Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DAY 1232: JOEL 1

Our house is thrashed. As my hubs said its at least a hopeful trashed. This is going to be the year of decluttering and organizing. We've got growing bodies and growing numbers in a house that is staying the same size.  Not complaining and really thankful for the house and the street God placed us. I know when the time is right He'll provide exactly what we need. I am thankful for the many ways I get to experience God's provision had our family been smaller. Honestly daily if it wasn't for Gods provision I wouldn't make it through the days. 

Tonight got to celebrate a dear friend. She has been provision in my life in so many ways and blessed by her friendship. It was sweet to hear her recount the way God orchestrated a move for her and her family. Love how God not only provides our needs but also provides the sweetest icing on the cake in so many ways. In all of that I continually hear the sweetest whisper of "do not fear". This verse comes to mind:

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 ESV)

I wouldn't classify myself as a worrier or anxious but I know that I do have some of that in me. I think my biggest fear is that I'm going to screw this whole thing up. I'm going to miss something important or veer to the left or the right and mess it all up. I want big bold answers and huge road signs to point me in the right direction. I don't trust myself not to mess up or for my heart to not be deceitful. Yet this is where the walking in faith piece comes in. If I knew all the answers I would take off ahead of God. What He desires is for me to walk with Him. The whole MS thing was totally like that and I think it was a small picture of how God desires me to walk with Him by faith daily in big and small matters. I don't need to know what bend in the road lies ahead I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other WITH Him. Oh how He loves me. God help me to walk with you and not stop to look at the distracting shiny things behind you or try to speed up and race ahead. Keep me tethered to you. Prone to wander Lord a feel it. Write on my heart what you want me to focus on this year. I can get lost and wrapped up in my plans but help me to wait and listen to you speak to my heart.

Read Joel 1. Oh how awful those locusts must have been. 

D

Sunday, December 29, 2013

DAY 1231: Ezekiel 48

Nuggled up with five of my kiddos watching a movie and half convinced I might get a nap. Kids still fighting the funk and I have a slight touch of it. Thankful for no flu up in this house.

Interesting day. At a four and a half hour long meeting with a couple and their CG. Thankful to not be in their situation. However, so hopeful for all that God can do when people are willing to surrender to Him. Thankful that we truly can rejoice even in the most difficult of times knowing that God is good and that He is Sovereign.

Ezekiel 48:
This chapter is about the division of the land and twelve gates that will be named after the tribes of Israel.

Again I am taken aback at how detail oriented The Lord. I find much comfort in this fact. Truly there is nothing to fear as He is aware of all the smallest details of our lives and how He brings all things together for His glory. He's totally got me thru thick and thru thin. There's is nothing I need to fear.

D

Saturday, December 28, 2013

DAY 1230: Ezekiel 47

Head and ears clogging and ready for bed. Definitely don't think the kid funk was flu. The little girls have it now too but doesn't seem horrible. Joshua had a better night last night too so very thankful.

Another really laid back day with kids recouping. Got our Christmas stuff taken down and it feels good. Christmas came and went in a flash this year. Kinda feel like I slept through the whole thing. Thinking through personal goals for next year. So not goal oriented but lack of self discipline is at an all high right now.

Ezekiel 47:
Interesting chapter. First half about a vision of a river flowing out from the temple. This verse is what caught my eye.
Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing." (Ezekiel 47:12 NIV)

This verse is really beautiful and is a beautiful metaphor of what our lives can look like when we remain in Christ. In Christ we will not wither or grow weary. We will bear fruit and be provision and healing to those around us. How could we not bear fruit and be healing to those around us if we are planted in His river of love. Sounds kinda cheesy but of so true. Why I choose to drink in anything else but Him boggles my mind. Yet I'm the dog that returns to her own vomit time and time again.

The second half is about distributing the Israelites inheritance. Love this verse:
You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. (Ezekiel 47:22 NIV)

Love that the foreigners living amongst the Israelites will be considered native born Israelites and share in the inheritance. So thankful that as a gentile I get to share in the inheritance of my Father.

D

Friday, December 27, 2013

DAY 1229: Ezekiel 46

Today was a blur. Another day of lounging around but needed for the sickies and the exhausted parents who were entertained by a wound up Bella till past 3am. Hoping we don't have a repeat tonight and Joshua has an easier night. Hard to watch your kiddo struggle to breath.

Ezekiel 46:
Check. Zzzzzzz

D

Thursday, December 26, 2013

DAY 1228: Luke 2

Day two in jammers. Christmas win! Lazy today. House full of kids with croup, fever and the grumps lead to mass television consumption and zero productivity from me. I have my own intestinal funk going on and poor sweet Lilly Bit struggled today. Overall not a bad day but not a magical day. There are no magical days around here but my vision of a clean bedroom and fierce games didn't happen. I am very thankful for the slow pace.

Luke 2:
This chapter is great. Jesus birth is announced to the shepherds, Jesus is presented in the temple and Simeon and Anna meet him and Jesus stays behind at the Temple. All along the chapter Mary and Joseph are taken aback by how people respond to Jesus. They realize the miraculous way Jesus is conceived yet they have no idea what it means to be the earthly parents of Emmanuel. Who can blame them? I have hindsight and even on a good reflective day I can't possibly grasp all that Jesus is and all that He did for me. The knowledge is much too vast for a mere mortal.

Mary and Joseph with their limited understanding could only walk in faith day after day. They knew their boy Jesus was special but they had no clue that "a sword would pierced their own soul too". May that same sword pierce my own soul. May I walk in faith day after day being willing to surrender all that I am, all that I have and my very days to God. May I rejoice in blessing and in sorrow knowing that I was created to give God glory. May my mission in life be accomplished.

D

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

DAY 1227: MATT 2 & Luke 1

Sweet day in BrownTown. So very thankful for many things. Ended the night with the Nativity Story and a sweet sick boy with flushed cheeks. Hoping we won't be spending Les's time off battling the flu but if that should be the case we'll try to make the most of it and at least make it memorable.

LUKE 1:
This chapter is so incredibly rich. God uses humble and imperfect people to be apart of His plan of redemption. 

Zechariah is told an amazing message that he would be given a son yet he does not believe. This does not preclude him from being apart of a great and mighty miracle and blessing of a child. God uses imperfect, sinful people who lack faith to be apart of His Story daily. It blows my mind.

I had to read this verse several times before I caught something most interesting.

And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:17 NIV)

Children are not seen as the blessings that they are because it's a top strategy of the Evil One to turn our hearts away from our children. If he can use our own selfish desires in such a way to distance us and confuse our mission as parents he can cause much chaos and destruction. If we neglect our role to train up the next generation they will easily fall prey to whatever leads them astray. May I not get distracted by my own selfish desires and rather may my heart be soft to the six sweet blessings The Lord has given us.

for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. (Luke 1:15 NIV)

It's so hard not to look for the praise of man or accomplish things that this world would consider great. Our desire to change this world can be wrapped up in selfish desire. Our how deceitful the heart can be. May I learn to be lowly and humble so that I may be great in the eyes of no one other than The Lord. May I grow to be the kind of leader that helps to make those around me shine brighter. Oh how my pride often gets in the way of that. Give me a clean and humble heart oh God. Thank you for that lowly and humble babe in a manager that took the world by storm and set the captives free.

D

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

DAY 1226:

I'm an emotional mess as I usually am on days like today. Heart full and overwhelmed by His precious blessings in our lives.

Day started off snuggling with my babies and texting with a neighbor. I was taken aback when she said she loved us and when I replied that we loved her too she wrote "I know". One of the sweetest gifts I'll receive this Christmas. She knows we love her not because we're these great people constantly being thoughtful and engaging, which we are not, but she knows we love because of the One who loved us first.

Another sweet neighbor who is without her husbAnd for the first time this year dropped off a bag full of fun for the kiddos. She reminds me so much of my grandma. It's a sweet blessing to have her on my street and get a chance to love on her.

