesterday:
At a place of broken surrender today. Such a wonderful place for me to be. It wrecked me today when I realized I was more interested in getting places on time instead of loving my children. I'm such a wanna be Mary and yet Martha is who I am most of the time. My eyes are still so focused on the temporal.

I've been such a selfish wretch the past several weeks. I've tried hard to push through but I've failed at most every attempt. Even in my attempt to love, it's been all about me. My prayers this week have been incredibly self focused too. There's a puke bug going around and I've been terrified for our family to get it. I've been pleading to God to spare us from Camp Puke. Frankly it's been the wrong prayer. If it will sharpen me and draw me closer to God Himself, than bring on the puke. My idol of comfort and self wrecks lots of things.

Today:
I love camp. It was a rough start due to my brokenness but I got this camp thing figured out by today. It's the last day of course :). I do just love camp. I loved going as a kid and I loved being a counselor. This week wasnt without hardship but it was awesome and I'm so incredibly thankful!

This will be short as I'm crazy exhausted and nauseous. I've been fighting nausea the last several days. I'm either fighting the stomach bug going around camp or the food is tearing me up. Might be both.

Hate the thought of leaving this beauty tomorrow and going back to the oppressive heat. Okay thinking stomach bug so I'm off to go toss and moan. Thankful!

D

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DAY 680: RO 14

At a place of broken surrender today. Such a wonderful place for me to be. It wrecked me today when I realized I was more interested in getting places on time instead of loving my children. I'm such a wanna be Mary and yet Martha is who I am most of the time. My eyes are still so focused on the temporal.

I've been such a selfish wretch the past several weeks. I've tried hard to push through but I've failed at most every attempt. Even in my attempt to love, it's been all about me. My prayers this week have been incredibly self focused too. There's a puke bug going around and I've been terrified for our family to get it. I've been pleading to God to spare us from Camp Puke. Frankly it's been the wrong prayer. If it will sharpen me and draw me closer to God Himself, than bring on the puke. My idol of comfort and self wrecks lots of things.

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DAY 680: RO 14

Wrote earlier but didn't finish. Can't pull up due to connection issues. Crazy wonderful night. Crazy exhausted but so worth it. God is insanely good. I love His story of grace and transformation. Got to close my eyes. Hopefully will elaborate more tomorrow. So encouraged tonight!

D

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

DAY 680: RO 15

What a difference a day can make. Day off at family camp today so we got to spend time together as a family. We hadn't done that in awhile due to the craziness of getting ready for this trip. Today filled my tank in great ways. Wish tonight would have looked different but it's all part of the deal. Trying to figure out how to end this trip with a bang. My desire is to lean into Christ instead of clicking into uber self reliant and self protected mode.

On another note I don't know what happened to my baby. Just last week I could hardly take a shower due to her being so sad about being away from me. She would scream her sweet little head off at Childcare too. Here she is happy as a clam to be left and passed around. It's a sweet gift here but in light of my recent Africa decision it's crazy! It's pretty clear I wasn't supposed to go to Africa. I could call the dramatic change in her separation anxiety just merely bad timing or a coincidence but I don't believe much in life is a coincidence. I don't want to even admit the thought I just had but I will anyway. I just thought "what if staying here is provision because something horrible is going to happen". How wonderful to take these thoughts captive. The bottom could fall out in October. Heck it could fall out tomorrow! I don't have to worry about that though because God is
good no matter what my circumstances may be. It may not always feel this way in the moment but I truly believe that God is good.

Today we were given sack lunches as we went out into God's beauty. Hated the waste and what we threw away. I take so much for granted and daily I am surrounded by so much excess and I waste things like crazy. I hate this. I pray that I become better at stewarding the resources that God has so generously given us. There are little boys and girls, men and women who are starving who would have loved to have eaten what I carelessly threw into the trash. Pretty heart wrenching when I really think about it.

RO 15 vs 1-13:
Of course now I'm falling asleep. This verse is a gem.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV)

I've been getting me some of that and I pray that it would only increase. So thankful for the wonderful God who loves me so incredibly much.

