Sunday, June 30, 2013

DAY 1054: JEREMIAH 4

I feel like the walking dead. I think I'm still zonked from crazy interrupted sleep the past week. I feel like I could sleep for a week just to catch up. The exhaustion combined with a mile long to do list, realization that this baby will be here before I know it and a possible move got my undies in a bunch this morning. Felt completely overwhelmed. The tasks in of themselves are crazy overwhelming, except thinking about moving, but the lack of energy to get everything done does feel like way too much. While failed attempt after failed attempt to put small fries to bed I was able to reset a bit and lean into God trusting that He is a good of incredible provision. Speaking of provision think Abbie might be coming down with the plague. She acted unusual at the Dash and laid her head in my lap a lot. She says she's feeling hot and cold too so we shall see. If she gets sick now after a week at camp it will just be all the more apparent to me that her wellness during her week at PC was sweet provision and blessing. He loves us that much. I know this but doesn't hurt to be reminded in these sweet wonderful ways.

Just to be completely authentic my little bit has been hard for me to deal with lately. Her demanding nature and her screams have been wearing me out. She is so incredibly sweet and wonderful but I fear she is going to make the transition to 6 kids slightly brutal. Praying my patience is grown and stretched in such a sweet way to love that sweet little pistol well.

JER 4:
Fading fast so this will probably be completely mailed in tonight.

Sad chapter. God tells Israel that they can avoid certain destruction if only they would turn back towards Him. Unfortunately they choose not follow and destruction is the consequence. More tomorrow.

D

Saturday, June 29, 2013

DAY 1053: JEREMIAH 3

Insanely tired. Took forever to fall asleep last night and then a restless Bunny started rolling back and forth on top of me and struggling to get to sleep for over an hour in the middle of the night. Thankful to have caught a catnap in the afternoon but wasn't nearly enough.

So thankful my girl is home!! She is ready to go back to PC tomorrow and I imagine re-entry back into normal life might be difficult this week but thankful. Lots of tears this afternoon so we decided to go to the pool to have some family fun. It did just the trick! So thankful for this opportunity for my girl. 

Have much I could write about but I'm zonked!

JER 3:
These verses stood out to me the most tonight:

Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares the Lord. The Lord said to me, "Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah. (Jeremiah 3:9-11 NIV)

I looked up the word pretense just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Glad I did because it really drove home the message of these verses.

pre·tense  

/ˈprēˌtens/
Noun
  1. An attempt to make something that is not the case appear true.
  2. A false display of feelings, attitudes, or intentions.

Israel continued her prostitution with false gods with no intention of repenting. They had completely turned their backs on God and He considered them faithless. Contrast that with Judah who sad sorry with their lips and yet never truly repented with their hearts. The Lord calls them unfaithful and in some versions of this chapter Judah is even called treacherous for their actions. It's better to be faithless than to claim Christ and be completely unfaithful. 

I think I always knew that if I was going to claim Christ I wanted to not do it halfway. Even during the years that I lived like a total heathen and believed in God yet did not trust Him enough to follow I wouldn't pull out the Christian card. I knew confessing to believe in God and Jesus yet choosing to walk in my own path would be very confusing to the faithless. I think this is one of many reasons why the church has failed. There's nothing inspiring about somebody who is unfaithful. 

May I not grow weary or complacent or just plain comfortable and become unfaithful. But rather may I grow to become more and more faithful as the years go by.

D

Friday, June 28, 2013

DAY 1052:: JEREMIAH 3

Really trying to fight hard against self preservation right now. Crazy how fast I can kick that into high gear. Hurt and angry over a texting debacle with my hubs. In my rational brain I can see that it's a total misunderstanding and not a big deal at all. It's triggering me for some reason though and I'm crying over a couple stupid texts. I should embrace the tears no matter the reason as they do not always come easily.

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All is well in BrownTown and was able to see some Shelter roots in my hurt. Oh how my heart has been so smash. Yet oh how much repair The Lord has done.

Exhausted and have an early wake up call in the am to get my girl!! Crazy excited!!!

Jeremiah 3 about Israel and Judah's idolatry and how The Lord is willing to take them back if only they would repent . Such crazy love. Will be back tomorrow.

Zzzzzzzx

D

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DAY 1051: JEREMIAH 2

Another day in lockdown but hopeful by next week I'll be frolicking amongst the land of the living.

Got to talk some theology with my hubs tonight. Good times. Job is such a hard book to take in. I still remember so clearly sobbing angrily at God in the middle of bible study while going through this book. A precious friend had lost her son and having to read about all that Job went through that God allowed felt like too much at the time. God's Sovereignty in the midst of evil can cause great confusion or great comfort. I think I can waffle back and forth at times but getting to know God more has help me to truly believe that God is good even in the midst of evil and chaos.

JER 2:
Still in apathetic mode. Listen to a guy do a presentation on how he's confident the dollar is about to collapse. It doesn't strike fear in my heart but rather feels like a well duh! The writing is on the walls and if America keeps going full steam on this course it will not go well for us. A good economic shake up would probably not just be good for our country but for my heart as well. Israel had it made and yet in their prosperity they turned their backs on their first love. Let not my comfort be the thing that keeps me from my Lord.

"As a thief is disgraced when he is caught, so the people of Israel are disgraced— they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets. They say to wood, 'You are my father,' and to stone, 'You gave me birth.' They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us!' Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns. (Jeremiah 2:26-28 NIV)

We may not have crafted gods of wood or bronze in America but our leaders are corrupt and dishonest at best and we have crafted many gods to worship. Just like it did not go well for the Israelites it's not going to go well for us.

"Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me," declares the Lord. "In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravenous lion. "You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord : "Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, 'We are free to roam; we will come to you no more'? (Jeremiah 2:29-31 NIV)

Waiting for the devouring of our prophets. Praying to raise up bold warriors for Christ and to become one myself.

D

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DAY 1050: JEREMIAH 2

Tired and grumpy. I pulled a Britni last night and was up till a freakish hour. Got sucked into the SB5 drama that ensued last night. Twitter blew up with the saddest comments. Today I'm tired, grumpy and feeling really apathetic. I'm so incredibly sad for the state of our country right now. Crazy divided and headed down a course that will continue to reap the rotten fruit that it is sowing. I'm sure being a shut in right now and missing my girl like crazy is not helping anything. Crazy sad for children right now.

Little man started running hot last night. It's a miracle we haven't gotten a call to come pick up my girl. I'll be honest at this point I wouldn't be all that upset about it. Yes it's selfish and no I don't want her to actually get sick at camp but this is hard. Would I send her off knowing what I know now? Absolutely! Parenting is full of one hardship after another but the rewards and the joy far exceed any amount of struggle. Couldn't help but think about how incredibly thankful I am that I'm missing her because of camp. I really don't know if I could handle the heartbreak of loosing a child. I don't know how I'd make it through the days. As of now I'm so thankful that is not part of our story. I take it for granted daily.

So ready to get back into some kind of groove. The plague has in a lot of ways overtaken everything. Ready for my kids to make it a full day without tummy aches, headaches, fever and exhaustion. Also ready to shut down the ole boob tube and get back to that being reserved for a treat and getting Bella to bed :).

