Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 91: Cut 'n' Color Day

That's all really. It's just nice to be able to go and get my hair cut so that things are fresh, and the color is just nice. I've never been one to just dye my hair willy-nilly, but when I started seeing an abundance of gray hairs so young, I thought that it was just too soon. And since I am horrible at dying it myself at home, I am trusting a long-time friend to do it, and it is always nice to visit.

It was especially fun today because my daughter went with me. That was just fun. She had a blast seeing all the things in a hair salon and seeing what mommy does on "cut 'n' color" days. She got to doodle on some paper and took quite the liking to my hair stylist. It was just a fun outing, and I am thankful that I was able to go and share it with my girl.

Thank You for this bright spot in my day, Lord.
It's fun to do something so girly with my little girl!
Thank You that You created us all beautiful in Your image and that You call us
to be women of godly character.
I praise You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
and that You allow me to share moments of girliness with my daughter.
May I be an example of Biblical femininity and true beauty.
Help me to communicate that clearly in how I approach outward beauty
and strive for sanctification of inward beauty.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 90: But God is coming May 1st

That is But God, by Casey Lute. I'm not predicting the coming of our Lord! I just thought it was kind of funny to title a blog post that way.

I'm excited though. My husband is in the final stages of getting drafts of each chapter of his book, set to release from Cruciform Press on May 1 of this year. Everything is just coming together, and it's just so neat to see everything like the cover, author bio and book description. We're thinking promoting, and an endorsement copy needs to be prepared.

We are just experiencing such a blessed journey, and my hope is that the end will be a book that blesses people and brings them to a greater understanding of God's sovereignty in salvation.

Thank You, Father, for this experience. Use this to further Your kingdom and for Your glory.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 89: Laugher is Good

This morning I wasn't in the mood to go to work. I just kind of wanted to stay home, and I had things on my mind that I wanted to get done. So, I decided to direct my energies towards getting something done at work. That effort that I put forth resulted in organized lens cleaning accessories and products! Ta-da! It was actually quite the task.

The rest of the day was pretty ordinary, and then I got home and was greeted by very excited children, shouting, "Mommy! Mommy!" Music to a mother's ears.

Then when I sat down to remind a friend of the time and date details of our daughter's birthday party, I was swept up in a "comment party" on Facebook. It was just silly, and had me sitting here at the computer laughing to myself, getting such a kick out of the funny interaction.

So, that's the grace in today.

I got something done that needed to be done at work that will simply make things nicer for everyone there. My children have me home enough that for me to come home is a bigger deal than it used to be. And laughter and silliness between friends is something that you're never too old for. The joy in laughter is a great gift.

Father, I thank You for little things that can turn a day from drudgery to overflowing with grace. That is good,
and all things good are from Your mighty hand.
Thank You.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 88: Answered Prayer

Yesterday I was committed to writing about my dear SIL since it was her birthday, but I will always remember yesterday for other reasons. I'll explain.

I've had a burden for my daughter, which I shared about here. There is nothing that brings you more to your knees than not being in control of something. Well, we are never in control of anyone's spiritual condition. That is for the Lord to be in control of. And, in fact, everything is for Him to be in control of. So the more we accept that truth, the more peace we can have.

Anyway, I digress. On Sunday evenings, a pretty small group of people of the church meets to spend an hour in prayer. It's a wonderful time to agree with one another in prayer, praising the Lord and carrying one another's burdens. Each prayer meeting is led by one of the pastors, and they guide the prayers in different ways and on different themes. We were praying through some of the prayers of Paul, and praying those things for our church in particular.

One of those prayers was focused on the gospel, and that we would not be ashamed of it and that we would proclaim it. Silently I prayed that I would have opportunity to share the gospel more, and that I would especially be able to communicate it clearly to my children in our day to day activities.

God answered.

My girl had a particularly rebellious evening when it was time for bed. And she had just been given her next task from her AWANA book: a chart of obeying parents. One of the areas of obedience was bedtime. She had blown it. She was lamenting over not getting the check for going to bed when asked.

I gently directed the conversation towards what is at the heart of chart. The chart wasn't the issue. The issue was her sin. Right there, in that moment, the thing to be concerned about was not the chart or finishing the last task of her AWANA book. It was the sin that she was committing right there that put Christ on the cross.

So I explained that to her. I explained that she is in need of confessing and asking for forgiveness of that sin.

For the first time, she got it. We have talked with her about that. We have shared the gospel over and over with our child. We have instructed her in the understanding that in disobeying us, she is disobeying the Lord. We have gone over her need for a Savior, and that the only way to conquer sin in to take it to Jesus.