D

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DAY 679: RO 14

This trip has been painful. It's so hard but I'm so very thankful to be here. There is much refinement going on right now. It's hard to see all the yuck that is coming out of being squeezed this week. I'm self protecting like crazy and my heart is walled up like fort Knox. It's crazy how easy it is for me to regress and go back to old patterns of operating. I'm self protecting, insecure, concerned about what others think and being super independent. Tonight I heard God say once again "you don't have to be so strong". I've been operating out of my own strength. I'm in this beautiful place which screams God's majesty and I'm completely relying on myself.

RO 14:
Strong stuff in this chapter. Way too exhausted to write about it.

D

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DAY 678: RO 13

The beauty of this place is simply amazing. I so desperately want to live in a place like this. The sheer beauty of this trip has made the difficulty of it worth it. Even in the difficulty there is beauty. Today Paul smacked his head good enough to make it bleed. This has been the second injury on this trip that made us wonder if a trip to the ER was in our future. Thankfully no fingers were broken and no staples were needed today. I did snap at my sweet girl really good today in the midst of the drama. Hate hurting that precious girl.

So family camp is not easy maneuvering alone but the difficulty is good. It crushes pride, shines a light on my insecurity, is making me ask for and accept help and frankly it's growing me. I don't like for things to be hard but it's good for me. There's so many great things about being here. I'm so thankful for this opportunity.

Wrote notes about this chapter in my physical journal. Will try to pull those out tomorrow. Till then I will drift off to sleep with a thankful heart that's dreaming about a move to Colorado.

D

Sunday, June 10, 2012

DAY 677: RO 13 (vs 1-7)

Set my expectations low on Les being able to join us for family camp and its worked out beautifully. Life is so much easier as a momma when I don't have to try to cook and clean and can just have fun with my kiddos.

Enjoying the beauty of this place and the freedom to just play. Hoping this will reset my bad case of the grumps. Already felt a lot more light hearted today. Maybe the mountain air is cleaning out my heart a little bit too. Still crazy exhausted and possibly have a touch of altitude sickness but oh how I'm being refreshed. I think maybe I've discovered my hubsters love of the mountains. I love Richardson and can't imagine not being at WM anymore but the thought of leaving the majesty of a place like this almost feels like death.

RO 13 vs 1-7:
I know I cheesed on doing an entire chapter but my brain just isn't wanting to process much. These verses are so good for the rule breaker that lives inside of me. It's also good when I can't understand why some people are placed in authority. Nobody can gain the title of president, senator or whatever without God allowing it. Although I don't have to agree with our current president, it is my job to remain respectful. As long as rules are not contrary to God's Word I need to obey and it will go well with me. My kids need to see me model this as well.

D

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

DAY 676: RO 12

We made it to Estes Park. So incredibly beautiful. Drive thru Colorado Springs and I really love it. Like would have moved there yesterday love it. I knew this was coming but I've got to get out of Dallas. I feel so alive in His creation.

Speaking of alive I feel half dead right now. Beyond exhausted but so very thankful to be here. I love Romans 12. Every single verse is awesome! Think this might be the chapter I try to memorize this summer if I can get my brain to work.

D

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Friday, June 08, 2012

DAY 675: RO 11

The last 48 hours have been insane! So very thankful to be blessed to be on this adventure.

Romans 11 is a wonderfully rich chapter. So darn tired. Love the remnant! WIL write more mañana. Exhausted and loopy and four Brownies still going strong.

D

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

DAY 674: ROMANS 10

So today has been a little wacky. I could go on about details but there's no point. I am thankful for the "insanity" of today, it's given me some perspective and a chance to be thankful. All the Brown's living in BrownTown are healthy and strong. I saw a prayer request today for a 3 year old boy having heart surgery today. This is a game changer my friends. None of the chaos that has transpired this past week compares to that. My view can be so small and so self focused.

I'm weary of being so crabby this week. There has been lots of blocked goals this week but I really think there's more to it than that, namely whacked out hormones. I'm a beastly beast and there are lots of intruders in my head this week. Frankly I'm getting my butt kicked! I should rejoice in this since often when we're on the wrong path Satan fails to mess with us. The battle raging is strong this week.

My peanut is 6 months today. I have no idea how that is even possible. My sweet girl is high maintenance but she is such an incredible blessing. She is an ever present reminder that God's plan and timing are the best.

