Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 19 What was you last credit card purchase?

Gasoline.  So much gasoline.

Sir drives to every appointment for work, an hour in any given direction.
Sometimes in the same day!
And being a family of 9, we have a Ford E350 15 passenger van.  So much Gasoline....

I sure wish it was more exciting, like a beach vacation or something like that.  
One day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 18 What famous living person would you want to meet for drinks?

I really don't know.  I think I need more time to think about this.  I would probably want it to be someone who I know discerns from God. Someone who is led by His Spirit.  A mother who would know my lifestyle and how important the callings of a mother are.

The conversation would probably be about ministry and how I am able to fulfill the things I feel called to even in this season of being at home with my sons.

Those are the things I wrestle with.  I hold things deeply in my heart and they bubble up and want to spill out.  Juggling everything is the learning curve.  I love being at home and I know that has been my primary ministry for 13 years.  I know that has been right and good.  But feeling the Holy Spirit urge deeper things in me.   I know He will guide my steps as I walk in obedience.  A dance of grace.

Will come back to answer the question in time.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 16 You woke up at _____.

Today I woke up to my alarm at 6:30am but decided I needed to rest longer. Lol
I actually got up at about 7:15 or so to begin the "get everyone ready for church" routine. 

Getting everyone ready is so much easier than a few years ago. Most of them can do a perfect job by themselves. I only have to dress A (4) and G (2). Ahhh! 2!! He turned two yesterday!! 

Ok, sorry. 

Sir, got up with me and made my coffee and helped me get all the bowls out for cereal. 

We leave for church at about 8:30 and are usually in time. Things have gotten so much easier. Going to church with Sir is pretty awesome. As a ministers wife, that has been my favorite part of this season of rest. I'm so thankful for that. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Day 14 What expression do you overuse?

My first thought is that it would be "oh my goodness". In many different tones and volumes... because of all that occurs in my house. With 7 sons, things are rarely calm or uneventful.  We have the messes, noise, fights, the funny things they say, the cute ways they show their love for each other, the farts and screams.  Many many things would cause me to say "Oh my goodness!"  I'm not sure where I would have picked it up, but over the years it is pretty common.

I am a very type A personality and I love organization and planning.  I have been for as long as I remember.  These boys just mess all that up! :)  My stress levels used to be pretty high, like constant fight and flight.  I have to keep it in check or it will overwhelm me.  I feel very unhappy when things are unorganized or not being handled well.  So, we do follow pretty regular schedules for just about anything.  Housework, school, rest, meals and meal planning.  But I am also learning to handle the things that throw me off schedule with grace.  I feel like I can ignore a lot as well, which may not always be good.  But with a little bit of quiet to feed my introverted self, I can jump right back in again.  Becoming a boy mom is an adventure I never thought I would have, but I see now that it is the perfect adventure for me.   A life full of goodness.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 13 You have no patience for ________.

Ugh. I have many answers.  Noise, messes, so much laundry, children not following simple instructions.  Some adults, I have a lot to manage and I have a hard time giving grace and patience to adults who cannot manage things well, honestly.  That hurts to admit.

I struggle with patience... but He always reminds me of His grace.  And that IF I am walking in His Spirit then patience will come out naturally. I want to be found in Him and I usually have a check in my spirit about my impatience.  So when I do struggle, I walk away for a while, or send the child I am struggling with away.   We both need time to breathe.

The patiences He shows me catches my breath.  Throughout scripture I see His perfect patience.   All the answers I should know, all the ways I should have grown by now.  His perfect patience reveals to me His love.  And in that, I can see how my fruit should come, because of Him.  His grace. His patience.  It calls me deeper into Him. In my abiding, I will bear much fruit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 12 One word for today.


I had no idea it was to come, but I was listening to a sermon series by Beth Moore called Basket Case and taking notes through the day.  Late morning came and I got a call.  Anxiety hit.
Racing heart, fast breathing and the feeling of throwing up.

There the Lord whispers to cast it.  To give Him the responsibility in the situation... I can't handle it anyway.  He has to come through.  He always does.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 11 What makes you feel wonderful?

What on this earth makes me feel wonderful?  On the earth, my husband makes me feel wonderful.  I can't express it completely enough.  He is the greatest gift my Heavenly Father has given me and I am so humbled that I would be given such an incredible gift.

We have gone though several valleys, but we have not given up and our God is faithful.  The season we are in now is not easy,  but it is a beautiful season. We know that the Lord will see us through.


Outside of anything of the earth, what makes me feel wonderful is sitting in the presence of Jesus.  There have been times of worship and study that I wish would never end.  Those times are what I live for.  To know Him and His word makes me grow deep, but to sit in His tangible presence presses His love deeply inside of me and I want to please my Father with my life.  His love is amazing.  This goes along with my dream.... that I would be able to share these experiences with the body of Christ.

I wait for Him to open those doors again, until then, it is He and I.
I am content in Him.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Day 9 You want an new______

I want a new sharpie pen with blue ink. Mine is almost out of ink.

Lol, silly. 

