March 26, 2011

Bible in 90 ~ Week 10 ~ Treasured by God?

So I'm catching up on week 10 blogging.  This was one week I was behind a couple of days after being out of town, so since I was behind I certainly didn't have time to blog about it!  But behind in writing or not, I did have a bit of an "Aha!" moment this particular week.

I have questioned before if all of God's promises are for me.  Not because I think I'm not good enough (I know I'm not good enough for any of it!), but just because one says something in one conversation does not mean that is something they feel to every other person who may read it in the future.  I'm just not that easy to convince.  I'm not David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea... you get the idea.  God wasn't speaking to me when He said "I know the plans I have for you," "Be ye strong and courageous," "I will be with you," etc., so who says I have the right to assume those comments of love are meant for me as well?  Or this one that was certainly encouraging, though I didn't see it as for me when I read it in a vision Daniel had:
"Daniel, you are a man treasured by God... for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers... Don't be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!" 
Daniel 10: portions of verses 11, 12, 19

But this was my moment... I know I've heard that God shows no preference... Romans 2:11 says, "For God shows no favoritism" and while Paul is talking about salvation, rewards, judgment and wrath, I think it's a reasonable stretch to conclude that He would be non-preferential when it comes to treasuring His creation as well. I know that I treasure my children, and if I could bypass my flesh, I would wholeheartedly treasure them without any interruption of feeling caused by frustration.  But because God is without sin, and His love for us is perfect, then I believe He can treasure His children even while we are frustrating Him!  So I think I'm willing to believe that I am treasured by God just like Daniel was!

March 24, 2011

Bible in 90 ~ Week 11 ~ Do I ask Him to leave?

Week 11!  I can't believe it!  The time has gone so quickly and I'm almost done.

This week I've read all four of the gospels and started Acts.  It was refreshing to read the fulfillment of the prophecies so quickly after reading the prophecies... I actually remembered what I had read so I caught on instead of having to see it in my Bible notes somewhere.  :)

The gospels are full of the stories we were taught in Sunday School, so I think they're really easy to skim over (in a bad way).  I struggle to go deep in them because they're old hat, in a way.  But one verse caught my attention when I read it.

Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.  Luke 8:36-37

God was performing miracles, fixing a nuisance (surely a demon possessed man would be a nuisance, right?) and  they asked Him to leave because they were afraid!  I think we metaphorically "ask Him to leave" by ignoring His Spirit's leading, seeking elsewhere for advice more suited to our liking, making our own plan and backing it up with scripture to justify it, and a whole host of other actions. I wonder how often God is right in the midst of doing work for my good and I ask Him to leave in fear of what else He might do?

March 23, 2011


Grace today is my heart being loving, understanding, forgiving and willing to move forward when without His reformation I would have been angry, hurt, fearful, self-righteous and critical.

Thank you, Lord, for the second chances You give to show me that You're changing me!

March 18, 2011

Meet Pepper!

Pepper is an eight year old lhasa-poo who just moved in today! 
The kids have asked for over a year to get another dog after we had to move our other one to a new home where he had room to run.  I kept saying any dog we got had to be small, hypoallergenic, suited for the indoors and housebroken.  So when I noticed a friend from church posted that they needed a new home for their dog it seemed perfect!  Her previous owners were so generous too, and gave us everything we need for her and more!

 Jacob said, "It's just so nice to have a dog in the house again, isn't it, Mom?"

 Mattie had a deeper perspective... She said, "Just like when my other family couldn't care for me they found me a home that would be better for me!" (I am so thankful we've been so matter of fact and open about her adoption.  Not that Mattie is a pet, but I hope she processes that we wanted Pepper and chose for her to come here just like we chose Mattie and wanted her.  I hope this helps her have something to relate to later.)

  Taking a break in the sunshine after trying really hard to get to the neighbors' dog!

I guess everyone wants to get used to the other's things. I did not make them pose for this, and I don't quite see the appeal here...

I love her shade of charcoal gray!
She's still pretty overwhelmed, I think, I know it's hard for her previous owners to let her go, but hopefully she'll get settled right in and feel at home.  The kids are already trying to claim her for the overnight hours, but thus far, unless we've gone outside, she's stayed right by my side.  We'll see what happens as she gets more comfortable...

10:00 PM
Pepper's doing great!  She's whining when she wants to go out, going potty when we get there, sticking right by my side whenever I sit down, turning her little head 45 degrees when I don't get her request right away (and more when I laugh at her for it), eating and trying to figure out where I'm going to plant myself for the night, I think.  I think she'll do just fine.  The kids are really hoping she'll land in one of their beds tonight, but I'm not betting on it.

