Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DAY 1174: EZEKIEL 11

At the ER again. I think as a family we've done a pretty good job staying away with hospitals even with having six babies. This year we are making up for lost time. So crazy thankful for the gift of good insurance.
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Well my hubster scored himself a radiohead fracture aka a radial head fracture. Looks like no metal rods needed but maybe some Karma Police might be in order later. Thankful for my sweet neighbor who came over to watch the kids while I drove my man to the ER. Never seen him in that much pain before and I've seen him in some painful situations. So hard to see someone you love suffer and not be able to do anything about it.

I think maybe just maybe The Lord is trying to woe us out of our self reliance. We've definitely had a good few months of needing to rely on the help of others to get by. Our camping trip this weekend will be a fun and wonderful stint of asking for help. Anyone going want to set up our tent? :)

Speaking of The Lord teaching lately I've been praying that God would teach me how to walk with Him like Enoch did. In some ways a scary prayer to pray. Last night Les went to the store and it took him longer than it usually. I started to freak and thought about what I had been praying for. My line of thinking was "I've been praying to walk with God so He is going to take away my husband so that I will learn how to do that". My head knows that this is not how God operates yet my heart does. Could God use the death of my husband to draw me closer to Him and teach me to walk with Him? Absolutely! BUT I don't believe God would take my husband from me just to teach me that lesson. Number one it's not all about me. Number two God can use the brokenness of this world to glorify Himself but God does not cause the brokenness of this world.

Here's the other thing I somewhere believe that traumatic and dramatic things must happen in order for me to grow. I do grow more in difficult seasons but it's not like I'm always at a stalemate when we're not sitting in the ER. I know that I'm stubborn but I deeply desire to be obedient to The Lord even when I don't want to be. I think I believe I'm so untrainable or unteachable that the sky must fall down in order to learn and grow. This too is just not true.

God teaches me everyday through His word. He used an instance last night of a two and a half hour grocery store trip with a dead phone that there are still false beliefs that I have hidden in my heart about God.

I've been praying that I would walk closely with God like Enoch and rooting out these deep seeded lies is part of the equation.

Abraham was able to place his son on the altar because He had grown to truly know who The Lord was over the years. His faith could have moved mountains. Part of walking with God is knowing who He is and how good He is that placing your child on the altar although difficult is not an impossibility because fear is expelled in truly knowing the character and nature of God.

False beliefs and misconceptions about God creates fear. Importance of uprooting false beliefs, they keep me from walking with The Lord. Walking w/God expels all fear. Fear inhibits us walking w/ Him and resting. In Him there is no fear.

He sees all and knows all. May I know how much He loves me so that pride and insecurity or desire to find my value and worth in anything but Him is squashed along with self reliance.

EZEKIEL 11:
Before I dive into Ezekiel this verse has caught my eye all week :

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. " (Genesis 15:1 NIV)

I think this verse is so beautiful. The idea of God being my protector, my shield, and my great reward is pretty stinking awesome. God is my protector not some Holy Thug who takes things away so that I'll be a "better Christian". I do believe He does discipline the ones He loves but I don't believe, at least at a head level, that He causes calamity to teach us a lesson.

He is my protector. The kids were upset at how hurt Les was tonight. He had said there is unrest when your protector gets hurt. I haven't had much of a protector growing up but having him say it that way makes sense why this gal can't sleep when her hubs is away. I've gotten used to having a protector. How much more reassuring though that God my protector and deliverer never grows weary or faint, sleeps or gets sick or hurt. He is my shield.

He is my reward. This is the reason why I desire to walk with God like Enoch did. I miss out on Him when I go about my days solo. He is so incredibly good. I don't want to miss out on the joy and treasure of walking with my God.

Okay now too tired to jump into Ezekiel 11. Tomorrow in a tent hopefully.

D

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DAY 1173: Genesis 16-18

I'm giggling as I write this but unfortunately it's true "I rode the angry bitch train today". I don't know why that phrase has made me laugh for two days straight but it has. Our flesh can be so hard to battle on a daily basis. Some days are much more difficult than others. I think the above phrase has had me giggling because when I received that as a text from a beloved friend I knew exactly what kind if day she was having. I too struggle with riding that train and today although it was no laughing matter was one of those days. I probably asked for forgiveness over a hundred times today. At one point today I yelled at my oldest son for I can't even remember what and immediately asked for forgiveness. I acted a lot like my offspring do today. I lacked self control and was a brat. The thing is there is a sinful bratty child that resides in me. The same things that frustrate me as a mom are the same exact things I myself struggle with. Today more than anything I wish I would have shut my yapper more. A friend had mentioned how she had though of taking a vow of silence for 24hrs. I don't know how I would do that as a mom but I bet it would be easier than I think.

Sweet Lilly Bit had a rough night and hasn't had an easy go of it today either. Her rejecting of the hot sling and at times the Ergo is not good!! I need to have the "you are a princess not a diva" talk obviously. Regardless of this sweet child's level of maintenance I am incredibly smitten. Think she might have curly hair like her daddy. This means a brown eyed curly haired boy is possible. I might be willing to keep having kids till we have one. And with that thought my uterus just fell out.

Gen 15-17:
Read this last night but reread gen 18again tonight because it's bothered me. In Genesis 18 the famous scene happens where Sarah laughs at the thought of bearing a son at her age. The funny thing is Abraham has the same reaction Sarah has to the news of Isaac.

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" (Genesis 17:17 NIV)

Maybe the difference is Abraham believed this could happen regardless of how ridiculous it sounded and Sarah did not.

This is what is interesting to me and I don't get:
Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." (Genesis 18:20, 21 NIV)

Why did The Lord need to come down and see for Himself the condition of Sodom? Shouldn't He already know?

These verses make me flat out uncomfortable:
What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:24, 25 NIV)

I know I question God like this but can't imagine being face to face and having this kind of conversation. How is it right for Abe to judge God on whether destroying the city with 50 righteous people is right or wrong?

Here's the other thing why does God need to find these people? Shouldn't He already know the exact number of righteous people in the city?

This chapter is just flat out an enigma to me.

D

Monday, October 28, 2013

DAY 1172: EZEKIEL 10

Good day. Sweet friend watched my crew so I could attend a meeting with another friend. Might sound weird but it filled my tank. Love being apart of helping people become all that Christ created them. Love the girl I got to go to the meeting with and honored to be able to walk this road with her. Got to see a woman who I've always respected in her element as well. Love the way that woman discerns and asks just the right questions.

Got done with meeting visited with a friend who watched my crew and then as I got home two pokey Jo boys and my dog prompted an afternoon of neighbor greatness. Saw the neighbor who surprisingly stopped by Saturday night drive by and got a quick chat in and then saw another neighbor and went to talk to her. My heart beats for this woman. So sweet, easy going and friendly who has just been walking a hard path for quite sometime. I'm so hopeful about the new friendship that is forming and how her friendship with another neighbor over the years is blossoming. Crazy thankful. My kiddos playing in the backyard of one of their friends prompted an impromptu play date with another neighbor. Love this neighbor as well as conversation is always fun and encouraging. Very fun to know more of her story and how she met her husband. Love how God works in the lives of His children. It's different for all of us but oh so beautiful even with rough patches and difficulty. God is so incredibly good. Love being able to share that joy with one of my neighbors as we attempt to love on those who live around us. Fired up about the things happening on our street.

Really been mulling over my struggle with self reliance. Paul is my all time favorite person in the bible but Enoch although only mentioned very briefly really has captured my heart. Enoch walked faithfully with God. I so long to do this but it's so crazy difficult for me to do. In the picture I'm walking with Him but I want to truly allow Him to walk with me day in and day out, hour after hour. I really hate to say this but I miss the early hospital days. I miss how I clung to Him. I miss how at home without monitors and the security of a hospital staff who could help breath oxygen into my baby girl's lungs if need be I clung to Him. It was in the realization of my desperate need for Him that I clung because there was no other option. Now that the situation doesn't seem so desperate I have other options. I don't go to God for my daily bread or living water. I figure I have it covered. This is not only the place that I get myself in trouble but it's the place that I miss out on Him.