Homemade cinnamon rolls delivered so I didn't feel the need to make my own which would have added an element of chaos. I want those darn cinnamon rolls to be a tradition and one day it will be one enjoyed by all who get to throw in and make them. But till then God provided them and the friendship. Oh the sweet details that God pulled together. Forgotten rolls on a grocery list and some were randomly given to us by yet another neighbor. Red sweaters that were given over the years that worked with the girls hand me down dresses. All those things are so temporal but is just a precious reminder that God cares about the small details that we care about. Had I not been emerged in Ezekiel right now and reading about all the details I would have missed these gifts from above. His word never returns void.

Dinner with friends tonight when I've been sad about not pulling something together myself and hubs working an additional service this year. Oh the baby days make it so hard to get anything accomplished from start to finish. Hard to think about the details. Yet God shows up and provides in the midst of it all. He's showing me and I'm learning little by little to let go, especially my agenda. I have to ask myself would I rather make an idol out of being super mom and self sufficient or would I rather enjoy the gift of a sleeping babe in my arms.

Oh what a gift Lilly Bit is to our family. I'm so thankful she is with us this Christmas. Pertussis has brought a whole new perspective to things. Silly but watching the Duggars and their ordeal with baby Josie has too. Every single life is such an incredible gift, an eternal gift. May I not miss the beauty that surrounds me day after day in my children. When I fail and fall flat on my face may I remember that Emmanuel has come to set me free.

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Sweet night with friends. Writing this as a sweet toddler crawls all over me since she got a nice long nap on a gentle giant today. Thankful for sweet friends. Thankful for a living room full of sleeping babes.

My heart is sad and missing family tonight. Honestly I probably miss the ideal vision of family in my head. I want the grandparents and lots of cousins running around. Packed bodies in a house and people excited to be together. Cooking traditions and game playing and kids running around like crazy. One day we will get more opportunity for such things but man how sad that dysfunction can steal so much. Missing my grandparents tonight. Most of my greatest Christmas memories are so tied up with them. Thankful one day I will see them again.

Matthew 1:
Overwhelmed by this chapter. I once read the beginning of this chapter and dismissed the first half. What a total miss. The names listed in Jesus's genealogy is fascinating. The legacy that each of those names passed down, some good and some filled with brokenness or downright evil. Yet out of the darkness, out of sinful humanity a Messiah would be born to save the world. The story sounds crazy and frankly it is downright crazy. Why a King would forgo His throne to be born in a most humbling way is mind blowing. One day I will fall to my knees as I meet my Messiah face to face one day. The thought of that truly is overwhelming and makes my breath catch in my chest. Thankful for the gift of today and for the Messiah who would come as a helpless babe to set the captives free.

D

Monday, December 23, 2013

DAY 1225: EZEKIEL 45

1. The technical malfunction that happened yesterday at work for my hubs was fixed today. This was not a man made fix and is an answer to prayer. Jubilation.

2. In all of this I'm very much aware of how much I struggle with prayer apathy. I want to kick scripture memory in the booty this upcoming year but I really think I should consider doing a total prayer overhaul. Since journaling seems to be my thing doing a prayer journal entry every day for the next year might be the way to go. That would mean getting up earlier for sure. That wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

3. Not rising early leads me to the realization that overall my life has lacked lots of self discipline. Laziness is my natural bent so this is not surprising. Whole 30 or Paleo is on the docket for 2014 and the 30 day Shred. I should chop like a million veggies while my MIL is here in a couple weeks.

4. Brain fog is killing me. Eating well and exercise should help with that. Wondering if gluten is the evil culprit. Just googled it and bingo! Ugh! Gluten and sugar is killing me softly.

Ezekiel 45:
This book and my brain fog are having a hard time jiving. More details about land and correct measurements and levitical law. I'll be honest it makes my eyeballs want to bleed. However, at the same time I just can't get over how every last detail is accounted for by God. Nothing ever gets by Him and every last detail was created for His glory. So very thankful.

D

DAY 1224: EZEKIEL 44

Bummed about the kind of day that is already unfolding for my hubs tomorrow. My heart goes out to him. On the other side I'm able to clearly see God's Sovereignty yet I know how I would feel if the shoes were on the other feet. Even in a hard situation still blown away by the man that my hubs is. So blessed and thankful to be his wife and be apart of the legacy he is leaving for our kids.

Ezekiel 44:
Fading fast but this was my fav for today:

" 'I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession. (Ezekiel 44:28 NIV)

May I live my life in such a way that Jesus as my possession truly is what I live for above anything else!

D

Saturday, December 21, 2013

DAY 1223: EZEKIEL 43

1. Phone about to die

2. My girl is marching swiftly out of things little girl and closer and closer to things preteen. Thankful not there yet but it won't be long before the world of princesses is no longer magical and instead for babies.

3. My little girl is in love with Mee Mouse. I want to fan that flame for as long as I possibly can.

4. Can't believe how fast all of this really goes. How can it be possible that I have three school age kids and Joshua is marching there as fast as he possibly can. Lord make me not waste away these precious days. One day I will be busy no more. I will walk my tiny dogs and wear my crown of gray with dignity.

5. How are we just days away from Christmas?

6. Trying to get anything done takes three times as long as I expect with six kids.

7. Walking in Target today I realized I have six kids. On any given day it doesn't necessarily feel like a lot. Stepping away from my shoes it does appear to be a tad bit freakish. I'm okay with that.

Ezekiel 43:
Still struggling to understand everything that is going on. I know I'm missing out on a lot. These verses stuck out to me the most.

"Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider its perfection, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple—its arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations. (Ezekiel 43:10, 11 NIV)

This just highlighted for me once again that God has arranged great perfection and beauty in His design and in the tiniest of details. Wonder if somewhere in the struggle with perfectionism is a desire to be like God or to not need God. There has to be something to that.

Tonight I bask in the joy of knowing He is perfect therefore I do not have to be. I can rest in His perfect sovereignty and release all fear and lay it at His feet.

D

Friday, December 20, 2013

DAY 1222: EZEKIEL 42

1. Took the Bit off reflux meds. Bad, very bad! Day 3 sniffles and grumpy, day 4 cough, day 5 all of the above plus a hoarse voice, and back arching. Poop! Back on meds!

2. Going to hide in the closet till flu season is over. Vaccine didn't get the right A strain. Heard its awful this year. Thank you Lord for Tamiflu.

3. Waffle House and Christmas lights could anything be better? Shared my dream of having Griswold Christmas lights with Les. It would be "for the kids" of course!

Ezekiel 42:
Just gotta keep it real, the measurements are making my eyeballs want to bleed. I'm sure if I went back and read the instructions on building the temple these measurements would line up perfectly with that. Do love how God is in the details large and small. Details make my head want to explode.

D

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DAY 1221: EZEKIEL 41

Still felt the Christmas funk this morning BUT clinging to truth and know it's all rooted in my perfectionism and my other fun bag of baggage. I can feel like a failure and roll with that or cling to truth. Freeing to cling to truth and tag the rest as a lie.

Rough day but thankful for it. Kids up late because my broken armed mountain man put together a set of bunk beds we were blessed with. Came home last night to the van parked in the yard. Can I just say that I love that husband of mine? I love the sheer awesomeness of things like that. Like really LOVE it!

My sweet Bit had a really great run of days and was mellow as mellow could be. Sweet thing started getting sick last night and has been fussy ever sense. Lilly is not a fan of the Ergo when she's feeling yuck. That makes my Bunny not so funny. Fighting offspring and two dueling crying little girls. Not easy on the ears but so thankful for this wonderful chaotic life. Love these kids and the wonderful people they are becoming warts and all!!