March 17, 2011

I'm not sure what just happened.

This morning I set the timer for 20 minutes, said cheerfully we're all going to work hard in our spots for 20 minutes and see how well we do.  This is not the first time we've done this, but this time was different.  Both kids worked really hard and got a lot done independently in their messy rooms!  (Mattie's never done an open ended assignment like that independently before.  Her room is a challenge because there are so many things in there with little pieces.)  

I'm still shocked and it was two hours ago.  I had to make sure and permanently record the momentous occasion.

March 16, 2011

Just in case... and an imaginary friend story

Just in case anyone wonders if I've given up on reading, I haven't.  In fact, I'm almost done!  We're down to the last two weeks, and it's still on my list as one of my favorite things I've ever done.  I haven't had time to blog about the last few weeks, though I really want to.  I've been sick, Mattie was sick, then we were out of town loving on a beautiful new niece and visiting my growing up family (which I can never get enough of, I must say), and I'm in the throes of Luke 14 planning for this year's event which is April 8 & 9.  Not to mention I'm still reading about an hour each day!  Reading comes before blogging about reading.  :)

I do want to share what the Lord is doing as I read though, so you'll just have to wait.  I will say this: He is stirring and shaking up a lot of things I've thought I understood!  There is a lot I think I took a lot at face value as I was taught by others, but He's stirring my spirit to get down into the nitty gritty on my own.  Good, good things, but things that aren't as easy to believe as I think we'd like them to be.  It's also been neat to jump in to the New Testament and watch the prophecy fulfillment unfold so close after reading all of the prophecies.  Honestly, I don't think I ever really paid them much attention in the past when I've read them.

On a totally less spiritual note, something exciting is happening here on Friday!  I promise I'll post about it when it happens.  :)

And Mattie's most recent imaginary friend story:  I heard her repeatedly telling her "friend," Kara, "No, Kara!  That's rude.  You must stop that!" But her bedroom door was closed, so I wasn't quite sure what Kara was so insistent on doing.  Come to find out when I snuck up there, Kara had a terrible case of gas (helped by the beloved whoopie cushion Jacob bought Mattie for her birthday) and insisted on flatulating at the table.  Apparently, Kara thought it was quite funny!  Can you tell what happens at dinner around here?

Off to read... I'm the book of Mark behind, so I have to catch up tonight!

March 05, 2011

Moving on

God has said it's time to move on.  And I told Him I'm willing, but I can't do it alone.  

About three years ago I felt like the Lord told me a very clear "no" in response to my asking for more children.  I was pretty sure that's what I heard, and grieved as if He'd written it on my wall.  I wept at the loss of my dreams, struggled through a few months and a few more options, and got rid of some baby stuff, though I saved a lot "just in case."  Slowly, though, I began to question if that's really what I heard.  Some well meaning friends said they didn't really think that's what I heard.  I noticed many times in scripture where God gave children to a woman who prayed long enough.  I thought maybe this was just "no for now" and justified my continuing hope with that.  But under all of it, I knew.

I wasn't angry or bitter.  I was just sad.  I was afraid that if I stopped asking it would make Him think I'd stopped hoping, and if I stopped hoping He'd forget how badly I really wanted this.

Last weekend through some sweet fellowship with women, teaching and communion with Him, God made it clear it's time to move into a new chapter.  It's time to put this hope of another pregnancy behind me and look ahead at what He has for me.  Maybe it is just "no for now," but I can't live in the "for now" anymore.  I have asked Him to show me what it looks like to accept that gracefully.  What do I do differently?  
Does it mean I stop wondering?
Does it mean I stop contemplating?
Does it mean I stop hoping?

I do know it means I'm to pass on all of my stuff I was saving "just in case."
I did that yesterday.
And I didn't even cry.

I know it means I'm to stop asking Him for my miracle and graciously accept His answer.  And yes, it means I'm to stop hoping.

I believe it means I'm to stop perceiving myself in the middle of the wilderness of infertility.  I believe He's brought me out of the wilderness, it's just that the milk and honey don't taste quite like I expected.

I have a few things I'm asking of Him:
Show me, God, that You know how much this hurts me.
Redeem my pain and heartache. Help me use it for Your glory and others' good.
Help me see Your sweet face.
Give me courage. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do for You.