Friday, October 31, 2014

DAY 1532: LUKE 14

This might be my favorite Halloween yet. We've had lots of fun Halloweens over the years with people we love and adore but this year for the first time it's been our most intentional Halloween. Feel like we had some great conversations with neighbors we don't get to speak with or see very often. Got to see neighbors we do get to interact with on a more regular basis and ended the night with friends around a fire. Halloween has taken on a whole new meaning for me now and I want to capitalize on this holiday as much as I can and use it for intentional relationship building. Super jazzed! It's amazing what people will talk about with just a few simple questions. Wheels are turning for next year and I have renewed hope for what our block could be like. Dreaming up a Christmas light contest. God may your light shine on our street. May you equip us with creativity to reach our neighbors and to love them like crazy and point them to you. Thank you for tonight. Passion has been reignited and I'm so thankful for the gift of tonight.

A child was abducted tonight. A precious one year old boy. Dear Jesus protect your child tonight. Fight for the weak and defenseless. I pray justice will reign tonight and you would be glorified.

The song Oh Come Emanuel has been on my heart the past couple days. Jesus came to rescue me. I forget that simple wonderful truth. And the words I heard spoken to me one night parked in my driveway have increased in depth tonight. "You don't have to be so strong because I came to rescue YOU."

I heard self reliance and self protection coming from a neighbor this afternoon. Nobody protected her and she's learned to dig in and do things her own way. But there's a new way for her because she's a new creation in Christ. Old habits do not die quickly though. 

As for me, what does it look like to live out life with the knowledge that I don't have to be strong because Jesus came to rescue me. It's living life without fear, without being self reliant and trusting even when my greatest instinct tells me to self protect. It's not to be a fool but it's living life with an unguarded heart. Much easier said than done. 

Luke 14:
The cost of being a disciple. Be humble. Take up your cross and follow Him. 

Makes me think about this verse:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ ESV)

Love how Jesus continually healed people on the Sabbath. Makes me think that the quality of being a pot stirrer can indeed be redeemed for The Lord's purposes.

D

Thursday, October 30, 2014

DAY 1531: LUKE 13

Still dreaming of Montana or living somewhere with seasons and mountains to gaze upon everyday. Now that some normalcy is returning my post Costa Rica, why the heck are we living here has returned with a vengeance. Life is too short to live somewhere so ugly. This city chokes the life right out of you.

I've been a stinkpot this week. Poor kids have had tired and grumpy mom. I read an article about just no longer yelling at your kids. Just stop. As if it's that easy. I would love to just stop being concerned about the wrong things. I wish encouragement was first and foremost on my tongue in regards to my kids instead of pointing out their failures. I wish I could just start and just stop the other. Today I was frustrated at God for my behavior. That's just how awesome I've been this week. I want things to be easy. I want patience to be easy. I want navigating life on not enough sleep to be easy. My idols of ease and comfort have surely been a stumbling block this week. Thank you God for Jesus.

Luke 13:
God's Word is overwhelming. It's so good for the soul. Longing for an extended time to sit in solitude. Part of me doesn't want that time because I'd much rather be independent and aloof. I'm to thank for my children's stubborn streak because I'm as stubborn as they come.

Loved this parable tonight.

The Parable of the Fig Tree:
Then Jesus told this story: "A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, 'I've waited three years, and there hasn't been a single fig! Cut it down. It's just taking up space in the garden.' "The gardener answered, 'Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I'll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.'" (‭Luke‬ ‭13‬:‭6-9‬ NLT)

So thankful for His mercy and grace.

Pray for us as we figure out how to navigate one child's stubborn willfulness and another's constant stomach pains.

D

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DAY 1530: LUKE 12

So the littlest has taken to screaming and it has made our days rather interesting. Oh these sweet and spicy girls! They make my heart want to burst and my ears want to bleed.

Luke 12:
Love these verses:
"So don't be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. "Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. (‭Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭32-33‬ NLT)

Children almost asleep. Time to catch up with the hubs.

D

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DAY 1529: LUKE 12

1. Thankful for a girls night out with precious friends.

2. Thankful for community, official and unofficial.

3. Kids are going through something right now. Think the craziness of the past month has caught up with them.

4. Sleep deprivation starting to hit hard. Brain is not working properly. Seriously can't think straight. My little stinker has not aided in the sleep department.

5. Today I realized I treat my kids as if they are burdens. At times they can be but I don't want them growing up feeling that way. The truth is they are incredible although stubborn little people. I love who they are and I believe the burden in parenting is actually a blessing simply by the way it sanctifies. God help me to love like you do.

Luke 12:
The parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and prodigal son. Need to go back and listen to Piper's talk on this. God loves us ragamuffins so incredibly much!!!

D

Monday, October 27, 2014

DAY 1528: LUKE 11

1. Thankful for pj day at co-op today.

2. Dreamed about snake bites, car wrecks and running over people and things last night.

3. Exhausted.

4. I want to move to Montana. The insane winter isn't even a deterrent. Why Montana? Not sure. Last time I got an itch like this it was for Portland before Les and I got married. Oddly enough we ended up moving there about a year later. This "itch" could be born out of a desire to get away or maybe we'll move to Montana someday. Who knows? Until then I'll sit here and itch.

5. Still wish church was simpler. Christmas lights, outdoors, acoustic with voices raised to the Creator. We humans complicate everything.

6. I'm a Pharisee. Saw a dude with a bible tattooed on his right hand. He was smoking with his left. My first thought "oh that's great". I'm such a rotten stinkpot who is in desperate need of God's grace.

7. Feel like I'm in no man's land right now.

Luke 11:
So much going on that I'm missing. My tired brain is not working.

D

Sunday, October 26, 2014

DAY 1527: LUKE 10

I'm so ready for my minions to be in bed. Up way too late last night. In a really bad sleeping pattern right now. Gotta get some better habits back in order starting with sleep and exercise.

Overall good day. Kids played with a sweet friend all day long. My oldest tried her crack at a face painting stand. Thankful for my hubs who just let her do it. I need to get over myself and just let my kiddos go for it sometime. I think I struggle with that often because once I give them an inch they take it to the extreme mile which often makes me want to pull out all my hair. Oh these amazing sanctifying little sweet ones.