Our official letter closing up our Gladney file was sent today. Strange mix today of sadness and yet an unexplainable hope and excitement of the future. The Lord will bring these beautiful puzzle pieces together. Until then we live each day walking by faith knowing and trusting that The Lord will guide each step along the way.

Ezekiel 41:
This chapter is still about the vision Ezekiel is having of the man taking measurements of the new temple. Hard for my non detail oriented brain to grasp or appreciate BUT again ever so thankful for the Lords careful attention to detail. Not a single detail escapes Him and He holds all of them together in His hands.

D

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DAY 1220: EZEKIEL 40

Beautiful day today. Wish I was outside at a park but have to bring some order to chaos surrounding me. Sweet babe napping on my lap. So thankful for the sweet blessing God has rained down on us even in midst of the chaos that ebbs and flows.

Yesterday was a fun day of work for my hubs. Excited for all the recent encouragement and excited and hopeful for the future for him. Proud of him for remaining faithful. I pray that our lives together as a family will reflect lives lived out faithfully.
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Christmas shopping tonight and wrestling with shame and guilt. I feel like I've screwed the whole thing up. Trying to figure out if I feel this way every time. Pretty confident I do. Bleh. Overall I feel like I'm screwing up the Christmas season. It caught me off guard and maybe it's the 70 degree weather but it feel like I'm not doing things right. I know this is not truth so not spiraling but stinks that the ole hag of shame and guilt is rearing her beastly head.

Ezekiel 40:
Ezekiel has a vision and is taken to the temple where a man is measuring everything. Pretty much the entire chapter is about the measurements in the temple. Love that God is so into the details of everything.

D

DAY 1219: EZEKIEL 39

Mixed bag today but ended well. Good time this evening breaking bread with such a sweet group of women. Oh how I thought if be so alone on the homeschooling journey yet God has provided such a sweet group of women in my life. My heart is heavy tonight though. My neighbors on each side of us are heavy on my heart. Stories of my friends. My own freak out today which thankfully was nothing. The need for foster and adoptive parents. It all seems so heavy tonight. Thankful for Jesus but grieved at our desperate need for Him tonight.

I wish reading tonight brought me comfort but this chapter is confusing, at times gross and at face value makes me question Gods goodness. I'm thankful this book is encouraging me to want to do more intensive study of God's Word. I'm over Ezekiel right now though.

This is not one of the stranger verses in this book but it personally freaks me out.

I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord." (Ezekiel 39:29 NIV)

The thought of God turning His face away from me is a most terrifying prospect. Without Him by my side and at times carrying me this life is hopeless. Thankful for the hope that I do have in Jesus.

D

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DAY 1218: EZEKIEL 38

Some sweet friends of ours are officially licensed foster parents today. Excited for them but oh the unexpected ache it stirred. On the 22nd three years ago we got that exciting call that we were officially on the wait list. The second adoption round seemed so much different than the first. The way money came together, the crazy support and even my time in the Word seemed to suggest we would be successful at bringing home our son from ET. Bella changed so much for me. So thankful my friend caught a beautiful moment of me gazing at her for the first time. That moment reframed so much for me.

Today I got that feeling that somebody is missing from our family. Joshua had it first, then Les and today me. Its so funny because I just recently adamantly expressed that it did not feel like we were missing anybody AT ALL. Yet today it hit me like a ton of bricks. It's really weird feeling. It's not a am I missing someone? It's more of a there is someone missing!!

Luke's been praying for a baby brother. I ache for a boy I don't know and at times wonder if I'll ever know. The ache and longing remains regardless of prayer for God to remove it. I'm reminded that God rarely goes from point A to point B. What a story that will be told if someday we bring home our son from ET. Maybe we will be brought home to him.

I can't argue with what God is doing with our family. My kids value adoption and they value the gift of life. Maybe the boy I dreamed of so vividly is a grandbaby. Wouldn't be a bad thing to raise a small army of offspring who have a heart for adoption. I do get frustrated over the puzzle pieces at times but I know whatever the outcome or whatever the path may be that God is doing something beautiful.
-/-/-/-/-/-/

Sweet morning and evening spent with a group of women I've had the privilege of serving with for five or possibly even six years now. Crazy how times blends together. Tank is always filled with these gals. It's a constant reminder of how beautiful the Body of Christ is. What a sweet gift each of those women are.

Feel like the fog is lifting a bit. God has been so sweet and gracious to me the past week and stringing things together that I didn't even realize were keeping me in bondage. It's so hard to pour it all out like the widow did day after day and trust that God will provide exactly what is needed daily. His grace truly is sufficient yet I don't trust and try to do things my way. My way always comes up short yet walking in faith always reaps a harvest of abundance in the end even if circumstances do not appear that way at the time.

A headlight that is out prompted a conversation with a neighbor this evening. Been praying that God would give me a heart for her. Hearing just a tiny piece of her story gave me that love and compassion that I have been lacking. IF that headlight had been fixed that conversation tonight would not have happened. Abundant grace in who God made my husband and I to be and the limited amount of time in any given day. Both of us locked our keys in the car today. Made me laugh. Love the man God has so abundantly blessed me with. He is such a gift and a treasure. What a joy to be able to do this thing called life with him .

Ezekiel 38:
Interesting chapter. Can't figure out if this prophesy has happened or is yet to come. The fire, hail and brimstone make me think it's yet to come.

This verse stood out tonight:

And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.' (Ezekiel 38:23 NIV)

Need to remember the sheer awesomeness of The Lord. May it inspire awe in me.

D

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DAY 1217: EZEKIEL 37

A friend is struggling tonight. I so wish God would remove the thorn of anxiety from her.

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Cute brown eyed girl distracted me from this and phone about to die.

Kids played great together this morning and I actually got to watch the sermon. Lots of stuff churning which actually feels really good. Disconnect is not a fun place for me. Was thinking about that and realized how much I'm missing that intense connection to God that I felt while Lilly was sick. I miss it and my heart longs for it. I don't necessarily desire the difficulty that comes with that kind of closeness but if only to ditch my self reliance to lean on Him like that everyday. I definitely have moments of it as I lean into the difficulties of any given day. Yet so often in the rest of life I walk along by myself. It's the thorns in our sides, our weaknesses , hardships, worries, burdens, ect that we seek His face. Hate how often I get too busy focused on the temporal. God give me eyes to see things for what they really are, help me walk with you in order to do that. I hate even writing this but crush my pride and my self reliance so that like Enoch I walk WITH you.

Ezekiel 37:
I'm kinda hung up on the creepy factor of this chapter. Dry bones come alive and tendons and flesh are put onto them and God breathes life into them. This part is way too brief. I want to know what happens to these now living and breathing bones. Are they who they used to be or somebody completely different. Do these beings have a soul? What valley is Ezekiel in exactly?

Reading the major prophets has sparked a desire to really study the bible much deeper. So much of these chapters have been lost on me because I don't fully understand all that the symbolism means.

Tonight I'm so incredibly thankful for God's Word. Praying for an increased passion to dig in deep and to spend even more time pouring over God 's very words.

D

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DAY 1216: EZEKIEL 36 vs 16-38

Good day. Sweet hubs let me sleep in with the small frys and fixed a yummy breakfast. Did caroling later with the CG and ate dinner together. Good times. Thankful for the families we gathered together with and the small army of children.

Got a chance to chat more with my hubs about adoption and future family stuff. Although we are both open to adopting we are not quite on the same page about next steps. I feel much peace about being content to continue to wait till God gives us the huge green light. What we know now is that we feel lead to let God have full control over whether another Bio Brownie gets added to our fold or not. After talking over everything I feel like a big weight has been lifted. Prevention causes me great anxiety. I feel like a big fat failure in this department and it feels useless and hopeless anyway. Maybe some of the anxiety is adoption related and some still trying to white knuckle things and not fully trust God in this area. I can't argue with the results of our family planning failures though. I think I would probably cry if I saw two lines right now but I've got to rest in His Sovereignty on this and adoption or I'll drive myself crazy.

