Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 180

So I started off the day grumbling to myself about Halloween. As the day turned around I remember why I like Halloween. It was really fun watching my kids run around with other kiddos from our street. Big fan of that! Again I'm truly amazed about all that people will tell you if you are willing to take the time to ask and to listen. There's much I do not like about Halloween but there is also so much room for redemption on this holiday. Oh how my heart yearns to intimately know our neighbors. God give us increased opportunity to love our neighbors and share the hope we have in Jesus.

John 13-17:
Lord help me to remain in you even as this world that we do not belong in becomes more and more hostile. I praise you for Jesus. Help me to obey your commands because I do love you.

D



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Friday, October 30, 2015

Why?

This evening/afternoon did not go as I had planned. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with me not casting a bigger vision and being whooped by dentist and a pediatrician appointment. I have this magical Ann Voskamp picture of things in my head but the reality is that nothing is perfect with a gaggle of children or adults for that matter. So kids rolled on the dirty ground that I'm dying to vacuum and messed up my clothes that I'm sorting and well we didn't get to the magical pumpkin carving because I just wanted them in bed!!! My dream baby from yesterday is gone because an erupting tooth is now ruining everything!!!

I read a "friend's" blog today and I'm crushed by it. I can't help but wonder why? I wrote her an email a couple summers ago telling her she was one of my favorite people. I think after being a fly on the wall through her struggles I adore her even more. I just can't help but question the Lord today and wonder why? Why do the righteous suffer and evil men prosper? I know this isn't the whole picture of things on earth. I walked the life of a wayward soul and I was the living dead. The righteous and the wicked suffer and die of cancer alike. The righteous do so with a hope and peace that surpasses all understanding. From my limited perspective this world is a much better place with Jennifer on it and I can't understand why that is being cut short. Jesus please come quickly. Until then help us to continue to sow while we are still weeping. May we reap with songs of joy.

John 9-12:
So I think I got my answer.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
‭‭John‬ ‭12:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I believe sweet Jen has bore much fruit but God's glory is mightily seen through her suffering here on earth. The sorrows here are temporary but who knows the number of souls who will be won due to her faithfulness in death.

There's so much in these chapters and honestly it makes my head spin and get overwhelmed at trying to tackle it. So I won't. But I stand amazed at a God who would die for our sins, raises people from the dead, gives sight to the blind and weave such beautiful stories in the lives of each of us. I love me some Jesus and stand in awe of my God.

D

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Crusher of Dreams

This morning started off by me being disappointed that 1. It wasn't Friday and 2. That it wasn't bedtime already. Thankful my hubs made coffee ASAP and the day was saved. My kids were kookaburra today. Actually from what I can remember the boys were just the boy of regular ole boys but the girls must be cycling with me. I must be experiencing a foretaste of the feast to come.

Today I was called the Crusher of Dreams! I look forward to living out my new title as we draw closer to the teenage years. We will have five teenagers at the same time for several years. Talk about wonderful beautiful sanctification. I don't want my kids to grow up any faster than they already are but I do in fact look forward to those years.

I don't remember John being so different from the other Gospels. It's probably been awhile since I've read all four back to back. Lots is going on in these chapters. Jesus is right there, God in the flesh and the people are blind to it. Seems very similar to the tone in America today.

This verse stood out to me:
"Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.""
‭‭John‬ ‭7:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Drifting off. Sad to again be mailing it in.

D



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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sweet Simplicity

Another good day rocking babies and watching my Brownies play with sweet friends. Can't say today was "productive" but not quite sure what standard to measure productivity by. Often it seems to be nothing more than a feeling.  

One of my kiddos really struggled with a cloudy heart today. This kid can be so sweet but when heels are dug in it's hard to see any movement or softness at all. It's difficult to see that kind of hard heartedness in your kiddo. 

Today while at my sink altar things clicked into place for a brief moment. My hubs and I talked about the simplicity of the gospel this weekend after church but how so many of us are still looking for that magic formula or secret that we somehow must have missed out on. It's funny that chapter six in John contains some of the things that I dwelled upon today but wraps it up in a pretty bow.

"But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.""
‭‭John‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How this plays out practically is the difficult part. I think ultimately it means stop trying to reach perfection on all the things in this life that are so temporal. Do the best you can in the season that you are in. DO NOT OBCESS over things that in the end are truly meaningless. A friend of mine was late to coop on Monday because she was helping her neighbor who had fallen down. She could have been hyper focused on her own agenda which is all temporal instead of turning aside to help a neighbor which is sowing into things that are eternal. 

Don't obsess about money or how you will get the things that you need. God can and will provide. He LOVES you!!!