Tonight I can't help but walk through my fear after talking about Job today of loosing Lukey. It may a completely irrational fear of having had two healthy kids and waiting for the bottom to fall out on the third kid. Who knows but whenever that kid seems "off" I can't help but go back to the feeling that I once had that we were going to loose him. In those moments all I can do is pray that we would see him grow up and one day see his children but if that is not the case that God would carry us through whatever His plan may be.

Phone about to die but going to bust out my paper bible and read Genesis 15-17.

D

Sunday, October 27, 2013

DAY 1171: EZEKIEL 10

Trying to write with a missing contact and an eyelash stuck under my eyelid. Once this sweet baby falls asleep I'll try to remedy my eye situation.

Tonight during worship it hit me how I miss the closeness of walking with God during a difficult season. Whooping cough is gone and sleep has resumed to its normal levels and this week has been the beginning of our new status quo as a family of 8. Little by little the self reliance has begun to creep back in. It's during the hard and difficult seasons that I cling to Him the most. Even when MS was up in the air I had to wait and rest in Him. I miss Him but I don't know how to walk with Him like I did when I wasn't sure I'd wake up to a baby who was breathing on a daily basis. I don't know how to walk with Him like I did when I was so sleep deprived that I literally was falling asleep standing up and begging God for sleep.

Tonight I saw a man on staff and his precious baby who has been in remission from cancer for four months. She has recently developed tremors / seizures and she goes in for an MRI to rule out a possible growth as the cause. As I expressed my heartbreak for them he said "today I'm holding my baby girl and I'm so thankful. We'll keep walking this road day by day in faith."

I won't even begin to pretend I know what it's like to walk a single day on the journey of cancer. But I do know what it's like to keep putting one foot in front of the other because of the hope I have in Christ. Although I would not ask for difficult times there is much beauty during the times of trials.

Ezekiel 10:
Think I might have scratched my eye trying to fish out an eyelash. Now that I took out my other contact I think I might be having a reaction to my contacts again. Boo!

Going to listen to this chapter and hope my eyeballs feel well enough to write about it tomorrow. The glow from my phone hurts!

D

Saturday, October 26, 2013

DAY 1170: EZEKIEL 9

It always amazes me the difference a day can make. Things with an itty bitty are always a bit of a challenge especially little Brownie Babies who want to be held 24/7. They come out as little extroverts.

Today was another day of neighbors. We went down the street to a bday of a little boy turning one. We had met those neighbors a couple times before and it was great getting to know them better. Think we can really gain some traction with them. The eye opener though is that they have been on our street for almost a year and a half. Good things were happening in that year in a half with Shelter, Merge and Pre-Marital counseling but it is eye opening for sure.

Here's the other side of the coin though a neighbor from down the street stopped by to offer a car seat and other baby gear. Lots on her heart and I could tell she is getting closer to coming to the end of herself. I so wanted to throw my arms around her but I know that would have freaked her out. It's really crazy how this street is blowing up. It's funny because one of the reasons I didn't push through and get our block party up and going this year was just out of discouragement. I love the people we have been able to forge relationships with but it's been hard to get response from many people out side of the middle of our street. So encouraging to get to reach out to someone down on the end. Praying our conversation leads somewhere. Thankful for the sweet reminder that there need not be striving to glorify God. I could not have planned the latest series of events that have gone down on our street. God is orchestrating perfect timing in all of it. So incredibly thankful.

This is the verse of the day and want to share because it's fantastic.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV)

Love that God's ways are not like ours. We can try to shove him in a box but it's useless. Every time I read this verse I think about people with Down's. To this world they may appear like the foolish and the weak but they have a market on childlike faith and joy that many of the strong and the wise will never know.

I was listening to a song on the radio and the lyrics. "This will make you stronger" caught my ear. It's funny I think God will allow us to go through difficult seasons not to make us stronger but to try to make us reliant on Him. True strength is found in reliance on The Lord and not on self. So contrary to what the world things and frankly what I know I have deep rooted in my heart.

Ezekiel 9:
Still need to read commentary on this chapter. I imagine there is abundant hidden treasure here.

Run out if gas and need to save last few moments w/hubs. Till tomorrow yet again.

D

Friday, October 25, 2013

DAY 1169: EZEKIEL 9

Not my favorite day and I have a horrible attitude. I think overall feeling beat down and tired of Lilly Bit not feeling good. I don't know how parents with a kid with a terminal illness do it. I think I do better with the really hard days better than I deal with days like today. All in all it wasn't horrible but it just was a beating. Going to finish out in bullet points.

1. So thankful my hubs and Lukeypotamus are having a blast on his 5 year old trip. The looks on that kid's face from the pictures Les is sending me are incredible. He did such a great job planning it and knowing his son well is very apparent this weekend. So very thankful for all of it.

2. Selfishly I wish I had thought through Lilly Bit getting shots the same day he would be away. Poor thing is pretty miserable.

3. Little Bit has a red hot double ear infection. I had wondered about this and almost took her in Monday. I didn't want to be over the top and figured we'd be in today anyway. Now I feel like a toot bucket for making her suffer extra days. Although with ear infections I kinda like to ride them out a bit and see if they will clear up on their own. I get the prescriptions but don't always fill them. Honestly there is no win here. I just want this sweet thing to no longer be congested and infected. Good news is that her congestion is not in her lungs.

4. Paul threw huge fit at dr over a stupid spider ring. Handled it well on the outside and on the inside. One day he will be too afraid of embarrassment to throw such fits. It's not the fits that need to be addressed it's the heart. Want him to get that but if I respond in anger satan will only have more fuel to keep that boy pointing fingers.

5. Princess Bunny has turned into full fledged pill. It's been slowly in the works but it's on now. Her fear free adventurous sassy self is a force to be reckoned with. Stubborn as her momma too. She has some completely free spirit Luke in her, passion like Paul and confidence like Abbie. That one might be the one that breaks me. Whatever, that pouty lip don't work on me and I've got enough stubbornness to beat all of them. ( yep, I'm in trouble!)

6. Some stinkpot poured like a gallon of water on my bed this afternoon. It's a mystery as to what happened. I didn't yell but I'm sure I could have handled my displeasure better. I think by this point I was just over the shenanigans. Nothing worked right or went well or was easy. Normally I try to roll with it but today hard time dealing.

7. Sweet friend ordered us pizza tonight. Very thankful.

8. At one point tonight after the millionth thing exploded I wanted to dive into the new trunk or treat candy. As I was about to dig in I just new although it would be delicious and offer temporary comfort it's not what I really wanted. I guess for that moment all my bad attitude about today was worth it. Or the inconveniences and hardships of today were worth it. It would just seem as if I just passed on a fist full of candy but I know that I resisted the devil himself and made him flee. I refused to bow down to my idol of comfort. I'm weak and sinful and that was a battle won.

Ezekiel 9:
Tomorrow I will really comment on this but reading it again because even though I felt like a turdlet for most of the day this reminds me that God cares for those that are truly His. He died on the cross for my sin so that I could wear His robes of righteousness. So thankful to be chosen, provided for and loved and cherished like crazy. I'm off to movie it up with my lovely and wonderful sanctifying blessings.

D

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DAY 1168: EZEKIEL 9

Good day today outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Didn't hurt being around a group of gals that are pretty fun too. Looking forward to camping next weekend.

Feeling better physically and emotionally today. I do feel like the funk is moving into my lungs though. It's definitely flared up some of my smokers cough and Lilly's but thankfully everyone is still breathing fine and it's not too bad. Glad I'm taking her in for her two month check up tomorrow to make sure her little lungs sound clear. Maybe one day this sweet little Lilly Bit will be infection free. She's going to be a tough little stinker come spring.

Speaking of stinkers had a hard time being compassionate with my Eeyore today. The constant negative interpretation and victim mentality is so hard for me! I need to pray more about how to walk along side him in his struggles over this. I need a dose of more compassion or at least be able to fake it.