These days I can't allow myself to want for much. I have everything I need as my Father supplies it. That is being burned into my heart. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day 8 What is your biggest dream?

I'm behind! But I love this question.

Today at church we were asked to identify with what we are.
1. Pessimistic 
2. Content
3. Competitor
4. Dreamer/planner

I do dream. And plan. Both probably on a daily basis. I have to plan, in my family dynamic it would be a disaster if I didn't. 

My dream. 
Sir and I met while in missions together and we fell in love leading worship together. 

We have been given a beautiful family and been in ministry most of our married life. But my role has been much less than his, as I have been the primary caretake of our guys. That has been hard for me, but I've trusted the Lord with that. 

My dream is to go full circle in serving and leading worship together with Sir. To be in ministry together again. 

My dreams are growing and so are his. I know God is stirring us and getting us ready for the next steps and I am so excited. I can't wait to see what God does.

We'll be the dreamer of Your dreams, God.  Give us your dreams.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 7 Are you happy with your choices today?

It was a busy day. As an introvert with 7 boys, those can be really hard days. There were a couple moments that my reaction to my boys was a bit more negative than I would like them to be. But overall, I am happy with my choices.

I am thankful for His mercy being new every day and that tomorrow is a Saturday. I think I may get to sleep in.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 5 What question makes you anxious?

More than one come to mind.  But all of them have to do with my children or my choices in my parenting.

There are several decisions that we have made concerning our children that are not quite the norm. So when we are questioned about them I become nervous and suspicious, and may I not answer them quite as directly.  It would depend on who was actually doing the questioning.
The questions would have to do with our choice in the education and health care of our boys.

I think it has to do with feeling judged or being rejected somehow.  Or the fear of being treated as if I am doing something wrong.  I know I shouldn't feel that way because I know who I answer to, but I think it is natural.   No one wants to be seen as someone uninformed or weird.

But grace has taught me much about these type of things.  No one will agree with everything in my life and I will feel the same about many others.  Grace in knowing where God has called me and my family helps me to show grace to the ones I may disagree with.  We will never know what a person has walked through until we walk through ourselves.  I desire to live that grace toward others.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Day 22 Write a haiku about your day.

Slept in, served breakfast
Nap, pumpkin patch & fire
I love saturday 

Day 20 Who do you count on?

I guess this question could go in surface levels or deeper levels. Surface is easy. I count on noise and messes, a busy schedule and none stop work to get done. 

Deeper levels in counting on something or someone... What or who do I depend on? 

In the physical, I depend on my Sir. I count on him being there for me, taking care of me, meeting needs that I have, helping me. 

But truly, he can't be my sufficiency. The weight is to heavy. That is actually what this season of life is teaching me. Not that I depended on him too much, but that there is a power in my life greater than him. One who controls all circumstances and outcomes. 

I have the Sunday school answers memorized well. I count on God. I depend on Him. He is the only one who can meet the needs that I have and that my family has. 

But beyond just the answer is living the life and dependence on my Heavenly Father. Letting the truth sink deep that He is my life and that without Him I have nothing. 

I don't live this all the time. When all our needs are met and everything is packaged nice with a pretty sparkly bow, I have no need. 

But when the excess is stripped away and only basic needs are met in ways that I have to humble myself to recieve, that is when the realization comes that I can produce no good thing. No matter how hard I try. 

God, my good Father, does not leave me in lack and at the last minute He always produces what is enough. No more. No excess. I can't save any away because it will rot. He will produce it again the next day. 

He is teaching me this dependence on Him in deeper ways. Ways that leave scars behind so that it will always be remembered. It hurts. 

I think it hurts most because I feel like it is not only about me, it is about my entire family. Where will we live, what will we eat, what if they need new shoes? 

I want them to learn to depend on God... But I don't want to show them how to depend on God.

So here we are in the middle of a "wait and see" season. We learn to trust, cry out to Daddy and know He heart and to depend on the only one who can be depend on. This seems to be the lesson I circle back around to. 

Day 4 In three words describe your love life.

Wow, what a question.
Going to keep it simple. 


It is Beautiful

My Sir is the best earthly gift my Father in heaven has ever given me. He daily teaches me of Christ in every area of our marriage. 

Day 3 What is the last bad movie you watched?

Hum... well, I don't really watch movies much.  My life just doesn't allow for using the time in that way, honestly.  I hear movies that my boys watch while I am doing work around the house. Also, I'm not really a good movie critic.  

The last two movies I did actually sit down and watch are The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Very different movies.  

A few months ago Sir (referring to Mike from now on) and I actually went to the theater and didn't really know what to see so we chose Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  It was not something we would have normally chosen, but my eyes were definitely opened to some things I wouldn't have thought much of before.

The boys and I have been listening to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on audio when we drive around so we were able to watch the first movie in the series and they are in love.  

I wouldn't say either were bad. So I went off on my question for the day, but oh well.  
Maybe you can answer better? What is the last bad movie you watched?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Day 2 What do you crave?

I crave the quiet. For as long as I can remember, that is where I am fed. 