This one was the big kicker today:

"Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.""
‭‭John‬ ‭6:29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We can get this so messed up. I have and will continue to get this so messed up. I will continue to try to achieve perfection which is just chasing after the wind. I will measure my days based on whether or not I feel as if I've been productive. I will wonder if I'm being a good enough Christian, friend, wife, mother, blah, blah, blah. God doesn't NEED me. Instead He invites me to be apart of something beautiful for my benefit and for the benefit of others. He beckons me to love like He does. Slowly, meticulously and painfully HE is giving sight to this blind girl and hearing to this deaf girl. He is changing me little by little. I want to represent my Father well not because I need to but because I want to. May He continue to teach me to know what it means to love like He does.

D





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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Bread of Life

Thankful all my little chicks are in their beds. It sounds like they are all asleep but wouldn't be surprised if my two hold outs are still awake.

Thankful for beautiful weather and sweet friends for my kids to play with.

Thankful to be able to watch two sweet boys today and that I got an opportunity to read and rock Mudgey while they played away the morning.

Thankful for the gift of delicious brisket that keeps on giving.

Thankful for neighbors willing to feed my offspring.

John 3-5:
This go round through the Gospels I'm noticing the reoccurring theme of food and water. His disciples were very much concerned about food. Jesus continually tried to teach them to trust in His provision.
- Jesus send His disciples off not carrying anything as they went out to preach the gospel
- He feeds multitudes of people and asks His disciples to feed them
- He calls himself the bread of life
- He teaches about not worrying what to eat or drink because that's what the pagans do
- in the OT the Lord provides manna, quail and water
- the Lord commands the Israelites to let the fields rest every seven years.

How challenging to try to be blind to the circumstances we can see and the wisdom of the world and lean wholeheartedly into the complete provision of the Lord. He wants us completely dependent on Him.

Fading.

D

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Grumpy Britches

I need to get my grumpy bear pants into bed. There was not enough coffee in the entire world to put pep into my step. Think Bit and Mudgey's restlessness at night has caught up with me.

Lots and lots of things stirring with in me but hard to find handles to put anything down in words just yet.

Today there are many things I'm thankful for.
1. Car died twice on me today. Pretty sure it's just from the leak we knew we were going to have to fix? Anyway, both times the car died when it was least dangerous since it died both times while turning. I feel like He's provided for us every step of the way in the midst of our car trouble woes. He's using even this to show us that He's in it with us.

2. Missing the closeness I felt with God that was obvious during the height of our chaos this past year. While in the middle of the ocean while wave upon wave comes crashing in, it was so easy to see my desperation for Christ. Now as there are still wounds to tend to but I'm not bleeding out its easier for self reliance to come creeping back in. There is a sweetness to suffering this side of heaven. I would never ask for it but God does have a wonderful way of making all things beautiful.

3. Fading

John 1:
I've always loved the very beginning of John. The Word was with God and the Word was God. Everything was created through the Word. The scene barely opens and minds are blown.

Tonight this verse really sticks out:
""How do you know about me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, "I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.""
‭‭John‬ ‭1:48‬ ‭NLT‬

Praising God tonight that He sees us, He knows us and He loves us so very very much.

D


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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Co-op Wonderland

Tomorrow is pj day and hat day at our co-op. I feel like singing and dancing! Noah has been much more restless at night and the build up of nights is making me sleepy. Going into the week already feeling sleep deprived makes me even more thankful for a co-op wonderland tomorrow.

Thankful for church this morning. Great sermon on suffering and human frailty. Thankful to be able to discuss it with my hubs on the way home. I really do love our Sunday's now. The song Psalm 126 is stuck in my head. May we learn to suffer well.

Luke 22-24:
Feeling gross and still have PATH stuff. Random verses struck me tonight. This is one of them:

"As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished."
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The people preferred to release a known murderer than Jesus. This is so the wisdom of the world. Oh how our waywardness must grieve God's heart. So many thoughts but not enough mental ability to put them all down. My heart is heavy for several friends tonight. Praying the Lord would grant them peace and rest tonight.

D



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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sabbath Is When You Take It

Fun times today hanging with families I love. Fun to chat with friends while my kiddos ran around and had a blast with friends. It felt very much like Thanksgiving. Didn't get anything done afterwards due to a restless baby who kept being woken up by siblings. Did have our neighbor come over for dinner and we discovered there are many movies, Star Wars included that she must see. It is now our families mission to educate her on the finer movies of this world. Love her and thankful for her.

Bummed tomorrow I'll have to run to the store and clean up our crazy house but today felt very much like a Sabbath. Huh. Didn't hit me until I wrote that. Sabbath was successful then. House is messy but my tank is full.

Luke 20-21:
The widows offering is incredibly challenging. I so want to have that kind faith.

The Pharisees hearts, oh what a shame. I know I can so easily go down that legalistic road. Isn't that exactly what pride does though? It's puffs one up and makes one consider themselves better than another. Performance begins to be put into the spotlight rather than remembering our desperate need for Jesus. Hate how I so easily fall into that trap every single day. Lord create in me a new and humble heart oh God.

