Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DAY 993: ISAIAH 40

Well we made it back to Cedar Hill. Crazy the difference a couple of days can make. The several dozen kids that ran around this place has been replace by a deserted state park. Reason number 147 why I love homeschooling. Both camping experiences have been very enjoyable so far for our entire family. I see many good times ahead for this family that involve a tent and fire. Love the peace that comes from being outside. I could fall asleep right now. So thankful we pressed forward to come back out.

Really drawn to verses 6-8 today. Probably doesn't hurt that a Seeds song keeps playing in my head. As interesting as these verses are commentary made it even more beautiful today.

A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:6-8 NIV)

Humans and even our faithfulness and the deeds that result from our faithfulness will fade and wither like the flowers and the grass of the field. The part of this verse that explains the withering caused by the breath of The Lord blowing on the grass and flowers (us) really caught my eye. This is where commentary really hit me hard. God made us frail. I don't dwell on this very often. In my constant struggle with self reliance I desire to overcome my frailty and am often frustrated by my shortcomings and frailty. Thankfully guilt and shame is getting better but I'm by no means cured of these shackles and chains.

God endowing us with frailty is actually a gift of grace. It's through that frailty and our shortcomings that ties us to Christ. I know this and yet have such a hard time walking in this. I often wish my temperament or my strengths mirrored others I instead of what I've been given. Comparison is such a thief of joy yet this is a topic for another day.

May I grow to have the attitude of thanksgiving that Paul had rejoicing not only in difficulty but also in my weakness.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 NIV)

So crazy thankful for this time every day. To be recentered on the very words of God. What a blessing and a great joy that the Word of The Lord endures forever. Just thinking about how it has physically been preserved since the beginning of time is mind blowing. May I grow to cherish it more and more. I'll admit as much as I've grown to love this daily time often I force myself to do it. I take it for granted that I have all kinds of access to it. It's not the precious treasure that it should be to me. I long to break free from my own self interests and the spiritual warfare that keeps me from these words, that keeps me from not reading it every free moment I have. I keep thinking of a video of a tribe that was finally given a copy of the bible in their own language. There was much celebration and tears of great joy and gladness. I not only have access to the bible in English I have a stack of them in several different versions in my home and on my phone. May I grow to cherish God 's word more than any other possession I have.


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Monday, April 29, 2013

DAY 992: ISAIAH 40

Well we managed to get packed up again and are ready to camp again. Oh how I was a stinkpot to my babies today. The to do list reigned and it was made quiet clear to them today that they were not the priority. Yet another day wasted in that regard. Hate that! I don't want them to look back and remember the camping trips and other fun things we did but also the way they were made to feel like a burden in the process. Oh how I hate the thought of them ever feeling that way. The world says children are a burden and I'll be honest it's a fight to not give in to that lie. I'm a selfish beast and my agenda can be my first priority. Kids don't roll like that. I hope that as I grow wiser and more patient I'll learn to lean into The Lord more and more in these moments. All day long its been me thinking. "I need to get this done". How much better if I had stopped at every interruption addresses my babies lovingly and trusted that God was going to help get it done. He cares about a family camping trip. I don't know why but He does. Yet I get amnesia and I forget that regardless of my distain for details He holds them all together in His hand.

First night of Shelter was good. After nailing down the calendar for this month I do have to admit another night of something to do wasn't all that exciting. Yet when I showed up tonight it was so obvious that there's a reason for giving up these precious Monday nights. The minor frustration I've felt over the last couple weeks was cleared up nicely tonight as well. Looking forward to seeing all that God has in store for this semester.

I can't possibly handle this entire chapter tonight. It's like an incredibly rich dessert. I want to eat all of it but can't possibly take it all in. It might take several days for it all to sink in.

Might as well dive in.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." (Isaiah 40:5 NIV)

The glory of The Lord will be revealed and all people will see it together. This will be such a joyous moment for some and yet for others a most horrifying and sorrowful moment. I think if I thought of what it will be like for those who have rejected God as their Savior and Lord I would pray for those who do not know Him more fervently. My shelter co-leader talked about her FIL who has chosen to rely on his own wisdom tonight. Heartbreaking. The Beatitude blessed are those who are poor in spirit for the Kingdom of heaven is theirs. Oh how thankful I am to realize how crazy poor in spirit I am. Now if only I could get rid of this evil pride.

Funny that the next section talks about withering grass a d fading flowers as I'm fading fast. Will be back again tomorrow . This chapter is so good!


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Sunday, April 28, 2013

DAY 991: ISAIAH 39

Not many words to say tonight. Exhausted. Morning wasn't bad but I let my to do list cause frustration instead of truly enjoying my babies. What stinks is that I don't get anything done anyway so I wish I would just make wise choices. So many blessings were given today but I'm just too tired to revel in them. Read an article on sleep deprivation and it explains a lot. Pondering what, if any, actions I should take.

Read Isaiah 39 & commentary and my eyelids are drooping. This chapter sets up the following chapters which warn against Babylon's capture of Judah. King Hez is visited by high officials of Babylon and he shows them all the wealth and storehouses Judah has acquired. His desire to please and impress man gets him in trouble here. When he is told of his mistake by Isaiah the response is kinda stinky.

"The word of the Lord you have spoken is good," Hezekiah replied. For he thought, "There will be peace and security in my lifetime." (Isaiah 39:8 NIV)

He is more concerned about the peace and security that will happen in his lifetime than Judah's as a nation. I want to cast the first stone at Hez but I too long for peace and security.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

DAY 990: ISAIAH 38

Sunburned and itching like crazy but heart full. First ever BrownTown family camping trip went great. I don't think it hurt a bit that we got to go with 8 or so other families. Kids had a blast and so glad my hubs got to connect with a couple others, one in particular. First family experience at Babe's with another great family too. Great weekend filled with firsts. Oh how being outdoors with my family and with great friends filled my heart. Couple stressful moments when we couldn't locate a certain small boy twice but overall a blast. Think we might head back in a couple days. Want to get back out and camp at least one more time before the heat becomes a whip. Les and I very excited about the world of possibilities camping can open up for our family. I can say this after a pretty crummy night of sleep complete with what seemed like crazy hurricane wind. I will also say that although I would have loved to stay tonight as well I'm not sad about sleeping in a real bed tonight.

Feels like I haven't read in forever. Thankful that it feels that way. Praying that one day my desire to read my bible matches my desire to get caught up on social media or eat twix. This weekend I do regret not enough quiet time to sit before God's feet. Oh how my soul connects with Him in nature.

Hezekiah gets sick and is told he is going to die and weeps bitterly before The Lord and Isaiah tells him that The Lord has heard him and will add 15 years to his life. There's a couple things here.
1. I wonder how Hezekiah lived out everyday of those last 15. I fear the years would rapidly sneak up on me and I'd look up and be just a few years out and then scramble to make the most of it. I feel that way even now with my kids. I'm given such a short time of them in my house. I hate when the days of enjoying them are wasted on silly things like endless to do lists or worse checking out on my ievil. Let me not be foolish and waste away the days.

2. I hate the human desire to lump Hezekiah's healing into some grand Christian healing program. If I've been a faithful enough Christian I'll be spared heartache or be healed. I'll be honest in my flesh I want there to be a formula to everything. I want life post surrender to Christ to be filled with ease and happiness. This just isn't the case. In fact, our obedience to Christ can often lead to hardship and pain. There's really no earthly benefit to following The Lord. In fact, the wisdom of this world would suggest to follow Christ is completely crazy. Yet, in light of eternity and the the joy that can arise even out of hardship and suffering suggests something completely different.

Only one who knows Jesus not only through head knowledge but also by experiencing Him with their heart can get a verse like this:

Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back. (Isaiah 38:17 NIV)

So very thankful for my woman at the well experience with Christ. It hasn't always been easy and often times its been painful but I'm eternally grateful for this new life in Christ!


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Friday, April 26, 2013

DAY 989: ISAIAH 37

Up and at em and ready for our first BrownTown camping experience. Pretty weepy this morning. Thinking back on how much I longed to camp as a kid. My camping experiences were those spent with other families. That in itself has me on my knees this morning. God provided for me so much even in the chaos. He is so very very good to each of us. His provision stretches in the good times and in the bad times. Really kinda overwhelmed by it right now.

ISAIAH 37 reflects that theme this morning. The remnant of Israel is left and Assyria wants to make them bow down to them. The King receives a horrible and threatening message from Sennacherib and if he just looked at the world and its circumstances there's no reason why King Hez shouldn't believe Sennacherib. Assyria desolated so many other countries. Hezekiah goes to seek wisdom from Isaiah instead of the council of fools. He humbles himself and seeks God very face in his desperation and God hears him.