These sweet and spicy little Brown girls are going to give me a run for my money. Bella is so much like Abbie when she was two. There is drama over getting the girl to put on every single article of clothes. I remember when Abbie was about this age and she was FINALLY dressed and trying to get her shoes on was yet another ordeal that I just threw the shoes across the living room. Everything is such a huge production including picking out BGPs ( big girl panties). In the meantime, Lillie is guzzling Drano from under the sink or shrieking mine stupid. This life of mine is so incredibly glamorous and I'm so thankful for it. These little stinkpots grow up way too quickly.

Luke 10:
Jesus sends out the 72 ahead of him in pairs and commands them to go without provision and take what provision is offered them when they arrive at the appointed towns. Wonder how Jesus picked this 72.

Martha invites Jesus to come to her house. She is busting it serving while Mary is at Jesus's feet. I envy Martha and her ability to be so high functioning. If it wasn't for Martha Jesus would have never been over at their house. Mary would have never been able to pull things together enough to get an invite out there to begin with. Thankful for all the Martha's and the Mary's in my life tonight.

D

DAY 1526: LUKE 9

Bullet points kinda day.

- good day

- sad about forgetting a sweet friends bday celebration today. I don't often get extended time with her and sad my brain didn't cooperate.

- I always slightly flip out when I completely brain lapse like today. I know today was a bit different but still. It reminds me of a time before I was married and I was driving my at the time boss and I forgot where I was. Sleep deprivation will do crazy things and I've always struggled with sleep but still.

- date with an unexpected kiddo today. Thankful. Struggle to connect with this sweet kid the most. I appreciate his differences but I don't get them on a personal level. Just thankful and reminded that I need to step up my pursuit of all my kiddos individually. The season is short.

-my absent mindedness truly drives me crazy

Luke 9:
God is good. His Word is amazing. Again so much packed into one chapter. Big take away tonight is to remember the Lord's faithfulness. Jesus sends out his disciples and basically commands them just to take the clothes on their back. They are charged to rely on God's daily provision for their basic needs. Jesus gives them the authority to perform miracles, to cast out every kind of demon and to heal. They get back and as the debrief is happening crowds surround Jesus, huge shocker. They tell Jesus to send them home so that these people can be provided for. Jesus responds by telling them to feed them. The disciples are dumbfounded. They forget the daily provision they were given and simply can't fathom greater miracles or provision happening. Their eyes are focused in circumstances of this world. God is not constrained by what we can see here on earth. Praise Jesus for that! His provision to feed 5,000 people is the same provision that will carry us day by day if we will let it. God be my daily provision in the little things and in the huge things! Let me not forget the daily provision when facing things that seem insurmountable.

D

Friday, October 24, 2014

DAY 1525: LUKE 8

Beautiful day. Wish I could hold onto these days. 

Got asked to teach a bible class at PATH. I had originally wanted to but with all the chaos going on couldn't pull it together to get a class proposal in. Not sure yet what grades and what actual class it would be but it was sweet to get asked. It would actually be kinda fun to teach an apologetics class but I'm horrible at apologetics. Would be a great reason to get better at it. 

Luke 8:
So much greatness in this chapter. I can't wait to meet Jesus.

Jesus calms the storm - 
And they went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?" (‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭24-25‬ ESV)

Alright God, I know you got this. Help me to stop looking at the wind and the waves and rest in you.

Again so much here but wanting to spend solo time w/hubs.

Pondering demon possession tonight. Is it as common today as it was during Jesus's time and why isn't it mentioned in the OT? I think it's just as common personally. 

D

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DAY 1524: LUKE 7

Today was, well, a good day. We were blessed by friends with a housecleaner today so we've been busting it to get the house clean for the housecleaner. That's so funny to me and I think always will be. Anyway, I'm happy to report our put of death playroom catch all room has a walkable middle and mount clean laundry and dirty laundry are mostly caught up. It's never ending really but there is no longer a table in my room loaded with laundry baskets. Thank you Jesus! I want to stay up all night so I can enjoy the clean house before my kids destroy it tomorrow.

A sweet friend treated us to dinner tonight so we wouldn't destroy our clean kitchen . Very sweet and thoughtful. Crazy overwhelmed tonight by how much people have loved on us over the past month. It's hard being on the receiving end but I'm so thankful. It's meant a lot to us.

Fun drop ins today and fun with friends at the park this afternoon. Again thankful for the gift of friendships. I don't feel like a great friend right now. I feel like the bitter angry troll friend. I am thankful anger is not the prevailing emotion currently. Probably sorrow and confusion is predominate. Anger is still there just not leading the pack today. I do want to use anger constructively though. Still not sure what that should look like.

Should do this everyday or more often when I have them but had a pretty good parenting realization today. One of my kiddos got his leg stuck and was super upset by it. I got to him as quick as I could after we got the leg unstuck and picked him up like I would my littles and just held him like that for awhile. Unfortunately I do t do that often. It hit me how I'm missing out that I don't. This kid does not handle pain well and there is always loud commotion accompanied by any slight bump. It drives me crazy. But when I don't comfort this kid and have compassion for his bumps and bruises or I roll my eyes at his reaction I'm telling him I want him to be somebody different. The kid will eventually toughen up. I've already seen that happen over the years especially around friends. The other thing is one day I won't be afforded the opportunity to comfort him the way I did today. One day I will long to comfort a little boy who has gotten a bump or a bruise but he will no longer be little anymore. He doesn't seem little now but he's only going to get bigger. One day before I know it that kid will be a man and if I don't seize the opportunity to soothe the hurts now I'll look back with regret on all the missed opportunities. Bruised and skinned knees now will turned into bruised and skinned hearts later and if I'm not willing to comfort him now he'll be less likely for me to comfort him later.

Luke 7:
The woman who washes Jesus feet with her tears. So beautiful. Oh Lord change the Stiff necked heart in me that completely misses it.

D

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DAY 1523: LUKE 6

Today wasn't great but today dance parties returned. Singing and dance parties are back and I'm thankful.