RO 10:
Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:3, 4 NIV)

They sought to establish their own righteousness because they didn't know God's. I know I do this myself. I've embraced Christ but I'm still clueless to the fullness of His righteousness or the righteousness He so freely offers me. You see I'm a recovering Pharisee. The prideful person living within me can't understand how God could redeem all the broken sinfulness in me. I must do good in order for Him to love and accept me. This lie is not always as obvious to me yet I know I still operate out of it. Sometimes more than other times. This is why I need to be in God's word daily. I need to continue to learn who He is so that I might no longer try to earn my own righteousness.

I didn't know how badly I needed to read this verse today until I read it.

As Scripture says, "Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame." (Romans 10:11 NIV)

The intruder shame has been having a hay day in my head. I'm cranky and off my game and it's insane what all has been playing out in my head. Jesus did not die on the cross for me to be a slave to shame. He came to set me free.

D


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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

DAY 673: ROMANs 9

I am so incredibly grumpy today. Been relying on liquid sleep too much instead of Jesus and actual sleep. Got a touch of insomnia and it's kicking my butt. Hate when I'm this grouchy. I need to remember how this feels though so that I might have more compassion for my children. It's no fun to be a grumpalumpa.

I wish I could have taken my mouth and flung it into the furthest sea today. I told Abbie this after I had asked her for forgiveness for the millionth time today. Her response was that if I got a new mouth I would need a new throat too and that just wouldn't do.

I sometimes fear that I respond to my children like an alcoholic. They never know if they are going to get grumpy mommy or grace filled mommy. My attitude and behavior this week has made me so sad. I know that I'm acting and most probably making them feel like a burden or inconvenience. That breaks my heart. I need to wrap this up despite the fact that I want to ramble on. My head is just not right today and it's all about sleep. So I'm off to do just that.

On another note it's official I'm turning down Africa. It's painful but worth it. Bella started taking a bottle which gave me some hope of being able to go. The kicker is she won't take it so far without me being there. This little love bug is crazy attached to her momma. I have to admit I'm pretty darn attached to her too.

D




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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

DAY 672: ROMANS 8

My boys have found my stash of crazy juice and have been drinking it up this week. No schedule at all is so not good for this family. Once we get back from Estes I really REALLY need to figure out a summer schedule or I'm going to be completely gray headed by the end of it all. I can't hack crazytown when the heat is so darn oppressive.

Good evening with my oldest tonight. She had the simple joy of being able to put on moms makeup. You would have thought I took her to Disney tonight. Thankful for sweet moments like this.

I so did not want to read or do this tonight. I have a to do list on steroids. Blessed by reading tonight though. It's another chapter that is so full of goodness that I don't even know where to start. I'm going to cheese out tonight. But I'm left dwelling on God's insane love for us, His adopted children and remembering that the temporary suffering in this world is nothing compared to the greatness of an eternity spent with Him.

D

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Monday, June 04, 2012

DAY 671: ROMANS 7

Snappy with my kiddos this evening. Think "fun" with shaving cream pushed me over the edge today. Abbie and Paul did great and it was fun for awhile. Then Luke and Joshua went nuts. The two of them are going to earn me a crown of gray. When those three crazy boys get going its an insane cyclone waiting to knock anything down in its wake. After I cleaned shaving cream and water off of the walls floors and everywhere else I just played all morning with my kids. It's sad to think I haven't spent that much uninterrupted time imagining with them in a long time. I don't get a single think finished from start to finish anyway so I should just stop trying and just play. They won't want to play family restaurant doctor complete with prehistoric animals all that long. They are growing up so incredibly fast.

RO 7:
I really want to get the beginning of this chapter. I kinda do but I think there's a richness that I havent even begun to understand yet. I just found it in the Message version. I wouldn't have come up with the same take. Really really like how the Message version plays out in this chapter.

But I can hear you say, "If the law code was as bad as all that, it's no better than sin itself." That's certainly not true. The law code had a perfectly legitimate function. Without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork. Apart from the succinct, surgical command, "You shall not covet," I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it. (Romans 7:7 MSG)

Without the law we are left with Moral Relativism. Interesting that is what has creeped in since we're taken scripture out of the fine workings of our country.

Love the wording of this verse:
I can already hear your next question: "Does that mean I can't even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?" No again! By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own. (Romans 7:13 MSG)

"Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me."

That is so stinking strong. Sin uses the good as a cover to try to destroy me. It is so hard to walk in the middle of the road!!

