Sunday, August 31, 2014

DAY 1471: DANIEL 7-9

The Bit's early morning partying has finally caught up with me. I can not wait to pass out.

Good day with my peeps. Thankful.

Daniel 10-12:
Exhausted brain just melted.

D

Saturday, August 30, 2014

DAY 1471: DANIEL 7-9

Reminded last night that I'm a shame based parent. The reflection in the mirror can be painful and unsettling at times. There is hope though. I know God is slowly but surely chipping away at the ways I view Him and ultimately chipping away at the ways I view people and the way that I love them. I hate that the ones I love most often get the worst version of me. Again there is hope that even the worst version of me will slowly begin to look more like Jesus. It's not by strength any of that will happen either. I simply can't change myself. I don't do the things I desire to do and do the things I don't want to do. Thankful my hope is built on nothing less but Jesus blood and righteousness. The more fully I grasp the concept that God sees me fully clothed in Jesus righteousness the less shame that I will internalize and the less shame I will ooze onto others. God has to change that. My head knows many things but the heart can be so slow to follow.

Yesterday at the park my boy got bit by fire ants. I wish the only thing that came to mind was compassion and love. Instead because of his behavior moments before I felt as if justice had been served. A plague of ants sent to keep the boy from continuing in his folly. Today as I saw the numerous bites he received my heart aches for him. Why did it take so long for my heart to be broken for him?

I'm so thankful for this child. I'm thankful for the sanctification and compassion The Lord is going to grow in me as a result of being his momma. The day in and day out of raising him is incredibly difficult. I hate what is squeezed out of my heart while trying to parent him. The truth is that junk IS in my heart whether or not he squeezes it. Thank you Jesus that you are squeezing it out. Thank you that I feel completely lost as a parent. I can't do this, not alone anyway. I thank you that I don't feel like I can do this. Thank you for each of these six children who sharpens me in different ways. Thank you that your ways are not my own. If I had had it my way I would have stayed at a number that I felt like I was able to manage on my own easily. Or I would have stopped at four when things began to feel out of control.

I can't do this alone and I can't thank you enough that I can't God. I can't change these kids. I can't control them and I can't make them have a deep abiding relationship with you. I have to trust you with my everything when it comes to being apart of this family. Some days I'm better at it than others. Help me to release control and to trust you more and more. Help me remember that your grace covers everything even my mistakes as a parent. I can't screw them up, at least not ultimately. You will use the good, the bad and the painful in their lives for their benefit and for Your glory. Help me to fully rest in your love, your grace, your mercy and your Sovereignty. You are so good. All the time you are good. Please Lord may my children grow to know that and out of that choose to live out their lives as a living sacrifice. As a family help us pour it all out to you. Knit us together and create a powerhouse.

---------
Had the honor of listening to the fourth step of a cherished friend. Thankful for her and the work God has done in her life. Encouraged by her willingness to keep leaning in and doing the hard work of recovery.

I did realize today that part of my self protection is to guard myself with a shield of anger. Hate that. Praying to have the courage to let my guard down fully especially in situations where being hurt is a good possibility.

Fun times with friends tonight. Missed two peeps though. Crazy that before I know it date night will be much easier with kids able to stay home solo. Hopefully I'll remember to bless those with small bits so they can get out. Don't want to miss this season away. I'm already out of the I only have littles stage. How did the time pass through my fingers so quickly? It's so great for them to grow older but dang it happens way too fast!!!

Dan 7-9:
I was hanging decently with these chapters till the end of chapter 9. Prophesy which is slightly confusing. Not looking pretty for the saints towards the end. Pray my faith will hold without swerving no matter what the future may hold.

D

Friday, August 29, 2014

DAY 1470: DANIEL 4-6

Good day. Took the six pack to the park and came back home with minnows and tadpoles. I slightly fear how many critters we may end up with all in the name of the joy of learning. I will say this, I love our toads. They are really fun to watch. Actually the fun is watching them eat the bugs we throw in their tank. I'm very much aware that statement probably means I'm weird but sometimes you can't fight what you are.

Some rearranging today but what we really need is a complete overhaul. House is disgustor but what's new. Learning to embrace the filth. Still wouldn't say I'm ready for school to start Monday but might as get the ball rolling. Might even be better to not have it perfectly squared away, it's not like our days will go as I plan anyway. Everyday is a new adventure and it's best to hold it all extremely loosely.

At the park today I was reminded how much I cried while I was pregnant with this precious girl.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DAY 1469: DANIEL 1-3

Good day. Time spent catching up with a sweet friend. Lots of learning about breeding bugs for our frogs that actually happen to be toads. We needed a new tank set up too since toads don't like the same conditions as frogs.

Interestingly enough I discovered why our frogs that we raised from tadpoles died a couple seasons ago, they were actually toads. Toads will only eat live insects which explains why our fake frogs wouldn't eat their frog food. New discoveries every day. They are actually super fun. This time my girl is old enough to enjoy them just as much as I am. The spring we caught tadpoles I'm pretty sure I was more into it than the kids. Not this time :).

Feel like we are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in our home this week. Another night of giggles and shenanigans from the fort. Love how the kiddos have enjoyed being with each other. It's been a glorious week of toads and make shift tents. The only thing I regret about today is only eating one 50 cent corn dog from Sonic!

Daniel 1-3:
I love love love these chapter. So crazy inspiring and such a great vision to cast to my Brownies. It would have been so easy for Daniel and his three buds to go along with all the other Israelites youth chosen to be in Neb's court and eat the fine delicacies of the King. I love how Daniel stood his ground while being respectful and how God honored and blessed his requests. I love that God provided Daniel three friends who were willing to uphold the same standards. This gives me hope that if our culture continues to grow more hostile towards Christ Followers and my brownies posses the same kind of faith as Daniel that He will provide companionship even if it feels like most everybody else has compromised. God is good and He is sweet in His provision.