Today was our first play therapy appts for one of our kiddos. I'm thankful for the way the play therapist plans on working with my child. The first several sessions will be spent on just building rapport with my kiddo which I think is wise and will be beneficial. I like her so and I knew my kiddo would too . Thankful for that answered prayer. I did see fear in my child's eyes at different moments while we were there and it tore at my heart. I hate that we even have to walk this road but I'm thankful we are finally getting help. In some ways it feels as if part of that burden is being lifted. Broken hearted for the other sweet kiddos there. Jesus bind up the wounds of the broken hearted and please come quickly.

I still have no idea what the future holds but today I'm more willing to sit in that and trust that The Lord will guide our footsteps. He will smooth over the rough places and set our feet on solid ground.

Luke 6:
Good ole convicting sermon on the mount. Need to jump back on that! I still have two months to get it down. Hah! Maybe if I got one chapter in I could call it a victory!

Chewing on this verse in particular tonight:
Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭30‬ ESV)

Do we give to panhandlers? I try to give food but rarely money unless God clearly says to give which has happened once. I've heard even giving food can enable them. I'm greatly confused at times. If I think about Jesus though I think he'd break bread with the panhandlers. I can't do that as a mom with six kids around as it wouldn't be practical and possibly unwise but what is the loving thing? Chewing.

D

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DAY 1522: Psalm 13

I'm weary of the complications that have made this past month well, complicated. I've spiraled and stewed and surrendered and repeated all three over and over again. I don't know when to fight and when to be quiet and still. The only thing I'm completely sure of is I'm a broken sinner in desperate need of Jesus. Today I can honestly say I'm thankful for the mess and the chaos. I hate feeling crazy but I also know the beauty of laying it all down at the feet of Christ. It doesn't take away the pain nor does it microwave the process but it gives rise to hope and to peace that surpasses understanding.
/--

Under a pile of sleeping Brownies. It's been quite the day and if I'm honest all 7 of us that dug in together today were a bunch of self centered stinkpots. Thankful that tomorrow is another opportunity. I do love this wild bunch. 

I'm thankful for the return of spontaneous singing in our home. I had no idea it had been missing until it returned today. The dark cloud still remains but light has begun to break forth. Tomorrow will be another heavy day but for today I'm thankful for moments of lightheartedness. 

These verses are being driven into my heart. I'm sure it will be a lifelong process.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ ESV)

This can be such a cliche verse. There is much peace that comes from trusting in The Lord with ALL your heart but it is difficult. Satan threw firebombs at me all day. I could have spiraled into very dark places. This verse was my armor today. The what ifs were surrendered to trusting God. If any of the half dozen scenarios that popped into my head happen God is STILL on His throne. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He will keep our paths straight. 

Luke 5:
Great story of the disciples to follow up Proverbs 3:5-6

Jesus goes on Simons boat and tells him to cast his nets. He obeys and the haul of fish almost sinks the boat. When Simeon and his buddies get back on shore they leave everything and follow Jesus.

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." (‭Luke‬ ‭5‬:‭4-5‬ ESV)

Help me to trust and obey you Lord even when it doesn't make sense. 

D

Monday, October 20, 2014

DAY 1521: Psalm 51

Today I'm thankful for our co-op. I truly love the knucklehead kids I've been able to hang out with in their classes. Not sure I'll  be ready to teach a class next semester but fired up about the idea of someday in the future. I miss working with students. 

Ready for the dust to begin to settle. So much left to process before that can begin. Be still, be quiet, so hard. 

The top verse has been on my mine tonight and as I went to copy it the second verse caught my eye.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ ESV)

Do not lean on your own understanding. That needs to be my anthem right now. Just because I can't see how things can be put back together does NOT mean The Lord doesn't. His ways are not my ways. I'm so incredibly thankful for that!!!

In all your ways acknowledge Him. This sounds so much easier than it

Psalm 51:
Read this psalm because of a precious friend today. It's beautiful.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭1‬ ESV)

I'm a total mess and this way and that way. I wish I was handling my grief and anger in a much more graceful way. I'm a total bankrupt mess though. I need Jesus and I need Him to be merciful to me in all this because I'm a sinful mess.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭2-3‬ ESV)

God daily I'm a sinful beast but lately I feel as if all day long I stumble in my sin. I'm fighting but Lord I'm weary. So much of my flesh is squeezed out. I know if it didn't appear because of this situation it would still be there regardless. You know full well the condition of my heart on a "good" day and a bad one. Create in me a new heart. Renew a right spirit within me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭4‬ ESV)

I don't know how I feel about this verse. I do believe ultimately our sin is sin against God but I think we also sin against others. I believe in this psalm in particular David had sinned against Bathsheba, her husband and against Joab ( I think) who he sent to execute the death orders for Bath's hubs which I can't think of his name right now. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭10-12‬ ESV)

God this is my prayer tonight!

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭17‬ ESV)

Oh Lord let me not walk away from all of this w/out a humble and contrite heart. 

D



Sunday, October 19, 2014

DAY 1520: LUKE 4

Started my day off with a sweet friend at my doorstep offering to take my minions to the park. It's amazing how fast you can get through Costco with only two little stinkers. I still remember the days when I had no idea how I would be able to do anything with one baby much less six. Thankful for the sanctification AKA the holy smack down.

Thankful for a beautiful day, for time at the park with friends. I wish this darn dark cloud would go away though. No signs of clear skies for awhile. Bleh.

Luke 4:
This chapter is so incredibly good. My favorite part is envisioning Jesus reading these verses from Isaiah and people completely missing it.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (‭Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭18-19‬ ESV)

Jesus give me ears that hear and eyes that see.

D

Saturday, October 18, 2014

DAY 1519: LUKE 3

Wish I was sleeping in a tent right now. Thankful for a great day spent outdoors with great friends. Today was such a great reprieve for our entire family. Very thankful.

Luke 3:
Loved reading about John's ministry and the genealogy of Jesus is so awesome. Awe inspiring chapter.

Zzzzz
D

Friday, October 17, 2014

DAY 1518: LUKE 2

The days are still not normal yet. I've taken for granted the carefree days spent at the park for hours with nothing but soaring spirits, good conversation and time with my kiddos. Everything feels so incredibly tainted to me right now.

Tears were shed in a familiar bathroom today at place I never imagined would be so difficult to go to. I want to close my eyes and wake up and everything to be back the way that it used to be. It can't go back the same way that it was and I have to come to grips with that.