Speaking of Bella had a bit of a scare with her last night. Girls night was cut short by a call that Bella had fallen out of our bed and was acting very strange and inconsolable. Could hear the sense the seriousness by my husbands tone of voice. Could not get home fast enough. On the way all I could pray was please let her be okay over and over. Somehow it switched over to please help me trust you God. The latter had a much more calming affect on my heart. Thankfully by the time I got home she had finally settled down. I think what happened is that she either got clocked pretty good and it disoriented her OR more likely she was stuck in a night terror like state. Night terrors are the absolute worst. She's woken up once crying inconsolably where I thought she might be having one before this happened. Hopefully she won't get them like Paul did when he was younger. Dealing with those are just plain awful.

Speaking of Paul was reminded again today how much I dismiss that kid. He's definitely more on the melancholy side and I don't quite get that personality. Today I had asked the older boys to pick up and it felt as if all of a sudden a headache magically appeared. I offered no compassion and told him to pick up anyway while I put Bunny down for a nap. Once she was down I heard crying and found him on his bed with the covers pulled over weeping uncontrollably. This was unusual even for him. He kept saying daddy don't die. Yep, freaked me out a bit. Got to the bottom of everything and he had a scary thought and his mind ran off with it. Hate that he had such an intense scary thought. Once he settled down a bit he said he had the thought because he had gone to lay on his bed in hopes his head would stop hurting so he could finish picking up. With that statement my lack of compassion for that sweet boy was so obvious. So what if he's more sensitive and more grumbly and whiney. God never tells me to go off and suck it up. Yet I constantly do that to him. He does have to one day grow up to be a man that doesn't fall apart at the seams but he's already making some pretty good strides and he's just a baby boy. He seems so big in comparison to my younger kiddos but when I stop looking at him with the oldest boy lens he's still just a little kid. Each of these precious kids offer up a new avenue of sanctification for my selfish heart. Thankful for the opportunity to be pushed to grow by my sweet Pauley Wog and my other Brownies.

JER 2:
This is so America:
I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. The priests did not ask, 'Where is the Lord ?' Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. "Therefore I bring charges against you again," declares the Lord. "And I will bring charges against your children's children. (Jeremiah 2:7-9 NIV)

So heavy hearted. God brought us into a fertile land. Yet we have allowed greed and corruption to take over. We worship money, things, comfort, self. Our children have been suffering for decades and its only getting worse. We offer up own children in our own wombs to the gods of self and convenience. I weep for the people of this country and the sheer blindness they possess.

"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2:13 NIV)

This verse has popped into my head the last couple days. Oh Lord let me not exchange living water for my own broken and cracked cisterns that can't hold water. What powerful imagery. It's so true that when I go to anything seeking what only God can supply it leaves me dry and parched. The Lord never disappoints.

Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. (Jeremiah 2:19 NIV)

Help me not ever loose sight of my awe for you Father. May it only increase with time spent at your precious feet.

Till tomorrow...

D

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DAY 1049: JEREMIAH 2

This will be quick since I'm gonna break out of plague lockdown and meet some denim skirt wearing moms tonight. My sweet Bunny just woke up and started grabbing at my shirt and then fell back to sleep. Poor baby girl is feeling bad.

Confession I've been a little more than hooked in my ievil. I need a reset tomorrow for sure. My Pine Cove picture stalking, trying to figure out a new Base Camp for Paul, and FBing while holding sick ones and trying to break free from boredom has lead to addiction. Happens quickly. I do want to puke over all the #istandwithwendy stuff. Hope her bladder explodes or at least she gets ragging chaca chacas. Praying my heart is turned to abhor the sin yet love the sinner. It's what God does for me. It makes me so ANGRY though!!!!!

JEREMIAH 2:
I really don't know how to go about breaking this chapter up. I feel like I'd just end up cutting and pasting the entire thing. It's so good though. You see the love of a Father completely rejected. In a lot of ways it's agonizing to read this chapter. Oh how God just wants to have a relationship with us. He doesn't need perfection He just wants us to love Him. Oh how He beckons to us. Oh how He beckoned to me today. Don't look at FB come sit with me and I'll fill that place of loneliness. I'll help you love like I love.

Here goes anyway because its just that good of a love letter:

The word of the Lord came to me: "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "This is what the Lord says: " 'I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,' " declares the Lord. Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob, all you clans of Israel. This is what the Lord says: "What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. (Jeremiah 2:1-5 NIV)

God has set His people up. He's taken them out of slavery, lead them through the wilderness, given them a sweet place to dwell, and provided His protection. They never lacked anything that they needed. He blessed them abundantly and yet they were still wooed by gods made out of wood and stone.

Daily I bow down to something. Be it food, comfort, self, media, whatever. I turn away from my first love in hopes of finding something better. Nothing compares to the way The Lord fills up my tank. Yet I forget day after day after day. I need this time every day to remember His love, to remember why I'm here, to have my heart set back on the right course.

In my love of comfort these verses remind me that often in the middle of immense blessing and abundance and easy breezy beautiful living I forget to walk with my Lord. It's during the storms and the hardships of life that I cling to the feet of my Savior. He is my rock, He is steadfast and unwavering and faithful like no other. Abundance will never bring me the peace that its so easy to be lured into.

I really should go now and since I could be reminded of His great love by this chapter again I think I'll set up my tent poles and camp here for awhile.

D

Monday, June 24, 2013

DAY 1048: JEREMIAH 2

Another day at home with sick Brownies. Lukey's fever was down today but he still looked sick. Thankful by this evening the fever finally broke and the kid was more like himself without the aid of Motrin. Thankful! Hoping my other two with fever won't take six days to kick their fever.

Contacted Pine Cove about Paul's illness and they rescheduled him to another week of Base Camp. Bummed he will miss a lot of his friends but I know God's timing is perfect! This evening on the way to Shelter I couldn't help but obsess again about Abbie getting sick. I second guessed not trying to reschedule her week at camp. I realized that part of my obsession has been my crazy indecision. The whole world isn't going to come crashing down if I make a bad call or a bad choice. Yet, it still feels that way at times. My indecisiveness has stolen and robbed me of so much joy over the years. So what if we get a call to come pick up our sick girl at camp tomorrow. It would be a great disappointment to her but great disappointment is just part of life. It's going to happen and if not now then it will be sometime. I'm over indecisiveness. Or rather at least I'd like to be.

Doing my Shelter lesson today I was struck by one of the examples. A girl follows a man who offers her candy and he rapes her. Her mother responds by saying "how could you be so stupid to follow him". Hate how much I could resonate with that parent. I've most definitely been known to say to one of my crying children that if they had obeyed it wouldn't have happened. God doesn't treat us this way. He's not afraid to give us the truth about the consequences of our sin but He comforts us when we reap what we sow. It's the compassion and the grace that more than often I forget to dish up along with the truth. Such a painful glimpse but thankful for seeing it. Better to start trying today to do better than to continue in entrenched patterns. Crazy thankful for grace.

JEREMIAH 2:
This chapter is so very sad. Israel has left it's first love to chase after false gods. I can imagine God's heartache over His people choosing to chase after the created rather than pursue a relationship with Him.

Fading fast. Back tomorrow.

D

Sunday, June 23, 2013

DAY 1047: JEREMIAH 1

Did good at the Pine Cove drop off today. Teared up as we drove up and saw the staff going nuts and how incredibly great the place was. Tears of joy and excitement for our girl. We said our goodbyes during a cabin meeting so it was short and sweet. I think it was a good thing for all of us. Now at bedtime I'm kinda a mess. Paul's complaining of his tummy hurting and I'm wondering how my girl's tummy is feeling. Oy! This is going to be a long week.

