Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DAY 724: GAL 4

Enjoying a few brief moments of silence. Boys not cleaning their room as usual, Abbie with friends and smalls asleep. Ahhh. I forget how much I need a brief reset in the afternoon. Must make room time mandatory as our school year is about to begin for my own sanity.

Humbling moment today as I roughly grabbed Luke by the arm to scold (yes scold) him for making Bella cry. I hate that I see his struggle with gentleness and I can be the absolute worst at modeling it for him. I am at a complete loss at how to disciple that kid. This isn't the problem. If I was truly concerned about discipline him I'd know what to do. I am at a complete loss at how to control him and get him to do what I want. I do get hacked that he completely could care less that he constantly hurts others by his actions and words but I should be more broken by my own response to his behavior. It's God's kindness that moves us to true repentance, not fear of the hammer of God. I want a do over with that kid. So thankful that God can use even my constant failures as a parent for His glory.

Speaking of God's glory got some time to spend with a friend today. If you know me well you know that I'm
Not one for small talk. Honestly, it wears me out. I like to dig in and pry and I'm fine with others prying back. I love hearing about what God is doing in the lives of my sisters and brothers. Those who are truly chasing after the freedom God longs to offer us have so much beauty in their stories. God always providing in the perfect ways at the right moments. We are all so broken yet He exchanges our scars and ugliness for amazing beauty. Why we try to hide our less glamorous parts I'll never know. It's these parts of our story that God makes to be the most beautiful. God is so incredibly good.

GAL 4:
So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:7 NIV84)

I'll be honest this sounds great but it still feels like I'm a slave at times. Romans 7:15-25 comes to mind. I don't do what I want to do but rather do what I don't want to do. The perfect example came up today in conversation. There are times when I'm talking to my kids and I know what I need to do is just shut-up and I want to shut-up but I can't. In those moments I don't feel much like an heir but rather like a slave to sin. Yet despite my constant failure I am viewed as His precious daughter and an heir. I want my kids to get this so badly and yet my stupid mouth often tells them otherwise.

Then I read a verse like this and I feel better about my stupid mouth.

I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. (Galatians 4:11 NIV84)

These are strong words. Paul do desperately wanted the Galatians to turn from false doctrine and embrace the freedom God offers through Christ. He chastises the Corinthians for abusing grace and the Galatians for being legalistic and works based. It's crazy hard to stay on that straight and narrow path. Veering to the left and the right is so easy to do and there is an all out battle to get us off the path.

What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. (Galatians 4:15 NIV84)

What has happened to all your joy? This is strong. Still fighting the doldrums a bit but I reminded that Christ desires for me to operate out of joy. The devotion the Galatians once had for Paul had grown cold. Great reminder for how fickle people truly can be. Following Christ is a long race. Many start off sprinting and then opt once they hit the hills. This life is hard and filled with troubles but there is beauty and joy to be found all through out if we are willing to look for it.

Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you
from us , so that you may be zealous for them. (Galatians 4:17 NIV84)

This verse reminds me of the agenda that is out there to win our hearts and the hearts of our children. The religion of tolerance and moral relativism is winning hearts left and right.

Vs 21-31 is a beautiful illustration using Sarah and Haggai and how we are like the son Isaac. Promised as an heir and free.


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Monday, July 30, 2012


Suffering from a case of the doldrums today. I had no desire to wash, rinse and repeat over and over and over again. Every little bit wanted a piece of me all day long and at the same time. Littlest bit was not content to sit and play for any amount of time out of my arms today. The fist fights and trying to play game after game with a grabby squawking sweet one and the discipline issues and pleas from attention from everyone seemed overwhelming while the dishes and the laundry stood growing by the minute. And the dishes and other undone things are still there vying for attention and will cause havoc come morning if left undone. It's all a very thankless view of all the blessing and beauty I've been given. I need a break, some sleep and some structure and all will be well once more.

GaL 3:
I'll be honest this is the last thing I want to do right now. When my flesh is winning the last thing I feel inclined to do is run to the throne. Yet He is what I need more than any atta girls, accomplished tasks, clean house or breaks away from the kids. I am so utterly selfish. So thankful that my family constantly squeezes the reality of that fact out of me daily.

Whew. My brain is not wanting to follow Paul's wordyness today. Through in the word Seed and it's all over. There is some great stuff in this chapter though. Paul is hacked because the Galatians have started operating out of legalism, works based salvation instead of faith based salvation. As a gal who wrestles with legalism herself it's a hard line. I don't feel like you can earn salvation but it's hard not to wonder why some people make the choices they do when they claim Christ. It sounds horribly judgmental and I'm sure there is a lot of that wrapped up into it. I just don't get how some people find joy in the things they choose to indulge in. I'm sure many could say the same thing about my idols and obsessions. Why would anyone choose sweets over a God who rescues?

There are some great verses in this chapter but can't get my brain to want to tackle this. I will end on this verse.

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27 NIV84)

Clothed with Christ. This is a hard one to swallow for me. It's more beautiful than words can express yet it seems impossible. How could I, selfish sinner extraordinaire be clothed with Christ? How can His righteousness be accounted to me? This is completely mind blowing to me and it's why I struggle with legalism. He has clothed me with His very righteousness when my clothes be crazy stinking. How could I ever want to do anything else but offer Him my everything?


Sunday, July 29, 2012

DAY 723: PSALM 99

Listening to my hubs teach the Brownies scripture. Thankful and crazy blessed. This was all spurred on by my girls desire to memorize scripture. That girl schools me in so many great ways.

Good weekend. Got a few more things organized and put together. No complete project done but getting some clutter removed feels good. Swapping kids with another family this month so excited about a date with my hubs on the calendar next month.

