Friday, August 31, 2012

DAY 755: 2 THES 2

Fun night with friends. We discussed how hard it can be to find friends that fit an entire family well. Our crew can be quiet overwhelming so it's even harder to find people who are brave enough to take this wonderfully chaotic crew on. Thankful for tonight and the many friends God has blessed me and our family with.

Today i got to eat a delicious slice of humble pie. I don't know why it's so hard to humble myself and ask forgiveness from my husband. When I'm blatantly wrong it's okay but it's harder when it's an offense that I feel like I can justify or pretend doesn't exist. Today I made it clear through my actions that my agenda was more important than my hubsters. I didn't consider him first and my attitude was most definitely not one of submission. I dont believe that I have to concede my every want and desire over Les's in order to submit but when my response to him is not out of respect then my heart is not submissive. When I am more concerned about getting my way and going off my plan I'm not submissive. For those who struggle with the word submission like I still do I can just as easily replace the word submissive about with the word love. To mutually submit to one another is really just loving someone enough to place them ahead of your own agenda and plan. We are willing to submit when we regard our relationships with people as more important than just getting our way. I'm thankful for today and God's faithfulness to expose areas where my heart is not willing to submit. Ultimately it's not just Les I'm submitting to its God as well.

2 THESS 2:
For better or worse I can't read this without thinking about our upcoming presidential election. I believe the man of lawlessness will be a smooth talker just like our current president. I believe the followers of the lawless man will be wooed just like Obama's followers are now. I'm almost dumbfounded that someone caught in so many lies and the champion of the causes that he champions would still be so highly regarded. I'm not saying our current president is the devil but in my limited view and scope of understanding I feel as if he will look similar.

This verse resonates a lot with me in regards to our country.

and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10 NIV)

"They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved." This so fits post modernism it's ridiculous. Right here in black and white our future is being foretold. It's heartbreaking.

This reminds me of the protesters I saw in front of the abortion clinic by our pediatrician. It's easy to forget that babies are killed and mothers are harmed by the thousands every day. I am so grieved by this. Lost my train of thought looking up current abortion stats. Heartbroken over this.

D

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

DAY 754: 2 THESS 1

Crap. Threw myself into the FB arena again. My righteous anger on abortion will probably consume me the rest of the evening. (my hubster is probably thrilled.) I'm starting to notice I'm becoming more and more of a pot stirrer. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. As all things I reckon it's the heart behind it all. It's probably not helping that I'm reading Bonhoeffer right now.

I realized today that it's very possible that I've gone 10 years without ever finishing a book I started. I know its at least been 7 years. That is so incredibly lame. It's probably because I haven't read an actual novel in such a very long time. Hoping Bonhoeffer breaks my horrible streak. It's funny that most recently my desire to read has gone up exponentially since this homeschooling gig. (I just realized I have finished books but due to reading to my kids and not just reading for myself.) My desire to teach my children has begun to kindle my own desire to discover and learn. I'm realizing more and more just how watered down my own education was and just how much i don't know. Never too late to become a student.

Okay, anger subsiding and now time to confess. I don't like one of my neighbors. I hate admitting this. More than hating to admit it, I hate that this is still the kind of selfish heart that I have. All I want to see are characteristics that I don't like instead of having compassion. The funny thing is that I bet the feeling is mutual. The uptight single woman who likes things just so decided to live right next door to wonderful chaos. What an awesome opportunity to grow us all. God is pretty stinking awesome that way. I wanted a young couple or family next door and instead God gave us what we needed.

2 THESS 1:
This chapter is short but sweet. I really love these two verses.

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12 NIV)

This is so strong. We pray that God may make you worthy of His calling. Paul mentions this several times through out his letters. It almost seems as if this is contrary to his passionate discourse that is found in several places about grace. Those of us who are willing to pick up our mats and follow Him understand what this means. When we are given more and more insight into God's holiness compared to our utter sinfulness in light of God's love, mercy and grace this makes a whole lot of sense. It's not our works that save us but when we get a good taste of God's grace it is impossible not to want to surrender it all to Him. Tasting God's grace is like tasting Turkish delight. Everything else is crap compared to Him. It doesn't mean we don't stray from the course and try something else in order to find fulfillment. It just means we are completely aware at how short everything else falls in comparison.

"by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith."

This is so beautiful and comforting. God knows my heart. He knows I desperately desire to be a living sacrifice holy and pleasing in His sight and yet out of my own strength I fail miserably at this daily. I can't possible accomplish the good I desire to do. The idea that by God's vast power He might bring to fruition my every desire for goodness is more amazing than I could ever dream. The second part of this is just as powerful.

What of my every deed was prompted out of faith instead of out of self? Again I can't do this out of my own strength. Yet God promises to complete His good work in me. Only He can make more and more of my deeds be prompted out of my faith, love and devotion to Christ instead out of vain conceit or selfish ambition. Praise God!

"We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you".

There is nothing more I desire than this.

D


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DAY 753: 1 THES 5

People have been praying for me today. I'm tired. Baby up lots last night yet today is so much better than yesterday. Still grumpy but most of it staying on the I side. Very thankful. Also thankful for today's not so quiet time.

School has been so much better this year. Momentum is a beautiful thing. They are actually excited to learn. I know this will ebb and flow but for today thankful! Started the morning off outside. The promise of Fall is in the air and I'm so excited!

Surprisingly was slightly bummed about having to give my bible study spot up this year. Another opportunity has come up and although I'm prideful and don't feel a need for bible I'm thankful.

1 THES 5:
I really like this chapter. So incredibly good. Someone is picking the lock on my door so my window is short.

Love this verse:
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:6 NIV)

I really feel like most of my life I walked around asleep. There are many days when I continue to walk around asleep. I want to live out my days awake and alive in Christ. When I go about my days operating out if my own strength and off of my own agenda I might as well have been asleep. I miss out on the fullness of the blessing God wants to offer me. I want to be awake and aware of the schemes of the evil one. I want to be on guard so I can fight the good fight. Days like yesterday are so hard yet I was fully awake. I lost battles but I didn't loose the war. I took advantage of opportunity that were caused by my short comings and failures. Yesterday was a success even though if I had to grade myself I would have given my behavior a big fat F. All God wants us to be is to be awake and ready to fight the good fight.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)

This is more important than we will ever know. This is such an easy thing to do yet I often fail to do it. I'm great at criticism and complaining. I need to start bulking up my encouragement and gratitude muscles. Encouragement goes along way, especially in a world that does nothing but tear down.

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV)

This is love my friends. If I'm not willing to live my sisters and brothers in Christ this way then I must ask myself whether or not I'm truly loving. These are so great!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

I think sometimes it's easy to be fooled into thinking this is about somebody else. It's about giving thanks to God or somebody else. Gratitude and thankfulness has everything to do about benefiting ourselves. There is beauty that happens in a heart that chooses gratitude and thankfulness. This is so challenging to me but I want to get after it. I want to stop grumbling about the blessing in my life. There is blessing in everything if only we are willing to look for it.

reject every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NIV)

This seems simple enough. At first glance I might even say well duh! Evil can have the appearance of light. It doesn't say reject some evil but every kind of evil. Some of the evil I still choose to hold onto in my life: emotional eating, comfort, pride, insecurity, busyness, disconnectedness, my ievil. The list goes on and on. Evil doesn't just look like what most worldly people would call evil. It's all around us and a lot of times I'm totally willing to sit and cozy up to evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 NIV)

Beautiful and my favorite of this chapter. He is so faithful to sanctify us. It's painful but I pray He continue the beautiful and painful process of sanctification in me!!

Quiet time over. So sad :(. Till tomorrow!

