Thursday, May 31, 2012

Got grace, give grace

Today was a good day. I was able to start it with the Word before I even got out of bed. I love it when that happens. It helps to keep perspective when challenged by all those situations where your flesh cries out for the law and justice and God reminds you that you have been given forgiveness and grace and so you should give forgiveness and grace. Family, in particular, need that a lot from Mom. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ending the day with the Living Word

Last night we received the news that we have been waiting to hear. I was so stressed that I had one of my terrible headaches. I would like to have more faith then that. It really makes me very sad that I don't.

I am not sure what else to say. God is still good by today has been a little anti-climactic.

I haven't been in the Word the last couple days. I am going to go end my day on that note...Words that are living and active and abiding.

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23  since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
    and the flower falls,
25  but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. -1 Peter 1

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Still don't get it

Today I heard a comment about myself that made me stop and think.

"You are an expert on all the things that 'could' go wrong in your life and to the people in your life. The day you stop worrying about those things will be a very freeing day."

It's true. That is why it stopped me. I feel like that is the pursuit of my life right now. To stop being concerned about what-if's and fears that may possibly happen maybe in the future...after all it has happened to someone else. I have to fight planning for a tragedy...planning for a tragedy...the sound of that is ridiculous.

This new instability in life has brought out these fears in a new and furious force. I am just not sure what to do with them. I know God, Jesus and His sacrifice, the Word and prayer have the answer wrapped up in them...I just am so distracted by trying to avoid my fears that I cannot even sit down and focus on the Word. I don't want to pray because then I would have to face these fears and actually admit to them...specifically. I don't want to blog because all I can think about is how I should be fighting this lack of faith and I'm not.

So there you have it. I am a little stuck here. Not sure how to live in light of the Gospel and eternity when life won't stop and I am fighting with all my unconscious (and sometimes conscious) energy to disconnect from what is happening in life.

It will be a glorious and praiseworthy day when God opens my eyes and I "get" Matthew 6:25-34...I am not really there yet but I want to be there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Random, disjointed thoughts

I am not sure what to say today. I am really full of random thoughts.

I am blessed to have my children at home with me. It is a blessing to not be confined to another persons schedule. Days like today it is difficult though because there is no one else to motivate you. When you are sad, indifferent, apathetic, even depressed there is no one there to excite you to action and encourage you in perseverance.

I would much rather bake, crochet, garden, and read then sweep, wash dishes, fold clothes or put things away.

I am discouraged still. I know many of the true and right answers I just don't seem to believe least I don't cling to them like I should.

The most encouraging thing I read today...what has stuck with me all day is Ephesians 4:8, "...“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives and he gave gifts to men.”

There was a lovely vision of captives, prisoners set free, following Christ to Heaven in my mind...and I am one of them. That is all there is and all I have when details are muddeled here on earth.

It's not as bad as it sounds...just dark in this tunnel.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Past, present, future

Just really tired again today. The kids couldn't sleep because Papa was at a meeting and the weather is a little too warm. It made the day longer. A day that wasn't bad but was filled with thoughts and concerns about the future.

The future...there is so much to be concerned about. Tommy reminded me that my focus should be on what is going on today. What is happening right now, in light of eternity...not worried about what will happen next week, next year or whatever point in time I happen to be fixated on. (I never have to wonder why God included Matthew 6:25-34 in the Bible, I just need to be reminded to trust the promises of it)

Of course the future was not the only thing distracting me today. The past was too. I cut my 9 year old's hair today. That may not seem significant but over the past 18 months we have allowed him to keep it long. He liked it that way and it was something we could allow him to enjoy. It is getting warmer though and for hygiene purposes we cut it. I was instantly brought back to my sweet little 4 year old blond boy. Life was a lot simpler with him when he was 4. I miss that simplicity. Now God often uses this child to remind me that He is the Author of Salvation and the One who gives Grace...I cannot make my children to believe. I don't know change their heart. I can only be faithful to what God has called me to do: tell them the Gospel, again and again and again...

It is difficult to be content with faithfulness. I want perfection. Regrets of the past, worries about the is enough to make us forget what God has done, is doing and will do...

Ephesians 2  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's all about Him

I read through Galatians today. What a great reminder that I am justified through faith by the work of Jesus Christ and that it is not anything I did or can do or will do. It is very encouraging because I quickly get sucked into the lie that because I know Christ, because I am redeemed, that now I need to obey the law and live worthy. There can be argument made that this is true that now I have the power to live in obedience to Christ but what I am talking about is different. This is the double guilt that comes from seeing my sin and beating myself up because I am better then that. I have been chosen therefore I should live rightly...instead of boasting in my weakness and praising God and glorifying Him through the constant reminders that sin gives...this is ALL HIM. All His work. All His grace.