Love this verse:
Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. (‭Daniel‬ ‭2‬:‭14‬ ESV)

People have come to kill Daniel and he responds with prudence and discretion. This is so unlike me but this is who I want to grow to be like. May I wear meekness, gentleness, kindness, self control, prudence and discretion as if they were the finest of attire. Or rather may I wear them as my most cherished baseball cap. 

Then enters the beautiful quality of humility that Daniel possesses so beautifully. He is confident who he is in Christ and yet walks incredibly humbly. 

Daniel answered the king and said, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: (‭Daniel‬ ‭2‬:‭27-28‬ ESV)

But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind. (‭Daniel‬ ‭2‬:‭30‬ ESV)

Daniel simply doesn't boast of his wisdom.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (‭Daniel‬ ‭3‬:‭16-18‬ ESV)

May Les and I, our children, our grandchildren and great grandchildren possess this kind of loving affection for The Lord and the kind of faith that can move mountains.

These chapters are amazing. May I walk out my days with this kind of inspiring faith.

D

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DAY 1468: DANIEL 1-3

Amazing how passing out by 10pm can give rise to less grumpiness. So weird.

FW went pretty well tonight despite the fact we had a kid upset about going to childcare, pictures not being there and it just being different.

Our Bunny fell into the molding around the door tonight and grew a large horn on her head. The thud was unsettling and I'm thankful for the goose egg on her forehead and not a concussion.

Bigs sleeping in a fort again tonight. Love the giggling and shenanigans. Funny how on a regular night I'd be more likely to be hacked about the shenanigans. Oh how perspective plays so much into how I view the world. God give me your perspective.

Ezekiel 47-48:
Eyes closing but love the imagery of chapter 47 even though I don't fully understand it. The living water will flow like a river and fish and all the things that grow along the river banks will be lush and in great multitude. 

Love the last verse of this book:
The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There." (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭48‬:‭35‬ ESV)

Amen and amen!

D

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DAY 1467: EZEKIEL 44-4-4°

Stalking the Wagner kids twitter feed and trying not to bawl my eyeballs out. Love the way the Wagner's have pursued their kids and how much they love each other. I pray my kiddos grow up to be each other's biggest champions. I pray we push through the chaos and exhaustion and pursue these kids like crazy.

The Brownies made forts today and asked if they could sleep in them like the Lev children. Love that even if we were doing school this week the answer would have been yes. Thankful tonight redeemed my grumpalumpah spirit this afternoon.

My poor hubs walked in early this evening to Harriet the Hag. I had twenty forks already stuck in me and I didn't much care to push past my tude to be loving and kind. The really ironic thing is that I expect my kids to be able to push past a stinkpot mood. Awesome. Still grumpy but hoping some time with my friend Zeek will cure that.

Ezekiel 44-46 :
Restoration. Within restoration are boundaries and how things work when following with God. God lays out the new but old instruction for priests, sacrifices, ect.

Can't keep eyes open.

D

Monday, August 25, 2014

DAY 1466: EZEKIEL 40

I have the song crank it like a chainsaw stuck in my head. If I don't get it out soon I just might go stark raving mad!

Glad we didn't start school today. We did start our bible curriculum today and I must say that day 1 everybody is fired up about it. If everything else fails this year and this one thing sticks I'll consider this year an incredible success. I'm excited about it for myself as much as I am for the kids. Winning.

This afternoon my daughter came clean about hiding two frogs in her room. Where did she get said frogs? She got them from family camp of course! I will say it was hard to not be completely impressed by her ingenuity in the entire frog operation. Not fired up that she hid them BUT I am thankful she came clean. She could have killed them, gotten rid of the evidence and I never would have known. She's actually taken really great care of them. It's given rise to really good discussions and I pray that we continue to handle the situation with wisdom. I asked her to pray and ask that God would give us wisdom on what to do with the frogs based on what would be best for her heart instead of asking God if she could keep them. Again great opportunity for good discussion that will hopefully impact her heart. This story will go down in BrownTown history and I'm confident will be told to grandkids someday.

Gal at ReGen tonight shared tonight about the Battle of Jericho and the walls falling down. The seven days could be years, months, weeks or whatever but to not give up circling the walls. Loved that tonight and had never thought of that story that way. That's where knowing all the stories can get you in trouble. Hard to see new things when you think you already know by heart.

Ezekiel 40-43:
Love the words that describe being face to face with Jesus in chapter 43. Lots of detail in these chapters and measurements which is my favorite. Did find this beaut:

He measured it on the four sides. It had a wall around it, 500 cubits long and 500 cubits broad, to make a separation between the holy and the common. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭42‬:‭20‬ ESV)

Need to chew on that a bit. Hard to chew though when you are cranking it like a chainsaw.

D

Sunday, August 24, 2014

DAY 1465: EZEKIEL 33-39

BrownTown Academy starts tomorrow. I'm starting to second guess myself though. Just not ready and we are doing our ReEngage talk in FW on Weds so not sure starting tomorrow is wisdom. Oy!!! Honestly there is no start that seems great with Costa Rica. Nothing is going to be perfect but maybe after Labor Day makes most sense. Argh!!

Yep going to start next week. Hurray for last minute decisions! I can get the kids on a better schedule, get our chore charts back in effect, and be more prepared for a good start.