Ezekiel 9:
Wow. This chapter is intense. It's pretty gory and at the same time it's relieving. Will have to come back tomorrow as my phone is about to die.

D

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DAY 1167: EZEKIEL 8

Feeling yuck today. Pretty confident my "allergies" is actually a cold. Lilly Bit started coughing more and gagging last night. Poor sweet thing keeps getting the crud from her Momma. Last night had a moment of the what ifs. What if this leads us back to square one with Lilly? Maybe it will or maybe it won't but regardless God is Sovereign. I'm still horrible at hand sanitizing and probably have gotten even more lax this past week as things have become more out of sight and out of mind. It doesn't help that I'm generally from the absent minded variety. I don't mean that as a self deprecating comment either. It just is what it is. I'm okay with it and when I'm not I have to surrender that to Christ.

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Stayed home from Trunk or Treat tonight and bummed about it. It was the right or rather wise choice to make but it doesn't make it stink any less . There will only be so many trunk or treats that these kiddos will go to. I don't want to miss a single one. I feel so silly being taken out like this by a stupid cold. Makes sense though. After all this crazy Pertussis business I just don't have any reserves left in the tank.

Speaking of no reserves I don't have much filter left on me either. Feeling like a pretty lousy wife these days. I'm a total crabby cakes and my hubs has done nothing but serve me like crazy the past couple months. I could lay my snot filled head on my pillow and cry myself a river.

Tomorrow I'll have to write about what I really wanted to before I got lost in a poor me parade. What I really need is some rest. Not sure sweet Lillykins will cooperate with her own congested state but maybe.

Ezekiel. 8:
I really need to dig in with commentary on this chapter. There are so many things going on that I know I'm missing. At total face value though Israel is a total mess. They haven't just turned away from God they have run completely in the opposite direction. All the while God has sent His prophets to warn His people to turn back to The Lord and they completely ignored them. After all The Lord had done for Israel they took a huge poo on Him. No wonder why this is His response:

Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them." (Ezekiel 8:18 NIV)

I used to parcel out verses like this and point out how mean God must have been . In light of the entire story though verses like this totally make sense. God loves us but He detests sin and He is faithful and just. God is not a big jolly pushover nor an evil and cruel dictator.

D

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DAY 1166: GENESIS 12-14

Feel like poo so this will be quick. Going to take a fist full of Benadryl and hope my milk factory stays strong.

Served by a dear friend with groceries and cleaning of some of the BrownTown funk. Thankful always for her company and that she left her sweet boy over for afternoon entertainment for my kids. Got school done with one kid and mostly with another.

Talking about school with my friend made me wonder if my own approach with my oldest right now is working. If one of my goals truly is for my kids to love learning sometimes I feel like a big killjoy. I know some things just need to get done. Wondering though if I just wait or at least ease up then it will become so easy that she'll zoom through it when the time is right. I like checking the boxes with school though. It feels like I'm accomplishing something. Plus I want my kids to keep pace with their public school counterparts. Why, I don't really know. For not liking being shoved in a box I sure do like the box for school. Honestly I don't pray near enough about it at least not about the details and the nitty gritty. It's funny for one kid I'm completely ready to go off roading with school knowing he's a different kid. When I stop and think about it though my first born is kinda like him in some ways. She's a problem solver and has ideas galore. If I'm truly honest her endless ideas wears me out sometimes. She's very creative and fear of failure is not there to hinder her ideas big and small. I don't want to squash her. When I try to school her in the box though she flounders. Need to pray more about this. Oddly enough my second born is flourishing at school. Makes sense as he's more of a rule follower and probably thrives on the structure of it. He's a more structured kid. I think he would do okay in a traditional school setting but I think the wear and tear on him with the long days and not enough play would not bode well in the long run. That sweet kid is wound up tight and has lots of energy to unleash on a daily basis. Should have put him in soccer this fall. He does well when he has something to focus his intensity on.

Honestly I love this. One of the greatest things about having all these minions is living under a roof with such diverse personalities. Some of them I never would have picked myself as a roommate but I'm so thankful God did. Such a joy and an honor watching these kids grow into who God created them to be!

Was hoping my funk was a cold so is feel better but now really hoping its allergies. I'm snotting and sneezing and coughing and scritchy scratchy. The last thing Lilly needs is a cold.

Genesis:
So much to process in these chapters. Not even sure where to start. I would just roll with what sticks out the most tonight but I don't have it in me to open that can if worms. Maybe tomorrow. For tonight I'll keep it on the surface.

The Lord had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1 NIV)

I can't help but wonder what it was like to have actual conversations like this with God. Did Abram talk to God like this on a regular basis or were these far and few between. I feel like God has told me things apart from in His Word but it's not often and it's never elaborate like this. The two things He strongly impressed on me the past several years was "you don't have to be so strong" and "you don't have to fear pregnancy". I don't know why I heard Him so very clearly those times. Does God just speak that way sometimes or do I not talk to Him expectantly enough? Or better yet do I ever quite down enough or zip it enough to even Him? All I know is that the two times mentioned above have had great impact and I go to both often. The latter was a source of great consternation for me as I had totally misunderstood what He meant. It would take over a year later when I met my second daughter to understand what He meant. Such a beautiful moment as all births are but instant understanding and a releasing of my control and my plans and desires. Bottom line is that I want to hear Him more. I want to hear Him like Abram heard him, like the prophets (although don't want that line of work), like Noah, Moses, ect. Maybe they only heard Him sporadically too. Maybe we only get to hear His precious voice once we are on the other side of heaven. I don't know. What I do know is wouldn't hurt to shut it more and pray expecting to hear Him more.

D

Monday, October 21, 2013

DAY 1165: JOHN 15:1-17

Going to start this and see if I can get it done. Taking a neighbor to ReGen tonight. Excited for her about all the wonderful things God has in store for her. Praying it goes well. The funny thing about this gal is that another neighbor has been loving on her. It's the reason why she's been to church and why she's coming with me tonight. Love having a partner on my street to love on people with. My partner in crime had mentioned there was nothing she had done to make our other neighbor ready God had done that. As I reflect on how it feels like our street is about to pop I need to remember this. I have felt bad about not having our block party this year. I think God has allowed us to meet our neighbors because of intentional outreach and it has its place but ultimately God is who opens hearts.

I'm taken aback again at how simple yet how incredibly difficult this life with Christ can be. The answer to life's toughest problems is simple, remain. Simple yet so difficult to walk out. Often I desire to walk behind or before The Lord. I get caught up with my plans before I ever consult The Lord.

Today I was reminded about passion w/ out The Lord's direction. My mouth and my fiery opinions ran away with me today. God made me fiery and passionate but without Him it's a bunch of clanging of cymbals and banging of gongs. There's so much refining The Lord still has to do in me. I would like to hash out my thoughts on life stage ministry as well as Christian celebritydom but that will probably have to wait for another time or maybe not.

Egypt was mentioned today in a meeting. Egypt fascinates me. It's the land where people have gone their own way and also the land God used to preserve His people and even Jesus. While under the oppression of the Egyptians the Israelites stayed true to The Lord. It was in the land of plenty that the Israelites turned away from The Lord. I was thinking about what my Egypt would be? Seemed simple at first. Things like food, the ievil or other things could easily seem like my Egypt. Yet I wonder if those things are rather my idols in the land of plenty.

One of my rants this morning was on the cult of personality or rather Christian celebrity. The IF conference was brought up and I'll be honest I have a love hate thing with conferences. I think all of that can be such a slippery slope. I truly believe God has used the women speaking to bless others with their gifts. I'm a big fan of one of them, Ann Voscamp. I'm probably a big fan because she is the least like me. There's no sarcasm that comes from her writing. I've heard of people serving with her on a mission trip and she was humble and incredibly gracious and dare I say meek. I've never heard her but I imagine she might be rather dry to even watch speak. The woman is incredibly passionate though. I don't even know where I'm truly going with this. For me though I need to zip it more. I've been trying to do this but I'll be honest it's incredibly hard. My hubs has been a great model for this over the years. I know he has much to say yet in a group setting he holds his words captive and when he does speak he tends to bust out wisdom. I don't want to forsake who God created me or anybody else to be. However, just like Egypt it can be used for good or for bad. Egypt under the direction of Christ good but without Him it does not go well for anyone. I love how God can redeem things that are undesirable for His glory and those things considered "good" can lead us astray.

