Sunday, September 30, 2012

DAY 785: HEBREWS 5

Back on to reading Bonhoeffer. Really inspired by the kind of student that he grew up to become. It's pretty spot on for what I desire for my kiddos. I want them to be free thinkers, respectful of others with opposing opinions and a desire to learn from them yet stand firm in what they know to be true. I realized that I can't teach my kids to love to learn unless I am willing to constantly learn myself. Tonight's discussion on apologetics at church was pretty convicting. I need to get off my lazy bum and get after it. Just like I don't want my kids to be poor stewards of the intellect God have them I need to be a good steward of mine mind as well. Harsh weekend to be faced with two lovely character traits, laziness and idleness. Lovely.

Hebrews 5:
I love and hate this chapter all at the same time. I love that Jesus knows the cost of obedience and how hard that choice can be. I love that he understands all that we have been through. It's so easy to slip into the terminally unique mindset.

Tonight I'm not fired up about being faced with the cross. I hate that Jesus suffered because of my sin. He did nothing wrong yet paid the ultimate price to purchase my freedom. It makes me feel like a total turd. It's moments like this that I'm faced with the weight of my sin. All pride is removed and I'm just left with the reality of my sinful state. I like to skip this part and fast forward to the grace. It's this part though that makes me want to continue to strip away the sin that so easily entangles me. This is the reason why I care about wanting to work on no longer being lazy and idle as well as the whole long laundry list of everything else. I find much joy in remembering the cross and dwelling on the fact that even despite my sin stained life. He still chose to not only pursue me but die for me.

Can't keep my eyes open.

D

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

DAY 784: HEBREWS 4

Conflict is good. My hubster and I have been like two passing ships this weekend yet managed to squeak away time to make things right that had gone awry. Both of us willing to seek out our part, humble ourselves and pursue each other with love. So thankful for a husband yielded to God. It's a gift and a treasure I don't want to take for granted. With a foundation firmly rooted in Christ the tossing of the waves only ends up pushing us closer together.

At a friends house this evening watching kiddos. Love this family and their wonderful stinkpot boys. They remind me so much of my own.

I have a calendar spread open on my lap and I can puke that September is as good as over. Tonight it occurred to me that Abbie is closer to being a preteen than she is being Bella's age. The days go by so fast and seem as if they are one long blur. I don't want to waste another moment of precious time yet I know daily that is the temptation. Thankful for a rainy day today filled with movies and lots of snuggles. I don't think I could have kissed them too much today.

Hebrews 4:
Whew! I really like this chapter. The theme rest is such a great reminder in such a crazy busy world. Even in the busyness we have more leisure time than ever before. This is hard to reconcile. We have time yet we allocate it to all the wrong places. I'm sure I've mentioned it before but there is something so beautiful in the Little House Series. Those people worked their tails off yet they lacked busyness and they honored the Sabbath week after week. Their sabbath didn't consist of going to church. Rather they read God's word and then spent the day in very quiet activity and rest. Church often becomes another activity to complete on a Sunday. It's situated often in between other activity. Solitude and stillness are a thing of the past. It's no wonder that our nation looks the way that it does. We are never quiet and still enough for God to fill our souls. We count our hour at church as good. We are a soul sick nation. It's no wonder why we are so freakishly busy. We are desperately seeking for something, anything to fill us up. If we would cease we would be faced with our brokenness. It's only then that God can fill us back up.

I so desperately want to jump off this crazy train of busyness. I've used it for so long to hide the deep hurt and longing in my soul. It's become such a habit that even now when I don't use it to self medicate I don't know how to make it stop. How incredibly odd to be stuck in a situation in which the many good things to choose from have actually turned into a sea of distraction and busyness.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Hebrews 4:1 NIV84)

What a tragedy that I forsake the very rest God wants to offer me here on earth. I pray for time to carve away and ponder what this should or could even look like. I wonder if we could trade the van in for a horse.

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

I don't have the words to eloquently state how true and dead on this verse is. It's heart surgery every single day. It's no wonder why often my flesh resists the thought of diving into God's Word. I think many of us have bought the lie that if we lack desire and reading the bible feels like drudgery we are failing somehow. I tend to disagree. There is an evil one who prowls around trying to take us down every single day. He wants to separate us from our commanding officer as well as our weapon of destruction. When we push past the pride and/or fight past the feelings of disgust we win the most beautiful of battles. Read. Fight. Win.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NIV84)

Thank you Jesus that we truly are not terminally unique and you understand and have experienced first hand everything that we have.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NIV84)

Thank you Jesus!

D



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Friday, September 28, 2012

DAY 783: PROVERBS 31

Feels good to have clean sheets and the entire family under one roof. Got one project mostly accomplished without sacrificing too much time away from my Brownies. Feels good to get something done that won't be completely undone five minutes later.

My heart is a little bruised this evening. Praying that I continually seek out my part, seek out renewal of my mind and work to be vigilant against self protection.

PROVERBS 31:
Keep getting refined in the area of wiferey so decided to go to the source of all sources.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies. (Proverbs 31:10 NIV84)

This is truly what I aspire to be. For my husband, my daughters and for my boys. I'm growing to be one but I've still a whole lot to learn.

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:12 NIV84)

This seems easy enough. I don't intentionally go out to harm my hubster. However, I do harm him. I harm him with careless words, impatience, anger, selfish ambition, pride and the list goes on and on. I don't have to constantly be throwing him under the bus to harm him. I desire to bring him good and blessing till death do us part.

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands. (Proverbs 31:13 NIV84)

Better get my wool and flax on! Maybe not that but eager hands is key to me in this verse. I don't often serve with eager hands. They can at times be begrudging hands, angry hands, checked out hands. It all comes back to the heart. God doesn't just want my heart to yield to Him in obedience some of the time but ALL of the time. Am I willing to eagerly love and serve even when it's not my favorite, or inconvenient or even when it's not reciprocated? May I love and serve with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. (Proverbs 31:14 NIV84)

The food thing here could bring me to walk the road of shame and guilt. I do need to work on being more diligent and organized in this department but I'm also pretty confident God is faithful and will honor my desire to grow in this area.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. (Proverbs 31:15 NIV84)

Darn the conviction! I have not been rising early and the chaos that arises out of that decision is very evident. Our days just flow better when I get up before kiddos, have breakfast ready for my family and have time to clear out the cobwebs before my oldest son comes energetically bounding into out room. Really this comes down to trusting God. Do I trust Him that He will provide what I need if I'm obedient and wake up early? Boo!

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:16 NIV84)

Wonder if I can use this as cause to back up my obsessive compulsive nature on researching something to death before I buy it. The words Ant Farm popped into my head. I'm hoping that will make a dear friend giggle.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (Proverbs 31:17 NIV84)

I can be prone to laziness and procrastination and whining. I desire to be more industrious in my time.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20 NIV84)

I would love to grow in frugality so that our family could be more freed up to give to those who are in need.

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. (Proverbs 31:22 NIV84)

Read a good blog post about lack of personal fashion due to laziness rather than upholding the truest of values to only fuss over inward beauty. I would like to come across less frumpy but I'll be the first to admit my comfort over fancy stance on life has moved right on into laziness. Maybe the first thing to address is to not be out in public looking like I've worked out when I can't even remember the last time I did such a thing. This leads right into that. I should rise up even earlier so I can go running with my fluffy bottom. Maybe I'll purchase some running shoes. Although contrary to popular belief it's actually purchasing running shoes or gear that ends up in a baby nine months later. I'm convinced of this!

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23 NIV84)

This hits home. Behind every great man their is a wife helping him to become all that God created him to be. I want to be this kind of wife. I want to be the champion of my husband.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25 NIV84)

This sounds beautiful to me. I must remember that this is a godly vision of strength, not the kind of strength I've used to be self reliant and self protected. This is the kind of strength that can only come from Christ and its the real deal not a cheap worldly imitation.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26 NIV84)

Oh how I long for my mouth to be characterized by this. I feel like the opposite most often comes out. Maybe I should go on a fast from talking one day. It would probably bless my family like crazy. Oh how I desire to speak wisdom and life giving words instead of idol words and words that tear down.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27 NIV84)

I need to get better at watching over the affairs of my household. The second half is key to making this happen, not eating the bread of idleness. I'm not sitting around watching soaps and eating Bon bons all day but I can totally be idol. I can fill up on junk all under guise of getting me time. My ievil is the biggest time suck and source of idleness. Ugh.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (Proverbs 31:28 NIV84)

There are not many things I desire more than this.