My girl got praised by another momma today for seeking out the kiddos who were new at the Dash and befriending them. I've been trying to instill that in her and it's sweet to hear she was doing it without me even being there or knowing about it. The fruit is good. Thankful for the work God is doing in her heart. I pray that God would gently bring her to a place of brokenness and that she would fully and completely understand her desperate need for Jesus and His vast love for her. I pray that for all my kiddos.

Ezekiel 33-39
Love this chapter. It actually fits in well with the sermon today and James. Loved this verse:

Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel? (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭33‬:‭11‬ ESV)

A friend had posted an except from a book and in it the author talked about doing a study on Isaiah and after chapter upon chapter of judgement they just skipped to the "good" part in the second half. It bothered me but I couldn't put my finger on why. Honestly I thought it was my legalistic Pharisee coming out in full effect. After reading that verse for whatever reason it hit me why I was upset by the skipping through the hard parts. The judgement is what we deserve. I think we don't like those chapters, myself included, because the reality is our sin is no different from the sin they are being punished for. It's the realization of how gross our sin is in light of a holy and perfect and powerful God that helps point us to our desperate need for a Savior. It's viewing the kind of judgement we deserve in light of God's grace and mercy that makes the redemption all the sweeter.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked! His heart is always to draw us to a relationship with Him and restoration. It's beautiful and we miss out on part of the beauty if we fast forward to the nicer parts of the bible. The hard chapters should weigh heavy on us. There was a huge price that was paid in order to set us free to sin. May I live fully in the fact that my debt was paid in full.

The last few chapters tonight are super intense. I know I'm not getting half of what is truly going on. Makes me want to do an intense study. Soon. Very soon. Thankful for His grace and for His Word!!

D

Friday, August 22, 2014

DAY 1463: EZEKIEL 27-30

Can't believe my Lilly Bit is one today. We started the day off watching video of when she was fresh. In one of the videos you can see where I had already started hacking from the evil cough. I'm so thankful we get to celebrate today. Today could have been a day just to remember. I'm thankful that for whatever reason His plan for our Bit is not yet over. So thankful for our baby girl. One year later I STILL can't believe we have TWO baby girls!!

Ezekiel 27-30:
Egypt you are going down and all the peeps who trusted in your protection. Pride comes before a great fall. God continue to root out the disgusting pride that lives within me.

D

Thursday, August 21, 2014

DAY 1462: EZEKIEL 22-26

Apathy has given way to finding the joy of being the momma to six wonderful little stinkpots. The last couple months have been nuts. I was thankful to ditch plans and let the house get completely thrashed and just enjoy who God made each of these stinkers to be. I've been too much taskmaster and not enough momma. Thankful to be refocused today and pray that it holds this fall as we kick off our fourth year of homeschooling. It seems like it's impossible that we are heading into year four. The first three years of a teachers career they are supposed to be super green and in that fourth year they start to get their teaching legs. I'm not banking on that happening but hopeful.

Fun family night complete with a pulled together ghetto dinner, talent show and pj sonic run. We got some great footage that I'm sure they will die of embarrassment over one day. I for one will cherish it as these days are so crazy fleeting.

Ezekiel 22-26
Chapter 23 is really hard to read. Yet unfortunately I couldn't help but think about America and the culture we are now sitting in. Judgement will indeed come one day.

D

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DAY 1461: EZEKIEL 21

Grabbing a few quite moments before time with my peeps tonight. I'm so exhausted. The Bit has something going on and it feels like it's been weeks since she has slept well. The human pacifier stint is killing me softly. I think due to being sleep deprived I'm in a Solomon kind of mood. I'm not talking proverbs more like Ecclesiastes. What is the meaning of all this? Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless. Apathy is my worst enemy so not handling my own mood very well.

To add to the fun I was a total grump with my Brownies today. I hate being a jerk face mother. It's not helping my awful case of apathy today. Really hoping it doesn't stick around. Who has time for that?

Maybe all this is a result of ignoring Sabbath. I'd almost put money on it. My soul is sick and dry and is desperate for some solace.

I am so dramatic. I wonder where my children get there's from?
-------
After chatting with my hubs tonight and hearing his own struggle I think a big part of my problem is being back in the city. It feels incredibly oppressive. I wish I didn't. It makes sense though. I grew up on maybe an acre or so and there were lots of places to explore. My grandparents had lots of land so while still in the city there was always plenty of space to create and imagine and explore. My hubs grew up in smaller towns with ample opportunity to roam and explore. In some ways it's hard wired in us. Being in the middle of God's creation soothes my soul in ways I can't even express. After being a week in the woods I think I'm going through some serious withdrawals.

Ezekiel 21:
The time is coming for The Lord to draw His sword.

D

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DAY 1460: EZEKIEL 17-20

First full day alone with kiddo post family camp bliss. Tail was kicked and I kept hoping some amazing counselor would pop up to whisk my beautiful children off to some energy draining activity. This school prep and Costa Rica thing has my undies in an overwhelmed bunch. Honestly I'd just put off the start of school till we get back from CR but then the reality that we would start before October is highly unlikely. Then the weather would be cooler and at that point I might as well just not start till January when it's cold and dreary and I'm over winter already. Unschooling sounds so appealing right now. Nevermind, the idea of absolutely no structure and no plan and six LOUD children making noise and chaos all up in my space sounds horrific. I'm thankful I'm going deaf.

Our WUC is officially gone. My hubs has hated that couch since the day it came into our home. We have traded one green couch for another. The new couch is nice but I was fine with the other. Switching couches during the midst of feeling overwhelmed isn't my idea of awesome but great good has come from the great couch swap of 2014. Our neighbor now has the WUC and she needed the WUC. I'm so very thankful she has it and I pray it's a visual reminder that she is deeply loved. I pray for sweet redemption in her life and in her house.