D





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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DAY 752: 1 THES 4

I've lost count of how many times I've had to ask for forgiveness today. Woke up a grumpy beast and I've had to fight it all day long. Unfortunately I'm loosing the battle to flesh today. I'm fighting tooth and nail but I'd be totally sunk today it wasn't for grace. I'd be sunk everyday if it wasn't for grace, I'm just more aware of my desperate need for it on days like today. For that I'm thankful for this day full of knock out blows.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15 NIV)

I lived out this verse today. My mouth did not say the life giving words I wanted it to say yet instead it was filled with condemning words. I made my daughter cry twice today. I wanted to steer the ship of my unruly tongue but could not get it to stop. It's like watching a horror movie unfold right in front of me starring myself.

As I comforted the daughter I made cry I shared with her Romans 7:15 and how thankful I was for God's precious grace. I talked a out on days like today I have to trust that God's grace is totally and completely sufficient in my weakness. I cling to this hope as a very imperfect parent.

Woke up at 6:30 which just do happened to be the time the kids woke up too. (what!?) If I must get up earlier I suppose I could but there is a possibility I just might die. The magic of first day of school was gone today. More for me than the kids as I realized the vast amounts of energy I'll need daily to pull this school thing off well. Thankful for yet another thing to bind me closer to Christ. I can't do any of this without Him. Maybe this is one of the main reasons we feel like this is what God wants our family to be doing right now. It wouldn't surprise me if this had more to do with me and my heart than the kids. Although the God I know and love tends to make all the working pieces work together for the good of those who love Him. He's just that good!

Tonight the WM HS moms get together. I'm so tired and so want to blow it off. Yet I know if I go I'll be energized and thankful. I was going to take little bit with me but think it will do me good to leave even that sweet little honey at home.

1 THES 4:
There's not a lot of correction that Paul has to do in this letter. Instead he urges the church to not just continue to love others and follow Christ's instruction but to do so more and more. I really think the more and more part is key. If we look back on our lives and do not see consistent growth then I think it's fair game to question if we are truly choosing to walk with Christ or just putting God on the back burner. We should never be content to stay where we are yet instead yearn to become more and more like Christ. This is one of many reasons why we should never boast in ourself or think too highly of ourself. There is always something we can be working on. I don't believe we ever "arrive" except maybe in death.

This verse punched in the gut the most today.

and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, (1 Thessalonians 4:11 NIV)

You should lead a quiet life. Notice it did not say busy life yet rather a quiet life. I can't seem to place in words what I envision at the thought of having a quiet life but it's a lot simpler and restrained than what my life looks like today.

D

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Monday, August 27, 2012

DAY 751: 1 THES 3

I'm a tired beast! The 6:30 wake up call was a bit rough especially with a night full of shenanigans. First day of school went well today. It was not without it's hiccups, mainly cranky tired kids, but I consider today a smashing success. Its not an easy gig but I really do love teaching my kids. Abbie had an incredible attitude about school work today and even said it was fun. (Gasp!) Its amazing how much difference a year can make. Paul threw a couple fits because I'm not doing some things the exact same way as last year. Frankly he's had the benefit of already being exposed to Kinder and knows some of the stuff already. There was also some clashing on him wanting to do more work like his sister. The kid wants to learn which is awesome but he definitely has his own ideas on how it should be done. So funny to see the different battles. We're starting off our days with a bible study this year. It's real simple but I really like how it set the tone for our day. Small frys even took naps today so that was huge! Loved having structure to our day. Need to throw in room or quiet time in the afternoon for my own sanity.

A dear friend texted me today about her thankfulness for being able to stay home. I often take this for granted. I can't imagine not being the one to watch my babies crawl, walk and talk for the first time. It's strange that I once thought I would never be a stay at home mom. So glad God has taken my parenting nevers and flipped them upside down. I am one incredibly blessed woman.

1 THES 3:
Read this morning first thing but morning is so not the best time. Evening isn't great either but it's better than bright and early. I need a good hour or five to shuffle around in a daze before I have to actually try to think.

Again I am struck at Paul's genuine love for the Thesalonian Church. It is so beautiful. He's not only willing to suffer for Christ but he's willing to suffer so that those who are called to Jesus may truly know Him and increase in their faith. Nothing gets this guy more fired up than people who are pursuing Christ whole heartedly. Other than Jesus this dude is the ultimate shepherd. So encouraged by Paul, as usual, and pray to love God AND His people the same way he did.

D

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

DAY 750: 1 THES 2

First day of school for BrownTown tomorrow. Excited! Think this year is going to be incredible. Well, at least incredible with realistic expectations :).

Our almost frog Angry Bird died today. Sad day. Felt bad for my son Luke. Sweet boy buried him in the backyard. I realize as I write this I neglected to stray from my agenda to go do something with him. Mommy will you do this with me? He asks often. He won't always. I need to seize these precious moments now. Paul jumped into my lap for a brief wonderful moment at 5:30 Rocks. I'm so proud of the little people my kids are becoming. I am so blessed to have such great kids!

Started reading Bonhoeffer last night. It wasn't exactly planned but look forward to being inspired. I love actual books but think reading things on my phone is so much more realistic. One day there will come a time when it will be a good thing for my kids to see me curled up reading books. It's coming soon!

1 THES 2:
This chapter is so beautiful. I know with my scattered thoughts tonight I won't be able to do it justice. I can imagine the great joy Paul took in this church in Thessalonica. They heard the gospel at a great cost to Paul and his crew and they embraced the message wholeheartedly and ran to become imitators of Christ. They did not become nominal Christians who abused grace and live worldly lives. On the contrary they ran the race with endurance even in the face of their own persecution. Paul is overcome with joy in their rich and lavish faith. It is a true joy seeing people run hard after Christ. I love seeing people dig deep and do the hard and often painful dying necessary in order to follow Christ wholeheartedly.

We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. (1 Thessalonians 2:2 NIV)

This is convicting my friends. I probably can't even count the number of times I've failed to open my mouth for fear of appearing to be one of those Jesus freaks. I pray for the boldness Paul had. I pray for such a burning passion to speak the Gospel that I'm willing to come upon real persecution. I have a feeling if the tide keeps going the way that it is il have an opportunity to do just that.

so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thessalonians 2:8 NIV)

Verses before this paint a beautiful picture of care like a nursing mother to a child. This is the kind of love I want to have for people. I want to see people the way Jesus does.

D





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Saturday, August 25, 2012

DAY 749: 1 THESSALONIANS 1

Laying down with sweet Bella, trying to get her to sleep before I leave to go kidsit. I could fall asleep myself. Tonight this feels like just another thing to do on my checklist. I hate that. I've been pretty checklist focused this weekend getting the last few things ready for Monday. Summer has been great but I'm so ready for cooler weather, baked good, sweatshirts, the smell of pumpkin spice and hot tea. Praying for a great year of school too. I want my kids to love learning and the adventure of figuring out new things. Going to try my hardest not to get tunnel vision and be dead set on "the plan" and end up doing school at home. Looking forward to having some years under my belt and confidence to stray away from the plan when interest is sparked or it's just not working. So humbled and thankful that I get to teach my kids.

1 THES 1:
Phone about to die and at somebody else's house so this will be quick. Rich chapter. First thing that really caught my eye was this.

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV)

They worked because of their faith. They labored because they loved. They had endurance because of the hope they had in Christ. These are genuine forms of work, labor and endurance. I bet this looked much different than the work, labor and endurance produced by selfish motivation and gain.

The thing that impacts me the most about this chapter is the kind of faith they had and how their faith came about. The people in this church were sold out to Jesus. Here is the thing that gets me the most.

You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV)

They were in the midst of suffering when the heard the good news. This makes me think of the people in Africa who have nothing and have seen all kinds of misery yet they have joy that can not even compare with most American Christians who have everything. I do not like to suffer but there is something beautiful that springs forth from it. It forges us to Christ like nothing else. God help me to give thanks even in the hardest of circumstances.

