Thursday, July 31, 2014

DAY 1441: ISAIAH 58-62 & TITUS 1

So tired. Baby stinkpot partied in the wee hours of the morning and going to bed late was a double whammy. Funny to be more vigilant and aware of rest in light of reading chapter 58. It takes much trust to rest. I don't think I've ever thought of it that way. Do I trust if I observe the Sabbath and make sure my body is well rested that it will all get done? Do I rest in Him when I'm anxious? This resting in Him and resting the body leads to peace. He gives rest to those He loves.

With that I'm again faced with the fact that I waste time and try to steal moments of false rest instead of being a better steward of my time and fully resting when it's time to rest. Lord help me become better at using the time you've given me. Help me continue to cut out the things that do nothing but steal time and help me to have a better understanding of what real rest and Sabbath should look like.

My trust issues have fully come to the surface the last several months. I've discovered by battle with trust has shifted away from God and even has become much less about people and I struggle with trusting myself the most. The first semester I went through Shelter I tail spinned as I realized my compass had be shattered and that I simply could not trust myself to be a good gauge of truth, reality and make healthy and wise choices. As of recent, the fear of being completely deluded and unaware of my brokenness has crept in. I know ultimately I can't trust myself because frankly my heart can be deceitful. The bible warns everybody about that. I think I fear that my compass is a lot more broken than I thought it was. Having a false perception of reality and not walking in truth scares the snot out of me. It's one of the reasons I'm vigilant to bring everything into the light. I know I fail at this at times because frankly my heart can be deceitful but I do try to ruthlessly air out the skeletons in my closet as well as the things I'm wrestling with. In the darkness is where satan tries to twist things and distort what is true, noble, honorable and right. The truth is I am just a broken vessel. Thankful The Lord is faithful and He is in the business of beautiful restoration. I need not live life in fear but rather trust Him and those around me to point out the areas that still need work, to real the ways that I do indeed lie to myself, and to teach me how to love like He does. I haven't loved being in a season of struggle with my flesh and with others but I'm thankful. It's in the struggle that we learn to become more like Him.

Isaiah 58:
"Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD's holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (‭Isaiah‬ ‭58‬:‭13-14‬ NLT)

Honor The Lord with the Sabbath and THEN you will find delight in The Lord. If I'm not willing to surrender my time and my days to The Lord how can I take delight in Him?

Isaiah 59:
These verses our interesting in light of the culture wars in America right now.

Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. The LORD looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭59‬:‭14-15‬ NLT)

Isaiah 60:
Beautiful chapter to read in light of what is going on in Israel right now. One day all the nations will honor Israel and King Jesus will sit on His throne.

Isaiah 61:
Love this chapter. One of my favorites.

I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭61‬:‭10‬ NLT)

Can. Not. Wait.

Isaiah 62:
Be patient The Lord is indeed coming one day Jerusalem!

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Rough day. Tired, grumpy and focused on trying to knock out this darn school prep. Frustrated by everything that went wrong. Hate being a stinkpot parent.

D

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DAY 1440: ISAIAH 52- & TITUS 1

Received a most loving and gentle Holy Spirit smack down today. The pieces fit together for me today. I need to move past my own baggage, my own hurt and frankly get over myself in a certain situation. It's not personal. It feels personal and it's okay to be honest about the hurt but today for the first time what it means to bear with one another has come to light in a whole new way.

 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭12-15‬ NLT)

Bear with one another. I'm not a wordsmith so I can't fully explain all that is clicking in my head but it has and I'm thankful. I'm thankful for grace, thankful for God's faithfulness to continue to work on this piece of work, and thankful for the never ending mercy and compassion Jesus shows me.  Thankful God can silence the hurt, the anger, the confusion and chaos and bring forth shalom. 

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭1-4‬ NLT)

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Ran tonight and got a great time but upon pondering how in the world it was possible I think my app went wacko. Upon further examination it did indeed for crazy. BUT I ran and although it was not pretty I did it and even ran past my cues to walk. Thankful my hubs and I are both doing the good we ought to do for our bodies. Started tracking calories too just to be more aware of what I'm shoving into my face. My hubs calorie allotment is way more than mine. I should not be pounding down the food in the same way a man can. Darn. 

Let my offspring gorge on tv this afternoon while I finished prepping for history. For whatever reason history is about to give me a heart attack. I think my perfectionism or my desire to do it all might have kicked in a bit. I combined two history curriculums but I think I must be crazy. We'll see. Still have to figure out a flow for our days and figure out how best to organize. All the things I'm fantastic at.   Whoop!

Isaiah 52-57:
Great chapters. Eyes fading. 

Redemption. Crazy Love. Amazing grace. Thankful.

D

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DAY 1439: ISAIAH 45-51 & TITUS 1

Got up early this morning to exercise but the Bit wasn't cooperating. Decided to run and at least meet the gals I missed. My pace is still awful but running is starting to feel good again. Lots of room to go faster and further but the desire to run is definitely back. Not sure how to manage a run in tomorrow with my hubs needing one too but hopefully we can figure something out. Very cathartic.

Good day overall. House still foul and disgusting but a little ground taken. Time spent at the pool with friends. Love the sweet group of girls in my oldest daughters life. That girl is such a treasure.

Decided I'm going to stop being such a selfish stinkpot and let my kids entertain the ideas that run through their little minds. My oldest has wanted to do a lemonade stand since a friends garage sale. All I could think of was disappointment to her a total whip to me. I've totally short changed her on letting her have an incredible experience. Reading a post by Kay Wyma only confirmed that I need to do better at fanning the flames of the interests and dreams my kiddos have. This innovative spirit that so many kiddos possess is one of the reasons why we homeschool. I want them to dream big. So I'm encouraging Abbie to really think through her small business and consider taking in business partners. For another, an invention box filled with all kinds of materials to invent things with is also much needed.
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Got sucked into an alternate universe looking stuff up for next year which is in a few weeks. Yikes! Feel so unprepared for next year.

Isaiah 45-51:
Exhaustion has hit and my stomach is starting to go nuts. These chapters kill me. God loves His people regardless of the fact that they are unfaithful and go whoring after idols. He calls them by name is in this book several times. When I first heard and believed that Jesus's death on the cross was for me and that I didn't just randomly get lumped in with everybody else it changed so much.

D

DAY 1438: ISAIAH 42-44 & TITUS 1

Faced my fears today and went to the scary pool without my hubs with sweet friends. The thought of being in a messy house with rowdy children pushed me to punch fear in the face. So glad I did. We are at the cusp of greatness. I'm not talking about a life of ease BUT these kids are indeed growing up. It's so bitter sweet. Love the little people these kids are growing up to be.

I don't know if it's the pollen, retreat, emotional exhaustion or chiropractor but I've been so chill. I kinda feel like how I think my husband feels most of the time. As an added bonus lack of sleep and pollen are chipping away at my brain cells. I don't like not being able to think but I do like being a bit more level instead of my usual crazy bouncing chihuahua self. Chill without being emotionally flat, big fan.

I went to the Chiro today and got my zyto scan results. I'm going to take a couple of the supplements it recommended and see if I start feeling better. Surely it can't hurt. I've heard enough positive stories from friends to at least give it a shot. I didn't feel like I was being pushed into anything and he only recommended the ones that would boost my immunity. I know my immune system is really run down so if a month of supplements helps then greatness.

Still need to unpack my time at the retreat. Will have to do that later. Bibles and beer with my hubs tonight. Love our new tradition.

Isaiah 42:
Stink! Realized I never sent this. Whoops! I did read. Thankful to be out of the confusing time shifts of Isaiah and into the parts that make my heart sing.

D

Sunday, July 27, 2014

DAY 1437: ISAIAH 40 & TITUS 1

Great weekend. Insanely exhausted. Will unpack later. Thankful for rockstar hubs, amazing kids, community and the blessing of friendship.

Isaiah 40:
Thankful for this truth tonight.

D

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DAY 1436: ISAIAH 38 & TITUS 1

Feel incredibly raw right now. The timing is perfect. Two things already stand out to me from this morning.

