Saturday, August 31, 2013

DAY 1115: JER 32

So don't want to do this tonight. I want to slip into an oxytocin induced stupor and watch mindless television. We watched home videos tonight and in most I had an exhausted glazed over look on my face as I sat on the sidelines. In my defense often there was a little bit sitting or even nursing in my lap. There is a lot of sitting on the sidelines with a little bitty. Sometimes I wonder if its worth it, missing out on the others. Even now as I sit in bed in a haze nursing Lilly Bit and there's three others gabbing on my bed I know indeed it is more worth it than I will ever know this side of heaven.

On top of being tired and feeling hazy I feel kinda dumpy. I've had a nagging hacking cough since last week and its not getting much better. It's driving me nuts. I'd take Benadryl to dry up the drainage but don't want to dry up any milk. Feel like all my mucous membranes are irritated and inflamed. Pollen is high right now so that could also be the stink pot culprit. Sinus have been bugging and I'm itchy. Looks like ditching sugar, grains and dairy would bode well for me. That will have to wait till I have my feet back under me. First day solo tomorrow so it should be a wild adventure. Thankful for Cereal Sunday's and Phil Vischer's vegetables and puppets.

JER 32:

great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind; you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve. (Jeremiah 32:19 NIV)

Great are your purposes. Love this! God purposes all things for greatness for those who love Him. It's often hard to see the greatness in seasons of great difficulty but there is reason and purpose behind every season. I'm thankful for seasons of rest and seasons of great abundance. It helps prepare our hearts for lean seasons, seasons full of tears and for seasons that seem as if the sorrow will never end. It's always darkest just before the first light of dawn. Oh how precious and bright those first few rays of light can be. May I remember this is the hard seasons. Tomorrow when six sweet ones all demand more of me than I have to give may I embrace with joy that great are the purposes of The Lord.

Your eyes are open to all the ways of mankind. I was staring at sweet Lilly yesterday and it occurred to me that creating humans must be awesome. God used Les and I to be apart of the creation of six awesome kids but God is the designer of life and He is the one who breathes the breath of life into each of us. Apart from God we can't create life. I guess technically it can appear as if we can create life in a Petri dish but we can't create life from scratch, life is still the Lord's creation and design. I love God's design, it's why I marvel every time I feel life squirming around in my swollen belly or meet a new one for the first time. It's why I love to gaze at my children while they are playing or better yet while they are sleeping. God's creation is amazing. God didn't just create our physical bodies, He also created our personalities complete with strengths and weaknesses. God knows us intimately and of course He is filled with compassion and grace when we struggle and fail. On the contrary how much hurt and pain does He feel when we choose to reject Him. There's nothing we need to hide because He knows it all and yet still chooses to love us. Thankful for a God who loves me enough to pursue a deeply intimate relationship with me despite my sin and my complaining.

D

Friday, August 30, 2013

DAY 1114: JER 32

Another laid back day hanging out at home. Been so great this week being together as a family and connecting with neighbors and sweet friends who have fed us incredibly well. Next week will be back to the real world and adjusting to daily life with six wonderful Brownies.

Put up our calendar for September and it hit me that we really could be moving. MS is still out there in the cosmos. It's possible we'll have a better handle on everything by the end of next week but I'm not holding my breath. In retrospect think some of my desire to keep Lilly Bit shut up tight had much to do with not wanting to have to deal with the possibility of moving. I'm incredibly sad at the thought of moving yet fully trust God if He desires us to go on an adventure in MS.

JER 32:
You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the parents' sins into the laps of their children after them. Great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord Almighty, (Jeremiah 32:18 NIV)

Verses like these are so hard to read. I used to think God was cruel to punish innocent children for the sins of their fathers. Now I understand. Sin always taints and corrupts. Even when we are convinced our sin only affects ourself we are mistaken. Sin reaches out beyond the the sinner and damages relationship. Our sin is going to negatively affect our kids. Thank goodness Jesus defeated sin and death on the cross. If we remain in Him, His grace is sufficient in our weakness. God is so powerful He can turn our sin and consequences of it into something beautiful.

Lilly Bit finally settled on my chest and now I can't keep my eyes open. Baby crack is fantastic!

D

Thursday, August 29, 2013

DAY 1113: JER 32

Sitting here at a complete loss on what to do with one of our kiddos. I've definitely seem some growth in that kid but goodness has five been ugly. The shock value of a five year old is much more shocking than that of a three year. I am thankful at least the three year old is phlegmatic. I guess I'm thankful the rest are not otherwise I'd be the most prideful woman on the planet. Thankful these kids are strong because they are growing up in a culture where they will need to be. I did see a picture of myself from just a few days ago and just as I suspected their strength is aging me, that and the sun. :)

I read too much news today. WW3, the rapist who got sentenced 30 days in prison and a myriad of other things has me so sad for this country. The division keeps growing wider and wider and the chaos keeps getting darker and darker. So thankful my hope is not found anywhere on this earth but rather in Christ. Once again thankful these Brownies are strong. They are going to need it.

JER 32:
Fading fast. Any semi quiet moment with a little bit sleeping on me equals droopy eyes and a bobbing head.

Wrapping this up quickly. God tells Jeremiah to purchase land from a relative and to put the deed in a clay pot that will keep it safe for many years. Love the relationship God had with Jeremiah. So very different from how He communicated with Isaiah. Love how God speaks to each of us differently.

After JER purchases the land he prays. The very first verse caught my eye.

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17 NIV)

I think I often forget the simple fact that God made everything and nothing is too hard for Him. God cares about us. He cares about the things we care about great and small. God is very orderly and very much into the smallest of details. The fact that He cares about missing keys and everything else under the sun is often lost on me. God loves us so incredibly much.

D

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DAY 1112: JER 32

In sweet bliss with a sleeping itty bitty on my chest. This season goes by so incredibly fast. I want to drink it in. I so didn't drink it in today. I seized a hands free moment to try to finish up some school prep. One of my kiddos wanted me to join him in the bathroom. "Mommy I neeeeed you"! I refused and told him I wanted to finish what I was doing and he could talk to me from the bathroom. I can't drop everything at everybody's every last whim but I missed it today. Too focused on my agenda instead of remaining focused on what was most important. Thankfully my hubs heard us and came to sit in the bathroom with my boy. He asked about 203 questions while he held court in the throne room. Only a handful of times remain when that boy is going to ask me to sit and talk to him while he's on the potty. The to do list will always be there but little boys who want to ask their momma a million questions under the sun will soon grow up. I wont even go into my perfectionist laminating issues today. Part of me kept saying who cares better to have the kids involved but my desire for perfectly laminated sheets won out. The win for today is that the kitchen helper thing is working smashingly! Kids with huge smiles over doing hard work and great opportunity to build into them and praise them like crazy.

JER 32:
Another beautiful chapter that screams restoration and redemption. Will probably camp here a bit too.

These aren't the verses that stood out to me the most but first things must be put first.

The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace of Judah. Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, "Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, 'This is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it. (Jeremiah 32:2, 3 NIV)

The Israelites were in the situation they were in because they refused to listen. Babylon is knocking at their door and the king still refuses to listen to truth. I feel like this is such a snapshot of where we are as a country. Truth is equal to hatred and bigotry in our country. Detestable practices take place in America and the false gospel of tolerance is preached from the hilltops and embraced wholeheartedly. It did not end well for the Israelites and it will not end well with us.
The beauty of the scene played out in this chapter is that even while the Babylonians were right there ready to take over Israel God is still using His servant Jeremiah to give hope to His people. The hope and the promise of restoration was all part of God's plan for the discipline of His people. He doesn't just want to smite us all or else He would just do it. His desire is for our hearts to desire to repent and turn back to Him. God wants to have a relationship with us. He loves us so very much!

D

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DAY 1111: JER 31

Phone about to die but maybe I can race against the battery. Family nap in progress and its blissfully quiet. Love the melodic sounds of little ones and even one handsome big one sleeping. I have a little bit sleeping on my chest and as far as I'm concerned life is nothing but magical right now.

