Saturday, November 8, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again!

After a year and a half of being locked out of my blog I think it's only proper for me to give props to my man for getting me back in.....
I think this was taken about a month or so ago...  Thank you honey.  Actually, my mom really thanks you.  ;)  A lot has happened in a year and a half...we bought our first house and have been watching the baby phase exit our family while the elementary years tear their way in.

If I'm being completely accurate, the preschool years are what is tearing their way in.  :)  Max talks non-stop!  We've started to get our hands dirty with a bit of gardening and homemade everything and welcomed our first canine to the group.
Our first puppy.....Oscar.  He's about double that size now and currently following my husband around the house looking a bit annoyed that his sleep continues to be disturbed because Michael isn't staying in one place.  He's a trip.  He's been a very welcome addition to our family even if he does require a bit of work (1-2 walks a day, regular feeding and watering, pooping all over the green part of our yard, yellowing the perimeter of our patio, trashing my first strawberry plants and destroying any hope of my chammomile and sage growing on the edge of the patio, making me have to smell the terrible smell of his poo as I have to pick it up and throw it away and experiencing the "joy" of his fur everywhere including on my dinner plate )....Yeah, he's greeeeaaaaat.  ;)  It's a good thing he's cute.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Trials, Knuckle Sandwiches and Jesus

A conversation with my 5 and 6 year olds this afternoon while discussing what James 1:2 is about (Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds")

So I asked them to tell me what they think of when I say joy.  They included great things like candy, tv, books and legos.  I introduced them to the word trials and gave them examples of what they were.  One of my examples for them to relate to was if someone said they didn't want to be your friend or you had a tummy ache. 

Maggie chimed right in and said, "No one has ever not wanted to be my friend!."  Dear girl..... 

Me, "Well, I'm glad that hasn't happened to you but it might sometime." 

Sam, "Has that ever happened to you?" 

Me, "Yes, it has.  I've had it happen when I was younger and even at work."

long pause and look of confused surprise comes across their faces

Maggie,"Well!  They just need to find out about Jesus."

Sam," Yeah, and a knuckle sandwich!"

Once a protector always a protector! 

 Don't let this sweet face make you think he won't bring out the knuckles for his momma ;)
                                      See, he's got it in him!

                                    Love these kids God!  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Peace for Christmas

"A baby has been born who will bring peace. A prince has come into the world whose very name is Peace (Is. 9:6)

What is ironic is that this Christ child’s birth would bring about anything but peace in his own life.

Herod would massacre hundreds if not thousands of children in an attempt to kill him. Mary and Joseph would have to flee in the middle of the night into a foreign country. As an adult Christ’s years of ministry so up-heaved the religious community that it would end in his arrest, torture, and execution. After his resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven his followers would be persecuted and killed for his name’s sake.

And yet all of these things worked together for a peace that is far greater than any earthly peace we long for.

The peace Christ was born to secure for us is peace between God and humanity. Christ saves us from the punishment of our sin and reconciles us to our Maker. Christ saves us from the power of sin in our lives and gives us safety from their enslaving power. He offers us peace in the midst of dark days and difficult circumstances assuring us of God’s good plan for us. The salvation of Jesus will, in the end, save us from the presence of sin and establish a kingdom and a new earth where Peace will sit on the throne having conquered and removed all evil and darkness." From the Good Morning Girls study @ http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/2012/12/peace/



He made such a sacrifice that we just cannot understand.  There is no one else like Him and no one has done what He has done. 

Praying that you will be thinking about the one Man who changed all of history and affected the world so greatly that His very existence separated time, AD from BC and led to millions in the world gathering together today to exchange gifts, prepare special meals and just prioritize being together.  I am so thankful that this world, these presents and high expectations we have for how life should work isn't all there is.  If it were, it would be a sad Christmas indeed.  My hope is alive and fixed in Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith.  What a story He is writing right now... 


Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Believing

Twenty Five days until Christmas and the decorating fever has hit our home.  Children make this time of year exciting in and of themselves and I have 3 who are oooing and aahhing over all the special pretties we get to bring out and light up.  Like a dutiful mommy I am glad to put up the tree and spend an hour separating each branch to hide the fact that it is artificial and string the lights, some of which decide to stop working just after I've finished the tree :)  Yes, I have always enjoyed decorating for Christmas but this year it is different.