As a mom to 7 boys it seems ironic. I am an introvert and I need quiet to be myself. My best self.  

For years I struggled to get quiet during rest time, so I fought hard to keep it. My oldest is 13 and he still rests because I need it. 

Almost two years ago I decided to get up before everyone else, which was earth shattering because I love my sleep. 

I've grown to love that time by myself with my coffee, Bible and journal. The Lord speaks to me and I beg him for grace for the day. 

It is beautiful quiet... With the One I love. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Day 1 What are you a geek about?

I really want to ask Mike, but he would say that is cheating. I guess I would say that I am a geek about my studying. I am currently studying four books/Bible studies. I don't really do much else besides facebook. 

1. In my goal to write through the Bible in 5 years (which I am failing horribly at) I am in the book of Exodus chapter 9. I paused while I began a couple different studies with different groups. I left off in the plagues of Egypt. Honestly, I was feeling a little discouraged. We are very much in a "waiting for the promised land" time in our lives where we left behind a dream out of obedience to the Lord and are struggling to see where He is leading us, but we keep on trusting because we have nothing else. So, constantly seeing the parallels of things getting harder when you are walking obedience, I needed a break in that. Honestly, some days, that is hard to face. 

2. Uninvited. A little over a month ago I saw this book and since I follow Lysa TerKeurst on social media, I had been seeing quotes from the book. For about a year I have been sending and realizing a stronghold of rejection has been on me. From myself and a perceived rejection from others. I had a medical issue come up and I began asking the Lord to heal me. After months of it I began to get extremely concerned and starting looking up natural healing and spiritual healing in the area of my suffering. I deeply believe that our whole body, soul, mind and spirit are a part of our health and wellness. So as I was researching I found that self rejection and fear were a foundation in this condition. The timing of this book was perfect. I am in chapter 12 now and it is changing my thought patterns and helping me to see the lines I tell myself because of the lies I have been 
told. It also relates to recognizing the gifting and calling God has placed on us individually and not letting fear stop our obedience to God. That is just a summery. 

3. Entrusted, on 2 Timothy. This is a Bible study that is brand new by Beth Moore. My goal in this was to get to know people in the church we are attending, I knew nothing about the study. Also, it is a morning study so we would not be doing our school work, that is another strange thing that I decided to do. This study is all about God entrusting to us the ministry of the gospel through the gifting a that He has given each one of us. When I realized this I was blown away. As I mentioned before, leaving where we were before and having all our dreams at our fingertips, then God asking us to let go and move on has caused a time of questioning and doubt. Thoughts of the possibilities of our ministries being done and not of use to anyone again. I have been in a kind of mourning over it all. This study also hits of the fear of man in fulfilling what God has called me to do. Several months ago I attended a Beth Moore conference in Miami and that is what God impressed on me. That o have a fear of men in ministry. Not of my husband, but other men. Of being told no and that my leading is wrong and silly. It is amazing to watch God work both of these things in me through two different places at the same time. God has a plan for my exact gifting, and no man or woman will be able to stop it, as long as I walk in obedience to Him. It is funny that I felt I needed a break in Exodus, but God brought me here anyway. 

4. Triggers by Amber Lia and Wendy Speak. Exchanging parents angry relations for gentle biblical responses. 
This should be a whole new blog post because of all that it means in my life as a mom to 7 boys, so I will summarize here. I have struggled with anger, as I'm sure most other moms have too. This study is deep and to the heart but also very practical and requires a change of behavior toward my children. It has been slow going for about the last 6 years. But God and His grace are huge and He daily perfects me. I promise I will share more because I can't keep it in. 

Well, so there I went all geek about these things. I am a deep thinker about just about everything and so I like to be challenged. This is when I feel the most happy. When I have to fight for something. Even if it is with myself. 

October's 31 Days

So yeah, I know. I'm not very good at being consistent about blogging here. At Breathing Prayers I don't seem to have quiet that problem but maybe that is because it is more annonyomus. Here I feel a bit more open for the world to see and that's scary. 
But here I go again. 

I want to use the 31 days challenge to go through a "Question a Day" journal. Some days it will be long and some will be short. I just want to create a habit. 

Join me as I learn more about myself through these 31 questions, and if you are feeling brave, ask yourself these questions as well and add them in the comments!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The last words of Job

This morning, with Abram sitting on my lap, I hand wrote that last words of Job. It was a strange feeling. It isn't the first book I have handwritten but the first one with my long term goal of writting the whole Bible. It feels like the first step in a long journey. I think I could say that writing it word for word changed me.

The last I wrote about here, was his friends and their going back and forth with Job.  It was honestly a struggle to get through because I felt like it was an argument that I would have to listen to my children have.  There was no conclusion.  Elihu felt the same way.  Basically, he told them that he was quiet and tried to listen because they are older and should be wiser.  But they weren't.  He called them all out for giving Job no answers but accusing him of wrong.  He called Job out for thinking so pridefully of himself.  He pointed out the ways of God, that no one can understand.  It made me smile.  Because they should all know those things.  But I do the same thing all the time.  I have to be reminded of things that I should know and practice.  He blasted them for about 4 chapters.  Then God spoke.