1. My struggle with shame and guilt maybe even more feelings of unworthiness are still very real and present. There has been great victory but the last two days it's become very clear that it is still very much a struggle. I know where there is feelings of unworthiness, insecurity and shame there is a huge tendency to cover it up with pride. Maybe that will be my new litmus test for how I'm struggling with pride.

I definitely feel a stripping away of something the last couple days. I'm not sure if it's a layer of self protection or pride or a wall that's been there. Maybe it's a combination of all of them. Maybe I'm just more at a place of surrender. I don't have to be so strong. More abiding and less striving. I strive a lot more than I'd like to admit.

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There's so much about the gift of today. Beautiful day with extended time with God. I had plans on getting caught up on reading but God had other things on the agenda.

I love being out in His creation. Everything cries out that The Lord is the great I AM. I will probably have to take some time to fully unpack everything from today another time. Im so thankful for the gift of this time. I'm so thankful for how satisfying time alone with The Lord can be. That He loves us and is so personal in His relationship with each of us is mind blowing. That He can speak to me through ants, and snails and the wind while speaking to somebody else through the same thing is amazing too me. My view of God is way too small.

This is the verse of the day and it's perfect:
However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" — the things God has prepared for those who love him— (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NIV)

The temporary pain and suffering that we will experience this side of heaven doesn't even scratch the surface of all the amazing things He has planned for us.

Off to read Isaiah 38 and then possibly eat more chocolate and go to bed.

D

Friday, July 25, 2014

DAY 1435: ISAIAH 37- & TITUS 1

Im so physically and emotionally exhausted. The Bit not sleeping well this week has added a fun layer to life. Feel bad for leaving her this weekend with her ear or teething issues but I know it's best even if it's more difficult for my hubs. I hate that. I want weekends with Daddy to be magical and filled with the fun that only dads do best but I know that will be harder as Les juggles the potential for very little sleep and having a little one. Thankful he's willing to do it. I no longer take that for granted.

The timing of this retreat could not have come at a better time. I feel as if I could cry all weekend. I really am thankful for this place of exhaustion and emptiness. I know who I need to fill my tank back up and I know this short season is producing growth. I do look forward to crawling up in my Daddy's lap this weekend and telling Him about my weariness and my grief over so many things and how my desire to serve Him often leads to me forgetting to just rest in Him. Doing the next best thing can be so hard. Praying I don't drown myself in junk food this weekend, make wise decisions about rest, and fully let go all to Him and those who I get to serve with. Thankful for His perfect timing. I am so excited about spending hours soaking up God's word.
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Thankful for the gift of this retreat already. I love my family and I miss them already but it's so nice to not have to care for anybody else but myself this weekend. That sounds horribly selfish but I'm thankful. Thankful for this sweet group of women and for the quiet.

Isaiah 37:
The pride of Sennacherib is so gross. God strip me of my pride, it truly is from the pit of hell. May I only boast in you where all good things come from.

D

Thursday, July 24, 2014

DAY 1434: ISAIAH 36 & TITUS 1

I'm emotionally whipped but thankful for God's provision today. Bullet points.

1. Conflict is good even though it is not pleasant in the moment.

2. Heart continues to grieve for people I love and the over the fallen condition of our sinful world. Grief over my own sin is definitely wrapped up in that today.

3. My neighbors momma died today. Thankful for the opportunity to be there shortly after to sit with my friend. Struggling with guilt today over not sharing the gospel while I had the chance. Thankful to be reminded by friends that God is Sovereign and her salvation did not rest on my shoulders. I know The Lord actively pursues us and goes to great lengths to reveal Himself. I do wish I had a greater sense of urgency for the eternal than I do for the temporal. I want there to be a burning desire to tell everyone I meet about Jesus. I allow my lack of winsome or my fear of awkwardness to get in the way. Hate that.

4. I passed a family today in the parking lot of Target on my way home and I saw them but turned my head so that I didn't have to fully engage. I never fully read the cardboard sign but they were a family in need of help. I didn't stop and engage or at least seek The Lord because I was running late. Who am I? I definitely wasn't the person I desire to be are the person I claim to be.

The problem with both of these things is a lack of an eternal view. I'm so stuck in the tyranny of the urgent in the here and now that I miss what is truly important. It's the same thing with my stupid awful and evil phone that I rarely use as a stupid phone. It's a distraction and causes me to miss the eternal. I'm grieved I miss it. In this short vapor of a life I miss it and trade in a bag full of temporal junk for the beauty of eternity. God help me not miss it.

-Thankful today for community present and past. Thankful for the gift and treasure of being surrounded by people who love me and are willing to spur me on to become more like Christ. Thankful for women who feel like family, who fill up my tank and who have history with me. Thankful to be known and for God placing people in my life that have been safe to be known by. It's a treasure and a great gift.

Isaiah 36:
Sennacherib makes boastful claims. Things look bleak and dark in this chapter for Israel. Thankful the story does not end here. Thankful this is true for all of us. The story is not over for some of it, it's only just begun.

D

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Continued..DAY 1433: ISAIAH 31-34 & TITUS 1

Stinker cat hit the send button. Dog woke up the baby. Hmmmm I think it's time to get rid of all the non human living things in this house. 

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

Love this verse. Lord don't just be my salvation in times of distress, be my strength EVERY morning. Beautiful!

This verse makes me want to absolutely weep:
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" (‭Isaiah‬ ‭33‬:‭14‬ NIV)

Give me boldness to proclaim the gospel Lord. I beg you to turn hearts towards you. Open blind eyes that they may see and open deaf ears so that they may hear. Grieve and burden my heart for those who do not yet know you Lord.

Isaiah 34:
Judgement for the nations especially Edom. 

35:
Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." (‭Isaiah‬ ‭35‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

Thankful for this truth!

D

DAY 1433: ISAIAH 31-34 & TITUS 1

Conflict resolution meeting tonight and I kinda wanna puke in my mouth. Not a big fan of conflict but I know that dealing with it results in much beauty. I think the fear in conflict comes from the possibility of loss of relationship. It drives us to avoid conflict all together in order to not shake things up. Unfortunately, conflict avoiding never works and it always hinders relationship. We are too human for the poison of unresolved conflict to not kill off parts of relationship with each other. The very thing we fear ends up happening anyway, loss of relationship. The slow drift may not seem as painful but it eventually cheapens and affects all our relationships.

Rough patch with my oldest yesterday. I spanked him in anger which was ironic because he was getting spanked for sinning in anger. I definitely should have cooled down first. Need to think through how to handle him when he escalates and will not remove himself when he is asked multiple times. Not our finest moment together and I want to do better when he completely looses it. Thankful for immediate restoration and contrite hearts on both sides. Think we are actually better for it, yay conflict, but it sure was ugly. I hate the disgusting sin that comes out when I'm squeezed just the right way. Whether I'm spanking my kids in anger or not the sin still resides in me. Thankful for Jesus and the redemption that only He can bring.

Isaiah 31:
Great verse and theme to be repeated in ch 31:

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭31‬:‭1‬ NIV)

So much in this verse. God help continue to root out the self reliance that is rooted so firmly in me. Teach me to go to your first above anything else. Give me the wisdom to know when I need help.

Isaiah 32:
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭32‬:‭17-18‬ NIV)

This sounds so awesome.

This chapter is interesting it starts off saying how things will be. Evil will be punished. Righteousness and men with integrity will prevail. Then in the middle it speaks of complacent women. As women we desperately need Jesus in order to know how to walk the line of being submissive yet not becoming complacent either. I err for sure on the side of trying to dominate and lead in my zeal.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DAY 1432: ISAIAH 30 & TITUS 1

Bonus kid camp came up this week. Dropped off my terrified children and even though there is a million to do's and I'm sitting in a disgustingly filthy house I'm going to sit at my Savior's feet. 

Decided against teaching one of my kiddos classes. There would have been some perks and I think I would have enjoyed it but I'm not sure my child and I would have survived. I know that sounds more dramatic than reality but maybe it's not. We need some wins together and even though more time together would be great I think that kind of time together could be bad. I do hate that and in my head I wanted to make it work. I think like today it's okay for my kiddos to figure things out and make new friends and be okay without me. There's really good things about that.