Ezekiel 17-20:
Fading fast but this verse struck me the most tonight:

because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭20‬:‭16‬ ESV)

We neglect the Sabbath because our hearts are chasing after idols. This is so simple and so true.

I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭20‬:‭19-20‬ ESV)

Insanely convicting. The question now is what should Sabbath look like?

D

MEMORIAL STONES

So thankful this sweet Bunny's test came back clear. God provided for us with great doctors and friends who held up our arms in prayer. Thankful for yet another memorial stone in BrownTown's history.

Monday, August 18, 2014

DAY 1459: EZEKIEL 16

Thankful to be feeling mostly better from stomach woes of yesterday. Would have hated to miss out on such a sweet day.

Nest meeting this morning. Love those women and love their hearts. A mentor mom reached out to me as I shared the difficultly with one kiddo in particular. As Mommas shared other things it reminded me of how good it feels to know you are not alone. Thankful that God gives us the gift of each other and the beauty that comes from authenticity. Thankful for extra time with a cherished friend this afternoon and for a full tank headed into the chaos of this afternoon.

My baby girl spiraled so much this afternoon. I know she's still camp exhausted but it's hard to watch her get taken down and spun up by lies. I can so clearly see the struggle with pride, insecurity and perfectionism in that one. Shame and guilt could be thrown into the mix too. Hate that some of my own crap has contributed to her struggles but I know God is greater and if she is willing to learn to walk with Him, He can make all things beautiful. I can guide her, disciple her, but ultimately I have no control over whether or not my girl will see her need for Jesus. I pray all my kiddos realize their brokenness and their desperate need for a Savior.

Thankful for these sweet kids. The challenges and sanctification each one brings and for the way each one of them makes BrownTown well BrownTown. Thankful.

Excited for trying out a homeschool co-op for the first time this year. Thankful for the friends I will get to see on a weekly basis and for the relationships my kiddos will forge this upcoming year. They are going to love it. I'm so excited for them and for me frankly. Thankful for the reminder of why we are willing to do this crazy thing called homeschooling. No where near ready to start school and yet really feeling the need to kick things off next week. Oy! Maybe a festivus miracle will happen over the next week. Or maybe I can ditch the perfectionism and it can just be what it's going to be till we really get the ball rolling.

Started reading the BFG to my kiddos this afternoon as we were piled into the hallway for no other reason than to be piled onto each other. I've missed doing just fun read alouds lately. They clung to every word and begged for me to read more chapters. Have to admit I love that!! This year one of the Ambleside stories I read was called the Black Douglas and for whatever reason the boys loved it and would beg for me to read it over and over. Love when their little imaginations get captured by a good story. I pray their hearts would be captured by the amazing story God has written since the beginning of time.

Ezekiel 16:
Israel is compared to an unfaithful bride. Strong imagery in this chapter. Some of it is kinda creepy but the imagery of Israel's unfaithfulness is very effective.

D

Sunday, August 17, 2014

DAY 1458: EZEKIEL 11-15

Intestinal funk turned into full blown puke bug today. It's not violent but lingering and obnoxious. Not sure what is better the short and stink or the long and lingering. Thankful my body waited till we were home to breakdown. Right now I'm two for two on family camp and puke bugs. Hopefully like Estes I'll be the only one who actually ends up puking.

No getting back into the swing of things today. Thankful my sweet hubs was able to stay home tonight. I am sad I missed promotion Sunday at the Dash. One of my favorite Sunday's!

Ezekiel 11-15:
Great imagery about the fruitless vine. Stomach building up again. Hoping to beat it by falling asleep.

D

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DAY 1457: EZEKIEL 5-

Sitting down and I'm suddenly crazy exhausted. So spoiled over being fed all week long and as bad as I was at feeding my family before I imagine it will be even worse this week as I adjust back to the real world. I'm not quite ready for the real world filled with trying to figure out three meals a day, grocery shopping, meetings, planning for school, chore slave driver, dishes, laundry, and all the other doldrums of motherhood. With those doldrums though is the realization that we are insanely blessed! We have food to eat. We can go grocery shopping. There are six sweet babies to feed and plan for school. We are blessed abundantly. ABUNDANTLY.

I think more than the doldrum blues I'm struggling with being back in the city blues. I could feel the pollen plague as we got closer and the soul sucking that began to happen in the city. It would be interesting to go back through and find out if the same depression sets in after camping or being somewhere beautiful. I want to get rid of 3/4ths of our stuff and go move out to a tiny house in the country. Or a big house with a sprinkler system. Part of me will slowly begin to die and I won't even realize what has died till I'm out of the city and it's awakened again. I don't know what I'm supposed to do about this. It feels oppressive but at least I know where the funk is coming from.

Lots to process from the last week. Will have to wait for another night though.

Ezekiel 5-10:
Things are not good for the Israelites. The lord's justice is about to be poured out.

Phone about to die. Eyes about to close.

D

DAY 1453: JEREMIAH 31-

Incredible day of camp. Started off early on a wave runner with my hubs. It turned into a living illustration of what God desires for my hubs and I in marriage. He then took it further to show me ultimately it's what God desires for my relationship with Him. Thankful for the living illustration and gentle reminder that self sufficiency is not what The Lord desires of me and that it hinders my relationships. Very interesting that the same gentle reminder was echoed two more times this morning.

Things went awry last week and yuck was especially squeezed out of me towards the end of the week trying to get ready for camp. One week ago we were getting an EEG done for our Bunny. As I look back on things I realize I was ready to trust God with whatever we happened to find out but I chose not to walk with Him. The walls of my heart went up and I went into self sufficiency mode. I didn't surrender my plans, my time or my heart to The Lord. I don't have to be gone long to realize how quickly my heart goes down hill. I'm more sinful than I could ever imagine and I need to walk in the Spirit daily or else there is a fast decline.