John 15:1-17
Jesus's words. It just doesn't get much sweeter than this.

Couple of things that stand out/
1. Jesus tells us to remain in Him and THEN talks about obedience.

Love the beautiful order of the first four verses.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:1, 2 NIV)

1. Jesus is the vine. God is the gardener. I'm sure there is much to ponder in those simple words all by itself.
2. God wants us to bear fruit and in order to do that branches must be cut off and branches that do bear fruit must be pruned. Bottom line the process of sanctification is painful and it's painful for ALL of us.

You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:3, 4 NIV)

3. We are reminded in this verse that we are already clean. Sanctification happens so that we might bear fruit. Sanctification is not an agent of salvation. We are already clean and do not need to clean up in order to be accepted by God. We can't prune ourselves or rid character flaws in ourselves. God has to do this. Honestly this is probably the hardest thing to swallow. We are clean and there's nothing we can do to be a "good" Christian. The gardener is who shapes us to be more like the vine.
4. This is a reminder that self reliance will get us nowhere. This is the complete opposite of what the world tells us.

My time is up kids running amuck.

D

Sunday, October 20, 2013

DAY 1164: EZEKIEL 8

Looks like my adrenaline well has dried up. Thankful Lilly is better and the last couple days have been purple free. I do get why people become adrenaline junkies though.

Four sweet neighbors at WM tonight. My heart could not have been more full. Tonight definitely gave me 15 passenger van lust. Today had visions of having things together enough to have crockpots full of food for after church for neighbors or whoever we've invited. Maybe one day. The thought of even going to the grocery store with this crew sounds simply exhausting. Need to get more sleeps under my belt so the thought of screaming baby and Brownies gone wild doesn't make me want to pull out my hair.

Ezekiel 8:
Interesting chapter. Again commentary would do me wonders but struggling to stay awake. Maybe I'll read till I start snoring.

God gives Ezekiel a vision of all the ways Israel has defiled the land and bowed down to other gods. Such a sad state of affairs for Israel. God eventually just gives them over to what they want, a life apart from God.

D

Saturday, October 19, 2013

DAY 1163: EZEKIEL 7

Lilly Bit still congested and coughing BUT we're gone an entire day without a fit that's made her stop breathing. Fired up!!! Now just waiting for her congestion to clear so sleep will return.

Speaking of sleep really sleepy. Worked on switching over the kids clothes today. Thankful for the crazy ways God provides for us but its a whip! How do those Duggars do it?

Ezekiel 7:
Need to wrap this up. Oxytocin getting the best of me. Hard chapter to read. It seems as if all of God's grace is completely gone. Yet knowing the full story of the Israelites and their rebellion it all becomes very clear that God has indeed warned and extend mercy and grace in abundance.

" 'They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord 's wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin. (Ezekiel 7:19 NIV)

This verse caught my eye. Great reminder to seek things that are eternal which moths and rest can not destroy. Want to dive in deep but my eyes will not stay open.

D

Friday, October 18, 2013

DAY 1162: EZEKIEL 7

5:30 wake up call and lots of baby wakings in the night has hit me right about now. Lilly still super congested but coughing fits were manageable and didn't turn any hairs gray today. Very hopeful that we are finally making some good progress. Still up a lot at night but the fear and anxiety is once again dissipating. So very thankful.

Hit the Dallas heritage village for homeschool day. Felt like a day right out of Portland. It was quite nice. Laid back and fun with friends.

Heart aching for my sweet neighbor who was laid off yesterday. Hate this for her but hoping it will be the thing that turns out to be a blessing for an eternity. Please pray that we will have creativity on how to love her well during this time.

This evening several neighbors stopped to talk and made another connection with one of our newer neighbors who invited us to their sons bday party. I feel like our street is about to blow up. Really praying for that. Tonight for the first time I could see how Les could partner with another neighbor to reach some of the guys on our street with a poker night or football game or something. Again please pray for inspiration, creativity and follow through. Would really love to dive in deep on our street and love like crazy.

Ezekiel 7:
(Rocking Lilly B and she is trying to burrow into my arm and I've been overcome by how much I've been enjoying her. I love her but there's a big difference between loving someone and actually enjoying them. Unfortunately as a parent it's easy to miss the boat and miss out on the enjoyment of our children. What a whip fear and anxiety can be! It totally robs us of the enjoyment of things in life. God commands us not to worry and have anxiety for our own good and benefit not for His.)

Okay so was going to read Ezekiel 7 and I probably will but the verse of the day keeps coming back to me so going to focus my remaining energy there.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7, 8 NIV)

Do not be wise in your own eyes.
This makes me want to burst out laughing. I feel like this is the stumbling block of BrownTown. Each of us prideful little beasts think we know the best way. Some of us more than others and I know I'm on the more end of the spectrum. If I take an honest look at my heart I think I know how to do most things better, at least the things I feel are more in my wheelhouse. It's so interesting how I can struggle with insecurity yet often have such an inflated view of myself. Sin is so gross.

Today I ran into a gal that I really enjoy. She is so laid back, down to earth and I always walk away encouraged. Anyway, today we talked about how humbling our kiddos had been to us over the years. So thankful that my children are as willful and prideful as I am. I need it to help keep my booty humble. I need it so that I can work on the anger that would have remained harbored deep in my heart . I need it so I can continually discover how selfish I am and how conditional I can love others. The list truly goes on and on.

Fear The Lord and shun evil.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around fearing The Lord. I think because growing up I knew fear. There was always lots of walking around on eggshells not knowing who or what would set off the ticking time bomb in my step dad. Anything could unleash his fury. I know in my head that God is not like that but I'm sure there are still parts of my heart that still struggle with this. This is the kind of fear that I think of when I read fear The Lord. Probably this fear should be more of a reminder of who God is in light of myself. God does not tolerate sin. In light of that there should be fear. What God did to His own people should invoke fear in us. Fear alone can not invoke true heart change or love though.

Shun evil.
This seems easy enough (um pride) but it isn't. If I'm not walking towards God then I'm walking away from Him. I partake in evil everyday and often I'm too blinded and prideful to even realize it. If I'm not glorifying God I'm partaking in evil . It's so easy to do. Yet God commands us to shun all evil. Much easier said than done.

Fading fast .

D

Thursday, October 17, 2013

DAY 1161: EZEKIEL 6

This will be short. Great day at State Fair today. I seriously think every year gets better. First year we lasted to the parade. These kids are growing up! Pee Wee Stampede and the new kids tractor pull are still my favorites of the fair. Saw some great character traits in my kids today. Incredibly proud of my Brownies.

Lilly Bit had another rough night last night but did fairly well today. Only one coughing fit that was rough. She was in the Ergo 95% of the day so she was completely upright. Think that helped a ton. Since I walked around all day she didn't fuss about being in there either. Win win win.

Ezekiel 6:
Having a hard time making my tired brain soak this in. I do love this verse:

Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. (Ezekiel 6:9 NIV)

This is a great reminder that God is grieved by our sin. God didn't punish the Israelites just because they deserved it . God allowed disaster to fall upon them so that they would turn from their evil ways and relationship could be restored with them. God is all about relationship and I should be all about that too.

Fading

D

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DAY 1160: EZEKIEL 5

I'm over pertussis and I'm ready to break up. Definitely seen the beauty in this season but my heart is weary of seeing Lilly Bit struggle. My heart aches for the kids and their parents that suffer daily. I keep thinking about Caleb the sweet medically fragile boy at the park. I guess over time you just adjust to your new normal. I kinda feel that way about Lilly. Although there are times when I still hold my breath waiting for her to start breathing again, right now it just is what it is.