Honestly, it stunned me for a second to read those words.  "Then the Lord said to Job..." I sat there for a couple of minutes thinking about it all. Finally.  After all the horror of Job's life and all the questioning and challenging and defending that was going on.  God finally came to end it.  He would have the final say.

I was caught off guard at the sarcasm that God used with Job. God told Job to enlighten Him, since he seems to know all the answers.  It definitely made me realize that in my situation I believe that my plan on how God should work all my problems out is best.  I know what would give Him glory.  I know what people think so I have a perfect plan on how it can all work and people will be in awe of how God worked out our issues.  If He would do a certain thing people would know that we were right in our steps of faith.  People could never say that we missed God if God worked it all how I think He should.  That constant struggle is wrong... I am always battling it.

Exactly three years ago this month God called us to step out and jump. His promise was that He would catch us.  He did... and people were in awe.  We were in awe.  We could only say it wasn't us.  We did everything in our our power to solve the problem and we were powerless.  God had to do it all.  We are there again.  I wait and hope, there is no other option.  If I fail, I fail waiting on God to do this thing.

I know that God has called us and set us apart.  I know that He picked me up and set me down in Job and Ecc. at the same time.  I never expected that every day they would go hand in hand and fit perfectly with what I was facing that day.  It shows me His Father's heart toward me, that He would not leave me in the dark, questioning without any answers.  And even if He did, as He did Job, that He would eventually speak.  Again, I must trust.

As God spoke with Job and reminded Him of His sovereignty over every situation, large and small, it just washed over me.  He is sovereign. He is in control. Nothing comes as a surprise to God.  He knows how I will react over each situation I will face and He waits for my response.  He knows when the physical panic attacks come. Will my response be one of repentance and seeing my sin the way He sees it, or will my response continue to be in my pride pointing out all that I have done right and how I don't deserve this.

Job took his eyes off himself and placed them on the God who does all things well.  He is always only ever good.  I want to be a woman who can proclaim that I know that He can do all things and that no purpose of His can ever be thwarted.  I don't want to just know of Him but I want to see with my eyes.

The last few verses caught me off guard as Job's restoration was told.  The names of his daughters were given.  It says that no women in the land were as beautiful as his three daughters were and that Job gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.  It brings me to tears now.   God always brings beauty from the ashes... He always makes our disasters into victories.  That He would use me and call me beautiful is breathtaking.  The inheritance that I have been given in His kingdom along with any other man... my worth to Him in this story moves my heart so deeply toward my God.  His love for me is great and deep.  He holds me in the palm of His hand and no thing can touch me without His permission. My God does only what will bring Himself the most glory and if I am living my life only for His glory,  I know I can trust in the Father heart of my God.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Friendships~ Lessons from Job

As I have been in Job for about a month I am in the middle of the conversation between Job and his friends.  As I mentioned in the previous post, they heard about Job's trouble then came to comfort him.  They couldn't recognize him when they arrived because his body was so badly covered in boils.  But they cared enough to stay and sat with him in silence for 7 days.

7 days sounds like a really long time to just sit. I can't wrap my mind around them actually sitting in silence and not getting up for anything.  Which gives me the impression that they really cared about Job.  They really wanted to be there for him in his time of trouble.  If I think of the mourning process, which I would equate Job's situation to, I would want friends there who would not try to make me feel any certain way or give me any answers or ask any questions.  They seem to be dedicated friends.

Chapter 4 begins and we see his friends begin to talk... maybe question. "Hey Job, is everything ok between you and God?" or "Job, have you considered the idea of having done something that God may see the need to discipline you or test you?" It goes back and forth, on and on. Job defending and at some points honestly sounds quite self righteous.  But he is sure he did nothing that should deserve such punishment or disapproval from God. His statements actually cause his friends to get more and more bold. Calling him out in what his offense was before a Mighty God, Creator of the universe.  No one can be perfect, trying to help Job see this so that he would repent and God would restore him.

It actually makes sense to me.  If I put myself in the same situation as any one of Job's three friends, I would be thinking the exact thing they are thinking.  I have done it.  There are few that I have done this to. Reminded them of the character of God and the fallenness of man. It sounds a lot like holding a person accountable or standing up for truth. I am puzzled why this questioning is seen in a negative light.  I *think* I would want friends to do the same for me... actually, it has happened to me and great freedom came from it.

Maybe it is because it just isn't tactful to question someone so deeply when they have lost so much so quickly.  But after sitting silent for 7 days I would think that caused Job to realize that they deeply cared.  Mourning isn't a quick process, so I feel the depth of Job's questioning God also. 

I'm thinking on grace and when to know the right thing to say.  Or when the right thing to say is at the wrong time.  The right thing said at the wrong time can be wrong.

I already know that at the end God will rebuke these three friends, but I am looking forward to possibly seeing why they were wrong on calling him out, to evaluate himself.  To search his own heart and see if there is any wicked way in him.