Need to stay off FB. I want to throw up every time I get on it. So sad about the climate of America. While we were watching opening ceremonies of the Olympics this weekend it's the first time I really thought about how great it would be to live in another country. I know this wouldn't really solve any real problems. I'm just sad and I really hate the future that is being painted for my kids. I could really despair about this but my hope does not come from the future of this country. My prayer is that my Brownies will grow up to be modern day Daniels and Paul's.

Ps 99:
The Lord reigns,

let the nations tremble;

he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake. (Psalm 99:1 NIV84)

The Lord reigns! It does not matter if this country or all the countries refuse to now down to Him here on earth. Every knee will bow eventually. The Lord reigns, there is nothing to fear. The Lord reigns, no matter how bleak the future of America looks God is still King!

Great is the Lord in Zion;
he is exalted over all the nations. (Psalm 99:2 NIV84)

He will be exalted with or without the obedience of any nation.

Let them praise your great and awesome name—
he is holy. (Psalm 99:3 NIV84)

I can get so bent out of shape about people's attitudes. But really I wish all peoples would get how great God is and how abundant His love. If they only would open their eyes and their ears they would praise His holy name. I pray for a revival in our country. I pray people would reject the god of moral relativism and cling to love and to truth. Oh if they would only get how much He loves them.

The King is mighty, he loves justice—
you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
what is just and right. (Psalm 99:4 NIV84)

Justice will be done. It will be an awful day for some when they meet the Lord.

O Lord our God,
you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
though you punished their misdeeds. (Psalm 99:8 NIV84)

Oh America if only you would turn back to your first love.


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Saturday, July 28, 2012

DAY 723: GAL 3

So nice to have my hubs back! Sad that our weekend was super short but great to see his handsome mug all day long! Went to a block party at the church up the road. Interesting experience. Glad we went. Kids had fun and it was good to remember what it's like to be a guest. Chomping at the bit to go to one of their services. Been very curious about lots of things lately. Thankful for WM and that God can move through all kinds of vehicles.

Saw a family of 10 as we were leaving. We had matching vans. It's very interesting that once you pass the four kid mark you move into the special secret big family club. You look at each other knowingly. You share the same struggles and understand the same joy of having many children. It's never a club I would have dared to desire to be in but I'm so glad God chose this path for us! So very thankful for our wild and wonderful blessings!

GAL 3:
Paul is kinda shocked that the Galatians have gone back to works based salvation. It is so easy to jump onto this path. For those of us who struggle with perfectionism it's even easier to jump onto the works based train. Oh my poor girl already struggles with it. Thankfully she doesn't care about doing things perfect but she most definitely struggles with wanting to be perfect. Hoping that changes as her relationship with Christ grows. I always felt so guilty for screwing up. Yet now I'm growing to understand that His grave truly is sufficient. I want to give my all to God because of everything that He does for me yet I know that I'm still loved even when I repeatedly mess up. This is the freedom God's grace offers us when we truly understand it. I had it do backwards for so long. I get where the Galatians are struggling with.


Friday, July 27, 2012

DAY 722: GAL 2

Went to Lakeshore today and the two youngest boys decided to act insane. I'm never shocked when this happens because I've been that mom more times than I can count. Luke started running around the store screeching and hitting me and I just started walking to the bathroom. He then started screaming "Mommy don't leave me". Finally got them all into the bathroom and delivered some justice. These moments are never fun but for the first time instead of viewing it as just a sanctifying opportunity for me I saw the opportunity in it for my kids. I look forward to one day looking at my grown children and marveling at how they have become righteous sons and daughters of the King. All the hard work and rooting and grounding is to raise men and women who love Jesus. I know this is the goal but today I got to look past the present and get a glimpse of the eternal. So thankful for this gig as a mom. What an amazing opportunity and blessing.

GAL 2:
Great stuff in this chapter. The interaction between Paul and Peter is so rich. There's no backhandedness and gossip in the way Paul deals with Peter.

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. (Galatians 2:11 NIV84)

Paul thinks Peter is in the wrong so he confronts him face to face. I do wonder if Paul should have pulled Peter aside instead of addressing him in front of everyone. This may have been necessary since Peter's actions were causing others to stumble. This could have been oversight due to Paul's zealousness. I can totally picture this scene being played out in my head.

The other thing this is a great reminder of is that people are watching us. Since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses we must strip away all the sin that entangles and ensnares us. We are surrounded by witnesses, five which live in my house, I pray that God continues to grow me so that I may live a life above reproach.


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Thursday, July 26, 2012


Parenting from the last bucket today. Lots of tv and I was at wits end with one of my kiddos. Still feeling yuck from kid funk. Feels like there is cement in my lungs.

Gal 1:
Had something good then watched Jim Gaffigan and lost it all. I'll blame it on the whale jokes and concrete in my lungs. Will revisit with fresh brain tomorrow.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DAY 720: 2 COR 13

End of day and feeling whipped. Head hurts and tired of hacking. Sweet four year old is coming unglued right now. Never would have thought this one would develop irrational fear.

2 COR 13
Paul wraps up his letter. I live that Paul lived Christ's bride the church so much that he was willing to boldly speak truth in love. He was not out to win the approval of others. I pray that I grow in this kind of boldness. I grew up learning how not to rock the boat and keep peace at all costs. I want to love enough to cause faithful wounds.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DAY 719: 2 COR 12 (1-10)

Summer cold trying to do a take down. Not great timing but it never really is. Great opportunity to lean in and be thankful.

Kids doing soccer camp this week. As anti-mom as I once was I did envision being a soccer mom long ago. The picture in my head always consisted of one boy and one girl and a CRV or Rodeo. Three extra kids later and I'm glad my idea of a soccer mom was completely shattered.
> 2 COR 12 (1-10):
> Glad today is easy. Love these verses:
> But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 NIV84)
> I know God has told me over and over that I do not have to be so strong. This is such a huge struggle for me for so many reasons. Often I hold captive thoughts with "my grace is sufficient for you". It's hard to fully get this and to live life embracing this very notion. I truly believe my life would look so much different if I could get this to fully and completely sink down into my heart.
> D
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Monday, July 23, 2012

DAY 718: 2 COR 11

In a foul mood. Didn't start off that way but snowballed into one this afternoon. Feel crazy crampy and achey but Flo has yet to arrive. I wish she would poop or get off the pot. I know being tired is not helping a single thing. It would feel really good to kick something. Oh how my eyes so easily fixate on the things of this world that are temporal.