I've been totally OCD with stress and worry over Abbie getting the bug that's pestering our family. After I prayed for the hundredth time over it I realized that I'm struggling with trusting Abbie into God's hands. I trust God with my life but its harder entrusting my kids to Him as well. I have to keep going to the fact that its not my job to protect my child from every painful experience in life. I wasn't protected as a kid so as a parent I don't want to be lax in the protection department. I can't be there for every tummy ache and if a yucky virus takes her out of camp I have to trust God has a good reason for it. I do believe that God cares about the little things.

Maybe I just want to guard her sweet heart from being disappointed by God. One of the hardest conversations I've had with her was talking with her about her disappointment over God not answering her prayers about making her tummy stop hurting one time. I think it's the wrestling with God that helps grow our relationship with Him. If her faith is truly going to become her own she's going to have to wrestle with God. If she's anything like me she'll wrestle a lot. This is the part about God that I can't make happen. I could memorize all the bible with her while I have her under my roof but I can't make her relationship with God happen for her. Thankful for this time to process. I prayed I would be okay with whatever God answered, a healthy Abbie girl at camp or a girl we have to pick up midweek. God loves her so much and it's part of the struggle that can make God oh so real to us. Praying she's able grow closer to God this week either through an incredible week of camp or one spent at home.

Speaking of camp my sweet boy is going to miss his first day of Base Camp tomorrow. Praying he wakes up a new boy and gets to join in on the Pine Cove fun with his sister very soon!

JEREMIAH 1:
Gonna be a long night. Bunny is stuffed up like a thanksgiving turkey but has no clue how to be an open mouth breather. Sweet thing is snoring like a baby freight train. One more thing before I move on to Jerry. Was thinking about how much I miss my girl tonight and thankful the reason I'm missing her is due to camp. Couldn't help but think about Sydney Thweat and how lonely those nights without her have been. There's no way in the world I could ever walk through the loss of a child if I did not have The Lord. I pray earnestly and very selfishly that will never be apart of our story.

These verses stood out the most to me tonight:
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." "Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am too young.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1:5-9 NIV)

This wife and mom gig is no easy task. Frankly I'm not equipped to raise a small army of children. I love them immensely and yet daily I fail to love my husband and my children the way that I should. I'm selfish, disorganized, ill equipped, and clueless half the time. Yet before I was ever formed in my mothers womb God destined me to be the mother of six precious children. He has entrusted me with much and He will provide the much needed provision I need as well. I can't pull off this gig on my own but with Christ leading and guiding then I will accomplish great and wonderful things. Without Him though I am completely sunk. He knew that these sweet Brownies would draw me back to Him. God loves me enough to squash out the self reliance I cling to daily. He loves me when I succeed at leaning in and He loves me when I'm stubborn and try to accomplish it all on my own. Thankful to be chosen, to be set apart and loved ridiculously.

D




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Saturday, June 22, 2013

DAY 1046: JEREMIAH 1

Little boy still up and if I'm being honest I want to scream. This will be short as I still have camp letters to write to a sweet girl. I feel like I have completely maxed out on my word limit today and I can't handle having to listen to anything else. I want to lock myself in a closet and try to process today. My hubs isn't feeling good and I'll be honest I'm pissed about it. Rationally I know he can't do anything about it and I don't even fully understand why I'm so angry about it.

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Well, after biting Les's head off over a stupid medicine syringe and him apologizing about something that was clearly my fault I figured out what the heck my problem has been. It's not fair to discuss it here before getting a chance to talk to him first. I've been sitting here bawling off and on and I know it's more about what the incident did to trigger hurt bound up in my own heart rather than hurt caused by him. I think could cry a river tonight though. Cry for the stories of the precious girls I heard today and for my own wounded child inside who could relate all too much in some way to all of their stories. Thankful for God's sweet precious perfect timing.

Jeremiah 1:
Hard to settle in on what to read tonight. The last verse of the chapter was perfect in light of today:

They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:19 NIV)

D

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Friday, June 21, 2013

DAY 1045: ISAIAH 66

Today was full of battling my own head full of grumpy selfish thoughts. I got my butt kicked by myself today. There's 3 evil culprits combining together to make me an angry beast. 1. I'm exhausted and uncomfortable, 2. I'm crazy hormonal and 3. The Whole Evil 30 is really SUCKING today and I want CANDY!! Of the three I think the latter is the biggest culprit. Today has been one of the worst days so far. Throw in several sick kids and two complaining of gut pain and its been quite the day. Love these little urchins and hate that my foul selfish mood interfered with me loving them and my hubs well today. Bunny is grumpy and I have care packages to make for my girl about to go to camp and I have to wrap my head around memory box tomorrow so this will be short.

ISAIAH 66:
Lots of interesting stuff here but going to stick with the first two verses:

This is what the Lord says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the Lord. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. (Isaiah 66:1, 2 NIV)

Love the reminder that God gives that He is I AM. He has created everything and there is not a single thing we can do, build, make or offer that does not come from Him. He doesn't even need us to serve Him. We often mess that up anyway and make it about ourselves. Oh the crazy nature of humanity. So thankful for a Savior!!

Verse two talks about how God looks with favor on those who are 1. Contrite in spirit. Basically this means God looks with favor on those who realize how their sins wrecks them, daily and realize their desperate need for grace. God looks with favor to those who are 2. Humble. This quality is so crazy hard. There's such a fine line between confidence in Christ and confidence in self. Pride kicks my buns everyday. Oh to be considered humble one day. But here would be the evil part of that, to be recognized for being humble only feeds the beast called pride. God favors those who 3. Tremble at His Word. Although I am falling in love with God's Word and recognize its sheer power I don't tremble at it. It has not become one of my greatest loves yet. My hope is that one day it will be! I want to be captivated by God's Word and desire nothing more than to bask in it hour after hour.

D


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DAY 1043: ISAIAH 65

Okay so girl thought might drop is going to hang in there for now. Whew! Just got another text from a gal in the group though that might miss a good chunk if not all of Saturday. The situation is hard so my usual strategy is kinda out the window. Oy! It's a bummer but thankful to know God has each and everyone of these precious girls in His hand. They are on a journey towards Him that God has already ordained. Nothing can snatch them out of His hand. Thankful for that for not just them but for me as well.

Okay decided on our MS trip. Going to leave the four biggest and just take the Bunny. Sweet friends have so graciously offered to watch our crew and are fine with the car situation. I think being able to go up there without the wonderful chaos of our crew will help us to have clear heads while we're up there. Will be hard leaving them.

Speaking of leaving them had a beautiful taste of just having the two small fries at home this morning. There was much peace in the air and I didn't feel pulled in a hundred different directions. There were no crazy fights to break up just songs to sing, books to read and toes to tickle. I felt like a rockstar mom and even let them paint when asked without any hesitation. Eventually those two cuties will grow up and there will be more screaming and squabbling between them. It was pretty sweet to get a glimpse of how it used to be with the beauty of hindsight. Another great reminder that though my days might be easier in the short run with three kiddos out of the mix at school I'm thankful once again for the daily sanctification that takes place in my heart as well as theirs.

Started helping my girl pack for camp this afternoon. Had a temporary moment of panic as I thought about what happened at Kanakuk, peer abuse and the numerous stories of abuse that occurs at church overnight functions. Fear was pretty easy to choke down but wasn't expecting that to well up. I'm going to miss that girl. Holding her today as she said she wished she had chosen Base Camp instead was so hard. I wanted to tell her I wished she had chosen that too. But she's really going to do great and I know that girl is going to have an incredible time. Who knows this might be her only opportunity to go to overnight camp.