For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 37:32 NIV)

He is zealous for us. I can't wrap my brain around why He would be zealous for us. The thing is there is no logical reason why He should be. We are sinful, disobedient, disrespectful, prideful, demanding little beings. Yet we are His and doesn't just love us He loves us passionately. This is why there is nothing I should fear on this earth. There is no tragedy big enough, no cancer aggressive enough, no death penetrating enough that can destroy me. I am loved zealously by a most powerful God. He is willing and able to provide and walk me through anything this world can fling at us. At times I fear why The Lord has prepared my heart for this knowledge. Yet I know that it matters not why. Though the circumstances may seem unbearable The Lord Almighty is strong enough to provide through it all.

May I be wise like Hezekiah and seek His face when faced with the Sennacherib moments in my life. May our children witness a life fully surrendered and devoted to Christ fully trusting Him in ALL circumstances. May they learn to do the same. He is so good all the time.


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

DAY 988: ISAIAH 36

We were those parents at the Walmart at 10pm tonight. Running on fumes. Sitting at a gas station now and sad that I have no sheets on our bed and five little cuties still need to go to bed. This might make camping a bit nutty but it could also make sleeping tomorrow night kinda awesome. We'll see. Either way this puppy will be short tonight.

Soccer game tonight. Love that sport. My oldest boy is really starting to enjoy himself and is pushing himself. Proud of that kid. I don't care if he's the best athlete on the field or the worst but I love that he's trying his best. His brother is quite a site to watch playing on the field. His everyday personality matches his play on the field. He's running around the field but its very apparent he's on a totally different planet. I adore that boy and I'm so thankful God has entrusted us with him. Praying we don't crush the wonderful spirit God has given him.

I love the account of this chapter because I know King Hezekiah's response to Assyria's threats. Oh what great threats they are. The kings assistant tries to cast doubt on God and His ability to protect the Israelites from Assyria, casts doubt on their good favor of The Lord, tells them The Lord is the one who sent them, tries to entice with bribes to join forces, and casts doubt on their leader Hezekiah. Love the people's response to Assyria's threats.

But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, "Do not answer him." (Isaiah 36:21 NIV)

This is so telling of the leadership of Hezekiah. The people didn't doubt even when the enemy tried to cast doubt and they trusted in his leadership. It shows that Hezekiah was wise in his instructions to remain quiet and not let overwhelming emotions take over. As I write that I'm smacked in the face once again at the beauty of remaining quiet. If I allow my feelings and emotions to reign over me and control my mouth that doesn't allow much room for the Holy Spirit to speak quietly to my heart and give strength to the faint of heart. Sometimes I need God to remind me why I can trust Him fully. It is not in my natural state to trust so I need God's prompting to remind me that I can trust Him in everything even if the bottom is completely falling out. Lord help me to remain quiet of spirit so that I might fully trust.

Excited about reading tomorrow. Hezekiah's response to Sennacherib gets me fired up every time. It's His kind of faith that is inspiring. This is the kinda of faith that I want to possess!! I want to be a blazing torch in the darkness that helps point to Jesus.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DAY 987: ISAIAH 36

Interesting day today. Or maybe it was more just an interesting morning. Bible study was good but some conflict that broke out had me wanting to duck under the table. I was fine to be in the middle of it BUT when I walked out of the room and came back to two girls in the thick of conflict I was completely uncomfortable. I used to avoid conflict like the plague. In fact, if I thought you would ditch me if high tail it out before that was even a remote possibility. Through lovely CG conflict, friendship conflict and even marital conflict I've come to realize that conflict truly can be good and often is beautiful. Even when it's painful I believe God has great growth in the midst of it all. I think my duck and cover response I had to today has a lot to do with the way I saw conflict growing up. Simple conflict or a fight could turn into screaming, yelling, holes punched in the wall and objects being thrown. Thankful fights calmed down at least in frequency as I grew up but as a little girl witnessing such explosive fighting the fear has been permanently etched in my mind. The hair trigger and walking on eggshells remained throughout childhood. Eh!

Even today in the midst of tears and hearts hurt there was much beauty to be had. I think a lot of us are much more walled and stubborn than we care to admit. Thankful God is so loving and kind to each of us. Thankful for people willing to speak up and say they have been offended. Today although intense at times have me great hope and encouragement. Amongst a group of believers who truly love one another their can be conflict and disagreement and great wonderful things can arise from it.

My hubbers is a snot monster. Poor sweet man has been working his tail off and getting up super early and I think it just didn't take much for a cold to take him down. Between that and not being able to run needed errands due to day three of clean your darn room lockdown 2013 we will be cutting our camping trip short but a day. A part of me is disappointed but feel much peace that this is the right decision. I think friends will help my kiddos overcome any nighttime camping fears they might have. Heck if it goes great we can always go next week. Or maybe my uncomfortable pregnant booty will be just fine till the fall.

Have I mentioned how much I love soccer? I love the looks of confidence that flash on the faces of those precious kids. I love how my kids are self initiating the desire to run and practice at home. I am so proud of them. Beautiful to see them push themselves, learn perseverance, and so many other lessons I didn't expect. Thankful!

Oy! Benadryl kicked in too soon. This chapter is about the account of Sennacherib and Hezekiah. Will revisit tomorrow. Love this story!!


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DAY 986: ISAIAH 35

This will be short and sweet. Celebrating 9 wonderful years with my hubs today. Been a crying mess off and on. Fun trying to explain happy tears to my kids. Still overwhelmed at God's goodness and the absolute treasure of husband He has blessed me with. Wanted to reflect on the past 9 but will probably have to wait till tomorrow. Frustrated at the disobedience of two youngest boys. Still in a lockdown over their room. Justice has been delivered more times than I care to count. I hate this but I don't know what else to do. Completely frustrated and broken hearted but they have to learn to obey and how to be apart of something greater than themselves. I might vomit if I have to give the work is good for you speech again. Oh the joys of parenting. It can be so incredibly painful at times. I know this will eventually produce a beautiful harvest not only in my boys but also in my own heart. Loves trains, it disciplines, it speaks truth in love even when it's difficult. It does not enable. Oy!

Well didn't finish due to a rough close out of the day with my kiddos. Parenting can be so darn painful. Good evening with my hubs celebrating 9 years. Interesting things to reflect on but will have to wait. Heart filled with gratitude and heavy over the pain of how much training up kiddos can hurt.

Checking the box tonight but very encouraging chapter. I'll end with this beaut.

and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:10 NIV)


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Monday, April 22, 2013

DAY 985: ISAIAH 34

Pollen was a beat down today. It seems wrong that something so small and evil can hinder such a beautiful day. Over all I gotta today was good. Neighbor came over when her power was off this AM and then BAM it was 1pm. My oldest struggled today due to poor exhaustion. Poor sweet thing had a hard time coping with life today. Totally get it. Younger boys refused to do what they needed to and caused even more chaos and destruction avoiding their chores. Surely this whole clean up after yourself bit will eventually get better. The Bunny is back to normal. She's back to her no napping ways and is still up partying like a rock star right now. Stinker. Overall pretty non eventful day. Head pounded too much to think much.

This chapter is heavy and describes the battle of Armageddon and the Great Tribulation. It's going to be crazy ugly. This is pretty much the tone of the entire chapter:

The Lord is angry with all nations; his wrath is on all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will stink; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. (Isaiah 34:2, 3 NIV)

What is one supposed to say in response to this? Crazy thankful for grace!


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Sunday, April 21, 2013

DAY 984: ISAIAH 33

Started the day off shortly after my hubs left to a Bunny who got sick on our bed. I don't know if there's something about a sweet sick baby or if I'm just over it but the fear of the puke bug spreading like wildfire was far from my mind. Could very well be out of a place of gratitude. One of the gals I serve with on the Nest is at the hospital this weekend with her daughter as her world is being altered forever. Her momma heart aches as she has watched her precious girl adjust to a new life of insulin shots and finger pricks this weekend. A house full of temporary pukers seems like nothing looking through the lens of that perspective.

Perspective is everything isn't it? Depending on the perspective one can give thanks while another feels compelled to complain. Thankful for God's sweet and gentle reminder not to focus on the temporal yesterday in the full heat of my irritation and frustration. When my perspective is focused on the temporal I am more prone to grumbling and complaining. Temporal situations tend to shift the focus on me and my temporary discomforts. I want to have a heart that beats after the eternal. Even the pagans can worry, grumble and complain. May my life reflect something different not because I'm great but because the One that I follow is that great.