Ezekiel 36:
Love these verses -
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26, 27 NIV)

Thankful that over time God is changing my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. May I be yielded to His spirit so that I may be obedient to the lover of my soul.

D

DAY 1215: EZEKIEL 36

Tried to start this in the morning but didn't quite happen. Good day. I did start off as a punk. Hate that! Tonight was great though. WM Christmas party and as usual it was fantastic. We were given the opportunity to be frivolous with our kids and bless them. Thankful. AfterwArds met a couple friends out. Had no idea how much I needed that . Lilly didn't cry on the way there and back and overall it was such a sweet bonus gift from God after already being blessed by WM. So crazy thankful we are here and not MS.

Ezekiel 36:
This verse caught my sleepy eye tonight:

I will increase the number of people and animals living on you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:11 NIV)

"Will make you prosper more than before". It's so painful during the seasons of pruning BUT it's because of those times of pruning that we are able to bear even more fruit. God help me to embrace suffering and hardship with great joy.

May these verses be true of the ways I Iive out my life regardless of the circumstances around me.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. (Psalm 95:1, 2 NIV)

D

Friday, December 13, 2013

DAY 1214: EZEKIEL 35

Head cold. Exhausted. Baby eating my brain cells. Bullet points.

-hubs took his last remaining day off before the craziness at work really kicks in. Love that man good to have him home.

-good talk with hubster last night. We've struggled to connect mainly I'm sure due to my struggle to feel connected and feeling flat. Laying here feeling insanely exhausted and realized I have t been popping my pills lately. Hmmm... Would be a rather interesting experiment to see if I feel better in a week or so after being more consistent with that.

-starting whole 30 in Jan. Can not freaking wait!!! Joints sore, sinuses hurt and I'm itchy. Bet Lilly Bit is excited too!

-saw two grandparents buying presents for grandkids today and it made me sad our kids are missing out on traditional grandparents. I'm sure having both original grandparents is not so traditional anymore anyway. So incredibly sad.

- friend struggling with marriage had a break thru today. Oh how beautiful vulnerability can be and how it can so easily soften a heart. Need to remember this as I struggle at times to completely expose the hurt that can dwell in my heart. Just the thought of being completely 100 percent vulnerable makes me feel weak at the knees.

- so thankful for the sweet peanut that I'm now rocking but man this girl is high maintenance. Brownies are definitely all up there on the high maintenance scale. Most have been consoled by the live in dairy but not this one. That's been my parlor trick for so long I don't have much game anymore.

-on the way to the store today I realized I didn't want to go because of Lilly Bit screaming. Crying in the car, crying once tired of the Ergo, crying in the car again, crying out of the car, crying till she falls asleep. Maybe she cries just as much as the others but I just have exhausted my internal resources. I don't know if I've fully recovered from the MS, pertussis, and broken arm stress. The crying in the car lately has just sent me over the edge. Her cry is nothing like Bella's and normally I can hang unless really tired. I think my adrenal glands are just exhausted and have nothing left to give.

Ezekiel 35:
Verse of the day caught my eye:

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10 NIV)

So stinking good and so incredibly true! Oh how I can be a prideful argumentative beast. Oh how the pride of my two bigs gets up into mine especially the oldest one.

Short chapter. These two verses stood out:

" 'Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax, therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. (Ezekiel 35:5, 6 NIV)

God used the surrounding countries of Israel to insight justice upon their sinful deeds yet God still enacts justice on those who harmed His people. God loves His people and although He allows them to be punished sin is the reason why Israel is devastated. It's that crazy conundrum of God's Sovereignty in light of the consequences of sin. It's hard to reconcile sometimes.

"Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you." Those are hard words. May I hate bloodshed and be willing to boldly stand up for those who do not have a voice.

D

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DAY 1213: EZEKIEL 34

Phone about to die, baby wiggling in my arms, tired and need to talk to hubster.

Pretty sure I'm in a funk. Oh how I hate to be in a funk. Some days better than others but overall funky. I'm not in a swirling pit of depression but rather a sticky mud pit of funk. I keep trying to shake it off but I just can't kick it. I need to start exercising and get some happy endorphins flowing through my veins. It would help me too in feeling a little less like the pillsbury dough boy.

It's just a season and one that I feel like I miss out on. Maybe I 'm in a funk because it's hard right now and I feel like I'm failing the entire world. Maybe it's because I'm not the super mom it want to be and hard choices and sacrifices have to be made everyday. Who knows? I'm guessing sleep, empty tank and hormones are the culprit. Hate the funk but it is what it is and at least I'm not kicking and screaming.

Ezekiel 34:
Phone about to kick it but this verse stood out in this beautiful chapter .

I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 34:15 NIV)

He will have them lie down willingly or not. He gives us rest and is gracious enough to carve out time even when we don't want to or won't do it ourselves.

In my funk and dis connect God help me enter into your wonderful rest.

D

DAY 1212: EZEKIEL 34

Good day but wonderfully exhausted so bullet points.
- time spent with a dear friend that I love.
- silliness
- boys although didn't get their areas done cleaning wise, much heart change in a very positive direction. Still very much wild boys but wild respectful boys who obey. Hate that it takes the rod with them as I thought we were moving away from that but I can't argue with the results. In fact, I'm almost dumbfounded by how different these boys. Again they are still all boy and I had to deliver justice on two little bottoms today but the heart change was quick.
- need to get a scripture memory game plan, like for reals.
-Bella lost it tonight. Sweet girl struggling with her baby sister. Oh how she loves her Lilly though with her eyes and her nose.

Ezekiel 34:
Great verse of the day:

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10 NIV)

This might be a good one for the family,.Lukey especially.

Great chapter but I can not keep my eyes open.

D

Monday, December 09, 2013

Re: DAY 1211: EZEKIEL 33

That's one of my fav verses ever in light of all the crazy things Ezekiel had to do. I apply it to parenthood. Our job is speak truth in grace and love so that one day our kids will say "there was a prophet in our home". No matter what they choose to do or be, prodigal, or other. Relieves my controlling flesh to just spend time with my savior and let that overflow to my kids. I can't control anything else.

Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 9, 2013, at 8:30 PM, Desi Brown <desibrown@gmail.com> wrote:

> Good day but now ready to pass out. Sweet friend came over and it was so great to get caught up with her. Miss that girl and it was fun spending the afternoon together. Love her heart and precious family.
>
> Rough night with the boys. It's painful being a parent sometimes.
>
> Ezekiel 33:
> The last part of this chapter is about the Israelites feeling entitled to the Promise Land despite their waywardness and disobedience. God opened Ezekiel's mouth to speak. As usual the people would listen but would not be doers of the word.
>
> My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. "When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them." (Ezekiel 33:31-33 NIV)
>
> May I not only read and listen but be a doer if the Word as well.
>
> D

DAY 1211: EZEKIEL 33

Good day but now ready to pass out. Sweet friend came over and it was so great to get caught up with her. Miss that girl and it was fun spending the afternoon together. Love her heart and precious family.

Rough night with the boys. It's painful being a parent sometimes.

Ezekiel 33:
The last part of this chapter is about the Israelites feeling entitled to the Promise Land despite their waywardness and disobedience. God opened Ezekiel's mouth to speak. As usual the people would listen but would not be doers of the word.

My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. "When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them." (Ezekiel 33:31-33 NIV)

May I not only read and listen but be a doer if the Word as well.

D

DAY 1210: EZEKIEL 33

Rocking a sweet baby to see and chatting with my beloved. Perfect end to the day. For the most part today was great. It warmed up above 30 so I got my troll self outside to watch the kids play. Got some sled action going too. These Brownies are getting to an age where there is great opportunity for some wonderful memory making. Hate that they are growing up so incredibly fast but just as a husband said in the Square One class I took they just get more and more fun.
------
Along with the fun also comes the difficulty of training and trying to reign in willfulness. We have got some strong personalities up in this house! I know redeemed it will be a thing of great beauty and it will help sanctify and create great beauty in me as well. Two oldest boys right now are chiseling away at their Momma.