Went to my very first chiropractor appt. I was sold until the zyto scan came out. I am willing to think that just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it can't help. I've heard of all kinds of "voodoo magic" working and even if I don't get it doesn't mean that it's not valuable. My gooey ear isn't gooping since going yesterday so that's something. I do think oils did help me get rid of my sinus infection. The cynic in me is having a hard time but the why wouldn't you give it a try part of me is also in the ring. For sure going to pray about it but think I might be willing to at least give it a shot. The alternative hasn't been all that great and effective either. 

Can't believe my baby has gotten so big. Just yesterday she was so itty bitty and now she's this little person with all kinds of spunk and personality. These sweet and spicy little girls will be a whole new avenue of sanctification. It's crazy how rapidly this season of little bits is flying by and how quickly this chapter of life will be over. It is but a vapor. 

This morning was a battle to get up and exercise. It felt like a brick wall at every turn and yet it felt like obedience to get up and go. Looking back I think it had much less to do about obedience and more to do about God's loving kindness. I want to get up early. I want to exercise the body that God has blessed me with and yet it's so hard to get myself up solo. Today God was my helpmate. I wouldn't have been a willful disobedient child if I stayed in bed this morning but I also would have regretted my decision. Self discipline in one area bleeds over into other areas. I need all the discipline I can get. Thankful for God's loving kindness this morning and His gentle hand that leads me. 

Isaiah 30:
This chapter is so good. Israel has gone to Egypt in search of protection. How many times have I tried to fix things on my own or find a solution to my problems? God cares about the issues I face on a daily basis. How often do I go to Him over someone else or something? I am stubborn and obstinate like the Israelites. If be a fool to think otherwise. 

The Lord disciplines His people but in the second half you see the reason why and how much God loves Israel and how much He loves us.

We go from this:
"Woe to the obstinate children," declares the Lord, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭1‬ NIV)

To this:
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭18‬ NIV)

He continues on with this:
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!" (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭19-22‬ NIV)

God's compassion completely wrecks me. I want to be a parent like this. Two things stand out in that regard.
1. He disciplines those He loves.

2. He shows great mercy and compassion to those whose hearts are contrite. 

Thankful for Jesus, thankful for His Word and thankful for God's provision for this week.

D

Monday, July 21, 2014

DAY 1431: ISAIAH 28-30 & TITUS 1

Oh my darling little children have made today quite interesting already. Their adventurous spirits and pushing of envelopes creates a fertile ground for sanctification. There are so many ways The Lord can choose to sanctify us and today I'm thankful He has chosen six little people to be such huge agents of sanctification in my life. Oh Monday how I love thee.

Praying through a possible commitment for the year and whether or not it would be life giving or a total beat down. It involves being one of my minions and that is part of the decision. Will it draw us closer together or will it be a stumbling block for the both of us. I'm okay with challenging or difficult but I don't want to walk away from an opportunity feeling resentful towards one of my kiddos. I honestly can see it going either way.

Feel summer moving way too fast. We still have three weeks left of school but I know the fall still brings more structure, more obligations and less freedom. This school year will look considerably different as it's my practice round before we launch into upper elementary. How am I here already?

My hubs is going to take the Bit this weekend while I get away on a Retreat. Looking forward to time away spend with some pretty awesome gals. Thankful for a brave hubs and continued opportunity to leave the Bit before Costa Rica. Really feel God is providing already in so many ways. Thankful.

Isaiah 28:
This chapter is so rich.

In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭28‬:‭5‬ NIV)

I'm probably taking this verse and completely applying it wrong but this verse gives me hope in light of the current direction out country is headed. If things continue to go in the direction of religious liberties being lost and people choosing to denounce what they believe this verse give me much hope of where our treasure lies and where our hope comes from. I do believe there will become a remnant of believers in America. Proclaiming what one believes will begin to come at a greater and greater cost. The box checkers and only come on Sunday attenders will be removed and something richer and more beautiful will instead occur. I only hope that my roots continue to grow down deep so that I might stand firm if the day quickly arrives.

So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭28‬:‭16‬ NIV)

This verse too brings much comfort. Those who rely on The Lord will not be terror stricken. I do love that the more I trust and rely on God's Sovereignty when icy fear does creep in I can lean into the One who holds all things together in His hands.

29:
This chapter is awesome. The proud are brought low and yet the blinded will see and the deaf will hear. The wise will be brought low and The Lord will fight for His people. The Lord has a plan and it's beautifully scripted. When I question what His plan and will for my life looks like I need to turn back to this verse.

You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, "You did not make me"? Can the pot say to the potter, "You know nothing"? (‭Isaiah‬ ‭29‬:‭16‬ NIV)

May I trust you Lord in the big, little and everything in between. May I remember that I was created to give you glory and not vice versa. May I honor you not with my lips to give lip service but honor you with my whole being and everything you have given me. Open the blindness I still have and open my ears to hear your still and quiet voice. Cut away the distractions so that I might see you hand in the day to day and not miss out on the beauty of your face. I thank you for the ways your hand has guided me and drawn me near to you even when I choose to go my own way. I can be wayward, stiff necked and stubborn. Continue to soften this heart of stone and create a new heart that looks more like your own. I thank you that you love me regardless of whether I choose to follow you and regardless of my many flaws. You are good all the time Father and I thank you so much that I am yours and nothing can tear me away from you.

D

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DAY 1430: ISAIAH 24-27 & TITUS 1

The inside of my lungs feel itchy and really feeling pollens evil grips today. Can't get enough sleep. Up early tomorrow so trying to squeeze in a few moments of quiet before church.

Thankful today for great medical care and a pediatric office where I love all the drs. Took Lukey in to make sure the finger he smashed at six flags on the very first ride didn't need to be drained. They could have drained it but it would have been traumatic and would make it easier for infection to set in. Pain medication till the swelling goes down. That kid is so tough. As a bonus awesomeness the dr saw us for free. Thankful our large crew warmed his heart. His own story is interesting and he was a surprise along with his twin in his moms forties. Both are doctors.

Going to try to squeeze in a power nap. Read Isaiah 24-27. God's judgement, justice and endless grace.

D

Saturday, July 19, 2014

DAY 1429: ISAIAH 18-23 & TITUS 1

Six flags hangover today. Junk food all weekend hasn't helped anything. Need a big salad and ten hours of sleep and I'll be as good as new.

Finished a project I've been working on for school next year. It's one of those things that will be useful but the way I did it probably won't be worth the time and effort I put into it. I realized this into it but was at a spot where turning back would have been worse. Slowly learning what kind of prep is most useful. Who knows, maybe I'll discover the work and effort I put in was worth every second. Eh.

Praying through curbing the technology beast. There are good things to technology and I want to use those to the fullest but I also want to take back what has been taken. One easy thing I can put in place is getting a watch. I can get sucked into the iPhone rabbit hole simply by wanting to check time when I'm out and about. A mentor mom talked about putting 18 marbles in a jar and removing one every year as a visual for how long we have left with our kiddos under our roof. She mentioned some of us could take out 8 marbles already. That's me with some of my bigs. Time is too precious to waste on the next "urgent" thing or reading some stupid article that seems so important in the moment. Need to find a way to keep up with trends in society and news in our country and world without stealing precious time that does not need to be stolen.

Sweet time tonight with family. We had the kids make a case for what we should do this weekend and why. Then we told them nobody won and instead chose everyone's idea. The look on my oldest kiddo's face was classic. Good times!

Isaiah 18-23:
This book is still bouncing around everywhere and I need a cheat sheet to know if he's prophesying about stuff that has already happened or stuff still to come. There is so much going on in these chapters and I'm confused about at least half of it. Deeper study on all these chapters would be a bit much for tonight. These are the things that stuck out to me the most.

Chapter 19 wrecks me. It's a prophesy against Egypt but then at the end these verses happen and I'm completely wrecked.

And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance." (‭Isaiah‬ ‭19‬:‭22-25‬ ESV)

It feels as if God has something against Egypt. Obviously they are a nation who has followed detestable gods but The Lord does not go easy on them or so it seems. Yet here in these verses God's heart for Egypt is revealed. He's willing to put them through the wringer so that they might humble themselves and turn to him. Verse 25 God says "blessed be my people Egypt". In these four verses I'm reminded of how little I truly know of God. There's heart work that still needs to be done and even then my finite mind can't possibly grasp a God as big as the great I AM. I simply do not get it. His plans and the story He is weaving through out history and our everyday lives is grander than one mind could ever imagine. His love goes beyond my understanding. Tonight I'm wrecked by this vast and endless love. May I always be.

