Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DAY 815: 1 JOHN 1

Went to check the weather (a little OCD when it comes to the weather) and saw a 4 year old boy has been abducted in our area. Heart is broken for the family. It wasn't but a couple weeks ago when we couldn't find Abbie that I had to keep my mind from going to the worst possible scenario. That is an incredibly sick and helpless feeling. To have that feeling become a reality is more overwhelming than I could possibly imagine. Praying for that child, his mom and his father who likely took him.

Bible study group today. Heartaches for a friend who is in it today. Heard this verse tonight but it came to mind in this situation.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 NIV84)

Praying for her desire to have community in her actual community is answered. I get that longing. I've so wanted to really shake things up on our street and in our neighborhood but it's been hard going at it all. I feel like the small things we have done have been met with encouragement by a few but not anyone willing to throw in with us. Not being the best at organizing events or being administrative has not helped any. It would be great to have a WM couple to be a powerhouse with or who were like minded to love our neighbors like crazy. Again I wonder even if we did would we have the time? Busyness is a killer of lots of things. Been wanting to get a Playgroup together on my street. I should just do it. Motherhood opens doors like no other.

Bible study today encouraging and yet so hard at the same time. So thankful for the sweet girl in our group that has brought so much wonderful sharpening into my life. In my flesh I wish I could go with out having to rub up against my flesh so much but I know that it's a wonderful gift from God. He loves me that much and He wants me to love my brothers and sisters fiercely even when it's painful to me and to them.

Speaking of painful I am incredibly proud of my husband. I've never been so proud to be his wife and so thankful for him to be the father of my children. I know a man who is willing to chase after Christ even when it's painful is rare and precious gift and I'm so very thankful.

Speaking of my hubs the other night he lovingly pointed out that I had much shame and guilt speech when doing our Merge homework the other night. I think because I don't have the same kinds of thoughts that I once did that I think I'm good. The word stupid doesn't go through my head anymore or horrible wife, mother, friend, ect doesn't sound off. Yet, if I haven't mastered or perfected something then I fail to want to give myself credit. I just read in Bonhoeffer last night how that can be such a two edge sword though. If I give myself credit and am thankful for growth / success or whatever then there's a very fine line to pride, vanity and drawing my self worth from places other than Christ. Yet, failing to acknowledge victories also fails to acknowledge the glory of Christ and often leads to insecurity and self focus. Not straying to the left or the right is so insanely difficult.

1 JOHN 1:
Interesting chapter to read on what some may call the holiday of darkness. Love the light verses dark illustration. Chewing on this verse right now.

If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (1 John 1:6 NIV84)

I know my heart can be so wicked and deceitful. My first instinct is to want to hide things as well. I'm thankful God is faithfully teaching me that things brought into the light brings freedom and redemption. He continues to show me areas I try to self protect. Yet I still need other eyes. There are areas in my life that remain in darkness simply because I'm blind to them. I live in denial or my heart is flat out deceitful or I'm just clueless. Thankful that God set it in our hearts to need and desire community. I've idolized some community groups in the past and each time it came out that it just wasn't as perfect as I had made it out to be in my head. The painful thing is that sin messes up community, it keeps it from being perfect. But what I'm beginning to understand is that in its imperfections if we allow it, we are able to get an even bigger picture of God's love and grace. Love the community God has so richly blessed me with. Now if only I could gather up my Christian community and move us to a beautiful farm for some communal living. No weird spouse swapping but true Acts living. That would be pretty killer. Until then I pray I learn to love the community God has given me wholeheartedly.

D
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DAY 814: 2 PETER 3

Woke up crazy late and didn't eat Bfast as a family this morning. Kid watching this morning so had a beautiful carrot on a stick for getting some school done at a quick pace. Have some more left to do but I can always dbl up tomorrow if need be.

I need to get with the self discipline program. I think in some ways I've grown complacent in trying to do the good I ought to do. I know what I need to do yet I don't do it and I don't really care all that much that I don't. I need to either be completely content in my slothishness or finally do something! Every time I've finally gotten into a good grove getting up early and exercising a wonderful surprise comes along. Since this time a baking Brownie will not be a surprise trying to get myself motivated is super hard. Why get good at getting up early and exercise when next month I could possibly be sleeping 24/7. This is so incredibly lame.

Keeping my focus on Christ today has been a horrible disaster. Stayed up too late and I'm incredibly willful today. I'm so like my daughter it's not even funny.

2 PETER 3:
Another very interesting chapter. I want to sit and dig at it but I have yet more homework to get accomplished. Wish I had more time to dig into my 5 Aspects study. I'll
Chalk this up to my first pass at it and Helen what I'm able to knowing that when the time is right I'll have ample time to really dive in.

Love the beginning and ending verse of this chapter.

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:1, 18 NIV84)

Stimulate wholesome thinking. I think most of the battle does lie in my mind. With a growth in grace and knowledge of Christ hopefully the wholesome thinking would fall in line as well.

This is my favorite of the chapter.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8 NIV84)

God is so much bigger than I can possibly imagine. I need to stop shoving Him in a box.

D

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Monday, October 29, 2012

DAY 813: 2 PETER 2

As I wrote out day 813 I couldn't help but feel overcome with gratitude for all of the friends who have allowed me to fill your inboxes for 813 days and all those who have joined me along the process. If it wasn't for you I would not be here and I'm very thankful.

I'm so whipped tonight. Baby girl has been on my back most of the day and even though the Ergo is fantastic, it's not that fantastic. This baby girl is as dense as a lead ball. Today I tried the first of lifetime hopefully trying to keep Christ at the forefront of my mind. These verses came alive as I tried to keep a clear focus.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV84)

After breakfast I was already pretty exhausting. It truly is an exercise of training and renewing the mind. There are so many other things fighting and competing to drown out the single focus of Christ. It truly is a striving and fighting to keep my mind focused on things above. I didn't make it much past the morning. I don't consider this a fail but rather a look into just how difficult it is to truly keep Christ in the center of everything. I look forward to continuing on and training my mind to first go to Christ knowing that in order to accomplish such a thing I'll need the very one whom I'm trying to keep my mind on to help.

2 PETER 2:
Read this earlier today during a failed attempt to put baby stinky pants to bed. It's an interesting chapter and one that I know I can't fully comprehend. I do find the verses about finding salvation and then going back to the ways of the world interesting. I agree with Peter that having tasted Christ and then going back would be much like a dog returning to its vomit. I waffled back and forth in my teenage years with Christ. Probably even then I knew who Jesus was but didn't fully know Him. I'm sure my lifetime can be very much characterized by the working out of my salvation. I'm curious as to when the true acceptance of Christ occurred. Was it at church camp when I was 8 or was it later on in my twenties when I decided to throw it all in with Christ? I do know that until that fateful night when I laid face first before the Lord I wouldn't have been able to say that I was 100 percent sure where I'd be when I died. This dog is praying she never returns to vomit.

D

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

DAY 812: 2 PETER 2

Stomach is going nuts. Hoping it's just the dinner I ate instead of the latest puke bug finally claiming BrownTown as its victim. I would love to loose the last ten pounds but a stomach bug is definitely not my preferred method.

The morning went great. Tried to put Christ in the front of my mind which probably ended up being less than one fourth of the day but it was better than yesterday. I enjoyed my offspring and relished who God made them to be right up until it was time to clean up. Then the disobedience and disrespect rained down. The boys were extra nutty and so were the kids at 5:30 Rocks. When I walked outside after church the full moon explained a lot.