That leads me to this overall feeling that we're moving. In a lot of ways it feels irrational to even feel that way. I can't shake it though. Moving in itself sounds just plain awful especially with six kids. Having to say goodbye to the best place we're put down roots seems unfathomable. This by the way is all gut and not based in reality at the moment. I think I shall ignore it till I know more for sure.

ISAIAH 64:
Reread this chapter but not much to say on it. Some beautiful verses in this chapter but can't get my mind off the verse of the day.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:5, 6 NIV)

Tonight my words per usual were not seasoned with salt with my kiddos but tonight I got yet another perspective. At the park tonight with a friend and I said something without thinking and it hit me how in front of this friend in particular that my words were careless and insensitive. Then I started thinking about what I said and how sad to make light of such a serious situation. My speech has cleaned up dramatically. I don't constantly drip with foul language, sarcasm and humor that throws people under the bus but I still struggle to control this untamable beast that resides in my mouth.

I think one thing that God has really impressed on my heart is to stop trying to get a cheap laugh by throwing someone else under the bus. It's why I have a hard time with some Christian writers that drip with sarcasm and whose humor comes at the expense of others. It's why I had to give up 30 Rock years ago. I love Liz Lemon and in my flesh I desire to be more like her. I haven't been called to be Liz I've been called to love others. It's not becoming or honoring to win laughs at the expense of others or popularity with cheap pot shot humor. God's not done with my heart in this area. I must celebrate the victories but there's still a meekness and quiet spirit that often is lacking from my mostly ex sailor mouth. Lord keep convicting me Lord. I don't want to make light of things that grieve your heart. I don't want a cheap laugh at the expense of those precious and dear to me or at the expense of anyone for that matter. Help my mouth be used as a well spring to bless. May my words be more and more like salt which helps prevent decay, not add to it.

D

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DAY 1042: ISAIAH 64

There's a girl in our Shelter group this semester that might drop from the group right before memory box Saturday. Oy! I remember the first one I went to. I felt like such a fraud, like my story was so insignificant, after all it was no big deal. I brought my stuff in a big trash bag because that's what I felt like about it all. I think at that time I would have been just as happy to put myself in that bag. There can be so much beauty on the other side. Sin can leave a wake of chaos and destruction but it lacks the power and the sheer awesomeness of redemption. Beauty for ashes. Only a mighty and powerful God can change ugly wreckage and carnage and turn it into something beautiful.

I never woke up this morning. My body must still be churning out the toxins or something but it took till late afternoon to get my body to want to do anything. Felt very first trimester with Bella today. Could not get my booty off of the couch. Fun parenting with each of my kiddos today. They all had some kind of issue going on today. Think the adjustment to getting up early is making them a bit kooky. They also might be stubborn and sinful just like their momma. Oh how I love them though! This week and next week even more so is giving me a glimpse of what it would be like to be without my bigs during the school day. In a lot of ways it's easier. Oh how I would miss them though. The sharpening and the clanging of iron is good for all of us. We are all growing and being sanctified through this wacky thing called homeschool. I'm so glad God took my "I'll never" and turned it into a reality for our family for right now. Blessed beyond measure to get to be with my Brownies to teach them and train them and watch them grow. Blessed to be sharpened by each and every one of them.

Mississippi has been on my mind since we have been trying to figure out arrangements for a trip up there in July. Our original plan was to take Bella and leave the bigs here with friends. There's a couple hiccups with that though. I don't really want to split them up but that possess an issue with a vehicle. My friends that are brave enough to take our kids for a few days also have larger families and even though our van is big it still wouldn't be safe enough to transport to big blessed families around. We thought through a sitter and renting a 15 passenger. Tonight they called and asked if it would be helpful to just have us all drive down and then they would hire sitters so we would have the opportunity to talk with them. I think this is the route that we will end up taking. It's not as glamorous as running off for a few days without the rest of the crew but at least this way I can be all present in MS, not worrying about my babies. Again impressed at how this church has really thought through the details.

ISAIAH 64:
This will be short as I'm upset that my tired body has the jimmy legs.

I don't know why but I found this verse most comforting tonight:
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NIV)

I'm not the only selfish toot on the planet! I'm not the only one who gets entangled by their sin. I know this but sometimes it just great to be reminded. Reminded that its not by my deeds that I earn righteousness but rather by His blood.

D


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Monday, June 17, 2013

DAY 1041: ISAIAH 63

It's crazy how a day can make a huge difference. Woke up early this morning after being up late doing Shelter homework. I so wanted to throw my alarm against the wall when it went off but so thankful I eventually got up. Also thankful I planned time for hitting snooze. So good to get a shower in and talk to God this morning. Taking a shower is great but getting that time of quiet reflection with God is always so good. I read this morning too and it really set the tone for the day. As I was in the shower thinking about what God would have me bring to a meeting this morning He brought me back to Isaiah 63. After last night I discovered that its not just all guts and gore but I'll admit I didn't get it. Then I reread the beginning of this chapter and this verse smacked me in the face:

Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save." (Isaiah 63:1 NIV)

This verse completely took my breath away this morning. Jesus who has proclaimed victory over death is mighty to save. He strides forth in the greatness of His strength and He is mighty to save. Why do I sweat the little things when He is mighty to save? I sweat the little things because I continually try to operate out of my own strength. I forget that He is not only all I need but He is also all the strength that I need.

Lack of sleep catching up with me. Fading fast. Crazy thankful for today. For the time this morning and this evening filled with most precious women. Thankful for a hubs whose okay making his own whole 30 meals and wrangles children and takes them to vbs. thankful for a God who loves like crazy, who is strong enough for every hurt or need and who is mighty to save.

D

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

DAY 1040: ISAIAH 63

Feeling stressed and therefore have been a grumpy beast to my offspring today. I think the Whole 30 has just put me past the tipping point of sanity. It kinda makes me wanna scream right now. Glad we're doing it but so not used to ordering my life around food this way. On a crazy side note the Whole 30 has made my vicious heartburn disappear. No clue why but I'll take it darnit!

My stress and frustration once again comes from a place of not trusting God that He will provide. He is the daily bread and living water so why do I stress about how things will fall into place? Honestly I really think its this food madness driving me to insanity.  My children refusing to fall asleep at a normal hour for children is not helping either. I desperately need a taser and a chef. 

ISAIAH 63:
This chapter is way too intense for me to try to tackle tonight. Honestly I want to skip it all together but instead I'll sit in the gore of the first six verses.

Thankful I pressed passed my fleshly objections to the beginning of this chapter and dug into commentary. Can you blame me for my objections with verses like this:

"I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. (Isaiah 63:3 NIV)

I know there will come a day of vengeance but this stuff is so hard to read. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I did nothing to earn my own salvation. If it hadn't been for God who pursued me even when I was rebellious and ran away from Him I'd also deserve this judgement. I want to separate my own sin apart from the child sex traffickers and all the other horrible criminals that commit unspeakable crimes but the stain of my sin is the exact same in the eyes of The Lord. I still don't get why I was chosen why my blindness and deafness was healed so that I might see and hear and come to know The Lord. The Jesus I know is full of grace and mercy. His kindness, love and compassion is overwhelming. It's hard to view this same Jesus and one who will wear blood stained robes on the day of Vengeance. I do love this from commentary on these verses:

d. And the year of My redeemed has come: In this, Isaiah prophetically explains why the Messiah can say, "vengeance is in My heart." It isn't because God loves punishing sinners; but He does love vindicating His redeemed.

i. Notice also the comparison: it is a mere day of vengeance, but an entire year of My redeemed. Each phrase is simply a poetic way of saying "time," but God fittingly uses the picture of a day in communicating His vengeance, and a year in expressing His grace.