Almost started bawling at Chicken Play today. Yes their chicken biscuits are that good but it was a sweet precious family that got me choked up. A mom with four out of seven grown children with her, one that used to work with Les, and 6 out of her 15 grandchildren caught my attention and blessed my socks off. Seeing the four siblings interact and hearing their hearts for the future of their own families made me want to weep. Just a small snapshot of such a beautiful legacy. So thankful my husband and I get to take part in building a legacy of beauty. We by no means will do it perfectly or anywhere close but thankful we both get to link arms together and walk down the amazing road of grace. Thankful for the changed hearts God has created in us and for the bodies that He has blessed us with to be apart of helping to bring forth life. There is nothing we have done to create these children and there is nothing we have done to deserve the blessing of our children. God chose it for us before the beginning of creation and I pray that we would work diligently to steward well all that He has given us. May our arrows not only be a blessing to us but to the world.
Ok
----------
Galaxy Drive In tonight. Only one other family there tonight. Stars were so beautiful and night was actually very nice for it being August. Lots of fun! It's past midnight though and kids still up. Loving this babycation! Been so good for our family!

JER 31:
So many great verses and depth in just the next 10 verses of this chapter. Redemption and restoration is proclaimed through out this chapter. Want to dive in but can't keep my eyes open despite two little wiggle worms still flopping around. Sweet baby sleeping on my chest is like taking a fist full of sleeping pills. It's an oxytocin paradise.

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13 NIV)

Thankful that this is true!!

D

Monday, August 26, 2013

DAY 1110: JER 31

Good day together as a family. Followed a friends lead and kicked off our new and improved cleaning plan of kitchen helper. It's incredibly simple which is what we need. Love that it will get us one on one time with the kids and opportunity to train them as well. Abbie rocked it today and tonight even said she couldn't wait to be kitchen helper next week. We rewarded her hard work and great attitude with cookies for everyone so I'm sure that didn't hurt anything.

Glad we decided to blow off school this week. Seems like I didn't get the memo that HS kids start after Labor Day. Sounds like a wonderful plan from here on out. Did feel incredibly awesome sleeping in till 8 and eating breakfast late.

Fun times catching up a bit with a sweet friend who brought us dinner. So good seeing her. Hard how different seasons of life can thrust you in and out of different people's lives. Crazy how moving into the season of school age kids changes so many things. Had no clue how fast I would move through these different seasons in life. Wish I could tap the breaks before 2nd grade bleeds into adolescence. Some days I feel like I've already arrived there. My girl jumped on my bed with a big silly grin about a boy and full of chatter about all his funny stories. May she always feel free enough to tell me what is going on in her heart. Although not crazy about her early interest in boys and her desire for "romance" I don't fear for her future with boys. I really think that girl with good solid direction and involvement in her life is going to make really good choices. Already she has gravitated towards the boys that like to have fun and have a sense of humor. Even now as a little girl she values traits that her Daddy has. Thankful for her and the two other sweet girls her Daddy and I get to raise. Crazy blessed!


JER 31:
Starting to feel pukey. At least I know I'm not pregnant. Might make this wrap up a bit quicker though.

Fading fat.

They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord — the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. (Jeremiah 31:12 NIV)

One day sorrow will be nonexistent. If I could keep my eyes open I'd elaborate.

D

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DAY 1109: JER 31

The kid funk is wearing me down. Still trying to figure out whether or not I really want to start school tomorrow. Might as well do a soft roll out and get us used to a schedule again while my hubs is home. Wish I felt better.

JER 31:
Executive decision, starting school Tuesday or maybe even next week. I feel like a hot steamy pile of poo and don't have the get er done energy I need to get stuff ready for tomorrow. My hubs saying are we going to call baby and not do our normal first day of school traditions was just what I needed to gain some perspective and sanity. I do like joining in with the rest of the world with all the first day of school hoopla and allowing my kids the joy of experiencing that with everybody else too but nobody is going to die if our start is less than perfect. Would rather delay the start of Browntown Academy and hold true to our traditions rather than try to force it. I just had a baby three days ago, if we don't start school for another month who cares. That's one of the many beauties of homeschooling especially in Texas. Yeehaw!

Trying hard to connect with this passage but feeling flat tonight. Could be the awesomeness of postpartum chaos or the fact that I've been sleep deprived for almost a month and now I'm fighting some kinda funk with a puny immune system. Who cares the reason, it is what it is. My expectations for this week obviously need to be lowered. Looks like no skipping through the tulips and flying high on a leftover endorphin rush from birth. Instead I want to melt into the couch and slink around like a sloth. I keep asking God for a picture of what rest is so might as well kick up my slothy heels and take advantage of this time. In light of that, forget school this week, I always thought it was insane to start before Labor Day anyway.

Really love these verses today:
See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. (Jeremiah 31:8, 9 NIV)

I love how He gathers us to Him. It's not the strong, the capable, the self righteous, high functioning, elite, ect that He calls. He calls those weak, broken in spirit, desperate, longing, outcasts, broken, ect. and He draws them towards Him. He can provide for those who are desperate for Him along the pathway that leads to life. Oh may God show me, my desperate need for Him daily. May I weep tears of joy as I remember daily the cost of my sin, the state of my brokenness and how He loves me regardless, clothes me in His own robes of righteousness and makes this blind girl see and my lame legs able to walk again. May I rejoice in the restoration that can only be found in Christ. May my prayers be constant and more than a string of requests but rather a constant dialogue with the one that I love.

May I not ignore the streams of water that He desires to lead me to. May I be still and quiet and sit at His feet to rest and to drink deep. May I not go off the path that He has cleared for me and made level even when it seems scary or not the path that I want to be on. May I trust Him no matter where the path leads knowing that He will make a way always for those who love Him.

D

Saturday, August 24, 2013

DAY 1108: JER 31

Today went by like a blur. I've had visions of this time off being used as making some great family memories. I'm sure that will happen but right now I'm in a sleep deprived hormonal haze. The havoc caused by switching hormones is so not my favorite. Should have eaten my placenta. Fighting some fun kid funk too. Hoping my immune system will cover for Lilly. Fun having a scritchy scratchy cough after giving birth. 

Still can't believe there's a sweet little peanut laying in my lap. I want to gobble up this time knowing that these newborn days go by insanely quick. A friend was joking today that I'll blink and she'll be entering Kinder. So true though. Abbie will be a teenager then. Gasp! Speaking of Abbie, found the sweetest video she had made on my phone. It was like discovering a pot of gold. That kid simply blows me away sometimes. 


JER 31:
This chapter is incredibly rich. Gonna park it here for several days so I can bask in the great love of my Father. The tone of this book has gone from warning to turn from sin, warning of the consequences of continued wickedness, the devastation from the delivered consequences and now the promise of sweet beautiful restoration. God didn't bring down the hammer of Thor on His people out of random anger and spite. Ultimately the goal in allowing His people to experience the results of doing life outside God's protection was to bring them to repentance so that their relationship could be restored. As I think through discipline in our home restoration of relationship always needs to be one of the main goals. 

This verse once again brings to light the theme of the importance of rest and what a beautiful gift it is:

This is what the Lord says: "The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel." (Jeremiah 31:2 NIV)

Often as a result of difficult seasons it can be difficult to find the rest God wants to offer us. The green pastures seem dry and shriveled up and drought dries up the peaceful streams. I think it's in those seasons that we realize our desperation for rest. Rest is important in every season though. It was important enough for God to command a day set apart for it. It was important enough that even Jesus who was God Himself in the flesh needed time away to rest. The key is finding true rest. Wasting time on the Internet, or spent doing numerous other tasks is not rest though it may serve as a pretty crappy substitute. I keep praying that God would continue to bring wisdom and truth in the areas our family needs to rest. There definitely needs to be an unplugging for all of us. Look forward to hearing about what a friend has learned about this topic in particular. 

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

I know this to be true and yet often I forget. I want these words to be impressed on my heart. If I truly lived my life knowing this simple truth fear, insecurity, pride, selfishness, and trying to gain my value and worth from the wrong places would not happen. Oh how full my heart would be and how much more able I would be to love like He loves.

I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. (Jeremiah 31:4, 5 NIV)

May I be reminded of these beautiful glimpses of hope when the storms rage. The Lord will restore the joyful sound of music and dancing will once again be had and the fields will be filled once more with a fruitful harvest.

D

Friday, August 23, 2013

DAY 1107: JER 30

This little one is smashing all my thoughts on pregnancy, labor and getting sleep after a baby. I should have known as much. I'm so thankful that God breaks the mold with every single child. Thankful that He keeps life full of all sorts of surprises. Love this crazy life adventure lived with my King.