She's never wanted to. She's never felt sorry for violating God's holiness- at least not directly towards Him. She's felt bad for sin, but mostly because it made mom or dad sad. She has always distanced herself from accountability to her Maker.

Until now.

I asked my little girl if she felt sorry for her sin. I asked her if she wanted to be forgiven by God. I asked her if she believed in Jesus and that He dies for her sin, and rose again. I asked if she wanted to pray and ask for both forgiveness and for help to live for God.

She did.

So, for the first time, my daughter showed a desire to pray, to cry out to God. She's never really wanted to. She's been very hesitant to pray, and we have always asked and given opportunities. But we haven't ever forced that.

I helped her say a prayer. She didn't really know how to say what she wanted to say, and only our sovereign God knows exactly what was in her heart. But she repeated after me confessing her sin, saying that she believed in Jesus and that she wanted Him to come into her life and help her live for Him.

I'll tell you, that there was a little bit of dust in the room, if you know what I mean.

This morning she had a bad attitude towards her dad, and she said, "I thought being good would be easier today!" There was another opportunity to remind her that she needed to depend on Jesus to give her strength and help her serve Him.

So we prayed again before school.

And she was still upset with her dad.

So we prayed again at bedtime.

In the last 24 hours, she has prayed 3 times. That is more than she has been willing to do or wanted to do in just about her whole life- each time asking for the Lord to help her live for Him and be obedient.

None of this is about me. It's about God. I have done nothing. And nothing's perfect, and only He knows what is in the heart of my oldest child. He is at work. I believe that He has softened her heart, and that she is being tempted. I believe that He has always been working on my girl, and He will continue to work in her until the day of Christ Jesus. Just as He is working on me.

He answers prayers in His time.

To Him be all the glory. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 87: Sweet as Candy

Candace is my sister-in-law. Today is her birthday (yes, the birthdays keep coming!). Candace is my friend. It's as simple as that. She has a genuine concern for me and what I go through. She is interested in what I think and do. She's sympathetic and kind. She's an overall lovely person, and I am a blessed person because I know her.

So, I would say that she is more than a sister-in-law. She is my sister, and my friend. And today marks her birthday. Today I thank the Lord for her.

Thank You, Father for Candace.
Thank You that she belongs to You, and that You are at work in her life.
Thank You for the support she has been to myself and to Casey.
Thank You for her generous and helpful spirit,
and thank You that she is such a kind friend. I am so thankful to You that she is in my life,
and that we get to share our lives together and as friends and as family.
Continue to bless our friendship,
and help us to grow more and more together
and make more and more sweet memories together.

Happy birthday Candace! I love you!

Day 86: Visiting

I was able to spend time with a friend that I haven't been able to get together with in months. It's like I'm slowly coming out of hibernation, and re-establishing contact with people. For a long time, my world was limited to work and home, and although those two elements are there, I feel like I have a bit more liberty to branch out a little. I don't feel as though my spare time needs to be completely consumed by time at home.

That is a nice thing.

So I'm thankful for getting the chance to have an impromptu visit from my friend and talk, and have a nice time together.

Thank You Lord, that I am slowly regaining what I used to have,
and that I have been given my tasks back.
Please help me to be diligent to bring You glory in all that I do.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 85: Lo-lo

Dear Logan, my sweet nephew Logan. Ah, six year ago today you graced us with your entrance into this world, and it got a little brighter. How?

That smile and those eyes.

I have never known a child that has more expressive eyes, than my nephew Logan. They are deep pools of chocolate, that can melt your heart.

His smile is just sunshine- or mischief. It depends on what the eyes are saying. :)

I love this little guy. His imagination is precious, and he's such a proud new big brother. I am so happy that I get to be his aunt. I can't help but smile every time he smiles; it's just that contagious.

Happy birthday Lo-lo... Aunt Kelly loves you, buddy!

Father, thank You for Logan, and the special part of his family that he is.
Thank You for how You have taken care of him through all his
ups and downs with surgeries and whatnots of his youth.
You have been so good to Him and we thank You for always taking care of him and giving him to our family.
What a sweet gift he is to me and the rest of the family!
May he be a silent strength to all around him.
 Help him stand firm in Your truth. Give him wisdom as he grows,
and may he seek the  perfect wisdom found in your Word.
I pray that he would not lean on him own understanding,
but allow You to direct his paths.
I pray that he would trust in You, and turn to You for his salvation.
Thank You for Logan.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 84: Making Friends

Today most of my day was spent getting to know a mom of one of Norah's classmates. While our children played together, we talked and enjoyed adult conversation, a sweet treat to moms of younger children. Our families are very similar with Norah and her brother being 15 months apart, and our friends being 18 months apart. So, with that in common, it was easy to relate to one another and understand those early years of parenting.