D



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Thursday, September 27, 2012

DAY 782: Hebrews 4

Figured out why this has been such a whip the last several days. More hedging and pruning of the heart. My flesh is completely repulsed by it yet the spirit of Christ within me rejoices in it even when it's painful. Love how God likes (has) to keep placing things in front of me in order for me to pay attention. Preparing for my Shelter talk on Monday has stirred up some junk. The timing of it of course is most perfect as the alignment of the preverbal stars keep pointing to the same thing. Sigh. I'm saddened by it but so thankful that God has grown me to the point of being content to just sit in it. I don't have to run or numb I can just sit. At times it feels as if all of my brokenness will never be redeemed yet I know this is a lie. If not this side of heaven one day it will all be made right. I'm actually even okay with it not all happening here on earth. This life is but a vapor and I want to fully live it even when it is painful.

Starting to get a fuller picture that even if I try to live out a life being needless and want less my needs and wants are still there. If denied them for so long I don't even know what they. Today as I was doing the dishes the kids were watching Boz and the song "it's okay to ask for help" came out and I almost laughed out loud.

Falling asleep so I'm going to cash in my chips. Ch 4 is great. Vs 12 is one of my favorites. Will be back to unpack that as well as some of my vagueness. Lots of churn going on.

D

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DAY 781: Hebrews 3

Kinda funky the last couple days. I'm sure the lack of sleep coupled with wackadoo hormones is not helping anything. Frankly sometimes I have stretches of time when I'm too lazy to fight the good fight. I just want to stay status quo and do things my way. It's no surprise with my current bubbling up of pride that I'm completely indifferent to reading the bible. I read a quote on FB today basically saying its our abundant blessing of excess that keeps us from God. There is so much truth in that. My struggles with entitlement is so nauseating at times. The comfort and ease I think I'm entitled to is so gross. Yesterday on the radio I heard that our garbage disposals ate better today than millions of people around the world. That pierced me. I think possibly tonight I'm a little soul sick or sick of self. It seems like there must be a simpler way. The excess, the crazy busyness, the 7 year old kids diagnosed with ADHD, the moral relativism, the breakdown of marriage, blah, blah, blah. I'm reminded tonight that this is not my home. I would think that would propel me towards God tonight but instead I just want to retreat into my own land of disconnect. Bleh.

Hebrews 3:
Really struggling to dig into this tonight. I was going to whine about never really connecting with Hebrews and as I re-read and wrote down the snippets that connected with me I found that quite a bit did connect.

Vs 1 fix your thoughts on Jesus

I really like this yet am repulsed by it at the same time. When life becomes overwhelming or stripped of joy it's amazing how refocusing on the cross changes everything. Life can seem so complicated but when the focus shifts back to what it should be it really is rather simple.

In my current fleshly state fix your thoughts in Jesus seems cliche. It seems pithy like "God won't give you more than you can handle" when you are getting your butt stomped. We know the truth often but sometimes it doesn't feel like it helps in the moment. I know I should fix my thoughts on Jesus. I want to fix my thoughts on Jesus but when my heart is hardened I don't know how to make it soft. Frankly, I don't know how to attribute times like this to anything other than spiritual warfare. More likely it's just pride on crack. Either way I'm going to press onward and fight regardless if whether or not my heart is engaged.

Vs 4 God is the builder of everything

I find much comfort in this. I didn't always find hope and peace in the idea of God being Sovereign but I savor the very thought of it now. It helps stop me from spiraling when the little voice inside my head says "but what if....". Even if the worst possible thing happened I know God's hand will be in the midst of it and i fully trust Him. Im over joyed to be able to say that. It's very beautiful to me to be reminded that God is the builder of everything.

Vs 6 And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

I pray I would boast it loud and strong and I pray I hold onto that courage even if my life is demanded.

Vs 11 'They shall never enter my rest.'

I've lived this and so thankful that today even here on earth the Lord has allowed me to enter into His rest.

Vs 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

Encourage one another daily. I can be so lacking in this department at times. It really doesn't take much to encourage and frankly it doesn't take much to do the opposite either. Needed that humble reminder today.

Vs 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

May I hold strong till the end!

Vs 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Father God help those who are hard hearted become soft to the great love, hope and peace that you have to offer in abundance.

D


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DAY 780: HEBREWS 2

After a long hiatus Aunt Beast has reared her ugly face. I remember before kids how I would think women who made a big deal about their monthly friend were weirdos. I thought its just a period suck it up! I want to crawl into a fetal position with a heating pad and a beer hat full of a chocolate shake.

Today was wheels off. I could not fall asleep last night and was completely scattered today. I'm so far behind on all things BrownTown. I'm thankful that despite the general chaos everywhere I never felt overwhelmed, guilt over being a horrible wife/mother or displace anger. It will all get done eventually and nobody will die if they have to wear dirty clothes. I'm hoping this attitude will be a new trend. The daily doldrums don't seem so overbearing when placed in a healthy framework.

I'm sure there is lots of stuff I'm missing from today. Ah on thing that is on my radar is pride trying to worm its evil way in. I hate it and pray that God crushes it. It really stinks how crazy hard Satan tries to distort good and beautiful things.

Hebrews 2:
This whole chapter is crazy beautiful. There's so much packed into these 18 verses that its hard for my tired brain to grasp.

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Hebrews 2:1 NIV84)

This verse is a great reminder of the drift that can so easily happen. If we are not paying attention and we are not digging in the drift can slowly but surely happen without us even knowing it.

Unfortunately the first verse is as far as I can get tonight. Eyes will not stay open.

D



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Monday, September 24, 2012

DAY 779: HEBREWS 1

I am all over the place tonight. Having a really hard time staying focused on thing. Sometimes it's hard to have such a strong opinion on everything. I might have to launch into bullet points as my mind is crazy spinning right now.

-faced with the reality of my procrastination and the effects it has on my family and friends today. I've been in denial about how it only effects me but that could not be further from the truth. Ouch.

-spoke at shelter tonight. Love that ministry. Saw faces of friends that I knew would be there and faces that I was surprised to see. It's interesting being so heartbroken for somebody and yet so glad to see them working on freedom. I truly believe God can use everything for His glory even sexual abuse.

-I love speaking and teaching about God's Word. Had a lot of good feedback about tonight. I know I'm not an eloquent speaker by any means and I have lots of verbal ticks but it's fun to be able to use the passion God has given me. Humbled and honored that God would choose to speak out of this ass.

-I am so fired up once again about the public education system. I don't want to hear anything else about it. It makes me crazy angry and it makes me want to vomit in my own mouth. It's seriously as if the knuckleheads making up the rules have never studied child development. Makes me crazy and yet so crazy thankful for good teachers. They can make a world of difference in such a broken system.

HEBREWS 1:
Lots of kids in bed with us and two are tossing and turning, talking and crying in their sleep.

Think I'm done for the day. Spent more time in 2 Kings today. Love that book! This verse struck me the most in this chapter of Hebrews.

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3 NIV84)

This is just simply beautiful to me. Other than a few verses this chapter didn't really connect with me. Probably because in the back of my mind I'm thinking duh of course Jesus is better than the angels. A lot of people even today don't know this though. They worship the messenger instead of the God behind the message. After reading commentary about the why of this chapter it makes a lot more sense.

D

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

DAY 778: Random 1 & 2 Kings

This will be short tonight as I have a testimony to prepare for tomorrow for Shelter. Last time I spoke I almost had a panic attack on stage. Generally I feel rather comfortable speaking in front of others and my overall prep generally reflects that. Going to try to go in more prepared this time in hopes of avoiding another near meltdown.

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Well, it's 10 now so not looking so good to knock out a polished package. Eh, that's so not my style anyway. Leaves little room for all that God would have me to say.