Sitting in a dark room in silence with a tiny little one on my chest. Oh the wonderful and simple joys of having another little bit. Thankful for my hubs who took 5 tired and emotional children to the store. I didn't let my oldest stay behind and she is upset. She came in my room earlier and although quiet her messing with the baby and me kept me awake. I was up all night with sweet Lily as she decided to seize the opportunity to get solo time with mom. I could jump up and press on hard this week using a leftover endorphin rush to push through physical fatigue and sleeplessness. At least after 6 kiddos I'm learning not to be a fool. Crazy shifting hormones, lack of sleep and lack of adequate vitamins, ect can be an ugly recipe for PPD. I'm pretty crappy in the self care department so really going to try to choose wisdom. Les and I are both going to have to figure out how to be wise and make appropriate sacrifices for both of us to get the adequate sleep and exercise we need. Both are more necessary than either of us give it credit and it helps fuel the physical bodies God gave us as well as help our mental well being.

Rough day overall with sibling fallout over new addition and exhausted little bodies.
-------------
Wow. Completely frazzled. Exhausted kids plus exhausted parents plus new family member has equalled a bit of chaos. The one child I was most concerned about has done pretty well adjusting to becoming a big sister. Completely dumbfounded by the disrespect and defiance by one. The defiance isn't anything new but the level of disrespect is off the charts. I think it's so shocking because of how crafty and calculated the disrespect is. It's not a simple roll of the eyes or screaming out of loss of self control. In my flesh I want to issue a royal smack down and prove to this kid that we are the boss of him. I know that will do nothing for our relationship with him or his relationship with God. Sore body parts and the scent of a newborn head seems so much easier right now.

JER 30:
This chapter is about the pretty severe punishment delivered to the Israelites due to their wicked rebellion but how the plan all along was to restore His people back to relationship with Him. So thankful God is always about the relationship and restoring that with each of us.

D

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DAY 1106: JER 30

Today is the day. Laying in bed pretty confident I've sprung at least a tiny leak. Ignoring it as I try to figure out a game plan. All but 1 kid asleep and I'm trying to figure out if I really want them here after all.
------------------------
What a day! Mind still blown by all of it. I can not believe this was not only my easiest pregnancy but was also my easiest labor. I've been dreading today for weeks and it really wasn't that bad even for an OP baby. Thank you Lily for being under 6 pounds and being born en caul. Contractions never were one right after the other which is a more typical labor for me. Never had a crazy transition or have any moments of feeling out of control and unable to do it. Even took a nap during contractions. (What!?) Still completely and totally dumbfounded by it all and I'm insanely thankful! The midwife I didn't want was the only option today. Had peace about it when I realized God was all over it. It worked itself out as I was completely caught off guard by Lily's birth. All of us were caught off guard. I'll be honest we had schemed this morning to birth solo but after given wise council decided against it. We kept midwife updated through out the day on happenings but since there was never any real rhyme or reason to the pattern, intensity or length of contrax the switch to pushing completely caught me off guard. My sweet friend who took pictures for us almost missed it. So glad she made it since it was amazing. Love that she caught my look of sheer bewilderment after Lily came. Still can not believe everything went down the way that it did.

Read JER 30 this morning but don't remember a thing. Psalm 139 seems much appropriate for today. Praising God for yet another amazing blessing. So insanely blessed!!!

D

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DAY 1104: JER 29

This will be short and sweet. Kids watched a ridonculous amount of tv today as I printed and laminated and tried to organize. Still much to do but not sweating it.

Short and sweet time with a birthday girl. Thankful for her sweet friendship and the insight she often has. Got I invited to speak to a sweet group of gals tonight. Humbled and honored to be asked and blessed by them tonight. I think if I've learned anything as a parent it's that I know way less than I ever thought I did. Thankful that each day can bring about a new adventure and a new challenge.

JER 29:
I really love these verses:

This is what the Lord says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." (Jeremiah 29:10-14 NIV)

I think I have often focused on vs 11 but its the verses surrounding vs 11 that add to its beauty. The captives would be in Babylon for 70 years. There would be no quick and simple fix to their situation. God would bring His people back but not every one of the captives would ever set foot back into Israel.

I think we sometimes have a jacked up perspective on what it means for The Lord to prosper us. We look to worldly prosperity and want to make that be the same prosperity that The Lord has to offer us. When I am honest with what has truly prospered me the most in my walk with God it has been some of the hardest and most difficult things in life. Being sanctified and becoming more like Christ and knowing Him more is the prosperity that truly lasts. I love the seasons of life where I feel like I'm living out the U2 song "Beautiful Day" but I rarely grow during those seasons. If Jesus truly is my treasure and my reward then true prosperity is knowing him more.

I have a hope of my future. I have this hope because of the salvation I have in Christ. I still don't live out vs 11 joyfully though. I want to be prospered but I want it to be painless. If it is painful then I want the hope that the pain will pass quickly. This is not the hope that God offers me. It's in the seasons of "captivity" that I'm willing to let go of self reliance to come to God, call on Him and pray. It's in my most desperate moments that the distractions are stripped away and I'm willing to seek Him with all my heart. May my life be marked by seeking and calling on The Lord with all my heart. May my prosperity be a rich intimate relationship with The Lord.

D

Monday, August 19, 2013

DAY 1103: JER 29

Heart is heavy for a couple friends this morning. It's crazy how two people both given the blessing of life can handle things so differently. In light of a friend's miscarriage this morning I'm almost more convinced that I need to let go and completely trust God with our family. Is He God or is He not? Is He the author and creator of life or is He not? I don't think everyone must embrace the quiver full movement whole heatedly but I know personally I've tried to manage and control all that God would have for me and its lead to absolute chaos. Still broken that I've ever shed tears other than joy of these sweet babies The Lord has blessed us with. I want to celebrate life and rejoice over every day that I'm blessed to have with my children. I'm guaranteed nothing in this life other than the hope of one day having all things made new by my Savior. The legacy I leave behind with my children are the only things of value that I will leave behind when I am no longer here. May I not loose sight of that.

Another sweet friend is in the belly of the whale in a lot of ways. Oh how I know the pain of first being willing to take a hard look at childhood and remove the rosé colored glasses. It can be so painful. When faced with having to deal with the source of the pain the first years of recovery can be oh so brutal. The pain is so fresh and its so hard to not find yourself back to being the scared and broken child within that still desperately needs to be healed. I remember coming back home to my childhood home and feeling the oppression of being there and then once again the feeling of being trapped as my stepdad showed up. I don't even know if I saw his face that visit as I sat paralyzed by fear in the bathroom unable to control my weeping. Even when I first got married that same childhood feeling of being trapped carried over with me. Thankful over time I saw God write a new story of what it would mean to be home and to create one. May the aroma of our house be marked by love even when it literally smells like dirty diapers and pee.

JER 29:
This chapter is a letter Jeremiah wrote to the exiles living in Babylon.

"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jeremiah 29:5-7 NIV)

These verses are a great reminder that we should dive in deep where we are. God is Sovereign. Even if in a temporary situation I believe it is always the Lord's desire to dive in deep. As one who has been so resistant to laying down deep roots and settling exactly where God has placed me I now realize why this is God's desire for us. It's hard to truly love when your heart is guarded and only willing to go so deep. God wants us to fully throw in with and engage with the people He has placed around us. I really love that God is about being all in. May I live my life that way being willing to be all in no matter what the situation or circumstance.

With everything that has gone on in my heart the last 9 years regarding children I find much delight in these words "Increase in number there; do not decrease". It's been fascinating to me to see all the sociological, economic, ect fall out from dwindling family sizes in America and Europe. God was not kidding when He commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. He wasn't being silly as He repeated and passed down that command to His people through out the OT. Increase in number do not decrease. There's so much incredible goodness rolled up in this command. I can't wait to chat with God face to face about this whole issue. How does He feel about birth control and our fixing of things that are not broken? How has disregarding purity caused a hatred and dissatisfaction towards the very gift of life? Honestly how can anyone compare that blessing to any other blessing that God gives us? I think of how often the rebuttal of really letting God have control in that area of our lives is income or financial blessing. With great financial blessing also comes great responsibility. I've used the same to make my point that I've yet to hear anyone ask for their financial blessing to be limited yet we try to limit the gift of life.