D




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Friday, August 24, 2012

DAY 748: COLOSSIANS 4

Feeling really good about school starting on Monday. Excited about a schedule and order. Feels weird to even write that. I'm a bit overwhelmed at how everything else is going to stay afloat in the midst of BrownTown Academy. I'm sure we'll hit a beautiful stride but I fear some of the household order that we gained during the summer might be out the window starting on Monday. Maybe it will be even better, who knows. Will probably have to forgo some family adventures in order to maintain some family order. Hate having to be an adult sometime.

My Rockstar hubster turned our disaster of an extra room into useable space. Such a tremendous blessing to this Momma. Very thankful!

Colossians 4:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2 NIV)

My prayer life needs a major overhaul. It would be awesome to fire on all spiritual cylinders: solitude, reading the bible, prayer, scripture memorization, ect. I got one down and I'd like to add prayer into the mix. This one is harder. Maybe it starts by getting a prayer alarm or a prayer journal of some sort. I feel like I pray often but it mostly resembles flare prayer here and there instead of intentional time set aside just for prayer. My Grandma used to rock it on the prayer front. She spent hours a day praying often on her knees. I'd love for my own prayer life to exhibit such discipline.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. (Colossians 4:5 NIV)

Make the most of every opportunity. I wish I was better at this. My daughter runs circles around me in this area. Often the times when I do have opportunity to speak to "outsiders" I'd rather just sit back and veg. I do get energized from people but meeting new people takes emotional energy I'm not always willing to give up. I wish I had eyes for people like Jesus. I wish I cared more and was willing to put others first. There are people all around us in desperate need. Am I willing to step outside of myself and love? I pray that I become more willing to set aside my comfort and my agenda so that I might truly love.

D




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Thursday, August 23, 2012

DAY 747: COLOSSIANS 3

I am so sleepy so I imagine this will be short. First thing is first, had a grow gray hair moment today. You know those times when you can't find your kid and minutes go by and you grow more and more frantic by the moment, yea I had a moment kinda like that today but it was with somebody else's kiddo. I don't think this event would have made as much of an impact had it not been this child. As I was sprinting at a snails pace all I could think was dear God please don't let him make it all the way to the road.

I saw my sweet friend, the mother of this precious boy in a video of Luke's first birthday a couple days ago. I don't think I'll ever be able to watch it without being stricken with grief. A stomach that should have been swollen with child wasn't. The precious babe that never took first steps has left his mark on eternity. He is forever etched on my heart and has made an impact on the way I walk with Christ today. His brother is a reminder that God is so very Sovereign. Even when God's plan seems so wrong He is at work and provides in ways we can't even possibly begin to understand. I don't know if the pain ever fully subsides this side of heaven but I know God makes all things so very beautiful.

COL 3:
Trying to stay somewhat caught up with the Journey and writing this daily is stressing me out. I know that is so silly. There is just so much I would love to chew on and process but it's impossible. This is where the flesh comes in and try to destroy and cause chaos. Just going to focus on a verse or two and call it good.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

Somebody had posted this on FB today. Such a great verse. It seems simple enough but it's one of the hardest things to do. The temporal can seem so urgent and overwhelming. Its almost as if most days I can't keep my eyes off the wreck on the side of the road and miss the fact that my distraction is the very thing that will cause my own wreck. If only I would put the same amount of energy and passion into the things above that I put into the temporal.

What if I not only lived out verse 2 but also walked out verse 4 as if I truly believed.

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4 NIV)

I want Christ to be my life. I meant to ask our neighbor who is over here often what she thinks we care about the most as our family but forgot. I want people to know full well that Christ is it in my life. There's nothing else I want to be more passionate about than He.

The first part of the verse gets me fired up but then the second part is almost too much to imagine. "Then you also will appear with Him in glory". This blows my mind. I am the scum on pond scum. I don't mean this in a self deprecating way either. I am a hopeless wretch of a sinner. Left to my own devices I would self destruct and wallow in depravity. Yet, Christ plucked me out of darkness while I was still depraved and called me His. He not only rescued me but because of His righteousness that He clothes me with I get to appear with Him in glory. Unfathomable to me and yet I can not wait till I get to be with my Father face to face forever. My spirit rejoices at the very thought.

D



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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DAY 746: COLOSSIANS 2

I don't know if anybody has seen the Muppet Movie but I kept hearing the chorus in my head today. It's basically a number about things falling into place and everything being wonderful and perfect. Today kinda felt that way. Things are and were not perfect by any means but some things appear to be falling into place around here. I drove home from the park today, weather beautiful, with three tadpoles and my kids excited to learn and encouraging news from my hubster. Sad thing is the first thing I thought was "when is this all going to come crashing down". I still have moments of waiting for the bottom to fall out. I don't live there and push the thoughts away but it's still something I fight.

More than anything I think I'm most jazzed about things appearing to fall in place for my husband. I would love to go into detail but it's not my story to tell nor is the story finished yet. All I know is that I'm so very thankful for today. I do not know what the future holds and my hope does not rest in the future but I know that God is cooking up something and always has been. I am so very proud of the man I married and the incredible man he is continuing to grow to be.

Tonight Les and I briefly looked back on how God brought us together. We were both messy but Gods hand was all over it. His plan for Team Brown goes beyond what we could even imagine. It's not even about us. Yet at the same time God loved us enough to include us in on His plan and purpose. It blows my mind completely. Tonight I was thinking and it hit me that I'm completely 100 percent adored by God. To not only have head knowledge of this but to truly feel this way if only for a brief moment is amazing. For so long I felt as if I was an utter disappointment to God. To get a brief glimpse of how He truly feels is evidence of how much transformation He has done in my life. The desire to be cherished and adored runs so deep. To have that need met by God is just more reason for me to want to lay it all down for Him.

Broken tonight at seeing a glimpse of my desire to control my children and not train them. I also got a good look at how I rescue them. It's painful to have them feel the full weight of their consequence sometimes especially when I desire so much to be together. Temporary separation is much better than risking separation for an eternity. Thankful for grace upon grace and the constant sharpening God does on my heart.

Colossians 2:
It's killing me trying to move through these letters so fast. But I must press onward. Eyelids growing heavy is not helping a thing.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NIV)

These two were too beautiful to pass up tonight. I love the image of being rooted and built up in Him. It's this deep rooting in Him that grows us strong it builds our faith, our boldness and dedication. Fruit from a deep rooting in Christ is evident in every aspect. We can boast of the harvest produced in us not because of our own hard work but because of the work He has done in us. This leads to the overflowing of thankfulness. I have much to grow in the area of thankfulness. I pray that my eyes would be open to the countless blessings that surround me every single moment. I pray I would give thanks in difficulty, annoyances, sorrow and pain.

D

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DAY 745: Colossians 1

Rough day. Smalls teething and middle's heels dug in all day long. Another night of interrupted sleep didn't help a thing today. It's not unusual for middle to be stubborn and have a problem with diarrhea of the mouth but today he found words that punched through the core of my heart. It wasn't the I wish you were dead that hurt it was the you want me to kill myself. Hurt upon hurt came from those words. Tonight as I was walking across the parking lot it hit me again that I would much rather this child have a horrible illness than to die a spiritual death. I'd much rather he not have either happen but my willingness to place my children on the altar for the sake of them knowing Him has grown immensely. Stubbornness is not in short supply in our home but it runs thick with our middle. I know this will be beautiful one day and God will use it for His glory. In the meantime it pushes me towards Jesus and away from self reliance. How could I not give thanks for that?

Great evening seeing the body at work. I love the girls I serve with. Thankful for the provision of laughs and friendships at just the right time!

Col 1:
Hate this but just could not stay focused tonight. Will have to try again and sit in this tomorrow. Love how Paul kicks this letter off.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, (Colossians 1:1 NIV84)

An apostle by the will of God. I do forget that if it wasn't for Christ pursuing and for Him opening my eyes I would not have seen or heard the good news that I am forgiven.

