1,000 Gifts Continued…

January 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Yesterday I woke up in pain. Long story, but I got kicked (purely accidental) hard in the head while I was sleeping. So I ended up with essentially whip lash…I have had it twice due to car crashes…This kick brought it back. So I stood in our church service and felt like I may vomit because of the pain. My head swam as we sang praises to God. My heart tried to tell me I was being a hypocrite. Praising God when I felt terrible. That lie woke me up. The truth is that God is who He is no matter my circumstances. So it is with thanking God. We often don’t “feel it.” However when we thank God for who He is and what He has done for us. In the process of praising and thanking Him, the lie our hearts are telling us is exposed. So here is my list for this week…

151. Jazz music
152. Reminder of how new love feels
153. Wisdom of tried love and deeper feelings that go with it.
154. Three little voices in raised in harmony while playing together
155. Unseasonably warm weather
156. A stomach bug that started and ended at one
157. Fellow travelers on this journey of grace working through honest questions with me
158. Learning the role of mentor
159. Learning the role of mentee
160. The joy of song
161. Lessons learned through tears
162. My husband’s leadership
163. Time for my husband and I alone
164. Phones to stay close to my family
165. God who gives grace I am desperately in need of
166. For friends who encourage
167. For smiles on little faces
168. For longing for more smiles
169. For God’s perfect plan
170. For truth to tell our hearts when they try to deceive us
171. For electricity
172. My husband who takes care of me when I hurt
173. For discovering God’s word is true meat and bread for my soul.
174. For books that give applicable wisdom.
175. For heating pads, warm baths, and massages for crazy muscle pain.

What are you grateful for?

Saturdays are for…

January 29, 2011 § 4 Comments

Sleeping in (sort of) at least until 7:00 AM if that counts…

Ibuprofen for the head injury I received when a certain 4-year-old kicked me in the head while she was sleeping.

Playing outside in the unseasonably warm weather…

Talking through sibling relationship issues with a 7-year-old.

Sipping some coffee (from a cup my friend Jennifer made. She is a great potter) in the quiet house (kids are playing outside) with my wonderful husband.

Thankful to the One who made Saturdays.

How about you? What are your Saturdays for?

A Little Reality

January 28, 2011 § 6 Comments

In case you have a picture of me…Dressed perfectly…Perfect kids…Neat and tidy house….

Let me tell you the reality of me…

1. I LOVE to wear “work-out clothes.” Always. An elastic waistband and a cotton t-shirt make me smile. I feel home. Don’t get me wrong dressing up is ok, but I prefer active wear. 😉 Dressing like that is more comfortable and quicker than dressing up…

2. Sometimes my kids and I have p.j. days. Yes really…I spend a whole day wearing pajamas. In fact I am tainting my kids because they LOVE p.j. days too.

3. I have no ability to organize. I dream of a tidy home, I try to, there are times when it is better than others. However most days my house looks like an office and a toy room married and had kids. Papers and toys everywhere. I claim my twin sister stole my organizing gene in utero. She is organized and tidy. I am not. Praying somehow the gene is recessive and my kids can have it…I doubt it, but I would like it!

4. My kids are not perfect. I have drama, thumb-sucking, potty-training issues, and straight up defiance. I wonder where they got that? Let’s move on…

5. I often have to warm up my coffee because I get distracted and don’t drink it until it is cold. Sometimes I drink it cold.

6. I love my husband, but I often don’t respond to him as I should. Yet he loves me and calls me beautiful (even on my p.j. days).

I am glad that God doesn’t call the perfect…Aren’t you? He loves us the way we are and sees Jesus in us. AMAZING!!!

Please feel free to leave a comment (the button is at the top of each post). I try to respond to each one that is left.

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Yes, in case you didn’t know, I am writing a book. 😉 A publisher and an agent are considering my proposal. Keep praying and I will keep you posted!

I am praying for you and appreciate your prayers for me!

Grace…

January 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

So God has been working on me about grace. I am slow to learn, but yesterday something came to me…

When I remember that I am in desperate need of grace, I am free to extravagantly extend grace to others.

It frees me up to love God for He is the giver of all grace and to love others for love covers a multitude of sins.

Giving of grace doesn’t negate the sin or its consequences. No, it stands in the ashes of the home burnt by sin and cries, loves, encourages, and goes about the painful work of restoration and reconciliation.

It is in knowing that I need the grace, that I am hopeless and helpless without it, it is in that state of mind that I can better understand God’s love for me. When I am in a wild love affair with my Heavenly Father, I want to live a life holy to Him. It is then that holy life is a spiritual act of worship.

So Grace is the beginning of it all. Loving God and loving others. It is what draws us to God.

I would like to know what your thoughts are on God’s amazing, painful, radical, wild grace. Share a comment with me.

Scripture Memory Challenge…

January 26, 2011 § 7 Comments

Just wanted to do a little housekeeping…

1. God is working on me lately. Mostly reminding me that if I don’t humble myself before Him, He can and will humble me. I would prefer to humble myself under His hand so He can raise me up (1 Peter 5:6), not to be humbled by Him. More on that in future posts.