Felt hungover today. Who knew watching booze flow freely would be enough to make me feel rough today. There were so many mornings I woke up hungover and anxious about the crazy antics that had taken place the night before. I was set on a fast pace to self destruction. So thankful for mornings like these to remind me of all that The Lord plucked me out of. I can remember the great joy I had the first New Years Day I woke up without a hangover. It was so symbolic of the new life and the new heart God was creating in me. Not a New Years has gone by since that I don't thank God for all that He's done.

Feeling rough this morning WAS a great reminder of why rest is so important. Yesterday was such a blur I realized at the wedding I had not drank anything that entire day. I feel yuck today because I'm crazy dehydrated. The theme of rest, quietness and trust continues to echo through out my head. The beauty of all of those things working together to produce the beautiful fruit of perfect peace. He so wants to gift us this beautiful gift here on earth if we'll slow down enough, quiet ourselves enough and trust Him enough. He is so very good!

Got the rah rah sis boom bah shelter get ready to start email. It's so funny. I like to help set up frameworks and teams and figure out how things will operate within an organization but I do not like to follow such structures and organizations and systems. I do not like being boxed into systems and organizations and gasp rules. A part of me has felt guilty about being wired that way and yet there's a part of WM that also doesn't like to be boxed in and likes to operate out of its own set of rules. Although there is much pride to squash and many pit falls to avoid there is also something beautiful to having a renegades heart. What a wonderful opportunity to practice quietness and humility. Already wanting to pull my hair out a bit but very much aware it's due to my own issues and temperament. Let the heart surgery begin!

This chapter grabbed my heart at the very get go. This verse is beautiful.

Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2 NIV)

We long for you. God I pray you are the upmost desire of my heart more than anything even life itself. May I not seek out temporary things to fill the deep longings of my soul but rather turn to you, the only One who can truly satisfy. May I seek your face morning after morning and your strength rather than operate out of my own.

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. (Isaiah 33:6 NIV)

A rich store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge to those who fear The Lord. Can't help but think of all those who mock God. Who think their ways are the best and refuse to look beyond themselves. Break their hearts God so that the scales may be removed from their eyes. May I tap into the rich treasures of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.

This verse aches my heart:
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" (Isaiah 33:14 NIV)

Oh the horrors and the terror that awaits those who refuse to turn to The Lord. In light of these verses I understand why The Lord has been so patient to wait so that as many of His children as possible will turn to Him.

Many great and awesome verses the second half of the chapter. Makes my heart rejoice!


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

DAY 983: ISAIAH 32

Want to pass out into a food coma. Went to a wedding and I've done nothing but eat for the past five hours . Most intense and delicious wedding feast I've ever been to. Had a lot of fun with my hubs. Day wasn't all fun though. Lots of stress and screaming kids in the frantic pace of today. Two soccer games, team pictures and last minute errands. I was snappy and grumpy and should have been the first one to apologize to my hubs before the wedding but was a prideful beast. I pray my heart grows to rush to beat him because I love him and desire to be reconciled over holding onto my selfish pride. Even in the midst of my frustration today I knew my focus was on temporal things that did not matter. So hard to shift focus and look to the eternal and hold love higher than anything else. Still very much a work in progress.

See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. (Isaiah 32:1, 2 NIV)

Love this visual of what it will be like when Jesus reigns. Also a great reminder of what a gift and blessing good leadership is. I should pray more for the leaders that have authority in my life.

Second half of the chapter talks about the demise of Jerusalem. Even in the talk of destruction though Isaiah gives the people a first hand look at the hope and renewal that will happen in hearts as a result of the hardships Loved this reminder today


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Friday, April 19, 2013

DAY 982: ISAIAH 32

Way less grumpy today. Having my fabulous hubs home and awesome coffee at the dentist didn't hurt anything. Grumps at bay but my raging sailor mouth is in full effect. Not sure what the deal is but it's a bit out of control. I think my brain is so shot right now between pregnancy and pollen overload that there's no brain cells left for a filter. Need to pray about it before my kids start dropping fun bombs themselves.

Good day full of running around. Our diaper bag with my precious Ergo has been missing and last night finally figured out where it might be. So very thankful it is there and in less than 24 hrs I'll be reunited with my lovely Ergo. I've been secretly dreaming of getting another but if I lost this one that dream would be whisked away. Why should one mom have two? Well, one for the car and one for home my dear friends. I never want to be caught without my precious ever again. It's the only way to do life with precious high maintenance babies who must constantly be held. If my Bunny continues her cling on ways I'll have to master one on my back and one strapped to my front. I've morphed into 100% mommy monster. I held on for awhile but at three I fully surrendered to the beauty that is called motherhood. Crazy thankful to be so crazy blessed.

No deep thoughts today despite the chaos in the news. I was almost relieved tonight to find out that the Boston bombings had been done by a student recently converted to Islam. I know that sounds strange but to have such a devious plan without some sort of driving passion is almost scarier than the alternative. Killing simply for the sport of killing invokes more fear in me. Believer of Islam or under demonic influence both come from the same corrupt father of lies but crazed demon possessed people send far bigger chills down my spine.

Really nothing in the news is all that shocking. I truly wish that it was but this is what happens when a nation walks away from the King of Peace and bows down to other gods. May the chaos that has been reigning point people to their desperate need for a Savior. I know it was the chaos that reigned so out of control in my life that pointed to the One who could make sense of it all.

Can't possibly break this down after getting the opportunity to chat with a precious friend. So much floating around in my head. Might have to bullet point and come back tomorrow.

- there is beauty is struggle and in strife
- God does not require perfection. We will make wrong choices and mistakes but God can use the consequences of such choices to prosper us and our children
- comparison is from the pit of hell and results from lack of trust in God's Sovereignty
- confusion and chaos is caused by one maker
-mommy guilt is a result of lack of trust in God's Sovereignty.

It's interesting to me how many problems in life result from lack of trust and understanding of God. His beauty becomes more stunning to me the more I know Him. I can't wait to spend an eternity praising Him for His infinite goodness. Until then may I live out Hebrews 12:1, throwing off everything that hinders and fleeing from the sin that so easily entangles.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

Continuing to dwell on the idea of perfect peace and how rest and quietness plays in so perfectly well with that.


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

DAY 981: ISAIAH 31

So over being a grumpy beast!!! Once again had to ask for forgiveness for responding in anger instead of gentleness and self control. My tone dripped irritation rather than love today. Ugh! Part of it is pregnancy pms on crack but part of it is my fault for a crazy pace this week. Discomfort smacked me in the face this week and I can't hang with the busyness even when I'm not rocking another human being in my body.

I've been marinating on this verse from yesterday.

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

It's very clear how lack of rest as quietness has reaped havoc on experiencing perfect peace this week. It's affected my heart and left me longing rather than satisfied and full of gratitude.

This chapter is about the woes that are to come to those who rely on Egypt. Short but sweet in its message but so applicable to everyone. Who or what do I turn to for security? Anybody or anything I run to before I run to God is my Egypt.


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DAY 980: ISAIAH 30

Tonight I can rest assured that the wiggle worm constantly flopping in my belly is a girl. I was thinking about all the pee that goes on in this house and how the dog has recently decided to pee in the house too and all I want to do is blown up our house. Desire to blow up house equals girl in my book.

Good day. Bible study and then ghetto picnic lunch in the front yard. So need to go grocery shopping. Got check the box school done today. I realize why I enjoy check the box school so much. It feels like I've gotten something accomplished. It's very measurable and often there's a finished product at the end. Knowledge gained by reading books can't necessarily be measured and isn't seen. Think I have a better handle on how to use curriculum now than I did at the beginning of the year. It's a great tool and a guide but it doesn't have to wag this dog anymore.

Another intense chapter. Starts off doom and gloom for God's obstinate people. Then grace upon grace is lavished when they turn from their stiff necked ways, rid themselves of their idols and turn to The Lord.

People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. (Isaiah 30:19 NIV)

I'm so thankful He is so incredibly gracious!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)

I pray I learn to listen to this voice!!

This verse is intriguing to me tonight:

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Repentance AND rest is your salvation. I know God wasn't messing around when He gave us the gift of the Sabbath. I need to wrap my head around this idea how rest is as important to repentance in salvation. Am I actively practicing the principle of rest or am I clogging up my days with busyness.