My biggest question that remains unanswered is why is it wrong for Jobs friends to question him?
A lack of grace?
Unkind and hurtful because it is so close to the loss?
Or is questioning Job's character truly the problem with his friends?
I hope to find the answer to that as I finish up the second half of the book.

But for now, these

ideas cause me to evaluate the kind of friend I am.  Do I deeply love and fight for those I say that I love.  Do I seek to keep the peace in all relationships.  I want to be a sister-friend who women can feel safe with and run to when they need someone to hold up their arms in battle or sit in silence in a time of mourning.  My prayer is that Jesus would put these qualities in me.

That I would love like He loves.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

All for His glory... according to Job

In my journey to write the Bible I am only a few chapters in. I'm using a guide in chronological order so I'm only in Job. It feels like it is going to take me forever.

My mind is being blown right now with the things I didn't notice in Job before. 

As we know, the fallen angels and Satan go before God. I've always thought that Satan asked to test Job but actually God offered him up. God asked Satan if he had noticed Job and pointed out how blameless he is. Satan scoffs and assures God that Job is only faithful because of the many ways that God has blessed him. So they agree that Satan can do anything except touch his body in an attempt to prove God wrong, so Satan thinks. 

Satan takes everything away and yet Job does not curse God, as his wife encourages him to do. Satan goes back to God and God again, offers Job for more trials which would include his health. Just not unto death. 

Job still does not curse God but sits in silence. His friends hear about his trouble and come to sit with him. They couldn't even recognize him because of the sores that covered his body. They all sat silently for 7 days. That is the kind of friend I hope for, and the friend I hope to be. (More on this in the next post). 

This whole part of God offering Job up has really made me struggle. So I have been meditating on it for quite a while. 

Some of my initial thoughts are "why?" Job was obedient. He was godly. He was faithful. He offered up daily sacrifices "just incase" his children sinned. He feared God. The scriptures make that pretty clear. 

I admit that when I have gone though some struggles I have had those same questions for God. I've begged for answers, telling God that my desire is to please Him! All we want is His glory! Why do we always need to deal with hard things? We are trying!!! 

The last major time was when our 5 week old sweet G was hospitalized with RSV and ended up have to be intubated to save his life. All we wanted to do was obey and believe that children are a gift. So many people just have a baby with no problems. Not us. Four hard HG pregnancies, a baby lost to HG, 4 more hard morning sickness pregnancies, 7 c -sections. I just didn't understand why one thing about it could not be easy! 

While G was in the hospital I had so much time. To think, to pray and to be in His word. Peace is the word that the Lord kept speaking to me, right out of the story of Gideon in Judges chapters 6-8. The Lord is peace. It was the beginning of my deeper understanding of this. 

God chose Gideon, the least of his tribe, to fight with what seemed unbelievable odds, to tear down the idols in the land and bring glory to God.  

Ok, so that takes me back to questioning. In Jobs life God allowed testing and lots of wrestling, which produced faith. With Gideon, there was a testing and wrestling which also produced faith. In both situations God receives all the glory. 

I think it was during this time that I heard someone say "God will do what brings Him the most glory." When you are in a life or death situation that isn't really comforting. I didn't want God to get the most glory from my sons death. 

Another person I have thought of during all of this is the blind man in John chapter 9. They asked Jesus if his parents had sinned to cause the mans blindness. Jesus said that he was blind so that the works of God might be displayed through him. This man did nothing to deserve this. But God chose to use him with the goal of bringing glory to His own name. 

The sovereignty of God is revealed through these people. God knew the heart of Job. God knew that he would be found faithful. God knew that while he may wrestle that Job would never turn his back on God or let go of God. 

Honestly, I am still seeing the pieces of these stories come together to help me get glimpses of the character of God. 

He is sovereign. 

God will do what will bring Himself the most glory. 

Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. 
Job 13:15

Friday, February 26, 2016

with my whole heart

This past summer I studied Psalm 119 with Love God Greatly for a few weeks.  It is the longest chapter in the Bible and it is entirely about the law of God.  His testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, rules and His Word. 

It was amazing to go through it verse by verse and write most of it out.  Coming out of legalism and into grace, I have struggled back and forth between the two.  Knowing that it is because of the relationship that I obey the laws of God, but struggling to see how it fleshes itself out.  I no longer resent walking in obedience to the Word of God and I still fall short so much.  It isn't about getting more done or being better.  It is about being.  
Abide and dwell are so deep I can barely comprehend it.

I was struck with how often the word heart appears in the chapter.  David ties emotion and obedience together so tightly.  I love it.  

Since doing this I have begun to pray that the Lord will give me a deeper love and desire for His Word and a deeper understanding of it.  

When I was thinking about the things I would like to accomplish in 2016, writing scriptures was on my mind and heart.  In a previous post I shared about that.  Right now I am in Job 11.  I still don't get to write it every day, but the desire is still so deep.  Every time I write there are things I have never noticed before and my understanding is deepening.  It really is changing my heart and my mind.