Okay, moving on. I'm trying to give up complaining. I've heard others say this and it sounded kinda hokey to me. I don't know how I'll survive without complaining about pollen and my exhaustion. Speaking of complaining I woke up with a demonic headache this morning. Felt sorry for myself about having to battle a sink full of dishes this morning. I feel so incredibly lame even writing that. There is so much to give thanks for in a sink full of dirty dishes.

I was convicted tonight during worship about my selfish condition. In some ways my selfishness is about self preservation. I see my list of to do's and the limited amount of time and energy i have everyday. Its all about me, myself and I. How can I get it all done? Tonight I go back to the widow who daily had to pour out all the oil and flour she had in order for God to put more in. He knows everything. He knows what I need, He knows what I lack and even better still, He cares. He beckons me every single day to come and find rest. He's willing to help make my burden light. Yet still most often I would rather operate out of self reliance. I choose to trust myself rather than place my trust in God. My struggle with self reliance is going to tank me. He loves me enough to place me in situations where I have no other choice but to rely on Him.

The other thing that has been on my heart today is how my contentment often is tied to my circumstances. Paul was such a huge proponent of learning how to be content in all circumstances. Often he said give thanks in any and all circumstances. This is where my desire to stop complaining comes in. If I'm complaining then I can't possibly be giving thanks. If I can learn to curb the complaints that run through my mind and often come out of my mouth then surely the giving thanks part will be the easier thing to master.

D

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

DAY 778: PHILEMON

So tired from my sweet B's night time bonding sessions but incredibly filled up tonight. In the home of friends watching their boys. Encouraged by this family that loves God and is striving to keep their marraige at the forefront and build into their three boys. They will grow up to be godly arrows one day.

Fun time last night with my hubster. More blessed by this date swapping then I had ever imagined. So thankful for a marraige filled with laughter even in the midst of disappointment and frustration. I truly am blessed beyond measure.

Abbie got the training wheels taken off her bike today. It's awesome to be able to celebrate firsts with my Brownies. That girl has so much fight and spunk. It's not always easy being on the receiving end of the fight but I know that God has such great plans for my sweet girl. Oh how He has used her fire to refine me in the process. He is so very good that way.

Went to the grocery store solo today. What a rare and wonderful treat. While there I found it hard not to fight messages of shame and guilt. Sounds weird at a grocery store but it's not for me. I feel like I should be able to figure out this meal thing better. I should be able to feed our family consistently, get to the grocery store and be able to find the best possible deals around. I fall short of the expectations I set for myself and it seems like everybody else has this thing figured out but me. Instead of keeping the focus on me I turned it back to the One who made me. I asked Him to help. To teach me. To train me. To help me be a good steward of all He has blessed me with. He is so ever faithful and I am confident that I am a work in progress even in this area. He has us in His hands and He will not leave us or forsake us. He has yet to drop us.

Last night Les and I talked about how our journey through life together has not been easy. There have been lots of obstacles and hiccups along the way yet God has used every single one to grow us and draw us closer together. He is a great and mighty God. His love endures forever and God's faithfulness never ceases.

Back at the store. Going alone was just that great. I has eyes to see today. I saw a new mom struggle with her new itty bitty. In her struggle she called him a monster. My heart broke for her. She has bought the lie that children should be easy. This could not be further from the truth. Who gets that more than our Heavenly Father? We are all such pains and cause Him much heartache but He loves us like crazy mad and He knows the joy of watching His children choose truth and walk in the light.

Philemon:
to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home: (Philemon 1:2 NIV84)

I might be crazy but I am drawn to the idea of a house church. There is something gritty about it that is really drawing to me. Maybe I'm just itching for a church plant experience. Keep trying to figure out how to get something rocking and rolling on our street. I really wish our family had a partner in crime. I'm so not the best organizer and event planner. I'm sure if we just rocked out our fire pit this fall they would come out of the woodwork.

This verse is interesting to me.
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. (Philemon 1:6 NIV84)

It's almost two fold to me. If you are not sharing your faith do you really have a full understanding of the goodness of Christ? When we step out in faith and are obedient we only get to experience the fullness of Christ all the more. It's greatness how that works.

Another great example of Paul's love for others here.

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 1:7 NIV84)

Love this and thankful
I get it. There is not much that is more encouraging than hearing of other brothers and sisters who are willing to pursue Christ with every thing they have. I get fired up when people are willing to take the hard road of picking up their cross and following Christ. There is a battle being waged every day. I find much encouragement in hearing about fellow soldiers taking ground.

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul–an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus– (Philemon 1:8, 9 NIV84)

I love Paul's boldness and yet sensitivity to the situation. He is not afraid to love enough to give faithful wounds of a friend. Paul knows very well who his master is and who he is a slave to. He has chosen to no longer handle things in ways he once would have only embracing justice and truth. Rather he walks the path with justice and love. To just embrace love and abandon justice and truth is no better than abandoning love for the sole purpose of justice.

no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. (Philemon 1:16 NIV84)

I love this verse. It's beautiful to me. It's also a reminder that God is in the middle of all circumstances. He uses everything to prosper us and those around us. We have no cause to fear for God is the author and perfecter of all the details. Oh the beautiful story He weaves into the lives of those who love and serve Him. What a shame that those who don't know Him miss out on being apart of something wonderful.

If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. (Philemon 1:18 NIV84)

This kills me. This is exactly what Christ did for us. He paid the price for everything that we owed. May I be willing to pay a price so that others may come to know Him.

I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back–not to mention that you owe me your very self. (Philemon 1:19 NIV84)

This is bold. Paul is constantly sharpening and challenging to grow. He urges Philemon not to get hung up on the debt owed but instead to remember his own debt that was paid. So crazy convicting. It is so easy to get hung up on how others have wronged us and hurt us. When we take a step back and remember that often we too our sinful and yet we are not held to the same standards and are slapped with the same type of retribution that we often yearn for ourselves. I am the man whose vast debt was forgiven but who often refuses to extend the same kind of grace to others for much less than what I owe.

On this note I'm over and out for the evening.

D






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Friday, September 21, 2012

DAY 776: Philemon

Checking the box today. Love this chapter though. Will be back to dive in deep tomorrow. Date with my hubster tonight. So thankful for the couple we are date swapping with. I am so lazy and comfortable in my marriage. I'm exhausted from a baby who was up a lot last night and who refused to get off her human pacifier. If it wasn't for the other couple and their wisdom to pursue each other and date each other tonight would not be happening. I pray I continue to grow to be a blessing of a wife and raise my priority of pouring into my husband and pursuing the amazing man I married. I'm lazy and am easily lulled into a rut of comfort.

D

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

DAY 775:TITUS 3

Struggling today with feeling like a world class loser. It feels as if I can't do anything right today. I'm cantankerous today too so that is not helping a thing. There is a choice to be made today. I can wallow in shame and guilt or cling to truth about who I am. Thankful that tomorrow is another day with new and fresh possibilities.

Today just started off catawhompus. I didn't clean the kitchen last night so I started off ten steps behind. I tried but I could not fall into a grove to save my life. I wasn't yielded to God and what He would have me do of my day either. The little bits were crab cakes all day too which grated against my flesh all day. The grating is so hard yet can produce such beauty in the long run if you are willing to lean in. There was no leaning in from me today just distraction around every corner. The hardest part is that it feels like the rebellious part of me is in full affect. I'm prideful and I so don't want to read the bible today. The searing conviction that it might cause seems almost like too much. I'm so prone to wander. It's interesting to have days like this compared to the days I get flushed and fired up about God and His Word. It's almost like being Jeckle and Hyde. Now I'm rambling because I don't want to have to try to dig into Titus 3. I can not wait till I no longer have to battle the raging war of hell and can be face to face with my Savior Jesus.

It's days like this that the beast wants me to focus on myself and my long list of shortcomings instead of focusing on what Jesus has done for me. Just the shifting of focus right now melts and changes an ornery heart like mine instantly. Fight the lie and seize the amazing grace. Oh sweet precious amazing grace. It never disappoints.

TITUS 3:
When I first read this today I was not ready to swallow it but by grace now I am.