Couple things I thought about today in the stillness of bible study. As I was dropping the kids off I disciplined Luke for being inappropriate. I had him sit in the thinking spot while I dropped the remaining small fry off. He had the most dejected look on his face afterwards. I got a moment to talk to him afterwards before I dropped him off to his class. He has now reached the age of embarrassment. I disciplined him in front of everybody instead of pulling him aside. This is new for him. I also discovered as I was asking him questions that there was a communication barrier. I'm positive this hasn't been the first time miscommunication has played a role in discipline. I often forget that a huge part of discipline should consist of drawing the offender and myself closer in relationship. It's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. I need to remember this as I discipline my boys and my girls.

This lead me to think that when I'm so focused on my agenda or the schedule of the day and I'm uninterruptible kindness is not what leaks out of me. If I'm honest most days the schedule revolves around me, my and mine. It's been one of the beautiful things about Lilly and her Pertussis. It's slowed our family down a lot. I've had lots of time to sit and nurse and rock a sweet baby as I watch the others play or snuggle. I'm stuck in a chair so there is plenty of time to listen whole heartedly about the newest invention or plan. I've taken much delight in just watching them play and their personalities come out in full bloom in their imaginary worlds. There are always dishes to be done and laundry piles that need attending to but that can't be done while nursing a sweet baby. So incredibly thankful for the sweet reminder of what's most important. I so easily forget.

Ezekiel 5:
Eyes incredibly heavy. Couldn't help but think about America when I read this.

Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will shave you; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. (Ezekiel 5:9-11 NIV)

D

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DAY 1159: EZEKIEL 4

Took Lilly Bit in for a follow up dr visit. Lungs still sounding clear so the lung fun she had isn't getting ugly. We all vaccinated for the flu to try to keep her safe. Hopefully they got the vaccine right this year especially since it's already going around. Yay! Lilly seems to be a bit better. Congestion getting better and although still having awful coughing fits she slept better overall. Onward and upward!

Today was not as successful as yesterday but most kids got chores done and at least one kid got school done. It's so funny how different they are. Number two is able to stay focused and get his stuff done but number one can make it last all day long. Had another great day just enjoying my offspring. Having to sit and either nurse a little bit has afforded me the great opportunity to watch my kids play all kinds of games outside or snuggle up with one or two of them. Oxytocin following threw my veins has made for a quite smitten momma. Thankful I get to be surrounded by six little wonderful people everyday.

Ezekiel 4:
This chapter is kinda nuts. Need to read commentary to really make this chapter rich. I know the situation is not funny in this chapter but at one point it seems to get so ridiculous that it is. Maybe God was trying to make a point on many levels. The stubborn sinfulness of God's people had become completely ridiculous after all.

Not sure if it's sleep deprived me but find these verses interesting and funny.

Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel." The Lord said, "In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them." Then I said, "Not so, Sovereign Lord ! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth." "Very well," he said, "I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement." (Ezekiel 4:12-15 NIV)

Cow dung is oh so much better than human waste. Reading Ezekiel's story I'm reminded that this life with Christ although very rich and full is not for wimps.

D

Monday, October 14, 2013

DAY 1158: EZEKIEL 3

Rocking a precious babe that I'm completely smitten with. This little thing has been determined to make a big splash in this world. I think my jaw has ceased to stop hanging open from the moment her cutie booty arrived en caul and as pain free as a birth can be. I look forward to many many years with this cute little stinker.

Today felt productive although catawampus at times. The rain was most wonderful and the kids played outside in the mud for a good while. It added an extra load of laundry but what wonderful childhood memories can be made playing in the mud. Wish I had that perspective more often. Today we kicked off yet another chore system. Pretty amazed at all that got accomplished. When those three bigs put their minds to it they really can get a lot accomplished. Proud of them. We got all of our school work done today too. It was a festivus miracle.

Ezekiel 3:
Hard to concentrate with a now nursing baby and cute toddler gone wild going on but will give it a shot anyway.

Find this concept interesting:
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. (Ezekiel 3:17-19 NIV)

As a believer and follower of Christ is it just Ezekiel that this applies to or everyone who professes Christ? Who am I to be the watchman for? Here's the bigger question who am I neglecting to be the watchman for? I think I take the thought of eternal things too lightly. Do I care about the souls of the people around me enough?

This is silly but in my sleepy mind Call The Midwife comes to mind. Those midwives loved the unloveable like crazy. I so want to love like that.

D

Sunday, October 13, 2013

DAY 1157: EZEKIEL 3

Sweet hubster pulled an all nighter with Lilly Bit so I could sleep. I wasn't sure I would be able to sleep but that wasn't a problem. Amazing what a full night of sleep will do for the mental state. It was torturous to get up this morning though. It was as if my body remembered what it was like to get sleep and demanded more. Amazing how sleepy one can be when you can go six hours without an adrenaline rush. I really think that's the only reason why I haven't completely fallen apart. I get why God gave us the gift of adrenaline jolts as well as why people can become adrenaline junkies.

Speaking of adrenaline Lilly had another one of her super freaky fits. So hard to see your baby thrash around trying to grab a breath while turning colors right in front of your eyes. Unnerving.

Feel like I had a couple revelations today while the brain fog lifted for a couple hours but now its gone.

This evening got a bit interesting when we got something rather interesting in the mail. It's left me scratching my head in a good way but still kinda blown away by it. Just over all I'm pretty blown away by all that has gone on since Lilly's birth. People have loved on us like crazy. Kinda hard to soak it all in. All I know is that we are one crazy blessed family. I want our kids to know this is unusual. This is not how the world operates but rather how the body of Christ does. The bond of being one body with one common goal is incredibly beautiful. Thankful to be part of it and sad for those who are missing out on the party.

Ah now I remember one of the things that hit me today. I realized I still have some messed up thinking about God. I realized how much I have kept my heart at a distance during our hospital fun. I realized I did it to my kids and hubs but hasn't realized I was doing it with Lilly too. I still self protect like crazy. It all comes back down to trust. I think somewhere hidden deep was the lie that God would take Lilly to try to teach or grow me. That's just not how God works. God allowed horrible things to happen to Job and Job did learn a lot about God due to his awful circumstances but God wasn't the one who caused them. The hard part to grasp though is why God allows some of the things that He does. I imagine for as many awful things that He allows there's many more things He does not allow to happen. Even though still in the thick of all of this I can see the beauty and can see how God is ultimately using this to draw me closer to Him. Thankful Lilly Bit is sleeping in my lap right now but even if she wasn't God would still be good.

One another note one of my sweet neighbors took another one of our neighbors to WM tonight. It went really well and I could not be more fired up!!

EZEKIEL 3:
This chapter mentions how obstinate the Israelites are in this chapter. This stubborn beast is thankful God is incredibly patient and kind.

You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. (Ezekiel 3:5-7 NIV)

I pray that my heart would be open to all that God would desire to teach me. May my prideful stubborn heart at least be pliable and have moments of humility so that I can hear and act on all that God would desire me to do.

But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people." (Ezekiel 3:8, 9 NIV)

These verses give me hope for me and my obstinate children. In these verses God makes Ezekiel unyielding in order to protect him and to glorify God. God can use stubborn fiery people to do His good works. I love that characteristics that can seem negative can be redeemed for the glory of God.

D

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Re: DAY 1156: EZEKIEL 3

Les is taking baby duty tonight so pray I can get some rest. I've probably had about 6 hours of sleep over the course of the past three nights. Living on sheer adrenaline.
She's already had a couple good coughing spells. I can hear her crying right now too so not sure how well this is going to work. This season is a very strange kind of difficult. My poor Brownies have been feeling the effects too. Hate that but rough spots are part of life. Need to spend time with them and help draw out the angst in their sweet little hearts.

Thank you for the continued prayers, support and being the arms helping to hold us up right now. Thankful and blessed by you!