This is something that I can grasp onto. This helps reconcile the God of grace I have fallen in love with while at the same time being able to embrace the judge. Once again I'm so very thankful that this time in His precious words never ever returns void. Thank you this day to remember that one days I don't put my trust in you I flounder and get lost. Thank you God for being my ever gracious solid rock and redeemer.

D

 



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Saturday, June 15, 2013

DAY 1039: ISAIAH 62

Got a lot of laundry done today. Still have to hang ours up on hangers. Why this seems like such an impossible feat I'll never know. Still have a couch full of mount clean laundry but one couch is better than two! Kids were pretty grumpy. One in particular was like Jeckle and Hyde today. He was the sweetest kid but then had some crazy moments. Not much middle ground for that sweet boy.

Date night with my hubs tonight. Thankful for friends willing to watch my herd. Always so good to get some time away with my man!

ISAIAH 62:
Read commentary along with this chapter tonight and its one big beautiful love letter.

This verse really stood out to me tonight.

As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5 NIV)

It's still odd at times to think that God loves me so much that He rejoices over me. I think of His love and how much I stink as a parent. I pray that one day my sweet Brownies understand God's mighty love for them. I pray daily I grow to understand that great love more and more myself. God is so good to us, all the time He is so very good!

D

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Friday, June 14, 2013

DAY 1038: ISAIAH 62

Good day with my hubster home. Lazy morning and then dr appts, Costco and the pool with several other families. Good times. Loving our pool pass. A woman was in labor at the midwife today. I giggled as I heard the moaning from upstairs and told the bigs that at times I sound that way too. Not looking forward to labor in 11ish weeks but thankful for the end result. Got out of doing a glucose test too so I feel like I totally scored today!

Got an update email from Gladney about where the Ethiopia process is currently. If we had never had Bella we would still be on the wait list. Interesting how many people have dropped out of the program. Still angry over the whole thing. Gladney's policies or not I know God is Sovereign and I'm so thankful for J & B. They have changed my heart about this whole baby thing in ways I never thought possible. I don't understand the adoption story God began in our family or why it's played out the way it has but I know that God does. Hopefully one day we'll get to see the full picture and a most beautiful story.

ISAIAH 62:
Going to the pool is as good as taking sleeping pills. Fading fast. Love this verse and the idea of receiving a new name:
The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. (Isaiah 62:2 NIV)

Will be back here tomorrow. Think there are gems here that my brain can't pick up on tonight.

D

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

DAY 1037: ISAIAH 61

Crampy and BH Contrax being a punk. Par for the course at this point but obnoxious none the less. Good afternoon spent at the pool. Helped keep my mind off cheeseburgers and queso. Speaking of queso less lethargic but grumpy. Bit the heads off my three biggest today all in one fell swoop. Incredibly thankful for grace! Not sure how affective the pool was at making my kiddos sleepy but it worked on me!

ISAIAH 61:
This chapter is one of my all time favorites. It's 11 verses of incredible greatness. Love that redemption is its message. I love a beautiful story of redemption. Or rather redemption makes beautiful stories. Thankful for the restoration and redemption God has done in my life. Excited to know that His handiwork is yet to be completed that there is still much more God wants to chisel away at to make me more like Him.

This verse is crazy beautiful to me.

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10 NIV)

May I continue to strip away the distraction and areas of sin in my life so that I might greatly delight in The Lord. May my heart truly rejoice in His very presence. Excited that one day I'll get to meet my Savior face to face, dressed in beautiful garments of His righteousness. This verse takes my breath away and makes my heart leap.

D

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DAY 1036: ISAIAH 60

I'm zombie tired. Kids still up but completely unmotivated to do anything about it. I'm calling Whole 30 day 3. Not an angry detoxing sugar elf today but rather a sloth that is hungry but too tired to do anything about it. I'm sure this will eventually reap great benefits. Maybe.

Mississippi back on the radar. It's crazy how it keeps drifting in and out of my radar. Honestly I'm really kinda over it and tonight in my exhaustion I could careless what happens. Les and I had a few minutes after ReEngage tonight to discuss calling. I do believe in God's "calling" so to speak but I'm a lot more leery about throwing out that word casually. I do tend to roll on the side of going with my gut but since coming to WM learning wisdom most definitely needs to be apart of any and all gut decisions. I wonder how many of my callings have been due to dissatisfaction. Yet I know that God works in and through dissatisfaction to carry out His plan. I'm kinda rambling but I think my biggest fear in all this is there not being a clear answer. There's definitely not one now and I'm not sure if a trip to MS will clear that up. I'm hoping it would but it is by no means guaranteed. Guess we'll see what happens.

ISAIAH 60:
Really like this verse:
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1 NIV)

Reminds me of this one:
This is why it is said: "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:14 NIV)

I really love the analogy of awaking and rising from the dead. Not only does it allude to Christ but I know what it means to live life asleep or rather be the walking dead amongst the living. So thankful for the glorious light that has awaken my soul.

See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:2, 3 NIV)

Love this word picture. We were all covered in the thick darkness of our sin and yet regardless of our depravity The Lord still chose to draw us out. Praying up these verses tonight for our country. It really does seem as if we are covered by a thick cloud of darkness. I pray our leaders would be drawn to His amazing light and rise up and lead our country in a manner that would honor and glorify God.

Zombie exhaustion taking hold. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

D



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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DAY 1035: ISAIAH 60

I am a grumpy beast. Day 2 is taking my booty down! I woke up ravenous and if I had looked in a mirror I swear my eyes would have been glowing red. I so don't want to do this either. Instead I'd like to kick the dog, yell at somebody and then fall asleep. My hubs is a lucky man :).

ISAIAH 60:
This chapter is about the mighty nation God will restore Israel to. Great reminder that God is in the restoration business. Nothing is too big for Him to redeem or reclaim for His glory.

D

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Monday, June 10, 2013

DAY 1034: 2 Samuel 13:1-22

Goodness gracious I am tired. I so wasn't made to get up at 6am. Yet that's what has happened the last two days. I was angry when I looked at the time this morning but decided to get my buns up and do my last minute Shelter homework so I wouldn't be barking at my kids all day. Another good night at Shelter. These girls are pretty amazing. Thankful for my co-leader too. She actually is one of the reasons I even considered jumping in this semester. It's been really sweet getting to know her better and love how we compliment each other with this group.

Whole 30 kicked off today. I want a cookie and a fistful of cheese and I want to be able to eat ranch. Sweet husband got up this morning and cooked and chopped. It took a load of stress off of me. I want to be the supportive wife who is a helpmate and prepares food for him but I don't know how much of that game I've got in me right now unfortunately. Even today time seemed to get sucked into a time vortex.

2 Sam 13
I wanted to read in Isaiah but I'm exhausted and this reading for Shelter will do. Tonight we went over the dysfunctional family and goodness was David's family ever dysfunctional. It used to infuriate me that David was called a man after God's own heart. How could a man after God's own heart be such a sex addict? How could a man after God's own heart be so passive in raising up and training his own children? I'm still at a loss sometimes but I'm reminded that God doesn't require perfection from us. He just wants us to be faithful and in many ways David was just that. But it's still so hard to reconcile it all especially when Amnon seems to have picked up his fathers struggle with lust and taken it up a notch.