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (Titus 3:1, 2 NIV84)

Be ready to do whatever is good. The whatever part is wrecking me right now. I've been so caught up in the doldrums today. Maybe the talk of house keepers last night planted an evil seed to grow for today into the fruit of discontentment. It didn't feel like discontentment in the moment but looking back my internal grumblings and the feeling of being swallowed up by the daily grind really is just symptoms of discontentment. I should be content whether or not I'm caught up or behind on laundry. I should be content no matter how far behind everything in BrownTown appears to be. I should embrace work with joy. I should be ready not just to do good but whatever is good. I like doing the good that I like to do. Not all good is our favorite thing but I should do it anyway and I should do it with a happy heart. Sweet beautiful conviction. Ouch.

Slander no one. It feels so gross to admit that I do this. In my pride and insecurity I think better of myself or fail to extend the same grace that is daily extended to me. Really started to get more and more the evils of what nonprofitable speech can be. I am so guilty of it. Bleh! It's very obvious why my flesh was rebelling against the heart surgery tonight.

It's funny how different shame is compared to being convicted. Shame tells me that I am bad and unloveable. Where as conviction tells me I do things that are bad and yet I'm still loved. Conviction stings but it does not condemn or overwhelm instead it brings beautiful brokenness and awe of a crazy God who loves despite all the mess. Before I made one attempt to become aiming sacrifice He pursued me like crazy. Mind blowing.

If anyone thinks there is not a spiritual battle that keeps us from reading God's word they are in the dark. There is life, love and joy to be found here every single day. It builds up and makes strong. It sharpens the weapons of war and clears and renews the mind. So crazy thankful for this time everyday even when I'm not in the moment. Thank you friends for allowing me to fill up your inboxes daily. I need accountability. It is each of you who help raise up my arms when I'm weak and help keep me coming back day after day. Words can not express my gratitude for each of you.

D

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DAY 775: TITUS 3

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DAY 774: TITUS 2

Great day filled with friends new and old alike. Morning spent at the park on a crazy beautiful day praying, talking about God and hunting for tadpoles. Date with my girls and later a girls night filled with inspiring stories. Stories that make we want to get crazy radical. But even more so stories that remind me of the great lengths God goes to rescue us. He loves us so incredibly much. I know this but often forget this wonderful and amazing fact. Thankful for today and for tonight. Friendships are such a sweet blessing from the Lord.

TITUS 2:
In this chapter Paul instructs Titus on how to teach men and women young and old. It's interesting how often the words self control come up. It can be so incredibly difficult to be self controlled.

I don't know why but I was encouraged by this verse.

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, (Titus 2:4 NIV84)

It seems like it should come naturally to be a good and loving wife and mother but it's not. We are naturally inclined to selfishness so truly loving and putting others first is hard. A dying to self occurs when we consider others greater than ourselves and we must be trained how to do it.

I think these verses are interesting.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self‑controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, (Titus 2:11, 12 NIV84)

Its grace that teaches us to say no to ungodliness. This almost seems paradoxical to me. We sin and fall short of God's glory. God extends grace and it's the very grace that covers our sin that helps us to say no to ungodliness. Crazy! This leads me to believe that if we don't fully grasp the grace that extends to us then our ability to say no is not very high. Likewise the more we fully understand all that God's grace encompasses the more our ability to say no to ungodliness. It's beautiful.

With this last verse is my prayer for today.

and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. (Titus 2:10 NIV84)

Father may I fully grasp your sweet amazing grace so that I may say no more and more often to godliness so that I may in every way make the teaching of you God, my Savior, more attractive.

D

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DAY 773: TITUS 1

Abbie got her first library card today. She looked so big today prancing around the aisles of the library with her book bag slung around her shoulder and her red wallet in her hands. I don't know how it happened so fast but she's gone and grown up to be a big kid. I'm going to loose it when she finally looses that slightly wiggly tooth in her mouth. She might loose it if Paul's wiggly tooth comes out before hers. Love this crazy crew.

Trying to be more laid back with school and not so curriculum focused. My kids kinda really like the curriculum though so I'll stick with it. Ditching the formal science and history and just reading like crazy and it's fun to see how much more they are picking up. They are like sponges.

TITUS 1:
Before I get started on Titus the verse of the day caught my eye.

"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. (Jonah 2:8 NIV84)

This is a beautiful reminder of what is lost when idols remain in our lives.

The first chapter in Titus is strong. Qualifications for an elder and a charge to keep doctrine true. Eyes don't want to stay open..


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Monday, September 17, 2012

DAY 772: 2 TIMOTHY 4

This will be short. Les and I tired from Baby Brownies gone wild last night. I want to whine and complain about going on week three of this crazy virus but tonight my thoughts drift to a little girl Abbie's age in the hospital. Her parents would give anything for their precious girl just to have a run of the mill virus. My heart breaks for them.

Yesterday my daughter flipped through a World Magazine that I had gotten at a conference the day before. It held pictures of people caught in the ravages of war. Her heart broke over the pictures and my heart broke over my constant lack of gratitude. I truly want to give up complaining. It does nothing but put myself at the center of the universe.

2 TIM 4:
I really like this chapter. Again I am struck by Paul's love for Timothy. He's such a truth slinger yet he loves deep and I can imagine him crying as he thinks upon his brothers and sisters in Christ. Going to hit this again tomorrow. Want to spend some time with my exhausted hubster before he crashes.

D

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

DAY 771: PSALM 100

I don't know what crazy virus we caught but it's working it's way through our crew again! The timing of relapse is pretty uncanny so I think it's the same bug that went dormant and then reared it's ugly head again. I feel way better today and after looking back on my most recent posts I think I've had the kid funk just without the fever. Feels good to actually have some energy and not just drag myself from place to place. It's funny sometimes how you don't even realize how bad you feel until you feel better. Makes me think about what it's like to be caught up slowly in sin. You don't even realize how deep in it you are till you are drowning.

Thankful for the renewed energy today. Bella was up early this morning and I was up late researching and trying to figure out what Monday is going to look like. Feeling really good about scrapping my original plan and taking a different approach. My excitement grew today as I pulled book after book at the library. My kids were excited to see the new treasures I brought home. They love books. I'd be a fool not to cultivate that love and help inspire awe in their developing minds of all that God has created and the beautiful story He's been writing since the beginning of time. Fired up and so thankful to be on this journey.

PSALM 100:
This is a feel good Psalm. I can't help but think about how great heaven will be someday.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. (Psalm 100:1 NIV84)

This will happen one day. Although not everyone will be shouting for joy. Yesterday the speaker said that our children are the only treasure here on earth that we can take with us. This is such beautiful perspective and yet we aren't guaranteed that this will be true. Like Todd said the other day I pray Les and I are an on ramp to Christ as opposed to a great chasm for our children. May they fully understand the great reason to shout for joy to God.

All five verses of this Psalm are pretty killer. As I just wrote I pray my kids get this Psalm and it resonates deep in their precious souls.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4 NIV84)

I'm convicted with this verse. Enter His courts with thanksgiving and praise. I am surrounded by an over abundance of blessing. I don't even think twice about it. It bothers me when my children feel entitled to things and lack gratitude for all they have. It really bothers me yet I am the same way. I am the entitled child and I grumble and complain often and expect that things go my way and that things are easy. I do not enter His courts with thanksgiving often enough. Instead I enter them with request after request with arms open wide to receive more and more. God give me more patience, God change this and change that. God help me! He is so faithful to listen but if only I would stop acting like an entitled brat and humbly approach His throne with mere thanksgiving. Instead I feel like I deserve a smooth ride and the upmost comfort. God give me eyes to see you blessing. The affluence is blinding and I covet and crave comfort over you. Change my heart. You gave it all for me may my lips never stop singing your praise.

D

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

DAY 770: PSALM 1

Homeschool conference today. Slightly flipped upside down. I had my plan and was working the plan but today that kinda got thrown out the window. I'm thankful but at the same time rather nervous about whether or not I'll have the boldness to homeschool out of the school box, especially where we live. For selfish reasons I find much comfort in the canned curriculum. My kids are frankly doing pretty well at it too. The real question though is do they love it. I want my kids to love learning, not performing but truly learning. Oddly enough what I'm learning now is what I learned in my child development classes in college. It always seemed strange to me that what young kids are required to do now in public school is contrary to how children actually develop. I've got a lot to research and think about. Either way I'm chomping at the bit to run to the library and strangely growing excitement over bucking the system.