D

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Monday, August 20, 2012

DAY 744: PHILIPPIANS 4

Kids are so exhausted. The lack of sleep this summer has most definitely caught up with them. Trying to ease them into the schedule we'll be adopting next week. Took the boys to the park today. Feeling the effects of insane pollen tonight but so incredibly thankful for time outside and cooler weather.

PHILIPPIANS 4:
Another great chapter. I really love how Paul fully understood giving thanks and being content. They truly do go hand in hand. I pray that I too learn to give thanks and find contentment in any and every circumstances. Would love to dive in further in this chapter but my brain is fried.

Will end on this verse which caught my eye the most.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5 NIV84)

So need to step up my gain on gentleness in my words and actions. This verse struck a nerve tonight.

D

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

DAY 742: PHILIPPIANS 3

Bella still sleeping poorly and I'm zonked. Got a bit crafty for a party gift for Abbie today. I love the homemade bday gift. I don't know a single kid whose hurting for toys. Our excess is ridiculous. We have so much over here that it's become a constant battle to keep it picked up. Didn't mean to get stuck on a rant. Just wanted to mention how nice it is to put effort into something and actually get a final product. Most often effort is just undone in moments. I get why people like to get their craft on. It's exhausting and can be tedious though.

Today I was trying to catch parts of the service at WM and a verse in a song struck me. Can't make the song come up in my head but it's an old hymn and the term unclean has stuck with me. I think maybe it connected for the first time what a big deal it is that as Gentiles we have been accepted by Christ. We are not from God's chosen people and due to the ceremonial law we are considered unclean. As the unclean we deserve to be separated out from the holy. Yet God accepts us and if it were not for God's chosen people and for the law we would have no clue just how badly we needed Christ. I have just always taken for granted that Christ died for the Jews and Gentiles alike. This is such a big deal though. Makes sense that in my entitlement that I miss this.

Woke up this morning and realized I have two school aged children. I've been in a daze today wondering how this is even possible. The time is passing so quickly and I wish I could grasp it and make it slow down. Since I can't do that I don't want to waste away precious time and opportunity. I look back on even today and realize I've missed out. I get so lost in the clanging and clatter of busyness. Im sick of the busyness. It's times terrorist. God help me make the most of what you have given me.

PHILIPPIANS 3:
Hate having to try to move through this letter so quickly. There is so much depth to this letter and frankly it resonates with me so much.

I want verses 7-11 to be the anthem of my life. I want everything to pale in comparison to knowing Christ Jesus. I know him now more than I've ever known Him. So very thankful for these last 742 days. They have been a gift, even when taking this time to devote to spending time in God's Word has been hard. My love for God has increased as I know the One who created me more.

At the beginning of this chapter Paul writes "rejoice in the Lord". I'm understanding what this means more and more. He is my treasure and my reward. I hate that even now I still battle sitting at His feet. The battle between the flesh and the spirit is never ending but it's a battle I'm willing to fight.

Vs 10-11
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10, 11 NIV84)

When I first read this everything within me is repulsed by the idea of the "fellowship of sharing in Christ's suffering". I want to stay true to my idol worship of comfort. Must I really suffer? Then I realized in some small ways I already am sharing in Christ's suffering. It's not a physical suffering right now but death to self is painful. There is nothing easy about becoming more like Christ. There is a chiseling of the heart that occurs when we are willing to suffer all. Laying aside self, swallowing pride and truly loving is not easy, especially with the dead weight of flesh. I rejoice with my sisters and brothers when I see them picking up their mats and sharing in the fellowship of suffering. There can be so much beauty in pain.

I love God's Word. I pray that I fall in love with it. That hunger for it just like I hunger for food. I pray that I feel faint when I haven't dined on it. May I realize my dependence on it more and more.

My daughter loves her new bible and is constantly trying to read it. This blesses me more than I could ever express. I pray that her love for rich meals of God's Word is something that grows and remains a lifetime. I myself pray to long to read God's Word like she does.

D

Saturday, August 18, 2012

DAY 742: PHILIPPIANS 2

Tired. Two bday parties and my turn for date night swap. I think twins would break me. Trying to get two babies to sleep is no easy task. I would have to figure out a whole new system.

-----------
Never mind. I just dominated two fussy babies! Was it hard? Yes! Was I awesome? Yes! Am I prideful? Yes!

Philip 2:
I'm tired and my brain is not working. I sat in a dark room with a lovely sound machine rocking babies. It's a miracle I didn't pass out before they did.

D

Friday, August 17, 2012

DAY 741: PHILIPPIANS 2

Whew. Late nights and restless baby from Mommas antibiotics has hit me hard tonight. So tired. Today was date swap! It was great to get some errands run and a lunch date in with my hubster! So thankful for date swap and the friendship being forged through it. Provision in so many ways.

PHILIPPIANS 2 vs 1-11:
These 11 verses are such a gut check. I am wrecked that these verses rarely describe who I am. These are all about swallowing pride, making life not about myself and truly putting others first. I stink at doing this. I look out most often for MY best interests instead of the interests of others. I wonder if in some of my self preservation growing up I've managed to stay stuck in the taking care of me mode. Mostly it probably has to do with the fact that I'm a selfish beast. I know this but I don't always get the full length mirror on it. Heart wrenching. I'm so thankful my brokenness leads me less often to shame and guilt but rather an intense thankfulness for all that God has done for me. This is why I pray that He would continue to strip away the selfish ambition, vain conceit, and self centeredness that often marks my actions. Thankful for the humbling and piercing that occurs through reading His Word.

D


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Thursday, August 16, 2012

DAY 740: PHILIPPIANS 1

Went out to dinner tonight and our children got complimented on their good behavior and a man even bought them cookies because of it. My hubster and I both hope we never see him in another restaurant because it's possible he'll demand his money back for the cookies. We know eating out can be wonderful or an awful experience. We can take credit for neither.

I really hate admitting this but its such a great insight into why assuming the worst is a bad idea. Tonight I took a comment my hubs had said and had misinterpreted body language and got so incredibly angry on a ride home. He was in another car so Satan used the distance to do his magic in my head. When I heard his explanation via hey tell I couldn't help but think it was hysterical that I completely took what he said so out of context. In my internal fury I even remember thinking give him the benefit of doubt by my mind was too far gone by then. We think we know the other persons thoughts but so often we don't. Paul stressed unity a lot in his letters to the church. Unity glorifies God so you better believe the evil one is constantly trying to destroy it. I hope I remember this the next time I assume the worst.

This was the verse of the day on my phone and I have to share.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10 NIV84)

Beautiful.

Philippians 1:
Again I am overwhelmed by the content of this chapter. It's amazing. Paul in jails thankful to God for the people he's writing to. He's thankful for the situation he's put in as God is using it to reveal himself to the palace guard. Paul completely got giving thanks in every situation. He trusted God completely and his view was fixed on the eternal and not the temporal. When I sit back and think about all the things I get worked up about that are fleeting vapors in this life I could throw up. I even grumble and complain about the things I should obviously be giving thanks for instead. Oh darn! I have to figure out from an extensive list what I should feed the amazing family I have for dinner. Ugh! I have to use clean, fresh running water to clean the dishes that got dirty from food. I think modern day conveniences have only caused us to grumble and complain more. Things should be easy and without sacrifice. This is why it's hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. I am so rich and fat on blessing that I don't even appreciate it. This is without any real hardships.

I don't want to be a complainer anymore. I don't want to stress about things that are temporal anymore. I want to have Paul's clear concise focus. I want to remove all the obstacles that keep me from completely trusting that God is good and will provide for me in ANY circumstance. I want to stop being distracted, hung up and disturbed by things that won't matter a year, month much less a year from now.