D


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Friday, October 23, 2015

Oh I Love The Rainy Nights

1. Loving the rain.

2. Didn't live that some of my minions thought it would be a good idea to throw mud balls at neighbors cars.

3. Thankful for the way my hubs handled the mud ball discipline.

4. Thankful to see two sweet friends I haven't seen in awhile. The time with them was too short. Oh how fast life seems to be passing me by.

5. Thankful for sweet unexpected flowers from my hubs and a date night. We hit our usual spot but thankful that even a path well worn is a great one with him.

6. Thankful we got the tip that Marty McFly was at Half Price Books. The trip back inside was well worth it.

7. Thankful for answered prayer on money to pay for our van. I prayed. He answered. I shouldn't be surprised but I am in a little bit of shock.

8. Looking forward to a chill rainy Saturday.

Luke 19:
I got nothing other than I love me some Jesus. His compassion and justice is beautiful.

D

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thunderstorm Bliss

I'm a little intimidated about spending the next several days stuck indoors with my rambunctious posse but I'm loving the change of pace that will hopefully mark tomorrow. Who doesn't love a stormy night?? Thankful for that as my Mudgy seems to have caught Bit's cold. Thankful that her Paci stealing self hasn't passed on her fungus yet.

I let my kids play their hearts out till the rain finally hit. It was more of a mandate to play outside but they didn't seem to mind. They found bugs for the toads, unraveled an old baseball and got about thirty six blankets dirty playing what I could only guess to be Feast of Shelters. Once they were inside though and the chaos entered into my realm I was not a happy camper and turned into Mother Troll. After a good round of verbal chastisement they switched gears and picked up their mess and got some school work done. As an added bonus five out of seven Brownies are also bathed. Will the wonders ever cease?! Overall good day full of laundry and enjoying watching my children play. I'm going to be very upset the day my oldest stop playing pretend.

Luke 16-18:
Let's be real, I can't really remember everything that I read but a few themes did stick out: thanksgiving and gratitude, humility and forgiveness. It is interesting that a humble heart tends to be more thankful and forgives easier. Lord I know I'm a prideful stinkpot. We've come a long ways together and for that I'm so very thankful. Yet I know there is still so much pride and folly bound up in my heart. Please muzzle my crazy mouth and when I open it and stick my foot right inside may my children know that I love them regardless of the crazy and the frustration that can so easily come flying out. May my words encourage and strengthen rather than discourage and tear down. I love these children that you have so richly blessed me with. I don't deserve them Lord and I don't treat them and love them the ways I desire. May they know in my fallible ways that I do indeed love them. Even more than that God may they know that you love them so much more.

D



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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Beaver Nuggets

My title is inspired by my hubs saying "just sold some beaver nuggets". I hate the word nugget but somehow the word beaver offsets everything and gives it just the amount of hysterics that this gal enjoys.

My boys made some videos on my phone today and I was suddenly hit by the realization that my kids are crazy because I am in fact crazy. My hubs calls it special but we all know what that means. I do think my kids are pretty fun so hopefully we are of the fun crazy variety instead of the just straight up crazy category.

Today was another nutty adventure and as a wise man once said not all adventures turn out to be fun. Thankfully I managed to make coffee in between the shrieks and my super low expectations left me pretty satisfied with the turn out of today. The magical ingredient of today was the sleep I got last night even though it felt like only 45 minutes worth of shut eye.

Been thinking through what it means to be in community and what it would look like if I could shoot the moon as far as community goes. What I realized is that my vision for community looks a whole lot like a home church. Geeze as if having seven kids and homeschooling didn't make me seem odd enough. Throw in a home church and I'll end up in a completely different category. I do know that no community group or church is perfect because both are full of sinful people. I'm so thankful the Lord is so patient with our mess. Oh how He loves all of us so incredibly much. I am enjoying the wrestling and the dreaming and thinking on Jesus. Perfect time to be in the gospels.

Luke 9-15:
Whew! Caught up! Oh how I love me some Jesus! So much here. Eyes closing though. Love that I get to drift off to sleep thinking about the lost son. Love that parable!

D

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Fever

Trying to get my kids to do anything today was like pulling teeth. I don't blame them I didn't want to do anything but sit outside today either. Other than that much pondering on Jesus. I'm thankful that He is the balance. Not swerving to the left or to the right is so incredibly difficult. I love that Jesus is ready and willing to meet us where we are regardless of how much we may have swerved.

Luke 9:
I hate coming to the table with eyes so heavy. Love how Jesus meets us exactly where we are

D
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Backpack Backpack

My oldest forgot her backpack today and it took her awhile to bounce back. Thankful for words from a sweet friend just acknowledging that a girl who is always super prepared would be thrown off when something is forgotten. Forgetting something is the story of my life so thankful for how God used her to give me a window into my girls world today and therefore had more ability to show compassion. I reminded of what I read either yesterday or one of these days about having compassion the way Jesus had compassion. I could most definitely grow in that area especially in showing empathy to my kids even when what they are struggling with seems ridiculous to me.