Still struggling with wanting to sin in my anger, self protect and fight for myself. Being quiet and still and waiting is so incredibly hard. It would be easier if I could just wear sackcloth and sit in a heap of ashes. There would be a visual window into the torn apart shreds of my heart.

It will get better. Light will break forth from the darkness. It will just never be the same again. I'm grieving the loss of so very much. Instead of a spirit of fighting I must walk humbly in a spirit of surrender. If I choose not to surrender and tackle this out of my own strength I will only make things harder on myself. God help me to cease striving. Help me to cease kicking and screaming. Woo my heart to a place of surrender. Help me to be okay to just sit in the midst of all the heartache and be where I am. Help me to forgive. Give me the courage to mend relationships that I don't want to mend. Give me the courage to walk whatever path you have set out for us in the end. Give me the strength to walk this journey in a manner that would honor and glorify you.

Thank you for beautiful weather.

Thank you for friends to talk to, to listen and to watch my Brownies.

Thank you for grace and compassion and reminding me that you love me and it doesn't matter what other people think.

Luke 2:
Great reading the story of Jesus. I love people's story. Such greatness!

More thoughts on a discussion at the park later.

D

Thursday, October 16, 2014

DAY 1517: LUKE 1

What a crazy day full of crazy emotions. I feel as if I'm Jacob and the hip socket that was already messed up has been touched again. I'm a broken mess. Any illusion I had about having things together has been completely shattered. On one hand God seems like the author of cruel jokes and on the other He feels like the only hope that I have. I know God is good, I know that I know that I know this fact is true. Yet I feel as if internally I'm ying and yang. The battle between my flesh and the new creation that lives inside me are at complete odds with one another. That alone is so incredibly wearisome. This season is so incredibly painful. I want to fully and completely rest in Him but I know I keep grasping for control. It's so hard to be quiet and still when everything seems so messed up. Here's where the rubber meets the road. Do I really trust that The Lord will fight for us and that all we have to do is be still? Will I look at my lack of horses and chariots and respond out of fear or self protection?

Jesus I don't want to wrestle you but you are going to have to help me not fight. You are going to have to help me trust. I want to trust you. I want to let go of every illusion of control and surrender it all to you. I absolutely can not do that without your abundant help, grace and mercy.

Thankful for a cherished friend and her hearts. I so easily forget how much God loves me. Frankly it's hard to remember that in the midst of chaos especially when I'm kicking and screaming. When I cling to the knowledge that God loves me peace that surpasses all understanding washes over me. Everything else seems to pale in comparison.

Luke 1:
This stuck out to me in the Daily Walk Bible Intro:

How abandoned are you to the will of God?

Obviously I'm not as abandoned to the will of God as I'd like to think. God's will for my life right now is to be right where I am. I do not want to be where I am. I want to find a loophole and get all of us out of this situation as fast as I possibly can. I want answers now and I'm not willing to wait. I want to go back or speed forward or do anything I have to do to just not stay here, right where I am. Yet God's will for me is to be quiet and still and to remain in Him. It's the easiest hardest thing He has called me to. I wouldn't say I'm handling it with full abandon.

Falling asleep. Long nights with the Bit catching up w/ me.

D

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DAY 1516: PS

Kinda over everything right now. Two quotes in things I read today stood out to me.

Tonight reading about the second ebola case contracted in the US the mayor of Dallas had this to say:

"It may get worse before it gets better," he said. "But it will get better."

I'm so emotionally drained right now. My hubs working where a crime has been committed against my kid is so horribly frustrating and emotionally draining. The situation in itself and being there for my kid and helping them to process everything is heart wrenching enough. Every day there seems to be salt poured in wounds. It will get better and that hope only comes from Jesus but living through the worst of it now is so wearisome. 

And then I read this today from the Momma of a precious ten year old girl who has relapse for the second time with the worst kind of brain cancer.

And maybe living life fully is less about what we accomplish and experience and more about choosing to live where we are. Even in the barren wastelands of cancer we have no choice about. Even when the barer of the ugly is the most precious of 10 year old girls. And even when they have bravely walked it already 2 times before. It feels grossly unfair. And it is. And so are many other things this broken world has seen. And yet somehow I pray we will be able to live just where we are.

I want to get caught up in how unfair all of this is. Then I'm given this perspective. My kiddo doesn't have cancer and yet I know what my baby has experienced can be a cancer to the soul. I am over all of this and I don't want to live just where I am. I want to run aWay and flee from this nightmare as fast as I can. I can't do this and yet I know that HE can. I can't sort out all the emotions alone. A place that I have invested in so deeply has let me down in ways I never imagined that they could. The excuses cause my heart to grieve and want to never trust again. The Lord will redeem all of this but I'm having a hard time being okay with sitting in the pain of it all. It's so unfair. But God is still so incredibly good. I believe that even when I don't want to believe it. 

God help us to live faithfully just where we are. Help us not try to run or escape. Help me to stop kicking and screaming and let you just carry me. Help us. Be gracious to us in our floundering and in our moments of despair. 

Ps 3:
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (‭Psalm‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬ ESV)

Oh Lord be the lifter of my head!

D

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DAY 1515: PS

I keep wondering how long I'm going to not be fun to be around. I feel like I'm a living breathing example of Ecclesiastes. Meaningless, meaningless, everything in life is absolutely meaningless. I hate apathy and yet I feel like I'm walking in a wasteland full of it.

First real day back to school since Costa Rica. It was full of snake handling, baby tornados, belligerent ankle biters, insane messes and we wrapped things up with a call to poison control. But tonight as I type this the bigs are doing their required reading to listening siblings and my heart is incredibly full. Oh the joy and bliss of homeschooling.

Ps 73:
Couple things stood out to me.

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. (‭Psalm‬ ‭73‬:‭16-17‬ ESV)

Asaph is troubled and as he tries to understand things that appear to be injustices on his own all he does is grow weary. But when he goes to The Lord he finds answers. It's my grasping at straws, all it does is cause my soul to become weary. 

When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. (‭Psalm‬ ‭73‬:‭21-22‬ ESV)

This certainly rings a bell with me. Love the verse that follows though. It gives me hope.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. (‭Psalm‬ ‭73‬:‭23-24‬ ESV)

Regardless if I am beastly to The Lord while my heart is embittered He is still with me and will never leave me or forsake me. That is so comforting!!!