I look forward to sharing with you in the near future more specifics about how and through what means God is doing this in my life right now. Until then I will keep boasting in His goodness. He is giving peace as we wait on the Lord.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Little Boxes, Big God

God is so good! He is sustaining me through a trail that would have devastated me only a couple years ago. I know that is true because we have gone through similar struggles and were crushed. Not so anymore. Now, it is still difficult and it is still a war to fight for joy and faith and to fight against fear and bitterness but it is a war that God is granting victory in. See, I told you He was good.

That is why it makes me so sad that I forgot to read my Bible today. I thought about it many times. I said to myself that I would do it as soon as ________ was done. Then at 10:30 after a very frustrating game of Scrabble I sat down to write this blog and realized the day was gone.

I actually take this as a reminder that God's sustaining power comes from HIM...not what I do. Being in the Word is good and I hate that I went through a day and blew it off BUT it's not about me and what I do or don't do. There is power in His Word, yes, but the Holy Spirit lives in me and His grace covers me...even when I don't "do" what I should do. My day was full of Scripture that has been written in my heart to remind me of the truth and to battle lies that filled my head all day long.

I can only stand here (yes, I stand when I type) and be amazed and grateful for His power and His ways that are so much bigger then the box my little brain has for Him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Fear Within

Today was a busy day. I am still a little irritable as our big issue is still out there. Life goes on though. Kids have school, gardens grow, food is prepared and eaten, laundry cycle continues, meetings, all goes on and on. There is comfort in that. There is also encouragement in knowing that we are not alone because Christ suffered (as I mentioned yesterday) but also great men of faith struggled too. I read this, from Paul in 2 Corinthians 7 today:

"5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn— fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,"
He keeps reminding me that He is in control and He does care for me, even when the battle is "fear within."

I could elaborate but my bed is calling...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


When I am stressed I have a number of  "coping habits." Today I was under a lot of stress. There is some huge uncertainty about what God is doing and I have to rest, be patient and trust His knowledge of all things and control of all things and goodness in all things while I just wait for Him to reveal what He is doing. It is ridiculously stressful.

We had managed to accomplish a few chores. We read some books (one of my favorite "we are doing school but I don't have to think" activities). We even did some formal school work. I made lunch and put the girls down for their nap...then the pressure became too much to handle. I started darting from one habit to the next. I stopped moving, closed my eyes and tried to resist the urge to run (literally, it's a great stress reliever). Then I would walk up the stairs intent on climbing into bed, pulling the covers over my head and going to sleep. Back down stairs I grab a handful of chocolate chips (mature, I know) and head over to do the dishes (obsessive cleaning is another one of those habits I convince myself is okay because it is productive). As I gaze out the window and consider throwing on my boots and attacking some weeds I stop, close my eyes and the process tries to start again.

I sent a text to Tommy: "Want to hide, run away, sleep, eat, bake...all those avoidance things. Oh this is so hard!"

He responds: "Go to Jesus instead. It's more satisfying."

So I did. I sat down on the couch with a warm cup of tea and opened my Bible to what was next on my reading list. 2 Corinthians 4.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

I love how God knows what we need long before we need it and that He planned for me to be ready for His word, this word, today. He is so good. 

Still with the thoughts of yesterday and my identity being wrapped up in Christ I found nothing but encouragement and relief from these words...afflicted but not crushed...perplexed, but not driven to despair...struck down but not destroyed...

Why comfort?  

Isaiah 53

English Standard Version (ESV)
53  Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a]
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
     and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
    a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
     smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
     and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
     yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
     and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;[g]
when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
     make many to be accounted righteous,
     and he shall bear their iniquities.

12  Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[j]
     and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[k]
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Why comfort? Because Jesus Christ has gone before me and suffered all this and more to make me counted among the righteous. He sustains me as I walk through suffering to be like Him, close to Him and renews me as I trust Him and His grace and His purposes. He gives me peace as I remember He is already victorious!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Very introspective today. The week was difficult so my guard is down a bit. God sustained me through a major illness this one was spared...but it stills wears on you. I had a huge incident with one of the kids before church on Mother's Day that made me question what I was doing and how I was doing it for fear of pushing this child to hardheartedness. Then to send me totally over the edge tonight in our Financial Peace class the topic was personality types and reaching your full potential, Marcus Buckingham style.

To be completely honest I am very upset.