D

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DAY 739: PHILIPPIANS 1

I know I shouldn't be surprised but i am still often shocked at how God provides moment by moment. The sad thing is that probably often I walk around asleep not aware of the provision He graciously bestows on me. It happens less and less often but today insecurity crept in. Insecurity about my parenting and about my kids. It was brief but fear I would lack authenticity if I failed to mention it. I don't want my value and worth to be tied up in my children's behavior and performance. That can lead to such gross places and that is a road I hope to not travel.

While putting the baby down I felt the weight of being a parent. Many times it feels as if nothing breaks through. Wouldn't you know but God placed this verse in front of my path.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV84)

I got a chance to cuddle with my girl and ask her how her day was going. The one thing she wanted to tell me was that she really liked the way I comforted her when she was hurt. I know I've messed up in this area with my kids. Today my boys got scared and made a ruckus and Abbie said "what is going on with all this drama around here". Ouch! I know words like that have come out of my mouth. Frankly there is a ton of drama that goes on around here but I have but young children who need to continually experience the loving embrace of a parent. Noes the time to teach them that there are always open arms willing to embrace them in times of joy, excitement, drama, tears, sadness, loss, ect. God's arms are always open to us even in our anger.

PHILIPPIANS 1:
Wow. I don't think I could ever tire of this book. In fact it gets better and better every time I read it. I pray that I fall more and more in love with God's word. It can be such a struggle to dive in and read but if your motivation is to read so that you might truly know Him, the blessing that comes from it is abundant.

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: (Philippians 1:1 NIV84)

I know it might be lame but I love how Paul describes himself and Timothy as servants of Christ Jesus. I wonder how my sense of entitlement and expectations would change if I viewed my life in that manner. What if I started off every morning wiling to offer it all up and be a servant of Christ Jesus? The posture and willingness to be a servant already humbles oneself. In order to be a servant you must put the needs of others before your own. I love the idea of becoming a servant of Christ Jesus. It's funny that I am willing to try to offer my life as a living sacrifice to God yet it's harder to imagine living my days as a servant of Christ. I'd much rather serve myself than serve others. My pride keeps me from bending a knee. I seem so far away from who I want to be. Yet I can be confident of this:

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NIV84)

I find much hope in this. The work is not over and has not reached completion. God is ever so faithful in this process to change and grow. I heard the struggle of this process from a dear friend tonight. I want to be changed but didn't realize the hardship and struggle that is necessary for the change. In that struggle we suffer for the sake of Christ.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, (Philippians 1:29 NIV84)

It's all so beautiful. I love it! To love is to die. That death does not only occur to love others it also occurs when we truly love God. Must end here but will be back here tomorrow. One day I am going to memorize this letter.

D



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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DAY 738: EPHESIANS 6

Good day. Sweet time with a beloved friend today. Freakishly had some food to share so we could break bread. For not being one big on hospitality I do like to break bread with people. I like people in my home too. I'm just not the best hostess. Come, dig through our cabinets and make yourself at home. BrownTown is not anywhere near perfect but more order has descended which has been nice. It has made it so much easier to invite people in. Today two gals from the church down the road stopped by. It was nice to be able to invite them in and not be completely embarrassed by disorder and disarray. If we could get a sign that said pardon the pee we'd really be in business.

EPHESIANS 6:
Ephesians is kicking my bum. I am completely overwhelmed at where to start.

Cuddling with my girl so this just got a whole lot easier. This will be short. This girl is growing up way too fast and I don't want to waste precious time I can't get back.

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It's happening. The child who used to once live in our room prefers to be in her own, even with a thunderstorm. I was giving Bella a bath in the sink yesterday and Abbie said she wished she could have just one more sink bath. I fear she is too big. It happened without me even realizing it. One day without even knowing I plopped her in my kitchen sink for the very last time. I cherish the rare moments she crawls in bed with us knowing it very well could be the last.

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Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NIV84)

This can be so hard not to do especially when children can so easily exasperate parents. I long to be a parent like Charles Ingalls or the father on the Swiss Family Robinson. Stern but so full of love, grace and wisdom. I think sometimes the crazy excess that surrounds us in America has complicated things and makes parenting cloudy. There are so many competing messages that it's hard to wade through what is true and noble. Even more reason to stay grounded in God's Word. I'm totally sunk without it.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, (Ephesians 6:7 NIV84)

Such a convicting verse. It's not always easy to serve day in and day out. Time to make the donuts can be overwhelming at times and the pay off only lasts momentarily. There's no prize for washing load after load of laundry. The meal that is cooked is eaten in a fraction of the time it takes to prepare it. The dishes that are washed will only be dirty again. It's easy to get stuck in the doldrums of life. Serving on a mission field often sounds so much more rewarding and exciting. Yet, serving as a mother is the best mission field I could possibly serve on. I will have no greater impact than I have in my very own home. I can choose joy and gratitude in my service. I can serve wholeheartedly as if I'm doing dishes and folding laundry for the Lord.

With that this human paci is throwing in the towel for the night.

D



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Monday, August 13, 2012

DAY 737: EPHESIANS 5

> I am so ready for school to start. That sounds so lame since I can start whenever I want. Waiting for a couple important items to get here and we'll be ready to go. Pretty sure I'll just start school in August next year. It's too hot and the kids and I start going nuts without routine. I had school stuff planned this summer but with all the summer festivities it was hard to ever get much off the ground. Glad to be anxious to get things kicked off around here.
>
> The little boys were wonderful agents of sanctification today. Toot toot is getting closer and closer to three. His cuteness is slowly fading as his heels are starting to dig in more and more often. Tonight as I'm thinking over my day with the middle boy I keep thinking of Ann Voscamp. Her thought is that when your children are the most repulsive that's the time to draw near to them the most. I cling to those words often. I know that she herself has struggled with impatience and diarrhea mouth. Although just a regular woman, I find much comfort knowing that I too can go through the same transformation that she has gone through. To love is to die.
>
> I often grow weary of the constant battle of clean rooms. I nag and I nag and threaten and then nag. There must be a better way. Nagging never proves to be effective. Even when I stay to help train they often roll around on the floor instead of doing the good they ought to. The truth is I've failed to cast a vision for them. I've failed to try to woo their hearts in this area. I just want to control them and I want them to do what I said because I said so. My own heart can be so wicked at times. I neglect to do the good I ought to. I'm thankful for the broke places parenting daily exposes.
>
> EPHESIANS 5:
> More munching on this chapter.
>
> Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4 NIV84)
>
> --------
> Opportunity to love on the boy that pushed every single one of my buttons today. The anxiety he has at night is heartbreaking to me. Love that kid!
> --------
>
> Back to vs 5. I live this verse. My mouth can be a constant stream of junk. I would do anything for a cheap laugh. It didn't matter who I had to throw under the bus to get a few chuckles. The F-Bomb and shock value were my BFF's. God has changed this foul mouthed sailor girl but there is still much victory needed to be won in this area. Foolish and course talk are out of place! Instead give thanks. Part of being that living sacrifice is to give thanks in everything. For every single thing I can find to be downcast and grumbly about I can find reason to give thanks. Is this life I'm living about me and my comfort or is it about glorifying Christ? In order to glorify Christ I have got to continue to die and death does not come comfortably. For every discomfort, obstacle and pain that I give thanks for, the greater the death of self.
>
> I could live in this chapter but I'd hate to fall behind. I will finish the Journey for the first time ever darnit!
>
> I have to throw this verse in here because it hits me every time. I believe it's one of my favorites.
>
> for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
> Wake up, O sleeper,
> rise from the dead,
> and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:14 NIV84)
>
> I think this verse is so beautiful. There are so many walking dead around us. I know at times I still go about my days asleep. Wake up, oh sleeper!! Let Christ shine His light on you. May you no longer be lulled to sleep by complacency. Rise up and be a warrior of light.
>
> Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:24 NIV84)
>
> I feel like I've read this verse a ton of times. Wives be submissive to your husbands. When I rattle off this verse in my head I neglect a very important part of the verse. Wives submit to your husbands in everything. I don't think think in everything could have smacked me any harder. I am willing to submit to Les, especially in the big things. It's in the little things that I fail to submit. In my minor frustrations I fail to submit. In my puffed up pride filled views that I know better I fail to submit. I may submit with my actions for the most part but my heart doesn't always. Submit in everything. Ouch! Got work to do here. I know that God will bless our marriage in incredible ways if I'm willing to put forth the effort to really work on this.
>
> D
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

DAY 736: EPHESIANS 5

I could have slept all day today. Feels less like I've hit a wall and more like narcolepsy. Sinus pain is brutal today. Think I'm over traditional medicine and ready to give a witch doctor or two a try.