In verses 15-25 I am throw off less by Paul's wordiness and completely get his dilemma and the thankfulness for his salvation! The more we come to know Christ the more we become aware of our constant sinful nature. The gratitude over the salvation and freedom offered by Christ only compels us to run after him even more. This is a beautiful cycle to get caught up in.

D



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Sunday, June 03, 2012

DAY 670:

My sweet girl went on a date with her handsome daddy tonight. I can't express just how much that is beauty for ashes for me. When I first got pregnant with Abbie I freaked out. I was so afraid of my children being doomed to repeat my childhood. There was nothing that made this fear rational but was it was all to real to me. Seeing my beautiful girl secure and safe with her Daddy is oh so good to my soul. Although there is a tug of sadness at the loss of my own experience, joy is the overwhelming emotion. I'm so very thankful.

Today my lack of a schedule while in school limbo stood out like a sore thumb. I'm not one for a rigid schedule but a nice rhythm needs to be found prior to our upcoming school year. Need these kids to grow a few inches so I can put them to work on the drudgery of the dishwasher. It was run 3 times today.

ROMANS 6:
This chapter reminds me of my many failed attempts to memorize scripture. I know I need to do it and my excuse of a rotting brain is no excuse. Ugh. I am overwhelmed at even where to start. I am always drawn back to Philippians but I can hardly memorize one verse much less an entire book. I pray that God ignites a passion for His word in my heart.

Really been in a decent spot lately. For some reason feeling funky tonight. Feel like I'm doing poorly in all areas of life. Not planning on taking a header into that cease pool but there is indeed a funk.

I love me some Paul but for whatever reason I can't get my head or my heart to really connect with Romans. The wordy words keep getting jumbled in my head. I love the word picture of being a slave. We truly can easily become tangled up in sin and become a slave to it. It's a great reminder as to why dabbling with temptation or choosing disobedience is a dangerous game to play. It so easy entangles and ensnares.

I liked this verse towards the end of the chapter tonight.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:22 NIV)

The benefit you reap leads to holiness really stood out to me. I do want to reap holiness. I want to be set apart from this world and be a city on a hill for Jesus. Ugh. Joining the boys in their first bowl ever of chili Mac tonight was a mistake. Stomach is very angry about my sin.

D

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

DAY 669: ROMANS 5

Three out of five kids up. Fun times. This will be short. Unexpected family movie tonight, Faith Like Potatoes. It was sorta cheesy and I kept expecting Kirk Cameron to pop out bit message good. Story was of a regular guy who fell in love with Jesus and was an unstoppable fireball. His faith was contagious and his impact was great. I want to have faith like that.

Neighbor popped over to say hi tonight. He's most definitely an EGR. Grumpy about most thinkings and if he's not grumpy about it than he knows everything about it. He's such a great reminder to me of how unloving my heart still is. My faith is small and my love is weak. So thankful that while I was still a sinner running far away from Him, Jesus Christ died for me.

Paul gets a little wordy for me in this chapter but there are some really beautiful verses in here. These are the ones that struck me most tonight.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

I still want to make bargains with God on what suffering should look like. Suffering is fine as long as it doesn't involved the health of my family. Daily I have to surrender the tight grip I have around them. It's not like my worrying about possible future suffering can protect anyone of us. If I choose to trust God in whatever may come our way though, I can live in the freedom and joy of today instead of the fear of what may come tomorrow.

D
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Friday, June 01, 2012

DAY 668: ROMANS 4

Great day! Breakfast date with my hot hubster, baby gawking, family nap, incredibly cute clothes from a sweet friend, girls night out and phenomenal weather. Today was pretty much perfection. Thankful for these kinda days and the kick you in the gut kinda days that make days like these so good.

RO 4:
I'll be honest I've read this a couple times and Paul's wordyness is making it hard for this sleep deprived momma to fully grasp. Paul was trying to explain that being "good" and following the law was not what achieves salvation. It's faith in Christ alone that is what saves us from the death we deserve. Good things are worthless if they are not done with a heart that loves.

These are the gems of the night:
The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25 NIV)

We are credited with righteousness. This concept is still so crazy to me. Can't wait for my heart to fully engage with the fact that Im not only saved but I'm credited with righteousness. Paul got this and it's why he was so crazy effective in spreading the gospel.

D
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