The other thing that stands out is in chapter 22. This time Isaiah is issuing a prophesy to Jerusalem. This verse particularly stands out to me.

You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭22‬:‭11‬ NIV)

Jerusalem continues to go on it's Merry self reliant way. It's rebuilding and has taken much comfort in the number of chariots it has amassed. Yet they have not consulted The Lord in any of the things they are doing. I'm reminded in these verses that I can do productive things, good things even things that look as if I'm doing them for The Lord but if I'm off doing it on my own I'm completely missing it. God doesn't want the things I do even the good things if I'm not going to put Him first. He doesn't need me to do anything!! Instead He is daily inviting me into a deep and abiding relationship where love flows down extravagantly. It's through this deep abiding relationship that work should flow out of. May I not miss this. May I not be a fool doing God's work while neglecting my relationship with The Lord.

D

Friday, July 18, 2014

DAY 1428: ISAIAH 17 & TITUS 1

Ten hours at six flags with my three bigs has left me slightly motion sick and wonderfully exhausted. Bullet points of today.

1. Thankful for incredible weather and mostly short lines.

2. Realized life will be much easier one day with no littles.

3. Although physically easier I realized my kids are not easy by any stretch of the imagination. They are great kids, fantastic kids but they can be challenging. I know even the hiccups of today will one day be no more and it will be nothing but a delight to be somewhere like six flags or vacation or where ever with this crew.

4. Lilly did great with Daddy today. She took 4-5 bottles and overall did an incredible job. Half tempted to leave her home next weekend instead of taking her with me on a retreat. Would love to get in at least an overnight away even if that means me on the couch before Costa Rica.

5. Need to figure out and solidify plans for kids for Costa Rica this week.

6. Lots of sweet sibling love today. Melted my heart.

7. I almost puked at the cost of everything. Free tickets are not really free at all.

8. Wish we had the funds to drop the cash to do the extras. No fits over not getting to play games or get extra fun stuff but questions as to why we can't like so many other people at the park. I know it would feel good to get the extra fun for my kiddos but I know it wouldn't necessarily be good for them.

9. Today reminded me of my summer fun back in the day with a season pass to Fiesta Texas. Doubtful I paid for that pass and I surely didn't appreciate the rides to and fro as a kid. I get it more now and am appreciative. I need to remember that when my kids don't appear to be grateful. I do believe they will look back and be grateful. There is room for all of us to grow in gratitude and work on entitlement though.

10. Thankful for a hubs willing to wrangle littles so I could have fun with my bigs. It is rare that I get to spend time with them apart from having a baby in my arms. They are such great kids and I'm so thankful for each of them. Maybe that's my biggest take away today. I'm so thankful for each little person God has blessed us with each one of them is so important to who we are as a family. Each one adds and grows and sharpens the rest of us. Each one of us is needed to help each other become who God created us to be. We are a difficult mess at times but oh how beautiful this mess is and I'm beyond thankful for how God is knitting us together.

Isaiah 17:
Read but brain not fully comprehending. Need to pump so I don't explode but if I don't pass out will try to chew on this some more.

D

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DAY 1427: ISAIAH 13-16 & TITUS 1

Thankful for rain today. We so desperately need it and it's been an appropriate metaphor for me today. Thankful for the cleansing of sin through Jesus Christ. I am a sinner in desperate need of grace.

Been struggling the last couple days within myself. Have been able to dig into stuff today and find reasons behind anger. I've been using anger to mask hurt and fear of loss. Hurt and vulnerability feels a lot better than struggling with my angry flesh. At least in the hurt, fear and vulnerability I am free to be the woman I desperately long to be. There is compassion and love and grace and peace. The turmoil of secondary anger is exhausting and wearisome and often self centered.
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Titus 1:
Got my first lesson on how to chart out a chapter. It is so not in my character to have the discipline to do such things. Yet even doing just some of the charting, things began to make more sense. 

This verse has always been so random to me in a chapter about qualifications for elders.

One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." (‭Titus‬ ‭1‬:‭12‬ ESV)

Two things I've always missed.
1. Titus was left in Crete hence the reference to the Cretans. Obviously I'm so not into detail.
2. This is just as obvious but I never caught it, one of their own prophets is saying this about the Cretans. 

(Just on a side note this makes me even more fired up about digging into world history so the bible comes alive even more! Can't wait to really learn about these cultures and people so that the old and New Testament come alive even more.)

There are not a lot of people on this Island of new believers that would even qualify to be an elder. They are probably a pretty motley crew and the church is just a baby. This is all the more reason for Paul to instruct Titus to find people worthy of eldership to help disciple this group of baby believers. 

Charting will be a really good discipline and tool for study. I think some of it will be a whip but that's not a bad thing. Obviously I'm horrible at detail and this will help slow me down and force me to focus on detail that does in fact matter. 

Thankful for people passionate about discipling others and for a hubs who has a heart to be discipled and desires to grow in depth and knowledge of God's Word. It's contagious and I hope the passion and desire to be rooted firmly in truth will be passed on to our children, grandchildren, ect. 

Isaiah 13-16:
These are some pretty hard chapters to read. Verses like these pull at the heart strings of a mother and a woman.

Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭13‬:‭16‬ ESV)

This is so hard to swallow yet I know regardless of God allowing this to exact his judgement on Babylon He is good all the time. He absolutely won't force Himself or His will on us and apart from Him we get to be left to our own devices. This world is so hard to live in sometimes.

Isaiah also issues a prophesy against Moab. Moab has been prideful, arrogant and boastful and The Lord humbles Moab as a result. Pride can be so infuriating. I hate that I struggle with this ailment. It's like a blinding cancer to the soul. It blinds me from the things I need to work on and change and it destroys. I always pray to learn humility with much fear and trepidation but the fear is waning as my desire to truly be humble continues to grow. The pride in me that I am able to see, I know there is still more, is disgusting and it grieves me. Help me to be secure and confident in you Lord but help me be humble. Help me to be gentle and meek with my husband and my children and those you place in my path. I long for these qualities and yet have so much room for growth. My tone hurts the hearts of the children you've given me. Help soften it. Give me a humble and gentle spirit even if it means I must walk a painful road to get there. Soften the rough edges that are still there. Help me to learn how to be slow to speak. 

D



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DAY 1426: ISAIAH 9-12 & TITUS 1

Today has been a mixed bag. Didn't get up before my kids and again was behind the curve for most of the day. Eh it's summer but in the fall I can always say eh we homeschool. Things just roll better when the coffee is at least made before 8am and we are fed and ready for adventure before 9am.

Boys got into a pretty decent fist fight today. One day I'm sure they will give each other black eyes. The passion and exuberance that exists in this house is kinda crazy. Never a dull moment.

Bummed today thinking about certain friends and getting news that just stinks. Also just frustrated and sick of my sin. Daily I'm a sinner but some days the awareness of the depth of my depravity is wearisome. To even entertain the idea that I could ever pull my crap together on my own is nothing short of lunacy. Today I'm thankful to get a real glimpse of the reality of my sin and run to the cross wholeheartedly to embrace sweet undeserved grace.

Thinking through a conversation I had with a friend the other day and really evaluating my life stage, where I'm serving and how I can best serve my family and yet use my gifting to it's fullest. I enjoy everything I'm doing and honestly I'm not doing a ton but feeling the need to lay it all out there with open hands. It should always look that way anyway.

Yesterday got various appointments made for me and the kids. Called on testing for one of my kiddos but hit a slight wall. Going to check in with our pediatrician at my kiddos next appt which is made. Felt good to get something tangible accomplished.

No bibles and beer last night. I instead fell asleep on the couch while watching a show by Ken Burns on the prohibition. The irony is funny to me. Anyway hoping to hit some Titus tonight in depth. Thankful to be benefitting from my hubs training.

Isaiah 9-12:
Lots of stuff going on in these chapters. Wickedness and arrogance of Israel and Assyria. Prophesy of the Messiah to come and glimpses of what life will one day look like and how it was designed to look like.