Great stuff today in the speaker sessions which hopefully I'll be able to process more through later. Nothing earth shattering but incredible reminders about who I am and how that should impact how I live out my life. Oh if only I could daily remember that I live under the banner of "it is finished" so that I'd stop dragging myself to court.

Ended the evening with dinner with my hubs and a sunset boat ride with some great peeps. So crazy thankful for the opportunity to be here. Such an incredible blessing!

Jeremiah 31:
Hate it but falling asleep again.

Favorite verse of the chapter:
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish." (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31‬:‭25‬ ESV)

D

DAY 1456: EZEKIEL 1-4

I guess my phone found a random connection and email has started to flood into my inbox. Ho hum. There has to be a solution to the soul sucking tyranny of email.

Speaking of soul squeezing this week has lead up to a climax today. Lots of families who have adopted or foster are here. I wish The Lord would take away the tug that happens in my heart for adoption and foster care. In some ways it just feels cruel.

Two girls were unkind to Abbie at the pool today. Mother bear wanted to eat some children but instead went to help model to three girls what conflict resolution can look like. Afterwards I got to make connections with both girls. Sweet and unexpected. One sweet girl was adopted. I got to hear her heart and how her bio brother turns 8 tomorrow and how she may never see him again. He's yet to be adopted. The other girl is with her grandparents and her home situation doesn't seem all that great. Heartbreaking.

Those who are the most hurtful and offensive can be the ones who are the most wounded inside. God give me eyes to see people the way that you do. Help grow me towards a maturity that does not self protect.

I'm at a loss tonight in some ways. I feel like I've had a great week at a place that encompasses so many of the things I'm passionate about. The dots are all connected here. How do I connect the dots in the same way back home? I feel like a new ache and longing has been awakened and like the adoption/foster care thing it just feels cruel.

I know God is not a cruel God. He sees things I can not see and I trust Him. I must remember to be faithful with where I am. I must love and train up the six Brownies He's so graciously blessed me with and the kiddos He places along our path. He makes the rough places smooth and lights our path.

Ezekiel 1-4:
Very interesting imagery. Repeated several times is the theme of having ears that listen and a heart willing to receive. No coincidence this was talked about today.

God give me ears that hear, eyes that see and a humble heart willing to receive. May I eat your word with joy and may it be as sweet as honey.

DAY 1452: JEREMIAH 30-

First full day of family camp has been great. It has been hard not to feel a bit guilty about dropping off the smalls so much and it's difficult being served like crazy at meal times. The latter is very humbling and I'm thankful.

The theme this year at camp is Broken. Perfect for this prideful stinkpot. Oh how I wish I could rid myself of my pride once and for all. It doesn't work that way though. There is a slow and often painful stripping away, a dying of self that produces a humble and contrite heart.

Tonight I got to experience relying on God to convict one of my children. It was powerful for me to watch it all unfold the way it did. Humbling to see a real life example of how painful my sinful choices can be to God. Oh how he beckons us to commune with Him, to run to Him daily and share our day and our entire lives with Him. I also got to see the full beauty of restoration and the joy of once again having a restored relationship. The details didn't matter, a contrite spirit, was all that mattered in the restoration. No lecture was needed just Jesus. Lord let my words be few but meaningful when spoken to my Brownies. Help me not to try to be the Holy Spirit in their lives. Give me wisdom of when I need to be quiet and entrust their hearts to you. In the low tide moments help us live out Deut 6 so that they are being trained up to be your men and your women.

Jeremiah 30-
This verse really stands out:

Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭30‬:‭7‬ ESV)

Today we had to share our high and low of the year. It's been a rough year. Yet much has been born out of the difficulty. I wouldn't trade a moment of it. Thankful that God uses distress to ultimately save us.

LB finally fell asleep so I'm going to join her.

D

DAY 1452: Jer 25-29

I HEART family camp and it's only just begun. Going to bed with a full heart.

I do confess unfortunately that in the craze of this week I've been sprinting ahead of God rather than walking with Him. I'm thirsty and it didn't take long to get there.

Thankful for the blessing of this opportunity. There is nothing we did to deserve this amazing gift. I love camp and I love that I'm at camp with my precious family. Secretly praying some of my offspring grow up with a burning desire to be a camp counselor one day even if it means I miss out on some summers with them.

Jeremiah 25-29:
Brain shutting down. The two things I can take away and remember are :
1. Just because someone claims to be a man or woman of God don't trust what they have to say blindly. Everything should be run through the grid of scripture.

2. Even in the midst of discipline and judgement God's heart is to turn His peoples hearts back to Him. He isn't trying to destroy His people in a fit if rage just because He can. He loves them and longs to walk with them.

D

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DAY 1455: LAMENTATIONS 1-5

Argh! Looks like my post from yesterday completely disappeared. Bummer. Oh well.

I'm so crazy far behind on Jeremiah I think I'm going to press on towards Lamentations and come back around to Jeremiah in bits and pieces.

Another fantastic day of camp. Love this place! Sweet to get to hear the story of how the camp director and his family got here. Love their heart. They care about the same things I do. This place encompasses so much of what I'm passionate about. There is part of me that could pine away at the idea of our family being apart of something like this. Back in my Gateway days a friend mentioned how perfect Les and I would be running a Christian camp someday. What a wonderful dream. What I can take away that seems much more practical is coming up with a brochure that encompasses what we are passionate about as a family. Figuring out how we are wired and how God could best use our talent, ability and passion to the fullest. It seems to me that God would be most glorified in us if those three things collided somehow. With all that being said I'm very content where we are and the path God has placed us on. For so long I kept looking and searching for the next thing. I want to have the freedom to dream big because we have a big God but thankful for the peace that contentment brings.