As disenchanted as I may become I am thankful that this is still true to me:

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (‭Psalm‬ ‭73‬:‭25-26‬ ESV)

I am embittered but regardless I know without The Lord I am lost and bankrupt. I know where my true treasure lies and I'd be a darn fool to walk away.

D

Monday, October 13, 2014

DAY 1514: PS 13

Just read the saddest article about abortion. Oh how thick the veil is over some people's eyes. I truly hate the world my Brownies are going to have to navigate as adults. Lord give them a courageous passion for you.

A sweet friend heard about Baby Costa Rica and told me how she was mourning with me. I honestly haven't had much time to mourn given everything else. If I didn't have a picture as evidence of Baby CR I think it would be easy to pass off as some bizarre dream.  The grief will hit me eventually and probably when I least expect it.

Today has been a mix of anger and sorrow. I still can't believe we are in the middle of gross chaos. It's crazy how even on this side undeserved shame and guilt has crept in. It's as if we are being investigated. Oh how insidious all of this truly is. 

On the way home from coop I heard the song "By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North. I've heard it approximately nine hundred million times but this time some of the lyrics actually caught my ear. 

This line caught me first:
Why are you still searching
As if I'm not enough

Sucker punch to the gut. I am looking for life outside of God. I'm searching for answers or comfort elsewhere. Actually it's less actual searching and more complete grasping at straws. I don't get any of this and the possible fallout seems incredibly unfair. Ugh. I hate using the word unfair. Life is unfair and the sooner we realize it the better off we are. I hate the fallout our family is experiencing from other peoples actions. It's as if we have done something wrong. The thing is if the immediate fallout is all that is experienced then praise God and to God be the glory. It's so complicated and the place were crimes were committed can cause unimaginable stumbling blocks. So many miracles need to be performed, some so much more important than others. God heal what can't be seen.

These lyrics were punch number two:
And please don't fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

I know God is holding me and providing for me. I know this with all my heart. The problem is that I don't necessarily want the provision He may or may not offer. Aside from moving to Costa Rica no solution seems good to me. I'm angry that we are even walking this road. ANGRY! Every time I want to rage at God and demand to know why I already know the answer. He loves me and that's why. He loves my husband and my kiddo and my sweet family. He loves us more than we could ever imagine and He can see the big picture that we simply can't. I have two choices. I can fight the hands that are holding me or I can rest assured in them instead. Regardless of which I choose He will still love me and He will never stop holding me.

-for deeper conversations with a gal today at coop God has been gracious to me.

-for the precious giggles of two sweet precious baby girls God has been gracious to me.

-for breakfast that was provided for this morning God has been gracious to me.

-for six precious kids God has been gracious to me.

-for getting to see one of my kiddos celebrated today God has been gracious to me.

-for his love and never failing grace and faithfulness God has been gracious to me.

-for Jesus and abundant grace God has been gracious to me.

-for my hubs who I'm so incredibly thankful for God has been gracious to me. 

Ps 13:
This psalm starts off asking how long oh God? How long will you forget me and forsake me? 

In some ways these psalms have been hard to read. If I was dealing with a true enemy it would be easier. The blow would not be as sorrowful because it would be expected. I know ultimately the responsible party is the Enemy but it's hard to separate it all out.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (‭Psalm‬ ‭13‬:‭5-6‬ ESV)






Sunday, October 12, 2014

DAY 1513: PSALM 37

Still walking around in a melancholy fog. Unexpected painful daggers to the heart happened today. A grim reminder of the reality of life right now. Things simply are not as they should be. I suppose that's all of life though, things are broken here this side of heaven.

Today I'm thankful for garden snakes which kept my brownies entertained for hours today.

I'm thankful for lunch that a sweet friend dropped off last night.

Thankful for a sorta plan for food this week.

Thankful for snuggles with six healthy kids.

Thankful for a crazy but cute one year old. Oh how that girl has me wrapped around her spicy little finger.

Thankful for my hubs who I have to walk this currently weary road with. There is nobody else I'd rather have by my side through the good and the bad.

Ps 37:
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭37‬:‭39-40‬ ESV)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

DAY 1512: psalm 7

Woke up this morning with the song "Great is Thy Faithfulness" rolling through my head. The words "all I have needed thy hand hath provided" stood out loud and clear to me. At first I rolled over and thought "whatever" like a bratty child. I haven't always liked the provision BUT God has been nothing but faithful in His daily provision. I've seen nothing but an abundance of daily provision the last several weeks. I don't like my circumstances, in fact I hate them but God has been most gracious and faithful in His daily provision.

I am worn out. I'm too tired to be angry and too tired to be filled with sorrow. The fight has once again left me and all I can do is be quiet and still. I don't even have words left to pray. The same three words, help us Jesus, have been muttered over and over again. I'm so tired but even sleep is no longer welcoming. The nights are filled with restlessness, tossing and turning and anxious dreams. How did we get here God?

Overall today was a good day. Very low key. Football, rice Krispy treats and a family game of farkle. Good times.

Ps 7:
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. (‭Psalm‬ ‭7‬:‭9-10‬ ESV)

D

Friday, October 10, 2014

DAY 1511: psalm 16

Thankful for breakfast and dinner provided by sweet friends.

Thankful for a family I love to date swap with. Thankful for miracles and God's provision and protection. 

Thankful for much needed laughter tonight with friends.

Thankful for all the ways I between that God is carrying us that we don't even realize.

Thankful for snuggles and giggles with my big girl who will be 9 before I know it. I can't handle how fast she is growing up!!!

Thankful for a sweet and spicy brown eyed girl who still nurses. Her personality has blossomed lately.

Thankful for Jesus because I am so wretched and lost w/out Him.

I'm thankful for my husband and for being able to not stay sideways for very long. I'm so glad to be on the same team!

Ps 16:
Weary but The Lord remains faithful in my wretched humanity. 

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. (‭Psalm‬ ‭16‬:‭8‬ ESV)

I am shaken but The Lord is faithful. 