Quietness AND trust is your strength. Bam! Need to actively do a better job at this quietness thing. Getting better at this trust piece but so very far to go in the department of quietness. May I learn to rest and possess quietness so that I might hear His quiet and gentle voice.


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DAY 979: ISAIAH 29

I'm so ready to fall out. Little boys still up raising a ruckus. Oh these wonderful amazing sanctifying boys! A good day but another day on the go. Met a girl this morning whose doing Shelter and whose hubs has been keeping an addiction hidden that's recently been discovered. She is in the thick of it but on the other side looking in its so apparent how God's hand and perfect timing is all up in this situation. He loves us enough to strip us completely bare so that He can create in us a new heart that beats after Him. So painful in the midst of all of it yet He never makes us walk alone.

My wonderful child that dances to the beat of his very own drum just came I and I'm reminded that this morning things started off rather rocky. I reminded this very wonderful child to get dressed repeatedly. When it was time to leave I told him it was time to leave and we were getting in the car. He of course was in his room naked. As I was loading up the three willing kiddos a naked boy came shrieking out of the house. Another one remained in the house screaming over a lost toy and angry at his naked brother and everybody else under the sun. I poured gasoline on an already raging fire at this point. Once everyone was strapped in the car I called the two offending boys over one at a time a made things right with each if them. The nakey boy was afraid I would leave him because he screamed that he didn't love me anymore. Oh that sweet precious boy.

Took the dog the vet today. He's been looking rough and his eye was gooey and swollen. The plan was to just drop him off but since the kids were doing great we just stuck around for the visit which was quick. Lots of fuss was made over the kids and the quantity of them. Actually it was made in a good way which is not generally the norm. I love when people say well maybe it's a girl and you'll even it up. I get to tell them it is a girl and that only means we'll have to have another for a tie breaker. It makes people want to faint. I'm crazy exhausted but I love this sanctifying, exhausting, wonderful and amazing crew. My cup overfloweth!

We got regular check the box school done in the hallway at a quick pace this afternoon. Life of Fred math went over really well today. I think using a combination approach to math is exactly what my girl is going to need. I don't feel confident enough to use Life of Fred as a stand alone curriculum, which is probably my own junk, but for my auditory learner I think it's going to be perfect!

The cleaning of the boys room went crappy as usual. I could pull my hair out. We are going to move them into another room in the house due to a triple bunk bed fitting better. I'm hoping not moving toys into their room and having a better bed situation will help things all around. Not holding my breath but fingers crossed!

Wowzers this is heavy! I need to read commentary to make sense of the first part of this chapter. Fading fast though.

Love these verses especially in light of talking about the travesty of religion in truly knowing Christ.

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." (Isaiah 29:13, 14 NIV)

With that I'm out. Can not keep my eyes open.


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Monday, April 15, 2013

DAY 978: ISAIAH 28

Hate how a perfectly good day can turn south in a matter of minutes. If I really think about it though it started turning before that due to not enough margin in my day. I rode the last ride and when one child screamed in the living room for no reason I over reacted. When another ruined perfectly good leftover spaghetti sauce by pouring lemon juice all in it I was done. Especially after getting a text for a sweet girl who was in our Merge group that her brother is in the ER for an uncontrollable seizure. She gets married this weekend. Too much to process while trying to frantically switch over two sets of sheets that were peed on last night.

(B getting her first dose of Blues Clues crack. Wanna get this done in case I end up going to sit and pray at a hospital tonight.)

Recap of great day with rough end with my Brownies. Had my bird meeting this morning. Meeting smaller due to sick kiddos. Although I always miss the ladies unable to attend there's something great about the intimacy of a smaller group. Had ample spare time to check on team and hear where their hearts are and what they are struggling with. Love this part of serving with these ladies. Such beautiful hearts.

After the meeting went to the park to meet a neighbor. Should have skipped this to provide the appropriate down time not only for my kiddos but also for me knowing friends were coming over for dinner. Really want to cultivate that relationship though especially as they can be powerful allies in being salt and light on our street. Had friends over for dinner which was great. Still slowly being impacted by a talk I heard a couple years ago on hospitality. I think I work up having someone over to eat more than I should. It was great to just fix something we already had on hand and make due instead of having the perfect meal combination come together. I burned toast that was supposed to be make shift garlic bread and it was just fine. I put left over salad on the table and that was just fine too. People just want to hang out together and are not coming over for a put together meal. Loving the freedom in that.

Figured out why I'm more short fused and out of gas with my kiddos. The sleep thing is bigger than I'm giving it credit for. Thankful to have fallen asleep with ease last night and before 11pm. My bunny did get up several times but went quickly back to sleep without working on fully developing her lung capacity. I think her extra neediness has me worn out a bit. I feel incredibly selfish writing that but I'm touched out and just completely done by the end of the day. My duty extends into several sleep interruptions every night. I will miss the itty bitties in my house but I will NOT miss teething one single bit!! I know this too shall pass and is great opportunity to break down my self reliance. It's all good but I hate being so irritated at my sweet ones.

Went to make sure things were right with my big girl and then chatted with my hubs. Officially need toothpicks to keep my eyes propped open.

This chapter is intense and crazy dense. All I can say is wow. At the same time I'm really kinda heartbroken over it. This chapter is about the pride of the leaders of Ephraim and Judah and the insanely sad consequences of their self reliance and foolish pride. These verses break my heart and we can see these lived out amongst God's people still today.

Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose"— but they would not listen. So then, the word of the Lord to them will become: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there— so that as they go they will fall backward; they will be injured and snared and captured. (Isaiah 28:11-13 NIV)

God wants to give His people rest. He lead His very people to the Land of Milk and Honey. A symbol of the spiritual rest that He wanted to give them all. Yet they wouldn't listen. They were self reliant and prideful and did not want to walk in the ways of The Lord. As a result they missed it. They missed the perfect peace and rest that God so freely wants to offer each of us.

I know I'm tired and hormonal but I'm just broken over this. He beckons to each of us. He is so good and doesn't just want to offer us peace but wants to offer us his PERFECT peace. Yet we refuse to trust. I refuse to trust. He wants to bring so many weary and broken souls to His place of rest and yet they refuse to listen. They would rather walk in their own ways or delight in the ways of this world. My heart aches over this.

We don't have to wait till heaven to experience peace and rest. There will be trials and their will be troubles but God says take heart I have overcome this world! He has over come it. Why do we fear or worry? Why do I not walk with Him? Why do I daily choose to walk my own path? Why do I trade in perfect peace and rest for a cheap substitute that always leaves me wanting? Self reliance. Pride. I can't seem to get these themes out of my face. He's at work. Praise Him that He is ever so patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and loving.


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Sunday, April 14, 2013

DAY 977: ISAIAH 27

Laid down to put little bit to bed and now I could pass out. Two extras in our bed right now and I'm incredibly frustrated about it. It will just take that much longer to get toots down and I just want to go to bed. I could throw a two year old tantrum right now. Baby stinkpot is screaming right now. I'm choosing to laugh rather than cry. Love how God always provides the perfect provision. Thankful for crazy babies and a God who knows laughter sometimes is the best cure. Wish it worked on getting teething babes to sleep.

This chapter is about the day of The Lord. It's comforting how He promises to show His mercy and grace to His people despite their sinfulness. Yet there will be no mercy shown on those who have put their faith and their trust in man and his ways.


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Saturday, April 13, 2013

DAY 976: ISAIAH 26

I've been a slacker at keeping up with my fist fulls of Mee Maw pills and I'm paying the piper today. Lots of time outside this weekend soaking up the beautiful weather. It's good for the soul kinda weather but oh so bad for allergies. I'm itching like crazy and I've got my pollen induced rash back. Worth it BUT great reminder that I need not slack on self care.

Good morning watching my three oldest play soccer. Such a fantastic sport! Thankful my sweet ones have been blessed with two great teams. They might not be the best players but they are having a blast!

We had our first pre-married counseling session with a couple from our Merge group. Good times. So fun doing ministry with my hubs and even more fun looking back at how far God has grown the both of us. So incredibly thankful for my husband. Words can not express how much I admire the man he has grown to be over the past 9 years. God has been so very good to us. I'm so incredibly thankful.

We started the evening off grilling outside and some neighbors stopped by to chat. Thankful we've gotten to know enough people on our street that they pull up a chair when they see us outside. Love that! I pray that God would continue to give us creativity on how to love our neighbors well.