Lots of things rolling about in my head, a lot spurred on by a conversation with a friend last night. Thankful for her and her pursuit of Christ. Would elaborate but I'm spent and it would feel forced tonight. Plus hard to think when a cute baby keeps nipping at my arm.

2 Peter 2:
Still mulling over verses 3-8. The idea of partaking in God's divine nature has really stuck with me. I think often I've read verses like these and it's sounded wonderful to me but I haven't pondered much on how to obtain it. How does one partake in God's divine nature which will equip with everything needed to live a godly life? It flips all I've learned to do and heard so often upside down. Self sufficiency is not what God desires of me. Instead He wants me to become interdependent. Just as God desires for me to have oneness with my hubster He also desires to have oneness with me as well. In order to have oneness with Christ I must be in step with Him. I must invite Him not only into every area of my life but also into every part of my day. Unity with Christ in every day living would result in being like minded like Christ. This is how to partake in God's divine nature.

Although I feel I've taken some huge ground in shame and guilt I'm still often left with a long list of things I need to grow in. I need more humility. I need to love more, be more patient, less judgmental and the list goes on and on. All these things are very true yet this isn't what I should be focused on. What I really need more of is the indwelling of Christ. That solves the problem of all my lack of godliness. When I focus on my need for humility I am focused on myself rather than the answer to my problem. Within me lies nothing but lack. I should not be shocked or surprised by it. Paul states it beautifully in Romans 7:7-25. He wrestles with not doing the good he wants but rather ends up doing what he hates.

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18 NIV84)

After writing about the incredible news of being able to be partakers in God's divine nature Peter slaps on this:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self‑control; and to self‑control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV84)

Make every effort to add these things. What I keep witnessing over and over again is that the effort I make to do those things "better" only end up in me actually doing them worse. Therefore I don't think the striving in our walk with Christ should be about striving to love or to do the list above better but rather striving to choose Christ moment by moment. If I strive to choose Christ above anything else moment by moment I die to self. A death of self only increase my godliness. The more I die the more Christ can dwell in me. So the answer is to choose Christ moment by moment to dwell on who He is, invite Him into everything I do through out the day. How do I love my husband better? The answer is Christ. Who do I become the mother, friend, neighbor, proclaimer I desire to be? The answer is Christ. How do I make the most use of my time? The answer is Christ. The answer is so very simple yet the application is the most difficult thing I'll ever do. There's no me time in this pursuit. At least not in the way I think me time should go? There's no checking out, time outs, vacations, or whatever. It's a constant surrender and striving to turn my thoughts to the Lord. This just might flip everything upside down.

D

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

DAY 811: 2 PETER 1

So much for an in home date night. Kids still crazy. Ah well. Good day today. Big family breakfast and scattered laziness and snuggling. Took the kids to a neighborhood church fall fest this afternoon. Good times. A family who appeared to either be visiting or just moved to the US took pictures with two of my kids. It was a pretty funny moment and wish I had gotten a picture of them taking a picture.

Today got a glimpse of how I frustrate and exasperate my children. Miscommunication and poor timing fueled my oldest into a bout of disrespect. It was great for both of us to ask for forgiveness and talk about how we can communicate better. Hoping I can continue to recognize patterns like this in the future.

I so don't want to be little miss tmi but for my own sake and desiring to remember His goodness I will anyway. So for almost the last three years intimacy has been a struggle for me personally. Post Joshua I did not resume my normal hormonal balance 4 weeks post delivery like my other three. Nursing actually worked as natural birth control. Pretty sweet deal but it killed my drive. That started a pretty vicious cycle of taking one for the team. Only thing is taking one for the team as a survivor of sexual abuse is really hard. Lots and lots of prayer would happen and it was a struggle to stay engaged and not complete check out and not be incredibly triggered. Once I
Stopped nursing things went back to normal. Post Bella things have not been as bad but it hasn't been good either. When I would stop and think about it I'd get pretty hacked off at God about it. I felt like what had been so redeemed was once again being taken away again. I've prayed more like pleaded many times that God would once again restore an area of brokenness. Who knew 2 Peter 1:4 would be such a beautiful answer to prayer. Partaking in God's divine nature really flipped me over last night. It sounds kinda creepy that it would help in the area of sexual intimacy but it did. The thought of fully giving of myself to others emotionally and spiritually without self protecting and being allowed to be completely vulnerable just clicked last night. I think when our drives matched I was able to push past all the walls I've built up in my heart In that area of my life. It's very possible that for the first time ever I knocked all the self protection and allowed myself to be completely vulnerable. As a result I got an even clearer picture of all the beauty God intended between a husband and wife. Then the next morning I refused to do the good I ought to do. I could have served my husband by getting up with the kids and allowing him to sleep longer. Instead of dying to self in order to love I longed to be served. As a result neither of us got any extra quality sleep. Instead both of us grasped for a few more winks while kids hopped all over us. If only I had leaned in and trusted that God would have provided for everything I needed today. Instead now I have to ask for forgiveness instead.

2 PETER 1:
More digging in this chapter.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life. This is the key to all my sin struggle woes, His divine power. It's by His power that I'm given everything I need for a godly life, not by my own power. I can read and pray, fast and even dance a holy jig but if I'm not leaning into Him daily and willing to kick my self reliance to the dirty curb then I will continually struggle in trying to achieve a godly life. It truly is simple yet I forget every single day and beating self reliance is the hardest thing I've ever done. I truly believe part of the beauty of God's plan in my life to have 4 children under the age of 4 was to force me to start relying on Him. I needed Him every single step of the way. I was desperate and clung to Him. As things get easier I forget that regardless I still need Him to be the godly wife I desire to be, to be the godly mother I yearn to be, the godly friend, neighbor, customer, ect. This morning is the perfect example. I could have leaned into God's power to do the good I ought to and love and serve my husband. Instead I leaned into my own and it got me nowhere.

Must end on only one verse but really want to tackle vs 5-9 tomorrow.

D

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Friday, October 26, 2012

DAY 810: 2 PETER 1

Good day. My Lukeypotamus had a dental appt early this morning so we all tromped to the dentist to play games and drink delicious free coffee. More importantly to be together and probably for the free delicious coffee. Either way it was great being together to run a couple errands and then have individual time with our kiddos. I brushed pony hair like my life depended on it this afternoon. I love playing with my kids and realize too often I make other things more important. That is a crazy foolish choice. They won't always want to play ponies, super heros, wrestle mania or beckon me to play with them outside. They are all growing up so insanely fast. I don't always but I cherish days like today when there isn't a big agenda to accomplish. I adore the little people my Brownies are growing up to be.

Today my oldest told me she really isn't into princesses all that much anymore. I was crushed. But then listened as she explained that being a princess is great but Disney Princesses don't have much to do with being a mommy. I was relieved but I know it won't be all too long before princess dresses will be forever abandoned as well as the baby dolls. I'm even more thankful for our baby girl who will hopefully help my oldest baby girl cling to a childhood of make believe and pretend as long as she possibly can.

2 PETER 1:
My preferred bible app is not working tonight so my ability to copy and paste verses is lost but thankful to read this chapter in the NET version tonight. It's beautiful. I love verse 4 and the idea of partaking in the divine nature. Ah, my app is back in action. Still going to park it here tonight. I love the idea of being able to be more like Christ but the word partaking in his divine nature is so striking to me. God continually gives of Himself to us. He doesn't have to yet this is part of what live does, it is the giving of oneself. This is what we were created for, to give of ourselves. It's not all that we were created for but it's a large part of what we are called to do. This is a crazy calling to fully give of oneself. In my typical self reliant way, this sounds like the upmost of vulnerability. This is totally what God has done for us. He has laid it all out there for each and everyone of us knowing that we would continually hurt Him over and over again. Yet this never stops Him from pursuing us over and over again. God does not self protect, He remains faithful at pouring Himself out to us and giving of Himself over and over again. As a result we can partake in His in His very own divine nature. Wowzers.