Seriously how many of us have bought the lie of limiting our family size due to the sexual revolution? How many of us don't even realize this is origin of our desire to control our family size? This makes me so angry. Has Satan ever used an incredible gift and twisted and distorted it to cause so much pain and havoc in His children's lives. In our sexual enlightenment as a society we've all been duped. Every single one of us has been duped into believing a complete and utter load of crap. Who knew that our desire to have sex outside of marriage would completely change our views of sex within marriage. That sin has penetrated the hearts of even those who have held strong to the commitment of purity. Even just a little yeast can spoil an entire batch of dough. I know I'm rambling and my thoughts are not coming out the way that I would desire. The dots are just connecting and frankly I'm so incredibly grieved by it. I'm grieved by the atrocity of my own sin. I don't want to believe the full impact that it has yet it only takes a little yeast to contaminate an entire batch of dough. Crazy to be completely horrified at the ability of my own sin to corrupt and damage and yet completely in awe of God's ability to defeat and overcome sin. Sorry if today this is whack and all out if sorts. Had no idea this is where I was headed today. Will have to process this more obviously.

D

Saturday, August 17, 2013

DAY 1101: JER 28

Wonderfully exhausted. Great day with family today. Pancake breakfast, fun outside enjoying weather with neighbors present and past, great bday party celebrating one of my favorite newly 4 year olds, Chuy's and a SEED's concert. Very possibly our last family fun outing as a party of 7. So glad we had such a great day together. We're all pretty exhausted though. Hopefully these sweet ones will sleep in tomorrow.

JER 28:
Hananiah a false prophet and Jeremiah have a prophets dual. Jeremiah holds strong and just holds fast to truth. Hananiah says Babylon's yoke will be broken after two years and he could not be more wrong. JER busts out this truth and then prophesies H's death.

From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true." (Jeremiah 28:8, 9 NIV)

We must be vigilant especially in this age of such soft theology that what is said by teachers, pastors and modern day prophets can be fully backed up by scripture. We need to guard against feel good theology.

D

Friday, August 16, 2013

Re: DAY 1100: JER 27

No baby yet. Funny as I wrote that got a pretty good contraction. She can stay as long as she wants to as long as I'm concerned. Not quite ready for the pain of Eve just yet. Stomach funk finally passed and I got a fabulous nap this morning that extended into the afternoon thanks to a sweet friend who watched my tribe and my hubs. Woke up feeling much better from my stomach funk. My to do list is growing shorter and feel settled enough if this kiddo came. Still have some other stuff I'd like to get done for school and cleaned before Baby Girl but nothing like a non functioning bathroom that seems like it must be done.

So thankful for friends who have watched kids or been willing to swoop in and grab them in a moments notice. I'm caught up on laundry thanks to a sweet friend who just came over to grab dirty laundry and who would not have taken no for an answer. All but one basket of Mt Clean Laundry is actually folded and put away too. On top of all the bed sheets washed. It's like a small (okay big) miracle happened in Browntown. Also thankful for a friend who got the fake butter I forgot at the store and came over with bags full of fun treats and surprises for the kids. Feeling loved on by a small army and I'm so grateful. Can't imagine moving away from such an incredible group of friends and support system. I know if anything went down in our family that His hands and feet would show up and help us get through any storm life could throw our way. Pretty awesome feeling!

JER 27:
This will be short as an in home date night is planned. Need to score as many as we can have solo before we have added company.

Completely forgot that I read first thing this morning like at at 5:15am. Read JER and 2 Timothy due to the verse of the day. It's pretty sweet today.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

It's funny how God has changed my views of the word power. What I once would have though of in response to the word power would have been the words resilience, self sufficiency, strength as well as other strong words. This morning the words humility, meekness and mild came to my mind. I lived life trying hard to prove I was strong and fought to have my value recognized. That seems so less important now. Other people realizing how I've been gifted, whether I'm right, if I am valuable or worthy of having my thoughts and ideas heard is less and less important to me. I don't have to fight to be at the top of the food chain or even recognized. I am who I am because I'm a daughter of the Great King. It doesn't matter if anybody cares or treats me as such. The Lord will fight my battles for me and all I have to worry about is staying yoked to Him.

Jeremiah 27 is interesting in the fact that God wants to make it clear to Israel and the surrounding nations that it will actually go well for them if they will take the yoke of Babylonian leadership upon them. He promises to restore everything that will be taken. Babylon definitely operated as a pagan nation and it had some whacked out rules and laws as evident in the book of Daniel. The beauty of Daniel is that the ultimate yoke he took upon himself was the Lord's yet when the law and rule of Babylon was not in direct opposition to the Law of Moses Daniel was humble and submitted to the authority. My heart can be so disrespectful at times of our government and its leadership. However, like Daniel I need to learn humility and respect. Nobody is put into a position of power without The Lord allowing it. As long as the rule of the land in America does not directly force me personally to violate the law of God I must be willing to submit. This doesn't mean I need to remain silent on issues that God clearly speaks on. It means that I must be willing to speak truth in love and with respect. May my rebellious heart know when it's appropriate to speak truth, to choose to disobey when it's against God's law and to walk in submission and respect when I need to.

D

Thursday, August 15, 2013

DAY 1099: JER 26

This chapter is pretty intense. It reminds me of a scene that could be found in the New Testament. Jeremiah sent to be a truth teller and the response of many is to want to kill him. Thankfully the climate of our country is not completely there yet but it's obvious truth is not widely embraced and often given names associated with hate.

---------
Never got to finish but will try to reread tonight. Decent day. Had fat carrots on sticks but kids cleared and cleaned up table all 3 meals today. It was awesome and the start of a whole new world. Sweet for them to use teamwork to get a job done and do something really helpful.

Finished up our just in case round of parasite meds and I'll be a sheet washing beast tomorrow. Our plumbing in the kids bathroom is once again working after several hundred dollars and a crazy amount of wipes removed from pipes later. Interesting just how expensive convenience can be. It's working now though and it's only money. We'll take it out of the kids college fund. Oh wait, that's funny there is none!

Good night tonight with ice cream sundaes, interesting and entertaining rounds of telephone and a sugar high circus. We so needed to laugh together and not be focused on tasks by a pregnant grumpy volcano mom. Thankful for lots of giggles tonight.

Had "the talk" with Abbie today. Hubs and I had just talked last night about her curiosity and needing to have conversations to help protect her. Curiosity is a great God given thing but unbridled curiosity can lead down dangerous paths. I found tampons hidden under her laundry basket today and figured this morning was as good as anytime to explain a few things. Went really well and really feel like it set a great foundation for many more future conversations. It's funny of all the things we talked about the idea that popped into her head was how gross she thought it would be to take a shower with her husband someday. Not quite sure where she got that idea in her head. Must be all the leisurely showers Les and I take together. Hmmm... The girl may be onto something though and we've totally been missing out on some prime opportunity to save time and be more efficient in the mornings. We'd have to faster than 3 minutes though considering that a 5 minute bathroom break often warrants the breaking down of a door. It's uncanny how all the "serious" injuries and fist fights breakout as soon as I have to go to the bathroom. Enough potty talk. This reminds me of the intestinal distress I'm in right now. Could be a sign that baby girl is right around the corner or that I ate too many gummy bears tonight. Need to figure out this child's name.

I'm a rambling fool tonight so going to shut er down before I really make my hubster turn red.

D

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DAY 1098: JER 25

Read this morning but can't remember exactly what it was about. Pretty confident doom and gloom. I'll give it another pass here in a bit. Early this morning it felt as if things could get rolling. Kids woke up and that was the end of that. Starting to get more contractions now and feeling crampy again. Not holding my breath or even anxious to help things along. Thinking I could probably make this thing kick off at least by the morning if I wanted to but eh. The date doesn't match our birthday pattern so not very interested. With all these kids the dates need to be gimmicky to remember. Plus tomorrow is the final stage of Operation Parasite. Can't wait to wash 6 loads of laundry on Friday. Thankful for clean fresh running water. So not time to put my grumbly pants on.

Today started off pretty good. Got 6 solid hours of sleep and felt a whole lot less crazyville. By the time the 3rd or 4th raging fit happened I was done. Every time someone comes unglued sweet Bunny starts screaming as well because either she hates to be outdone or it scares her. Made sure my heart strings were reconnected with my ragers today even though at times in my flesh I was repulsed by them. Been trying to be extra diligent about that with my oldest son. I have a hard time understanding his melancholy personality. I'm a glass half full girl and his is definitely half empty. Really want to strive hard to understand that kid so that our relationship doesn't suffer due to my own sinful nature or lack of understanding. I know being understood is going to be a huge deal to him and even more so as he gets older. He already tells me "no mommy you don't understand!". I want to understand and I want to remain calm even if on the inside I'm incredibly frustrated and my ears have started to bleed. Jumping in the sparring ring gets neither of us anywhere.