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (‭Psalm‬ ‭16‬:‭11‬ ESV)

God help guide our path. There are still many unknowns. I would love to go on as if nothing has happened by that would be impossible and would be the wrong way to go about it. Help us to glorify you Lord!

D

Thursday, October 09, 2014

DAY 1510: psalm 88

I don't even know how to describe today. I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to vomit. That continued for most of the day. I switched at one point from nausea and sorrow to absolute rage. The way things have been handled has only poured gasoline on the white hot fire of my rage. I swear I could melt metal with my fury. Just thinking about it again has rekindled those same emotions. Jesus is going to have to perform a miracle because I simply do not see how all the pieces can ever go back together. If they do all the glory goes directly to Jesus.

I hate this world that we live in. Saw so much brokenness today. Saw a movie with my sweet brownies and I'm so disheartened by the culture they are going to have to grow up in. The moral decay feels as if it is growing exponentially. It feels as if evil is winning tonight. I know this is not true but things feel so incredibly heavy tonight. I groan and ache for heaven. Jesus. Come. Quickly.

The Lord continues to be gracious during the storm.

For a plan and a new avenue to direct energy towards God has been gracious to us.

For free tickets to a movie which provided a great distraction, laughter, and time together as a family God has been gracious to us.

For a sweet friend who watched our kiddos all day and fed us God has been gracious to us.

For an unexpected delivery on our doorstep from a thoughtful friend The Lord has been gracious to us.

For an amazing husband who has picked up so much of my slack because I'm simply not functioning all that great the last several days The Lord has been gracious to us.

For the friends who are praying for us and have sent sweet words of encouragement along the way The Lord has been gracious to us.

For the truth of the verse of the day and for believing it whole heartedly The Lord has been gracious to me.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (‭Psalm‬ ‭34‬:‭8‬ ESV)

Psalm 88:
This psalm feels so fitting tonight.

Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah (‭Psalm‬ ‭88‬:‭7‬ ESV)

I don't feel like like God's wrath is pointed at us. I do know the current chaos and darkness we are in The Lord has allowed it. I don't get it but I know that He will see us through. I don't feel like God has abandoned us but I do feel those waves continue to come, one right after another. I do ache and groan for heaven.

Eyes lids closing. Praying for rest. It's not been good lately.

D

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

DAY 1509: 2 CORINTHIANS 12

Still trying to drill down into this. This seems so central to me for so many reasons especially now.

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)

These two verses are clues to the puzzle for me as well:

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (‭Psalm‬ ‭46‬:‭10‬ ESV)

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." (‭Exodus‬ ‭14‬:‭14‬ ESV)

Paul is a man who knew the life of the elite well. He had things going for him in a big way. He was climbing up the ladder of success and had things made. He was young, well respected and had a fiery passion. Everything got flipped over on its head for Paul. He had come from near celebrity status and he was called to give it all up. He became despised by the one group who once held him in such esteem and was feared by the group he once persecuted and now wanted to become apart of. There was a season where it probably felt as if he belonged nowhere.

Paul had a very unique perspective. He had been persecuting Christians out of a zealousness for The Lord and yet his pride had blinded him. Paul knew you could chase after The Lord with much passion and zeal and still be completely dead wrong. Paul didn't use that knowledge to beat himself up I believe Paul used that knowledge to keep him humble. I can follow whole heartedly after God but if I'm operating out of my strength pride can take root and lead me to support evil in ways I never dared to dream. 

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul talks about the special revelations he was given by The Lord. He knew immediately where this special knowledge could lead him to. He already had experience of being a biblical scholar and yet being so off base that he persecuted the very one he desired to worship. Paul is wise in that he wants to learn from his mistakes. He's been given special revelations by God and he immediately knows pride could be his worst enemy. 

God in his graciousness has not made Paul's mission to spread the gospel easy. He is persecuted by everyone at times. He runs into troubles I can't even fathom and he is afflicted by a thorn in his flesh that he has begged The Lord to take away. In his desperation for God to alleviate his difficult situation he gains perspective that everyone walking with Jesus should fully embrace. 

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I think these words feel good to those of us who are in the middle of suffering or weakness but I'm not sure people always walk away with what is intended by it. This is the anthem of doing away with self protection. This is the reminder of how incredibly powerless and bankrupt we truly are. This is the battle cry of laying down ones weapons even in the middle of a battle and trusting The Lord to fight for you. 

I am so not wired this way. I desire nothing more that to self protect, to fight for what I think I deserve, and to be self reliant. I am a self reliant beast and it will be my down fall and demise if I'm not willing to die to self and lay that down.

I've gotten a good whiff of pride lately and I don't want to have anything to do with it. I keep battling with wanting to fight my own battles and I keep screwing it up. I am in a great place when I am so surrendered that I realize I can't fight my own battles nor should I. I am in a good place when self protection and self reliance decreases. 

The ugly truth about me is that I want to serve God but I don't really want to need God. I'd much rather do things perfectly. I'd much rather not have to struggle. I'd much rather rely on my own strength, operate out of my own power and be on my own plan. I get angry when I can't be on my own plan and be my own god and worship myself. 

Jesus crush me. If not another thing goes right in this life ever again may I boast that you are the very thing that sustains me day by day. I want to worship myself Lord. It pains me to even write that but it's true. I want to glory in myself first and you second and that is so messed up. I want to be able to do life on my own terms, by my own plans and out of my own strength. Give me the perspective Paul had. He was so rooted and grounded in who he was in you that the hardships could come, persecution, misunderstanding, insults, ect and yet he took delight in knowing that the more he had to cling to you the better it was for him. Help me to turn to you first over anything or anyone. May prayer and thanksgiving be the first things out of my mouth. Help me to rejoice in you always whether that be in plenty or in want. Crush the arrogance and pride that I harbor in my heart. May I not take joy and satisfaction out of my self reliance but rather my reliance on you.

D

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

DAY 1508: 2 CORINTHIANS 12

Felt bad earlier this week and today for dropping the National Night Out ball once again. I do think it's been God's provision but dang some people make it seem so incredibly easy. With the help of a neighbor we ended up having impromptu NNO anyway. Didn't hit the entire block but it was good and I'm so thankful. Thankful for kids running up and down our street and chatting with neighbors.
------
Weary of our weary this evening. Feel as if people are weary of our weary too. We're a messy and raw bunch right now. I so don't want to get carried and swept away by my emotions and let them rule over me. Right now with everything still very raw and powerful it's hard to not let my emotions rule me or to not completely shut down and be numb. 