Tired from the dueling babies that have been keeping me awake at night and I really don't want to do this. I hate admitting that but even more I hate that it's true. I'm just tired and trying to use my brain sounds very unappealing. I do know one thing even when I have to push myself to dive into God's Word it never ever comes back void. He is so very good!

So glad I read despite my lack of desire. His Word is so good! Some great verses contained in this chapter. Love these in particular:

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:3, 4 NIV)

You will keep in perfect peace because you trust in Him. This is so very beautiful. When we are steadfast and when we fully surrender every last aspect of our lives to Christ because we trust Him the result is perfect peace. When we fully trust we are not tossed around by the mighty waves of circumstances and situations around us. We stay grounded knowing that no matter what happens God is completely Sovereign. He does not sleep in the midst of our despair, our fears or our woes. He sees all and knows all and ALL things will be used to glorify Him. All things work together for the good of those who love The Lord. God's plans for us is to prosper us not to harm us. It does not always feel that way in the moment but of these truths I am most assured of. I'm thankful that God had grown the heart of a girl who was not able to trust that God could possibly be good or more importantly that He truly loved me.


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DAY 973: ISAIAH 26

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Friday, April 12, 2013

DAY 972: ISAIAH 25

I want to crawl into a ball and weep for days. I'm torn to shreds over the Gosnell case. Throw in the fact that I cracked open Bonhoeffer again last night and I am so incredibly grieved. Often I am at a loss of what to do about the abortion situation. I don't want to grow complacent that the Gosnell clinic is just a drop in the bucket. It happens everywhere. Roe V Wade just allowed back alley abortion clinics to move their signs to the front. I keep feeling my baby move and I am just broken and grieved. Many churches sat by and did NOTHING as thousands upon thousands of Jews were lead to their slaughter. Let me not grow complacent in this fight for life Lord. Let me not grow complacent for the plight of the widows, the orphans, the poor, the needy, those sold into slavery, and for those who have no voice. Break my heart for the things that breaks yours. Nothing else seems all that important today in light of this. May my heart continue to grow and be prepared and willing to die for the sake of Christ.

Watched most of the Apostle tonight. Probably a really bad choice for my mood tonight. Left with a general feeling of yuck. Although not raised in the same denomination it left me with the same grossness I felt about church growing up. The gross song and dance put forth on Sunday yet lives lived completely contrary to the gospel that was weekly claimed. God becomes nothing more than box checking or a cheap emotion. Today I keep hearing in my head what Bonhoeffer urged the church to do. "Listen to God and obey". May I not be too wrapped up in busyness, fleeting idols or the temporal and miss hearing His voice. May I have the courage to obey even when it comes at a high cost.

This chapter much life encouraging and I can't help but long for the day Jesus returns.

he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people's disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25:8 NIV)


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

DAY 971: ISAIAH 24

Good day but things quickly fell apart in the evening. The kids were fine but I turned into a beastly selfish troll. I even got a break today sans kids. Maybe it just wasn't long enough. I think my Bunny's extreme grumpiness and sleeplessness has left me a bit on edge. The mucky sin so deeply entrenched in my heart has been given a good squeeze lately. Frankly I don't like seeing the junk that comes out and yet thankful to be given an opportunity to see what lies lurking beneath and an opportunity to ask God for help. Thankful for sweet precious grace.

Dropped my oldest off at a girlie playgroup. On the way we had great conversation about who God created her to be. She is very proud to be a girl who likes dresses and being fancy and yet feels very cute in t-shirts and shorts. Ah the perfect combination. It actually prompted me to spend my couple precious hours sans kids to go get my unibrow waxed. It's been years since I've had it done and frankly it makes me feel less like a frump monster. I'm not very fancy in comparison to others but the girlie I do possess has been completely ignored. My girl was a good reminder of that. Right now she has the perfect perspective on fancy and girlie being fun and not something needed to give her value and worth.

So when I went to pick up my girl I got to watch a dance routine the girls had put together. I'm so not a weepy girl but got choked up a bit. Getting choked up now actually. My sweet girl having a blast with some pretty awesome friends. The sweet innocence of childhood not tainted by fear or dysfunction.so much has been redeemed. I'm overcome by God's goodness. Not only in giving me beauty for ashes but for providing in many other ways as well. I really thought when I started homeschooling that in a lot of ways I would be a Lone Ranger. I still desired to walk in obedience but I feared the loneliness for my kids and for myself. God has provided such a sweet community not only for each of my kids but for me as well. He didn't have to do that for us yet in His goodness He has.

This chapter is crazy heavy. It's about the Lord's destruction of the earth. This is pretty much how the whole thing goes:

See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants— (Isaiah 24:1 NIV)

This makes my heart weep. Oh the foolish proud who have out their trust in their own wisdom. Woe to those who think their wicked ways are good and pleasing. I see why Jesus has yet to come back yet. He yearns for those still lost in the folly of their ways. He is slow to anger so unlike me. He beckons, pursues and calls out to His lost sheep for He knows the fate of those who refuse to hear His call. You can almost hear the earth groan under the weight of lawlessness and eager anticipation.


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DAY 970: ISAIAH 23

Good day today. I love a good stormy spring day. Perfect day to huddle on the couch and read for hours but baby grumpy pants would not relent today. That girl is a total pistol. Probably a really good thing Miss Thang isn't going to be the baby girl. Need to start praying for her future hubs. He's going to need to be strong. Glad the stubborn Belgium gene has been passed down to my daughters.

I listened to the song "One Day" and couldn't help but think about how much strife will continue to bubble up until it is the day of The Lord. The divided condition of our country is so incredibly sad. There are so many big blazing flags that are so similar to the beginning reign of the nazi's. It is a very interesting time in our country. I pray that heart would turn towards The Lord. I understand why so many have drifted. As a church we've failed to live out a New Testament kind of faith. There's nothing appealing to watered down Christianity where the God you serve is not powerful enough to deal with all the skeletons in the closet. There's nothing inspiring about a body of believers who have embraced a bastardized version of love. When I truly think about it the last thing I want to do is trade in a radical faith for my idol of comfort. I want to run off the cliff chasing after Christ with full and utter abandon. Father help me not trade in a lifetime of walking with you for self reliance or comfort. Help me to lay it all down and not chase after fleeting things that will only leave me with longing.

In this chapter the warning is against Tyre. Tyre has gotten big for its britches and its heart is as materialistic as it can come. God will send the Babylonians and Assyrians to humble Tyre. It works and some turn to The Lord but eventually they go back to their old ways again.

I think the lesson in this today is to remain vigilant. I want to be prideful like Tyre and point my finger at them for being the dog that returns to their vomit. Yet I too could easily go back to my old ways. It's by God's grace that I haven't.


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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

DAY 969: ISAIAH 22

I realized last night that I've been missing a lot of the churn that daily goes through my head. Need to start taking notes through out the day. The years go by so incredibly fast and yet the days sometimes feel like they are as long as weeks. I feel like my brain is extra taxed lately. This doesn't take much :).

Listening to AIO and hearing a family who is getting a divorce. Heart hurts listening to it knowing there are so many sweet ones whose reality is parents living in chaos. So many sweet friends have experienced divorce growing up. Oh how it grieves God's heart. I'm so thankful the D word was never part of the vocabulary for Les and I. When dating we made it clear divorce would not be an option. Les and I started reading Sacred Marriage and I was shocked to learn that many marrieds who report being unhappy five years later report being happier in marriage. So many couples have bought the lie that divorce is the easy way out hook line and sinker. Grieved over that tonight.

Kinda freaked out about the suicide of Matthew Warren too. I know in my head that regardless of how faithful I am to train up my kids suffering and them choosing to go astray is very possible. I'll be honest there's a prideful part of my heart that thinks if Les and I continue to work on our junk, run hard after God and train these kiddos like that we will get our bowl of cherries at the end. I know personally that this thinking is wrong yet in my pride I think I have it all figured out.

God keeps impressing on my heart that my goal as a parent should not be to protect my kids from pain. I'm not a helicopter parent by nature but there are so deep hurts that I want to do everything I can to help my children avoid. There is an active role I can play in all of this BUT they are going to get hurt in fact they will be crushed and yet God can turn that hurt into something beautiful. God willing I will be available to help my kiddos walk through the hurts they experience growing up. Thankful to be loved by a God who turns even the most horrible of circumstances to something beautiful.

Good day today. I started off a bit grumpy. Kids were tired and I'm so weary of the teeth pulling required to get chores done. If I have to hear myself do the whole work is good speech again my own ears might bleed. Thankful for the stubborn independence of my kiddos that will one day be a blessing to them and is daily a sanctifying blessing to me but in my flesh I grow frustrated and weary.