Thankful for time outdoors in the beautiful weather this afternoon. Thankful for the new pocket park by our house even if it is the most humble of all the parks in my city. Thankful for a friend willing to haul two of my kids this morning so we could make it to coop. Thankful for the laugh of a lost Paci found in my shirt. Thankful for having a few extra kids tonight. Thankful for the sweet friendships God has blessed my kiddos with. Thankful it was HAT DAY! Thankful I'm in bed!!

On another note, I need to stop complaining about being fat and do something proactive about it. If I'm too lazy to do something about it then I need to just shut it. Nobody likes to hear anybody complain about being too big. Going sweets free with a friend and going to do a workout video tomorrow to at least get the ball rolling so to speak. I really do think my thyroid is not doing me any favors but exercise would at least be a start in the right direction. I gotta get out of these maternity pants or suck it up and buy the bigger pants I need.
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Luke 7:
So much for valuing sleep tonight. Little one moaning and tossing and turning and puke bug going around so tonight could be fun. Hate the anxiety a puke bug in our house could cause my sweet girl. She's still struggling but I feel like things have been a tad better lately. A bug would set things back. Poor sweet baby girl.

The word that keeps popping up in Luke for me this time is compassion. Jesus had compassion. It's hard to have compassion on others when we don't fully get it or understand. It's hard to have compassion when a struggle has never been our own. It's hard to have compassion without a personal understanding of suffering. Jesus had compassion and He still does on every single one of us. Jesus help me to see people the way you do. Break through the barriers of insecurity and legalism that you know I possess in my heart. Give me your eyes to see people, your people. Give me compassion for those that you love.

D

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Basking In The Son

No "official" church this morning but the discussion my hubs got started at breakfast was beautiful and reawaken the dangerous wonder and awe I have for the great I AM. All creation screams that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I have for the very first time been super convicted on my lack of self care in the area of sleep/rest. Some of my lack of sleep has been child induced. In fact, almost ten years has gone by with some sort of sleep interruption by a child almost every single night. A lot of nights it's by multiple children. That lack of sleep is stage of life and is unavoidable. However, I don't do myself any favors either. I will stay up simply because going to bed at 8pm seems lame and a big huge waste. BUT God created us to need rest for our benefit. Yet I don't treat it like the blessing and gift that it truly is. If I've missed the point of sleep for thirty something years what other blessings do I miss and even worse grumble and complain about. So many many thing were created simply so that we would give pause and remember our dependence on the Lord. Eating three times a day, sleeping, ect. I grumble and complain about those things instead of viewing those things as the blessing that God created them to be.

I'm a hubbub of thought and emotion tonight. I also feel confused about many things. I know my heart can be so deceitful so with that knowledge it's so hard to truly sort things out at times.

A couple has decided to step out of "official" community with our community group. I totally get it. Sad but I get it. It does make me ponder official and unofficial community. I know I'm jaded by the church but so much feels like man made rules and boxes to check and hoops to jump through and reasons to be prideful about exclusive groups or leadership or things we are involved in. I get the "rules" and understand a need for them but it does make me want to vomit. So much makes me want to vomit right now and I'm confused. That's what our sin does though doesn't it? It causes chaos and confusion.

What I want and my "ideals" don't work. Not because they are bad but simply because sin sucks. I think I was born in the wrong century. Or maybe I just need to hack away at things in my life till they more resemble what I desire. Again I'm a confused mess who knows my heart is sinful and who is very much aware that I hate most rules especially when they seem stupid to me. I hate sin and I hate pride and how it messes up even the places that should be the safest places on earth. Bleh!!!!!!!! And bleh to church woundedness it's left me at times a wounded mess.

Luke 2-6:
I heart Jesus. So much here. Chewing on: 
1. The ways Jesus constantly seeks solitude with the Lord 
2. What it means to pick out the speck in another persons eye.
3. Gods command for us to give to the poor and what that means. If you have two shirts give to one in need. Lend money to those who can't pay you back. Give to the poor. 

""Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate."
‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Convicting. So much chewing on so much of this. 