My hubs sent me a good article on anger today:

I'm so over being angry. It's exhausting. 

Been chewing on 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 a lot the past couple days.

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)

I think the thing I've been trying to figure out is how Paul learned how to rejoice when everything is falling to pieces? I've got some thoughts but my eyes have grown incredibly heavy.

My heart is very heavy for a sweet family with a very sick girl tonight.

D

Monday, October 06, 2014

DAY 1507: MATTHEW 9-

Weary of so many things today. Really tired. Nights of restless sleep strung together and a struggling Bit the past couple nights. Poor baby has been a hot mess lately. Something is bothering her. All that being said I know exhaustion is messing with my thought life today.

Matthew 9
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (‭Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭36‬ ESV)

God give me eyes to see your people the way you do.

D

Sunday, October 05, 2014

DAY 1506: MATTHEW 7-8

Monday is rapidly approaching and many times today my stomach did flip flops. Monday is coming and Jesus is still my Lord and King who will heal and restore and fight for us. I don't know what tomorrow or the next day will look like but I have a peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Today was filled with an underlying thick sadness. Things aren't as they should be and today I longed to just go back to the way things were. I know now that is not the end goal. Things can't go back to the ways they were. All of this would be in vain if it did. There is a bigger grander picture in all of this that I'm just not privy to just yet. I do feel as if I have my marching orders though. Live day by day in full submission to what The Lord sets forth for us each day. I should always live this way but sometimes God forces your hand and you have no other choice but to approach life one day at a time. I am thankful in many ways to have the opportunity to fully embrace each day's mercies, graciousness and provision. 

The second thing I feel called to do is keep searching for the log in my own eye. We are not to be doormats but we are not to return evil for evil. We are to clothe ourselves with humility and fully embrace that The Lord will fight for us and will vindicate us. We mustn't fight dirty and rely on our own strength. We mustn't cling to the worlds rules of engagement. If there is a higher purpose in all of this mess and I fully believe that there is we must do all that we can to be faithful to glorify God through it all. We must be truth tellers yet not slanderers. We must at times embrace righteous anger yet not sin in it. We must be wise as serpents and yet gentle as doves. A gentle response turns away wrath. 

Thirdly we must be the voice for those who have no voice. We must be the advocate for our kiddo and quite possible for others in the future. We must not waste this opportunity to grow and deepen our trust and our reliance on The Lord. He is good all the time. We must learn when to be quiet and still and wait and when to be strong and courageous. We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. 

Today I was thinking about just how much can change in such a short amount of time. That in light of this verse puts things into perspective for me:

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭34‬ ESV)

If I took all the insignificant stuff I sit and ponder and fret over and instead laid it at His feet instead and moved on I'd have so much more time and energy to use on other useful things. Let's not forget the added freedom that would bring. He's got it, every last bit of it. Frankly who knows what is going to be thrown upside down tomorrow anyway. We have no clue what's around that next bend for better or for worse. If I truly did order my life around seeking God's kingdom first just imagine how all the worry, stress and anxiety of the temporal would fall away. 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ ESV)

The beauty of seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first is realizing I absolutely can't do that on my own. Apart from Jesus I am a morally bankrupt train wreck. 

In other temporal news we found a dog today and in trying to do the right thing our kids named the darn thing and the loss of Fluffy has been difficult. I will admit I even liked the darn thing and I'm usually not a big fan of little fur ball dogs. Thank goodness it wasn't a Chihuahua. If it was I'm sure the right thing to do would have been to let it be and let the coyote that roams our neighborhood get it. The less rats posing as dogs the better in my opinion. 

One of my children has a popcorn kernel stuck in his ear. Who knows how long it's been there. Very possible we may have to put him under in order to get it out because it has swollen from moisture in his ear. Hopefully a skilled ENT will be able to get it w/ out all the extra drama. Good times!

Matthew 7-8:
Chapter 7 SOTM continued. Great stuff here. This is the stuff, the how to, the target on the wall so to speak of this Christian living. Chapter 8 is so incredibly amazing. Love how being entrenched in the OT makes the coming of the Messiah all the richer. 34 verses of action packed Jesus awesomeness.

Love the story of Jesus healing the leper. The sweet outcast of a man humbly comes before Jesus on his knees not demanding yet knowing Jesus could in fact heal him if Jesus so desired to. I need to look more like this leper. I come to Jesus demanding. The tune of my heart needs to change to "not my will but your will be done". 

Then the centurion enters the scene. 

And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean."

But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. (‭Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭2, 8‬ ESV)

I never caught this before but this is Jesus response. 

When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. (‭Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭10‬ ESV)

Jesus was marveled at this man's faith. The Son of God marveled at a mere man. The thing that I take away here is that God knows how weak and sinful we are. Jesus marveled because this man's faith was not bound to his circumstances nor by what he knew was humanly possible. This man didn't have Jesus shoved in a box and constrained by only what he knew as a mere mortal. Jesus marveled at this man's faith. Oh to have a faith like that.  

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" (‭Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭23-27‬ ESV)

Jesus has so got this. We don't have to fight all we have to do is remain still. He will calm the wind and the waves. 

S




Saturday, October 04, 2014

DAY 1505: MATTHEW 1-

Holding a sweet and precious baby girl right now. Everybody should be jealous.

Thankful for an evening that felt normal. It was out of the house but good to step outside the mess if even for a brief moment. Thankful to snuggle a sweet precious baby girl. Thankful for three boys that I love too.

Had written other stuff but ending tonight it doesn't feel fitting. I pray for justice, that God would go before us, truth and blind spots in hearts revealed,
including my own.

Matthew 1-6:
Soothing balm to the heart tonight.

The Lord is good. All the time and in every circumstance He is good.

D

Friday, October 03, 2014

DAY 1504: PSALM 43

Told kids about the baby this morning. Tears and lots of questions. The one that took me aback the most was "why was God mad at our baby"? It would have been so much easier to have never told them anything. Their hearts may have been shielded but we would have missed an opportunity to go through this together as a family. They would have missed out on how to give thanks and remember that God is good even in the midst of heartache.