Very interesting how this week of teaching at camp has lined up with a lot of the same themes God has been teaching me the past year. I desperately desire to clear away the clutter and the idols that keeps me from living life to the fullest. Busyness chokes out so much life. The question was posed today if we had 25 hours instead of 24 would we then have enough hours in the day. The ugly truth is that I'm just not wise and faithful enough with the time I have been given. Part of me wants to do something radical and completely do away with email and all forms of social media. I am convinced now more than ever that our smart phones are killing us. I know this, I've known this. Why haven't I done anything about it? Our brains are being rewired, it steals precious moments we have with those that we love, the tyranny of the "urgent" sets in, and we loose sight of what is really important. God let me use this evil device in ways that would honor and glorify you. If I can't be a good steward of this crazy contraption in my hand I pray that you would take it away from me. God I pray that for everything that I have. Strip away the dead weight, the things I cling to for comfort, the idols I have hidden away in my heart. God I am so grossly prideful. Help me to be fully confident in who I am in you yet let me not boast of anything apart from you. You have to change me because I certainly can't not. Help me to realize my daily need for you. Make me thirst and yearn for you Lord. Instead of the desert happening after days of not walking with you make it be hours, minutes. Help me to live for the things that are unseen rather than the things I can see. May I view this world more and more the way you view this world. Capture my children's hearts. May they love you like crazy and be captivated by the big and amazing God that you are. Help them to know who they belong to and their desperate need for a Savior.

God tonight I saw a video of a boy who had epilepsy. That so could have been our story. For all we know that still could be our story. We have no clue what lies ahead but I do know we are loved and pursued by a great and wonderful God. If you are walking with us Lord we can walk through the fire and not be burned. We can pass through the flood and not be swept away. For tonight Lord I am so thankful for the seven other amazing blessings sleeping in this cabin right now. For the church and community you have placed us in.

Lamentations:
This is a heavy book. Israel has finally reaped what it has sowed. Jeremiah despairs over the suffering he sees happening to God's people and his own suffering. He is on the brink of loosing all hope when he stops and remembers who God is. This helps recenter him yet his anguish is not immediately taken away.

Fading....
D

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DAY 1453: JEREMIAH 32

Love being unplugged this week. Thank you Lord for no cell service at camp!!

So crazy thankful to be where we are this week. It's been blessing upon blessing. So fun to watch my kids learn to push through, conquer fear, love each other and grow confidence right before my eyes. This place has been so very good for our family. Hope this magical place can become a family tradition.

Jeremiah 32:
Great chapter reminding God's people of who The Lord is, what He has done and how powerful He is. God's faithfulness is highlighted in this chapter as well as His love for His people despite their rebellion. Thankful for a loving Father who is willing to let us reap what we sow, discipline us for our benefit and who never stops loving us.

D

Sunday, August 10, 2014

DAY 1450: JEREMIAH 24

So tired. Hate to start first day of camp exhausted but oh well. Sleep is for the weak. Er I mean wise.

Behind on Jeremiah but hoping to get caught up this week.

Jeremiah 24:
God tells Jeremiah His plans for the remnant (the good figs) and the people left in Judah (the bad figs).

Eyes won't stay open...

D

Friday, August 08, 2014

DAY 1449: JEREMIAH 23-

Whirlwind kinda day trying to finally get some kind of game plan together for camp. Memorial service in FW on Saturday and date night tonight so looking like Saturday is going to be a late night. Living on the edge.

Starting to think my kiddo with "processing issues" might instead be ADHD. It would explain a lot of things. Now I'm kinda stumped about how to go about testing. I don't want a label and wouldn't want to go the medication route I just want to know how to best come alongside my kid.

Today was a huge win for that kid that just kinda happened. He is now the Team Captain of the bathroom and with a few more trainings he will be "qualified" to train others how to be his partner when he cleans the bathroom. He has his own cleaning supplies and marching orders to gently encourage his siblings to pick up after themselves in the bathroom. The kid was beaming and my oldest caught on right away and praised the heck out of him. Hoping increased ownership for him and the other kids will eventually give way to a cleaner house. A mom can dream! At least for today it was a win.

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Already have answers on testing from a knowledgeable and dear friend. Love that gal and it's not just because she's brave enough to watch our crew.

Good date night but could have skipped the horrors of trying on a swimsuit with a million fluorescent lights.

Jeremiah 23:
False prophets are going down. Such a fantastic chapter.

"Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain! (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭23‬:‭28‬ NLT)

D

Thursday, August 07, 2014

DAY 1448: JEREMIAH 19

Didn't go to Well this morning but think it was a wise choice as I know lack of sleep helps to spiral crazy. Good talk with my hubs and what he is reading in the Word and remembering where my crazy is coming from. The prince of darkness has had me spun up. He is the master of creating confusion and chaos. God desires us to walk in peace and to rest in Him.

I can see how God is pursuing and wooing another to Himself and I KNOW He has done that with me. He will continue. He has hemmed me in before and behind and His hand is upon me.

As with Bella, I have to trust that what my eyes have seen is not accurate. She's not having hundreds of seizures a day which is common with absence seizures. Praise God!! His hand has hemmed her in before and behind and He has placed His loving hand on her head. I will praise Him if things shake out and all this is just a distant memory and memorial stone of His faithfulness and I will praise Him if this story is not complete. I will NOT let fear overcome. I will NOT let chaos and doubt creep in. The Lord leads me and guides me and this situation is no different.