Earlier this week I had been writing and had to stop to deal with one of the boys, I was frustrated to stop but I left it out in hopes of going back to it.  Dinner had to be started and my time just ran out.  But I looked back and I noticed the beauty of the late afternoon light coming in and landing gently on my Bible.  It was so beautiful and gave me so much peace.  He has given me a deep desire. I am begging Him for more.  

This has become my prayer as I dig deeper into Him.

"Father, I pray that as I open Your Word, You would speak to me.
Give me a clear mind to read and understand.  Open the eyes of my heart to hear You nudge me in the direction You want to lead me today.  Give me revelation and understanding of new deeper concepts hidden in Your words.  
Holy Spirit, convict me of the things I need to change in my heart and comfort me with Your words of love written to me.
I desire to go deeper and to know You more.  I desire to love You more and to love Your Word more. 
Do a new work in me today, change me by Your words."   

Thursday, February 11, 2016

To be kind

My three year old is amazing. He really is. He is brilliant and everything he does is with great planning and passion. He spilled all the soap because he didn't like it. He truly did not like it. He didn't even get to enjoy the bubbles because of my out burst, which you could read about in my previous post. 

I love his ears. They are so big and floppy and I love to kiss them. 

He and I have really struggled over the past two years and I began to respond to him in a negative way. Like in panic and terror of what he would decide to do. I've seriously called him Dr Jeckel or Mr. Hide. 

Early in the morning if he would wake before I hoped he would, which was about 50 percent of the time, I would react as if the world ended. I would scowl at him and demand he be quiet and lay still on the couch. He would always freak out. And wake up more people who would all continue to interrupt my quiet time. When I was supposed to be digging into the Word of God and deep in prayer. He would mess up the whole thing. 

How quickly I forget. 

I am not sure what made me realize what was happening. But one day I realized how ridiculous that I could be deep in prayer and study and the next second go into a fit because I was being interrupted... by my own child. 

My Father welcomes my interruptions. And the interrupting of my children because He uses these moments to sanctify me. To make me more like Him. 

I used to do my best to greet them for the day. Life gets so crazy so fast and things I want to be intentional about just slip through my fingers. So I decided that I needed to change the way I have been greeting this boy. I remember the first day I had set my mind to it, he came and I didn't rush to him to get him quiet. I sat and waited for him to come and for him to make eye contact with me. He was upset and looked angry. I smiled as I waited for his eyes to meet mine. When they did, I saw a look of anger go to a look of surprise, then slowly into a huge smile. Even his eyes were smiling. It was amazing. Then he came the rest of the way to me and I hugged him and asked him what he dreamed about. He said nothing, then told me he wants juice. I asked him to go lay on the couch and I would bring his juice to him. He easily obeyed. Then after he drank his juice he went back to sleep. 
It was pretty eye opening for me. 

As the months have gone on he and I have learned to communicate better and with a clearer level of understanding. Many battles, but not quiet as often. In our exchanges he is still often suprised that my expression is not in anger, but searching for the joy. Choosing joy.  He is so brilliant and needs to be challenged.  He is keeping me humble. 

Today we had a beautiful day together. He discovered flash cards, so we played a matching game. Then when he wasn't able to play the iPad he asked to paint while I was painting my Bible. I actually said yes! He painted a beautiful picture and asked me what color I wanted the entire time. He has such a desire to please. We talked and enjoyed our time together. 

Bed time comes after a couple more battles, but I snuggle on his bed and I kiss his ears and we talked about the day. He told me that he likes me so much. And he loves me. And painting was his favorite.

It was a good day. I found the joy. The Lord gave me His joy as my strength, as He teaches me to deeply love. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

To Love

I just started following a scripture writing plan for the month of February and this was today's passage. 

It hit me hard. As I was reading I became so convicted in my lack of love toward my husband and my children.

Last night I lost it. I screamed and disciplined one of my children in anger over a bottle of spilled soap. An entire brand new bottle of soap. On purpose. 

Love is patient and kind. 
The rest of the list seems to fall under one or the other, at first thought. So I am going to meditate on what those words mean. 
I want to let this soak into my heart. 

I am so thankful for His mercy and His grace. 

Father, thank you for Your great love. Unimaginable, reckless love. You delight in showing mercy and I am broken and humbled that You would love me in my mess.  Forgive me for acting impatient and unkind to these children You have placed in my life. Teach me how to love like this. Would You fill me with a great love for my husband and my children to live out Your gospel and Your great example of love. 
Help me, Father, to be patient and kind to my children. Thank you for bringing conviction of the ways I fall short. I know Your Holy Spirit is at work in my heart. Soften my heart to love as You love. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

adjusting in the sovereignty of God

I am struggling to keep up here so I will just spill my heart with this week.

I seem to be struggling with everything going on right now.  Battling a bit of depression in some areas.  Nothing big, just adjusting.  I want to choose joy more.  I don't want to miss these moments.

Mike has been working with Cornerstone for two weeks now. We are anticipating all the struggles financially, before he gets going strong.  That stress is definitely there, but I do feel at peace.  I know the Lord will bring us through it.