EPHESIANS 5:
So much in this chapter. Right out of the gate I can't help but laugh at the irony of the first verse.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1 NIV84)

Today I heard my kids pretend to be parents. Ouch! That's some genuine sweetness listening to my children pretend to be mommy and daddy. They are learning some good stuff but I got a good earful and know I've got a lot to work on too. Some of the discipline tone coming out of my daughters mouth was painful look into my own heart. My children are watching me. I can speak to them till I'm blue in the face but if I'm not modeling Christ in my everyday behavior then the words fall short.

Part of me wants to justify the tone I heard. Who can exhibit gentleness and dripping grace when they feel as if they have been kicked in the face? Who cares? It's yet another daily opportunity to die to self. I think I have this false notion that if I adopt the stern parent tone my kids will magically obey me. It might grab their attention momentarily but what I fail to capture with my stern parent voice is their hearts.

When I think about my parenting flaws it all boils down to selfishness, laziness, lack of patience, self control, and gentleness. Obviously I have some work to do. So very thankful for the moments God steps in and the spirit responds rather than the flesh. He is faithful to change. I refuse to remain content with where I'm at either. There is much dying left to do.

and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2 NIV84)

My desire is to be an imitator of Christ, to live my life as a loving sacrifice hold and pleasing to God. I fail at it daily. Thanks to God's transforming grace I don't have to focus solely on my shortcomings but rather can bask in the goodness of His never ending love and grace. His grace is so sufficient in my weaknesses. I'm so very thankful for this and have to lean into this truth daily.

My sweet girl is home and has a ton to talk about so for tonight this is where I'll stop.

D

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

DAY 735: EPHESIANS 4

Thankful for God's provision today. A couple days ago a sweet friend dropped off some fabulous yoga pants. Although I'll probably never do yoga a day in my life they are the perfect. Not only have my kids been clothed, I have as well and I'm so very thankful for the generosity of others and God's faithfulness to provide for our family.

A sweet family gave us a sectional today. I'm glad the picture was not a great representation of what it is because I probably would have declined it. The thing is ugly but it's so awesome being able to pile onto it comfortably as a family. It's wonderful and it's a great reminder to not judge things by their appearance. I'm thankful for it and I'm confident the joy we get out of using it together as a family and with friends is what is going to make it beautiful.

The hubster and I were talking about the furniture that is in our house and how the only things we have bought are from IKEA. We probably wouldn't have hand picked most of it ourselves but every single thing we have has been perfect for us and we are ever so grateful. Enough about stuff.

EPHESIANS 4:


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Friday, August 10, 2012

DAY 734: EPHESIANS 4

Date night with my hubster. Chuy's, driving around and great conversation. Thankful. We are officially swapping with another family and they are serious about getting date night on. Thankful for that. I've been a slacker about making the importance of time out alone with Les a priority. We've gotten pretty good at the in home date night but there is something to getting out and making an effort. Thankful for guaranteed dates and a guaranteed clean house at least once a month.

EPH 4:
Second half of the chapter just as rich and full as the first half. No time to dive in deep today but left encouraged and sharpened by the Word today.

D

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

DAY 733: EPHESIANS 4 (1-16)

Have a hot date with a bowl of butterfinger ice cream so I'm thinking this might be short. Kids asleep, hubster out for evening and so I have an evening of school prep, ice cream eating, possible sermon and mindless television till peepers starts squeaking.

Have felt prayed up today. Feeling the apathy and discouragement begin to lift. Met up with a friend who I have t seen in awhile and it was just what I needed. Her lightheartedness and balloon animal art was what I needed to break outside of myself. I love how God provides just what we need in the moment. So very thankful for the variety of friends God has blessed me with. I love seeing God's beauty in His daughters. We are all created so different and so wonderfully. Please know friends that I am so immensely blessed to have each one of you in my life. I am so incredibly blessed.

EPHESIANS 4 (1-16):
I could take a week just on these 16 verses. Part of me wants to chew on this for days. The other part of me just wants to stay on course and finish a commitment I have made for once. Either way these first 16 verses are a gut punch for me.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1 NIV84)

A prisoner for the Lord. I get this and why Paul chose this wording. There comes a point in your walk with Christ that there seems as if there is no turning back. I'm not sure I have arrived at that point and wouldn't reject my faith under certain circumstances but my confidence is growing daily. I do believe there will come a day when under no circumstances would I be able to reject the one who made me. It will be as if I've tasted his grace and love so much that death would be much sweeter than forsaking the one I love. I'm not there yet but I pray that one day, the death of self becomes so much that it's as if the spirit in me is the one leading out and the flesh is forced to take the back seat. At that point i believe I will be a prisoner held captive by the grace and love of Christ.

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. I understand the urging Paul is doing. I think the desire to see people in white hot devotion to Christ and living in the freedom He has to offer that has lead to discouragement. There is so much more to checking the box. Oh the freedom that comes with the pain of picking up your mat and following Christ. With death their is immense beauty. I've run away for so long and I'm beginning to see how wonderful it is to lean in, burrow your face into your Father's lap and be willing to face whatever lies ahead knowing He's always there.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2 NIV84)

I could not stink at this verse anymore than I do. I don't mean this in a self deprecating way either. It's an awareness of my sin struggle. Thankful to feel less apathetic about the Church today or this would have stung a whole lot more. Love how humble and gentle are spoken in the same verse. They really do go hand in hand. I see my lack of gentleness daily with my children. It's apparent in my tone, my speech, mannerisms and actions. I see the lack of gentleness in my children's actions as well. Our entire family could stand to grow in both of these areas. I want to lead out for my kids. I want Abbie and Bella to see that being a woman that possesses gentleness is actually a woman who possesses much strength. As for pride I pray that God would continue to crush it out of me. The word crush sounds painful but the i don't know how pride gets removed without pain. It's difficult to peel back the veneer of pride and see what's truly hiding.

Phone about to die again. So it's just two verses for today. Two wonderful amazing life changing verses. Thankful that I have constant access to God 's word. I pray that one say I would even act like its true.

D




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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

DAY 732: EPHESIANS 3

Good day. Tired. Still very much struggling with apathy and discouragement but thankful for the things today that helped break through it. I can't even pinpoint exactly what's going on with me. It feels as if there are so few people who are truly willing to pick up their mat and follow Him. I feel this way and yet I know it's not true. I had a chance to meet with two gals that I love today. Both struggling but both willing to pick up their mat and struggle in order to get well. Encouraging but I can't shake the funk. A precious friend suggested I start praying to have eyes to see things like God does. I love how she views the world. God talks to her in such unique ways. I love that God talks to us differently. He knows His children well. I do pray that I can have eyes to see things the way He does.

I remember as a little girl being so overwhelmed with the brokenness of this world. All the pain that happens everywhere filled me with such grief. When I first dove into life with Christ I developed quite the Messiah Complex. I thought I had to help every broken hearted person I came into contact with. If I focused on their hurt I didn't have to look at my own. I don't even know why I'm writing this bit was just reminded of it today.