D

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

DAY 809: 1 PETER 5

My hubster will be home any minute and I've banished my Brownies to their rooms. Not sure if his impending arrival home and knowing my sprint is almost over, late night or one last exploding mess that has set me over but I've hit my wall. I don't want to greet my love with a scowl and a high five out of here so hoping this brief time of silence will recenter me.

A precious friend wrote me today and as I wrote her back I wrote I don't feel weary. Yet somehow as I sit here in the kinda silence I feel weary and heavy laden. Not sure the cause other than realizing just how much I've been operating out of self lately. As I lay here the words "you don't have to be so strong" are echoing in my ears. God was so gracious to speak those words loud and clear one evening after Shelter as I was struggling. I believe more than anything I struggle with this is the biggest problem of them all. Pride, comfort, procrastination, laziness, anger, yada, yada, yada, can all be covered through the precious blood of the Lamb. Self reliance on the other hand makes all the above just that more difficult. When I am seeing more struggle and less victory in my life it should become painfully clear that I've made myself ruler and king. When my focus becomes my lack of righteousness and how far I've yet to come over thanksgiving for what Christ has done I'm stuck in the beastly struggle of self reliance or it's ugly relative shame and guilt.

I'm on a beautiful journey and I have the most amazing companion I could ever ask for, Jesus. Yet often I pack my bags and choose to walk this journey alone. I don't have to be so strong. I'm not quite sure how to not be. I'm sad that I've tried to find my strength from the coffee in my cup.
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So glad to have my hubster back home again. I'm sad that our reunion will be marked by an insane and crazy pace this weekend. My heart is sad tonight. Heard powerful stories tonight and I feel as if I should be pumped yet I was completely unmoved. In fact I was irritated. Before the vision night for marriage ministry we ate on the 7th floor. I am really angry at how things are going down. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do about it as I fear it can or even is beginning to turn into bitterness. I love our church but I want to throw a huge tantrum about how things are not fair. I feel like I've tried the Pollyanna crap for several years and now I'm just over it. And I trust God and i know that He is Sovereign and i know that He is stretching and growing us and I feel so silly growing bitter over something I feel I should be thankful for, a job which many would love to have and I just want to punch somebody in the face. What am I supposed to do when I'm angry at somebody I feel like I can't go and tell? I got to see three men passionate about what they do and I'm bitter that my husband hasn't had the opportunity to do the same. Again I want to resort to a big raging temper tantrum. I feel completely helpless too which is all the more frustrating. Well, wasn't expecting this vent session.

1 PETER 5:
Fantastic chapter. Love this verse.

Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; (1 Peter 5:2 NIV)

Wish I had more time to shepherd others. I feel like I should have more time. Sometimes I think church keeps me from having more time. It very well could just be laundry that keeps me from it. Or maybe trying to teach my children. Either way I keep longing for simplicity.

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:4 NIV)

I can not wait for the never ending hoe down in heaven. My soul leaps for joy just thinking about it.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
"God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5 NIV)

I really love the visual of clothing myself with humility. I am a prideful stubborn beast but the idea of putting on a beautiful garment of humility is awesome. Thankful that even now God is helping to weave that beautiful garment for me.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

This seems like one of those perfect little cliche verses to throw at somebody who is worried about something. Yet tonight the because He cares for you really sticks out. He does care and I know that He does and see evidence of this over and over again but I forget that He does sometimes. He not only cares about the big things He cares about the little things too.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)

Satan is a bastard and is constantly looking for someone to take down. Even when he's lost the battle for our souls he is relentless at trying to destroy our witness and rob us of freedom and joy. This is why we must always be alert and not grow prideful
enough to think we are standing firm.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10 NIV)

AMEN!

D


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DAY 808: 1 PETER 4

Today has been one of those days where it seems that God has spoken almost  nonstop. I've taken awhile to get started because honestly I don't even know where to start. Maybe I should work my way backwards. This evening was great time spent with a friend. Our conversation stirred so much in me in just a short period of time. I'm convicted on budget and cell phone use. I'm still spinning from lasts nights talk at Merge and again being reminded on how easy it is to get my priorities out of order. One of the speakers last night said something to the effect of "doing self less acts with purpose". I really liked that and think it could be applied to all of my relationships. Today I've been mulling over my domain of my body and health and I know I need to make changes. Stuck in a horrible rut of feeling bad so not being motivated to eat right, exercise or get up early and do the good I ought to do. Then I eat horrible and don't exercise and so I probably feel worse than I would. I need to jump off the hamster wheel and just do something, one thing, anything to get going on the right track. I don't know what that one thing is. I think once I finally kick this cold which has now lodged itself deep inside my lungs I'll have a better idea or at least have the energy to bust past the wall and get up early in the morning.

There is a girl who is challenging me like crazy in my bible study group. First off I have to fight off my own sinful demons but I'm also pretty challenged by her perspective on things. One thing in particular was to enjoy people just for who they are and who God created them to be. This seems no brainer but think about the people who grate on your nerves or people you generally wouldn't associate with. It's easy to accept people we like. It's harder when it's people who character qualities we don't like. I'm challenged and spurred on to love better. As for this bible study group, it's an eclectic mix. It's obviously been hand picked for a reason. The Lord is pretty good that way.

1 Peter 4:
This chapter starts off pretty strong. I really liked the first two verses but it took me awhile to really embrace what it really meant.

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1, 2 NIV)

I like the arm yourself with the same attitude as Christ and living for God's will instead of evil desires. It's this part that got kinda muddy for me "because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin". I read commentary on it and it became more alive to me. Those willing to suffer in the body for Christ have come to such a place in their walk that they continually choose to die to their sinful nature and choose Christ. I really think my ease of life and of the ease of my availability of my faith lulls me to complacency. I believe that it should be easy and that my struggle with sin shouldn't be a fight. I'm willing to fight some battles but lately I feel that if it's too hard I don't want to do it. My idol of comfort and ease has really taken ground in my life. Its leaked everywhere in my life. It's why I won't get up early, why I still have ten pounds to loose, it's reflected in my budget, it's just everywhere. Instead of getting frustrated at my kiddos when all they want is comfort and ease I need to be pointing the finger at myself and root out the ways I have been an example of that.

On another note my babies are getting huge. Not sure how many more slumber parties we'll be able to comfortably have with their growing bodies and growing numbers. This could very well be the last one. I hope not but it's not often we are aware when it will be the last time of anything. It just happens and we go about it none the wiser. 

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. (1 Peter 4:4 NIV)

I think as people get further and further away from a moral grounding this verse will ring truer and truer. People will become more and more shocked by the morals of believers and want to silence their voice so they can snuff out conviction. Speaking of snuffing out conviction I'm am pretty guilty of wanting to snuff it out myself. It's not by accident that often email, Facebook or whatever else is so much more interesting than this time every day. This time isn't boring and doesn't ever return void like all the other but the conviction can be searing at times.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. (1 Peter 4:7 NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. The definition of sober is interesting.

so·ber Pronunciation (sbr)
adj. so·ber·erso·ber·est
1. Habitually abstemious in the use of alcoholic liquors or drugs; temperate.
2. Not intoxicated or affected by the use of drugs.
3. Plain or subdued: sober attire.
4. Devoid of frivolity, excess, exaggeration, or speculative imagination; straightforward: gave a sober assessment of the situation.
5. Marked by seriousness, gravity, or solemnity of conduct or character. See Synonyms atserious.
6. Marked by circumspection and self-restraint.
tr. & intr.v. so·beredso·ber·ingso·bers
Number 4 & 6 are really interesting. It really makes this verse come alive to me. I love the reason to be alert and sober minded is not to be a holy roller Rockstar but so that you can pray. Pray life still needs some battery cables.