2 COR 11:
Great chapter. Needed this tonight for so many reasons. The end is such a wonderful kick to the guts. Paul tells about all the insane hardships he has gone through not just because life can be hard but for the very sake of Christ. Then he drops this bomb.

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2 Corinthians 11:30 NIV84)

This is why we can rejoice in difficult circumstances. Nothing gets squeezed out when things are easy breezy. This is one of the many reasons why I love having a herd of kids. I hear all the time, I don't know how you do it. I had it together and could own these kids till I had number four. I can't do this. I don't have this gig under control. Days can go by when I don't call on the Lord for help but it isn't long before I'm back on my knees asking for help. I can't do this without His help. This is the biggest blessing of kids. They continually squeeze all the crap that resides in my selfish heart. I pray to always be pressed down and shaken so that the broken places continue to be exposed. I want to become more and more like Jesus and that won't happen as long as I got everything handled on my own and I'm fat, happy and comfortable.


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

DAY 717: PS 98

From Penn State, to Aurora to hostility at Chicken Play and Facebook posts about how marriage is obsolete, it can all be so disheartening. I hate the direction our country is headed but so thankful its not where my hope rests. Praise God for that!

Last night as I was laminating like a kook thoughts of shame and regret popped into my head. It made just a brief stop as I made them obedient to Christ. Shame is a result of believing the lie that God's grace is not enough. I'm not buying that bull anymore. What He did on the cross was enough!

PS 98:
The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations. (Psalm 98:2 NIV84)

I pray that the nations around the world would rejoice and be glad in this instead of turning their backs to their Creator.


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Saturday, July 21, 2012

DAY 716: 2 COR 10 (1-5)

Hate even writing this but hard writing this as I'm still stuck in homeschool planning mode. Last year went decent but really want to up my game and not be so textbook and worksheet heavy. We'll hit all subjects this year but my main focus will be reading and writing. Once these kids are reading like champs it will be a whole new ballgame. I really want school to be fun this year and not a drudgery.

2 COR 10:
There is so much awesomeness in this chapter. I just love me some Paul! I know I should slow down and drill into the chapter right now but I'm showing my OCD colors right now and obsessing. I just really want to get at least my first six weeks planned out and materials mostly ready for A, P, L and J.

Okay dived back in to 2 COR 10. Verses 3-5 are killer. It's freaking steak people!

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (2 Corinthians 10:3 NIV84)

We are in the world but not of the world. We are to overcome evil with good. We don't give up when it's hard we STAND FIRM!

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV84)

Praise God for this! Nobody else can demolish a stronghold except through the power of Christ. You might be able to lick something for awhile by sheer will but it will only manifest itself into some other dead fruit.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV84)

I know I'm slightly sleep deprived but this makes me want to jump up on my kitchen table and yell hell yes or maybe amen. So much crap passes between my two ears. It's a constant battle to take thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. I simply love this verse. We have a choice on what we allow to to roll around in our heads. Do we fight the good fight and let our discontentment, flesh, pride, insecurity, yada, yada, roll into a giant snowball headed for hell or do we nip it and surrender it over in obedience to Christ? I really really love these verses.

And now I'm having trouble taking homeschool thoughts captive again. So I'm off to jump up on my kitchen table and then laminate like there's no tomorrow!


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

DAY 714: 2COR 8

On the iPad so this will be short. I know that sounds so snooty and first world. Ick. Good day today. Wheels constantly spinning with trying to get organized and ready for the upcoming school year. Got a flyer int the mail for a charter school. Very intrigued about it since watching all my recent documentaries on public education. My curiosity might spur me on to get a tour not to get off the road we are on but to continue to get ideas and to learn as much about education as possible.

Scattered brained right now. Big take away from today's reading was Paul's desire to keep his integrity and Remain flawless in character. He truly believe he was God's Ambassador and didn't want anybody to be able to use anything against him that would tarnish his credibility. He's not a people pleaser by any means but is very concerned about the perception people have about his integrity. This is a good glimpse into the healthy side of proving oneself to man. Every time I read one of Paul's letters I am awed by the man. He is my hero. I want to live out some Jesus just like Paul did. I want to learn how to love like he did. My heart can be wicked right to the core. God lovingly exposes the ugliness of my heart at times and its quiet apparent that I have a lot to learn about love and how to love. I pray that God would give me eyes like His to truly see His people e way He does.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DAY 713: 2 COR 8 (1-15)

So much swirling around in my head. Tonight while singing I was reminded how often my focus is on the here and now instead of things eternal. Then as I listened to the testimony my heart ached yet was overwhelmed by how awesome our God is. Hearing about growing up feeling unwanted resonated with me and stung. I know that feeling all too well. Feel like I'm surrounded by stories of sexual abuse today. Posted articles, testimonies tonight, and several precious friends today. My heart aches over it but I'm so thankful that light is being shined all over in this area that nobody used to talk about. Chains are being snapped and people are seeking the healing they need. Even sexual abuse is not too big for a God who exchanges beauty for ashes.

2 COR 8:
I'll be honest I can't process this tonight as I'm sorting out today. It was a beautiful day and I'm ever so thankful for it but much to process.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DAY 712: 2 COR 7

I am so stinking tired. Another glorious morning of waking up to a not so clean kitchen but with an empty sink. It's great not waking up already being 5 steps behind. Grumpy this afternoon. Neighbor kids stopped by and I should have said no. I needed the down time. Afternoon and evening have suffered because of it. Looking forward to a fake date at ReEngage tomorrow night with not a single child. Lack of sleep did me no favors today.