So, all in all, it was a very neat experience, and I am glad that we were able to spend time over there. The girls and boys seemed to really enjoy one another, and I would get them all together again anytime!

It's just nice to meet nice people, and hopefully, as the girls continue to bond, so can our families. You never know. Maybe this could be the start of a nice friendship between two families.

Lord, I was to thank You for the friendships
that Norah has developed in school and that she was able to be in the school that she is in.
I pray that You would continue to bless her and help her grow to be a good friend to others
 and to have wisdom to choose friends wisely.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 83: Cade's a Little Late

I remember when we were anticipating the arrival of my nephew. We didn't know his name. His parents didn't know his name, and he came a day or two later than he was expected.

Well, yesterday was this dear one's birthday, and I'm a day late in recognizing it. I didn't forget it. I just didn't write about it yesterday because there was something more pressing on my heart.

But let me tell you. I love this little boy. For five years he has graced our family with his funny ways and active personality. I get such a kick out of him!

He's truly a boy's boy liking cars, trucks, baseball, dinosaurs and trains. I think I pretty much summed up his whole existence in those interests! He's one of children's best friends. In fact yesterday I could barely distract my son enough from asking constantly to go see Cade and his brother Miles!

I am so proud to be his aunt, and I just love him.

Happy birthday, dear Cade!

Lord, thank You for Cade.
He is such a special nephew, and I pray that you would bless him as he grows.
As he begins school this year, I pray that You would protect his heart
and provide friends that build him up.
I pray that he would come to know You personally at a young age,
so that he can bring You glory all the days of his life.
Thank You that he is such a good big brother and takes care of those who are littler than he.
I pray that You would guide his parents in raising him in Your truth,
and that You would make Cade receptive to Your Word.
Thank You for this little boy.
May he grow to be a godly man who loves You and Your truth, and lives in it daily.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 82: Which Kind is of No Consequence

When you grow up being adopted, you learn to take ignorance for what it is, and you learn to try and discern when there is the time for education and when it is the time to let something slide. For instance, I would get this a lot, "Do you know your real mom?" Now, there's nothing wrong with what the person is asking. What they don't understand is that they are asking in a very wrong way. The question really is, "Do you know your birth/biological mother?" An adopted child's real mom, is their mom. Period.

So, I can answer I couple ways. I could be snarky, and say, "My mom is my real mom." Or, I could be gracious, and answer, "You mean my birth mom? Oh no. I haven't met her." The second way educates without making the person feel stupid.

Anyway, all this is to say, that when you're adopted, you learn to live in a way that brings adoption to light.

So let me tell you something that has been on my heart this week.

All adoptions are special. There is not one adoption that is more valuable or needed than another. In all cases, there is a need to be saved.

We are all born with the need to be saved because we are born into a fallen world, and in this world the Lord has a beautiful plan that He is orchestrating for His glory. Some children are born into poverty, some into dangerous circumstances and others are born into beautiful situations. No matter what, all children need saved because we are all born into sin, and some children are born into situations in which they need to be saved twice. They need to be adopted twice.

Adoption mirrors what Christ has made possible for us. We are in desperate need of salvation, and we cannot do anything for ourselves. We can't save ourselves. A child that needs adopting cannot save themselves. So whether they are an orphan in poverty, have special needs, or just can't be cared for by the woman who gives them life, they all need saved. They all need redeemed to be brought into a family.

So one adoption is of no greater import than another because they are all beautiful. They are all mirroring what Christ has done for us, for we are made children of God through Christ's sacrifice.

It is important to not put one form of adoption down, for the sake of building another up or justifying one over another. It is of no consequence what kind it is, just that it takes place.

The salvation of a drug addict or the Sunday school child is still the same. They look different, but is one more special than the other? No. The consequences are the same if they are not saved. Amen?

This week, someone said something to me that I've heard before, and every time I hear it, it ignites anger in me. It affected me so deeply, that days 79 and 80 weren't very good for me.

I will say it again. No form of adoption is above another, and no adoption should be put down to build another up.

Father, I praise You for being Father to the fatherless, and allowing children of all backgrounds to be placed in loving homes all over the world.
Thank You that You equip people and move people's hearts to different ways of building their families. Thank You that You are the architect of families.
I pray that You would move more and more of Your people to care for
orphans and widows in their distress
that we may give You glory. 
Please open the door for our family to grow through adoption soon,
that we may bring You glory
and be a family that is a light for adoption.
Thank You that I am called Your child,
that You adopted me as Your own through the precious blood of Jesus.  