LOVE this verse:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

Love deeply. I pray that I learn how to do this! Isn't this the key to most things, Love?

On that note I'm out for the evening. Till tomorrow or should I say till today.

D



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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DAY 807: 1 PETER 4

Great day today. Fun times at the Pumpkin Patch and Merge was wonderfully convicting. Missing my hubs but thankful for the perfect timing of his trip. God is pretty amazing that way.

Had grand plans of getting homework done tonight. My Benadryl Booty isn't even going to be able to do this.
Great chapter though. Will have to revisit tomorrow. Zzzzzzz

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Monday, October 22, 2012

DAY 806: 1 Peter 3

I feel like I deserve a brownie sundae from braums for making it through today. It wasn't horrible by any means but I felt gross today. Sinus headache from the bowels of Sheol and scritchy scratchy throat with overall weak at the knees feeling. My youngest and oldest boy screamed and fussed all day which made for headache fun. Thankfully I was too out of it today to get all that frustrated over it. As sanctifying as this crew can be I just adore this clan of ours. So very thankful for each of them especially for an amazing hubster who fixes breakfast and lets me sleep till 8:30.

1 Peter 3:
This entire chapter is contrary to worldly wisdom. A lot of it is very challenging and sharpening. If anybody wants to cling to grace as a get out of hell free card this book is perfect for setting that kind of thinking straight.

I think a lot of people have a mindset of "what's in it for me". I know I struggle with that mentality. I want to make sure I'm looking out for me, myself and I. How dare I be taken advantage of or treated poorly without a world of hurt happening. Yet the bible tells us not to be overcome by evil but rather overcome evil by doing good. If we claim Christ but our lives look no different than the rest of the worlds what is supposed to compel others to Christ. To live out what this chapter talks about takes the upmost love, humility and rootless and endless seeking out and destroying of sin.

D
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

DAY 805: 1 PETER 2

Almost had a heart attack tonight. Luke started crying in his hysterical way away somebody being able to see him when in the thinking spot in the hall. That gave me a shiver but ignored it. Then he continued to cry and said Azarus would see him and that Azarus takes children away. That about freaked me out. Les took him into another room to talk to him while I told God I didn't think I could handle a demon in our house by the name of Azarus who has been interacting with one of my children. Too many horror films growing up. Les somehow figured out that our dude was talking about Icharrus. There used to be a painting of Icharrus in our room that my boy made me take down one night because he was terrified it was going to come out of the picture. That boys imagination is so incredibly vivid.

Not sure how long I'll last tonight. Cold has moved into my throat and I'm on day three of permaheadache. Before I move on I have to brag about my girl. Tonight at church they played a card game where they were given the opportunity to lie and get a piece of candy. I knew this would be a challenge for my girl and she stood strong. She was honest about it being difficult but she still chose to keep her integrity. This has been an issue for my sweet girl and I'm so thankful to see her allowing God to help her take ground in this area.

1 PETER 2:
Yet another incredible chapter. I don't know where to start.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11 NIV)

Many days it does feel like an all out battle. Dying a slow and often painful death of self is not easy. I understand why so many choose not to do it. Once you get a good taste of His crazy love then there's not much else I'd rather do than at least try daily to fight the good fight. Learning not to conform to the patterns of this world is not easy. Thankful for this time everyday to renew and to transform my mind.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12 NIV)

Since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses lets strip off all that entangled and ensnares and run the race with endurance. People are watching and daily I'm given an audience of 5. They will do what I do not what I say. I pray that my actions continue to reflect the change God continues to make from the inside out.

Fading fast. Head killing and cold goo overtaking.

D

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

DAY 804: 1 PETER 1

Feeling a bit off this afternoon. I think the gas station coffee was probably a bad idea. I think coffee in general is just a bad idea for me. It jacks with my blood sugar too much. I don't know how to break my unhealthy obsession with it. Hot tea is just not the same. Boo.

Sweet hubster went grocery shopping this morning with littlest boy while I played doll house with my girls. Sometimes a childless trip to the grocery store sounds delightful but most often I prefer to skip it all together. Thankful for a hubster willing to do my dirty work and then come home and make big breakfast too. Picked up a free dbl stroller a sweet WM friend gave us. Lukey finally dealt the last blow ours could handle and it finally broke for good. So very thankful for the way God provides for us over and over again. Hoping the same thing will happen with a set of bunk beds. Ours needs to go back to the original owner and the beds in our price range look like they could be destroyed in a matter of months. We need thick, heavy and solid like the ones we have now for our motley crew. We have yet to lack anything we truly need. Provision has come in abundant ways for our family. Very thankful!

1 Peter 1:
This chapter is going to be so hard to go through . Verse after verse is just so incredibly rich. I'm going to let the text speak for itself tonight.

Vs 1: to God's elect

vs 2: sanctifying work, sprinkled with His blood

Vs 3: birth into a living hope

Vs 4: inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade

Vs 5: through faith shielded by God's power

Vs 6: suffer grief in all kinds of trials

Vs 7: genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold

Vs 8: adore all of this
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (1 Peter 1:8 NIV)

Vs 9: inexpressible and glorious joy as the end result of faith which is the salvation of our souls

Vs 10: the prophets searched intently with the greatest care

Vs 11: spirit of Christ in them

Vs 12: even angels long to look into these things

Vs 13: set your hope on the grace that is to be brought to you

Vs 14: do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance

Vs 15: be holy in all you do

Vs 16: be holy because I am holy

Vs 17: live out your time as foreigners in reverent fear

Vs 18: beauty
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, (1 Peter 1:18 NIV)

Vs 19: precious blood of Christ

Vs 20: revealed in these last times for your sake

Vs 21: through him you believe in God

Vs 22: love one another deeply

Vs 23: you have been born again through imperishable seed

Speaking of Seeds:
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, (1 Peter 1:18 NIV)

The Word of the Lord endures forever!!!!

D


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DAY 803: 1 PETER 1

Incredibly full and wonderful day filled with a broad range of emotion. Started the day off on a field trip as a family. The weather was incredible today. It's days like these that make my soul come alive. Abbie took off on her own at one point on our field trip and even though the place wasn't crazy busy not being able to find her brought about a most sickening feeling. I hate that the effects of sin in the world cause my mind to go to the worst possible scenario. Thankful for that precious girl and so thankful for her safety today.

This afternoon I had in my head my agenda for the rest of the day. I grew irritated that nobody else seemed to be on my unspoken plan. When I stay locked in and focused on my plan and my to do I can very easily switch to being a Martha. As my irritation was growing this verse popped into my head.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? (James 4:1 NIV)

I was reminded that it was much more important to love and honor in my mind than to be hot and bothered over my plan and not being able to control everybody in my family. I'm very stubborn but every time I let go of my own selfish desire God provides abundantly and my to do list ends up getting done anyway. Most everything in my life boils down to whether or not I'm willing to trust God enough to obey. Do I trust that God truly is good? For whatever reason trusting Him in the big things is so much easier than trusting Him in the day to day.