JER 25 vs 1-14:
Jeremiah tells how the Israelites were warned and told by the prophets of what would happen if they continued to walk in sin and not turn from their evil ways. He then lays out the consequences that are going to happen. God surely did try to warn them and get their attention over and over. So thankful God is slow to anger.

I really found these verses comforting and such a great reminder of God's Sovereignty.

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon," declares the Lord, "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. (Jeremiah 25:8, 9 NIV)

The "my servant King Neb" got me. His heart wasn't a willing servant but because God created him King Nebuchadnezzar was indeed God's servant. Such a sweet reminder that nobody can come into power without God willing it to happen. Evil will never be able to trump God's goodness. God does not sleep and nothing happens without Him allowing it to happen. So very thankful for that.

Also thankful for this reminder that justice will one day be served.

"But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the Lord, "and will make it desolate forever. They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands." (Jeremiah 25:12, 14 NIV)

D

Monday, August 12, 2013

DAY 1096: JER 24

Been up since 4:30 and been trying to fight that impending labor feeling for almost a day now. If I wasn't so adamant about this kid going along with my timeline I'd chalk it up to weeks of warm up contractions before the real deal. As if God is going to allow a baby to be born on my timeline. I don't say that thinking He's spiteful in anyway it's just the beautiful relationship we have together. He loves my self reliant butt enough to continually remind me that His plan is always best. It's almost become a running joke between the two of us. Love the playful aspects of our relationship. I forget how endearing parts of relationship truly can be. Need to embrace this much more than I do. I missed out on that kind of relationship with a dad so i think its been so easy to overlook that beautiful component of my relationship with God. Oh how He loves us and me!

--------
Walked around with a scowl on my face today. Mostly due to where baby big head is lodged. Partly because I'm so exhausted. Super emotional this evening. I'm sure working on my Shelter testimony has absolutely nothing to do with it. Thankful for all the sweet friends who texted today and let me know they were praying for me. Those prayers were so needed. All day felt like labor could start any moment. Things chilled out a bit this afternoon but wouldn't you know right before Shelter contrax picked up again. Was a total grump to my kids this afternoon and grabbed Luke on the back of his neck in anger after he peed all over bathroom just to be a turkey and then was cleaning every spot other than his pee. Hate that my sin gets splashed all over my kids. I apologized immediately and we sat and made amends.

Got a chance to get a grip, kinda, on the drive back to church. I asked all my kiddos for forgiveness for being a turkey in response to their grumpiness and constant fighting. Felt demanding and grumpy to my hubs too. Thankful to for a conversation before Shelter to again regain focus and know that all the events of today and my sheer exhausted state was perfectly orchestrated. So thankful as it's the reminder I need that it's not about me. Honestly I was too tired to truly enjoy talking tonight. I do love how when I normally talk about God's word my cheeks burn. Strange but its in those moments the words are so not my own. Tonight was different but I still can't take any credit for what came out of my mouth. Pretty sweet to find out that the passage God placed on my heart might be able to be used for something else. It's all so humbling and once again thankful that the reminders that its not about me.

Funny to speak about the support of friends tonight and find a gift from sweet friends tonight. Pretty confident I know who the culprits are and overwhelmed by their love. Thankful to be surrounded by precious friends who know me and would rip open a roof to lower me to Jesus if that's what I needed. The thought of packing up and leaving this kind of love and support is hard to even fathom. Even in the same breath I know that if God desires us to pack up and go His plan is much better than mine. Honestly MS feels much like my current pregnant situation. Is all the current shenanigans leading to a baby tonight or even tomorrow or is this just the next two weeks of warming up for the Big Bang. Are we going or is this all part of something bigger that is supposed to happen here? There's nothing I can do to figure out either one any faster so all I can do is wait patiently for The Lord and keep living out my days.

JER 24:
Read this morning and this short passage was perfect for my soul. By tonight I'd completely forgotten what I had read. It's good but I just can not write anymore. Will jump on it tomorrow. Thankful for the reminder that God can use any circumstance to prosper us.

D

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DAY 1095: LUKE 5

Well today marks three years of being in the Word every single day, rain or shine, in sickness or in health. So thankful for each of you who have spurred me along on this journey. Best three years ever. Maybe I'll celebrate by having a baby.

Thankful for crazy friends willing to watch a small army of children. Got at least one more item marked off my get ready for baby list, some more stuff ready for school and a bonus lunch date with my hubs. Have yet to work on my Shelter testimony but its pretty par for the course for me. Picking up your mat has really been stuck in my head so gonna probably roll with that. I'll use my early time tomorrow to try to wrap my head around it.

Contractions really starting to ramp up. Not holding my breath and frankly not even all that ready to have a baby yet. Baby big head is lodged pretty low right now and it's not all that comfortable anymore. Maybe I'll end up uncomfortable enough that labor will actually be welcomed. Still can't believe I haven't hit that point yet. This pregnancy has been freakishly wonderful.

LUKE 5:
Love me some Jesus! Spending time in the OT makes time spent in the Gospels all the more sweeter. Oh how God loves us and sent love manifested with skin on to come save us. I simply can not wrap my mind around this kind of crazy love! Really having a hard time fully wrapping my mind around all that is contained in this chapter. Will try to bullet point the things that jumped out at me the most.

- when Jesus called his disciples they were all in. They were most definitely a bunch of ragamuffins BUT they left everything!!

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:27, 28 NIV)

They tasted Jesus and knew nothing in their world would ever compare to the greatness of knowing Him! Not only did they leave everything behind the zeal they had to share this good news of Jesus was unstoppable. I keep thinking about the verse in Jeremiah where he talked about how it was impossible to keep the message of God off his tongue. I want to meet with Jesus like that! May I grow faint and weary if I keep the good news of life with Jesus to myself. May the winsome words of Jesus rattle off my tongue to the Target checker, the person passing out samples at Costco, ect. I often search for words to strike up that conversation but either I have forgotten the burning passion of my first love or words just fail me. I want winsome and the sense of urgency to take over all that I lack in those moments.

- Jesus often took times of solitude to recharge.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16 NIV)

My hubs has been making it a priority to get away early in the morning weekly to spend time with God. I have got to figure out what this would or should look like for me. This time every day has been my lifeline but there is something beautiful to getting away to hear the very voice of God. If Jesus did it often how much more do I need to make time to get away. Be quiet and be still and know that I am God. Just even thinking those words calms my very soul. May I walk with the great I AM tomorrow and every day after that. May I figure out how to carve out times of solitude to fill up my soul so that I may pour it back out to love like He does.

- it's much hard to push past our comfort and let go of old ways and habits even when the new thing is so much better for us.

And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, 'The old is better.' " (Luke 5:39 NIV)

This goes along so well with picking up your mat and following but right in this moment it speaks volumes for MS. I'm not one who likes to miss out on a good adventure. MS does not feel like an adventure to me. It feels safer and complacent and full of cheesy Christian corn and Christian ease. I like the wine skin of WM. the old wine tastes absolutely fabulous but I must be willing to drink the new to trust that even if the old seems better God has plans so marvelous that I could never think to orchestrate it myself. Don't get me wrong, I know God's plans often can lead to great discomfort and pain but just like in childbirth I know that it's part of the beauty that makes it so darn good. May I be always willing to let go of the old even when it is most comfortable and embrace the new, be it a new state or whatever. God is incredibly good and His love is beyond compare and stretches to the ends of the earth.

D

Saturday, August 10, 2013

DAY 1095: JER 23

Fun night last night watching Casablanca with my hubs. Never seen it before or really watched many of the old classics. Think we've found our new thing for awhile. I can't even remember the last time we've sat and watched a movie together.

Have eaten well this week since sweet friends have dropped off food due to my breakdown. I should have breakdowns more often. Thankful to be loved on and to eat delicious food prepared by loving hands. Coveting a swankier lifestyle isn't much my thang but goodness today I was white hot jealous of people able to pay a certain friend who has some crazy game in the kitchen.