Today I was reminded how God so wonderfully orchestrates bringing people into our lives at just the right moments. The more I come to know God the more overwhelmed I am at how He holds every last detail in His hands. I'm so not a detailed oriented person. In fact, the details make my head spin. Yet my God holds them all in His hands and He has laid out all the details for my entire lifetime. He loves us so incredibly much. I don't even have the words to express my gratitude that He changed how I have viewed Him or rather His view of me. Nothing has rewritten the lies imprinted on my heart like this daily time in His Word. So blown away by His goodness.

Reading this chapter has reconfirmed my desire to read the bible chronologically. I think this book would be so much richer if I could place what is happening on a correct timeline. I could be wrong but it feels like time keeps jumping around. This book feels like an episode of Quantum Leap on crack. I'm about 14 books shy of having journaled through the entire bible. Once I finish I'll start fresh chronologically.

Got cut short due to in home date night. Watched a documentary on gardening called Return to Eden. Blown away how God speaks to each of us individually. I love it! The guy on the movie super passionate and love how God used his garden to speak to him. Reminded that God wants to help us in every thing! I am good at asking for help on the big things but I stink at asking for help in the little things. I know that God cares even about the smallest of things and yet at the same time I think He cares about the small things for others but not for me. I'm still operating out of the belief that I have to be strong for God or rather strong for myself. My self reliance kills more of my relationship with God than I'll ever fully be able to grasp until its no longer a barrier. This grieves me to the core yet at the same time I'm hopeful. I know that my God relentlessly pursues me and that He is powerful enough to change this self reliant heart of mine. He has been relentless at pointing this out over and over and at the same time gentle in reminding me that He has this. He is oh so good to me!


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Monday, April 08, 2013

DAY 968: ISAIAH 21

My brain is misfiring and I've got horrible ADD. Hopefully I'll be able to focus. Had a meeting with my Shelter co-leader and coach tonight. Thankful for the wise counsel of my hubs and confirmation from a friend to suck it up and be humble. I'm in the right spot and think I have an opportunity to love on my coach and co-leader. I'm going to add both of them to my weekly email during my Shelter semester. It could get interesting but feeling led.

Good day with the kids doing art and lots reading and failed napping. My kids are pretty fired up about the mercy verse challenge. Who knew a cookie party would be such a motivator. Thankful for the WM children's team.

The testimony tonight at shelter wrecked me a bit. It was a beautiful story of redemption but the fact that the survivor was abused by her youth pastor and the lack of appropriate response by the church got me incredibly angry. I set very high standards for the leadership of the church for better or worse. Youth pastors who use their position to abuse their students strikes at my heart.

Ch 21:
More destruction is prophesied against Babylon, Edom and Arabia. It's interesting how God uses the wicked to bring justice to the wicked.

I don't have much thought on this other than just how sad it all is. How prideful people can be and so unyielding to The Lord who pursues them like crazy.


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Sunday, April 07, 2013

DAY 967: ISAIAH 20

Where do I start with today? Woke up snuggling with my two babies. Oh how that three year old loves to snuggle in the morning. He urges me to stay in bed and not to get up. How can I refuse a sweet boy who says "don't get up mommy". Today was sweet and chaotic all at the same time. I babysat last night and my sweet hubs cleaned and picked up which made my morning so much better. Normally Sunday is dealing with the chaos left over from the weekend which often bleeds over into Monday as well. It was nice not to be faced with a mess and feel loved by my hubs.

I attempted to watch the service at home since I served tonight. Worship was great. The song Hungry I Come To You wrecks me every single time. It reminds me of my hubsters worship leader days and of our Portland experience. In so many beautiful ways I was completely wrecked in Portland, hungry and incredibly broken. I was reminded that even in my most desperate of days how God provided and grew me in huge ways. Oh how hardship and strife can lead to the most beautiful of things. Dwelling on that only wrecked me even more singing in my living room. Then the pleas for help and squeals about muddy feet interrupted my moment. I was frustrated and felt entitled to have a few minutes to commune with God. I do need and must get time with God alone but I'm not entitled to a moment. That reduces worship to being simply about me and an experience rather than about God. I won't lie I do love the experience but I know the dangers that await a heart living just for that.

Random but this makes me think about a guy from the past that Les ran into. I don't know all the details but from what I gather he was wild man chasing after all the wrong things that surrendered to Christ. Would love to hear that story. Anyway, he talked about a relapse he had with cancer and how he had seen Joel Osteen's mother and was miraculously healed. I'm cynical over the whole health, wealth and prosperity bit. Just think happy thoughts and your life will be happy. It kinda makes me want to vomit a bit. To meet a real live living human who claims to be healed by it all miraculously has me scratching my head a bit. I do know in the bible even those against Christ or against the apostles were able to perform miracles. If I'm not half crazy I think Paul's response was who cares who performs it if the glory belongs to God?

Starting to fade so I better jump into Ch 20 for a bit. Oh before I forget I think I might have stumbled across a good idea for a book for the gals in my neighborhood. Kinda jazzed about the idea and think summer will be a great time to roll it out.

Ch 20:
In this chapter Assyria had just whooped up on the Philistines and Judah is left quaking in their boots. I stead if putting their trust in God to deliver them from Assyria Judah puts its hope in Egypt. God asks Isaiah to remove his outer garment and walk around in his underpants for three whole years. This was to help illustrate the prophesy that Egypt would be brought down in a very humiliating defeat by Assyria. 

Loved this from commentary.

i. Whenever our expectation is in something wrong, or our glory is in something wrong, the LORD will find a way to make those things disappoint us. Judah set their expectation on Ethiopia, and looked to Egypt for glory, but now they are left afraid and ashamed.

This is so true. I've seen it play out over and over again in my life.


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Saturday, April 06, 2013

DAY 966: ISAIAH 19

Beautiful day but feeling the effects of the devil's dander. Spent most of the day at home trying to clean up the chaos. Laundry is still a madhouse but maybe one day it will be whipped into submission. Really tired after a night of 6 offspring conspiring against their mother to sleep. Maybe they enjoy loopy sleep deprived momma.

Soccer today and I saw my girl struggling second quarter. Last minute lunch before the game and playing while really having to go ended up in tummy issues. Proud of her for hanging in all quarter and getting up at the end to finish out the game. She was so proud of herself and so was I. So fun to watch your kids grow in confidence.

This chapter is kinda wild. It starts off as doom and gloom destruction against Egypt and then it turns kinda wild. Egypt is once again hot with plaques and the Nile dries up and they turn their hearts toward God.

The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. (Isaiah 19:22 NIV)

It had to be pretty crazy for the Israelites to hear this prophesy towards Egypt of all countries.

These verses are even more interesting to me:
In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance." (Isaiah 19:24, 25 NIV)

It sends as if there's no way Egypt or Assyria could possibly turn to God and yet I'm reminded in this chapter that its never too late.

Hoping to read some commentary before I pass out from having a sweet Baby Barry on my chest. Dim lights with a smuggling baby is the best sleep aid.


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Friday, April 05, 2013

DAY 965: ISAIAH 18

I am insanely tired. It's been one of those days that feels like an entire week crammed into one day. Some people can hang for day after day of this but this chick simply can not. Beautiful day on so many levels though and I'm so full and fat on how great our God is. A friend and her experience on a move is so beautiful to me. It's more than a change of house and a house sold quickly. It's a beautiful story on submission and a longing for community and a husband who has been prayed to experience God in His fullest. His hand, His goodness and pursuit all over this story.

This afternoon we got to witness a beautiful story of provision unfold for a single momma. The perfection of the timing of everything was so perfectly orchestrated. A God who has wooed and provided for this sweet momma who is breaking generational curses and stepping out if denial through the precious blood of Jesus. She has worked her heart out to live a new life marked by faith in an awesome God and He has provided every step of the way. The hearts of others to give generously and freely to provide this momma with gas cards and a vehicle that is most perfect for her and her daughter. To watch generosity, trust and the crazy growth of a couple that I love. All I did was post a FB status and yet God in His goodness let me watch all of this unfold. What a precious gift to me that I didn't deserve in any way. He loves each of us so much. He cares about it all. All of our worries and our hurts and anxieties. He holds it all together in His most powerful hand.

To top this great day off I got to her a friend and mentor speak today. She possess such strength and gentleness and meekness that I long to have. She is no shrinking violet by any means which gives this mouthy girl much hope that I too can grow in this kind of godly maturity.