Fun double date night tonight. Still so very thankful for date night swap. It has blessed my marriage tremendously. In home dates are great but there is something fantastical about getting out of the house completely away from the kiddos. I felt very hipster tonight taking advantage of a free band at the Nasher. The crowd wasn't crazy but was incredibly interesting. The night was beautiful and it was wonderful sitting outside listening to good music. I could sense so much loneliness all around us though. Walking around downtown I felt an incredible darkness. It was so weird completely enjoying the evening with friends and my incredible husband yet so sad about everything that was around me. It was hard not to stand up in the middle of everything and start telling people about the great hope that I have. The greater question is why didn't I? On the way to our car a man on a bike scared us and himself. He rode to his car and open the trunk and then offered my hubster and I whiskey. I so desperately wanted to say something to him. To tell him what he was looking for was not in that bottle. I wish I would have just told him that but the words just were not there.

I have a growing discontentment with where we live. My hubster was talking about a friend from high school who is living in the jungle as a doctor of tropical medicine. Why are we not doing something crazy and adventurous too? Why are we living in a smog infested city when there is so much beauty to be had on this earth? Maybe my growing discontentment had nothing to do with where we live but rather discontentment over the fact that this world is not my home. The people have rejected my Father who loves them and I'm growing weary of that. I am His and this place is not my home.

Tonight I caught a glimpse of the dumb bird tattoo on my back. I made a comment in my head but then realized that I'm thankful for that ugly bird. It's a great reminder of where I came from. It's a great reminder to not be prideful and to thank God for each and every day.

I read 1 Peter 1 and it's an incredibly beautiful chapter. It was much like dining on steak. Unfortunately all my rambling already is preventing me from keeping my eyes open.

D


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

DAY 802: JAMES 4

Took awhile to fall asleep but finally got a full night of mostly uninterrupted sleep. So thankful! This morning I realized the depths of my enslavement to coffee. It's not a surprise to me that I'm addicted to caffeine but had never thought of it in that way before. If I'm enslaved to coffee what else am I a slave too? Those were my heavy thoughts this morning before I had even had coffee.

Today was a mostly fun day with my Brownies. It wasn't Ann Voscamp picture perfect but I do cherish days like today. Windows open, kids outside and creating, me actually fine to roll with the hiccups that fell my way and lots of giggles. My oldest is bucking me more on school lately. I think she's just exhausted and doesnt want to have to use her brain. I completely get it. May have to stray from the course a bit and try something new for awhile. Paul on the other hand is loving school and super eager. He's really excited about learning how to read and he cherishes our time together. Realizing how much my big boys got thrown to the wolves last year. Abbie got a lot of attention from schooling which she didn't think counted and Joshua got his fill of snuggles as the baby and the two older boys got less of mom. Paul is officially in the lover phase of boyhood. I'm not sure how long this is supposed to last but I love it. Luke still tries me like crazy but trying to set aside time each day pursuing him. I feel like the others will squawk and demand attention but Luke will fade into the background aching for attention but refuse to say anything. I love that wild little boy. Can't believe how fast these sweet ones are growing. God help me to cherish and embrace the days. Help me not be caught up in busyness. I don't want to waste a single precious moment.

JAMES 4:
Verses 1-6 are pretty heavy. It's under the heading of rich oppressors so in some ways I feel as if I can breath a sigh of relief but I'm not so certain this should be the case.

Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. (James 5:3, 5 NIV)

What if my indulgence of comfort causes the oppression of others? Take my love affair with chocolate. Most chocolate is obtained by slave labor many of which are children. How many workers were mistreated and under paid in order to make my phone that I'm typing on now? Are the luxuries I enjoy oppressing others? I don't want to think about this at all. I want to live in my comfortable denial of such atrocious things. What oppression does my wealth cause to others?

Patience in suffering:
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11 NIV)

Just to be honest Job's account of suffering scares the poo out of me. I can't imagine going through all that he went through. Any one of the things that happened to Job would have been incredibly difficult. My heart grows faint just thinking about it. Yet I know that God is Sovereign and I'm thankful to now be able to say that I trust He is good. I trust that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

D

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DAY 801: JAMES 4

So first morning bout with exercise and fluffy buns up early a huge fail. I feel like a big fat failure in some regards but I have no idea how I would have made it today. I had no gas in the tank to push through feeling yuck this morning. Felt a fever coming on this morning but thankful the chills and hot flashes can probably be contributed to wackadoo hormones. My jacked up sleep cycle can probably also be attributed to this too. I was taking supplements to help get balanced but like most things I have lacked consistency. Once I start feeling better I typically abandon what helped.

I think lack of sleep and the constant onslaught of allergies has left me with what feels like a ravaged immune system. Ruling my domain in eating better, doing everything I can to get more rest, and exercise would do this body good. It would do me good to recognize warning signs that my tank is low instead of slamming into a wall. Think this goes for all areas of my life. Using the tv for good in order to give my kids and myself rest before we go for round two.

Last night we left hubsters car at WM. I had bible study and figured I could drop him off on my way. I was frustrated over my choice this morning but it actually turned out for good as I ended up rolling on to bible study anyway. Kids got to be entertained for cheap and I got to get my tank filled up discussing the greatness of God. There is a girl in my bs group that really challenges me. I hate admitting this but I'm going to do it anyway. I have to fight a judgmental attitude towards her. She is a very sweet gal who loves Jesus. I'm having a really hard time pushing past the Dallas exterior. This is the reality of my heart in all it's ugliness. I hate it and I'm so thankful every time I'm pushed to grow in this area.

have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:4 NIV)

Again I'm thankful for the strong tone in James. It would be easy for me to justify my wickedness in judging or to even shrug it off as no big deal. To consider myself as a judge with evil thoughts is humbling and spurs me on to continue to be changed by Christ.

(3 boys piled on top of me and interrupted by open mouth kisses from my little bit. So thankful for this wonderful crew!)

James 4:
Plan to finish this earlier was thwarted. I feel like this is the constant story of my life. By God's grace I'm learning to except the interruption and embrace it more often. My plan is hardly ever the best plan anyway.

On another note I am in complete email hell right now. I'm pretty confident I have over 500 sitting in my inbox mocking me. Eh.

This chapter starts off with a fantastic boom.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? (James 4:1 NIV)

The majority of my irritations with my children, hubster, friends, or whoever have everything to do with me. I am a selfish beast. I desire comfort and for things to go my way. I seek my own best interest instead of looking for ways to serve others. Praying God continues to change this selfish heart. I don't consider myself particularly quarrelsome but I know my thought life can use a major overhaul.

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4 NIV)

This verse is a good reset in many ways. Daily I should probably ask myself who did I serve more today God or the world? My mission in life is to be a living sacrifice set apart for God's glory but I fear my actions on a daily basis probably give away who I truly serve. Again and again I seek out and worship the idol of comfort and self. I don't want to grow comfy in this world and buy into the lies that it sells. I want to be counter cultural and chase recklessly after the God I love.

The rest of the chapter is filled with rebuke but is a sweet and precious reminder of how much God loves us. Yes we are all sinful and selfish beasts but if we humble ourself He will wash us clean as snow.

This verse is another perspective changer.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)

Today has enough problems of its own. All I'm responsible for us what God has placed on my plate for today. I don't need to get worked up and torqued off about anything. I'm not living for today or tomorrow I'm living for eternity. Anything I will face here is just for a brief moment in time.