The thought of sweet Tamar going to help take care of her brother and then violated and then turned out is heartbreaking. This verse in particular gets me

So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing an ornate robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went. (2 Samuel 13:18, 19 NIV)

The other thing that stands out is the horrible man who Amnon allowed to give him council. The plan to rape his sister was given to him by a guy he decided to seek council from. Great reminder to not just take anybody's advice or council. If somebody is not grounded in the Word and just speaking on their own behalf be very wary!

D


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Sunday, June 09, 2013

DAY 1033: ISAIAH 59

I'm a grumpy turd today. Call my statement self deprecating if you must but personally I like to call it how I see it. I think the combination of waking up at 6am coupled with the insanity of this week has me feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I tend to feel more stressed and overwhelmed during pregnancy. I think hormones and constantly being at an energy deficit can lead to a perfect storm. I see the list of tasks in front of me and the amount of energy I have does not measure up. This is such a beautiful place for me to be though. I rebel greatly when I know I won't be able to rock it solo. Stress and anxiety is the direct result of me not trusting and asking for help. Must remember this.

Wake call at 6am was from a boy bursting with excitement that he read yet another book. I unfortunately did not join in the excitement and rather barked about the time. I drifted back to sleep as a child woke me to climb into our bed then later purposely kept making noise so that I would wake up. I chose to ignore this noise but Bella did not. The sweet girl just wanted to talk and instead of listening I sank my fangs into her. Then to fan the flame of their reading enthusiasm I told them they were not allowed to read anymore and had to take a break. My ears and eyes were about to start bleeding and I had a grocery list to try to get together. Bad idea. Shenanigans ensued and I decided to do an impromptu school day. It was very well received amongst the children who were grossly engaged in their obnoxious rescue bots game. I bit the heads off of a couple other children and finally went around to ask forgiveness for my turdishness. All in all I'm ready for bed and thankful for a hubs who is home and tagged in.

ISAIAH 59:
Wow. Strong chapter but rather depressing. Unfortunately not much time to dive in since I have a weeks worth of Shelter to try to cram into two days. Living on the edge!

Really liked these verses:

"The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the Lord. "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the Lord. "My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever," says the Lord. (Isaiah 59:20, 21 NIV)

Oh how I desire for this to be so. I desire His words to be on my lips instead of my selfish grumblings and idol talk. I want His Words to sink deep and penetrate the hearts of my precious babes so that they too may impart those words on my grandbabies, great grandbabies, ect.

Update on Sabbath debate. Definitely going to unplug at least once a week from everything. Need to pray what makes more sense Saturday or Sunday. Sweet friend weighed in on this for me and I loved her view of legalism. When I think others should follow the same rules I've set up for myself to be a good Christian than I am a Pharisee. I think I get confused in my zeal for wanting to remove as many stumbling blocks as I possibly can knowing that my life is still riddled with them. Reading your bible doesn't make you a good Christian but once you have tasted and seen I don't understand why anybody would not at least want to fight to stay daily connected to His Word. It's not about being good or trying to be holy. It's not about doing something for God but rather being blessed by God. This time even when cut short is a crazy blessing. It never returns void. God is so faithful in that promise!

D

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Saturday, June 08, 2013

DAY 1032: ISAIAH 58

Interesting day. Started off snuggling with two little bits and so thankful for my boy little bit. Yesterday he got in trouble in the water. He followed a friend into the pool without letting Les or I know and he went in without a flotation device of any kind. It was crazy seeing what I had just read in an article happen in front of me and it be my own son. He cried for a good while after he got pulled from the water. Sweet boy told me later that he tried to call for help but couldn't. Provided great conversation about following rules and staying safe and for me just gratitude for the gift of our Brownies. We're not guaranteed tomorrow so its good to remember to give thanks for today.

Went to the library today to go see David Chicken. Mama Chicken is really kinda awesome and one day I hope to be as cool as her. Starting to see my oldest become too cool for school. I know it's normal but I hate that over concern about what others think instead of just having fun. I do get it though. Having kids killed any remaining too cool for school attitude in me. She is such a fun girl and I would love for her to make the most out of every situation.

Today my mission was operation get my kids to read this summer. Got reading logs at the library and half priced books. We let them pick out a book from the clearance section. I loved going to Book Stop with my mom as a kid and getting to pick out a book. Maybe the books are used and in the dollar section but still think it was a fun treat for my kids. The motivation worked though and my two bigs have been reading pretty much all afternoon. My oldest son is pretty competitive so I know a lot of it is being fueled by two siblings wanting to out read each other. I'm slightly torn on this but my fingers are crossed that seeing noses in books will become even more common place. My hubs figured out that a good motivator or rather negative consequence for our third child is to threaten to take away book privileges. I've heard there are kids like this out there but had no clue I'd have one of them! Hoping he continues to enjoy books just as much when he can actually read the words on the pages. Hoping that with all the emerging readers in our family that will leave more time for me to read more consistently as well.

ISAIAH 58:
Last night I truly checked the box and held my eyes open with toothpicks as I read this chapter. Not my favorite but hoping something stuck last night regardless. Thankful for another chance to dive in today.

God's people question God's ability to hear them when they call to Him while fasting and observing the Sabbath. They kinda hacked off because they feel as if they are humbling themselves by fasting and yet God seems to not answer them. What's happening is that they are checking the box. They are indeed fasting and observing the Sabbath but their hearts are so far from doing it to actually seek God's face. It's crazy how we can make almost anything legalistic. When we neglect the heart of the matter things easily go awry. I could do this email everyday but if its not about seeking God and more about performance than I'm sunk. I do know that left up to my own I'm lazy and I need accountability to help me do the things I want to do and be the person I want to be. Thankful for each of you for letting me fill up your inboxes day after day.

These are some verses on observing the Sabbath that stood out to me.

"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord 's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13, 14 NIV)

Clearly God cares a lot about observing the Sabbath and the principle of rest. I know I mess this up. Really want to dig into how to observe a Sabbath without it being legalistic and rule based. Maybe I can begin with small steps. I imagine resting from my ievil on Saturday except for sending this email would be a great start. One of the speakers at the HS conference in May observed the Sabbath. Her daughter explain how it was their way to unplug from the world and spend time with God and each other. Would love getting away from the constant drone of media distraction. Now that I write that seems like unplugging once a week is exactly what I need to do!

D

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Friday, June 07, 2013

DAY 1031: ISAIAH 58

More pool fun today after the bigs had their annual checkup. One of my sweet children falls in the 8th percentile on height. I hope she enjoys being a shorty like I did as a kid.

--------
Fell asleep watching Tommy Nelson with my hubs, checking the box!

D

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

DAY 1030: ISAIAH 57

Not much sleep last night but woke up with a crazy amount of gratitude. So thankful for this amazing family God has placed me in. So great to be reunited with my hubs this afternoon. Love that man! Sweet end of today doing premarital counseling with a sweet couple.