Big take away is on the dangers of arrogance. As a believer in Christ who struggles with pride, or insecurity in disguise, I want to take heed to the warnings of arrogance and pride. Lord help continue to grow in me a teachable and humble spirit.

D

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DAY 1425: ISAIAH 7-8 & TITUS 1

Thankful this morning for two gals willing to get up before sunrise this morning so we could do the good we ought to do. I won't do it alone. I am so not self motivated. I wish I was that person who is highly self disciplined but I'm not. Thankful for God's provision in my weakness. It is good to know thy slacker self and try to put things in place to be the woman I desire to be. Ah beautiful community.

Kids still snoozing after being up annoyingly late last night. Dang kids taking after their night owl mother. How dare they!?
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Night owl mother crashed while reading bible this morning and holding sleeping baby. The combination was just too much to overcome.

Good times this evening at the pool with friends. Good to get caught up. Love the neighborhood pool even if it's not technically in my neighborhood. So weird to experience the emotions of joy while feel the pangs of sorrow and longing mixed in. There is also hope and trust and faith so strongly in there too. Again given a brief moment to pause and give thanks for the six miracles I have. Still can't believe I have six kids!!

Isaiah 7-8:
I always forget how confusing Isaiah can be at first. I feel like this book switches around from prophesy and makes big leaps and gaps in time. I'm blaming my kids stealing of the brain cells for this not computing well tonight. Thankful for commentary tonight.

Pondering on The Lord choosing to have Isaiah tell King Ahaz about Jesus, the Messiah to come. Ahaz was awful and yet he had the privilege of knowing about Jesus. Unfortunately the true beauty of it fell upon deaf ears but nonetheless what a huge thing for God to reveal to him. May the beauty of your words and your works not fall on deaf ears Lord.

D

Monday, July 14, 2014

DAY 1424: ISAIAH 5-6 & TITUS 1

Started the day off in a deficit. Got up late, house was already messy, laundry exploding everywhere, blah, blah, blah. My hubs come home after dropping off his momma with breakfast in hand. Him coming back was unexpected and it was doubly sweet not having to figure out breakfast. Thankful he came home this morning to surprise us!

Some order put into the chaos but not much. School done and a play date for one of my kiddos. Beyond thankful for that play date for so many reasons.

Had lots of chaos in the evening including helping a child with wounds from a treadmill, the shortest stomach "bug" in history, and various other dramatic episodes. Thankfully four children are still up when they most definitely should be sleeping. Will make tomorrow yet another adventure.

Heard tonight of other gals who have jumped on the daily bible reading journaling accountability. So encouraging and fun to hear! It's not easy to dig in every day. There are so many more things that can seem to be more pressing in any given day. It's a lie. Every single day is a battle. Most of the time I'm unaware of the battle that rages on all around me. I don't want to do this battle anymore unarmed.

On another subject failed at making an appointment for the chiropractor. Will do tomorrow as I have several appts I need to get on the calendar for kids ect.

Isaiah 5-6:
So much imagery in these chapters. Chapter 5 is just heartbreaking. Oh Judah look how far you have fallen. Oh America look how far you are falling. You have traded light for darkness and try to pass off darkness for light. The winnowing will occur. Every knee will eventually bow. It's the turning away that is so hard and painful to see. Yet I know I am prone to wander too. Prone to trade in cheap thrills of this world for God's best.

Fading fast but chapter 6 takes my breath away. It makes me think of this verse:

But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"— (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ ESV)

Isaiah saw a vision a and in it were Seraphim praising God.
And one called to another and said:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" (‭Isaiah‬ ‭6‬:‭3‬ ESV)

Seraphim have six wings. Two cover their faces, two cover their feet and two for flying. These beings were created 1. To worship God and 2. Since they are there with God they have been created with extra wings with the sole purpose of helping to shield them from the radiant glory of God. This is mind blowing to me tonight.

I go about almost everyday forgetting that I was made to bring glory to God not vice versa. I shove God in a box and make Him a tame God, one that is easily explained. He is not an easily explained God. He can't be shoved in a box. My mind simply can't comprehend all that He is. It's too great to even fathom. Fading fast with thoughts of how great and wonderful God is.

D

Sunday, July 13, 2014

DAY 1423: ISAIAH 1-4 & TITUS 1

Excited to start Isaiah today. Have gotten into a bad habit of not taking time to stream the service so wanting to get back on that wagon. Talk about a great week to jump back in.

I love all the application of the story of a Jesus healing the paralytic. Do you want to get well? It is scary, difficult and painful to pick up that mat but I'm ever so thankful I took the plunge. Today I'm left with the question of what's next? Taking more ground in self care and study is great but I can't help but wonder if there are other areas right now I might need to be bold and brave and take a look in the mirror and see. Are there more idols in my life I need to turn over? I know that there are. The closer I grow to Christ the more I realize the vast amounts of sin and decay that remain in me. Thankful for His never ending love and grace and sweet precious redemption.

Isaiah 1-4:
One chapter in and Isaiah is already wrecking me. I LOVE this book. I do get confused over the order in the beginning though. Chapter 1 starts off listing the moral decay that has gone one in Judah and the current affliction that they are under.

This verse always get me choked up:

"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord : though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭1‬:‭18‬ ESV)

The Lord is not only grieved over the condition of Judah's sin but also over their afflictions. It's hard to see your kids make bad choices and reap the consequences.

Chapter 2 is what things will be like when Jesus comes back to reign. The descriptions are pretty mind blowing.

Chapter 3 goes back to the judgement that will be heaped upon Judah. It's a bleak and sorrowful state. Chapter 4 rolls in with talk of the Messiah that is to come.


Struggling to keep my eyes open.

D

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DAY 1422: Song of Solomon 1-8

Sweet blessing of a day. Easy going morning and time with my beloved. Thankful for a sweet family willing to take on a herd of children so Les and I can have time together. Their friendship has been such a sweet encouragement and our date swap has been so good for our marriage. We went so many years without holding time away together as a priority and it's been so sweet the last several years to be blessed by investing in that time together. It's extra sweet to be able to watch some boys I love and be encouraged by a really fun and sweet couple.

Noticing a big difference in one of my kiddos. Understanding him more has been so helpful in the way we respond to him and how we give him instruction. Today hunger and exhaustion got the best of him and he was completely disrespectful. When we got home I had to give him his consequence and afterwards he immediately hugged me and told me he loved me. This is a new kid. I'm reminded how wonderful it is to be known.

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Two thoughts before I end this day. Self care along with rest is something I need much improvement on. My sweet hubs has been so great lately of finding ways to bless me with solo time. He got a migraine and it was so easy to let him rest without being bitter because I'm not running on fumes. Time away to think and sit in solute has become a lot more important since adding number six. Need to find creative ways for both I and the hubster to get times of rest and solitude.

The other thing is I need to get these allergies under control. I was thinking about last season and realized it wasn't the pregnancy that helped my allergies it was the gluten/dairy/sugar free. I need to get on this and do the best I can instead of trying to reach perfection. I think feeding my Fam the last three months has been a whip as my body hAs adjusted to the early Well mornings. Starting to get more in a groove with 5:15 and add in more sleep. I can do this thing. I must do this thing.

I need to figure out this ear thing too. It's been going on for far too long. I could have crazy ear surgery, get a second opinion or try something different. Leaning toward trying a chiropractor. I think I often delay short term solutions because I want a long term solution but in the process I don't do anything. Not good. Going to call a Chiro on Monday. Somebody hold my feet to the fire on that one.

This is the second thing I've really been churning on. It's funny in some ways deals with the above on just being disciplined. The above disciplined to make good decisions to take care of the body God has blessed me with and the second to be disciplined and diligent to do the training and studying I ought to. This week a friend was talking about a pretty well known gal who has written bible studies. She has had some criticism of her exegesis of scripture. My friends hubs response was that most people's exegesis can be off at least some of the time unless they have been seminary trained. That has stuck with me all week. I really enjoy breaking down some scripture with people. I really really like it. However, I don't want to teach on passages of scripture and my exegesis be incorrect. It's not about being too prideful of making a mistake but rather realizing the incredible weight and responsibility of teaching on a passage of scripture.