Rough day duking it out again with a certain boy. Saw some emails flying around about the book Grace Based Parenting. Probably wouldn't hurt to add to my Kindle especially with lots of time sitting on my duff nursing coming up soon. What's going on right now is a total heart condition. God doesn't break us but He sure does allow us to face consequences that are unpleasant because of our willfulness. Jonah wasn't given a simple talking to. His consequences were pretty hardcore. I don't want to break the spirit of this sweet kid but I do want to make consequences unpleasant enough that he's willing to repent from his rebelliousness and disrespect. I love that kid too much to let him continue to walk on this path which will lead to destruction even though its so crazy frustrating and painful for everyone involved. Parenting is surely not for whimps.

JER 23 vs 1-8:
This chapter is long and all about the chaos and evil that has resulted from false prophets and wicked priests. Love the visual of the shepherds who have scattered the flock and the prophesy of the One Shepherd who will come to gather them all back and rescue them. So thankful!

Adore these verses.

"I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:3, 4 NIV)

Short again tonight as I'd like to spend some time with my love before we both pass out. Thank you one last hurrah at our neighborhood pool for dinner. Sigh. How did summer come and go so very quickly?

D

Friday, August 09, 2013

DAY 1094: JER 22

Sweet hubs let me sleep in this morning. Still really want to stay consistent with rising early but I'm fine getting a couple hours extra when I'm gifted with them. It's funny I feel more exhausted today than other days this week. Really think I have a sinus infection wreaking extra havoc. Maybe I'm just pregnant.

Been a rough couple days with my Lukeypotamus. His rebelliousness and complete lack of respect is at a high right now. So thankful to be on a team with my hubs. God's been very gracious to give one if us compassion for that kid when the other seems to lack it. Been trying to figure out what the deal is with his latest shenanigans. I sat and snuggled with him for almost an hour talking to him and reading so not sure it's an attention issue. Honestly I think it's a 5 year old issue. Actually it might just be a Brown Boy issue right now. All three have been extra willful lately. Maybe the heat is making them bonkers. I'm guessing its the latter. It's been either too hot or we've been too sick to go get out some energy at the pool or elsewhere. Maybe a good trip to gymnastics will do those kids good next week. Boys with lots of energy to burn stuck at home is not a good thing.

JER 22:
Wow. I can see why Jeremiah was not very well loved. The message God gives him to tell the king of Judah is harsh. It is not sugar coated by any means.

Feel conflicting emotions when I read this passage. Mainly because the person it's directed at is the son of Josiah, King Jehoiakim. Josiah was a rock star who loved God. He became king at a young age yet chased after God with much fervor and passion. I know being a parent who is a passionate follower of Christ is not a guarantee that your children will also be but oh how I wish that it was.

"Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the Lord. "But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion." (Jeremiah 22:15-17 NIV)

It makes my heart sad that a son of Josiah could turn so far away from God. Keep thinking how prosperity can be such a double edged sword. The temptations that arose from being king must have been such a hard burden and a constant temptation to the flesh. Maybe all the things we think are blessings in light of this world are truly just big distractions instead.

I am slightly encouraged at the level of discipline we've had to shell out the past couple days. This is just a reminder of why its worth putting forth the effort to train up our children to seek the ways of The Lord.

I'm out. In home date night with an incredibly handsome man.

D

Thursday, August 08, 2013

DAY 1093: JER 21

Last night I grew weary as I spent another night scratching and clawing for sleep. Hate for a day of catching up on rest to be wasted but it is what it is.

Chatted with some friends last night and it was very clear that rising early needs to just be something I do. In my own crackpot wisdom I've justified my lack of obedience because I'm simply not a morning person. It's because I'm not a morning person that rising early makes sense. I'm an angry beast when I wake up. I need time to wake up and focus and center on God before the pitter patter of little feet. Yesterday when I didn't set an alarm and woke up at 6:45 I was angry when my son woke up at the same time and was waking everybody up and excited about the day. I don't want to start my days off scowling at my children. I want to start my day off with my Jesus iv.

JER 21:
Wow this chapter is intense. With just the first two verses you get a perfect snapshot of where the hearts of God's people.

The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: "Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us." (Jeremiah 21:1, 2 NIV)

It is so interesting that Pashhur is now desiring for Jeremiah to speak to God on behalf of Israel considering how he had just beaten the tar out of Jeremiah for delivering the word of God. Jeremiah has been warning God's people over and over again and yet from these verses you can tell its all fallen on deaf ears and prideful hearts. I so want to condemn the Israelites for their stiff necks but I'm just as guilty as them. I can't even count the number of times I prayed asking God for the miraculous while walking in the opposite direction of The Lord. Even now I know I storm the throne daily going to God for what He can give me rather than going to God just for Him. Give me more patience God, give me more sleep, give me more comfort, make it easier for me, remove this ache and pain, ect. There's nothing wrong with being honest with God or asking Him for things but I hope this is not what fuels me to go to God. May my ache and desire for His presence be much more about Him than what I can get out of our relationship.

D


Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

DAY 1092: PS 32

Last night was rough. Consistent contractions that were not BH contrax but not active labor either. My stomach was going nuts at the same time too. Prayed that this baby wouldn't come simply because I had absolutely no gas in the tank to birth a baby. Slept crazy hard last night. Did not wake once which is freakishly unusual. Thankful God provides exactly what we need. Was incredibly desperate for deep restorative sleep.

-----------
Laughing at what I wrote earlier. I thought the sleep I got last night was going to be my saving grace today but it wasn't. As soon as my feet hit the ground I knew things were not good. I already used up every ounce of suck it up I had and I just couldn't deal. I explained calmly to the kids how desperately I needed them to obey and not fight against me today. I heard Joshua walk into the living room and say "mommy is a meany pants today". He was so right on and unfortunately I was at a place that I couldn't do anything about it. Sent an SOS text to my hubs and jumped in the shower hoping for a miraculous reset. No miracle arrived my way but a good ugly cry did instead and Les swooped in with breakfast and took the kids to drop off Paul to Base Camp. He came home to a crying wife wrapped in a towel huddled on a chair. Needless to say he took the day off and has kept the kids out and about so I can rest.

I knew I was close to hitting a breaking point. Pregnancy insomnia gets so wicked and with kids who no longer nap I don't get caught up the ways I used to when I had a herd of littles who would nap. I know I've hit this place every single pregnancy at least since Joshua. I think part of me thought I could beat the system this time.

I feel somewhat stupid if I'm honest but thankful for this huge look at the real struggle I have with self reliance. The complication lies in my struggle in many ways. I know how to be needless and want less and have I ever been good at blaming my husband for not being a mind reader. I live in the crazy tension of knowing there's nothing I need other than Jesus but a wise person knows that self care is important and everybody has needs that should be met. I have absolutely no clue how to balance self care vs selfishness vs trusting God for provision. God often provides provision through His people. The problem is I don't know what I need most of the time. If I'm on fire I'll gladly ask you for a bucket of water but unless I'm at that point often I have absolutely no clue what I need.

In the midst of crying over my self reliant dysfunction I was faced with my own sin with my kids. This past summer my oldest have asked to have mommy / daughter time and to play a game with them. I totally put them off because in the heat of my desire to make a dent in a stupid to do list I've made poor choices. I can't always stop in the middle of what I'm doing but I need to make sure I circle back and play that game and paint those nails. I don't want to communicate that their expressing their desire and need for one on one time is silly or less important than anything else. Thankful this is not a habitual thing but I know within the past month Paul and Abbie have both requested time with me and I forgot to circle back with them. With Abbie I know I need to be even more intentional about carving out time for her. She craves it more than the others and yet because of her independent streak probably doesn't get it nearly as much as her heart would desire.

I often go back to how hard the tension of things in life can be. Not swerving to the left or to the right on almost anything is so freakishly hard. I think it's okay and in fact good to live in that tension but not fret or worry about it. Jesus is the middle that we should be striving for. If I'm walking with Him I need not worry about walking off to the left or the right. Really the tension is keeping eyes fixed upon Jesus and walking WITH Him instead of in front or behind.

---------
So much more I could write about today. Low and behold its 12:30 and I so don't want to completely undo the rest that I've gotten today. Hoping the Benadryl / Melatonin cocktail will kick in soon too.