D









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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

DAY 800: JAMES 3

I'm whooped. Wonderfully full day. Two families over today at different times each with five kids. Beautiful wonderful chaos!

Dreading the first day of early morning exercise. Sleep has continued to be poor lately and I feel the beginnings of a cold. I so want to call the whole thing off but there will always be an excuse not to get up and do the good I ought to. I need to rule my domain of health and subdue my fluffy buns.

James 3:
I can hardly get my head to work. The last part of this chapter is strong. I like really like this book. It doesn't take sin very lightly. I shouldn't take it lightly or casually either. If I'm an impatient grump to my family in the mornings I need to own my sin and realize the detriment that it causes not only in my life but in the lives of others as well. This isn't for the sake of wallowing in guilt and shame over but rather that I would turn from sin and truly repent.

This verse really stuck out to me.

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:16 NIV)

Disorder and every evil practice. Those are harsh words and besides isn't everybody prone to envy at some point? I think this is the kind of attitude James wanted to dissuade people from having. Sin is not a cute and cuddly kitten. It's roars like a lion looking for somebody to devour. May I Grow to ruthlessly root and seek out the sun in my life that causes disorder and chaos.

D


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Monday, October 15, 2012

DAY 799: JAMES 3

Did I start my day off getting up early? Not so much but turned out okay anyway. I did jump back on our chore chart today and it is amazing how much smoother the day went with little hands to help. Read a blog post by Rebecca Holmes today about how her smalls helps her much more than her bigs ever did at their age. I think I expected my bigs to behave in ways they were not capable of for their age but did not require as much work from them. Thankful to have more lenience with Joshua but raising the expectation of his ability to contribute to the family. He loves setting the table,  putting away the kid dishes, feeding the dog and other such tasks. Rewarding him with chocolate chips along the way sure doesn't hurt either. Didn't get much push back from anyone about getting back to chores. Had one complaint briefly from one about a certain chore but he got over it. Thankful for their help and for finally being able to integrate chores and school together.

Today was the school day that never ended. It wasn't bad but it was an all day affair. Lots and lots of reading today. Our days should probably look a lot more like it did today. Some feet dragging went on which slowed things down but I used the same principle I've been using with J and chocolate chips helped make attitudes magically change. Got some one on one time with my Lukeypotomas and read him two books solo. He ate it up. I'd like to say it changed his current stubborn streak and he decided to get on team brown instead of team Luke but that would be a lie. Either way it was sweet time spent with him and I'm thankful and something I need to commit to doing daily.

Need to make a trip to the grocery store sometime soon but not sure how to squeeze that in till the weekend. Praying for mealtime creativity. We have food just need to figure out a way to make that food into an edible meal. What a blessing to have meat in the freezer and canned goods on the shelf. I take that for granted every single day.

Read a blog post about three ways to help guard against children's spiritual apathy. One of the ways to help is to not have so much stuff. It's funny reading that after coming to a similar conclusion recently with my hubster. When we were at the fair on Thursday I asked one of the large families that we saw what advice they would give and they said to have as little stuff as possible. Beautiful. Now to go on the quest and the mission of declutterfying our world. Probably along with stuff, activity can be thrown into the mix as well. I was at a meeting with some precious woman tonight and we were discussing social media. Somebody had mentioned how some women choose not to be on FB and other social media agents. What a wonderful thing that would be! When I am on my death bed I'm not going to wish I had spent more time investing in shallow FB friendships in going to wish I had invested more in real life people who I see in the flesh. I'm going to wish I had invested in eternal things more instead of looking for a quick fix to my loneliness or sense of inadequacy. 

James 3:
Love me some James! One day I'm going to memorize this entire book. Until then I'm going to start with Romans 12. It's long over due and I have a friend who hopefully will kick my booty and spur me on to memorize with her. Heck I should challenge my daughter. Maybe having her run laps around me would motivate me more.

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. (James 3:2 NIV84)

I don't know why but being reminded that we all stumble in many ways was very comforting tonight. Some days it seems like there is so much flesh left that needs to die, that I'm so far from becoming the woman God has called me to be. It's not a self deprecating glance but rather reality. In that same view of my sinful self I'm reminded of how much God loves me regardless. When I was in the depths of wallowing in my own son God still sought me out and loved me. Crazy.

The next several verses are about the tongue. Little by little I'm getting a bigger picture of just how much more work I have to do in the area of my tongue. Every single one of these verses are so very convicting. 

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. (James 3:9 NIV84)

I want to think that this verse does not apply to me. It feels gross to admit how convicting this verse really is. 

but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8 NIV84)

It is a restless evil. That is so dead on. I looked up the definition of restless.

Adjective
  1. (of a person or animal) Unable to rest or relax as a result of anxiety or boredom.
  2. Offering no physical or emotional rest; involving constant activity or motion: "a restless night".

Looking at this definition brings this verse even more to life. It's funny to me that boredom and anxiety both bring about the restlessness of the tongue. We speak craziness because we have anxiety over wanting to fit in or we are insecure and prideful. Those things totally bring about a wild flapping of the gums. Yet those careless words can offer no physical or emotional rest. Only God can do that. If our gums are flapping then we are unable to listen to His direction.

D

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

DAY 798: GENESIS 1

Sleep has not come easy the past couple days but oddly enough I didn't sleep walk all day long. First day back from the land of staycation went surprisingly well. There was definitely some major attitude by one and another has been a stinkpot all day long. Just a typical day in paradise. I so wanted to roll over this morning and turn on a show so I could snoozed some more. The extra sleep which always seems so needed at the time is generally pretty poor and in the end results in extra chaos. Thankful I got up and got to experience God's provision today.

Still have a ton of 5 Aspects homework to do so going to cut this brief again. Really enjoying the study so far. The first aspect of womanhood that I'm learning about is how to be Mistress of my Domain. It makes me giggle because in the past that would have probably made me want to vomit. So thankful for God's faithfulness to work on this stubborn girl.

Looks like I got some accountability on getting my fluffy buns up in the morning to exercise. It's so much easier to get up when I know someone else is expecting me. I am however exhausted just thinking about it. I've been fighting this getting up thing for way too long. I need to get up, stumble around before my precious ones get up. I really need to start doing some sort of exercise. Oddly enough even though we didn't travel on vacation I still managed to gain my typical amount of vacation weight. Although I'm not as thin as I'd like to be I'm more concerned about doing exercise to be fit rather than thin. I've been able to fake it through life being completely out of shape but age plus out of shape is no bueno. Have to start taking better care of myself so that I can set a good example to my offspring.

GEN 1:
I think I've heard this story way too many times. I read it and hardly pay much attention to what it is actually saying. I love the description of the creation of Narnia C.S. Lewis gives in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It gives me tiny glimpse into the creation of the entire world. I often speak of God the Creator matter of factly. Oh yeah God created everything by just speaking it into being. May I marvel in all that God created and the intense beauty that kicks off God's love story to all of us.

Looks like there will be no 5 Aspects tonight. Struggling to keep my eyes open. This is actually a good thing as sleep has been hard to come by at night.

D

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

DAY 797: JAMES 1&2

Sweet moment tonight realizing that all our little Brownies have full tanks right now from a great staycation. Thankful for this time together as a family.

Not going to spend a lot of time doing this tonight. I've decided to use the weekends as time to work on the 5 Aspects Study in doing. I dove in a little today and for once in a long while I'm super excited about it. It's going to be a booty stomper in such a good way. Already I've winced a couple times yet feel crazy empowered. I find it ironic that the worldly definition of womanhood I've ascribed to for so long that is supposed to empower has done just the opposite. Yet true biblical womanhood is more empowering than I ever thought. It's not about crochet and perfect dinner parties. In the process now of learning how to rule over my domain with the gifts and abilities God has given me individually. I'm really fired up and thankful.