I'm weary of my own lamenting over my current lot in life. Loosing this sweet Costa Rica baby almost feels like the physical manifestation of all the emotional turmoil going on in our life. After reading the major and most of the minor prophets there seems to be something in the symbolism. There's never a good time to have a miscarriage and I trust that even in the midst of this mess the timing is part of God's graciousness.
Thankful to be able to cling to Jesus today.

For the blessing of being able to hold my precious Lilly Bit while going through the physical and emotional pain of loosing a baby God has been so gracious to me. I was reminded that many women experience the grief of period after period and miscarriage after miscarriage with no children or babies to snuggle. We have been so incredibly blessed.

For a beautiful day at the park together as a family and one of my children saying "this is the best time we've had together in awhile" The Lord has been gracious to us today.

By being known by precious friends The Lord has been gracious.

For people praying for us and our hearts The Lord has been gracious to us.

For a sweet friend yet again washing our laundry in the midst of a small flood in her own house The Lord has been gracious to us.

For a picture of my oldest with the precious daughter of beloved friends The Lord has been gracious to us.

For children who have fought with each other all day choose to serve each other and make books together The Lord has been gracious to us.

For the heart of a precious boy who worked so hard to make a picture of his family for his mommy and daddy because we lost the baby The Lord has been gracious to us.

Ps 43:
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (‭Psalm‬ ‭43‬:‭4-5‬ NIV)

At one point today I was ready I to scoop out the ashes from the fire pit and sit on them in the front yard. There has to be something so great with being able to connect and release raw emotion by tearing your clothes, sitting on ashes or wearing sack cloth. It also just gave people who didn't know you were grieving a heads up about where you are emotionally. No shallow "how's it going" with someone covered in ashes. No need to try to save face or fake it till you make it while wearing sake cloth.

At another point I was overwhelmed by how much I love God. It felt good today to run to Him today and hug Him around the neck knowing He's got this, every last bit of it. I'm His kid and He's holding me through all this even when I'm kicking and screaming. He can deal with my sin, he can deal with other people's sin and He can heal and restore. In the midst of the grief and not knowing how I will ever walk through certain doors ever again, he's got this. I don't know how all of this will come together or work out but I don't have to know. Frankly it's probably good I don't know. I do trust He will continue to provide for us, be gracious to is and walk through the fire and raging rivers with us.

D

Thursday, October 02, 2014

DAY 1503: PSALM 17

What can you say when the hits keep coming? 

Found out this week that we had brought home quite the souvenir from Costa Rica. I've been hesitant to share the news as it's been hard to celebrate in the midst of everything else. At least that's part of the reason. I almost didn't tell my husband for the first time because I feared what could happen. When the bottom feels like it's falling out it's just easy to feel like everything else is going to fall out with it. We told the kids this afternoon. This evening I started spotting and tonight I'm certain we won't ever meet this sweet gift this side of heaven. It feels like a cruel joke amidst everything else. I don't understand and yet I can still say with certainty that my God is good. 

Today I'm thankful for the tangible reminder of God's Sovereignty and His goodness through the precious gift of a friends adopted daughter. She has been a bright spot in my sorrow and today God's plan and His goodness were impossible to ignore. I can't only accept the Lord's plan when it's beneficial to me. I must accept the blessings and the heartache with open hands. He gives and He takes away. Who am I but a mere vapor to question the God who laid the foundations of the earth? I don't know how much longer the bottom will continue to fall out but I do know that He will neither leave us nor forsake us.

This is the verse of the day:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭12‬ ESV)

I do rejoice in renewed hope today. I wrote last night that my hope felt like it was dashed to pieces. I knew there was fault in my thinking as I wrote that but didn't correct it in order to be fully honest in how I was feeling. Hope is not based off of our circumstances. If hope was then it would be nonexistent in the darkest circumstances. It's hope that helps us get through trials and tribulation. I pray hope helps me to be patient during this time of tribulation. It will not always be like this. Light will break forth from darkness. Restoration will be accomplished one way or another. This season will end and another will begin. God's in it all. This is not the end of the story. 

This morning I woke up with this verse on my mind:

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (‭Exodus‬ ‭14‬:‭14‬ NIV)

Another translation says "you only need to be silent". Still is what I will choose to be. Convenient since I'm just weary of the fight. I don't want to have to plead my case. The Lord knows. He sees and He hears all. He will fight for me all I need to do is be quiet and still.

Psalm 17:
Hmm....
Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. (‭Psalm‬ ‭17‬:‭2‬ NIV)

For a sweet friend coming over to watch kids and clean our house and once again take our laundry, God has been gracious to us.

For the perfect timing and reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness through a precious baby girl God has been gracious to me.

For sustaining me and hiding me under the shelter of His wings God has been gracious to me.

For precious friends who are willing to sit in it with me for better or worse God has been gracious to me.

For the gift of eternity spent with Him God has been gracious to us.

For this precious life that we will one day meet and for the six precious ones here on earth with us God has been gracious to us. 

D

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

DAY 1502: PSALM 61



Starting off morbid today. This is the place I am today. Today started off with hope. Things didn't feel great but there was hope of restoration. Then another wave came crashing in reminding me of what all this is about. The weight of what has happened and how it's affected my kid once again so very real and heavy. Icy fear began to creep in that wasn't there before. 

Then this afternoon another wave. Rage once again wants to set in but frankly I'm too tired. What's the point? If I was in a survival situation this would be the point where I would crawl into my icy survival cave and just give into the darkness and fall asleep forever. I just want to crawl into a troll cave and isolate maybe with a huge pan of brownies.

I feel like I was already bleeding and wounded but the continued lack of sensitivity and understanding by the afflicting party continues to cause harm and deep wounds. So very grieved by all of it. 

The depth of feelings of betrayal feels very much like our Portland experience. I keep waiting for our dog to die in the middle of our living room. 

In the middle of it all I'm thankful for so many friends who are loving on us. 

Ending incredibly heavy hearted tonight. So very difficult to feel as if hope was dashed into pieces today. I'm so thankful His mercies are new every morning.

Ps 61:
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. (‭Psalm‬ ‭61‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

D


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