I was hoping we would be moved into our new home by this time and we would be decking the halls in our first house.  I have so much packed away that I actually asked my hubby what he would think of me purchasing a new, fairly inexpensive dinner set since I packed much of ours away (it just seemed easier than unpacking since I wanted an extra set of plates anyway).  People kept giving the impression that "we were almost there"  "hope to close next week" "goal is to close tomorrow!"  So naturally I packed more and more things wanting to be ready when the day seemed so imminent. 



I realized yesterday what a gift it was to be upon Christmas.  We decided to put up the tree and decorate as if we were staying, forget about waiting to do things until we are moved.  It has been such a joy to my soul!  In all of the uncertainty of our living circumstances I sensed such a deep peace to just focus on celebrating Jesus' birth.  In the past couple of months I had struggled with understanding why I was continually disappointed when we realized each week that moving wasn't going to happen at that time.  How pathetic I felt to be bothered by it all when I have a warm and nice place to live right now, no worry for giving notice to be out by the end of the month, no lost rent money if we move before the end of a month.  I believed that it was just a house and that my peace doesn't come from my circumstances so why did I feel this struggle each time we had a let down?

Something incredible happened in my heart when we put up that tree, got out special decorations that we made last year.  It was sort of a declaration in my heart that we are going to stay put until we are told otherwise and I don't need to do anything more to prepare to move....or to prepare to stay.

 Prepare your heart for right now and just believe in Me
 
I took the kids out to pick up a few more boxes of lights and ribbon and glanced at a sign that said "believe."  I figure most signs like that are referring to Santa so it didn't take me by surprise.  But I thought about it from a different angle.  Romans 15:13 says "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
 
It's a nice verse.  Makes people feel good.  Everybody wants hope and at this time of year some people are more interested in God or at least doing good.  Fine.  But later I realized that it is IN MY BELIEVING that I can be filled with joy and peace....by the God of hope, no less! 
 
BELIEVE 

A majority of the people reading this celebrate Christmas.....do you believe? 
 
 
 
Do you believe that God was born as a man and came down, lowered Himself, to be like us?  Do you believe that He did it because God actually wants to have a relationship with you?  Do you believe that you don't have to be perfect and have it all together to go to Him, that He is actually drawn to those who admit they are a mess without Him? 
 
 
 
Believe!  Believe in Him, that He's good and faithful, that everything He says is true.  Believe in His word.....that though you may not understand it all now it was placed on this earth for you to know Him!
 
BELIEVE 
 
It is in believing that we will find joy and peace.  When I put up that tree and pulled all those trinkets and homemade ornaments out I was confirming that yes I believe, I believe in Jesus Christ and I'm going to celebrate big time that He came down to love me, to save me.  And there isn't a crazy bank, or legal system or postponed moving date that is going to take that away. 
 
"...Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...." Acts 16:31

 
 




Monday, November 19, 2012

Everything is not in limbo

"I’m learning that behind every delay and every pause is a God who loves me.  I’m learning that His pleasure is in my faithful obedience and joyful attitude even when every one of my self-centered expectations remains unfulfilled."
 -Lina Abujamra


I have no idea who this person is.  I found the quote on the True Woman Movement page on facebook.  Such truth for what I have been thinking about in my life lately. Just googled her and found she has a blog here

http://livingwithpower.org/questioning-the-road/


Clinging to what is good and to my God who is so worthy to be praised.  House or no house, more babies or not, wherever we are living and working He is good.  He is always good. 
 
"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."  Psalm 16:11
 
...fullness of joy...it doesn't come from me and a Pollyanna approach to life.  It's in His presence where there is fullness of joy.  

so.much.joy. 

All from Him.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gifts

1.   Granny taking the older 2 out back to work
2.   People who care at Gentiva payroll & are helping, Sue, Pam, Bernadette and now Candace
3.   Sunshine after many days of drippy gray
4.   Being able to be home to deal with it all
5.   Not having to evacuate my home in the midst of a storm
6.   aholyexperience.com
7.   Eyes to see the gifts
8.   Not slicing my hand off when cutting the squash last night
9.   His faithfulness
10. Louie, who loves to be a broker
11. The sweetest cheeks of my 3, all with their own distinctive smell
12. This place...this spacious home beneath a home that we've made for the last 4 1/2 years
13.  The bank that wants to loan us a whole lot of money to buy a home
14.  Hope in Jesus and a relationship with Him....all that we are seeing and dealing with isn't even the point...He is.