2 COR 7:


Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV84)

What more does one have to read after this? My kids are great at helping me do this. Even in little things like what I watch and listen to have changed since having them. I wouldn't want them ingesting the same thing in high school then I really have no business doing it myself. Not to mention all the crud that gets squeezed out on a daily basis. I love the beauty of the sanctification caused by my kids. It's an immense blessing!

I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. (2 Corinthians 7:4 NIV84)

"In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds." Oh to grow to find joy and give thanks in every situation. I'm so far from that but I pray I'm getting closer. Put chicken in a crockpot for dinner only to discover hours later it wasn't cooking. I wanted to be so angry. When I stopped to give thanks for the food in the crockpot it was hard to complain about it. Perspective is everything. So many are going to bed not only with hungry bellies but starved bodies that will not wake up in the morning. How could I possibly complain in light of that? I take so much for granted and it has left me with a sense of entitlement that is the thief of this great joy Paul talks about.

But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, (2 Corinthians 7:6 NIV84)

I love that I follow a God who comforts the downcast. It's not just the downcast who have suffered from other peoples choices. He comforts the downcast who suffer from their own mistakes. He is so unlike me. I have bought into the you made your bed suck it up and lye in it theology. That is so not how God operates. He has great. On Compassion on us. He doesn't rescue us from our consequences but He comforts us in the sorrow of them. I miss this piece often as a parent. I get it sometimes but miss it more than I'd like to admit.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV84)

Great verse for shame and guilt. It leads to death. Paul caused sorrow in his first letter to the Corinthians but it was this godly sorrow that helped them turn it around. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.


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Monday, July 16, 2012

DAY 711:2 COR 6

Feeling like Granny tonight with achy joints. Fun night listening to my girls first huge case of the giggles. If I haven't said it already I LOVE age 6. It's not smooth sailing by any means but it is such a fun age. So thankful tonight for the awesome role of motherhood. It's hard to believe that at one point I was torn up about no longer getting to do "my" thing because of my kids. Nothing I could ever do in life will be as hard or as wonderful as raise these Brownies. Very thankful.

Fun and wild day today with 13 knuckleheads and 2 precious friends running around my house. I got hand me Down's too which is like Christmas in July. Such a sweet reminder of God's provision through the gift of clothes and friendship. I love me a house full but this lady is tired. So thankful for the honeymoon of a new chore chart and waking up before the kids. Got our morning started off right.

2 COR 6 (14-18):
This section talks about not being yoked to unbelievers. I think some people think that this is a good excuse to remain stuck in their holy huddle. It's not but it guards against seeking wisdom for and getting all wrapped up with relationships or business dealing with those who are nonbelievers.

Love this verse:

"I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV84)

And I'm out. The smalls are STILL up!


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Sunday, July 15, 2012

DAY 710: JOEL 1-3

Didn't realize I was tired until I laid down to put little bit to sleep. She's been up at night partying and wanting to eat nonstop. It looks like there are eight little teeth trying to poke their way out. Hopefully they'll do it soon.

Pretty productive weekend. Almost caught up on dirty laundry (tongue in cheek) and mount clean laundry is getting smaller. I put away 6-8 loads of laundry today all with a baby strapped to my back. Got a new chore chart we'll be starting tomorrow. It's kinda makeshift since I didn't want to invest money on the pocket holder thing until I'm confident we won't ditch it in two weeks. We'll see how it goes.

I'm pretty confident I'm nesting for the upcoming school year. Wanting to get organized and things more orderly before we stick our heads into the sand. I'm itching like mad to paint and make an IKEA run so I can organize this crazy household. I feel like we are on the cusp of being able to run more efficiently. Kids helped me scrub the walls of our entryway this weekend. With their help I might actually be able to stay in top of things better. I've been so horrible at including them on things but I've got to suck it up, hold loosely to expectations and start training them.

I don't know why the book of Joel has been screaming at me lately. It's a hard book to read but it so tells the story of His love for us. The Israelites turned away and they reaped what they sowed. Nations pressed down on them and locusts ate their entire harvest. They are in a horrible situation. God could totally turn His back on His people but He doesn't. He restores the remnant and bestows upon them loving kindness. I haven't looked up commentary but their is prophesy here for the future day of the Lord. It sounds horrible but I am reminded that even in the worst of times God will remain with His people. I think maybe I've needed that reassurance as I groan at what is happening all around.

Yesterday as I saw such intense beauty in the sky I was so thankful for God's amazing promise written majestically across the sky yet saddened by what that symbol has become to mean. Oh how easily the wool has been pulled over everyone's eyes. It's so sad for so many reasons. Yet I know as wicked as our country is right now with innocent blood staining our land, God will easily and completely forgive us if we would only humble ourselves and repent. I pray this would happen. I am so thankful that our God is so full of grace and compassion and is slow to anger.


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Saturday, July 14, 2012

DAY 709: 2 COR 6 (1-13)

Good day. Nap, big breakfast, two projects accomplished, and beautiful rainbow. Don't have many words to say tonight but paired with the reading for today it's a big ball of beauty. Thankful and refreshed.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

DAY 708: 2 COR 5

Some wonderful brave people watched our kiddos while Les and I went out on a date. Such a rare and wonderful treat! Now I'm hiding in our bedroom while my awesome husband contends with the exhausted kids. Felt guilty after writing that and tried to slip away from baby muffin to no avail. Teething is so glorious!