D






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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Math Problem

Having Big Papa down is a big bummer. One car is one thing. We've done the one car thing before. It takes coordination and creativity but it's doable. One car that doesn't fit our entire family is another story. One car that doesn't fit our family and no kids old enough to be home alone makes for another complication. God is bigger than too small cars and not knowing the "right" choice to make though. I do confess it does make me feel a bit trapped. When I think of all the families out there with no car I do feel silly and realize the self entitlement I try so hard to at least mask. I'm a very messy piece of work and will probably never be the Mother Teresa I'd like to be. That's okay. Jesus loves this rough around the edges hot mess. I want to do good but I can't do it without Jesus
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Vans woes seemed pretty silly later in the afternoon as my hubs and I discovered how his niece is struggling. I'd love to drive up and go talk to her and just let her know we care. I'm saddened by so many things regarding this. Sad that kids have same sex boyfriends and girlfriends in early elementary. Sad that anything other than support for this is met with throwing out the words hateful and bigot. Sheltering my kiddos was never my main motivating factor to homeschool. Today I am thankful to shelter my kids from some of the crazy and madness. The foolishness of today makes me so insanely mad. It's one thing for adults to suffer from foolish thought and choices. It's a different thing to see the future generations reap from all that their fathers and mothers have sown. Jesus come quickly.

Bummed about missing church tomorrow. I'm so thankful to be bummed to miss. To me that's proof of God's graciousness to us and His goodness.

Thankful for so much fun outdoors. Great to see my boy play soccer. I love watching those kids play. Love the sweet families too! Thankful for fun times at a Pinterest bday party. Loved getting to talk with people's family members and connecting dots. Thankful for such sweet neighbors that have been such a sweet blessing.

Luke 1:
Love the interaction between Mary & Elizabeth in this chapter. How sweet of the Lord to use Elizabeth as such an encouragement to Mary. God is so good to us.

D


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Friday, October 16, 2015

Dry Banana Hippy Hat

1. Laziest day I've had in awhile. Nothing accomplished other than rocking Mudge and reading Gathering Blue all day long. Kids played wonderfully outside in cooler temps and so rocking and perhaps reading a chapter turned into continued reading and rocking. Laundry and house chaos will have to wait for another day.

2. Big Papa's transmission has gone out. Boo! Fun at the fair one day, the next trying to figure out the fate of our four wheeled friend. We had hoped for a longer run with Big Papa before any huge repairs. If it wasn't trying to figure out car/van stuff then it would be trying to figure out horse or donkey stuff. Wonder if our whole family could fit on a BAC (big ass camel).

3. Watching a movie tonight was quite the adventure but once we got it rolling everybody enjoyed it. I liked the line "pain eventually turned into memory". Pain does have a way of changing a person but over time the rawness of things does fade.

4. Still very much aware of how much my flesh is reigning these days by the amount of cussing that goes on in my head on a daily basis. I guess I tend to ignore the obvious amounts of stress we are still under. I am thankful to be free of the pressure cooker of stress we were in but still not out of the woods completely. I do wish I could handle life with more grace than I do. I hate being a sinner but I do love being a sinner saved by God's grace.

Mark 14-16:
So hard to read the crucifixion of Jesus. I so would have been one of those mocking Jesus.

D



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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Ten Hour Fair

1. Thankful for the cheapest trip to the fair yet. Great memories and only a couple hiccups

2. My kids are total hambones.

3. Momma bear came out on a carnie today. Not my finest hour.

4. Thankful for God's provision today and His endless grace.

5. Glad we ran into another favorite big family of ours. We got to laugh at all the crazy comments. We got looks but only one comment that was offensive.

6. Thankful the Fair is only once a year.

Mark 13:
Oh to be around for the Return of the Great King. It would be terrifying and amazing all at the same time. Praying hard that the Holy Spirit would give each of us His words when the time is right.

D

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ready Set State Fair

1. Thankful for free state fair tickets! Just have one reduced admission to pay tomorrow. Wahoo! Kids really wanted to go and I was hoping we'd be blessed with somebody's unused tickets. Thankful for sweet friends willing to help our cause.

2. Finally got a snapshot of the power of the Bit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Makes Me Feel Better About Myself

Today was a low key day. Some fall out from kids being exhausted but nothing too crazy. Finally finished listening to the book I Juan de Pareja. It's so good. Got choked up towards the end. I hope my kids get lost into a sea of books like these.

Speaking of getting lost in a sea just got lost in a sea called Amazon looking at rock tumblers, incubators, stethoscopes, dissecting specimens and more. So glad my kiddos love science as much as I do! Thankful to have finally landed on a science curriculum that feels doable and isn't dry. Science shouldn't ever be dry it should ignite curiosity and wonder.

Goals for tomorrow include staying in pj's all day long. I will have to venture to the store at some point to get snacks for the fair. Feeling either brave or possibly crazy to take my crew on Thursday. I really do love the fair. I don't love the price gouging and wish it was more small town like in Charlottes Web but I'll take it!

Mark 8-10:
Weird as it may seem this verse makes me feel better about myself.

"His disciples replied, "How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?""
‭‭Mark‬ ‭8:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus has already fed a massive crowd with just five loaves of bread and three fish and the disciples have already forgotten. That's so me. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off scratching and clawing for provision when God shows up day after day after day. I simply forget to ask for His help when I'm in the "wilderness" and my circumstances take over. I'm a big mess but God's NOT and He can handle my mess and actually make it work somehow.