D

DAY 1156: EZEKIEL 3

Looking like we are going to be able to go home early this evening. Although thrilled at the idea of being home tonight I'm struck by the weariness of how home or not this is not over yet. The coughing and struggling to get a breath are yet to be over. After seeing the fit she had yesterday it feels as if I'll never sleep again. Can't get that image out of my head. I think the stress of all of this is finally starting to catch up with me. The middle of the night dances with adrenaline, anxiety and icy fear have finally taken their toll. I long to just enjoy Lilly without wondering if a rouge fit will happen that will make her breath her last breath. I can't help but think about a boy named Caleb that I met at the park who has spent over half of his life in the hospital. Puts things in perspective but doesn't minimize the reality of the long nights.

On another note this hospital gig only confirmed that I need to do the elimination diet. Poor baby girls guts are distended. Boo!!!

Ezekiel 3:
Another sweet chapter. Want to really dig in but having a hard time getting my thoughts to connect.

And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezekiel 3:1-3 NIV)

More verses on eating the scroll, the very words of God and how sweet the taste was. I could not agree more.

D

Friday, October 11, 2013

DAY 1155: EZEKIEL 2

Exhaustion has just hit me like a MAK truck. Back in the hospital. Lilly has had two nights that were just stinko so we took her to the dr today. He sent us to the hospital to get an X-ray and they kept us. At first incredibly frustrated over it until Lilly had the worst fit she's had yet. Super scary. Surreal being back here. It has been the craziest month.

On another note today we were saved by a locked door. Les was going to just run Lilly to the hospital but Instead had to come rescue me. Had he come to get the X-ray our car situation would have been nuts.

Thankful again for the sweet friends who are praying for us and watching our sweet babies.

EZEKIEL 2:
This is such an interesting and short chapter. God tells Ezekiel that He is sending him to a rebellious people and not to fear what the people think. Such great words in light of a society that embraces tolerance over truth. Really love the wording of this entire chapter which is full of a repeating message. At the end God tells Ezekiel to eat His message which is full of woe. May I eat of the Word of God as if it truly were my daily bread.

D

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DAY 1154: EZEKIEL 1

Crazy rough night with Lilly Bit. At one point was on the verge of taking my girl back to the ER. Feel like we are back at square one. So incredibly frustrated. Icy fear came back last night as I held my breath waiting for her to start breathing again. I know it could be worse. I know we could still be in the hospital. That's how mean stupid whooping cough is to little bits. I feel fortunate and very thankful but today I feel exhausted and weary weary weary. The pattern has been one really crappy night followed by a better night. Hoping tonight is not as full as adrenaline inducing episodes and offers more sleep.

Ezekiel 1:
I'll be honest I wasn't fired up about trying to get my brain to digest the book of Ezekiel. I was oh so wrong. Although I can't fully comprehend the vision Ezekiel saw on a good brain day it's still awe inspiring.

My heart was captured with the first verse:
In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. (Ezekiel 1:1 NIV)

The heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. Can you even imagine that? How awesome to be picked to be given such a revelation yet what a huge responsibility as well. I imagine Ezekiel felt a mixed of holy terror mixed with awe struck wonder.

the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the Lord was on him. (Ezekiel 1:3 NIV)

I know things have gotten somewhat lost in translation but the phrase "there the hand of The Lord was upon him" grabs me. The picture of this unique and intimate relationship with The Lord captures my heart.

I wish the distractions of this world didn't capture my desires and my attention before The Lord but they do. I could have rocked the day away connected to my Savior yet I clung to sugar and any opportunity to check out. Having a really hard time engaging in the dance of life today. I know there is abundant grace exhaustion as an excuse or not. I just wish I wouldn't be pulled and swayed away from the things I know to be true givers of life. I didn't need to sit at the Lords feet to earn His favor or love. God doesn't miss out when I choose the distractions of this world, I do. How many glances of heaven so I miss because I'm too distracted by things that will only rust and fade?

D

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

DAY 1153: LAM 5

I'm all shades of a mess. Lost it over coffee but it wasn't about coffee. I'm hormonal, exhausted and emotionally spent in many ways. A child's curiosity has left me spiraling off and on all week. I'm crazy triggered and exhaustion is not helping my thought life. I know what truth is about everything and I know that God is good but hard not to get swept away with my emotions and spiral spiral spiral downward.

If I'm honest I'm just completely pissed. At one point I had the thought that having kids is just not worth it. I realize the insanity in this thought and just how much I want to run away from pain, at least certain pain. I love my kids and I do feel so incredibly blessed by each of them. It pains me over the thoughts that have gone through my head lately.

I feel like I've made pretty good strides in learning to trust God and I feel like the carpet has just been ripped out from under me and I'm having such a hard time leaning in and trusting.

In bible study the speaker went over this verse:

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3, 4 NIV)

I get this and have actually seen this in my life. When I view this through the lens of a child through I get so angry. Kids shouldn't have to learn how to wade through the pain of abuse of any kind. Kids shouldn't have to deal with childhood illness like cancer. Yet we live in a sinful world.

God loves these sweet kids more than I can even imagine. I know this yet in my finite understanding I want to protect them from getting their hearts bruised and crushed.

I'm angry and I need to get in a really good ugly cry. In the end all I can do is lay all this back down at His feet. I know how crazy life is not trusting. I know how painful life is not just not trusting but taking things into my own hands. I've tasted and I've seen and even though I don't understand the things that He allows and it makes me angry I have no other choice but to trust.

My three youngest are watching Milo and Otis and seeing their responses are reminding me of their sweet innocence. I so want them to maintain that for as long as possible.

--------
Outside and it feels like Fall is on the way and all is right with the world. Doesn't hurt to be outside the mess of BrownTown. I've noticed the more chaotic I feel inside the more I desire order on the outside.

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Two more things:
- been eating sugar by the fist full.

- with all my crazies the lie: I'm broken so that's why all of this is happening crossed my mind. It's probably why I had my coffee meltdown this morning.

LAM 5:
Read but spending time with my hubs.

D

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

DAY 1152: LAM 4

Starting to hit zombie in level of sleep deprivation again. Hoping to crash soon. Lilly still struggling at night. I think everything has plateaued right now. Not getting better. Not getting worse. Needless to say we are still in survival mode. It's not a bad place to be it just is what it is. Adjusting to the evens has so far been more difficult to adjusting to the odds. Dare we have eight and see if this theory holds true?

That does bring me to having to deal with the fact that my stupid Aunt Flo came tenish months too early. I've spiraled in fear of dbl lines in the midst of this character building season. I've been up in arms about trying to figure out the best way to prevent a new Brownie at the moment. In the midst of it the other day I heard God say "trust me". If I'm honest I don't want to trust God in this. By now you would think I've learned my lesson in this area but I haven't. I'd like to think trust me means that we'll have our feet back under us before I'm puking. I'd like to think Lilly would at least be done whooping in the middle of the night but I'm guaranteed nothing. The truth is it matters not if I try to control things or not and how much I stress about it. God will have His way regardless of whether or not I choose to trust our family with Him. I'm not even quite sure if trust me means don't prevent. All I know is that trust is what God ultimately wants from me in every single area of my life. He does not want me to be anxious about anything. In all honestly have yet to talk to my hubs about this. Need to hear his heart on the matter and find out what he's thinking. I'll tell you what this whole submission thing works really well especially when having to choose or figure it out makes me anxious.

A precious friend stopped by today and my heart hurts for her right now. This friend holds a special place in my heart and I hate the road she is about to have to walk. I know God is good and He is Sovereign and for most people although hate what they have to go through I'm fired up about what the future holds. I do have much hope for my friend and I know God has goodness in store for her but I am so grieved by what she must eventually walk through. Thankful that God doesn't smack us over the head all at once. If you think about it please pray that I would love this sweet friend well and that God would provide the perfect insight on how to be in it with this sweet friend.