2 COR 5:
I'm eating up this book! It's so good to me this time around. It his chapter starts off talking about our earthly tents. These will never fully satisfy us because heaven has been written on our hearts. This is not where we belong so as long as we are here we will have the sting of not being where we truly belong.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the plans of life on this earth. When I truly stop and view things in light of the eternal most of the things I get bent out of shape about matter not. I need to remember to ask myself "does this matter in light of eternity". I can tell you what I tend to get a lot more bent out of shape over things that do not matter while things that do I completely ignore. Most of the things I obsess about don't need all the attention that I give them. Thankful for this reminder about where my home truly lies and where I should be investing my time, energy and resources.

I have a precious friend who is on this journey of chasing after Christ whole heartedly. We both have admitted to finding it hard not to judge others at times who claim Christ with their lips but lack the evidence of Christ in the way they live their lives. This verse gives great cause to wonder about some people.

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV84)

When you get this, really get what God has done for us and how much He lives us I don't see how anything else could be more important in somebody's life other than the Lord. I don't chase after God perfectly by any means but my desire is to continually turn aside from my selfish sinful ways and run towards Jesus. Just like Paul said in Philippians 3:8, there's nothing in this world that compare to His greatness. Everything else in comparison truly is dog dung. I want my kids to know and everybody else that God was the number one in my life. I have a long way to go but I will keep running the race till that day when I can ditch this earthly tent and party with my Father with my heaven body!

This is one of my favorite verses:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV84)

So thankful that the old is gone and the new has come!! May the dead and rotten parts continue to be carved out and replaced with His beauty.

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV84)

May I be a good ambassador for Christ. I want my life to look different. It already does with five brownies trailing along but beyond that. I don't want to be a legalistic, pout pout fish. I want my life to reflect great joy even in the midst of adversity. This verse is a huge charge. I am His ambassador. When I really stop to wrap my head around that it's pretty huge.


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

DAY 707: 2 COR 4

Emotionally exhausting day. Thankful I didn't get to see too much of the wee am last night or else I would have tanked. It's hard being in uncharted waters as a parent. The questioning and self doubt can be crippling. Is it fair to ask a 5 and 6 year old to go against the grain in order to stand behind a brother in love? The world would probably say that it isn't but if not now then when? The time is now. One made an incredibly hard choice and the other chose comfort and didn't like the end result. What we placed in front of them this morning was tough but it will only get tougher as they get older. I pray that even now they would choose to walk the hard road of love despite what it may cost them.

Heartbroken today as one of my beloved called herself stupid. I hate that satan already has his mitts on my children. I hate that I myself have contributed to the lie that they are anything less than a blessing. I've told them by my actions that the mess they made was more important, the email I needed to send, loading the dishwasher or my own comfort is more important than them. I am selfish and in my selfishness I sin against them daily and tell them they are not important by my actions. I could wallow in shame and guilt but I know that God is far greater than the sum of mistakes I have made as a parent. His grace is sufficient in my weakness and His Will is going to be accomplished in the lives of my Brownies despite my failures as a parent. So thankful for His constant amazing grace.

2 Corinthians is such a delightful feast. Verse after verse of beauty. This chapter does not disappoint. With my recent desire to get caught up and well versed on current events this verse leaped out at me.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV84)

Saw a short clip of Bill Maher ripping a Christian author and I can't help but think how appropriate this verse is for America. The god of Post Modernism has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Such a sad time is upon us. May all who consider ourselves Christ followers arm ourselves for one heck of a fight!

Will have to revisit this chapter tomorrow as I am done.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DAY 706: 2 COR 3

Not much to say today. Good day. Hardest part in middle of day when I growled at the kids when they were watching a movie for not letting me sleep. Think tonight i just might hit the sleep jackpot!!

2 COR 3:
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever‑increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV84)

Praise God!!!


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DAY 705: 2 COR 2

Feeling nutty this afternoon. This lack of sleep thing is a total bummer. Kids are actually observing quiet time by being quiet and the two smalls are sleeping. So thankful for this beautiful provision! In need of a reset for sure. Feel like I could jump out of my own skin. Thankful this is not the place I live in.

2 COR 2:
I'm having a hard time stringing two coherent thoughts together. This is sad because I find so much beauty in this chapter. I should read commentary on this to make sure this observation is correct but it sounds like Paul is urging the Corinthians to not wallow in shame and guilt over the last letter he sent. His intention was to sharpen them out of love and not to condemn them. He addresses the frailty in our sinful condition to be insecure about who we are in Christ and how that can lead to shame and guilt. I unfortunately understand what Paul is addressing all too well. He addresses this insecurity with the upmost grace and compassion. 1 Corinthians 13 really comes to mind in response to this chapter. There are so many things I love about Paul but I've missed the most obvious part of his ministry. Paul was so effective in his ministry because he truly loved his brothers and sisters. He did not self protect but rather poured it all out for others.

I believe this begins another chapter of God working on my sinful and wayward heart. I continue to self protect and guard my heart. I don't avail myself completely to others. I think I've missed this huge blind spot because I feel rather authentic in my relationships with others. It didn't occur to me that I could bear my struggles and my triumphs and still have my heart so guarded. This is a painful look at the condition of my heart.

There are friends of ours who are moving away. I am so excited for them but I hate that they are moving. The sense of loss is painful. It's been surprising to me to feel this sense of loss. It's happened the last several times friends have moved away. My fierce independence and "I really don't need you" attitude has kept me from truly loving others. Love is not one sided. It's gives AND receives. I still believe the lie that if I allow myself to be hurt by others I A) am not grounded in who I am I'm Christ and B) am weak. In fact, it's the exact opposite. If I allow myself to be hurt by others than I am truly loving them and I am strong. Well, here's the reason for my insomnia. God has to break me down a bit for my raw unfiltered emotions to come to the surface. In my flesh I'm pretty pissed off about all this none sense and yet in my spirit and am thankful for God's continued faithfulness to change me to be more like Him.