Got to see another friend and her kids for lunch today. There has been much growth in her and a peace that wasn't always there. Sweet gift this afternoon getting caught up. Another reminder today that time passes so quickly and to enjoy and embrace as many moments as possible.

As an added bonus to this day full of abundant blessing it was absolutely beautiful! Crazy thankful for this gift of today.

Seven short but powerful verses. This chapter is a warning against Cush. The imagery is powerful in this chapter and makes a strong point of how cut off the once powerful and fruitful nation will be. Yet these people cut off will turn their offering towards The Lord.


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Thursday, April 04, 2013

DAY 964: ISAIAH 17

Should start out confessing my selfishness towards my hubs today. Let me start by saying the man has been working like crazy. Marriage conference, FW and Easter has kept him hopping. This week he's been hard at work on a video for DPRC. Today my desire to be helped clouded my ability to be a help mate suitable. I reacted in irritation, the cold shoulder and frankly was an irritating drip rather that the breath of fresh air that I could have been. I know when my hubs reads this he'll shake his head in disagreement but its true and I blew it this afternoon. Thankful for a gracious hubs who often draws a circle around himself instead of pointing fingers.

Next confession of the night. Found out my coach for Shelter and I'm having a hard time not battling intense pride. The gal is great and I like her but she was in a group I lead. I view her as a peer although she's a grandma. I know I have issues with authority and being lead so I'm sure this is a good thing somehow. I think besides who it is I don't feel like I need a coach nor do I want one. If I have to have one I want to pick them. I view a coach as a mentor. Frankly I'm not the kind of person who wants just anybody as a mentor. Prideful or not but I have to hold somebody in much higher esteem than a peer. I learn from my peers every single day so I know there is wisdom to glean. Oy! Sometimes my prideful rule breaking self gets in the way.

Having a really hard time focusing on this. My own ADD combined with trying to chat with my hubs is making this hard. This chapter describes the judgement that will fall upon Syria. Since Israel decided to make an alliance with Syria instead of trust God to protect them against the Assyrians they both got to fall together. Again this chapter is heavy and full of doom and gloom. But once again there is hope hidden within all the muck and the mire.

In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made. (Isaiah 17:7, 8 NIV)

The situation is horrible yet people finally stop relying on themselves and their man made Gods and turn back to The Lord. Any time a situation regardless of how horrendous turns us to The Lord then it ultimately is good. As I write that I can't help but wonder if I would feel the same if something horrible happened to my family. This my friends is the one thing I grasp onto often with white knuckles. Is God still good and to be trusted if the family He so generously blessed me with was taken away. I shudder at the thought but I pray that God would grow my heart to rejoice during the seasons that He gives just as much as the seasons that He takes away.


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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

DAY 963: ISAIAH 16

So I agreed to lead another group through Shelter. Today I'm dreading it and wondering what in the world I was thinking. Frankly, I'd never throw myself in the Shelter ring voluntarily. I was prompted. Although content is heavy it's a easier than it was when I first started out. God has redeemed much.
I'm more concerned about the couple panic attacks that occurred last time. Call it pride or whatever I don't want to be that girl. The two I kinda had I was most definitely triggered. See I can't even admit to having a full blown panic attack. I didn't by the way. :) I hate writing this because on some level it sounds like crazy talk to me. I've written about it before but would prefer to ignore it all together.

I'm a bit concerned about this dip in the shelter river because I fear what may be unearthed. I think there's junk I've hidden deep in the recesses of my mind. Things much worse than what I'm aware of. I just can't shake that feeling although I've prayed that God would take it away if it was not based in truth. Eh. Bottom line is if something is unearthed I don't want to come completely undone. I'm sure coming unraveled would be so good for me in many ways but I'd much rather not. I so want to delete all of this.
This weather and inability to fall asleep before 1am has turned me in an unmotivated sloth. So much to do that is glaring at me, like washing clothes so my husband has something to west to work but I can't bring myself to move. I think I'm a bit overwhelmed by mount clean and mount dirty laundry anyway. Maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away. Hmmm... Seems like my main theme tonight is my desire to stay wrapped up in denial. Although denial is pleasantly comfortable it's rather dull and dreary. I choose trust instead. He's yet to drop me. In fact, He's perfect at the swoop.

Speaking of the swoop, good times this morning with a great group of gals. A group hand picked. So good talking about our current struggles and about how great God is. I love me some good God talk. He is so very good and He is the author and perfecter of every last detail. I need not worry or fear about my dip in the shelter river. If something is unearthed I won't fall apart. The pain might be incredibly vast and it might feel as if my heart is bleeding out. Yet God is so good at putting us back together.

I'll be honest, I don't know what in the world is going on here. This chapter is still stuck on Moab but I can't follow it. It starts off and sounds doom and gloom and then it seems as if hope has entered, Jesus, but then hope is dashed as Moab is crushed. My heart is weary on all the destruction. My heart is weary of all the rampant sin.


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DAY 962: ISAIAH 15

> My daughter is up talking about how she is going to save her money to get an iPhone. She's already talking about her friends who have one. Makes me want to vomit. Poor girl was born in the wrong house. I myself could not put the beast down today. Thoughts of camping and texting with friends about heavy topics took up my attention today. I wonder if the benefits outweigh the damage being caused. I sometimes think those Ingall's had it much better than we do.
> Three biggest Brownies still up. Want to be insanely angry but love this wild crew. Speaking of sleeping have to get us on a better schedule. Kids slept in till 9:30 today!!! Guess that's what happens when they stay up all night. Oy!
> ISAIAH 15:
> I need an extra book or something for this book. The order is slightly confusing. Very much aware that it doesn't take much to confuse this gal now days. I looked back at the chapter headers and it seems like it starts with Israel's judgement and the follows with the judgement of the other nations that helped to bring about the judgement of Israel. Could be way off here.
> This chapter is about the judgement on Moab and I'm trying to find something that stands out but not getting much. The beauty of this past 962 days is that I've learned regardless if anything is sinking in or standing out right now I can trust that God's Word does not return void. The living word is still performing heart surgery even when I don't notice it.
> Did read commentary and although still scratching my head a bit was good to rehash Moab's history. This nation was founded out of the incest of Lot and his daughter. Those account of Lot and his daughters along with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is so hard to read. I think to fathers this story is a huge wake up call of what passivity can lead to. Lot sat in a cave and didn't lead his daughters. When the people of the town wanted the angels that came to warn Lot of Sodom's fate and he offered his daughters up to them, it had to have immense impact. He's kept his family in a very sexually immoral land. Who knows what kind of situations these girls were exposed to growing up. In light of all this it's no wonder that they thought the only way to have a baby was to get their father wasted. Drunk or not he still had to be some kind of an active participant. It says that Lot was unaware of when his daughter laid down or when she arose. I'm sorry but i don't buy that. I guess in the sense that he didn't realize exactly when she laid down with him and when she eventually got up but its not like he was asleep. The body of a man doesn't operate the same way a woman's does. You would think after the first night he would have at least wised up yet he allows it to happen again with another daughter the second night. This is so telling of Lot's heart and the damaging effects of growing up in dysfunction can have on children.
> Here's the thing, out of a Moabite comes Ruth and Obed and so on and so forth. Here's this egregious act and God causes something beautiful to spring forth from it. Moabites would be a thorn in Israel's side but God still used them in His Story. God never ceases to amaze me and His powerful way of reclaiming it all, every single bit of it for His glory.
> D
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DAY 961: ISAIAH 13