PSALM 1:
Short but sweet Psalm tonight. Thankful for the brevity as my mind is spinning a bit.

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. (Psalm 1:1 NIV84)

I can't help but think of a friend that allowed worldly friends have influence and speak into her life. Her desire to have impact amongst the unchurched actually had the opposite effect. There's nothing wrong with being salt and light in a dark world and making friends outside the holy huddle. However, when those outside the holy huddle begin to be the ones who speak into our lives eventually we too will be sunk.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2 NIV84)

This is a great verse when wanting to check my heart on where I'm holding God as priority in my life. Am I meditating on Him and His word day and night or do I just think about Him when it's time to check off another day? At times He is at the forefront of my thoughts and other days I'll go all day operating out of my own strength without even giving God a thought. These are the days I get swept away by the busyness and the days that I forget who I am and why I was created. I pray that these days would become fewer and far between.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3 NIV84)

What a beautiful picture of a life with Christ. I pray my own life would be marked by this illustration.

On another note, I must confess that today I held back the name of Christ in order to not offend. There was a Jewish woman who joined us at lunch and I was going to say how children help grow us to become more like Christ but I stopped myself and said God instead. I realized what I did and then said Christ really quick but it is very innate in me not to offend with my "religion". I'm saddened by behavior but thankful for a realistic glance into my heart. So thankful He is faithful even when I'm not. I continue to pray for boldness which I do obvious continue to lack.

D

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Friday, September 14, 2012

DAY 769: 2 TIM 3

I'm so crazy tired. It takes way too much energy to be hyperactive like I am. Took the three smallest to the dr today. A lady I met gasped at how full my hands were. I told her this was only half of them. She carried on and on about it and seemed shocked when I said they were a blessing. So sad how low on the totem pole children can be. Yes they are insanely exhausting and it is hard being a parent. Who cares? Kids by far are one of the best blessings out there. As far as I'm concerned they rank as number 3 on my list. Sweet little muffin most probably has a sinus infection caused by her latest kid funk. Looking forward to her feeling better.

Despite the continuing weary bones syndrome today was a much better day. I'm too tired to be angry or sad and I was relieved when at one point today we were all laughing at the silliness of our kids. Somehow we started off naming future Brownies and of course the wheels flew wonderfully off. It felt so good to just be plain silly and laugh today. Silliness is one of the things BrownTown does best.

2 TIM 3:
This chapter starts out describing the godlessness of people in the final days. It's not a pretty picture. I feel as if people have been like this from the very beginning. If things are to amp up towards the end then I can't even imagine what these verses brought to full fruition will look like. I shudder at the thought.

This upcoming verse is perfect for sharpening my comfort living self.

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV84)

Interesting how Paul doesn't write that some people who want to live a godly life with Christ but rather he wrote EVERYONE will be persecuted. There is most definitely a cost to following Christ. The reward far exceeds the price but if you don't truly know Him it's impossible to know this.

Slightly mailing it in tonight since I can't seem to get my brain to fully cooperate. I'll end on the last two verses in the chapter.

All Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV84)

The very last verse is such encouraging news. All scripture is useful so that we may be equipped for every good work. I so want to be equipped for every good work!

D



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Thursday, September 13, 2012

DAY 768: 2 TIM 2

I am so incredibly spent. My fake period is back. I'm crampy and utterly exhausted. I feel like I'm walking in mud this week. School has been wheels off this week too. We got all the basics done but didn't get to all the fun stuff. Hoping I get some energy back next week, kids stop walking on the wild side and things are just calmer around here next week.

I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster this week. It's exhausting having to sort through everything. I want to scream at somebody, punch something and then go cry over a bowl of ice cream. Today this feels like a beating too. I desperately want to click my brain off and escape. That is so not the attitude to have which is why this is exactly what I need to be doing.

Been thinking about the different spiritual disciplines. Reading God's Word, solitude, praying, fasting, and scripture memory. I got one going on but the rest are down the tubes. I need to go back to fasting from something. There is much beauty in denying self. I should go back to abstaining from sugary treats. The year I kicked that to the curb was such a sweet time with God. So convicted yet so don't want to give up comfort. I need to give myself a deadline now or else I won't do it. Starting Monday after my fake period is over my ice cream idol is going out the door. Boo! Once the shakes from sugar detox are over it will be time to attack something else. I want to eat and breath Jesus.

2 TIM 2 (14-26):
This so isn't what I wanted to read tonight. Right now I keep thinking of what my hubster said last night. We were talking about finding contentment in all things and giving thanks in all circumstances. I laughed out loud when he said he would rather be pissed in all circumstances. That is so how I feel tonight. The idea of being quiet in spirit and filled with grace and peace is completely contrary to how my raging flesh feels tonight. I want to complain and be quarrelsome. You those cartoons where the devil appears on one side of the shoulder and an angel on the other? Well I feel like my devil tied up my angel. This soldier is tired tonight and instead of jumping into the battle tonight all I want to do is sit on the sidelines.

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. (2 Timothy 2:14 NIV84)

Boo! I so get it though and whether I like it or not I needed to read this today. Quarreling words ruin those who listen. That's crazy strong and a reminder of why we are to cloth ourselves with love, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control.

This is my favorite verse tonight.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. (2 Timothy 2:16 NIV84)

I feel like my mouth can be a well spring of mindless chatter at times. I say things that people remember that I don't even remember saying. Some things are good and encouraging (thankfully) but I know there is lots of other goo that can come rolling so easily off my tongue. I do want to be a woman who becomes slower to speak and quick to listen.

There is much goodness in the latter half of this chapter but sadly I just can't push past my flesh tonight.

D

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAY 767: 2 TIM 2 (1-13)

Still mourning over our CG. Pretty confident I'll be sad for awhile. Love those families. Again I am struck by how thankful I am that this parting is such a sweet sorrow. Unexpectedly I feel a certain loss of security. It's as if I removed training wheels and I'm riding a bike solo for the first time. There is beautiful security in being bound together with a group of others. As Little Miss Waiting for the Bottom to Fall Out my thoughts this morning were of wondering who would surround us and support us if something horrible happened. If nobody is obligated to be there would anybody come? My mind drifted back to the people who were in my home the night Bella was born. One to take pictures but more importantly offer friendship and two to help with the other Brownies. One even did our dishes an hour after Bella was born and cried tears of celebration with us. None were bound to come yet did anyway. The same still holds true of the families we did life together. I never felt obligated but would have and still would show up because I love them.

My son wrote "I love you" in a card to one of his best friends in the whole wide world. It was super sweet but the sad thing is that I almost stopped him to suggest a simple happy birthday instead. I'm glad I didn't because as he continued to ask me how to spell his message I was completely floored by the rest of it. The kid loves passionately and there is no hint of self protecting as he loves whole heartedly. I'm sharpened by him as I long to love in complete freedom without a hint of self protection or walls. I've come a long way but there is still much work to be done.

2 TIM 2:
Right out of the gate, BOOM!

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1 NIV84)

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Be strong in grace when the devil tries to attack you with shame, guilt and comparison. Be strong in grace when others hurt you, disappoint you, anger you or sin against you. Be strong in grace. Love this!

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3 NIV84)

We truly are solders. We are constantly in battle. A war is waged daily to rob, kill, steal and destroy. Will we take thought after thought and hold them in full submission to Christ? Will we choose contentment and joy in all circumstances? Will we offer up our integrity for a fleeting moment or at cheap cost? The battles rages on constantly.

Tonight I was exhausted and the thought of making dinner seemed like too much. I caught myself in mid complaint and thought really? I'm going to complain about having to make dinner. People around the world will die tonight because there was no dinner night after night. He comes in like a thief. He tries to keep our eyes blind to the abundant blessing and then hits us over the head with discontentment. Be on your guard, he's prowling around trying to take you down. Will you choose to be a good soldier of Christ today? Often I'm mediocre at best. This is why I must continually train. A soldier does not stay at the top of their game without constantly working on it.