Fun evening playing games with some of our neighbors. It's crazy how little we have them over considering they are just a couple houses down. Hate that it took a break in everyday life in order for us to have them over. Saw the beauty of Sabbath in this ice holiday. I'd like to say that our laundry is completely caught up and our house scrubbed and clean but none of this is true. In fact going to start this week already behind on laundry and worse with a messy kitchen. But oh how good this slower pace was for the soul and for our family. Looking forward to Christmas!!

Ezekiel 33: vs 10-20
This verses are incredibly heavy. They seem to answer the once saved always saved debate. It can be so confusing though because we are not saved by works but rather by faith but our faith is evident through our works. A relationship with Jesus gives rise to obedience. It is so easy to get all messed up and end up swerving to the left or to the right on this.

"Therefore, son of man, say to your people, 'If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person's former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person's former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.' If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. (Ezekiel 33:12, 13 NIV)

D

Saturday, December 07, 2013

DAY 1209: EZEKIEL 33

Okay day. It was fun cherishing the few moments I had snuggling with my birthday Bunny. If I'm honest I was frustrated by a cranky Lilly Bit who wanted to hog her momma. Les had to work unexpectedly this afternoon and is still at it and so I held my sweet Bunny while Peanut screamed. Luke was total pill today too so trying to deal with his funky mood, a grumpy baby and trying to shower my baby with attention on her birthday was a challenge.

I've tried to shower Luke with extra grace and lots of encouragement lately but it's not working. A carrot on a stick just doesn't work for that kid nor does the loss of most privileges. I hate it but the rod speaks to that kid the most. It's always been that way with him. I don't want to get into a spanking match with him on refusing to do chores that will continue to have its own set of consequences or loss of privilege BUT he just can not continue to treat people in our family unkindly or with disrespect any longer. Oh the mischief that boy loves to get into!! Love how each of them sanctify me in a completely different way. By the end of all this I'm either going to end up in the nut house or become more like Mother Theresa or Michelle Duggar than I ever imagined possible. I pray often to possess more humility, meekness, and a quiet and gentle spirit. The Lord uses my children on me like a hacksaw because obviously I'm still extremely rough around the edges. Thankful for my hacksaw offspring and how they daily are used by God to kill me more and more so that Christ can increase.

Thank you God for a warm house, an incredible church with leadership who approach situations prayerfully and thoughtfully, a job that provides for our family, healthy amazing children and an incredible husband.

Ezekiel. 33:
The verse of the day caught my attention.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 NIV)

Such a simple and wonderful reason to be vigilant at hiding His Word in my heart. It's not about Jesus brownie points. There are so many wonderful reasons to have God's Word hidden in my heart but not sinning against the God that I love is an incredible reason to be diligent about this despite having foggy momma brain. Speaking of that wisdom says to get my booty to bed. Another late late night last night and sweet Lilly Bit did not want to sleep in and woke me up and part of our small army.

Speaking of that think Lully has ear infections. Thinking about taking both of them in to see if I'm right but then trying to treat each aggressively with homeopathic means and them doing a follow up to see if it worked. Maybe I can find someone with an otoscope who knows how to use it and nix the dr all together. Fingers crossed Lilly Bit is exhausted by all her grumping today and will sleep.

D

Friday, December 06, 2013

DAY 1208: EZEKIEL 33

About to hit a wonderful sleepy wall. Up till past 3am last night. The excitement of Iceagedon and too much caffeine equaled not nearly enough sleep. Thankful it didn't hit till today. Oh how I love crazy weather or as my hubs calls it, disruption.

Good day making memories and watching how much mess a one year old can make during the course of an evening. Can't believe that cute little ball of destruction turns two tomorrow. Time keeps speeding by. God help me make the most of the days good and bad and help me to have eyes to see your daily provision and blessing. We are not guaranteed power all night but I'm thankful that for right now we have power, a warm fire, plenty of food and a sweet baby sleeping in my arms.

Les sent the official word to close our file with Gladney. There's more heartache in that than I had expected last night. It truly does feel like a closed file. It was good to hear my hubs say that this only meant we were closing the chapter on Gladney not on adoption. The timing on this is still pretty crazy to me. Two years ago I met the girl that would shake up my view of having children in ways I never would have imagined when we first got married. Although I must constantly remind myself that God specifically told me "do not fear pregnancy" I constantly want to take control of this. I question how this fits in with adoption, age differences, and my plans and objections to adding to our family and when. Completely taking my hands off controlling this aspect of my life which greatly impacts it is so incredibly difficult. I simply can't argue with God 's plans though. He has blessed us with six beautiful eternal lives. Six descendants which will leave a legacy that we can hardly even begin to imagine what will become of it. Although I've tried to control and make things work my way in the past it's obvious God will have His way. Thankful He is the author and creator of life. So thankful for the beautiful life and gift He's given us in Bella. That little firecracker has changed my heart in amazing ways. Thank you Lord that this beautiful chaos is so incredibly difficult. Give us the wisdom, the grace and the love needed to raise these six beautiful blessings in a way that would honor and glorify you.

Ezekiel 33: vs 8-11
Today as I saw the weight of the ice bending thick strong branches in trees I couldn't help but think about how this is such a great picture for how sin weighs us down. Our hurts, habits and hangups are oppressive and they keep us from our number one mission of glorifying God. A tree standing fully upright dressing in all it's foliage is a site to behold. It's beautiful and it's very being points directly to God, glorifying Him as the creator of all things. This verse reminds me of all those visuals I got today of how sin and hurt weighs down and makes weary a heart.

"Son of man, say to the Israelites, 'This is what you are saying: "Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?" ' (Ezekiel 33:10 NIV)

How then can we live when we waste away because our hearts our sick? Oh how much joy satan takes in stacking layer upon layer of icy burden upon us.

The next verse in the chapter causes my breath to catch deep within my chest.

Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?' (Ezekiel 33:11 NIV)

I imagine the Lord saying this with much grief in His heart. Oh how He loves us so incredibly much. This answers my question why the innocent perish while the wicked seem to live forever. His heart is always to woe the wicked into Himself. He loves us and desires for none of us to perish not a single one of us. Thankful that I know this deep within my heart. Thankful it's slowly but surely seeping from head knowledge to a more intimate heart knowledge. He's still there in times I question and keep Him at a distance. He always brings me back to the truth about His love and who He is in the most gentle of ways.

Oh how my heart is full tonight. I'm thankful for tonight and every night regardless of whether or not I can say I'm going to bed with a heart and a cup that overfloweth.

D

Thursday, December 05, 2013

DAY 1207: EZEKIEL 33

Picked up a loom last night while we were at the store prepping for iceapocalypse. I might need to get my own loom. I think I could get addicted to just about anything. If you find me in a closet trying to master making an entire Nativity Set out of rubber bands it is time for an intervention.

We are alternating kids opening up our J Tree Ornaments. Tonight Bunny fell asleep so Abbie opened up the ornament that was supposed to be hers. The ornament was the one Abbie and I made together. Such sweet redemption. Love Gods perfect timing and His attention to even the littlest of things. So thankful to have such a loving and caring Father.

Shoved like a sardine in a falling apart glider with my youngest and oldest. Yep she's up late but feels like we are stuck in holiday mode with Les taking a day off today. Love this beautiful family God has blessed me with.