> What a day! Head still spinning a bit in a good way. First off thankful for sleep!! Kids slept in till 8 and four kids actually stayed in their own beds. It was like a festivus miracle. Thankful that God provides at just the right moment. Sweet time being together as a family today. So glad to have my hubs home and thankful for a beautiful day.
> Got to see sweet Baby Sundae today. It never ceases to amaze me. How God so delicately knits us all together in our mothers womb is awe inspiring. Yet at the same time I'm grieved that some Momma's ended the lives of their sweet babies that are 19 weeks just like Sundae today. Oh how I hate that!
> Still kinda in shock that we are having another girl. This pregnancy has been a cake walk compared to Abbie and Bella. I'm so used to the boys being large and in charge in our house that I guess I figured that would always be the case. My visions of four boys rough housing and causing all sorts of wonderful destruction and havoc has been replaced by thoughts of two little girls with tutus and fairy dresses chasing after their big sister. We are about to enter a new world our family has never known before. So thrilled about another precious girl but grieving a bit over the loss of the boy I was so certain we were having. Again amazed at God's wonderful Sovereignty and how He picks and chooses and creates so perfectly.
> ISAIAH 13:
> This chapter is very heavy. I need to sit in some commentary but my phone is about to die. Basically this chapter describes the wrath that will be poured out on sinners on the day of The Lord. I have a hard time connecting with this aspect of God. Although I know He is slow to anger and filled with compassion it's hard to view God in this light. When I read some of the verses I'm completely horrified. Yet I know God is only turning these sinners out to the lives apart from Christ that they so desired.
> It is hard to read verses like this:
> Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives violated. (Isaiah 13:16 NIV)
> When I read this again though I feel as if its already happening. Infants are dashed into pieces by the thousands every single day. 1 in 4 women are violated before the age of 18. Many are violated right in their own homes. I read that verse and I'm horrified yet we are already doing this to ourselves in America every single day.
> This verse too took my breath away at first glance:
> Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants, nor will they look with compassion on children. (Isaiah 13:18 NIV)
> This is happening right now as we speak. Children are not valued in our country and the unborn are cared about even less. Boys are sold a cheap imitation of manhood that leaves them with saddled with addiction and deep longing. We are reaping what we have sown.
> Maybe this view of God isn't so hard to swallow after all. God doesn't force His way upon us. Instead He lets us choose yet we can't choose the consequences of our actions. All this makes my heart so incredibly sad.
> D
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DAY 960 NOT 1000: JOHN 19&20

> Today has been the longest Easter ever. It feels like an entire week has been crammed into one day. Perfect ending listening to the one I love play the guitar. Rough night last night. Consequently I again struggled with be a bad case of the grumps. Happy Easter! I think part of me wishes our holidays didn't always look like this. Normally I'm fine with it. Even yesterday I saw a couple at church that had encouraged me so about the marriage conference. They were there for Easter and I know in my heart it's all worth it. It's not just about a service or several it's about faithfulness to be apart of something bigger than yourself.
> Proud of my hubs. If it wasn't for the general weariness caused by my battle with pollen and the constant influx of kid funk and lack of sleep I would not be battling the way I have been lately. I'm past the I could sleep through the rapture first trimester and I'm in the all too familiar pregnancy insomnia meets baby who thinks sleep is for the weak. It's a bad combo for my heart. Yet it's a beautiful opportunity to learn that my hope does not lie in my next cup of coffee but rather the only one who gives strength to the weak. I hate the battle with irritation and grumpiness but its part of the sanctification. It's part of the story. I can grumble about the grumbling or lean in and find blessings held within.
> Neighbor came over tonight for dinner. Love her and love the way our kids love her. Thankful for this street we have been put on. Even when it seems like our efforts are in vain God keeps proving me wrong. It's about the one. Our God's love is so great that He would move a family 2300 miles so that they could love on one neighbor and show her the love of Christ. My hope is that its not just the one but God loves us so much that He would die for the one. May we learn to love so radically as a family that when it is God's time to move us, if at all, that there is a great sense of loss. Yet may that sense of loss be quickly filled by the new family who will love like Christ. Opportunity abounds everywhere. I pray we take hold of it and love like crazy. May I start in my home with my husband and with my children.
> A Brownie heard his daddy playing and sat intently watching. He then grabbed his "guitar" to play with his daddy. Now he's bearing his little boy heart to his daddy. It's been a heartbreaking day in some ways with this kid today. His choices have kept him from the family which I hate so much. He saw a clip from the Passion from the service while I was putting the Bunny to bed. It impacted him deeply. The boy who I once thought lacked empathy connects on a very deep level. The boy who is going to turn me gray faster than anything else is going to change this world in amazing ways. My life is so much better with this child in it. He's singing a lullaby to his daddy now which reminds me of the resurrection band the kids put together this morning. It was the sweetest most awesome headache inducing racket I had ever heard.
> JOHN 19&20:
> Whoops. Thought I had finished this. About to watch Braveheart. Love this verse:
> But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31 NIV)
> I pray many believed today for the first time. Happy Easter! So crazy thankful to be saved by grace!
> D
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DAY 959: JOHN 18

> Yet another day of grumpiness exploded on everyone. I slugged out the day instead of embracing it as the gift that it was. I was a task master instead of a teacher. I have plenty of good excuses for my sour mood and although understandable none of its acceptable. The truth is I'm selfish and I'm a bit weary of the broken record routine. It doesn't help that every single member of this family is lacking sleep. One of many reasons God commands us to rest, to be still and know that He is God. I'm so thankful that He is God. It's on these days that I'm weary and refuse to remember why I was even given the gift of a day that I fail. This is the day that The Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it. No rejoicing was had today. Instead I approached our schedule and gianormous to do list with a grumbling heart. This is the day that The Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it. I missed out on a gift today, a beautiful and precious gift.
> JOHN 18:
> Wanted to read the whole account but Bunny just woke up screaming and I am so done. Hate that but it is what it is. Love that this account comes from a slightly different perspective. This verse is so great to me.
> Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people. (John 18:14 NIV)
> Chaiaphas did not intend Jesus death to truly benefit the people but rather satisfy the jealousy of a few. However, God used his evil intent to benefit the entire world.
> This verse just gets my goat.
> Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. (John 18:28 NIV)
> What a testament to where the hearts of the Jewish leaders are. They have no qualms with framing and shedding the blood of an innocent man and yet they make sure to follow the letter of the law. This just makes my heart so sad. I know there's many churches out there today that have clung to the law rather than the grace that sets people free. The truth is I'm a recovering Pharisee. I pray that my desire to become more and more like Christ isn't the very thing my heart gets focused on rather than love. May love be the very thing that drives my life. If I have not love than I have not God and if I have not God than I have not love.
> Love this.
> "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." (John 18:37 NIV)
> Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. May my heart always long to be on the side of truth. May I desire to listen even when it's painful.
> D
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DAY 958: LUKE 22 & 23

Whooped! Day started rough and ended rough around the edges too. My oldest boy and I had a rough go of it together this morning. Big fit over a chair this morning. He screamed at his sister then hit his youngest brother. He refused to go to his room and then charged at his brother again and hit him even harder. I snatched him up and told him if he didn't go to his room I was going to spank him in anger and I didn't want to. It scared him but the alternative would have not gone well for either of us. It got even better later when he poured a cup of super hot water over his little brothers head. All I heard was screaming and saw red skin. Then I started yelling. The typical mother of the year comments that heap shame and guilt. The kid didn't mean to hurt his brother but he did mean to mess with him. Grabbed the other screaming Brown out of the bath tub and checked him out. Thankfully the water was not hot enough to burn. Debriefed with the offender and asked for forgiveness for the second time and confessed I reacted out of fear. Somehow made it out the door with neighbor in tow.
> Three kids with me in the service. The girls did great but the boy talked and asked questions the entire time. His questions and his volume were as great as a six year old boys can be. But I was selfish. I wanted to go to the service and reflect. I wanted to have MY Jesus moment sans children. Since when did my relationship with Christ become nothing more than an experience, feeling or moment? When I let go of my selfish expectations the service got better. I let go of trying to keep my boy's mouth shut and instead enjoyed the moment for what it was. We snuggled too which was much needed after such a hard morning together.
> This morning during breakfast read the account of Jesus's betrayal and death from a children's bible. I got choked up as I elaborated and shared my pain of being able to resonate with the mockers that spit on Jesus. My oldest told me that made her feel like she wanted to give me a big spanking. I told her even though I didn't care about Jesus that He still loved me and chased after me. Fun to see more light bulbs go off this Easter. Regardless of my lack of completing an Easter House or an array of Easter or Lenten activities the story is really beginning to penetrate their hearts. Very thankful for that.
> What a day! Filled with sweet moments and time with neighbors and friends and sins written on rocks and resurrection eggs and kids who know the story and being faced with my depravity and the insane sacrifice made on the cross. What. A. Day. Crazy thankful for grace and for a Savior who does not require perfection.
> LUKE 22-23:
> What more can I say on this. Heart heavy over the sacrifice. Even in the midst of sheer abuse Jesus cares and has concern over those who do not yet know Him. He even urges to daughters of Jerusalem to stop weeping for Him but rather cry for those who will never know Him. His love is so overwhelming and incomprehensible. May I live out my days as a living sacrifice for the One who gave me new life.
> D
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Get ready for a blog post blast. For whatever reason my daily email stopped getting posted. Hopefully I fixed it!

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