This verse stopped me in my tracks.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:10 NIV84)

This is crazy beautiful and it's crazy sharpening. Am I will to endure everything for the salvation of the elect? I am so far from this and it's sad. I pray to become more like my daughter on this one. She'd be fine inviting everyone we meet to our church. Often I'm too lazy to even strike up a conversation. I feel as if I deserve down time and can justify never saying a word to that other mom on the park bench. Opportunity is everywhere if I'm willing to seize it. I pray that I might begin to love as boldly and as passionately as Paul did.

D



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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DAY 766: 2 TIMOTHY 1

Tonight was such a bitter sweet night. We "broke up" with our community group tonight. As we had them over I really wanted to abandon ship and figure out how to make it work really well. The truth is life stage changes everything. It's a change that started with friends last year and has changed even more this year. It's so incredibly bitter sweet. Sad that relationships have to change but sweet that just because it looks different doesn't mean a friendship is lost. I truly love the two families that we have done community with for almost four years and there is great loss at no longer being "official" community with them. So thankful that my true community and family is not just defined by an official group. Also thankful for friends who can make jokes and who i can laugh with in the midst of sadness. That's the kind of blessing of friendship that does not always grow in abundance. Thankful.

After the full weight of sadness over tonight sinks in and the hub bub of the past week I feel emotionally spent. Looking forward to taking Benadryl to help knock out this sinus/cold funk and falling asleep and possibly crying over a bowl of ice cream.

2 TIMOTHY 1:
Paul gets me every time with his openings.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, (2 Timothy 1:1 NIV84)

He writes who he is, why he is that and why it even matters. Paul has made Christ the cornerstone of everything he does. I doubt Paul as he left a group of people he loved decide to emotionally eat a bowl of ice cream to feel better. I feel instead his response would be more along the lines of this. God thank you for these brothers and sisters in Christ. They have been a source of blessing and encouragement and I thank you God every time I think of them. It is for our great love of you that you have formed such a deep friendship between us and it is because if you that we shall always remain friends and an encouragement to one another.

Okay so clearly Paul's way of viewing the world is much better than ice cream. I don't even think I want that ice cream now.

Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. (2 Timothy 1:4 NIV84)

As I read passages like this over and over in Paul's letters it finally occurred to me that Paul was able to love people so much because he did not self protect. I have lived a lifetime of self protecting. All that truly does is keep me from loving others to the fullest and allowing others to love me.

And that is all I got in the tank tonight. I shall return mañana.

D

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Monday, September 10, 2012

DAY 765: 1 TIMOTHY 6

For those who have seen the Lorax, at this moment I believe I would gladly pack my bags for Sneadville if I could rid myself of pollen forever. I can not wait till winter kills off everything green. Maybe this becomes the year that changes my love for Spring and Summer forever. Enough whining and complaining. I'm thankful that this season of feeling run down has caused me to lean into the Lord more. Anything that will help being this stubborn self reliant gal closer towards her Maker is a blessing even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

I got to talk to a sweet girl I adore last night thanks to some of my careless words. I'm so incredibly proud of her for asking me what I meant. I'm reminded in this situation number one that words have much power to build up as well as tear. Number two that Satan loves to reign in my thought life. This verse has really come to life for me.

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 had no idea how much chaos went on in my head on a daily basis till God really began to restore and remove it. Still it's a battle to take EVERY thought captive and make it OBEDIENT to Christ. Do much of my thought life isn't obedient and it dishonors the ones that I love. I think I have lived under the pretense that if it wasn't coming out of my mouth then surely I was in the clear. If I'm dwelling on things that are not above then it's impossible for it not to eventually effect my actions.

The thing that most definitely sticks out the most in this area right now are thoughts that honor and respect my husband. I don't have disrespect in the grand scheme of things but when I nitpick in my head or if I'm frustrated over ways that I feel I should be served and I'm not that's equally as toxic. I either need to clearly communicate needs, wants or expectations or point a big fat finger at myself. The truth is I am selfish through and through. I had the blessing of meeting with a woman who I've always looked up to. The respect and admiration she has for her husband is inspiring to me. I look at her and get a picture of what it's like to a woman behind a great man. A woman isn't needed to make a man great but if she completes her husband in the way God designed it seems that it would almost be impossible for him not to be great. I was struck by how in our time together how much she strives to do things that are a blessing to her husband. She actively seeks things out that she knows will bless him. I've asked on occasion how I could bless Les (okay maybe three times) but most often I look more for ways that he could bless me. I'm really saddened by that. I know that I'm a selfish beast but I think I've been giving myself more credit than I deserve. I really have gotten the priority of things in my life out of order. I'd like to say I've only messed up by ordering my kids ahead of Les. If I'm really being honest I've probably ordered things more like this. 1. God 2. Kids 3. Self 4. Les If I'm really being honest I'm sure often self comes at the top. This is a painful glimpse. I think what this really boils down to is believing the lie that marriage is supposed to make me happy instead of holy.

Here is a perfect example of placing self first, our bathroom. Our bathroom is so WT dirty that it's incredibly embarrassing. How did it get that way? Since guests don't use our bathroom it's one of the last things to ever get clean. Then it gets so gross that the thought of cleaning it makes me want to gag. I'm getting real and personal now people. Then it becomes an area of selfishness and pride. I start thinking about how much it would bless me if Les would clean that bathroom. Do I ever mention this? No. Then it becomes a pissing contest in my head. Who can go the longest in our most awful disgusting bathroom without breaking down to clean it? Did I mention that I'm incredibly stubborn and a bit competitive?

I have a dirty disgusting selfish and self seeking bathroom in my marriage that I have to clean. If I don't I won't ever become the helpmate suitable that I so desire to be for my husband. I'm sad that the idea of being a helpmate has been so distasteful to me for so long. I've had to get over much more man hate than I ever dreamed I had.

1 TIM 6:
This chapter is strong. Starts off with an instruction to slaves to serve their masters well. It would be easy to overlook these verses since I don't even currently have a boss to work hard for and serve. However, do I serve in my domestic domain well? Do I serve wholeheartedly with joy and thanksgiving or do I approach it as drudgery? That question seems almost silly. Of course I treat it more like its drudgery instead of tackling the never ending laundry, dishes and mess with joy and thanksgiving. This is such a miss. There is so many things to give thanks about in the never ending chores. To find joy in the simplest of tasks would be evidence of a life surrendered wholeheartedly to Christ.

D



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Sunday, September 09, 2012

DAY 764: PSALM 101

Have that an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It reminds me of the feeling I'd get growing up when I knew I was totally busted. I thankfully have nothing to hide. Pretty sure it's the unsettled feeling that's been floating around the past several days. I have added to things a bit and sent an email off requesting to get together with a certain gal. She has been on my heart for years and often I'd hoped for a few moments along to talk about parts of her story that never sat right with me. I think my uneasiness stems from the thought of that upcoming conversation. How do you say to someone that the guilt they have been holding onto for almost a lifetime was never theirs to hold? It's easy when it's a close friend but different when it's someone you love but whose path rarely crosses your own.

There is so much to process i feel after this weekend and I'm sure in the upcoming weeks. I know I continue to be vague but not everything is fully my story to tell. Yesterday felt like such an incredible victory for so many reasons and today I'm left with a funk and a state of confusion and lack of direction. I keep thinking of a precious girl I love right now and in her words I feel a little bipolar right now. It feels as if a new season could be dawning. I pray I handle it with much grace, love and wisdom.

Luke started running a fever today and I will admit my lack of integrity in hoping to be able to slide him in at church anyway. The reason points to my desire to people please. This is the second Sunday in a row that I have had to bow out of serving. It's still painfully clear that I am still a complete mess in need of transformation.

Speaking of integrity, my girl wowed me today. There has been much jealousy over a paintable alligator that Paul got from a neighbor. There has been sneaking, nagging and manipulating around this alligator. My son finally consented to handing over this prized alligator to my daughter. I talked to her and suggested that she think about whether or not claiming the alligator as hers was worth it. She grumbled off and later came back tearful. She knew the right thing was to give up the alligator because her heart was not in the right place. She cried over the difficulty of having to give it up but knowing that's what she needed to do. It lead to great talking points. I totally agree with her though, it is hard giving up something we want, desire or want to avoid in order to do the right thing. Following Christ is not the easy road. With death comes much discomfort and pain but with it comes joy and freedom. There's always a cost to freedom.