I'd much rather be joy filled than sit in this place. I'll sit in this place thankful knowing that God is so good and He can use even gross funks for His glory and for my benefit. I selfishly pray to snap out of it soon but more than that I pray to use this time well. There is much beauty in clinging to the feet of Christ.

EPHESIANS 3:
Verses 14-21 are pretty intense. Needed this verse today.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (Ephesians 3:16 NIV84)

I can use some inner being strengthening. Back to trying to figure out what my problem is. I think jumping into the FB arena the other day made me realize how incredibly lonely this road can be and how grieved I am over that fact. I'm not grieved as much for me as I am for them. I'm so sad that there are so many out there that check the box and they are completely missing it. Not only do they give unbelievers a poor view of Christianity but they miss out on choosing life here on earth. If they only knew The fullness of what God has to offer them they would run towards Him whole heartedly. I am grieved over my friends who are too arrogant and prideful to come to the end of themselves and find freedom. I don't know why this is weighing so heavily on me right now but it is. Maybe the real problem is I'm not grieved often enough by it.

So very thankful for those in my life who have chosen to pick up their mats and run with reckless abandon after the only one who can truly heal.

D

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Monday, August 06, 2012

DAY 730: EPHESIANS 2 (1-10)

I've officially grounded myself from Facebook. Obviously I'm not mature enough to handle it. Started today feeling discouraged and apathetic but currently am flushed and fired up. Glad to have a fire in my belly but I've started resorting to sarcasm and that edifies no one. Would be kinda awesome if I never stepped foot in the FB world again. Maybe I'll have the boldness to delete my account after some distance. Freedom!

I will say that I've had some pretty great insight in my debate. One is that kids these days can't pull out a logical argument to save themselves. No one even tries to support the stuff they fling and if they do it doesn't make any darn sense. My favorite is I'm not going to judge, you hateful bigot argument. Two is that Barna is so right on. People are checking the box Christian left and right and yet do not believe in the very core beliefs of Christianity. The third is that we are all so very broken. People from both sides of the debate are operating out of their own past experiences and baggage. I've been arrogant and prideful in my frustration. BAM! God is pretty stinking awesome.

I'm a total mess today. I indeed have another sinus and ear infection and the wonderful pollutants in the air is making my chest hurt. Feel like I have a stick in between my ribs. Dallas is killing me softly. Oh what an incredible reason to give thanks for good health. I'll take these minor reasons to stop and give thanks any day!

EPHESIANS 2 (1-10):
Talk about another great beat down on pride. These 10 verses are a great for remembering where I came from. It can be easy to forget the slimy pit God rescued me from. This is what the Israelites did. They forgot where they came from and who had rescued them. God's people began to believe that they were chosen because of how awesome they were and then trouble ensued.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, (Ephesians 2:1 NIV84)

When I become arrogant and prideful I forget that I was once dead in my transgressions. I begin to believe that I am saved because of my own works. I become my own god and create my own bastardized religion. I get why Paul fought so hard against flawed theology and doctrine. It creeps in slowly and before we know it we have veered way off course.

I was completely dead to my transgressions. I feel like now I can recognize those that are themselves the living dead. Even in the midst of my death I did not recognize it. Thank you God for bringing me to the end of myself.

(Chest pain galore. Need to find my puffer can't breath. Evil Dallas air!)

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. (Ephesians 2:3 NIV84)

Following its desires and thoughts, I love this. I really feel like in the past 8 or so years God has done a miraculous job of renewing my heart and my mind. My thoughts were not completely depraved by my thinking was messed up. I had no idea how much clutter and crud was in my head until some of the internal chatter actually stopped. Operating out of brokenness can be understandable but it's still unexceptable. I feel like the more time I spend in the Word the more I tend to take thoughts that are not honoring captive. There are still lots of things that get through but I'm thankful for the small victories.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4, 5 NIV84)

This is the very reason why I want to live my life as a living sacrifice. I don't need to perform for God to be excepted. I did live out of that broken place for awhile. God loves me even though I am a sinful beast. I'll be honest it's still hard at times to completely grasp this. There are times I go back to believing the lie that I must perform for God in order to be in God's favor but overall I believe this more and more. The only explanation for it is sitting at His feet. He is so faithful to continue the work He started in us.

Phone about to die so going to stop here. This chapter is rich. Will end on this verse:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9 NIV84)

Not by works so that no one can boast. Pride and insecurity are such obstacles in my path to knowing Christ fully. I so desire to be confident in the new creation I am in Christ yet walk with humility knowing none of it is from my doing but through Christ's. There truly is a fine line between confidence and pride. I pray that God teaches me how to walk the narrow path more and more.

D


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Sunday, August 05, 2012

DAY 729: EPHESIANS 1

I'm tired. Head has been brutal for most of the day and like a total dork I have chosen to jump into a conversation of FB about gay marriage. I did so good staying out of those but I roped myself in. I am even more disgusted with American Christianity than I ever have been. So lukewarm. There's not a single thing compelling or inspiring about those that subscribe to this kind of religion. I believe that soon we will be tested by fire. I pray that in the process my family and I will stand firm.
Through all of this though i think i figured out what my cause to uphold is and its family.Tonight for the first time I feel as if I was created for such a time as this.

EPHESIANS 1:
Read. It's beautiful. FB distracted. Lame.

D

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Saturday, August 04, 2012

DAY 728: GALATIANS 6

I feel like I have a chopstick shoved up my nose. This might be brief. The last couple of days the hubster and I have been off. Been trying to figure out why but I think it's because of good ole self reliance. He's worked a lot lately and it's easy for me to get into a great groove of self sufficiency. I think I've just been on my own plan and it's been hard getting back on our plan instead. I think just voicing that there's been a drift has helped. It's humbling to ask for forgiveness for my role in that. It's a lot easier to think I'm justified in my grumpy attitude and frustration.

Poo drama tonight. Oh how I hate it. So hard seeing your babies in pain. Having pushed out 5 babies I know the pain he's in right now. Hate it!! So thankful Les is here.

GAL 6:
So much greatness in this chapter. The chopsticks in the sinuses and the poo incident and squeaking baby will keep this short. Beautiful verse after beautiful verse though. Probably the most impactful verse for me right now was this one

Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, (Galatians 6:4 NIV84)

Comparing up and comparing down is such a beast. It tempts us to be prideful or wallow in insecurity, shame and guilt. Each of us is on our own journey and have been gifted in different ways. Comparing ourselves to others is just a thief or joy.

D



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Friday, August 03, 2012

DAY 727: GAL 6

Fell asleep way too late last night but freakishly not a complete zombie today. Still a grumpy britches though. Starting to wonder if some of its hormonal. Had some blocked goals today but normally I'm not this agitated over my to do list not getting done especially on a weekend. Probably just a bad combination of my face hurting, lack of sleep and my hormones being jacked. Maybe I'm just a sinful selfish beast.

Fun night tonight with some Oregonians. Good when you can actually have adult conversation with 7 kids running around the house. Surprised to be encouraged by our choice to homeschool as well. When people ask where Abbie goes to school I still kinda mumble that we homeschool. It's probably because of the negative attitude I held about it. Never say never people.

GAL 6:
Another stellar chapter. Love me some Paul! Wish I could pull it together to comment on it but that seems overwhelming tonight with limited brain function. (Was singing show tunes about a trashcan and love of coffee today.) Till tomorrow!

D

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

DAY 726: GAL 5

First things first, I did get up a few moments before kids and tried to pull myself together while Bella ate breakfast. I would like to actually get up and out of bed before kids are up. My goal is 6:30. Eventually. Might need to lick this sinus infection first. Doctor appointment made. Thankful for a faithful friend who lovingly pursued me and encouraged me to be the woman I want to be. I would have found a great excuse not to have made that appointment if not for her and I wouldn't have gotten up before my kids. Very thankful!