I was reminded today through the mail that God can use us no matter how much of a mess we may or may not be AND He's willing to provide for our mess even when it doesn't much make sense to those around us. There's not many of us who truly have our stuff together AND if we think we do good ole pride is probably knocking on our door. Regardless of where we fall on the scale of messiness God can and will use us. I'm in awe of that tonight and thankful that hot mess and all God can still use anybody.
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Thankful for time chatting with my hubs. I love who God created that man to be and thankful he feels the same despite our differences. So thankful for the ways God has continued to join us together over the years.
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If feeding the multitudes for the second time wasn't enough this verse is the icing on the cake.

"At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn't brought any bread."
‭‭Mark‬ ‭8:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus is trying to teach his disciples and yet again they become fixated on their daily bread. Jesus responds with this:
"'You have eyes—can't you see? You have ears—can't you hear?' Don't you remember anything at all?"
‭‭Mark‬ ‭8:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I used to think that the disciples were so dense. Yet now days the disciples help me to understand that I too continue to struggle with spiritual blindness and deafness. But there's hope for me yet. After this episode Jesus heals the blind man. Thank you Jesus that you make the blind see and cause the deaf to hear. I pray that you would continue to give me sight and hearing.

D

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Wonderfully Exhausted

1. Another day of PATH in the books. I really love people and their stories. PATH is exhausting in many ways and yet so wonderfully tank filling at the same time. Thankful for such a good fit for my crew.

2. I'm still amazed at how wonderful it is to come home wonderfully exhausted from coop and walk into a gloriously clean house. So thankful yet again for such an amazing blessing.

3. Thankful for an impromptu dinner invite from friends. It takes courage to invite over this pile-a-zoo especially spur of the moment.

4. Really humbled by my attitude regarding having a kid with pretty intense food allergies in my math class that uses all food for manipulatives. You never ever know somebody's story or what they have been or are going through. I should have known this especially coming off a pretty epic year of getting my tail kicked. I'm so thankful the Lord is faithful to humble this prideful, judgmental and unruly child.

5. Thankful for a really good day. Getting more and more of these lately and I'm thankful.


Mark 4-7:
So great to be immersed in Jesus these days. I am overwhelmed by the fast pace and the amount of action and wisdom.

Zzzzzzz

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

How Do You Suffer?

This was not a perfect Sunday and I believe today we experienced fall out from over a week straight of constant activity. Today I woke up with a headache and will go to bed with a headache. Littles were over tired and our house and laundry are feeling the effects of the constant activity. This gal does not do well with all that constant activity even when it's really good and fun things. Looking forward to school in our pjs on Tuesday. Nevertheless I am so thankful for our Sunday's these days. It has become my favorite day of the week.

Today the pastor preached on suffering. It wasn't anything earth shattering but it was a beautiful reminder of why we should embrace suffering with rejoicing. I want to learn how to give thanks in all circumstances but my heart still has much growing to do in this area. I do pray as the hardships in life arise that the Holy Spirit will strengthen me and help me to have the courage to handle hardship gracefully and with songs of praise. I do believe it takes a human heart quite the journey to get to the place where we truly can rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances. Most people do not choose to take on the suffering of Christ for themselves. A heart that serves comfort and selfishness as an idol, like my own, does not desire to suffer ever. Yet The Lord, the great I AM, can accomplish amazing things through suffering. The Lord after all choose to redeem His people through the suffering of His own Son. 

Sweet times this evening snuggling my littles. I was rocking Lilly and almost could have burst into tears looking into her sweet brown eyes knowing that I'll blink and that little girl will be all grown up. Rocking her to sleep will be a distant fuzzy memory. These are the most exhausting and yet greatest days of my life. I fully believe the best is still left to come. 

Mark 3:
There's a lot here even in just one chapter but these two verses caught my eye the most:

"These are the twelve he chose: Simon (whom he named Peter), James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them "Sons of Thunder" ),"
‭‭Mark‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I love that Jesus gave these three "nicknames". I don't know why Jesus gave James and John the name the sons of thunder but to me it seems playful and intimate. I believe that God is playful with us and that He longs to have a deeply abiding and intimate relationship with us.

This verse also gave me pause:

"He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, "Hold out your hand." So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!"
‭‭Mark‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus was angered by the Pharisees and the way they treated His people but He had compassion and was deeply saddened by the condition of their hearts. Again this is just another window into the compassion Jesus had towards sinners. 