PSALM 101:
First verse in and I discovered something.

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise. (Psalm 101:1 NIV84)

I'm kinda hacked at God right now. I realize how ridiculous this is. My frustration has everything to do with lack of control and believing the lie that I deserve to be happy and things should be easy. Even more than that I feel helpless. There's nothing I can do to be proactive and fix things. All I can do is be quiet and still and know that God is God. This is probably one of the hardest if not the hardest things to do. Be quiet and still. I think I've lived three lifetimes just based on the amount of busyness and noise I've chosen to put into my life over the years. It feels good to have broken free from some of it. I'm still busy but I don't think it's for the same reasons necessarily. There was a time in my life when being quiet and still seemed like such a horrible proposition. To be left with nothing but myself and my junk seemed too much to bear. I was so enslaved that I couldn't even get to the best part of the quiet and still which is God. I'm just rambling. I think the bottom line is that it just stinks to watch someone be in it and there's nothing you can do.

D

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Saturday, September 08, 2012

DAY 763: 1 TIM 5

Number one: Satan is a bastard. Number two: the only way to defeat bastard Satan is to bring things into the light. Number three: I really like the word bastard. Number four: some old habits like cussing die hard.

It's funny how much difference some sleep and a day can make. Woke up with the nonstop headache still throbbing. I think I'm on day number four of perma headache. I'm so over it. The beast just will not die. Consequently the kids have watched a lot of tv lately. Hopefully their precious little eyes won't melt out of their sockets. Besides the ax in my face it was a good day. Got to see a dear friend and her sweet kids this morning who were passing through town. I could chat with her all day and unpack our souls. I look forward to heaven when all the small talk is removed and there is time upon time to talk about well I guess God. With our junk removed I guess we'll be able to just get down to the good stuff, God. Thankful for the women in my life who I can bear my soul with and who endure my sometimes endless probing questions.

Gotta get this done so I can spent time with my hubs. Lots of miscommunication corrected today. Hate the emotional roller coaster I was on yesterday but I'm again reminded how powerful bringing things into the light and going to the source can be. Satan loves to mess with our heads. He can't if we are wiling to bring it out into the light. The punk tried to mess with me this morning as I was tired and frustrated with more sinus aches. I can not express enough how being in the word daily has transformed the chaos in my head to His gentle leading to die to self. I have so much more peace than I did when chaos reigned my thought life. Even last night before everything was brought out I went to bed tearful that I could find joy in the midst of sadness and frustration. God has become a rock like no other. Grateful and willing to lay it all down.

D


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Friday, September 07, 2012

DAY 762: 1 TIM 4

Not much sleep last night and sinuses still kicking. Going to get crazy and go Paleo. I'm hoping staying dairy and gluten free might offer me some relief. The only logical thing to do in the meantime is to eat as much ice cream this weekend as I possibly can. Excited!

I'm so sad today. The Nest was a beautiful thing today. Body of Christ working together to accomplish kingdom goals. In the midst of it I couldn't help but feel like an era is ending. I know not to put too much stock in how I feel as feelings often are not grounded in truth. Yet I know that this is a likely possibility. This has not be an easy era. There has been much pain in busting up old broken foundation but much joy in finding freedom. I'm so incredibly thankful. Trying hard to take thoughts captive and not go down paths that would delight the flesh. I'm sad but I know that my God is a God of details. He knew this crossroad would appear. I pray for clarity, wisdom, and for a quiet and gentle spirit through the upcoming weeks.

I'm confused and heartbroken over certain things today. I know I'm being so cryptic but I know in perfect time it will no longer appear that way. I feel like God has blessed us with this amazing crew. In the past several weeks I have never felt more confident that I was created to be the momma of many. I take great delight in my blessings. Yet I'm left wondering if somehow we are a trainwreck and completely unaware of it. Again I am trying to take thoughts captive and not go down rabbit trails that lead to prideful insecurity. Train wreck or not I am still the daughter of the King of Kings. I am His and more and more I find much security in that fact. Frankly it doesn't matter what others think. Yet my heart and desire is for people to know how much of a blessing children are and it's heartbreaking if our family communicates the contrary. Yes there is chaos that follows us at times but my hope is that people see the beauty in the controlled chaos. To think that we are just a walking mess and don't know it is hard to swallow. I know I'm a mess and I am completely open to God continuing to break my heart over my sinful condition. I don't know. Maybe if we are a huge mess and come across that way I fear that some of what I have come to believe about God is wrong. This in some ways is the most heartbreaking thing of it all.

Think my sweet little muffin has an ear infection. Hoping we can lick it homeopathic style. Our other little sick Brownie is back to his usual self. Thankful. Little dude was a sad sight. Still looks like sleep could very well be spotty again tonight. Bring on winter!

1 TIM 4:
I'm falling flat again tonight. The passion is depleted tonight. I do find much hope and comfort in this verse.

(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10 NIV84)

D

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Thursday, September 06, 2012

DAY 561: 1 TIM 4

Feel like throwing up. Feel so defeated and confused tonight. Things are just not adding up right in my head. A + B = C right? I know this is so not how God's economy works but I still feel so blindsided right now. I don't get it. Yet I know that God is so incredibly good and I trust that His ways and His plans are so much better than mine. My hope does not lie in circumstances but rather my hope lies in Christ. I have so much to be thankful for. So tonight I choose to embrace Romans 8:28 and pray that God will create in me a helpmate suitable. I'm nursing the sweet living gift that reminds me often that God's plan is always the best plan. In my flesh I can't ignore the fact that there were 9 months of growing pains till our blessing arrived and my eyes were opened to the bigger picture. May I gracefully live out James 1:2-4 and truly learn to love and die to self.

1 TIM 4:
Great chapter. I want to dive in but can't focus tonight. Will take a second pass at it tomorrow.

D

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

DAY 560: 1 TIM 3

This will be quick. Don't want to check the box but want to have this done before tonight so that I might love my family well. Brutal sinus headache today coupled with lack of sleep from an early morning Rockstar has left me a mess. I realize that I use exhaustion as an excuse to be unloving. Instead of trying to fight the good fight out of God's strength I get stuck in self reliance and fail miserably.

God keeps shedding light on my lack of submission, respect, ect to Les. It mostly consists of pride, selfishness and placing myself and the kids before my hubster. I can find a million reasons to justify my attitude and behavior but I've sinned towards my husband. I've failed to be a helpmate suitable and more importantly love him the way I should. I fear I've bought into the lie that marriage is about making me happy. If I uphold this as truth selfishness reigns and I cheapen the beauty that God designed for marriage. I want to dig in and grow to be the wife God has called me to be. Nobody can be a helpmate the same way that I can be for Les. I want to be a completer not a depleter.

D

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

DAY 559: 1 TIMOTHY 2

Still feeling off. Feel like I have another sinus infection with my ear close behind it. I'm thinking about trying out a chiropractor this time. Feels witch doctorish to me BUT "modern" medicine is not doing much so time to jump ship to the crunchy side. I am actually a fan of homeopathic routes I'm just slow to change old habits. When I was a kid doctors just threw antibiotics at everything.

School today wasn't horrible but wasn't great either. The newness has definitely worn off. We are all under the weather from this funk so grumpiness is abundant from everyone. On a good note I believe Bella is back to herself! Very very thankful for this for many reasons, sleep being one of them.

Last night unpacked some of my selfish frustration yesterday. It was really good and realized I often don't express needs or wants. I'd much rather be frustrated than say that I need help. Crazy! I'm sure this stems from learning how to be needless or want less growing up. I figured out I'd much rather be angry about not getting help with something than just ask. Thankfully I have an amazing hubster who would gladly do whatever I asked. I think I feel guilty asking for help. I feel like I should be able to do it all by myself and if I can't it means I suck. Such an awful lie. Maybe one day this train will fully depart from
Crazyville.

1 TIM 2:
First two verses out of the gate are sharpening.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1, 2 NIV)

I do want to be disrespectful towards our current leader of our country. Then I remind myself that my apathetic butt didn't vote. Still feel like a total turkey for that. Voting in this years election will not give me free license to complain and be disrespectful either. It's not as if a president is elected without God allowing it. Instead of becoming a complaining disrespectful clod I should pray for those who are in authority over me. Love how this will lead to peaceful and quiet lives.