James 1&2:
Reread these chapters as they are so stinking good. These two verses stuck out the most.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:26, 27 NIV84)

My loose lips have been on my mind a lot lately. I truly do need to learn how to speak much less. I want my words not to be meaningless puffs of air but rather objects of God's glory. I want my words to count and I want to learn more self control and humility by making my words become fewer.

D

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Friday, October 12, 2012

DAY 796: JAMES 2

Date night with my hubster. I am so crazy thankful for this date swap arrangement. Had no clue how much we needed this. It has been an incredible blessing to our marriage.

I so want to go back to James 1 and really dive into James 2 but my eyes will not stay open. I really love this book.

D

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

DAY 795: JAMES 1

Great day at the fair today. Kids did great! My poor Lukapotamus had to experience some major disappointment today when three of his siblings won trophies at the Pee Wee Stampede and he didn't. It's hard to see great disappointment in your child but I know that this is only the beginning of many. Despite not winning he clapped for his opponent and made me more proud than any of the trophies won today. I'll be honest I would have thought it would have been pretty awesome if my Brownies had swept the entire Pee Wee Stampede.

Today as Luke was disappointed I was reminded of my girl who had two years of disappointment herself. I told Luke that Abbie had gone through the same thing and that he could try again next year. Tonight I was thinking that it's possible that there won't be a next time. I love and adore our friends but my discontentment over where we live continues to grow. There are so many people who live in beautiful places and I can't figure out why we're not one of them. There are so many people on big and grand adventures and I can't figure out why we are not one of them either. At the same time I know there is beauty to be had all around me if I'd only just truly open my eyes. Every day can be an adventure if I'd only let it. I can choose to grow in discontentment or I can give thanks and try to make every day count.

Speaking of adventures saw several large families today. I of course engaged every time I had the opportunity. The great thing about being in a big family is that it's kinda like a secret club. We have common ground with others like us because we've discovered the true treasure in having children. One beautiful family of six had even adopted a child from Russia with Down's Syndrome. Gave me hope that one day even though our family keeps growing larger biologically that we'll too get to be apart of the beautiful story of adoption. The ache has yet to go away yet I've loosen my grip on my time table.

JAMES 1:
Oh this chapter reminds me of my many attempts to memorize scripture. James 1, Romans 12, Philippians, Colossians. If I'm not careful I could go down the road of my failed attempts of mere Christianity. I could go hide in a corner with my familiar friends shame and guilt. Yet I choose to not walk that road tonight. All those verses about were my plan. Tonight instead of seeing an area that I need growth in and coming up with my own plan I'm going to pray about what God would have me invest time in memorizing. It's almost silly that I've never asked Him before. Like most things in life when I try to do things out of my own strength I often fail. Maybe this is why I've been so successful at remaining in the Word daily. I was completely surrendered to the idea that I could not do it alone and out of my own strength. Frankly my brain often feels broken and I can't memorize chunks of scripture on my own. But I can do it with God's help and the help of others. I feel that it should be chunks of scripture but maybe I should start off small and memorize the navigator verses. I shall see.

Vs 2-4:
Consider it pure joy. I feel like I'm beginning to understand this more and more. It's interesting how these verses seem to contrast the verses in Hebrews 12:5-11. James makes no mention of hardship being discipline or punishment but rather discipleship. I'm sure there is a very fine line between the three. Really need to ponder this a bit more.

I feel like I'm stating to lean into the smaller hardships more knowing that they too will pass. Instead of balking at them and complaining I have tried to figure out what God is trying to teach me in the midst of them. When I think of harder circumstances I tend to knock at the knees. I have a friend whose neighbors daughter has a malignant brain tumor. She is my baby girls age. I selfishly pray that is not a nightmare that we will ever experience as a family. If it was would I be able to approach it with joy. Right now I'd know the answer would be no. I think of other friends and the hardships they are going through and I'm not sure if be able to approach those joyfully either. In fact, I'm not sure I'd be able to make it through it all without growing bitter. I think there is a continual need for me to let go of the idea of life being a bowl of cherries for those who love the Lord. It's very clear that we will all suffer. I just pray that when it's time for me to truly suffer that I would do it joyously and bring much honor to Christ.

Watched part of the debate and realized I didn't finished. Now I'm too angry to think straight. God give me your compassion and mercy for those who do not know you.

D





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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DAY 794: HEBREWS 13

In home date night so this will be short. 4 out of 5 kids in bed. Wahoo!! Stinkpots are so incredibly exhausted. Have no clue how to get them more sleep. All five took a nap yesterday but it backfired for the oldest. Abbie was up well past 12. That girl takes after her Mother's horrible sleep habits.

We're trying new things once again in BrownTown. Kids have been super disrespectful lately and it's been like pulling teeth to get them to contribute to the family. We had a family meeting and hopefully with better consistency and more natural consequences things will fall back in line. It is such a struggle figuring out the balance between grace and justice. Sometimes instead of a consequence what they really need is to taste the sweetness of grace. I fear I've swung too far on the side of grace. I hate this as I don't want to be a spanking machine or sassy sauce dispenser. More than bringing down the Hammer of Thor I need to let my yes be yes and my no be no. I've been horrible at this. I've threatened and not followed through. It's been ugly. Probably a good time to pick of Good and Angry again. Need to get an electronic copy so I can be successful at actually reading it more often.

This leads me to an overall problem that has been creeping in. I have lacked self discipline. I've done a poor job at turning from comfort and instant gratification. I've had wonderful excuses for not following through on cutting out the idol of comfort in my life. I need to get with the program. I need to wrestle with this and figure out what adding back some self discipline would and should look like. The obvious two are to start getting my buns up in the morning and going sugar free. I don't like either but I know once the initial shakes and shock is over I'll be much better for it. Boo to struggling with sloth.

Hebrews 13:
Great wrap up of the book of Hebrews. These two verses are my favorite:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5, 6 NIV84)

These remind me of a dream a most dear friend of mine had. It was a terrifying dream and yet one that has even impacted me, just a hearer of it. Her circumstances were dire in the dream and yet she knew with great confidence that despite the circumstances God could never be taken away from her. This is the mark of a person who has found the greatest treasure in a field and has sold it all to attain it. No matter what may lie ahead for each of us God can never ever be taken away. I find much comfort in this and at the same time wonder if my life is orderedin such a way that reflects this knowledge. What I mean by this is do I truly relish in the fact that if everything and I mean everything was taken away from me would I find great hope that God could never be taken away. I want this to be true yet I know it's not. I'm not content in all circumstances. Finding contentment in any and all circumstances would be the mark that I truly treasure Jesus above all else.

D

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

DAY 793: HEBREWS 12

I heart staycation! In many ways it's more challenging than a traditional vacation. There's no getting away physically from the normal everyday routines so it's a battle to be fought. Yet at the same time out normal schedule is completely thrown off and wonderful chaos has abounded everywhere. I don't always do well with this but I really want to lean into this time and enjoy it for what it is. I want to fight against the routine and be okay with a rhythm that goes wonky as a result. You can't have both. Love having my hubster home. Love that man! Looking forward to adventure tomorrow and hoping the children that are still up sleep in till 10! Not holding my breath on the latter.