Day 81: He Said My Name

My husband doesn't actually call me by my name a lot. I'm not sure why. He just doesn't. He just talks to me. And after eleven years of being with my husband, the warm fuzzies and giddiness have tended to wear off, and have been replaced with a deeper love. The newness of young love has ripened into something deeper, something more constant.

Today, he called out my name several times. He needed my attention and my help.

It was as mundane as needing soap for his shower, yet hearing his voice call out my name made me feel so special- giddy even. Even after eleven years, it was like expecting a phone call that finally came, and I couldn't stop smiling.

It was just because he said my name.

I love my husband. I love him so completely and so deeply, and even, after a decade of romance, am totally smitten with him.

Day 80: Still Not So Hot

Still upset by the previous day, I went through church and served in children's church. It was a blessing to be among the Lord's people, but I will tell you, that if the elements were served at church, I would have had to pass. Things were not right, and sometimes we need a little bit of time to be able to get to the point where you can make things right properly, you know?

Maybe not.

But even so. Things weren't right, and I was a little nauseated the whole day. I despise relationships not being right. And I'm not good at it. I'm not one to have much conflict in my life. Things just generally are pretty peaceful for me.

It must have been the super moon.

The grace?

The grace was in moving a little bit closer to reconciliation. God graced me with healing, which just took a little more time.

Thank You Lord, for giving us time when we need it, and being patient with us.
You are the Great Healer. 

Day 79: Not So Hot

I'll shoot straight with you. Day 79 was not so great. I didn't post on the actual day because it was just that crummy.

I cried myself to sleep. (Big shock, right?)

I had an argument with someone earlier in the day, and to be honest, it just wrecked the whole day. I let it wreck the day.

So moving on....

The grace in the day is that my husband showed compassion and empathy towards me. He understood my hurt, and did his best to comfort me.

I'm not good at having arguments. I get frazzled in the moment and lack normal communication skills. In that weakness, I think it just gets worse, and my husband understands that.

Thanks Lord, for my husband.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 78: Ten for Ten

So I'm still thinking about the plagues, and my husband was mentioning to me that the plagues on Egypt had a direct meaning against one of the gods of Egypt. In sending the plagues upon the Egyptians, He was displaying His power, and supremacy over all gods. Basically the Lord blew the Egyptian world view of many gods overseeing these aspects of their lives out of the water.


Plague #1: Water to blood... Take that Hapi, god of the Nile!
Plague #2: Frogs everywhere... Heket was the goddess fertility, water and renewal with the head of a frog. I'd imagine, her image was pretty detestable after having the entire ground covered in frogs.
Plague #3: Gnats out of the dust... Geb was put to shame with this one. He was the god of the earth. The Pharaoh's magicians admit that this one is from God. That's saying something! Even more, we know that it took seven more things to finally break Pharaoh's hardened heart.
Plague #4: Flies, flies everywhere- but only on Egyptians. The Hebrews are unaffected. This one points to Khepri, the Egyptian god of rebirth, and creation with the head of a fly.
Plague #5: Pestilence affecting cattle and livestock... Absolute economic disaster deflates the powers of Hathor, the goddess of love and protection, often depicted with the head of a cow.
Plague #6: Boils... gross! Isis is sunk. This goddess of medicine and peace has no power over Yahweh. Amen!
Plague #7: Hail of Fire. Nut, the goddess of the sky.
Plague #8: Locusts everywhere... This was directed at Seth, the god of storms and disorder. This plague was meant to be so incredible that generations of Egyptians were to speak of this. The locusts caused complete chaos and destruction.
Plague #9: Total darkness. Ra the sun god was completely overshadowed (ha!). He was the most worshipped God.
Plague #10: Death of the firstborn. This was perfect justice and the final blow to Pharaoh personally. He was the ultimate power in Egypt and considered a god, and even he was brought to his knees.

Isn't this fascinating?! Our God is an awesome God! (I referred here a lot. It was very interesting.)

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
Psalm 111:4

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 77: In which I write of gnats

Plagues seem awful to me, as do famines. But to think about the plagues that the Egyptians went through as God worked mightily to move His people out of Egypt is mind blowing. To have your water turn into blood is one of the most disgusting things I could think of, and then to have gnats, flies, frogs and locusts descend upon you in such large quantities that you can no longer see the ground and all your trees and vegetation destroyed is just amazing. Boils are completely gross. I know someone who recently had to deal with one, and it just looked like it was painful, and just overall not a pleasant experience. And that was just one boil, the Egyptians had their bodies covered in them. Yikes!