This results of this trip are pretty much what I expected. I didn't think we'd have an answer at the end and that's exactly where we are at. Not sure if Les appreciates it but I'm thankful for their process so far. Next steps are to pray and reconnect later next week. There was definitely some wooing involved by throwing out lifestyle aspects that frankly have me swooning a bit. Drooling over the created or not there's no clear cut answer yet. Pretty sure we'll at least get a trip to Mississippi out of the deal. I think prior to this trip Although I had peace I kinda felt like I was stuck in the middle of a ping pong match. I think now I have peace and I'm over trying to look at all the circumstances to figure out what the future will hold. Today on the way home from the airport we came across a wreck that had just happened. Les pulled over to see how he could help. Think the experience was intense for him and I know at least for my bigs it will be rememberable. My sweet oldest cried over the man lying on the side of the road. Thankful she didn't have a glimpse of the other side. Man on the side of the road seemed to be dazed but okay but other person pretty banged up according to my hubs. It was cool to see people pull over and try to help. Thankful my hubs is always willing to get involved when situations of need arise. I wrote that just to say I don't know what tomorrow will hold. Some life altering event could occur that would make this decision a nonissue. I hope that's not the case but I'm great with just riding this out for as long as it may take to get to the bottom of it. Either way pretty sweet to see another church doing some pretty great things. Regardless of what happens I'm encouraged.

ISAIAH 57:
Need to mull over the last half of this more. Want to dive deep but itching to spend time with my man. Here's the verse of the day kinda. Several caught my eye yesterday and today but for tonight contrite is the word.

For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15 NIV)

This word picture is really beautiful to me. God is resides in the heavenly realms but He also dwells with those who realize they are poor in spirit or rather lowly in spirit. They have contrite hearts because they realize that apart from Christ they are sunk. God in His goodness comes to revive those who are lowly and contrite in spirit. This is totally what God does! We realize we are depraved and lost without God. We humble ourselves to His headship in our lives. When we choose to walk in the ways of The Lord our hearts are revived. It's His very presence and the gift of knowing Him that is the reviving agent. Though situations and circumstances may come and go God's character remains the same. His love and faithfulness never changes and never ceases. It's this knowledge etched deep within the fabric of our souls that breaths the breath of living air that revives.

D


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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

DAY 1029: ISAIAH 57

Day two at the pool. Might become a water rat this summer. Agonized about purchasing a family pool pass but then hubs said just do it. The man knows me well. I would have agonized over every trip to the pool wondering if it was worth going and spending the money if I wasn't going to milk every cent out of it. I've got some deep rooted shame issues with money. Thankful for a pool pass and hopefully many summer days with a beautiful pool carrot on a stick. I must confess that getting out the door I was a stinkpot. Bunny got sunscreen in her eyes and her screaming was making my brain melt amidst the to do list that needed to get done before we headed out the door. Love being a turd on the way out to do something fun. Insanely ironic to me!

Up and at it early this morning to get hubs to the airport. Not up crazy early but pretty confident my kids would have slept another hour or even two. Really liked being up early. Can't believe I actually wrote that but the day felt much more productive. Wouldn't mind getting back on an earlier morning routine. Speaking of mind I'm dying to hear how my hubsters trip is going! Heard its really pretty, by a lake even. I'm sure that only means its way more humid than it is here. :)

ISAIAH 57:
This book is way too meaty to blaze right through a chapter. Goodness! Chapter starts off with these two verses.

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. (Isaiah 57:1, 2 NIV)

What an interesting way to look at death. I know when a believer dies there is sorrow and yet the hope and joy of knowing where they are going. These verses really focus in on that hope and joy. Death for the righteous means they are 1. Spared from evil, 2. Enter into peace and 3. Find rest. If even death can be celebrated and rejoiced over as sweet provision what then shall we fear? I mean really, in light of this why the heck do we spend even a second worrying?

After these verses several follow explaining the idolatry of the wicked. Verses like this explain how far down the path of evil the wicked will walk.

You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags. (Isaiah 57:5 NIV)

I can't help but read these verses and not think about our country. Our beds are filled with sexual immorality. We sacrifice our children for careers, casual sex and everything else under the sun. We worship the created rather than the Creator. My heart breaks over these descriptions and how much it seems to parallel with the direction of our country. Oy!

The last part I'll have to dive into tomorrow but its filled with the all too precious reminder of God's amazing grace and love. God has allowed judgement to fall upon His people and yet they still have refused to turn back to Him. Yet He still says that He will heal and mend their hearts. Crazy love!! It blows me away!

D

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

DAY 1028: iSAIAH 56

Tons of BH contrax tonight. It's going to be a wonderfully long summer. Today feels officially like summer since we were able to hit a pool today. Proud of my kiddos who did pretty good. Normally it takes them awhile before they are ready to venture away from the side of the pool. Sure it didn't hurt that a sweet friend worked with them on some skills. Speaking of skills my Little Bit has no fear. Not a huge surprise but going to need to stay on my toes at the pool.

My hubs flys out tomorrow to check out Mississippi. This whole thing feels like a wackadoo ping pong game right now. One moment it seems as if there's no way it will happen and other times it seems as if it could be in the realm of possibility. Unfortunately I don't think this trip is going to give a clear cut yes or no. I think what it will do is make it clear whether or not it stays in the realm of possibility. We shall see. Either way next couple days could be interesting. Gonna try to wrap this up because my fingers are crossed for an in home date night. Still got some stinkers up so not holding my breath. Hoping the sun and chlorine combo will do its magic soon! It's working on me!

ISAIAH 56:
Read this morning and the thing that sticks out the most today is this verse:

Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil." (Isaiah 56:2 NIV)

Another verse addressing the subject of the Sabbath:
And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— (Isaiah 56:6 NIV)

And yet one more:
For this is what the Lord says: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. (Isaiah 56:4, 5 NIV)

Obviously observing the Sabbath and not desecrating it is a HUGE deal to The Lord. If it is a huge deal then how do I order my life so that its a big deal to me too?

D

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Monday, June 03, 2013

DAY 1027: ISAIAH 56

Shower this morning which is always so good at framing the day. It's quiet, kinda, and its great opportunity to pray. Feeling pretty physically worn out. My body is screaming for a day in bed. Sweet husband got up with kiddos and made everyone breakfast. Those things are such blessings right now. Sitting amidst chaos and trying hard to fight shame and guilt. I used to feel bad for not being able to conquer and destroy my domain even while baking a baby. I would then turn to anger towards my hubs to 1. Keep my heart guarded 2. Try to alleviate my own shame. It's been so great the last two pregnancies to realize God has broken that crazy hamster wheel. There's chaos and there always will be to some degree. Things aren't how I'd like it right now but it's a season. It's a beautiful season that will be gone before I know it. This big belly won't always be graced by sweet little kicks and there won't always be precious toddlers running around causing the most wonderful havoc. So glad I took the time amidst the chaos to turn my heart towards Him. So thankful to be in the middle of this beautifully exhausting season. So crazy blessed!

Think the weight of Mississippi is weighing on my hubs and I more than we probably even know. We've been off a little bit lately. We are very like minded in lots of ways so its pretty obvious when we're off. It's not a big deal and I'm sure I'm the biggest culprit. I've been short fused, self focused and an overall pill. I don't like it any more than anybody else but there's still fall out from the raging hormones.

Speaking of grumpy the free moment has come to an end for now. I can grump and make this an idol or I can not make everything about me and love my sweet babies. Back to the wonderful chaos for now. Thankful for the brief heart reset.