Hebrews 12:
This chapter starts off so stinking strong and then gets rather confusing. Been feeling very ADD the last several days. Can't get myself to focus and drill down the way I'd like to. I'm sure the sweet little boy wiggling around next to me is not helping a thing. Probably the coke I drank so late in the afternoon and the giddiness of fall and staycation is not helping either.

Focus! First four verses are awesome. It's a reminder of what we are doing and why we are doing it. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Simple and yet so hard to do. There are distractions everywhere. Even blessing and abundance become distracting. This stupid phone is a distraction. Part of me is so tempted to rebel against technology and get a boring old phone. I'd never get on an actual computer because that is such a hassle and do email would go out the window. In some ways it sounds completely undoable and awful but it's also incredibly appealing. In many ways I think I'm a slave to this constant access to everything under the sun. Distraction. All this abundance has made life so very complicated. There's got to be someway to jump off the treadmill.

Vs 5 & 6 talk about discipline and how God disciplines those that he loves. I can totally track with those and believe it. I get messed up on the following verses.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? (Hebrews 12:7 NIV84)

I feel like there has to be something lost in translation here. I could look up commentary and should but kinda wanna wrestle with this. When we were in Portland and the wheels were flying off and I had just watched my dog die out of the blue right in the middle of our living room in front of me I felt like we were being punished. In fact I yelled and asked God why He was punishing us. Punish and discipline are two different things but this verse mentions the word punish and discipline together.

because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." (Hebrews 12:6 NIV84)

Again here I can't help but think the language translation is causing something to be missed. I felt like we were being punished in Portland at the time but now realize that my idea of how God operates was totally skewed. I do believe God used the hardships we faced in Portland to disciple us. Love how discipline and disciple are so closely related. If I wasn't so lazy I'd do a word study on it. I think the goal of discipline is to disciple. This leads me to my kids. That's a grand goal as a parent for all my discipline to be an agent to truly disciple my children. There truly are many moments when my intention of discipline truly is to disciple my kiddos but I think for every discipleship moment theres also discipline out of frustration or concern over the behavior and not the heart.

I am all over the map. Really want to chew on this the next couple days. I think these kind of verses trip up people a lot. Or maybe it's just me.

D


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Monday, October 08, 2012

DAY 792: HEBREWS 11

Impromptu s'mores and fire pit with neighbors was super fun. There is something about sitting around a fire that is so incredibly relaxing. I'm itching like crazy to go camping!

Today started a week long staycation. Started the week off by trying to bring some order to our chaos. Still got some ground to cover.

Hebrews 11:
This is the all star hall of fame. I would imagine this would be even more so to a Jew. I can imagine the pride that would swell up in one whose very identity were tied up in the people mentioned in this chapter. None of the people listed were given an easy set of circumstances either. In fact, I'm sure for most of them it seemed as if the task at hand was impossible and yet they still chose to walk by faith. I so want to grow in my faith, my trust, in God. The thing is that faith can't grow unless you are put in hard and impossible situations that can test that faith. There's part of me that loves this, the adventurer, but my flesh hates it!

It's funny reading this verse today.

Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16 NIV84)

In the verse ahead of it, it talks about being foreigners and aliens. I felt that way today while driving through the city. I really hate this city. Like really hate it. I'm not sure though if I'd feel much different in another city though. I think that I would but there is a part of me that will just never be satisfied here on this earth. I don't belong here and sometimes that is so painfully obvious.

quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (Hebrews 11:34 NIV84)

Whose weakness was turned to strength. I need that reminder daily. It's when I operate out of my own strength that I screw it all up!

So much greatness in this chapter. Really like the verses on Moses.

He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. (Hebrews 11:25 NIV84)

I pray I grow to be a little more like this! Comfort is such an idol to me.

This chapter ends with a bang.

God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40 NIV84)

D

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Sunday, October 07, 2012

DAY 791: HEBREWS 10

I'm so tired and the thought of having to use my brain to do this sounds so unappealing. Prone to wander Lord I feel it. I want to wander right up to a big ole Twix. Better yet would be Twix ice cream. My hubster heard frustrating news today. I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster for weeks and weeks now. Can't even imagine how weary he is of the journey. Our life is really good and I so don't want to complain. I just feel like in some ways we are hanging out in limbo and that's a place I don't know how to do very well.

Got our closets ready for fall. I will never let an entire year of season change stack up and go unorganized ever again!! Chaos left undealt with has to be dealt with eventually. It's a lot more painful to pretend its not there in the long run.

Hebrews 10:
There is so much great stuff in the second half of this chapter but I just can't get my brain to work. I'll blame waking up before 6 in a puddle of my child's urine on my failure to be able to crunch this.

D

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Saturday, October 06, 2012

DAY 790: HEBREWS 10

I am so wonderfully exhausted. Loving this cooler sweatshirt weather. I could pass out standing up.

Tried to flip over our closets today. It's still a work in progress. Our trip to Estes is biting me in the bottom right now. I had to dig out cold weather clothes and I never got around to bringing order to the chaos. We are crazy blessed. Our excess has been really hitting me hard this weekend. I wanna gripe about the perils of changing out clothes for the season but most kids around the world don't worry about that. They wear their clothes until they literally turn into rags. I don't know where I'm going with all of this but it's heavy on my heart right now.

Hebrews 10:
I really like this verse and can't necessarily get my cozy sleep fuzzy brain to explain why.

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. (Hebrews 10:1 NIV84)

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming. That really strikes me today. I never considered the law but I guess I never really considered its goodness either. As a self professed rule breaker, rules or laws only seem like obstacles to have to overcome rather than viewing them as the safe guards that they are. I feel as if there is something even greater in this though. The law protects us and helps lead to abundant life yet somehow it feels like there is even more to it than that. I just can't fully wrap my head around it fully.

Last night at the shabbat dinner one of the prayers was thanking God for the sabbath. The Sabbath is an incredible gift and yet I neglect that gift. I act as if the sabbath was created for God rather than God creating it for me. I've been trapped into backwards thinking that in order to be obedient I must obey the sabbath. The sabbath is a gift and I'm a fool every week that I refuse to open the beautiful gift of rest. I don't even know what it would look like to wholeheartedly embrace that rest but I want to know how. If His law is a gift am I grumbling and complaining in my obedience. Most often I do.

Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. (Hebrews 10:9 NIV84)

May I lay it down just as Christ so willingly laid down His everything. May I do it with great joy and a happy rather rather than with grumbling and complaining.

This verse is almost too much for me to handle. The verses prior we are reminded of the yearly sacrifice and offering made to atone for sin. Yet the sacrifices did nothing to actually take away sin. Rather it was more of a reminder that there was sin committed and that on our own and through the law we could never be made perfect. So Christ had to sacrificed so that we might be made righteous. Here I've sat imagining the vast amounts of blood everywhere poured all over the altar. Then the passage switches to Christ. His death was brutal. I want to grasp onto that grace without having to be faced with the brutality of His sacrifice. Frankly it makes me really uncomfortable and I don't like to dwell on it. I am reminded by the own brutal death that must occur in myself in order to become that living sacrifice I so desperately long to be.

This world can be rather hellish in light of all the hurt and pain. This verse brings much hope and delight regardless of how bleak it can look at times.

Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, (Hebrews 10:13 NIV84)

So thankful God chose me to be on Team Jesus.

because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:14 NIV84)

I have been made perfect. I don't need to fear imperfection or failure because through Christ I have already been made perfect. Love the end of this verse too, "those who are being made holy". I thank God that He is faithful and that He loves me enough to make me holy.

D


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