Surely everyone who knows me well or has been tracking with me for awhile knows I'm a slacker down to the core. I'm lazy and I love comfort. Short cuts are awesome! I don't want to take short cuts in this area. I've been feeling the desire to really learn how to break down scripture and tear it apart and study in ways I've never done before. This realization of the weight and responsibility when teaching others about God's Word only spurs me on more. I want a good handle on the Bible. I want to hone in on my craft. Thankful my hubs has been through some training and about to go through some more. Fun to benefit from what he is being taught.

SOS 1-8:
I only dream and hope that one day my hubs will utter words like this to me:

Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young. (‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭4‬:‭1-2‬ ESV)

Thankful for marriage. Thankful for all the gifts God gives us in marriage. Sad for the ways satan distorts beautiful things but thankful for His redemption.

D

Friday, July 11, 2014

DAY 1421: Ecclesiastes 7-12

I need to stay away from any kind of news about our government. It's insane what is going on in our country. It shouldn't shock me, but it is so sad.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭14‬:‭12‬ ESV)

It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming months.

We did the Chickfila trifecta today. Some people train and compete in Ironman's or other triathlons and some people train hard for Chickfila's Customer Appreciation day so that they can hit breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also hit one 7Eleven for a free slurpee. If we had trained harder and were better prepared with our gear and treacherous pollen conditions hadn't hit we might have hit a 7Eleven with each chickfila stop. I'm feeling a little sore and a little sick but I'm darn proud of our accomplishment. It is after all the closet thing I'll ever come to a tri-anything. Till next year.

Fully aware that our children might need counseling for the trauma inflicted upon them every year on dress like a cow day. Or maybe just maybe they will have fond memories made with their crazy family. I'm sure in the end it will be a beautiful mix of both.

Eccles 7-12:
Oh Solomon you poor guy. Dude would drop some wisdom about life and then end the sentence with everything is meaningless. I think it's sweet that God includes this book in the bible. We all go through seasons of depression. It's comforting to know that we are not alone in feeling as if everything is meaningless. If you are not depressed and can push past Sol's everything is meaningless talk there is some great wisdom in these chapters.

I really like this reminder to embrace and accept the good along with the bad because The Lord allows both and God is good.

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭14‬ ESV)

These verses are fantastic. It's so easy to be critical and get worked up about other peoples flaws but I'm sure the same people we are willing to point out sin or flaws in do the same thing about us. Your spouse, friend, neighbor, ect is frustrated at you just as often as you are frustrated at them. All of our poop stinks and we all desperately need us some Jesus.

This verse made me angry.

which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭28‬ ESV)

I read up on it and it seems as if homeboy is referring to his wives. The number of his wives and concubines mysteriously adds up to a thousand. This could truly be the source of his depression. I can't even imagine what life with all those wives was like. Nobody is going to be happy in that kind of situation.

Much more here but sleepy.

D

Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭21-22‬ ESV)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DAY 1420: Ecclesiastes 2-6

All is quiet in BrownTown. It's a rare and wonderful thing. The only thing that could make this more perfect would be for my hubs to be home so we could have an in home date night. A date night with Jesus is pretty stellar as well. I tried so hard this week to find extended time with God and hit road blocks at every turn. Yet tonight I unexpectedly am going to get the time my heart was craving. He is the provider of all things.

Lots of things going through my head today. Going on maybe four hours of sleep and the day started early for my last day of Well. Let me tell you it did not go well. I knew we were running today and I was excited. I usually fall in the middle of the pack when we run which is much more fun that dead last. I'm still really and will probably always be slow BUT I've found a good stride and can run comfortably. Not so much today. My lungs ached and I struggled to get a good breath just walking. Pollen can make my lungs angry. I threw myself a pity party over allergy woes and gimp ears for a lap or two. I cried to The Lord over being tired of struggling to feel good for at least 6 months out of the year. The headaches, sinus woes, struggle to breath, fatigue and lowered immune system is a whip. (I just realized my allergies are actually better when I'm knocked up.  My arthritis and allergies are stinking better!! I really think they are related to each other, the joint pain and sinus issues. Argh!!!)

Anyway, I whined and God so sweetly reminded me of the beauty of this verse.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭9-10‬ ESV)

First off if I am nothing but honest I hate these verses. I vowed at some point growing that I would never be weak, I would not be a victim. I still struggle tremendously with the idea of being weak. Rest is for the weak. I can't count the number of times I've said joking or not, sleep is for the weak. I don't want to slow down and I most definitely don't want to be weak. Six kids has slowed my pace tremendously. Allergies slow my pace tremendously and I stinking hate it. I hate that I have to rest more and I hate that I can't go and do all the things I want to do. This is why today for the first time ever I was able to rejoice in my suffering with the plague of pollen spring thru early fall. The Lord is trying to teach me to slow down, and rest so that I might not miss out on what's most important. Slow down. Smell those pollen filled flowers. Snuggle in a pile of babes and read hour after hour or don't read and sleep and enjoy the intoxicating sound of their sweet snores. Move slowly so that you won't miss the awe and wonder of my creation. Drink in deeply from sleep for it's my gift to you and it's what will set you apart from others. Don't let the days race past you. Savor each and every one for they are nothing but a vapor. 

Busyness is a plague. It sucks the soul dry and steals day after day after day. It's as useless as chasing after the wind. I say this through clenched teeth but Lord make me rest. Let me not waste the days chasing after the wind. Strip away the dead weight, the useless carp :) that does nothing but distract from what is most important.

Thing number two that God impressed on me today was that I care too much about how I compare with others. Let me tell you coming in dead last time and time again at Well was humbling. Not coming in dead last boosted my ego more than I like to admit. I feel better about myself when I perform up to my expectations and I can beat people. The mirror doesn't lie and the things I saw this morning were not pretty. This only proves that I need more of Jesus. I'm still believing lies and I don't fully believe who I belong to. I'm exchanging a Big Mac for the finest meal one could buy. Yuck!

Since Well God has continued to impress on me the importance of Sabbath and rest. With that though has also come a desire to make the most of the time I do work. I'm probably as awesome at exercise as I am at time management, order and organization. I'm a raccoon and I get distracted by shiny things and I fall into crazy winding rabbit holes. I know I can grow in areas I am so obviously weak at. If I can grow enough muscle to shave almost five minutes off a baseline endurance test I can surely grow "muscle" in other areas as well. I've seen my husband work on things the past year and he's grown considerably. We both are wired similarly so if he can grow in the areas we are both deficient in it gives me hope.

I'm slowly but surely getting my game plan together for September. Chore list and flow for the day have been hammered out. I really need to pray and process through what areas of commitment God desires for me to continue next year. That will be hard as I love what I do and if I could I would do more and use even more of my gifting. The first ministry and the biggest ministry God has called me to is home. Nothing else I do on this earth will matter as much as how I pour into my kids. Nothing else will compare to the legacy I sow into them. There's a million things that try to distract me from that daily. God give me the wisdom to know when to let go of good things so that I might choose the best things. It's all on the altar and I trust that He will be clear about where He wants me. 

Sweet friend I adore told me about another gal who I wanna be Bff's with and her decision to let schooling off her plate. It was good. I was reminded that I most definitely don't have to do this. My days could look very different. 

Today was so great. My oldest loved on some small frys, my boys got aired out, we cleaned up, played, snuggled, ate, yada, yada, yada. This week has been a total and complete whip to me. The difference about today is I didn't have to herd a crazy group of kids from one place to another and then pick them up again. I can hardly handle a week of VBS. There are some great things about VBS week but there are some things that I hate. I hate the to and fro and chaotic mornings trying to get out the door. I miss my kids and as much as they love VBS there is always fallout and each one really needy of more time with mom. They're cranky and exhausted and it all just feels like a whip. I don't want to do that week after week. I was thinking about school and how I don't want to be under anybody else's schedule. It's not about being under somebody else's authority I don't want to be on my schedule either. I'm a free spirit and it's why any kind of order is so darn hard and why I'm such a stinking mess with this crazy bunch of kids. I'm thankful God blessed me with my hubs because he's okay rolling with my mess. 