Zzzzz





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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sabbath

1. Love watching my kid play soccer and my hubs coach. These are a few of my favorite things.

2. Fun times getting to know other families better today.

3. I love my Mudge and his pudge. Oh how that sweet little boy is such a sweet sweet comfort.

4. In home date with a good but heavy movie. Reminded of the evil in this world.

5. Ghost baby has followed us from our apartment and now apparently plays a recorder. Eek!

6. So not prepared for tomorrow being Sabbath but chewing on this verse from tonight:
"Then Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath."
‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We needed a commandment to set apart a day for rest or else we would run ourselves ragged because frankly we are all idiots. Rest is important. I'm the loudest one yelling "sleep is for the weak" but that kind of attitude will indeed catch up with me and anyone else who chooses to run hard day after day with no rest.

D

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Friday, October 09, 2015

Jesus

So tired and foggy brained. Continuing to ponder what it means to cease striving and to take Jesus's yoke upon myself. I know I would have joined the chorus of the mockers. So thankful for His sacrifice for me.

Fading
D

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Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cease Striving

1. Thankful for my hubs who serves me grumpy and all.

2. My "baby" boy is about to loose his first tooth. I'm so spanking that kid. Nobody gave him permission to grow up so fast! Maybe if he doesn't pull it tonight I can super glue it into his mouth.

3. My husband has conspired against me and encouraged my baby to pull his tooth! How DARE he?!

4. I love that I have "big" kids who do things like loose teeth and babies who do things like teeth. Sometimes it's hard to be in two different stages. One day I'll be in three. I am so thankful for these kids and the individual joys and challenges each of them brings. Crazy crazy blessed.

5. Thankful to meet a sweet new baby girl today and spend some time with her sweet momma. Oh how crazy fast they grow! My Mudge did look like quite the pudge compared to that sweet baby girl. Thankful for the gift of new life.

6. Thankful for time today with a cherished friend. I wish our paths crossed more but I'm so thankful for the time we do get together.

7. Today in my prayer closet cease striving hit me in a different way. I've been struggling with body image and the baby pudge I'm carrying right now. I know the things I can do to help move things along but don't feel nearly functional enough to make those happen just quite yet. Hopefully one day I'll get back to where I would like to be but maybe I won't. My value and worth doesn't change no matter what number is on a scale. The same thing is true whether or not I have a productive day or an unproductive day, whether I have a good parenting day or a really horrible one, whether I lead a ministry or mentor a small gaggle of women or know every neighbors name on my block. I don't need to strive to be a better Christian, citizen, friend, spouse, parent, pet owner, ect in order to feel valuable or have worth. I'm cherish and adored simply because I am His. HE is creating in me a new creation. I need to cease striving to be anything other than the piece of work mess that I truly am. I'm selfish, lazy, undisciplined, scattered, prideful, anxious, rebellious, sarcastic, self serving, and the list goes on and on. I'm a steaming hot pile of sinful mess and I need to embrace it so that I can fully embrace His amazing grace. I don't need to prove to the world that I'm anything but a mess.

Matt 24-25:
Trying to get my brain to take all this in but eyes failing me. End of times stuff interesting in light of everything going on.

D





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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Snooza Palooza

Lying next to a sweet baby in a dark room. Things are not looking good for staying awake. Here goes nothing...

Matthew 20-23:
Did drift off at points. Big question of the night is pondering on the ways I'm a hypocrite like the Pharisees were. Do I prefer to honor myself rather than God? Am I willing to become like the least and serve like a humble servant? I unfortunately know the answer to all these questions. Jesus create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a righteous spirit within me. Teach me to (hard to write these next words) how to be a humble servant. I don't fear being a humble servant I fear the process it will take to get me there but let it be so Lord Jesus. Thank you for that wonderful marvelous cross. Let me cling to your love, grace and mercy.

D


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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Grrrrrr!!!!

1. Read something I shouldn't have and now I'm paying the price for my foolishness by battling anger at 9:30 at night. #stupid

2. Grumpy trollish bear this morning and last night going to bed. Two mornings in a row that started at 5:30 didn't help. Throw in messed up hormones and I've been just a total peach.

3. Brain fog is still wrecking me!!!

4. Thankful for a clean house yesterday and the sanity that it brought yesterday afternoon.

5. Thankful for a pulled from the hair of our chinny chin chin national night out party. Met new neighbors and had sweet neighbor kids in our house and everywhere. #goodtimes

6. Thankful that gratitude works and my heart rate is coming back down.

7. Lots of irony that since we've left WM we have several new neighbors that go to WM.

Matthew 16-19:
Started this morning and finished this evening. Started fading at very end. Two things I'm chewing on is how Jesus was diligent to take time of solitude with God to recharge and talk with the Father. Second these chapters are full of God's provision and trusting in that. Great stuff to really pour over.

Fading!!!

D

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Monday, October 05, 2015

Short N Sweet

Early morning. Meeting tonight. Really early morning tomorrow. Trying to pull off a last minute National Night Out tomorrow.

Read in my physical bible tonight. So very good that way. Thinking on Peter stepping out of the boat and sinking and Jesus telling the disciples to feed the crowds. I wish I wasn't so swayed by my circumstances. I wish I could see beyond this temporal world. Jesus i pray that you would grow this little mustard seed of a faith of mine. You are so very good to me despite my doubt.