Busy day today but good day. Still a grumpy Gus this morning. Miscommunication and unspoken expectations were irritating and I wanted to point fingers and was rude. However, I'm the culprit and the guilty one. Thankful for grace that was extended from my beloved and especially from Christ.

Met up with a sweet friend this afternoon. I miss running into her more frequently and it was good to spend time talking rather than do just another drive by. Crazy how moving into a different life stage can change so many things.

Been enjoying getting the chance to watch herds of children and catching up with friends I get to regularly see this summer. I do look forward to getting back into routine though. I was reminded today by a friend how amazing a day spent in pj's sounds. I look forward to a slower more studious pace. If I was sending two of my Brownies off down the road in a short month I think I'd be white knuckling summer right now. Glad that for at least now we get to continue to learn together.

GAL 5:
I really love this chapter. I think possibly for the first time it's come alive to me. Perhaps in the past I've gotten lost in the issue of circumcision but this truly isn't the main issue. The Galatians had been doing great pursuing relationship with Christ. They understood that they were saved by faith. Yet somehow false doctrine began to creep in and they began to believe that in order to be in right standing with God they must be circumcised. Paul says:

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. (Galatians 5:3 NIV84)

It's impossible to obey the whole law. It's the law that condemns. I believe Paul is saying if circumcision is going to bring salvation you better make sure you follow the entire law or else you are out of luck. But we are out of luck. We can't possible live this life sinless and blameless on our own.

It occurred to me today that shame and guilt has been my circumcision. In the past I believe it truly crippled and enslaved me. I constantly felt like I was disappointing God and I was the crappiest Christian on the earth. I couldn't keep myself from sinning so I was a failure as a Christian. I didn't realize it at the time but wallowing in shame and guilt is the same as believing in works based salvation. We're all sinners and none of us will ever be good enough. Thankfully through Christ we inherit His righteousness. I'm beginning to truly grasp this more and more. This only proves to me that this time spent day after day in the Word even when it feels like pulling teeth is paying off in abundant ways. So thankful for the daily heart surgery that is taking place.

Today I was in the car and can just tell I need to spend some extra time with my oldest boy. Normally this ends in fighting some kind of mommy guilt. Today for the first time the thought occured to me that maybe my recognizing that he could use some extra time with me only points out the fact that I know my kids well. They are going to go through seasons when they need Les, I or both of us more. That need for extra time doesn't point out that I'm screwing up and ignoring them. Shame and guilt are the bastard stepchildren of Satan. I can't fight the attacks when I'm not armed with the awesome power of the sword. I'm not kicking butt and taking names but I'm standing firm through the power of Christ and I'm thankful.

I could live in this chapter but I'm so tired. I'll end on this note because it's awesome!

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (Galatians 5:12 NIV84)

These weren't just any agitators. These were the ones saying circumcision equalled salvation. Love Paul's passion and zeal. There's lots of this quality in BrownTown. Praying we are all able to direct this towards the cause of Christ!

D

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

DAY 725: GAL 5 (1-15)

Heavy day so far. Not bad but lots has been swirling around in my head. Now to make my brain work enough so that I might process it. First thing is first my current struggle as of this week. The problem with my grumpy state and at times sour disposition keeps being brought to the surface. I'll be the first to admit that I can be a total grumpy pants especially first thing in the morning. My desire is not to be a grumpy wife, mother, friend and so forth but as of late it's been constant. Lack of sleep and feeling run down is not helping a thing. Throw in my current struggle with the daily doldrums and it's a perfect storm. I'm a grumpy pants. Today my daughter made a comment to one of my beloved friends that if she had another baby she wouldn't be grumpy with her older kiddos. I knew this comment wasn't coming from behavior she has witnessed in my friend. If so, my girl would have already discussed it with me. I knew her saying that had everything to do with how she views our family dynamic. For whatever reason she believes a baby makes me less grumpy with them. How do i know this? I asked her. She has the benefit of being able to grasp what mommy is like pregnant. I'll be the first to admit that I put the word pissed in pregnant. I know I'm kinda rambling but that combined with another conversation I recently had means I know this is an area that needs work. If I consider my circumstances then I have reason and cause to be a grump but that doesn't make it any less sinful. The phrase understandable but not expectable keeps ringing in my ears.

Part of my problem is that I need to take better care of myself. I need to put on my big girl pants and go to the doctor and take care of the ear and sinus infection which is causing me to feel rundown. I need to get my happy butt to bed sooner. If I put my sleep deprived children to bed earlier this would be easier. I need to drag my butt out of bed earlier. I need time to sloth around like a troll before I encounter others with a pulse. This would serve me well as well as my family. I have no one to blame for my lack of self discipline and care of self other than me. Nobody can make me do this or do it for me. I can put this off or I can get my happy booty up tomorrow morning and make an ENT appointment today. Will I do it? Guess you'll find out tomorrow.

So today my boy gashes another on the head. Blood gushing, its intense for awhile. Thankful it was this friends child and not others who would not have offered as much grace. Stinks to be that parent but it's part of the deal and I know it's the first of many. As a boy momma, anything is game of the giving and receiving end. I pray I extend the same amount of grace I received today.

I asked my son to look at the boy he had hurt. Not to shame him but for him to realize that the rule of not hitting people with toys is there for a reason. This behavior is constant and I often see little remorse or repentance which I confess is maddening. Today this same child gives me the look of intense shame and guilt and begins to hit himself. My heart aches. This is an opportunity to learn and grow not an opportunity to focus on shame and guilt. We all fall and make mistakes. I see the boy continue to be down cast and I pry. The evil one already has his fangs in my precious boy. It breaks my heart. Instead of hearing the message that he can learn, that he is forgiven and loved, he hears that he is bad and God doesn't love him. Painful agony as a parent. I can try to paint the picture of learning to use mistakes as opportunity to grow and change and to embrace sweet wonderful grace but I can't make my children actually do this. It's something they must work out.

Today while driving I was reminded of my fear that God would take this child from me. Putting my children on the alter took on a whole new meaning to me this afternoon. If strife, struggle, hurt and pain is necessary for my children to know God and surrender to Him in everything then may I run to offer them up to Him. If the diagnosis of cancer or awful accident is the thing that will cause my children to bow their knees before the King then so be it. The tragedy of being a parent is not experiencing the loss of a child or witness extreme hardship for them, it's loosing them to this world.

The picture is a little clearer for me today. I pray for the wrong things and I do not pray enough for the battle that is waging over their souls. I pray more for my refinement than I pray for my children's salvation. Today I saw the battle that wages for the very soul of my children. It's so much bigger than me. Les and I need to be faithful to be godly parents but much is left out of our control. I've been extremely prideful to think I have more of a role than I really do. I want to help remove as many roadblocks as I possibly can but ultimately this is a battle only they can wage.

I put them on the altar for you Father. They are yours and always have been. I pray that you help me to use the anger I feel at the schemes of the evil one for your glory. Soften their hearts God. Open their eyes so that they may truly understand the love and forgiveness you have to offer them. May I embrace hardship with much joy knowing that you can use all things to bring people to you and to glorify yourself.

GAL 5 (1-15):
I have to wrap this up because I've already babbled. Goodness gracious is this chapter ever good. Will park it here tomorrow but l will end with the beautiful beginning of this chapter.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NIV84)

The world has a twisted view of freedom. It's interesting seeing the fight for freedom that is currently happening in our country. The world does not get that in order to experience true freedom we must be willing to die and be willing to submit to an authority other than ourself.

Stand firm. I want that tattooed on my body. It's going to get harder and harder to stand firm. Standing firm will begin to come at a great cost. The chaff will soon begin to be separated from the wheat. Stand firm my friends in whatever you may be experiencing. Our reward is not here where moth and rust can destroy but is eternal and it can not be taken from us.

D



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