LAM 4:
Another rough chapter on grief. Aches my heart yet I know even in the midst of the horrors God's wonderful plan of redemption is already in the works. I know this holds true for my friend as well.

Just as a picture of all that was going on in Israel:

With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed. (Lamentations 4:10 NIV)

Can not even imagine desperation like this. There's a story I believe in 2 Kings about two women who agreed to eat their own sons. One woman killed her son and they ate him but when it was time to eat the other boy the mother had hidden him. Can't read that without it messing you up.

D

Monday, October 07, 2013

DAY 1151: LAM 5

Bullet point kind of day.
- grumpy morning
- realized I was being a total turd to my daughter. She had a dejected look on her face and it hit me that I too would have one if I had someone telling me what I did wrong all morning long. Ugh!
- things with oldest son have been a struggle too. I have a hard time dealing with his melancholy attitude. By his responses to simple requests you would think I had asked him to scrub a public bathroom clean with his toothbrush. Can't figure out if my tactic is working or not. Need to pray more for wisdom.
- bottom line is tonight I feel like a jackass parent. My agenda got in the way. I wanted to go to the park and instead of just picking a time to go and going I wanted to get my check list completed first. I want my kids to get that we work and then we play but sometimes momma just needs some time at the park. These beautiful days won't last forever.
- once out of the house time at the park was great with friends. Beautiful day!!

LAM 3:
Verses 1-20 Jerry talks about how it feels like God has made him a target of his arrows. He uses strong language to describe how he feels. This reminds me a lot of David and how he wrote of feeling like God had forgotten him and caused him sorrow.

Verse 21 is a turning point. It's as if Jeremiah has somehow set feeling aside and turned back towards truth to guide him instead of getting swept away by emotion.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: (Lamentations 3:21 NIV)

I completely get this. If I allow myself, and back in the day I did, I can get completely swept away and turned around backwards by how I feel. How I feel is always valid but often fails to reflect the truth.

There's all these verses of agony and sorrow and then BAM there are these:

Because of the Lord 's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." (Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV)

Because of His great love we are not consumed. Love this! These are great verses to hold onto in the midst of hardship.

Eyes getting heavy will finish tomorrow.

D

DAY 1150: RTM

This morning was rough as I focused on my circumstances and threw the pity party that has been brewing for days. I don't even know if it was a true pity party but I spiraled like crazy over the events of yesterday. Lilly Bit had another rough night last night so exhaustion did not help in the least bit.

Really struggled with having an unforgiving heart towards one of my children today. Completely triggered more than I've ever been by one of my kiddos and I really struggled shaking it. The reality is I wouldn't have been able to shake it had it not been for Jesus. It's an awful feeling struggling with resentment towards one of your own kids. As I spiraled downward in my thoughts I decided to lay it all out there before The Lord and just pray about the condition of my heart and my fears. It definitely helped and by the afternoon felt better footing on stable ground.

Feel like there was something else churning today but can't think of what it could be now.

Phone about to die and plan on reading back over the scripture from Raise the Mark tonight. This well known verse was so sweet to read last night.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1 NIV)

I love how this applies in all seasons and every situation. The Lord is my Shepherd and I lack nothing to get through whatever situation or event that may occur. Often I flounder and look to other things to pull me through but if I put my focus and direct my energy towards the Shepherd there is nothing I will ever lack.

Ah now I remember what I was going to write about. Tonight there was a question about what are you holding onto and not surrendering to The Lord. The thing that popped into my head was the fact that I have made an idol of wanting to protect my kids. I still feel that it is my God given role to protect my children but ultimately I have to entrust them to The Lord. I can't prevent the wounds that will inevitably be inflicted upon their hearts. I know I've probably already inflicted my own on them. All I can do is rest in the fact that in God's Sovereignty He can cause all things to work together for the good of those who love The Lord.

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Whoops! Forgot to send.

D

Saturday, October 05, 2013

DAY 1149: PS 23

The devil was in the details today. I hate when people say that. Yes the stupid devil is all up in everything but God is Sovereign. Other than good great conversation with community tonight today was a thousand beatings. At one point I just wanted to go to bed and pretend like today never happened and then it just got worse. I'm battling shame and guilt over the way I've dealt with my hubs the past couple of days and how I dealt with a situation with one of my kids. Feel like I've ignored stuff I shouldn't have and dangit I'm just so darn tired. I feel so ill equipped for everything today and if I'm honest I just want to run away and hide.

Today I feel like I have been in a battle with God and yet at the same time have felt so much comfort in His power and Sovereignty. I'm so over being in a state on conflicting emotions. I don't know if God is trying to break me and honestly I'm not even sure if that's proper theology. All I know is I'm done and I call uncle. Trying to pull out the lessons of today and all I can figure is that I can learn to not fear. Thought we lost two boys at two different times today so the lesson for today is ironic.

I really want to poo poo today and throw a pity party. There's a girl that goes to our church who got into a horrible accident who lost her baby boy and is in critical condition. Her aunt died in the wreck and her mom is hurt really bad too. My heart aches for this family. Although its good to be real about the difficulty of my day and this season it's also good to get a good dose of perspective. Being real about difficulty and wallowing in self pity are two different things. Going to sit and not run from the funk and lay it at His feet.

One more thing before I forget a stupid guy at Costco triggered the heck out of me. He looked similar to my neighbor growing up. A couple days later I'm still in a funk about it. Rage and disgust keep momentarily surfacing. It would so make sense if this is surfacing in the midst of everything else so that my stubborn butt will finally open this door. Instead of choosing to look at things the way they should be looked at and dealt with I've clung to the illusion of having control. Bleh!

PS 23:
Closed my eyes to pick a random psalm and landed here.

My kid just turned purple again. I may cry myself to sleep.

D

Friday, October 04, 2013

DAY 1148: GENESIS 9

I feel like we've got the battle of reflux vs pertussis going on in BrownTown. 5am Lilly had a crazy gagging / choking issue that freaked me out. I was so thankful Les woke up and rode it out with us because I was ready to hope in a car and take this kid back to the ER. I thought she had aspirated on her spit up. I can't fully describe what happened this morning but it freaked me out. This girl is going to turn all my hair grey before she turns a year old. I have extra respect for parents of kids with asthma now. It's nerve wracking watching your kiddo struggling to breath and not be able to really do anything about it. Other than early morning craziness Lilly had a pretty good night. If it hasn't been for a bug that woke me up crawling on me then I would have gotten a decent stretch of sleep. The middle of the night parties are almost becoming comical at this point.

Felt like a turd today for getting frustrated at my hubs over silly expectations. My expectations were self centered and self focused. I think lack of sleep and having my arms full of a sweet cranky pants all day and night I've developed a "must be nice" attitude. I don't want to have martyr syndrome and I know needing breaks are good, healthy and necessary but they are important not only for me but for my hubster as well. He has served me and our family in amazing ways and I need to voice my gratitude more often.

Fun night connecting with neighbors. Felt good being out in the hood meeting new folks and connecting others. God was so sweet tonight in bringing a family new to the neighborhood over and connecting them with another family whose son goes to the same preschool that they do. I think Abbie's bizarre couple hour fever could have been for the sole purpose of this family getting to come and feel connected. God loves us so incredibly much. So thankful to see His sweetness unfold for another right in front of my eyes. God is so very good all the time.

GEN 9:
There are some fantastic verses in here. Feeling funky though and going to bed.

D

Thursday, October 03, 2013

DAY 1147: GEN 8

Another day when I just don't want to do this. I'm tired and my offspring are still running amuck and my brain doesn't work. I want to turn on something dumb on netflicks and drool.

Had a wild and crazy evening at the Costco. It was fun getting to see a friend but I should have known better. End of the day and coffee worn off does not give rise to much energy in dealing with Brownie shenanigans. All things considered it was a pretty decent trip, I've had much worse. I'm spent now though.

GEN 8:
Switched up to Genesis because I don't think my brain can grasp the fullness of Lamentations.