Got an email from Gladney today. Wait time in ET is up to 5 years. Due to this they are allowing families who are on hold who close their files by Dec 31st to get all their money back. This doesn't include home study costs and all the other costs that went into our dossier BUT we would get all of our program fees back. Pretty huge. They are closing all files on hold by August of 2014. Although I'm sad in many ways about closing our file the money we get back could very well be placed into the fees for another agency or program that would be more pregnancy friendly. If I'm really honest the idea of that gets me so incredibly fired up. However instead of starting a massive search for the perfect agency I need to pray and wait. God placed adoption on my husbands heart before He brought my heart around. He gifted me with a dream of our son and five years ago we started our crazy adoption journey. That dream has been a blessing and a hardship tying me to a boy a do not know. Joshua keeps talking about a boy named Josiah who is missing from our family that won't come from my tummy. I don't know what all this means. Frankly none of our journey has made much darn sense to me. I know God has a plan and just like Isaac was born at just the perfect moment everything will be made known one day. And so I wait...

Ezekiel 33: vs 1-7
Holy smokes this chapter is good. Cliff hanger good. Going to camp here awhile. Oh so good.

In the first seven verses The Lord tells Ezekiel about the watchman. The watchman who sees the sword coming and gives a warning and the people ignore that warning their blood is on their own hands. For the watchman who sees the sword and yet does not give a warning the blood of people is on the watch and hands.

These verses make me want to throw up a little bit. I think of my party friends back in the day. There are a couple that God has spoken loud and clear to yet they have chosen to ignore the warning. I do not pray for these friends enough. Hell will be for an eternity. Oh how this grieves my heart. I'm also grieved by the condition of my own heart. Fear of being labeled as judgmental or a religious nut has prevented me from shouting the gospel from the roof tops. In light of these verses though if I know what's happening to the people who don't know about Jesus why would I care if they walk away thinking I'm a judgey mcjudgerson? This is truly a life or death situation. Why do I continually remain silent? Lame!!!!! May God give me a fierce boldness to tell everyone I meet about how incredibly good The Lord is!! May the thought of those who don't know Him grieve my heart. Give me boldness that can only be explain by you Jesus.

D

DAY 1207: EZEKIEL 32

I've been sitting in Ezekiel the past month or so and if I'm honest I'm kinda over the doom and gloom. Today at BS we sang Oh Come Emanuel. I've always liked that song but I don't think I've fully understood the weight of it till today. If I wasn't parked in the major prophets right now I think I would have continued to think it was just a pretty song. 

"O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel."

They waited for this Emanuel for 600 years. When he finally showed up he was a lowly babe born in a manager. 

Rejoice! Emanuel shall ransom captive Israel. Such a good message for me to hear. I feel stuck in neutral right now. Hard when I long to feel connected but instead feel flat. It's okay though. Part of the beauty of this season is to keep pressing on even when I don't feel like it or I struggle to feel connected to God. I know He's there and I know He's got me in His hands. I'm so thankful I can rejoice regardless of how I feel because Emanuel has ransomed me from death.

Ezekiel 32:
More destruction of Egypt and Pharaoh. Some of the verses about. Pharaoh are particularly harsh and foul. God does not mess around when He delivers justice. So thankful to be on team Jesus.

D

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

DAY 1204: EZEKIEL 28

Another day where I just don't want to do this. Good day not productive by me in the least. Hubs rocked it though and fixed our dishwasher, put lights on our tree and started building a shelf unit for our garage. I did rock several kids today though which even though it doesn't feel like it was probably better than getting our jungle of a house in order.
>
> Got one of Abbie's old jackets back tonight. Makes this silly mom sentimental. Can't believe how fast my big girl has grown and that I now have two more daughters that will wear that jacket. I can't believe the sweet little girl we passed that jacket down to is now in school. I love that sweet family and they will always hold such a special place in my heart. They were God's precious provision for us in so many ways. God is so very good all the time.
>
> I think I've been in a funk the last several days. Heart still hurting for a friend's great loss. Today the kids and I watched the Duggar episode where they loose Jubilee. They found out she died a day after we celebrated the birth of Bella. Then I read a heartbreaking article about all the recent babies found in trashcans ect. I'm sitting here rocking Lilly like I was earlier today overcome with gratitude for the fact she's in my arms. Life is such an incredible blessing. Already I'm trying to control pregnancy in my mind. God taught me so much with Bella, with all of my kids really, and I'm already grasping for control. I don't want pregnancy to "ruin" family camp or a trip to Costa Rica. That's not the only things I fear, age is another thing. The whole time I hear God saying trust me. When will you let go and trust me.
>
> Saw my sweet neighbor tonight. Oh how my heart just aches for her. God please draw her to you. She is in such a hard place right now. May she be open and soft to your leading. Please do a miraculous work in her marriage. You are so good. I pray that she would come and see. Give us creativity on how to love her well.
>
> Good getting out tonight for our first official community family night. Five couples and twenty five kids. The vast amount of kids will be a wonderful challenge. Love it! Thankful God brought these great couples into our lives. Great to be apart of a group who are weirdo homeschoolers who love Jesus and have the same vision of wanting to take over the world with cute children. I do still love and miss the community of amazing people God blessed us with before. God has been so so good to us. Thankful for such amazing friendships here. Thankful I'm not writing this from MS tonight.
>
> Ezekiel 28:
> Good chapter. Good for my prideful heart and a good reminder that God truly does love His kids. Will dive in more tomorrow.
>
> D

DAY 1203: EZEKIEL 27

Normally I am the Queen of family togetherness but this year for the first time I opted out of going to go get the Christmas tree. Bunny looked like she was going to crash and screaming baby and crab cakes Toddler at Home Depot did not sound like fun. Stinker pants didn't end up sleeping so I should have gone anyway. Oh well. Bigs had fun with their Daddy and they picked out a fantastic tree and they even got us a wreath. First wreath ever. I'm slow when it comes to home decor. My mom wasn't big on home decorating and it doesn't come naturally to me but maybe one day little by little. Who am I kidding? The wreath was my hubsters idea inspired by no Christmas lights this year. Thankful he's not trying to be Tarzan with his broken arm. Christmas lights are most definitely man work in my book. Yep I'm a sexist.
>
> I would have liked to have accomplished more today but our Jesse Tree ornaments are ready and we 're set for the start of Advent. Advent will always remind me of a dream a friend of mine had about Bella. So interesting how God works.
>
> Ezekiel 27:
> This chapter talks about Tyre and how everybody came to them to purchase their merchandise. Their fame and fortune got them nowhere in the end. The way The Lord works and the things that He values is so contrary to the world. LOVE that about God.
>
> I would love to point fingers at Tyre but rather than do that going to spend some time reflecting on the ways I'm seeking my value and worth or placing my security on the ways of this world. The truth is apart from God I have nothing. It may seem at times like I have everything but I'm completely sunk without The Lord. May I realize my desperate dependence on Him daily.
>
> D

DAY 1202: EZEKIEL 26

Today felt very much like my life does right now. No real rhythm didn't come together great but it was what it was and it was fine. In the words of my girl "it wasn't the best ever but it was okay". So thankful for this wonderful and incredibly LOUD crew The Lord has blessed me with. Today it hit me why I have t found my post baby stride. Yes it's been a wild ride BUT I'm in two different life stages now baby/toddler and elementary age. When I just had a small herd of toddlers and babies it was easy to catch my stride with a new little bit. Well relatively easy even in the difficulty of the chaos. Now I've got more little hands to help which is awesome but it's going to take time learning how to get energy out of three "big" kids while adjusting to the needs of my smalls. I thought small frys had energy but that's only because I never had a six year old boy in the house. So thankful I get to do this and figure out how best to serve both the little bigs and the smalls. Maybe I'll get my stride before I'm in three different stages of kid. Well maybe I am currently in 3, baby, toddler, and little big. Some days I feel like I'm already in preteen stage with my oldest.
>
> Ezekiel 26:
> The last two chapters have been so incredibly interesting. The Lord talks about how He is going to bring down the nations that He used to bring down His people. Yet with these nations there is no talk of restoration. He used these nations to discipline His people but in the end justice will be had to these nations. For whatever reason this makes me feel better. God may allow hardship to shape and grow us. He may use hardship to disciple us but in the end justice will prevail.
>
> D