My family gets crazy heated over politics. Hometown politics can stir a pot like no other. I'll admit I have some of that gene. I want to get torqued off and throw heated words around. That doesn't lead to anything but foolishness though. It's like chasing the wind. Instead of wasting my time getting heated about politics I need to be praying for our leaders. Prayer is so for us. It does lead to peace and it does lead to quiet and gentle lives. When we pray we remember who is ultimately in control. We can rest in the hope of Christ and His Sovereignty and find comfort that no matter what happens we are going to be okay.

I'm sure the rest of the chapter tends to ruffle feathers in some. I know I was once one of those gals with ruffled feathers. Now these verses are beautiful to me.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:8-10 NIV)

What a great thing to strive for in these verses. I'm not very fancy and never was really. I've probably got even worse as of late in my regard to concern over my appearance. I'm sure there is both good and bad in that. Either way I want to most be concerned about adorning myself with good deeds, a quiet and gentle spirit. Quiet and gentle spirit are not words that anyone would pick to describe me yet I desire to get a little bit more of those qualities in this stubborn and loud child.

D



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Monday, September 03, 2012

DAY 558: 1 TIMOTHY 1

Tired. Arthritis flare up and sinus funk is draining my energy. I feel like MeeMaw today. The lack of sleep from Bella's bug has left me with some stinking thinking today. Bad attitude about feeling under the weather and in my mind I always feel this way. This is so not true and I have much to give thanks for, the blessing of good health being one of them. I also must confess grumpy thoughts directed towards my hubs. He truly is an amazing man and does so much to love our family well. Yet today I made everything about myself in my mind and failed to love him well, honor and respect him. The Spirit broke in and reminded me of my desire to submit and respect Les in all things. After all no crime was committed and all I wanted to do was wallow in my own selfishness. The gentle chiding was met with opposition and then surrender. Dying to self is hard. It's so much easier to make myself an idol and offer myself sacrifices of comfort, laziness, and self justification. So thankful this evening for God's amazing grace. I'm such a selfish sinner in desperate need of God's sweet amazing grace.

A few sides notes to today. I failed to rise early which resulted in a delayed start to our school day and just extra chaos in general. I felt ten steps behind all day and missed out on a much needed quiet/rest time for our family. Thankful for extra hands from my hubster today or I don't know how I would have gotten it done today.

1 TIM 1:
I am living sitting in these letters written by Paul. Wish we weren't traveling so fast through them. They are so incredibly rich and it's hard to pick what to write about.

I love how Paul starts off his letters. This one is no exception.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, (1 Timothy 1:1 NIV)

"An apostle of Christ commanded by God". Love the reminder that I didn't choose to follow Christ because I'm so awesome but rather because Christ chased me down and commanded it. I was created for good works that Christ planned for me before I was ever born. What a crazy honor and blessing to be able to be used by the Creator of all. I am nothing yet He who has made me righteous considers me worthy. Nuts!

Christ Jesus our hope! I cling to this more and more. I could drive myself bonkers looking at the direction the world is headed. It's heartbreaking but I am thankful that my hope does not lie in the future of this world. This life is but a vapor and life will truly begin once I am no longer here on earth.

Paul charges Timothy to confront those in Ephesus who are teaching false doctrine. Love this verse that follows.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5 NIV)

The goal of correcting and rebuking others is love. Love comes from a pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith. What a great litmus test when urged to confront others on their sin! I fear that I have failed this test often. At times my desire comes out of a motivation to be right or is fueled out of insecurity and pride and a desire to puff myself up. Most often the first has happened and I sincerely regret how my sharpening became so tainted. Do everything in love. It seems so simple and it is yet it is so terribly difficult to do.

Another good verse and good kick to the ole pride.

They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. (1 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

I miss teaching. I had such an amazing opportunity prior to the blessing of Brownies. It's funny. If I had the chance to do it over again with what I know now ministry would look so different. I'm thankful for the growth and yet shutter at the many mistakes I made. Oh what I would say now. I must keep this insight though knowing that even now if I were to once again try to teach there is still much to learn. I am still wet behind the ears and have much to learn about Jesus.

Much left to do tonight so I must wrap this up. I'll end on this verse which I feel is an anthem of my own life.

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:16 NIV)

D

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Sunday, September 02, 2012

DAY 557: 2 THES 3

I am so incredibly exhausted. The sad thing is I'm pretty confident I was asleep before 10. This almost never happens. I can't wait till whatever bug Bella caught has run its course. Poor girl has dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep.

Bob and Larry are babysitting the four oldest while I put the sick one to bed and hopefully recenter my heart. I am a total grump. It's understandable but I would love to grow to a point where when I'm incredibly exhausted the spirit still reigns in me opposed to my flesh. It's almost as if when I'm exhausted the spirit with is either bound and gaged by my flesh or takes a nap. Either way I don't want my family to have to experience the fallout of my exhaustion.

Speaking of family, the kid or kids missing thing is happening again. Today at breakfast I was overcome again by the feeling that not all my children were present. It's starting to happen more and more. I can't explain it well but it's bizarre and a very distinct feeling. It's weird feeling this way especially after my Brownies were literally at each others throats this morning and causing chaos and destruction. It felt like more than enough as I was trying to make breakfast in the middle of a war zone. Even in the war zone I am so incredibly thankful for the sharpening that these blessings do daily.

2 THES 3:
Interesting that the first couple verses is about prayer. I've yet to do anything about my prayer apathy BUT a precious friend sent me a couple books to read. Will be reading them but probably need to set a goal. Wanting to finish Bonhoeffer before moving on to something else. Horrible about doing that!

In honor of growing my prayer life Paul gives great insight into how to pray for missionaries.
1. Pray that the Gospel would spread rapidly
2. Pray that it would be honored.
3. Pray for deliverance from evil and wicked people.

Bam! Now I have help when praying for those who are spreading the gospel through out the world. Not only that but as I pray for the Church on Sundays as it's fresh on my mind that the people who hear the message of God that they would honor what they heard. May they act on the messages that so stir their hearts instead of falling wayside come Monday.

Vs 3:
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV)

The theme of drawing strength from the Lord once again pops up. We do not have to be self reliant and strong. In fact, often that works more to hinder us than help us especially in our relationship to Christ. The Lord is faithful to protect you from the evil one. Job pops into my mind as I sit on the second half of this verse. At face value it doesn't appear as if God protected Job from the evil one. Yet God used Satan's attacks to draw Job into a richer understanding of God and a deeper relationship. Satan wanted to completely devour Job and yet God did not allow it. Even in the story of Job we can't see the entire picture. We can't see all the back story and work God did in Job's life prior to the hardship he encountered. I am slowly beginning to learn that often there is much more going on to every story than what I can plainly see. In my own life I can look back and clearly see Gods hand and provision. It's not always easy to see when you are stuck in the middle of it though. Generally it takes some distance and a wider view to understand it all.

Vs 5:
May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV)

What another amazing thing to pray for my family and friends. This is beautiful. I pray that all of us would get a fuller and richer understanding of God's love for us. May it reach farther than just knowledge and may it deeply penetrate our hearts.

May our hearts be directed into the perseverance of Christ as well. He persevered through it all. May we get a taste of what it means to persevere through any circumstance or situation and tackle it with thanksgiving and joy knowing that God uses everything to our our good.

D

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Saturday, September 01, 2012

DAY 756: 2 THESS 3

Mailing it in tonight, not because I don't want to do this but because I'm crazy exhausted. Bella is yelling right now. This girl is going to be a total pill. I wonder of she will rival Luke. Maybe this sweet little princess will beat them all. She started saying MaMa today. Yep, heart officially melted and in the palm of her hand. My mind is stuck on her since she has been running a fever the last several days and has not been sleeping well at all. Poor little stinker has been miserable.

Random day today but good day. Park this morning which included a tadpole hunt. They were everywhere! I think we have about 12 tadpoles right now. I'm sure these creatures from the outdoors will be the first of many.

2 THESS 3:
Another rich chapter. Will have to unpack this beaut tomorrow.

D

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