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Monday, July 09, 2012

DAY 704: 2 COR 1

I've fallen into a bout of insomnia. Hoping this time around I'll use my awake time for good instead of just wasting it. Thankful for a lazy morning with just me and the smalls and our friend Kipper, Kipper the dog. It's interesting on days when I've gotten a very minimal amount of sleep that I actually tend to do better because it's so obvious that I can't do this on my own. It's on the rest of the days when I think I should be able to "perform" well that I often have the worst days. It's in times of adversity that I am forced to do nothing but fully rely on God for strength. This is some of the theme in 2 Corinthians 1.

On another note, I feel like a total champ because I managed to go to the post office for stamps. Joshua was by no means an obedient dreamboat but it's much easier to manage one toot toot than three knuckleheads running around. Speaking of knuckleheads, quiet time is not going so well. I want to reintroduce one for all of our sanity, especially when school starts back up. I am reminded today why it has fallen to the wayside. It's easier to roll through and not expect a quiet time than to expect one and it not come to fruition.

2 COR 1:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:2 NIV84)

I've become rather accustom to seeing to this sort of line from Paul. I often read over these verses without much thought. It's sad because this greeting is quite beautiful. Grace and peace are two things God offers yet as believers we don't always rest in them. As my boys are screaming in their rooms just for fun I can't help but think how much better a mother I would be if I rested moment by moment in the peace of God rather than my circumstances. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May those cease to be just words but rather an anthem that I live by.

In my flesh I want to flat out ignore verses 3-11. Yet it is in difficult times that we learn to truly rely on God. Even knowing this though the comfort junkie in me hates this. This verse in particular makes my heart want to grow faint.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. (2 Corinthians 1:8 NIV84)

This verse was written from Paul. Paul was the one who praised and rejoiced in times of hardship. Reading that Paul wrote "we despaired even of life" scares the tar out of me. But then he adds in these two verses.

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, (2 Corinthians 1:9, 10 NIV84)

I can see the value in such hardships but I certainly don't want to go through any of them. We will go through them though. We were never promised pie in the sky and deliverance from difficult circumstances. In fact we are told the opposite, that we will indeed suffer in this life. My goal in life should not be for me to be happy but rather my goal should be to glorify God. I've bought the God wants me to be happy lie though and there is a part of me that feels entitled to it.

I want to continue but there is a baby that beckons to be gawked at, boys that need some disciplinary action and a girl that needs to be rewarded. Thankful for this day and for another opportunity to dig in and lean hard.


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Sunday, July 08, 2012

DAY 703: PS 97

I've been a knucklehead and haven't gone to bed much before 2am the past several nights. It's caught up with my today as I'm suffering from stinking thinking. There is not much (as Todd said today) pregnant juicy fruit that comes from me when I'm overly tired. Today the world looks bleak, I feel like a failure and disappointment. When I'm exhausted it's easy for me to easily fall into old unhealthy patterns. Thankful to be able to have perspective on why I'm in a funk this evening instead of spiraling into crazytown. It wasn't all that long ago that a funky day like caused by lack of sleep would cause me to spiral rapidly down.

PS 97:
Needed an easy passage like this today. The very first verse is a great one to lean into.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice. (Psalm 97:1 NIV84)

The Lord reigns over everything. There is not a single thing on this earth that I need to worry about. What if I truly rested in this and trusted? I get that God is Sovereign but I think in my moments of tension, stress or anxiety my fear is not whether or not He's in control it's whether He truly is good. In my head I know He is good. My heart is catching up but I know at times I still wonder and wrestle with whether or not He really is good.

With my longing to get back into the mountains this verse caught my eye.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

before the Lord of all the earth. (Psalm 97:5 NIV84)

In the mountains it feels like getting a first hand look at God's majesty. This verse helps me to remember that as awesome as the mountains can be they melt like wax in the presence of God. The mountains are nothing compared to God. This is a bit mind blowing to me. I fail to focus on God's sheer power and majesty and I lack the healthy fear I should have of Him. I can't wait to be face to face with God but I think it's going to be a terrifying experience at first. My mind is too small to even begin to comprehend the glory and wonder of God. Wow.


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Saturday, July 07, 2012

DAY 702: 1 COR 16

Today is the end of a fabulous four day weekend. It's been so great! Have loved the slow sloth like pace of it and general silliness that went on in BTown. I'm sure tomorrow will be a bit rough as I've been spoiled with extra hands and extra time sleeping in the morning. Extra sleep is such a huge blessing to this momma and Les often blesses me in this way. Need to thank him more often for this.

Got an email about a housekeeper who needs extra work. Oh how I would love to give her that work! The thought of a housekeeper sounds like a dream. I have to hold these thoughts captive though as they could easily lead to jealousy and dissatisfaction. I'm thankful today for the five reasons for a crazy messy house, the reason why laundry is never ending and the blessing to be found in a dirty kitchen. these babes will grow to become most excellent house keepers and yard workers and babysitters before I know it.

Abbie started reading her first real chapter book today. I will admit it is super fun to see her begin to excel in reading. It was such a whip at the beginning of the school year to try to get her to do any sort of reading. Its been fun to see more intrinsic motivation to read. There's so many worlds to be explored and doors that can be unlocked when you love to read. I so want her to love to learn. I feel like that was beaten out of me pretty early on. I don't want the same thing to happen to my kids.

Today I did get a glimpse of a dark side of education, namely pride, competition and trying to gain the approval of man. There is going to need to be lots of prayer and accountability on this. To be completely honest I want my kids to outperform others. I don't want to give anyone an opportunity to point fingers at how homeschooling is a bad choice. I hate even admitting this but I have to. It's ugly and this is not what I want for my kids or for me. Les and I prayerfully considered all of our education options and really feel this is where God is leading us now. Every year and with every kid we get to hold everything loosely and ask God what He would have us do. In this there is no room for pride, competing and seeking the approval of man. I'm so proud of my girl because she's overcoming fear of hard work and seeing the benefit of what she is doing. She's learning to be a good steward of what God has given her. However, I don't want to be more pumped over worldly achievement than in watching her spiritual development blossom. I know my heart is wicked and this will be a battle. I didn't think it would be but it's going to be. Hate that the evil one can try to turn celebration over a good thing and turn it into something distorted and ugly.