DAY 1206: EZEKIEL 31

Laughing because last night I wrote that I was in a funk. This might be somewhat true but what's really going on is that I have the funk. I caught a case of the Christmas Poos. I don't feel bedridden sick but feel like the life is being slowly sucked out of me.
>
> Again not much to say about today other than the fact that I've been excited to get in bed all day. Kids played beautifully all day today. My wonderful pot stirrer did manage to sit on his baby sister and kick his brother in the groin but I do see him desiring to fight his mischievous side or at least recognizes that it's wrong. I truly believe he wants to do what is right but it's hard for him to ignore the fun mischievous ideas that constantly run through his little head. Thankful the Button Boy has given me insight into the wild roaming spirit that can be bound up in a little boys heart.
>
> Speaking of little boys Joshua keeps saying it feels like someone is missing from our family. When i asked him whether it was his Daddy he was talking about or another baby boy or baby girl he said "a little boy that won't come from your tummy but another baby from your tummy too". It does have me scratching my head a bit.
>
> If I'm completely honest I wish the adoption door would just completely shut. I want the longing to go away. I want to just keep having Brownies. They are super cute and the world needs more short fiery cute and somewhat stubborn people in this world. Adoption is painful and it's messy but it's also incredibly beautiful. God knows all about the mess and the pain and the beauty. I also know if and when the time is right God will light our path. And so I wait for you...
>
> Ezekiel 31:
> Very interesting chapter. Need to read commentary. Feeling funky.
>
> D

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

DAY 1193: GENESIS 24

I don't want to do this. Accountability tonight which was good but entered into a funk while leaving. I'm angry at God tonight. Maybe mentioning it tonight made me realize just how angry I am. Things feel hopeless tonight and God feels cruel. I know I'm not viewing things through the lens of the gospel tonight and I'm tired.
>
> God give me eyes to see because I feel hopeless and lost right now.
>
> Just doing verse of the day tonight because I can't get my mind to stop spiraling and I really just need to get some sleep.
>
> "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3 NIV)
>
> Love God's timing on this verse.
>
> D

DAY 1192: EZEKIEL 18

Exhausted to the bone. I'm starting to see a pattern between my exhaustion level and my struggle with shame and guilt. Feel like I blew for Joshua's birthday. Trying to figure out why and all I can come up with is I feel bad because I was so friggin tired all day long. I did thoroughly enjoy my kiddos today but nothing got done and I never woke up. Hate feeling exhausted and like a fat butt to boot. I can wallow in that or I can just do something! Here's the plan:
>
> I so don't want to write this but it must be done. I'm giving up sweets for an entire year again. I'm not waiting for the new year or a more logical to me time to start. It's an idol I keep reaching for and I just need to cut it out. Now that it's written and I'm offering it up to The Lord as a sort of living sacrifice it will stick. I'm such an addict!
>
> I know sugar along with other junk is making me feel sick. Allergies, arthritis and aches and pains are killing me. Going to try to go as sugar and dairy free as I can. Would like to jump on the whole 30 but no idea how to do that during the holidays. Probably a cop out BUT even logistically I don't see how I can possibly pull that off with sweet baby high maintenance. Hopefully staying away from sugar and dairy will help Lilly Bit too. She's got some serious tummy funk going on.
>
> My oldest busted out the mean tonight "you are going to regret not cuddling with me someday". Dagger to the heart. I know this is true but lack of presence cuddling for hours or even at all right now is due to small fry. Even if she had said that and I wasn't getting Lilly to bed hours of cuddling night after night would still never be enough. Hubster and I have both had special one on one time this past week too. I know this is still carry over from small fry.
>
> E 18:
> This verse is comforting to me:
> For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. (Ezekiel 18:4 NIV)
>
> I'm going to bleed my yuck all over my kids. Regardless I am His as well as my husband and each of my kids. God's got us even in the midst of our sin.
>
> He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor's wife or have sexual relations with a woman during her period. (Ezekiel 18:6 NIV)
>
> Really curious about the issue of sex and the period. I did some research and blood and it being defiling and wanting to keep God 'a people set apart. I still found it interesting.
>
> These verses show a beautiful snapshot of God's mercy to me.
>
> "But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. (Ezekiel 18:21, 22 NIV)
>
> God is so gracious. When we are willing to reach the end of ourselves and turn and follow God we are His!
>
> This is crazy beautiful to me. Love how it's worded. Turn away to live. Oh how we must die so that we might fully live!
>
> Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezekiel 18:23 NIV)
>
> Again these verses give a beautiful snapshot of The Lord's mercy and compassion.
>
> Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (Ezekiel 18:31, 32 NIV)
>
> Resting in the knowledge of God's deep love for us tonight!
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> D
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DAY 1191: EZEKIEL 18

Not writing anything I wanted to and unfortunately checking the box. So tired and feel nauseous from the ten cups of sugar I ate for dinner. Sweet baby boy turned four today. Celebrating tomorrow. Wish there was nothing but celebration surrounding that sweet boy. Oh how thankful I am for that kid. As much as my heart desired to bring home our boy from ET I simply can't argue with God's timing or His plan.
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> Thankful for JT ornament exchange tonight and sweet time with a friend and our girls afterwards. Truly love this age of girl even if mine has already turned into a preteen. Oy! Sweet confession from that girl today. She got to experience the freedom of bringing things into the light. I pray she clings to the freedom found in walking in the light.
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> Kids found out disciples were martyred today in a book. Hard conversation to have with my kiddos. Can't promise them they won't be placed in that situation in their lifetime. I pray i grow deep enough roots to be willing to die for the sake of Christ.
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> Ezekiel 18:
> This chapter is great. Last part is simply beautiful . Basically talks about parents not paying punishment for sins of their children and vice versa. Gods grace and mercy so apparent through out. Oh how He loves us. Coming back to chew on this tomorrow.
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DAY 1191: EZEKIEL 17

Can not wait to take a shower. I love camping but I also love to come home and sleep in a real bed. My hubs and I were a bit off today but thankful for opportunity to get better at communicating.
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> E 17:
> Read this a couple times and still nothing standing out. Still chewing on chapter 16. So very tired.
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DAY 1190: EZEKIEL 16

Listening to the wind blow against our tent. Love camping! Good day spent with good friends. I do feel like I haven't seen my kids much the last couple days. They are having a blast running amuck with friends in the woods. Two things for tonight. Had a nightmare last night about one of my kids leading another into a tent for purposes that we're not good. When two kiddos ended up playing in a tent today I had a hard time not coming completely unglued. It's crazy the difference a simple week can make. Just like the wind life can blow this way and that. I'm thankful that in the winds of this life I can cling to God who is my rock.
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> Tonight walking and looking at the stars I was captivated by the beauty and marveling over a full heart but for the first time in such a cup overfloweth moment I got the pangs of being distant from my Creator. This place is not my home. In the mountain tops of life it's hard to imagine anything being better than this and yet this does not compare in any way of what is to come someday. May I not mess up the opportunity here. May I love hard and not get tripped up on the temporal things that often trip me up. God help keep my eyes focused on you and my eyes on things eternal.
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> EZEKIEL 16:
> Wow. This chapter is beautiful, agonizing and incredibly intense. No way to unpack tonight. It's the story of Israel but told through the lens of a husband who has pursued a promiscuous wife. Intense! Ends with this:
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> Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.' " (Ezekiel 16:63 NIV)
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> Wow.
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> D

Monday, December 02, 2013

DAY 1205: EZEKIEL 30

Decent day today. The days don't ever look like what I envision but I guess that's typical when six other little people have completely different ideas about what a day should look like. Thankful for the six little gooses that constantly keep me on my toes.