I don't know what the future holds and if I need to shove every single one of my stinkpots in school tomorrow so be it. I could see some going to public school, some staying home, some getting a scholarship to some private school, some joining the circus, ect. My desire is for them to love God with their everything, to love others, to be a good steward of the gifts and talents He's given each of them and to love learning about His creation and be filled with awe and wonder about all that He has created. I don't care how that gets accomplished really. I think God will make it pretty clear. He has so far. 

My MIL asked me if this is what I envisioned my life would look like as I was preparing some stuff for school next year. I looked at her and emphatically said NO! Absolutely not! I never in my wildest imagination dreamed I would have six wonderful and crazy kids and homeschool much less be a stay at home mom. This isn't the life I dreamed about when I got married or when I first started having kids. It's where He's taken us and it's a nutty journey and one I still can't believe I'm on sometimes. I'll tell you what though if God wants us to pack up everything and move to Hawaii I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm thankful for each one of my knuckleheads and for a God full of grace, love, compassion and provision, and a hubs who is okay that I'm a total and complete mess. 

I do know I need to up my game in the household management department. That has seemed so overwhelming but I know God will provide. If I could hire a cook and a maid I'd be so golden. That's not reality so in the mean time I need to not tie my value and my worth up in the condition of my house and ask for help from people who are better at this than I am so that I can get equipped. 

Eccles 2-6:
Sol is cracking me up today. I can so understand where he is coming from on some of this. I knew it all too well. There are times it still creeps in but for different reasons. 

There is some great stuff in these in these chapters. I've been so long winded already and there's several verses on the mouth and words being few. Today Abbie had to chew on Ephesians 4:29 and I've in turn done the same. God keeps bringing up rest and the mouth. Put them together and obviously my answer is resting my mouth. 

This verse stood out to me the most tonight:

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬ ESV)

It is so easy for us to deceive ourselves. In our sin and our blind spots we believe our own propaganda. I'm still taken aback how true this is! I can make a case for anything and be totally fooling myself. It's why I need to be submerged in God's Word daily. Honestly in the new upcoming year it would do me good to incorporate some deeper study into this daily reading. I think after I get through the bible this year, in 2015 I'll add in depth study with the Daily Walk Bible. I also need to get my butt back in gear for the Sermon on the Mount. Way behind and rusty but I can still do it with God's help. 

The second piece is accountability/community. The Pharisees were well versed in scripture yet their hearts were so jacked. David a man after God's own heart could have used some people lovingly spurring him on. In my wickedness I can proof text and piece meal scripture to make a case to do just about anything I want. A late term abortionist once had scripture on his website to support abortion. Disgusting. I'm disgusting in my sin too and the only reason I'm not that guy is because of the cross. I'm still prone to be a sinful stinkpot who wants to justify my sin. 

I've used all my words today.

D

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

DAY 1419: Ecclesiastes 1

Today has just not been the day I wanted it to be. I don't know what I wanted but today wasn't it. I've been a grumpy beast all day. Woke up feeling rough. I've been so discouraged to be moving in the wrong direction. I know my anti antibiotic stance may seem absolutely ridiculous at this point. I just want to find the magical cure so that I'm not stuck in this sinus infection / ear infection cycle till I've gone home to be with Jesus. I'm so over my gimp ear. I'm so over my complaining about it!! Of all the things that I could have that could so much worse. Thank you God I have ears and I can hear!

To add to my awesome mood I feel like I've heard nothing but discouraging news all day. My heart aches for so many people today.

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Sweet completely solo time with some great gals tonight. Thankful for a brave husband and laughter after an evening filled with airport chaos.

More hard news this evening but thankful for a King who never sleeps and who holds all things together in His hands.

Ecclesiastes 1:
This book probably isn't the best for my current grumpy mood but I know God's timing is perfect!

This verse stood out tonight:

I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ ESV)

God I know without you everything truly is meaningless. There is a great conspiracy by the evil one to keep my eyes focused on the wrong things. Help me to cut out the chasing of the wind that I do on a daily basis. Give me an eternal view and help me not get so distracted with the temporal. Help me to be obedient to what you would have me do daily and love you and others like crazy. What you call us to every day is simple and yet I get so busy chasing the wind that I miss out on what's most important. Give me a clear focus and my eyes never take their gaze off of the cross.

D

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

DAY 1418: PROVERBS 30-31

Well this morning for the first time in a good week and a half. Wasn't sure it was the wisest choice as my body is still fighting hard to get rid of infection. I don't think I've ever said this before but it felt so good to move my body. I didn't do everything and tried to keep my pace slow but I'm so glad I went. God is so faithful even in the small things like that. So thankful for Well and look forward to what God continues to teach me. I know there's still lots of growth and I still have food idols I need to tear down but thankful that at least I'm finally doing something tangible to grow.

Thanks to a sweet friend I'm getting my crunchy on and trying to kick these darn infections with oils. Nothing has been the magical cure yet but I do feel better today and I didn't hack all night long so that's definitely an improvement.

(My baby is crawling. How can that be? Love these VBS days and getting time to spend with the littles. Reminds me of what life was like only a few years ago. I do love each new phase and stage. It's hard to be divided and in two different seasons at once but there is also a real sweetness to it to. Seeing the bigs love on these small frys is amazing. I have renewed hope today in His great provision. I always mess it up when I try to run ahead. Oh to remain and truly abide with each breath. Lord teach me how to remain in you in the mundane and in the details. Teach me how to love abundantly like you do.)

I ditched FB and it has probably been one of the best decisions I've made. The few things that I'll miss about it is not worth all the negatives. Free at last free at last thank God Almighty I'm free at last.

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Well, I've ditched FB but I've been consuming much time researching and wrapping my brain around school next year. I have grand visions of what I'd like to accomplish and the vast amounts of learning I'd love for all of us to do but praying for a realistic target on the wall. I am pretty sold on schooling year round. I love playing in the Fall and Spring and the pool is such a beautiful motivator for my kiddos in the summer. Plus this summer hasn't felt like wheels off chaos. School has helped keep us grounded and at least on a sorta schedule. Thankful for that.

Proverbs 30-31:
Loved the first words out of the gate today.

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle. The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭30‬:‭1‬ ESV)

I think this just made me feel more normal. We all go through places and stages in life where we are beyond bone tired and are incredibly weary. 

This verse is also sticking out today:
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭30‬:‭5‬ ESV)

The Lord IS indeed a shield but God doesn't force Himself on us. He is a shield for those who take refuge in Him. He is a shield not to those who just know of Him but to those who know Him and CHOOSE to go to Him for comfort and protection. His word proves true and there is nothing else in this world that can offer the same kind of comfort and protection as The Lord and His Words. There is not a big enough cup of coffee or brownie sundae or hit of FB that will ever satisfy the way that The Lord can. He is my shield when I choose to come to Him. 

SeƱorita Self Reliant struggles with these verses:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭30‬:‭8-9‬ ESV)

If I'm honest I want more than just enough. I want a decent savings account to fall back on when huge tumors need to be removed or vans break down or money pits open up. I want abundant supply. I don't ever want just enough toilet paper I want vast amounts of hoarded rolls so I can be sure that I'll never run out. The every day of just enough is such a hard place for me to live. God why is it so hard to rely on you not only in the big stuff but in the daily every day. Help me to turn over my idol of self reliance so that I can experience more of who you are. I constantly get in the way of how great we could be together.

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭15‬ ESV)

BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm not as nearly as industrious or organized as the proverbs 31 woman. I was even thinking today of my poor husband and the crazy scowls he must be seeing on a daily basis coming from this mucous filled mug. 

I may be slightly delirious from snot Fest 2014 but I could seriously punch this woman in the face today.

D

Monday, July 07, 2014

DAY 1417: PROVERBS 25-29

My goal this week was to take a nap or at least lay down every day this week. Day one and I'm not doing such a great job. To my defense there are two cute girls make an insane amount of cupcakes and learning a beautiful lesson on following instructions. I have to keep my eye on another one who is supposed to be cleaning the bathroom. Oh wonderful sanctifying stinkpot that I love!