In this chapter the rain had stopped and Noah and his family along will all the creatures remaining on the earth sat and waited and sat some more and waited. The thought of being cooped up in a dark stinky boat with all those creatures makes my skin crawl. To not be able to go outside and take in deep breathes of fresh air sounds completely maddening. Throw in four women who are cycling together and that just about sounds like the worst thing ever. Yet the alternative was even worse. I'm sure there is something deep I'm supposed to draw from this but seriously can't think straight.

This verse is the most intriguing to me:

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21 NIV)

I don't know why but the idea of God smelling burnt offerings and it being pleasing is just creepy to me tonight. I love the smell of a good barbecue but all I can picture in my mind tonight is a blood thirsty God. I know this is not His character but in light of the destruction of everything outside of the ark in this chapter it doesn't seem all that far fetched. It's in these moments that doubt likes to creep in. Is God really who He says He is or is He this sadistic god who enjoys watching us suffer. It's in these moments of doubt that I can draw back on what I personally know to be true about God. I know He's real and I know He's good and I know He is who He says He is because I've experienced it in my own life. I couldn't make up the God stuff that has happened over the years. I know so much stuff is happening on a daily basis that I'm not even aware of. Thankful that in these moments of doubt God is okay with my questions.

Eyes closing...

D

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

DAY 1146: LAMENTATIONS 3

In the dark holding a sweet Lilly Bit. This season is hard but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Lilly had a good day yesterday and today and last nights festivities were caused by reflux and not pertussis. So thankful!! Need to remember this if we again take a step backwards tomorrow. We're still moving forward and Lilly Bit is getting better even if we take a step back. Now just need to get this reflux under control so I can get better sleep once again.

I love how God works. Last night I had a bad attitude about BS and when I did my homework it only added to it. I had hoped I'd come across a sweet gem and be rewarded for my efforts. I was confident that if I pushed past self there would be treasure on the other side. I love how the treasure came about. It wasn't from my time spent in Gen 6&7 or from what I was able to pull out but rather from what other women saw. I love this part about sharing scripture. God reveals different things to His people. His word is living and active. I'm still so prideful to think that I'm the one who is able to see the beauty in His Words. The reason things stand out or click is because God chose to reveal it. Thankful for God being willing to hold up the mirror to my face and reveal the junk. He is so gentle and loving in His approach. I don't deserve gentle and loving yet that's how He deals with me regardless. Oh how I want to parent like this! I expect from my children what I myself can't deliver.

Few thoughts from today:

1. Just like Noah through the blood of Christ we too are seen as righteous and blameless. This is so hard to grasp but this is God's view of us. There is so much sin that bubbles up and oozes out of me on a daily basis that I can't imagine God ever thinking this way about me but its by His blood I am made righteous and blameless. Hard to fully comprehend!

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6:9 NIV)

2. Just like the ark took 100 years to built true faithfulness is built day upon day of following and trusting The Lord. Noah had never seen an ark before and although God gave Noah the dimensions of the ark He didn't drop a completed blue print in his lap either. Day after day Noah had to trust that God would lead and guide him as he built that ark.

3. Noah obeyed and did exactly as The Lord asked but its not known if he questioned or kicked and screamed about what he was called to do. I will obey but often I'm a total brat the entire time. Although truly I'd like to tone down my desire to buck up against everything not all of that is sinful its how God made me. I do hope as the years go by I learn to trust without questioning and follow with a joyful heart. In the meantime kicking and screaming or not following God and walking in obedience is faithfulness and I mustn't discount that.

Today Les had the opportunity to go to the most interesting lunch he's ever been. Hearing the stories told I couldn't help but want to be called to walk out a faith walk like the guy at lunch. But maybe we are walking on our own faith walk. We've got a small herd of kids and that in itself has been a walk of faith of its own in many ways. I know how much food a six year old boy can take down and the thought of that boy along with two others becoming teenagers seems daunting. I don't know how we are going to afford to feed them. If I look at our external circumstances six kids does not make sense at all. Yet I know what God promises and I believe Him when He says that children are a blessing from Him and He will provide.

Starting to drift off. Read lam 3 and oh my is it ever strong. Will have to dive in tomorrow though. Eyes failing to stay open.

D

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

DAY 1144: GENESIS 6&7

I so want to be able to do this now but not sure if Lilly Bit is going to cooperate.
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Whew! Crazy how entitled I can feel to getting this time when I want it. The days have been long and I've wanted to clock out the past several evenings. There is no clocking out with an itty bitty. The days will quickly add together to weeks and months and years. This too shall pass much more quickly than I shall ever desire. Before I know it this one will be up and running around and I will have long since forgotten the days of aching arms and back and sleepless nights. Instead I will look back and wonder how in the world the baby I just had turned five, ten, twenty.

LB slept today much unlike yesterday and kids cooperated and we finally got our first complete day of school in. I think the gradual easing into it was worth it. We most definitely don't have a steady stride but I imagine that wont come till the holidays when everything will get disrupted.

These days have been full of beautiful sanctification. I must fully surrender to what may come in a day. When I kick against the goads and believe the lie that this should be easy I'm sunk. It's not easy and there most certainly is not enough of me to go around. I'm tired, dog tired. Yet this is such a wonderful season. Any season where I must daily strive to surrender is one to sing praises about. I'm tired and at times weary yet I see the beauty in all if this and I'm so incredibly thankful.

Today I saw a mess of all our sin. The heaps of trouble two littles thick as thieves can get into as mom is distracted by schooling. I've begged one who should be potty trained to go in the bathroom and one who wants to potty train to put on a diaper. I've been yelled at, asked seven hundred and thirty nine questions, had my stuff destroyed, and had every ounce of personal space invaded by a small herd of children. I've seen five children love on each other and extend me grace I didn't deserve. My heart has been pierced by the words of a child who laid open and exposed my sin in painful ways. To wrap it all up I was asked how a daddy's seeds come from their penis from my five year old. That's just one day. One long crazy fabulously wonderful day.

Today while working with my daughter she confided that she felt like a jerk. I'm sure she picked up that little gem from me just like she picked up that feeling from me. The last two days water has been spilled on school books. I'm a bit neurotic about our books because I want them to last for years to come. In frustration I told my kids it was all of their faults for the water logged book. It breaks me how easily words of shame and guilt flow out of my mouth. Only the day before I told pointed out the disobedience in every kid around that lead to the wet math books. The situation on both days were incredibly frustrating but it's part of life especially life with a sweet energizer bunny. To pour salt on wounds as I rushed to throw in a load of laundry and then heard the baby screaming and two kids letting me know the baby was crying I crushed a little girl who only wanted to help her mommy with the laundry. You're doing it wrong and I'm in a hurry. I didn't say those exact words but I might as well. It's obvious the impact of my words had on my precious girl. She failed to mention how she broke the cover to the iPad moments before because I responded with grace. Why is grace so damn hard and condemning words so incredibly easy. I've filled a sea with my apologies over my inappropriate responses to things my kids have done but today I was reminded that asking forgiveness or not the heart still gets wounded. Instead of perpetuating the struggle with shame and guilt I embrace the free flowing grace that is often so difficult for me to extend. I give thanks to a God who loves me enough to squeeze this crap out of me. Who will continue to do a good work in me till it is carried out to completion and whose grace is sufficient in my weaknesses. As often as I tell my kids I am imperfect and struggle they still view me through the lens of perfection. I don't know how this is possible and truly one day I hope they get understand that I did the best I could but my junk and sin still got in the way to muck it up at times. I pray as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into years that the mucking up becomes less and less because there's less of me and more of Christ.

GEN 6-7:
Confession I generally hate being on someone else's plan. Going to be really hard to jump ship on my Lamentations grove to do Genesis 6&7. Even more truth is that I feel like I've already dug pretty hard into Genesis and don't need to do my bible study homework. The prideful beast that rages within me is so incredibly gross. But there you have it a rebellious prideful girl. Yet going to do the good I ought to and I know that I will find tons I've missed. Love the humbling! Off to read in my "real" bible.

D