I am thankful to have the smallest glimpse or insight into the lives of some people I love. Each situation is different and personal but thankful to be able to sit in it more.
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Great conversation with a neighbor this evening. She is so close to fully diving in with Jesus. I pray that she no longer teeters back and forth but rather jumps in with both feet.

Thankful for my hubs, my sweet babies, sun and chlorine, the blessing of authentic relationships with the people God has blessed me with, friends who speak truth and bedtime.
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Jeremiah 19-22:
Justice has come to Israel.

D

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

DAY 1447: JEREMIAH 18-

Really raw today. I think the stress and heartache over the past couple months has left me undone. Got good news at the Neurologist today. I wish I was able to run out of the office relieved and jumping and skipping for joy. It might be that I'm just unable to switch gears after everything on Monday but the results have not brought the peace that I would have hoped. The presence of seizure activity would have at least seemed like answers.
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Feeling a bit better this evening being able to rest in the results of Bella's appt today. Unless proven otherwise there really is nothing else to do at this point. If we come across more incidences we will take the advice of the dr today and give her a good shake. If she doesn't snap out of it then we'll have to figure out another plan from there.

I'm feeling pretty crazy tonight. It's similar to first semester Shelter crazy but at least in the crazy I feel like at least my feet are still on the ground.

In the course of the last two weeks conflict has stirred up fear and insecurity in ways that I wasn't expecting. I'm having a hard time pushing past heartbreak and knowing I too could be in a similar situation to another. I should be completely unnerved. I should be heartbroken and I should be humble enough to know I could easily be in the same situation. It's making me question everything. At some point, just like Bella's EEG results I'm going to have to go by what the "test results" say. If I'm digging in daily with The Lord and in His word and trying to ruthlessly bring things into the light then I have to trust in the community around me and the Holy Spirit to reveal the broken and sinful places.

Jeremiah 16:
Clay in the Potters hands.

D

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

DAY 1446: JEREMIAH 16-17

Sitting here fuming over the tiniest thunderstorm in the world. Things always go around us but tonight a small isolated cell decided to head straight towards us and I'm pissed. I desperately wanted to run tonight, to work out whatever is going on in my head. I saw the storm coming and threw up my middle finger and tried to run anyway. That worked out well. Reminds me very much of a time in Austin when I raged against The Lord in the middle of a storm. Like tonight He was there that day too.

I feel like Jacob. I'm wrestling because I want to do things my way. I want to operate out of MY OWN STRENGTH. I claim to desire an obedient heart and yet tonight my willful obstinance is fierce. I don't even know what I'm fighting about. I know now.
"God don't you know I need this run with you to sort things out. Why would you take this away from me? It's been crazy lately. Don't you care?"

He is the great I AM. The One who can create random thunderstorms to make Himself known to a bratty child He loves. I can't see the full picture but He does and I know that He loves me and I know that He cares about things great and small. For all I know tonight could have been my Dad protecting me from something I'm completely unaware of. He loves me that much. He loves me that much when He knows what's around the corner and still allows it to happen anyway. He never grows weary or grows tired and He goes to great lengths to pursue each of His children differently. He is good all the time.

There is much peace after the storm.

Today was kinda nutty. Started off at our Pediatricians office to chat about possible seizures in our Bunny. Our sweet dr went out of his way to try to get us seen today. If she is indeed having seizures it wasn't critical to get in today but he wanted to get us in so we don't have to sit in the unknowns for long. Thankful for the provision of this dr. He has been so incredible at every turn.

I was at Costco which is always epic with a gaggle of Brownies when I got a call that we had an appt to get an EEG this afternoon. Again God provided with a friend I love there as we were scrambling to leave and immediately had kidcare taken care of. How sweet is that? Silly now that I questioned Him tonight over a stupid run. The fee minutes I got stunk anyway.

Hard seeing my baby nervous over getting a test done. The person who did the EEG was fantastic. Bella did great but I know today was rough for her. Thankful we won't have to wait months to have answers.

Jeremiah 16-17:
Fading fast.

D

Monday, August 04, 2014

DAY 1445: JEREMIAH 11-15

Emotionally spent. Exhaustion is not helping anything. We've been suspicious that one of our kiddos might possibly be having seizures. Today there were enough things to get us to make an appointment with our pediatrician. Thankful to not be spiraling in a bunch of what ifs or nonexistent drama. I'm sad but I'm okay if it's seizures, I'm okay if she'll grow out of them, I'm okay if she won't and I'm okay even if the worst possible scenario happens. This precious girl is not mine. She is the Lord's and whatever may happen in the upcoming weeks or months or years or a lifetime I trust Him and I know that He is good. I find much comfort within the sadness of living in a world where kids have to navigate through pain, brokenness, and sickness. I'm so thankful for at least today to be able to rest in Him. If this turns out to be something there's nobody else I want to lean into than my Father. I'm not strong enough to walk through the fire or pass through the flood but I can if He carries me through it.

Today I was faced with not knowing what part of one of my kiddo's disobedience is out of a willful heart or out of a true processing disorder. I need to do some reading and I need to continue to research on other options of testing for him. I need to know what I'm dealing with so I can effectively train this kid. I don't want to crush this kid if he truly just can't do what I'm asking him to do. I feel like I've missed it with this kid. I want to understand him and I want to have enough mercy and compassion to draw him out.

If I'm completely honest and I know I'm incredibly tired and this plays a huge part but I feel like I'm completely fing this thing up. I'm with these kids all day long how can I miss a processing disorder for six freaking years? If my daughter is having seizures how the hell did I miss that? I know what I would tell someone if they asked me those questions but it feels awful tonight.