Lilly busted out her first belly laugh today. Paul once again has figured out a way to coax the first laugh out of his baby sister. He's so sweet with his baby sisters. Love how Lilly already watches all her siblings with much interest. She's one loved little girl.

Puck was up to his tricks today. God daily needs to grant me the grace to love that kid well and not crush his free spirit YET train him to be a man that would honor God. No easy task. I am committing to rocking the offspring I most want to eat. I read something Ann Voscamp wrote awhile ago that said the child we find most repulsive is the child we most need to draw near to. That has really stuck with me.

Trying to have a good attitude about being Bubbles the Clown tomorrow. I so don't.

Ezekiel :30
This verse is funny to me in light of recent events in BrownTown:

"Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It has not been bound up to be healed or put in a splint so that it may become strong enough to hold a sword. (Ezekiel 30:21 NIV)

Wish I had more but I don't. Definitely in a funk. Yay hormones!

D

DAY 1186: GEN 21

> Today kicked my buns and I don't want to do this. So weird how that goes hand in hand. I fought today tooth and nail and didn't choose to just lean in and let today be what it was supposed to be. Today just proves that I can make ANYTHING an idol. I'm as stiff necked as the Israelites. Thankful that His mercies are new every morning.
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> Drum roll of today:
> 1. Luke cut Bella's hair (very thankful it wasn't much)
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> 2. Bella drew on counter top with permanent marker
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> 3. Boys threw dirt and leaves in house when they threw it at me as a "surprise"
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> 4. Boys went over the fence and out their window
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> 5. Buster got loose and jumped 4 foot fence to play with a neighbors dog.
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> 6. I tried hard to fight my anal tendencies while getting a start on Jesse Tree Ornaments but still failed miserably. My girl said at the end "sorry Mommy for not doing the ornaments like you wanted me to do them". Dagger straight to my jerk face heart. Why do I care? They are STUPID ORNAMENTS! Not worth hurting a sweet precious heart over.
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> 7. Sweet Lilly Bit fussed all day and would not settle in and it made little big sis upset.
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> 8. Kids fought all day long with each other.
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> 9. I held onto my plans instead of rolling with it.
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> I did get to rock most of these kiddos today. Didn't get to Abbie but since she was the least craziest today she's getting some solo time with Dad. That girls kills me. She is becoming so much fun. Seven is a very beautiful age.
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> GEN 21:
> First verse out of the shoot.
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> Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. (Genesis 21:1 NIV)
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> The Lord was gracious to Sarah. God is so good to each and everyone of us obedient or not. God is so very gracious to me. Today I dug my heels in and at many points I just didn't want to do today. Freakishly other than the ornaments I wasn't Momster. I just wanted to get off the ride instead of just strapping on my seat belt and enjoying the ride. Today was beautiful outside and there were so many possibilities but I blew it being self focused and task focused.
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> It's insane how relationship over task I am with everybody else other than those closet to me. Total stink. I don't feel like I was always like this. Maybe my phone has stolen my soul. I think something switched at four kids. That was the point where my methods no longer worked. Everything always has to keep going or else with a small army you get snowed under quickly. Thats when task started fighting with relationship. It all goes back to trust though. Do I trust that God will provide if I trade in my agenda for His?
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> Today I got a tangible example of His provision too. I had just the perfect amount of spray paint left for this years JT ornaments. Last one got sprayed and the paint was no more. Unfortunately even after God's graciousness in that things deteriorated rapidly and I was ready to just clock out for the day. I could have poured it all out like the widow woman did with her oil and flour and I lacked the faith of rather the focus to do it. Yet one thing remains regardless God will continue to be gracious to me and regardless of how much I missed the mark today through faith in Christ I am consider righteous in the eyes of the Lord. That blows my mind.
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> Speaking of mind blowing Abraham and Sarah having a kid together is crazy. I love that God works beyond our reasoning and understanding. Well, kinda. Adoption on mind. It's always there somewhere. Still don't get why things have gone down the way they have on that front but trust that God knows what He is doing. Abbie came in our room this morning and she asked if we were still going to adopt. It's always there.
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> Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:19 NIV)
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> Love that God had to open her eyes to see. Love that I have a dear heart seeing friend that has eyes that see. I pray to also have that opened to see His goodness. I don't want to be blind to any of the goodness that seven particular people possess. I want to have eyes that see.
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> Need to do some homework and figure out if the Treaty at Beersheba was an Abraham acting on his own kinda thing OR God ordained. I know some of the treaties that are later made do not end well. They just jump in and never consult The Lord. God help me to walk WITH you and not near you or the general direction of you. I want to learn how to take each step with you and rid myself of this awful self reliance.
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DAY 1185: Ro 3 vs 21-31

> Good day. Rocked most of my kids today. Missed out on one and need to make sure this is not a habit. I understand this kiddo the least so I think this time will be fantastic for connecting our heart strings together. I rocked another while he threw a fit and he jumped out if my lap eventually angry as a wet hen. Later he asked if we could rock again tomorrow. Melted my heart indeed.
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> Got just a little bit more clutter cleared or rather moved. The couch in our room is now free and clear and a few more things are properly put in their places. Little by little. I even got a few minutes to read a couple chapters from some book crack. I've had to exercise great self control to not pull an all nighter consuming this book. Would love to spend a lazy day curled up next to a fire leisure reading all day.
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> Got a good chat in tonight with a friend who I'm really proud of. I also got to drool all over a woman with ten kids tonight. Encouraged by her story. It's always a treat to steal a few minutes with this woman. You really never know who you will inspire by just living out your life.
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> Romans 3:
> These are beautiful beautiful verses. They fit in perfectly with what I've been chewing on with Lot as well. Wish I wasn't so stinking tired and could break it down. Bottom line is that we are righteous because Jesus died for us. These have seen like just words for the longest time to me. I understood the meaning in my head since I was a young child but I think maybe just maybe my heart is being to grasp into what this really means. Feeling nauseous. #awesome
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DAY 1184: Ezekiel 14

> Aunt Flo is wackadoodle. I feel like a white hot hormonal sleepy mess. Want to curl into a ball. Glad she's here thought gives me a reason for feeling bluesy. Hoping to get a pass on the post baby funk but sorta feel it coming on. I never would have even realized I go through a funk post baby but since I've been journaling since Joshua I noticed a pattern after having him and Bella. Hurray for crazy hormones!
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> Date night thanks to a sweet friend. Normally I am fired up about time with my hubs but poor body image is kicking my buns. Said in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice, I feel like a "fat lard" or like Jabba the Hut. Yes obviously this is self deprecating but it's how I feel truth or not. I felt like a fluffy exhausted and dull date tonight. I think both of us are off. Gotta have the Jabba the Hut dates to enjoy the really fantastic carefree dates. Thankful for a friend brave enough to date swap with us!
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> Before I forget rocked each of my kids today. It happened randomly when I held my oldest boy and rocked him while he had a fit. Sweet boy eventually just snuggled right in. I seized every Lilly free time to snuggle and rock each of my kids. One in particular had a stellar day. Not sure if the rocking had anything to do with it but he's been a total pill lately and the change was dramatic. Thinking about doing the 30 day rocking challenge with my kiddos. I was going to say that the kiddo who had a stellar day could use it but really they all could.
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> Got down to just two baskets of unfolded laundry today. I feel like the queen of the world. Think the key is to fold on the kitchen table out of the reach of toddler mania. Plus in order to do anything else on the table I have to put what's on it away. Now if I can get the "playroom" in order from the camping and winter clothes swap that never ends, I'll be well on my way.
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> Gen 18:
> In this chapter I'm reminded how much God desires for us to have a deep and abiding relationship with Him. The Lord appears to Abe, breaks bread with him and converses over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. He also tries to engage with Sarah but instead of conversing with The Lord she chooses to act in fear.
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> Darn fading....
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