His schedule is different each day, so that has my mornings off a bit.  I am not sure if he will every have a perfectly scheduled day.  That is different for me.  Letting go of the control that I have to keep on the day before the crazy starts.  Oh, these boys...
I do look forward to more help from him, but also hope that I don't get disappointed if it doesn't work out exactly how I anticipate it.

Yesterday was a huge day.  Gideon had an appointment with the cardiologist to go over the results of his tests on Tuesday.  The doctor came in with some small talk asking about Gideon and listening to his heart. Then finally said, "well, the asd closed." Oh, what relief! While I was waiting, I was at peace, but feeling like I could still be shocked with the worst kind of news.   Oh, the Lord is so good to us!  I know the peace was there because of all the things He has brought us through.  While the steps may be hard, He is always there.  I knew it would be no different if we had to walk the road of heart surgery.  I trust His heart and His intentions.  Knowing He would guide even if we did have to walk through many shadows. So amazing to say.  I want to love my Lord so much more deeply.  He keeps drawing me in.

His ways is always perfect.

Knowing His healing hand has been on Gideon helps me to rest.  He is here.  He will not forsake and He will not let us be put to shame.

Our desire is for His glory.

Thank You, my Jesus.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The struggle as old as Eve

So I decided to write the Bible.  The whole Bible.  I figured the number of verses and chapters in the Bible and looked up some chronological plans.  I have been able to sit down six different times to write and I think it will take me longer than 5 years.  But I can still hope.

It is amazing how much you notice when you are copying word by word. I've noticed several things that I never have before.  So we get to Eve.  The first thing I noticed was that God made Adam self sustaining basically.  That struck me new.  He could do everything he needed to do... except a companion. A helper.  So God put Adam to sleep and made a woman out of a man.  I'm sure you've read the story a hundred times.

We get to the tree and the serpent. Eve takes the fruit and gives it to her husband who was standing there with her.  He was there the whole time? It doesn't say specifically, but it sounds like he was.  He took the fruit.  What was going through his mind? Was he remembering what God had said? Was he zoning out so that he didn't actually hear and pay attention to what Eve was saying and handing him...I can see that happening. Was he just afraid to stand up and say "no, God said no so we will not eat it."  Their eyes were not opened until Adam ate the fruit. I knew that. Adam being the head of the home, their sin didn't produce a consequence until he ate. So in a way, did he cover her sin? So deep.

They eat, they hide and God comes.  They know the sound of His steps.  Verse 9, God calls Adam, "Where are you?"  This is where it got crazy for me.  God called Adam, and the form of 'you' that God called was singular.  Meaning, God wasn't calling Eve.  I never noticed that before.  In verse 11 God continues to question Adam, not Eve.  Then Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.  But God called Adam out and questioned him first. He was responsible for his family and the sin that was in their home.  Crazy to think that if Adam said no that even though Eve would have eaten, the fall may not have happened... yet. What a huge responsibility!

As I sat and was writing these words my mind just swirls.  There are so many huge decisions that we are walking through right now.  Three years ago this week, Mike moved to Lehigh to live with my parents and work until our house was sold.  That was hard.  The months before that move he walked two other roads to see if God had doors open.  All I could do as his wife was wait... and pray desperately.  I wanted my husband to know what God had for him and I know that my calling is to primarily be in my home.  I knew that I was doing what God has called me to do so I know that Mike had to figure out what God has called him to do.  I think that is the first time I have ever let go of control completely in our marriage.  Months separated, states away at some points. But God showed up.  He led my husband.  It was a beautiful thing to watch how God unfolded the whole thing step by step, week by week and at the end, day by day God opened new doors after so long of waiting and praying.

Looking back on those things is the only thing that help me to hold on and to trust decisions that appear to be crazy. Exciting but crazy.  Risks that require huge faith.  As I struggle day by day with these decisions and questions that are constantly coming at me from the boys, the moment I ask Mike how he is dealing with it and if he is still sure I am able to tighten my drip to hold on longer.  My husband for the first time ever has been strong and without hesitation, sure of what God is calling him to do today, in this moment.  Trusting that God holds the future and no matter what happens in the end, that God has him.  Knowing that changes everything in me.  From doubt and fear to faith and hope.  Moments of fear still hit me, but I am fighting.

Trusting my husband is not something that has come automatically.  As I know any wife would say the same.  The last 13 years there have been many failures on each of our parts. We have learned so many things about each other.  I think that the most important thing is that we have learned that we each truly wish to do the best for the other.  His desire is to love me as Christ loves the Church and he really does strive for that in every way I can think.  Of course he struggles sometimes, but his desire is for my good.  Knowing that has caused me to trust him, he doesn't want us to fail any more than I do.  He wants us to be happy and in love and have children who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.  Knowing his heart is for me makes me want to serve him and to love him. It even makes me want to submit to him and his leadership in our home and even in my personal issues.  I know those things are hard to say and to read.  They are so foreign to our culture. But as I read about Eve and Adam, I can't help but wonder. The enemy went straight to her because he knew the plan of God, and he wanted to destroy it. Adam was supposed to have protected her and offered her help. God arranged it this way. 