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So thankful I took time this morning to focus my heart on God or I wouldn't have made it. My oldest was suffering from sleep deprivation big time and blessed me today by being incredibly sanctifying. Our Lukeypotamus woke up with a horrible headache and the Motrin we have him must have been laced with crazy sauce. It was wheels off today with brawl after brawl and a herd full of cranky pants. If we had been out in public today around people who didn't know my kids they would have shriveled a lot of ovaries today. My guts have been on fire today too which has added quite the spice to my day. I'm sitting in a dark living room still surrounded by chaos but quiet chaos and I can't help but be thankful. It's the days that are totally wackadoo that help me to truly enjoy the days that are really good.

Oh Shelter tonight. Thankful for an easier night for myself. How my hearts aches for the women in this group. As they spoke and poured out their hearts I couldn't help but see the sweet precious girls that were not protected. The little girls that were sacrificed for others pleasure. So thankful that God sees this as well and will mend their aching hearts as well as my own and redeem what was taken away and tarnished.

ISAIAH 56:
Interesting chapter. Really want to dive in but after getting caught up with my handsome hubbers its crazy late. Will chew on this verse a bit though:

This is what the Lord says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. (Isaiah 56:1 NIV)

I think there is much confusion that can be caused with the works versus grace thing. Maintaining justice and doing what is right will never earn us salvation. However, if we truly know God and our hearts have grasped onto what salvation cost and what that means for a depraved sinner the response should be to desire to maintain justice and do what is right. When we understand the full beauty of this wonderful salvation we don't use grace as an excuse to do whatever the heck we want and ignore the plight of the needy and downtrodden. When we fully understand the beauty of salvation we understand that grace abounds when we mess up and don't do the good we ought to do or desire to do. This wonderful salvation covers over a multitude of sins, washes us clean and sets us free from the penalty of death.

I don't strive to do good any longer to be loved and accepted but rather strive to do good because I know that I loved and accepted regardless.

D

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Sunday, June 02, 2013

DAY 1026: ISAIAH 55

So sleep and I were not BFF's last night. Woke up from a crazy dream and I'm hoping it was melatonin induced. Although the lack of sleep will not bode well in the grumpy pants department, it has been an unexpected gift. There really is something to rising early and spending time with Him. The quiet and tranquility and even the fact that its not my best time of day. It becomes much more about Him than it does about me. Maybe this starts to become part of my Sabbath. Rising early with my love so that I can spend time with the lover of my soul. Could be very lovely.

So this Mississippi thing is starting to become more real. I've done a great bit of ignoring and not a lot of processing. With my hubs going to check it out next week it has started to become a situation that I can't just ignore. Although until the actual trip there's not a whole lot of getting worked up that needs to be done either. I do feel very conflicted and at odds with myself. Part of me wants to find warts all over this church so I can go on my happy WM way. God has blessed us richly here yet I don't want the blessing to keep me from trusting and following God where ever it may lead. I do want to keep my hands held loosely and be willing to put everything on the alter knowing that nothing can surpass truly walking with The Lord and being faithful.

Last night we started watching some sermons. We're watched a couple already but I'll be honest I watched them with a different set of eyes than last night. I wasn't blown away by what I heard last night but God's already using what the pastor said. His style is definitely different. The way Todd is wired as a leader really speaks to this girl who has a hard time coming under leadership and authority. Although he's not perfect by any means he's won my respect in so many ways. The dude knows his bible and he's trying his best to daily be transformed by it and spur others to truly taste and see. I'm not opposed to change and even often like it but I know a change in pastors will or would not be an easy one for me. I don't want to make a sinful man an idol though nor would he want me too.

A friend has been reading a book called Accidental Pharisee and it has had me intrigued. Sweet friend bought it for me so I could dig in myself. I really think the timing of reading this book will be perfect. I know in my passion for God I'm tempted to become a Pharisee. I want a formula to follow and there just isn't one with God. All of His children are different and unique and a one size fits all approach to relationship with the Father will not work. How good is God that His relationship with us is personal and unique? God can not be shoved into a box and yet in my humanness I want to box Him in every chance I get so that I can understand Him more. This is so funny because it ties in so perfectly to Isaiah 55.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)

I'm so crazy thankful that God does not operate or think how I would think. Yet I want to understand and in that desire often I can mess it up. The truth is for the most part I'm just not going to fully understand this side of heaven. This is where faith and trust play a key role. Do I have faith in God even when I can't possibly understand all of His ways? Can I trust Him even when I don't understand? The answer to both is yes. Part of this whole deal with Mississippi is to stop looking at all the circumstances around. I feel like He's calling us to be faithful. Isn't that what He daily calls us to though, to be faithful in the little and the big things? So we're going to be faithful and see this through to the end. I pray I'll keep my hands held out before me willing to place whatever He desires on the altar. If He wants us to move and it's hard in ways we could not possibly imagine I'm okay with that. I know it's in the difficulty that God truly teaches us that He alone is enough. In my flesh I don't want to write this but in my spirit I do want to learn more and more on this side if heaven that God truly is all I need. Do I trust that if I start off my mornings early or my week at 5:30 that God is enough? Do I trust that if He moves us and it takes several years to make the same kind of friendships that I've made here that He is enough to deal with loneliness. Am I willing to be faithful and to trust? Just writing that shows just how faithful God has been in my life. I wasn't a person who desired to be faithful or who desired to trust. He is good all the time.

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Wanted to write more tonight but about to pass out. Good day. Biggest boy finally got sick and little bits were not their usual self. The middle boy complained of a headache all day. Off day but not a bad day. My babies are growing up so quick. Thankful for lots of snuggling today!

D

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Saturday, June 01, 2013

DAY 1025: ISAIAH 55

Wicked heartburn from frozen lemonade. Let the third trimester games begin! Good day watching a gaggle of kids. My fingers are crossed that the full day of play wore my crew out. Things looking good so far, little bit almost asleep. Well scratch that! Biggest just woke her up. Consider it all joy, consider it all joy, consider it all joy! Sweet wonderful sanctification! I am thankful for these six wonderful sanctification agents. It's truly part of the blessing.

ISAIAH 55:
Goodness gracious this is a fine feast for the soul. Might sit here a few days simply because this chapter is like a soothing balm for the soul.

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. (Isaiah 55:1 NIV)

This verse reminds me so much of the woman at the well. Reading that in combination of this verse is mind blowing in so many ways. The woman had been searching for life but it would not be found in just any man. Then one day she meets her Savior, the Messiah, face to face. He treats her with such kindness yet still confronts her with the truth of the choices she has chosen. Right there at the well she finds living water and daily bread.

My oldest prayed a sweet prayer with my hubs tonight thanking God for Jesus and asking forgiveness for his sins. My three oldests have definitely asked for God's forgiveness and said "the sinners prayer". I pray that as their faith grows they truly understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. I pray they each have their woman at the well experience and experience love in a way that they never thought possible.

The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I, the one speaking to you—I am he." (John 4:25, 26 NIV)

These verses simply give me chills. I am he. I am what you've been searching for all this time to fill that void in your heart and in your soul. I'm so thankful that He truly is all that I need. Although I'm thankful for all the amazing blessings He's given me especially through my hubs and Brownies may I never make them an idol. May I even cast aside self to be fulfilled by the ultimate provider.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. (Isaiah 55:2 NIV)

I know I trade in the richest of fare for junk. The world and its wisdom glitter and sparkle. I lust for junk and its consumption will always leave me hungry for more. I'm wooed to believe FB will provide life, self reliance is the way to go, I gobble up pride believing my way is best, I trade in love for a cheap crappy substitute. God give me eyes to see. Help me to continue to strip away all the things I cling too that keep me from you.

D
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