The gifts only have meaning in that they trace the outline of God’s heart, the calm eye of any storm.

The problems of hard times are answered in the presence of Himself: God is with us. The wise stand in wind and pray not so much for the danger to pass but for the fear to flee. 

                                                                       from aholyexperience.com

Have you heard of the book 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp?  A good friend loaned it to me last spring and it has blessed me beyond measure.  I always thought I was a very thankful person but this woman has drawn my attention to it and I find myself numbering things in my head as I go through my day and notice the hand of God.  He's all around, everywhere and always has been.  Do you see Him?

We were hoping to move soon and are finding a web of issues that need to be addressed when getting a bank loan.  It could be very frustrating but it's not.  It's okay.  It'll even be okay if the whole deal falls through and we end up looking at plan B.  If it wasn't this storm it would be something else and I'm thankful that it gets to be this one this time around.



 The process can often be messy
 But when it's all cleaned up and we let the Lord
 work things out it's purty sweet

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trusting and Mastering

Trying to muster up the drive to pull up my work schedule and plan my work days ahead and all I can think about is sitting down to read a bit, make homemade applesauce with the bundle of apples we picked up last weekend and prepare the dinner that I finally decided on after much indecisiveness.

I encountered one of the most difficult experiences I've ever had at work last week and find myself periodically bothered by the details.  Church was great on Sunday.  I've been able to enjoy sitting in one the sermons for a few months now, Max now well settled in the nursery, and the time with the kids equally rewarding.  Coming home to go on to the next thing I found myself thinking about the work craziness again.  It sneaks in.  It or he? 

 "Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry?  And why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."  Genesis 4:6-7

"...sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is for you, but you must master it" has been stuck in my head.  Why must the world desire to see people fail?  Why are we lured in to see what people have messed up in their lives?  I saw a magazine last summer that pictured all of that.  It had celebrity women on the cover giving a report card to each of them on how good of a mother they were.  Can you believe it?!  I'm not friends with any of those celebrities but I know that being a mother is the hardest job I've ever had and the public...random people want to give their opinion on how well you're doing!  Craziness.  Is sin really crouching at the door?  It says it is here and I lean toward believing that God's word is true because well, He's God.  I have noticed distinct times when I saw the choice to sin in my anger and go down a roller coaster of unpredictability of what comes next or step back and see with different eyes.  I am not a competitive person until I read this verse and realize that there is an enemy who is fighting for me and the fight isn't for me because I'm worth having or good for some use of his but just simply to pull from God and be robbed of His joy.  BAM!  I will fight back and run to God...with God.  Master it!!!  

My kids have a book about the concept of caring about people's opinions and the characters, the Wemmicks run around all day giving stars or dots to each other based on whether they think are good enough or someone to look down on.  Whose opinion matters?  Mine, yours, the people we work with, the people who see us failing in the supermarket with unruly children or the same people who praise us for the times are children act like angels?  None of them.

I didn't know how much people's opinions mattered to me until fairly recently.  What a hindrance!  What a burden to carry!  And praise God that I can see it now when faced with not being able to redeem myself in the eyes of some people I encountered last week.  "even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes."  (Psalm 119)

I serve an Almighty God.  And in His name is righteousness and justice...love, grace. Oh so much grace.  We are but dust without Him.

Grace upon grace shows itself when I look around and just notice.  My breath catches in my chest so often when I behold my kids.  It's more than just noticing how cute I think they are.  It's as if God is giving me eyes to see what fearfully and wonderfully made people He can fashion.  He is good.  He is my joy, my full and complete joy.  It would all mean nothing without Him.





"Why yes, I will be a big boy if that's okay!"



I praise You God for Your great faithfulness! 

    "Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has ever been his counselor?  Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?  For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!  Amen." 
                                                                                                                                Romans 11:33-36
                              
Trust in Him today! You were made to be His.  He. is. everything.