1 COR 16:
This is unrelated but I was reading something or another and thinking about how the Israelites constantly turned from God. It got to the point where they were sacrificing their own children to the detestable god Molech. I think there's some part of me that wanted to believe as a country we're at least not at that level of total debauchery yet. Today it occurred to me that we are indeed already there. We kill our own babies and sacrifice them to the god of convenience. Approximately 3700 are sacrificed everyday. To many of the staunchly pro-"choices", the right to abortion in every possible situation has become their god and their religion. Many people claim not to be religious yet they have created their own religion to pledge allegiance to. I'm so saddened by the condition of our country. I truly believe it once was something to be proud of, a country worth fighting and dying for. I pray that as a nation hearts would be changed, if not the future in America looks rather bleak. Once again I reminded how grateful I am that my hope does not rest in politics or the direction of this country.

In this chapter Paul concludes his letter to the Corinthians. I can't imagine it was an easy letter to receive. Thank God for those in our lives who are willing to wound us temporarily by pointing out sin in our lives. These two verses stood out to me the most in this passage.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14 NIV84)

These verses are perfect for how I've been feeling lately about the direction of America. I want my kids to embrace this verse and live it out. May I be the one who embraces it first. Be on guard! The evil one is constantly on the prowl! If he's not then there are other problems going on such as stewing in a lukewarm pot. We are no threat if we are lukewarm and ineffective. Stand firm! Oh how this will be harder for my children than it ever was for me. The climate towards Christians is continuing to grow more and more hostile. Moral relativism has taken a firm root and truth is not something that is embraced. There is a war going on all around us and many churches and Christians have not stood firm. Be men of courage and be strong. What an awesome charge to give my wild boys! Written deep inside them is a desire to defeat evil and let good prevail. May they choose the side and the cause to uphold and defend wisely. Do everything in love. Imagine the impact we would make on this world if we truly did everything in love. Mountains would be moved!


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Friday, July 06, 2012

DAY 701: 1 COR 15

My big girl cried for me to stay with her tonight. I didn't much want to. I've had a baby in my arms all day and I just wanted to clock out. Tonight as I was snuggling with her I realized one day she'll ask me to cuddle with her and it will be her last. She will grow up and the requests to curl up with her until she is asleep will happen no longer. I know I write this often but it's all happening so fast. I am so proud of the young lady she is growing to be. As I write that sadly enough I don't tell her that often enough. I want to be her biggest fan but often I'm too busy with everything else about being a mom that I neglect to tell her all the beautiful things I see in her. Thankful that God didn't allow me to waste yet another precious moment with that amazing little girl.

1 COR 15:
Long chapter full of greatness. Paul talks about the resurrection that we will go through once we die. The Corinthian church had come to believe that once you died that was it. Oh how sad for those who truly believe this. My life changing moment came when I finally grew tired enough of the life I was living. Life apart from Christ was so bleak. I was tired of living. I threw all in, knowing that my way was no longer working. If God failed me I was ready to end my life. I just couldn't imagine living out my entire life with no purpose. I don't know how the Corinthians carried on if they didn't believe in resurrection. So thankful that the closest thing to hell that I'll experience is life on this fallen planet.


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Thursday, July 05, 2012

DAY 700: 1 COR 16 (26-40)

Wanted to gush about how much I love wonderful four day weekends but read an article that makes me angry and so full of sorrow. I hate abortion. I hate that it destroys the lives of sweet innocent babies, their Mommas and even the moral decay and bankrupcy of those who support it. I pray that our country wakes up. If the moral slide continues my kids will be living in some crazy times. They truly will have to modern day Daniels and be willing to die for what they believe. I pray that God grows my own heart to be so bold. The sickening thing is how the American church is gladly embracing half of what is going on. God help me to grow to reject passivity and grow in increasing boldness. May I be willing to give my life for your name sake. I fear that right now I would be Peter weeping at the third crow. May these Brownies grow up to truly become like straight arrows in the hands of a warrior.

1 COR 16:
I really like this last part of chapter 16. I can easily see how things could get nutty with people prophesying and speaking in tongues like crazy. Love this verse:

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the congregations of the saints, (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV84)

I've quoted this to my kids to try to spur them on to make the chaos of our house or their rooms into order. I am so thankful that God is a God of peace and order and any chaos in our lives can be attributed to the very opposite of God. Been thinking about busyness a lot and the chaos that it can bring into a home. Busyness is NOT of God.

Really like this verse too.

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. (1 Corinthians 14:29 NIV84)

Don't believe what some knucklehead said who claims he is a prophet. Carefully weigh what is said. The devil himself can appear like an angel of light. There are no shortcuts and easy tickets in life. If somebody is claiming Christ and an easy life something is not adding up. Love how our pastor often says to not take his word for it but to truly seek what God has to say.

The parts on women in this chapter really would have gotten me fired up back in the day. Paul was for women. Hoping to do a study called 5 Aspects that dives deep into what it means to be a biblical woman. My view on this has been so distorted for so long. I look forward to diving in and truly learning what it means to be a biblical and righteous woman.


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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

DAY 699: 1 COR 14 (vs 1-25)

Great day. Didn't get the BrownTown castle gleaming white but got some chores done so we can enjoy our staycation. I LOVE me some staycation!!

Today was a great day to chat with the kids about freedom and when it's appropriate to (gasp!) break the rules. Great to reflect on my own freedom found in Christ and rest assured in His complete Sovereignty.