Loved the verse of the day which was perfect for me. All of Psalm 32 was actually what my heart needed today. So much to be thankful for today. Thankful for sweet friends willing to step along side me in the midst of my chaos, drop off a meal or be willing to organize an army of troops. Blessed with an incredible hubs who is willing to take a day off for a wife in need and for a church who will allow him to do so. Feel like the richest woman in the world tonight.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

Thankful for The Lord who never leaves us in the lurch and who doesn't demand perfection. Thankful for a God who looks at His children in the entirety of their sinful messy dysfunction and has eyes full of love.

D

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

DAY 1091 CONT...

Not sure why the rest of this didn't post didn't show up but here it is:

JER 20 & JAMES 1 & PHIL 4:

What a sweet verse the read first thing especially in light of how I feel about this precious group of girls.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! (Philippians 4:1 NIV

James 1 vs 1-18:
So sweet for God to echo this thought this morning:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)

May I truly learn how to do this, to consider the trials or life whether they be big or small pure joy. May I embrace the daily hindrances and obstacles without complaining knowing that God uses the daily irritations of the day to rub against my flesh so that His sanctification may be accomplished in my heart. May the bigger hardships keep me tethered to Christ, teaching me to trust and to walk with Him day after day.

Love this:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NIV)

There are so many hardships in life. Often in the midst of many I wouldn't say the afflicted is blessed. This is not always the case. Sometimes my heart aches for a friend but its so obvious that God has much beauty planned in the pain and hardship. There are other hardships that are harder to see the blessing in. There's a boy dying of cancer that I've been following that is the same age of my oldest. My heart has ached for this family I do not even know. I've honestly told God that I don't think I could handle such a trial and I've selfishly asked that, that kind of cup would never fall on our family. It's hard for me to say that this family is blessed to be walking this kind of trial. Yet I know God fully understands the pain and heartache of watching a son suffer and die. My sweet ones are not mine and that's one of the hardest things about parenting. I am not guaranteed another day. Yet instead of walking in worry or fear God beckons me to place each of these precious ones on the altar because they are His. Instead of worrying about tomorrow I'm commanded to give thanks for today. So for today, for the cuddling and movie watching that will take place today due to the pukes I rejoice greatly knowing that even though I may make plans tomorrow may never come to fruition.

JER 20:
This chapter is so incredibly hard to read. It busts up the health, wealth and prosperity gospel straight to the core. Even in the depths of Jeremiah's absolute despair there are moments of clarity when He praises The Lord. God can take on all our emotion raw and true. This is the hard part of Paul's charge to rejoice always. God does not want us to fake it till we make it. He can take our anger and our hurt and our utter despair. David, a man after God's own heart was very honest with God. Rejoicing in the Lord does not mean walking in denial and denying how we truly feel. It's really the tension in this chapter:

You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, "I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:7-9 NIV)

There's no sugar coating how Jeremiah is feeling right now. Later he curses the day he was born and longs that he had died in his mothers womb. This is not a man rejoicing over the beatings, ridicule and persecution he is experiencing.

Even in the midst of Jeremiah's raw honestly and pain he comes back to this.

But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten. Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause. Sing to the Lord ! Give praise to the Lord ! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked. (Jeremiah 20:11-13 NIV)

Even in his pain and how he feels about God he is still able to remember who God is and rejoice. This is what Paul and James beckon us to do. God doesn't desire our over optimism, our cliche bible verses, a fake Pollyanna version of reality. He wants our hearts, messy, bleeding and raw. He can take it. It's in our honesty and wrestling with God that we truly discover that even in the midst of our pain and despair He is there and He is ever faithful to walk through the fire with each and everyone of us.

Thankful for this time this morning. Sweet husband took care of all the details of this morning while I dived in. I desperately needed this time more than I need a gianormous cup of coffee, a long nap or even 8 hrs of sleep tonight. May my lack of sleep be the very thing that tethers me to Jesus today. May more of the self reliance I struggle with be stripped away today in the process.

D

Sent from my iPhone

DAY 1091: JER 20

Sometimes you just have to laugh at God's provision and answer to prayer. A friend and I have finally started getting up early in the morning, something that both of us have been convicted about yet too tired to act on. Having a partner in crime can be a beautiful thing. As 1am rolled closer to 2am I prayed God would help me to push past the tired trust Him and still rise early. I finally drifted off and not much less than an hour later was awoken to a sweet sick kiddo. I thought this was my cue to bow out this morning. After all nobody would fault me for missing an early wake up call when running on just a couple hours of sleep. Almost on cue the second wave of illness hit. There's nothing quite like the jolt of adrenaline that the sound of a sick child can eject through the veins of a parent. So I'm up and laughing at the way God chose to provide and answer my prayer this morning. Maybe there's an even grander picture here to see. How much yuck in my life has God allowed to happen simply because He knew in the long run He would turn it into provision for my life? When I really stop to think about it I think all the yuck has been allowed because He loved me enough and knew ultimately it would indeed prosper me.

The words of Paul are ringing in my head this morning.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

Love how Paul repeated this command twice. He was just writing a half hearted command to rejoice in The Lord but rather a charge and a way of life that we should learn to embrace wholeheartedly. Rejoice in The Lord always! No really I say it yet AGAIN, REJOICE!! Know this God of ours, this Christ that you are running towards. He makes ALL things new and He can USE all things not only for our benefit but for His glory. Rejoice in The Lord, He is more powerful and can overcome anything that satan can throw our way. Rejoice in The Lord always and again I say rejoice.

Got to be apart of a beautiful picture of this last night. An incredible group of 7 girls with a fire in their belly to heal from the past and obtain all that Christ has claimed for them. There's been tears, difficulty and heartache along the way yet God who makes all things beautiful can make even the pain and the scars of sexual abuse into something most beautiful. In the midst of celebrating last night it was so easy to thank God for being allowed to be apart of this group of women. Had I not been allowed to experience what I did growing up I would have missed out on these past years of watching how powerful Christ's redemption can be. He makes the blind see and allows the lame man to walk. I've witnessed miracles of grace and redemption happen right before my eyes. Not everybody who says Lord, Lord will get that first hand look at the beauty and power of their Christ. I'm so very thankful for this front row seat to His power and majesty.

Thank you Lord for the beauty of your precious redemption. Thank you for using all things, even middle of the night puke sessions to point to how powerful you are.

JER 20 & JAMES 1 & PHIL 4:

What a sweet verse the read first thing especially in light of how I feel about this precious group of girls.

Monday, August 05, 2013

DAY 1090: JER 19

Been up for over an hour but still just laying in bed. So peaceful, still and quiet. Can only imagine how much more lovely it is outside. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually get up and walk. I'm tired but this time has been a gem. I'm reminded why God keeps beckoning me to rise early with Him. To trust that even through the exhaustion and lack of sleep He will provide be that through extra energy reserves or a quiet nap with sweet ones. I want to trust Him in everything and with my everything.

Read Jeremiah 19 and Joel this morning and a blog post that together cut straight to the core. A verse from the sparrow tied it all in together for me this morning.

"And if your wing is broken--
If you've somehow lost your way
Call upon the master
His grace is yours today"

I love the punchy go fight win sermons and books in the bible. You've been equipped with the Holy Spirit, Jesus has paid for your righteousness now get out there and kick some sin right in the face! Go scores some goals for Jesus! I really do enjoy getting a fire lit under me. God created me to be passionate and if I'm honest very easily excitable. In my passion and my zeal I often forget to focus on the most important thing, that I am loved by the Most High and more than anything I can do for Him, He just wants me to walk with Him. I make His love conditional when I place a ton of expectations upon myself and upon others. I learned growing up that love was nothing but conditional so breaking that mold is incredibly difficult. 

I know I'm crazy loved by God even in the depths of my sin. Yet often I get more wrapped up in the transformation I want done in my own heart rather than accepting where I am, trusting that God has a plan and choosing to just walk with Him. The words cease striving have been repeating over and over in my head. I can cease striving in some areas of my life but I'm clueless on how to live my entire life that way. To cease striving meant death growing up or at least that's how it felt. To cease finding a way to self protect seemed like an impossibility. Maybe that's what a majority of my striving is still about today. 

All I know is that for today, for this morning I'm being beckoned to cease striving and to walk with Him in His love and grace. Not as a child who must perform but rather as a child who just wants to walk along today holding her Daddy's hand. There is much strength when our arms are intertwined. I don't know what it's like to walk that way with an earthly father but I know what it looks like when my children walk with theirs. The weight, the cares, the pain of this world all seems to disappear as they melt into the arms of their Daddy. May we all cease striving today and be lead by a most loving, caring and grace filled Father today. God is not looking for any kind of strength from me today but rather utter and complete dependence on Him.