This is where the rubber meets the road though. Do I fully trust in God's Sovereignty and His timing or do I not? If I do then I have to trust Him with my mistakes, oversights and my junk as a parent. I'm not big enough to stop God's will and purpose for my life, my hubs life, my children, kids, ect.. I am responsible to be faithful but God doesn't need me, He invites me to join in the beauty of His plan but He does not need me. How great to be loved and pursued just because I am His not because of anything I can do or offer. Rest. Cease striving. Sabbath. Thankful for this time to be still and quiet and be reminded of truth.

Watching three wonderful little stinkpots tonight. Thankful for these silly boys and for the parents raising them.

I'm pained and grieved right now for somebody I love. I feel helpless and completely clueless on what I should do. I feel as if anything I would do would be the very wrong thing to do. So maybe the very best thing to do is continue to pray.

Jeremiah 11-15:
Hard to stay focused tonight. Loved that the object lessons going on in chapter 11. God meets us where we are if we have eyes that see and ears that hear. God I know I can be deaf and blind help give sight to this blind girl and give me ears to hear. Giggling a bit inside about ears that can hear since I am sorta deaf right now. Phone about to die and struggling to focus so in out.

D

Sunday, August 03, 2014

DAY 1444: JEREMIAH 7-10

Exhausted. Lots of heartbreak and loss today. Two couples very heavy on my heart tonight. Thankful to serve a God who is known as the Prince of Peace. Praying for the comfort only The Lord can give for people that I love.

Lots of growth the last couple months. Painful growth but sometimes I think that's the best kind. Learning lots about my self protection and bearing with others even when it's painful. I hate the crazy and the chaos that still resides in me yet I'm thankful for God who is faithful at continuing to finish the work He started in me. Thankful for faithful friends willing to inflict wounds so that I might not deceive myself.

At the retreat I went on last weekend I had opportunity to sit at God's feet and weep over my fear of living life with a false sense of reality. I did for so many years and I know there are areas where this continues to be true. I heard God say "trust that I will provide". I continued to agonize not knowing whether or not I could trust what I think is God speaking to me. It was then that I realized my struggle with trust these days is not being able to trust myself. There is a healthy fear knowing that ultimately I can't trust myself. The provision God was speaking of are friends willing to speak truth into my life. I'm so thankful for the precious friends God has surrounded me with who have been faithful to speak truth in love to me. That is a beautiful gift and beautiful provision from The Lord.

Jeremiah 7-10:
Kinda stinks to be in these chapters tonight. The judgement about to be poured out upon Israel and Judah. The Israelites have been so wayward and have refused to heed God's warning. Even now He would hold back His wrath if only they would turn from their wicked ways. So sad.

Crashing with a very heavy heart tonight.

D

Saturday, August 02, 2014

DAY 1443: JEREMIAH 1-6

4 mi. Walk 1 min/run 1 min. Brutal. Painful. Longest darn distance I've gone in over 10 years. I could lament over that fact or rejoice in the fact that today my booty ran/walked 4.67mi. Feels good to be doing the things I know I ought to be doing.

Good day. Pool which was cold in August. August!!!! Loving this summer. I think the mild summer is what is making it seem as if it has flown by. Normally it's so oppressive that by August everybody is begging for Fall to come. At this rate summer can stay all year!

Sad for the loss of a dear friend. Makes me ponder lots about various things. Bottom line life is such a precious gift. Life itself reflects the glory of God. Thankful that this place is not our home and there will no longer be the sorrow of death and disease and our bodies will one day be made new.

Jeremiah 1-6:
It's crazy how much God loves us. God's people have been unfaithful. I have been unfaithful. Yet God is faithful and loves us while we are still caught up in the thick of our sin and disgrace. God has warned His people yet they will not listen. They offer sacrifices and lip service but they chase wholeheartedly after other gods. They do not see their sin and go on sinning thinking they have done nothing wrong. Their eyes are blind and their ears are deaf. I'm so thankful The Lord rescued me from the slimy pit of decay that I brought upon myself. He faithfully pursued me even though I ran off with other gods time and time again. He is faithful and His love is extravagant. I know what's coming for Israel and Judah and it's heartbreaking. Why won't they listen? Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear.

This is what the LORD says: "Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, 'No, that's not the road we want!' (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭6‬:‭16‬ NLT)

Lord help my family and I stand at the Crossroads and walk in your ways!

D

Friday, August 01, 2014

DAY 1442: ISAIAH 63-66 & TITUS 1

Day of appts, park fun with extras, and family movie night. Got in a run and I stunk it up. Couldn't find a comfortable stride and it was hard to breath. My pace from last night was so horribly off. Toots! I knew it was too good to be true BUT there was part of me who had her fingers crossed. I reckon slow ass running is better than no running at all. Feeling really good to workout the only body God has given me for this time on earth.

LB had shots and is now getting the funk that was passed around this week. Sleep is for the weak!!!

Tonight I was thinking about when Joshua was born and we had three in diapers. I changed so many poopy diapers that year. Some days it felt like all I did was change poop. Now those three wonderful knuckleheads are 7, 6 and almost 5. How in the world did that happen? Thankful for these wonderful chaotic days. Oh how short these days are!!!

Isaiah 63-66:
So much in these chapters. Not enough time. Read them, they are beautiful!!

"No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only the cursed will die that young!

They will not work in vain, and their children will not be doomed to misfortune. For they are people blessed by the LORD, and their children, too, will be blessed. I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (‭Isaiah‬ ‭65‬:‭20, 23-25‬ NLT)

Can. Not. Wait!!!!!!

My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭66‬:‭2‬ NLT)

A humble and contrite heart are the things you love. Help me Lord!

D