Wonderful evening with friends. LOVE the stories God writes in the lives of His children. He goes to great lengths to woo us and change us to be more like Him. Always so encouraged by great stories! Such a great reminder too that we are never terminally unique. Every great spiritual champion has their own story of transformation. As much as I'd like to believe that the ones I uphold as spiritual greats popped out as holy as they seem now, this is not so. The bible is proof of that. It's full of stories of how God shaped and molded those He used. It's beautiful. What an amazing God we serve!

So tonight figured out how my grandma used to get things mixed up back in the day. When you're deaf anything is possible. The whole Abbie thing was a bit of a misunderstanding on my part. I'm so thankful for it though because it forced my hand to get conversations started with her. This parenting thing is not for the faint of heart. I am so thankful for the wonderful gift of motherhood. Often I feel as if I'm completely in over my head and yet God is ever faithful and will provide for every step of the way. I'm learning that it's not good for me to feel like I've got it all together. It's in those moments that I turn and walk away from God and head straight towards self reliance.

1 COR 14 vs 1-25:
It's funny that this first part of the chapter reminds me of church camp when I was a kid. Paul is instructing about the gift of speaking in tongues. Wish as a kid I would have been more biblically savvy. The church that held the camp I went to was fundamental meets Pentecostal. One night at the big night church meeting they were trying to get everybody to speak in tongues. I was one of the handful of kids pulled to the side because our "gift" was slow to come. Oh the craziness and hysteria that was prayed over us poor kids who had yet to receive this spiritual gift. No wonder I was terrified of demons as a kid. Anyway I ended up "speaking in tongues" and in my post camp high tried to get my very Catholic grandmother to speak in tongues too. She at least had enough sense to say that she couldn't. It's crazy that I struggle with such prayer apathy because I constantly saw that woman on her knees praying. Anyway, I totally know what Paul is getting at here. I'm sure the Corinthian church was wrapped up in this false emotional high of speaking in tongues and getting all nutty during worship. I'm all about truly worshipping God and I know due to the experience in this church that I'm a lot more reserved than I should be. We should never make worship and praising God about our own emotional experience. I think a lot of people are more geeked up about that emotional hysteria or whatever you want to call it than God. I too thought my relationship with God was about how I felt. It was such a let down and confusing when the God high faded. It was just a temporary emotional high I was longing for. Worship should draw my heart to repentance and a thankfulness for what God has done in my life. I don't want the cheap God buzz anymore. I would much rather live on the mountain top experience where I'm encouraged and I feel all warm and fuzzy but I know it's in the trenches when I'm desperate that I grow the most to be more like Christ.


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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

DAY 698: 1 COR 13

Interesting and fun day. Good time visiting with a sweet friend about to move. Love that family for so many reasons and I am so sad to see them go. Excited for their new adventure and to be honest slightly jealous of their new destination. The moon is beautiful tonight and all I could think about was how much better it would be in a different city. I really don't like Dallas. Often it feels oppressive. The thought of leaving WM though makes me sad. You would think WM would be no different than most churches but it is indeed unique. It's sad.

On to something else before I travel too far onto the road of how gross American Christianity can be. Hate it but hate more that I often fall into that category myself. Interesting thing occurred at McD's today with my oldest. I was horrified but used it as a wonderful teaching moment. According to my sweet one there was a misunderstanding. I pressed hard to seek truth and to get to the bottom of the story and I think I believe her. All will be revealed soon enough. Hoping it truly is as is claimed or else we have a very skilled liar on our hands. In all the happenings and conversation I laid the ground work for my first pass at explaining sex and the beauty of protecting this most precious gift. I pray all my children choose to walk the path of purity. I pray their marriages are blessed in tremendous ways in that area for their patience.

Had a Jammie run to see the Lorax tonight. Great movie with fabulous handles to talk to the kids about all kinds of heart issues. Really liked it. Very tree hugger BUT very easy to turn talk not only about the environment but about God and His best for us. Music very catchy too which was icing on the cake.

1 COR 13:
This is the Christian life in a nutshell. It's all about love and the only place that truly comes from is God. Without His love working through us we are nothing. Want to go off but have lots to talk to my wonderful hubster about. I'll end with these two dynamic verses. I pray that I die more and more to self so that the clanging I make sounds less like racket and more like a beautiful melody.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1, 2 NIV84)

Must revisit this chapter with the smalls.


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Monday, July 02, 2012

DAY 697: 1 COR 12

Tired. Good day but hiding in the bedroom, aka putting the baby to sleep. Poor little bit would not stay asleep today and is tired and crabby. Hoping this down time for me will help me finish bedtime strong. Hard not to hit a wall in the evenings and just want them in bed as soon as possible. I miss so much when I operate out of that mode. They really are incredible.

1 COR 12:
Probably should try to read this chapter with fresh lenses. I'd probably get more out of it. Tonight feels like I'm more on autopilot then anything. However, the reminder to appreciate the gifts God has given me is huge. Comparison is a thief of joy. I was made perfectly by the Father and my lack of gifting and my perceived flaws are made perfect in Him.


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Sunday, July 01, 2012

DAY 696: 1 COR 11

Good day. Thankful for the milder weather. Tired. Interesting experience at church today. Lots of conflicting emotions. At one point tonight I had the "is this all real or is it all just a bunch of bs" moment. I don't know where this doubt creeps up from but occasionally it just does. Couple songs later and a video of nature was shown and it got my goat. The combination of worship music meets God's creation was a powerful combination for me. Of course in the middle of the whole thing I couldn't help but think about how fast we need to get out of big oppressive Dallas. I've got mountain fever.

1 COR 11:
I'm really too tired to get into the mix of this chapter much. My flesh wants to have a real visceral reaction to this chapter but I know God and Paul's heart on this matter. I don't get the head covering thing and should probably look up some commentary to be better informed about it. Too tired. I'm keep doing my part to uphold this by rocking a hat often. Never felt so holy wearing a baseball cap.

Todd talked about the second half of this chapter tonight. Fading.....


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