I am a sinner. My life, my days, my moments are tainted with sin. I am blind so even when I read the Bible it is difficult for me to grasp, love, understand, obey...stay awake. I fight the Holy Spirit as He tries to transform these dry bones. I naturally make everything about myself and I do not need any encouragement to think more about me, what I want, what I am good at and how I can position myself to find the most fulfillment in what I am doing.

There has been a lot over the past few days, externally and internally, that have fed that nasty flesh of mine. I am fretting over what my gifts are. After all I am reading through 1 & 2 Corinthians and the gifts of God are very much on my mind. I am fretting over my parenting because if I raise my kids right, teaching them doctrine and the Word and giving them the right balance of protection and exposure to the world, continually offering the Gospel and being an example of repentance and grace then God will save them and so far I am concerned a little about God's part in all this. Dave Ramsey and Marcus Buckingham have me a little worried too because what I am doing is not very satisfying. It is exhausting and hard, a constant battle and full of much suffering, not to mention it doesn't make any money. What am I doing wrong????

I. Me. Self. That's what is wrong.

My identity and fulfillment have nothing to do with what I am doing or how well I am doing it or how much I enjoy it. My identity and fulfillment come from and are wrapped up in ONLY ONE THING - He is Jesus Christ. He is the only source of satisfaction and the only identity I need. The lies of this world try to tell me it is all about me and that I need to do and try and be and work hard for what I want and what I deserve. I deserve wrath so I cling to this: Colossians 2 (emphasis added)

For in him (Christ) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12  having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15  He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

 It is all His work. All His grace. All His righteousness. All His sustaining power. All His works. I am encompassed and defined in Him.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Well, today was an interesting day. The beginning was filled with Mommy and Papa being sick and sleeping the morning away. Praise God for His blessing of the three middle children playing well together while we suffered with this bug. Praise God also that this is a very fast issue. By the early afternoon we were back to our normally scheduled program though maybe a little slower pace.

This evening was great! Leisure bath for the kids. Baking for a big dinner tomorrow...I love doing that kind of thing. The kids went to bed early and quickly. Tommy was writing a blog...that left me alone for about an hour in quietness. How sweet. So I opened up my Bible and read:

1 Corinthians 14

Seriously?!!? "Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy" What in the planet does that mean? I am now in a bit of a situation. To continue on my schedule of reading the New Testament in a year OR pause and figure out what is up with that chapter. The answer is really obvious: if you don't get it (Scripture), dig, those Truths are gold and so worth it. I am going to make an attempt to keep going AND dig at the same time. We'll see how that goes. I know the digging will be good stuff but I'm not sure about the continuing of the schedule.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And He is still good!

Long night, waking at every stirring from the other room but God is still good. My wonderful husband read Scripture to me this morning as I made breakfast. Providentially our "assigned" reading for the day was from 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. What a great reminder about what love is and who it is from (God).

Christian stayed home from school with a painful tummy and a mild fever. Knowing that this was going to spread through everyone in the house was surprisingly comforting. I was not worried about the house or chores or school. We did what we could and didn't push it hard. The kids watched tv and we all took a nap together...which ended with another child vomiting all over the floor...but God is still good.

I was reminded that children need their Mommy when they are sick. I stopped the day and sat down and we all watched a movie TOGETHER. Yes, I stopped "doing" and sat with the kids talking through what was going on in the movie and enjoying sitting with everyone...trash buckets, sheets and paper towels included. God is so good!

It was a restful day inasmuch as I knew clearly what God had for me today. It was not an effort to get as much done as I could but a peace to know that I am THE MOM and I need to take care of these kids. When they are healthy and obnoxious and there is another legitimate something that needs to happen then I can take time to consider what would best glorify God, to send them to their rooms to play or read quietly or not, but today there was lots of prayer but no debate. Today there was lots of work but no worry. It was a good day, a hard day but a good day of resting in His will for the day and being at peace with His calling. He is good.

*BTW - thank you for all the prayers, I know they played a part in the lack of struggle today.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Struggling. Needed grace all over the place this morning and was very upset that I needed it. I am so thankful that grace is there, so grateful that Jesus Christ's sacrifice and righteousness are mine, but thoroughly frustrated that I still need it. Oh how I long to be with the Lord and to see rightly!

Still struggling. Sick baby. Praying she doesn't get dehydrated. Praying I wake up if she needs me in the night...she is so quiet. Praying that the illness doesn't last through the night.

Still struggling spiritually. There is an area of life that I have a difficult time trusting other people in. It seems that soon we will need to expose ourselves, make our situation clear and be vulnerable. That sounds more severe then it really is. My internal struggle is far greater then the external one at this point. Again, Oh to be with the Lord and see things rightly, from His perspective.