2. I am super excited to be working with Bronson Ma of Bronson Ma Creative to help me focus my ministry and develop a recognizable website, logo, etc. I want you all to be part of this process. So be looking for opportunities to give me feedback. I can’t wait to see how God will use my new logo, website, etc to glorify Himself. (Back to humbling myself or being humbled I want it all to be for His kingdom and His glory not mine).

3. I challenged you all a while back to memorize scripture. I told you I would be working on the book of James. So below I am adding a video of the part I have memorized for now. It is James 1-2:12 in the NIV version (not the 2010 one, but the earlier one). I do not think it is quite perfect, but it is close. I did this video in two takes. Mostly because I forgot to change my screen saver settings in the middle of the first one my screen saver came on. It was pretty humorous, but I got so distracted I couldn’t finish. So attempt #2 is what you see below. I hope it encourages you that you can do this too. Not because I can do it, but because God can do it in me.

I am praying that you are memorizing God’s word and meditating on it. It is such a blessing to me. Please share with me what you are memorizing! I can’t wait to see what God is doing through you!

Big Boy Bed, Tears, and A Thankful Heart

January 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

We finally did it. My sweet little man now has a big boy bed.

I know that he was well past the age of needing a big boy bed.
Signs he needed a big boy bed included:
he has to bend his legs to fit into the pack-n-play when we go traveling and
he climbed out of his crib opened his bedroom door and went to play with his sisters after nap the other day.

I resisted because…the thought of not having a crib in my house broke my heart. Not because my little man, my youngest was getting big. No I was rejoicing in his every milestone and thankful for each moment.

No I was sad because I wanted another little one in the house who needed a crib. I realize that may sound crazy – I already have three kids – but it is true. My womb for all scientific, medical purposes is dead. Each month my cycle mocks me, reminding me unless God makes a miracle, my womb will bear no more fruit.

Saturday as we tore apart his crib and put together his new big boy bed, my body literally ached. My heart was heavy knowing, knowing, knowing…Knowing that if I were to get pregnant, I would have to have test after test to make sure my baby was in my womb not somewhere else. Knowing that the very thing I long for could very well cost me my life. Yet I still long for another bundle…

Friday E asked me what I would name two boys and a girl if we got to have them. The question stung. I answered in small sentences remembering times when dreaming for more was easy. Before I knew that God’s way was not the way I was planning. I talked of names we had thought about in the past while holding back the tears of longing and waiting.

L asked last night…Words that tear at my heart. She doesn’t know that it hurts. All she did was take note of the three empty chairs at our table. Yes three chairs…I dreamed God would bless my womb with three. My last IVF cycle we transferred three precious babes. Yet none of them survived…

Tears have been flowing. Yet there is a sweetness in them. I know my God in a way I never would have if He didn’t bring me to this place. This place of longing, waiting, and trusting Him for a miracle. The miracle of life within, or a babe that we are asked to adopt, or a change in my heart. He knows the form this miracle will take. He knows if those three chairs will one day be filled.

And I thank Him that He holds my tears in a bottle, He takes note of them, He is the God of all comfort. I thank Him for His plans for my family and for His peace (the kind earned after a war) that passes understanding. So I thank Him for big boy beds, tears, and His grace that holds them all together.

What has God taught you through tough times He has led you through? Is there anything I can pray for you? Feel free to leave a comment.

1,000 Gifts Continued

January 24, 2011 § 6 Comments

Have you ever noticed that enemy tries to attack us and drag us down when we are stepping out in faith? So we have these warring factions in our hearts…One encouraging me because I am doing God’s will and it brings the peace and joy that comes from honoring and glorifying our Lord and Savior. The other brings doubts or stresses or points to the messy house, it brings discouragement, frustration, and a measuring stick that I could never possibly attain.

So here I am…Monday morning…messy kitchen, toys flung throughout the house, heart at war with itself…And yet I am still so thankful and grateful to our God. I am overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. I am awed by His love. I am thankful for so many things…Here is a list.

126.     My son stayed in his big boy bed the first night all night!

127.     Molly the talented photographer who took pictures of me

128.     Encouraging words from women I highly respect

129.     Time of worship in song

130.    Tears of thankfulness shed for my loving Savior

131.     No one mentioning the smear of mascara under my eyes after service

132.    NFL Play-off weekend

133.     College Basketball season

134.     Pudgy hands clutching “sootballs” (footballs)

135.  Pudgy cheeks to kiss

136.  My sixth grade girls in Sunday School. They are really starting to dig into God’s word

137.  Inexpensive CUTE shoes

138.  My supportive, loving, wonderful husband

139.  When my son talks in exclamation points with his voice, eyes, and body language

140.  Sore muscles (yes I have started working out again)

141.  Golden grass…I think it is pretty, you can think it is dead, but I like it. 😉

142.  Baking with three little chefs

143.  My 7-year-old making pop-bead jewelry for the whole family

144.  Toy scattered floors (signs of life)

145.  Good report at the eye doctor for my sweet L! She is doing much much better with her glasses!

146.  Glasses actually keep L from being so clumsy. Praise God for the school nurse testing her and her Eye Doctor working with us!

147.  Colder weather for cuddling, hot chocolate

148.  My kids love me to read to them and I love to read

149.  The Action Bible (if you haven’t checked it out it is GREAT). My kids LOVE it as a tool to help them understand scripture.

150.  My husband’s face of joy and fun while he plays his guitar

What are you grateful for?

Where Am I?

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