Nothing huge today other than realizing that if I'm ever going to get better I must rest my body. The Lord is so sweet to teach this stubborn mule. My disobedience in this area boils down to 1. Lack of trust 2. Desiring to obtain my value in the things I accomplish. I already feel like I'm failing in the area of productivity. I can't do simple household management tasks that seem so easy to others. I went to the store today and bought a bunch of frozen junk so I could feed my family this week. Why is feeding my family so incredibly hard? I know I should just have a two week rotating schedule. For whatever reason that sounds horrendous to me. But it would be better than what I'm doing now. (Two week meal plan done. Starts next week. I think I can tailor it to be sugar free for the most part.)
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Ready to crash. Hoping the Bit feels the same. Read most of these chapters earlier in a real bible but too lazy to get up and get it to go over my notes. Maybe I should have taken more heed to all the verses about the sluggard.

I have taken note of three themes that pop up continually in Proverbs.

1. Pride is dangerous but those who walk in humility will be blessed.

2. The mouth can be used to bless or to curse choose how you use it wisely.

3. A fool gives full vent to his anger but a wise man remains self controlled.

God help me with these three as you know I can often be a prideful fool who gets carried away by anger and whose mouth lacks control.

I've been chewing on the idea of trying to draw out my value and worth by what I can accomplish on a daily basis. I don't know if it's the six kid thing or people thinking I have this parent thing down because I have six kids but I most definitely don't. I don't have this thing figured out in the least bit. There are so many areas I need to grow in. The lady at the store today who said I have the patience of Job has no clue that she caught me on a good moment. She didn't see the moment I had later this afternoon as I sinned against my son in anger because he sinned against his brother in anger. We are quite the mess. Maybe in some ways I just want to prove to myself that maybe just maybe I can do this motherhood thing. The truth is I can't. I'm under qualified and I don't have enough skills. I've been treading water for eight years and at this rate I may be treading water for another 18 years. I hate that I don't have it all together and that I can't do this motherhood thing well. But I do love that slowly, little by little, motherhood is breaking me of my self reliance. I love that daily it brings me to my knees and causes me to throw myself off the throne and place Him there. Although I hate how I fail daily and hate all the disgusting sin that is daily squeezed out of me I am thankful that I'm given the opportunity to truly see how sinful I am. I'm selfish right down to the core but it's masked more easily when I don't have to give of myself completely day after day and moment by moment. There's lots of daily dying to self and lots of daily unwillingness to surrender. Little by little it's up and to the right though. I can have the patience of Job with a stinkpot two year old because frankly I've had four before this one and two year olds simply don't ruffle my feathers as much anymore. I still have my moments but mostly I can sit back and enjoy the wonder and stubbornness of my two year old knowing that this too shall pass much quicker than I'd like it too. Maybe that's what I need to do for the rest of it. Sit back and enjoy the ride even though I have no clue where in the world I'm headed or what I'm going to do when I get there. Take my days Lord and all the moments and help me to fully surrender them to you. May I rest and be content with whatever gets accomplished in a day knowing that I've surrendered to you and that's all that really matters. Help me to put first things first and help me to continue to weed out worthless things that only rob me of time. I am yours. Thank you for being ever so patient with me, your oh so stubborn daughter.

D

Sunday, July 06, 2014

DAY 1416: PROVERBS 22-24

Obviously The Lord is trying to teach me a beautiful lesson on rest. Wish I wasn't so darn stubborn! I wanna throw a big fat fit.

Slept most of the afternoon and evening and can't wait to go back to sleep. Hate being so lame.

Proverbs 22-24:
My brain is not working enough to process what I read. Or rather remember.

D

Saturday, July 05, 2014

DAY 1415: PROVERBS 18-21

It's been quite the day. It was hard to crawl out of bed today and in some regards I wish I hadn't. Got crossways with my hubs. I'm so tired of being a tired grumpy troll. I don't have the energy to constantly fight with my flesh and take my awful thoughts captive. Why is it so hard to do the good I not only ought to do but want to do? Thankful for His grace and for the freedom that can only be found in Jesus.

Still fighting to get well. Sinus infection now. I wish it was strep. Something that really needs antibiotics and responds quickly. Think garlic oil is helping my disgusting ear but not sure I'll fully kick it till my sinuses are clear. Going to try some crunch before I down antibiotics. The dose I have to take to get rid of this crud just doesn't seem right and worth all the other side effects. Living like this for much longer doesn't seem quite worth it either. Toot!!! The only thing that really makes sense is to move back to Portland where I am allergy free. I love you so much Texas and yet I am so allergic to you!!

Prov 18-21:
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭18‬:‭1‬ ESV)

I used to be the queen of isolation. Thankful The Lord has grown me in this area yet I'd be a fool to think this couldn't be me again.

More on the mouth. So need help here:
A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭18‬:‭6-8‬ ESV)

Lots of lessons in this as of late. Hopefully it's pounded in now:
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭18‬:‭17‬ ESV)

Chewing on this one:
Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭19‬:‭2‬ ESV)

Lord help me continue to grow in this:
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭19‬:‭11‬ ESV)

I know this to be true. Lord please continue to hold the mirror in front of me even when it's painful.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭21‬:‭2‬ ESV)

God help me keep my tongue. I hate that in one breath I can praise you with my mouth and in another utter things that dishonor you and hurt others.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭21‬:‭23‬ ESV)

D

Friday, July 04, 2014

DAY 1414: PROVERBS 14-17

Putting Lil Bit down for a nap and seizing a mostly quiet moment. Physically I'm incredibly run down but thankful that my heart is not. Much gratitude mixed with sorrow over our country and hope and joy. I have so many things to be thankful for. This Lilly beside me is one of many. I'm so thankful the way God has grown my stubborn and stupid heart. Lilly is such a testament to being broken in such a sweet way. Bella was the beautiful instrument and blessing and Lilly a sweet reward as a result. I can't imagine not having any of these sweet little stinkpots. Each of them make our family something of great beauty. I was thinking about this and thanking God for the years the locusts ate and it hit me how good God is. I do look longingly at others upbringing and wish my family had some of those characteristics. There's been huddles I've had to overcome to even begin to understand God's love for me. Yet often I act entitled. I'm entitled to absolutely nothing in this life. My sweet family is just a sweet blessing from God. It's not a reward or payment or pay back. It's just a result from His goodness. I deserve nothing. I'm not guaranteed tomorrow. He lavishes good things on me not because I deserve any of it but because God is a good God who loves His kids and wants to give us good things. My sense of entitlement in this life grieves my heart today and yet makes me all the more thankful for who God is and His gentle kindness, grace and love He continually shows me.

My heart is grieved over the condition of our country and yet grateful to live in a country where I can freely pursue a life with Christ without fear of real persecution. With freedom comes sacrifice. There are physical deaths that often occur in the struggle for freedom. There is also a dying to oneself that must occur in order to truly be free. I'm thankful for ALL the sacrifices that have been made so that I might be free. May I do my part to uphold that freedom in my country and in my own life.

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Love how fireworks brings out the awe and wonder of childhood in me. I might enjoy them more than my kids. Lots of other deeper thoughts tonight but will save the heavy somber stuff for another night. Good night with good peeps.

One thing that was highlighted this evening as I felt like an antisocial grumpy turd is that pain meds can be my friend. Ear not as crazy painful as last night but this afternoon my sinuses again felt horrible. Weird how my grumpiness wore off as pain meds who a friend thankfully had kicked in. I don't want to be a constant pill popper but I wonder how many times my family and other people have to endure my pain with me simply because I don't want to take anything. After all hurting people do hurt people.

Proverbs 14-17:

Surely somehow this verse relates to how messy my house is:
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭14‬:‭4‬ ESV)

Lord help me to be prudent and wise instead of believing anything.
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭14‬:‭15‬ ESV)

Thank you Jesus that you are the Word made flesh. Thank you for daily heart surgery and community to point out my junk:

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭2‬ ESV)

Crazy thankful for this!!!
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬ ESV)

I've thrown this verse out there on several occasions mainly in competition. However there is much to be learned for me in this verse:
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭18‬ ESV)

Help me to truly remember this as the gray hair keeps coming in.

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭31‬ ESV)

Ending tonight with more greatness about having a self controlled mouth:
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭17‬:‭27-28‬ ESV)

D