As I re-read this short post I am struck that I need to trust God and I am struck that there is not a promise I can bring to mind to cling to except He loves me. That is a big deal but I am sad that I don't have more truth in my arsenal. Lord, help me build up in mastery of your Word.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grace in school, Grace in expectations

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deuteronomy 6:6-8

This passage of Scripture is what I have been meditating on today. The reason why is that I have been struggling with the balance of "academics" in our "homeschool" life and the conviction that all of life is learning and that the Bible is clear about what I am to teach my children. I listened to a series by R.C. Sproul Jr that is challenging and encouraging about keeping God, Christ and his Word the main thing in teaching and in family life. I don't do a very good job of that. I don't think that I know God's Word very well, certainly not as well as I could. 

In my first post I talked about the woman who talks and talks and sometimes her thoughts do not connect but they are always full of Scripture. She is my inspiration for taking seriously the value of God's Word. Here is yet another part of my life that needs more of Christ through His Word. 

Another part of my struggle these last few days is that I have been reading His Word and not really paying attention. Life in this world still seems to crowd out the truly precious and valuable, eternal things with urgent temporal things. I found myself upset that I was desiring to do a good thing and couldn't do it. I was frustrated that I was trying so hard to do better, be better, for God and He was not giving back the way I thought He ought to. Then needing to repent and remember that the point is to "seek first His kingdom" through grace.

I am not sure if any of this is making any sense but I assure you that the two are very related. It is a vicous cycle that is frustrating and necessary and affects every area of my life...including training my children...this cycle of "sin, repent, embrace grace, seek Him, be blessed, expect perfection in myself and my world, sin". Frustrating because it seems like there is no progress but necessary because I continually need reminders that my righteousness is only good because it is Christ's righteousness, given to me.

28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being[d] might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him[e] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:28-31

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Underestimated God

Today I exercised. I try to exercise regularly but it is more like once a week these days. Life just keeps happening. My point is that I tried something a little different. I listened to a sermon while I ran. This was a wonderful distraction to the aching in my legs and was encouraging to my soul...while it lasted. My silly mp3 player died half way through. I had heard enough to know that I will finish it this weekend (as soon as everything is charged back up). I also heard enough to know that it needs to be shared.

For many of you this has already been making the rounds but let me assure you that Ligon Duncan will lead you in worship of our Awesome God!

The Underestimated God

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Didn't catch that...

Really need to get back into reading the Word to actually know what it says and to know Jesus through it. This blog is supposed to be more about the Word and what God is doing in me through His Word then about my experiences and that is just not happening. I know that life ebbs and flows but it has been far too one-sided lately. Not to mention the fact that I know I read the Bible today and I know what chapters I read but I have no idea what they said.

Not good!

I should have known something was up. Usually when I feel anxious about not "doing" enough of _______ and the answer has nothing to do with seeking the Lord then something is out of alignment.

Praise God for grace again and again as I fumble through the days.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

God is faithful

Today something a little strange happened. Everything started out fine. I woke up early and read the Word...always a great way to start the day. Breakfast was ready when the kids got up and Christian was off to school on time. We enjoyed the benefits of homeschooling by reading lots and lots of books together and drawing and coloring. It was peaceful and quiet and very enjoyable. Around 11 I decided to let the kids play downstairs while I folded laundry. That is when I was suddenly overcome with a sense of meaninglessness, depression and hopelessness. I couldn't get away from it. I sent a text to Tommy asking for prayer and put on theologically deep music and started to work on lunch. I had to physically get up from the couch so I would not give into the desire to curl up in bed and cry myself to sleep. I was still struggling, weeping as a chopped veggies and feeling like everything was pointless. When the screams of children fighting started filling the air I sent out texts to more people asking for prayer. The responses were encouraging, full of Scripture and good counsel and I know that there were many prayers along with them. How do I know? After an hour of fighting this opression by renewing my mind with Truth and right thinking, praying, having others pray for me and not giving into the desire to stop everything and give into despair the darkness lifted just as suddenly as it came. The kids stopped fighting, lunch was ready and everything was back to"normal". I was then exauhsted from the fight and had to take a nap but that isn't too out of the ordinary. I am not sure what is going on with all of that BUT I do know that God worked today. He did not fail in His promise to strengthen me and through the prayers of my brothers and sisters whatever was going on, stopped. I am continually amazed at how good God is and am encouraged to see Him work His faithful promises.

25  Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. -Romans 16