D

Sunday, August 04, 2013

DAY 1089: JER 18

I'm a broken record, wah wah I'm so exhausted. Same song different verse. Pretty good day. Got dinner in the crockpot at a decent time and it was actually fully cooked. Yep, been having a problem with this. Lots of bickering from Brownies but I get it. Hard not to be completely self absorbed. Hubs big help and wrangled kiddos after a long morning at work and did laundry while I sat with a pile of books trying to get my brain to work. Prayed in midst of it all. Should be a given. Who wouldn't want Jesus all up in the middle of school planning? Yet I totally miss obvious givens all the time. Gooooo self reliance!

Not ready to have this baby yet but getting the familiar Mt. Krakatoa feeling. I feel like a volcano that is getting ready to erupt. I can be in this state for weeks and honestly I would be fine with that. Strange how hormones build up to this feeling of pressure and sleeplessness begins to turn to wackoville. If this sweet one could wait till after the 18th I'd be super fired up. Still can not believe we are about to have another baby. In awe and wonder that I'll be sniffing a newborn head soon.

JER 18:
This chapter is pretty heavy. The Lord tells Jeremiah to go to a potters house. While there Jerry sees the potter turn marred clay into a completely new vessel. God uses this as an illustration that He can turn any nation into a different vessel whenever He pleases. For those vessels destined for wrath due to sin He can create something new if they choose to repent. For those destined for greatness He can choose to change the course for them if they instead choose to walk in sinful paths.

Jeremiah tries to tell the people of Israel to turn from their wicked ways but their hearts are bent towards their idolatry. They are stiff necked and do not desire to hear truth. In fact, God's people begin to threaten Jer for the messages he has been speaking. Towards the end of the chapter it seems as if Jeremiah's compassion for his people is waning. He is fine with the people reaping the consequences of their wickedness.

Saw a woman at church tonight that has caused a lot of hurt for a friend. Knowing some of their back story my heart ached for this woman. She's wearing her pain and in her eyes she seems so lost. Unfortunately she has chosen to close her ears to truth but I pray that through her current circumstances God would open her ears so that she can hear and open her eyes so that she can listen. God is the Potter and even the vessels once created can be crafted into something beautiful. We mustn't toss our pearls to swine but we should never ever give up hope either.

D

Saturday, August 03, 2013

DAY 1088: 2 COR 13

Lots of strings of obscenities have ran through my head today. Not in a good place today and I'm angry at the entire world. Biggest issue is my self centeredness today. I did have an ah hah moment today, in the midst of my complete foulness. I often expect perfection from myself especially in regards to my kids. I want to respond to every mess and their mayhem with love, grace, patience, ect. I don't want to grow weary of their childishness or their incessant chatter and noise making. I want to be the mom they deserve and love them well even when I'm an exhausted grumpy troll on the inside. I don't want to be pissed off that at the end of the bed on my side there is a huge puddle of wet. I can only hope it's not pee. I want to be thankful for the makers of that of that puddle. Why in the world would I think it's natural to respond out of love? It's not! I should be amazed when I do nail it because it points to Jesus. Anything good that gets squeezed out if me is Jesus, it has nothing to do with me. Maybe just maybe instead of expecting myself to act righteous in every stinking situation I should rather celebrate when Jesus gets squeezed out and just expect that my flesh will make an appearance every single day. It's the same with my expectations of my kids. I should expect turdishness rather than goodness. When they nail it I want to praise the heck out of them that I saw Jesus in them.

2 COR 13:
Probably shouldn't have chosen the last chapter of this letter but really liked the verse of the day. From what my brain can gather Paul is urging the Corinthians to heed his loving rebuke so that when he comes to visit he doesn't have to bust out the hammer if Thor. He wants them to run hard after Christ. He loves these people and knows the joy that can be attained with a life spent completely sold out to Jesus.

Really liked this verse.

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV)

Oh how beautiful it would be if the church as a whole actually did this. It would be an amazing thing and the world would take notice.

Paul ends his letter with a bang with this great verse.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV)

Grace of Jesus, love of God and fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. Wow! That's strong. May this be so with each and everyone of you my dear precious friends.

D

Friday, August 02, 2013

DAY 1087: JEREMIAH 17

Today felt like a decently productive day till my tone brought my sweet baby boy to tears. I asked for forgiveness and while snuggling I realized there were many misses today. Three stand out in particular. If I'm honest today was a fight. Not necessarily with my babies but just trying to will my body to move. On top of Operation Parasite the lawn got mowed by my sweet hubs and the baby girls both have clothes in their closet in our room.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

DAY 1086: JEREMIAH 17

I am so insanely dog tired. The late nights, restless sleep and middle of the night wakings are officially kicking my bum. I'm getting close to I'm gonna crack and slam into a wall head first tired. Oh end of pregnancy how I forget how crazy insano you can make me.

We are having an anti-parasite party this weekend and because of it two sweet kiddos we were supposed to watch this weekend have hightailed it to safer ground. Much wailing yesterday over it but in my exhausted haze seeing the blessing in disguise. Sometimes The Lord has to send a plague in order to get us to rest. Hoping I can but my mind keeps racing over the things I want to get done before the baby comes. Experiencing nesting on crack but minus the energy and brain power to get it done. Thankful that in my to do list focus God gave me some precious perspective. Children are like the kings at blocking goals. It occurred to me as my little bit was squawking and squeaking while I was trying to throw in a load of laundry before running out the door how thankful I was that they constantly block my goals. This life isn't about rushing to and fro checking off a cosmic to do list. This life is about glorifying Jesus and doing life with Him one step at a time. The times I don't enjoy my children are when I'm exhausted and/or when they block my goals. Not much I can do about the exhaustion other than do my absolute best to put an oxygen mask on myself when the rabid fangs come out. I can try like mad to remember that there will never be a to do list important enough that I'll look back on and wish I had finished. Loving and enjoying these kids needs to come first. We all suffer when my priorities get jacked up. To squander away even one day of enjoying these amazing little people God placed as such a blessing in my life over a to do list is the ultimate act of foolishness.

On another note, trying something new for school to try to keep my booty organized and kids responsible for their stuff. Each kiddo got a bin to put their own school supplies and books in. It's been like Christmas around here. My hubs and I both loved getting new supplies for the year and I think I've figured out how my kids can experience that same fresh pencil smell joy. They are so fired up which makes my heart happy. Lukey tonight said "this year is going to be so much fun". Melted my heart and made all this prep, research and hair pulling worth it. So thankful to be able to teach my kiddos.

JER 17 vs 9-18:
Really really love these verses:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." (Jeremiah 17:9, 10 NIV)

I absolutely hate that my heart can be so deceitful but I love the reminder that it most absolutely can be deceitful. The Lord causes more of me to die over time but the will of my flesh can beat ever so strong. Honestly it's easier when my flesh acts in ways that is contrary to scripture. It's in the deception of my flesh that I fail to see the wickedness and deceit. Even things done that look good does not mean they are truly motivated out of a heart to serve and honor The Lord.

Saw this example laid out perfectly in my kids this morning. We have an awesome box and when we see our kids doing something awesome or really succeeding at a heart issue that they have been struggling with they win a prize. My oldest boy really loved on his youngest brother today and gave him a prized possession to play with. He's struggled with completely messing with his siblings this week so I rewarded him with an awesome box prize. The others started giving away all their "possessions" too. If somebody had walked into my house after the oldest had received his prize they would have thought my kids had the market on loving each other. Their hearts were fixed on a prize rather than motivated out of genuine love. I don't believe they were intentionally trying to manipulate the situation they were just living out vs 9.

I am thankful that God searches our hearts and minds. Thankful that He has given us community to help root out the deception in our lives. God is so faithful. I pray that my heart and my mind would be open and willing to seek the real yuck behind the veneer of "good" as God graciously reveals. He is so faithful to continue the good work He began in us. May I never grow weary of that process.

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14 NIV)

Love this reminder that its God who heals and who saves. Note to my self reliant self!! Healing takes time and great amounts of patience. It is God who goes in to do the healing. We can't short change the process, microwave it or change it to make it look how we want it to. May I remember that it is Him who deserves all my praise and that it is Him who I can trust and draw ALL my confidence from!!!

D