In my marriage I want to follow the plan of God.  I don't want to be used by the enemy against my marriage, my family or my husband.  Writing this today is hard. Mike has made another huge decision and he has his foot out about to step off the ledge of what I know to be true. From what I can see with my eyes.  But my ways are not God's ways and my plans are not God's plans.  I am so thankful for a man who follows God and desires the best for me.  I know deeply how hard that is to find.  This man helps make me into the woman that God wants for me to be.  So profound, I can barely wrap my mind around it.

Father, take me and use me to bring glory to You in my marriage and in my family. Help me to always remember that You are the One who leads my husband as he seeks You. Thank you that You are my good Father. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

To take away their pain.

Going through difficult things, I always look to my boys. I want them to know I am always there. That I will do my best to protect them or to make sure that everything is going to be ok. Watching Josiah tonight make me realize how little control I have over things that make him sad. I remember being 12. It was the hardest time of my life. All about fitting in and meeting new people. He just sits waiting. I wanted to go sit with him, but would that make it worse? I was always the dorky one, the one who was different from everyone else. I want to make sure he is not that. I want to protect him from people making fun of him or leaving him out. I want him to not sit quietly missing his friends. Oh my heart breaks for my boy. I know they have to walk through these things on their own to make them stronger. But it feels harder than letting my toddler struggle to learn to walk. Why is it harder to let this one go? Is it because of the emotional pain being harder than physical pain? Or is it that it is a different kind of letting go, so they have to figure it out on their own? Or do I feel to blame for causing his pain because of our decisions? He has to deal with the consequences. 

I don't like it at all. Not because I don't trust him, I know he is able. He makes good choices, hard choices at times. He is brave. I am so proud of this almost man. I feel like the foundation has already been laid and all there is to do now is all the exterior, things that can easily be changed. He is who he is and not much can change that now. Have I done a good job? Have I shown him Jesus? Have I taught him how to make good decisions based on the gospel and love for other people. 

This is harder than teaching a baby to walk. I know how to do that all day. This boy is growing me up again. He has done so much to make me into the mother that I am. I am so proud to call him mine. My boy. Eldest of 7, my joy. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Even while you weep, you are still doing it.

Most of my life, fear has been my motivator. Afraid of authority, afraid of being hurt by people, afraid of disappointing someone, afraid of punishment for messing up, afraid that I wouldn't have what I needed. It goes back as far as I can remember. There was a time in my childhood where I was filled with terror. From what I can remember about it, it was at night. I was afraid that demons were going to pull me down into hell. It also affected my days, my handwriting even changed. The Lord delivered me from that specific fear, but fear has always fought to torment me.

I battle it constantly. As I have begun to write and know that people have read my deep thoughts and struggles, I fight harder. What will they think now that they know. 

Today Mike was helping Malachi practice riding his new bike without training wheels. Malachi is just like me. Mike took him to the grass in the back yard to practice and in three tries or so Malachi was keeping balence and riding really well. He decided to take him to the road so it would be easier to pedal the bike.  As Mike started walking to the front Malachi began to protest. Mike told him to get on and off they went, he obeyed his father.

I was in the back yard and couldn't see or hear well but it sounded like Malachi had fallen because he was weeping. I walked to the front and he was still riding and Mike was still right beside him. The second time I jogged on the other side but he kept crying, the ugly cry, while he was riding. When he stopped I got eye level with him and tried to get him to tell me why he was crying. I asked if he had gotten hurt, if it was easier on the road or if he was afraid to fall. He admitted he was afraid. I told him that though he was afraid, he was stil doing it. He couldn't hear me over his fear. Mike was holding him by his shirt the whole time, if he had fallen he wouldn't have gone all the way down. As he rode I kept cheering, "You're doing it! You're doing it!!" But he was still weeping. When he stopped in the grass in our front yard he stopped crying and he jumped off and was so excited to finally realize he had done it on his own the whole time.  And was ready to go over and over again by himself. It was amazing to watch.  

As I was telling him over and over that he was doing it, watching him weep desperately in his fear, I saw myself. I wanted to tell him that I feel the same way. My fear has blinded my eyes to see the victories that I have in my life every day. So many victories. So many fears cover them. Fears of letting these boys down. Of failing them and not giving them the best of me and of things. Fear of others and opinions they have of me. I want this stronghold gone. I've heard it said that fear is the absence of trust. I have fear because I don't truly trust my Father to provide what I am needing, acceptance, physical provision, or someone who understands my struggle. These things only He can fill. Man could never fill any of them. I want this truth to soak deep down into my soul.

Oh his sweet little face with huge tears pedaling away but filled with terror. He was doing it. My Father sees me this way. Bawling my heart out and pedaling away, doing it the whole time.  Brave. He is there to catch me when I fall, I know I will. His Father heart is that I trust and obey.  Walk in faith and let go of the fear. To walk brave, because sometimes you just keep going and keep going even if you are afraid.