D

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Golden Nuggets

1. Thankful for a fun weekend with family. Lots of things to do tonight and super tired but so worth it!

2. Went to Buc-ee's for the first time. Buc-ee's golden nuggets are most definitely made of pure crack. Can. Not. Stop. Eating. Them. Thankful that store and it's golden evil is far far away.

3. Can't get enough of this weather!!

4. Still waiting for the brain fog to dissipate.

Matthew 9-11:
There's no way to go through the words of Jesus this quick and unpack it. It's overwhelming but in a good way. I love how Jesus interacted with people. I can't believe I get to meet Him face to face someday. It probably shouldn't be so but seeing Jesus face to face although awe inspiring does not invoke as much fear in me as seeing God expressed in the Father. I still struggle to understand the Trinity. Heck there's still so much I barely grasp about God in general much less the Trinity. I know more now than five years ago but the more I know Him the more I realize how little I really know.

Eyes getting super heavy and have an early morning to get stuff done I didn't get to tonight.

Love the reminder of these verses. They always make me breath a little bit easier.

""Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.""
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NASB‬‬

D



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Saturday, October 03, 2015

My Happily Ever After

Weddings always make me a bit sappy and a lot thankful. I am so thankful the Lord brought Les and I together and started Team Brown over ten years ago. Seems like just yesterday and a lifetime ago. So thankful I get to grow old with him. Lord please let it be so. I thank you for the beautiful gift of today.

Tonight we are staying in boy / girl rooms for the night. Great memories for our kids. Wish I wasn't so dang tired and could really seize on the opportunity. Made me remember when Les and I were newlyweds and having to sleep apart when at summer camp with a bunch of knuckleheads seemed like the worst thing ever. I would have punched him if he would have even hinted that one day we would split up between two rooms with our seven kids. God has been so good to us even when I was completely clueless. I still am and He still continues to be good to us!

Matt 6-7:
These chapters are so weighty. So much here. No way I could possibly live up to the Lord's standards. So thankful for His grace and for His faithfulness to finish the work He started in me.

D

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Dikes In The Sand

1. I heart when I see my kids introducing the things we are learning about in their play. I've got two more years to let my kids fully play and learn the things that set little minds on fire before having to go full tilt. May I remember this!!! Bible, History and Science must come first. All the other stuff needs to be learned but not at the expense of the other. May our days be filled with the wonder and excitement of His creation. May they be captivated by you Lord so that they hearts and minds may be passionate about learning about you, your story from the beginning of time till now and your creation.

2. Thankful for time outside in nature with sweet friends for me and my Brownies. Thankful for dikes in the sand and exploring the wonders of God's creation.

3. Thankful for God's sweet encouragement for my hubs this week.

4. Thankful that I'm outside with a SWEATSHIRT on!!!! So thankful fall has come!!

5. Thankful for the encouragement I've gotten through conversations with different friends this week on family planning. Easy to talk and be firm when not put to the test but harder when things aren't ideal or seem crazy. Thankful for peace and for hands once again wide open to what the Lord may have for us in the future.

6. Thankful for a crazy full heart tonight. Oh how being outside in God's creation when it's not as hot as Mercury refuels my soul.

7. Thankful for the fun treat of getting store rewards from my hubs and being able to let my kids pick out a pair of winter pj's today just for fun. It was such a fun treat for them as they hardly ever get new clothes much less ones that they get to pick out. God has blessed and provided for us so richly through friends hand me downs. Thankful my kids actually LOVE them and it's extra special to them when they know they used to belong to a friend. Thankful for the joy my kids had picking out pj's. It truly was a special treat and one that didn't make them feel deprived or cheated.

Sermon on the Mount:
Crazy challenging. Only read ch 5 so far and this sticks out to me the most.

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:44-45‬ ‭NASB‬‬


Lord help me to love people like you do. As the tide of society gets crazier and crazier help me to stand for truth but to love like crazy!!

D



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Thursday, October 01, 2015

If I Could I Would

If I could keep my eyes open longer and pull some actual thoughts together I would. Lots going through my mind.

Matthew 1-4:
Holy smokes! What a refreshment the Gospels are! What a scandalous entrance Jesus made. I love reading the lineage of Jesus. A bunch of hot messes just like me are in the line up. I'm thankful the Lord sent His son to earth to heal the heart and soul of this mess and others just like me.

There's so much contained in these chapters. No way to fully wrap my brain around all of the amazing that is going on.

Lord help me to be humble enough to realize that I can not bear good fruit apart from you. You are not interested in any sacrifice but would rather have my heart. Grow it to be fully devoted to you and only you. Give me the courage of Peter, Andrew, James and John who left everything in order to follow you.

D

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