The plagues that came upon Egypt speak clearly of God's sovereignty in all things and His supremacy over all gods.

The last plague speaks clearly of His grace, and justice and mercy. I think I'm going to be thinking of these things for a few days.

Tonight I'm just going to think on the first set of plagues against Egypt. What I'm thankful for tonight is that the God of the Hebrews is a powerful and almighty God. He is to be feared and revered. He is awesome.

My father-in-law doesn't like how we use the word awesome in such casual conversation. That word means so much more than as a description of something cool or really neat. It is meant to be used for something that fills you with awe. "Oh Lord, my God, I sit in awesome wonder..." He argues that we should only reserve it for the only One who can truly fill our hearts with wonder and awe.

Awesome is what I would describe the deeds of Almighty God in Exodus as He frees His people out of slavery. What a mighty and awesome God we serve!

I would encourage you to read in Exodus about the plagues. Now is a very nice time to do so as we approach nearer to Easter and with that Passover. It's easy to read through it all and not really think upon the greatness of what God is doing, but it truly is amazing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 76: My Favorite Hymn

My favorite hymn was written by Dallan Forgaill and was translated from ancient Irish into English, and it is to an Irish tune. This is a very interesting website dedicated to the history of the hymn.

I think it's one of the most beautifully written hymns, and that's really what I want to share tonight on this Irish holiday.

It seems fitting.
 Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Day 75: Nieces are Nice

I have four nieces. They are paired two and two in two families. We had a pair at our home this week, and it was so fun to have them. The girls played with our children, and they all had so much fun.

I am reminded of how much I really love being an aunt. It's such a fun thing to be, but it's often overlooked, I think. When it comes to our roles, I think being a good son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife and father or mother kind of trump uncle or aunt. We even think of being a good co-worker or friend more than aunt or uncle. But I think we miss out when we forget that precious role!

I get to be younger and cooler than the grandma, but way more fun than the mom. I get to be looked up to and have a positive influence on someone who is so special.

That's just cool.

I am glad that I am an aunt. And I just love all the nieces and nephews. They are all so special and fun and different.

Lord, thank you for letting me be an aunt.
May I be a gracious example and a fun companion to every single one of my nieces and nephews.
Help me be an aunt worth looking up to.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 74: SIL

Today is, of course, the birthday of both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, but I wanted each to be recognized, so today is the SIL.

I met Kari when she was in high school before she even started dating my brother-in-law. I was a youth leader and she was a student. Now I call her a sister. That is a very cool thing. I have seen her grow in her faith and love for the Lord. I have seen her grow into a beautiful wife and mother with a heart to serve Christ in those capacities to the best of her abilities.

I am so glad that she is a part of my family, and it is a joy to have her in my life. I am thankful for the blessing she is to my husband's brother and the way she supports and encourages him. I know that she is the perfect help meet to him, and that simply makes me happy.

Happy birthday, dear sister.

Father, thank you for Kari and all the work You have done and are doing in her life.
Thank You that she belongs to You and that You have given her to be a part of my life and my family.
Thank You for the encouragement she is to me and the wonderful aunt that she is to
not only my children
but to all her nieces and nephews.
Thank You for the testimony she has of all that You have done for her,
and I pray that she would always give You glory in all that she does,
that she may rejoice in You and bring others to rejoice in You too.
Give her wisdom and patience as she raises her two girls that they may come to know You
as a result of their mother's testimony and faithfulness to teach them Your word.
May she always uphold truth and be a woman who rejoices in truth.
Strengthen her in Your truth, that she may serve You faithfully as she serves her family.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 73: Marching On

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
Psalm 127:3-5b

It's one of those months, March is. You know, one of those months in a family when there are many many birthdays? Yeah, March is one of those...

Kicking off the March madness is a two for one deal on the 15th, and since I want to give them their own post, I'm starting with the oldest: brother-in-law Adam.

I have known Adam a very long time. In fact, I have known him for more of my life than I have not known him. He is the love of my big sister's life. The truest of true high school sweethearts, Adam entered my world as a teen, and I was about 10 or 11 years old- wow! And he has been my brother and pal for those years.

Being the youngest of two girls and growing up with just mom, Adam boldly entered our girls club. That impressed me!

I have seen he and my sister grow in love and build a family and life together. He is the father of six of my nieces and nephews, and has been a valued member of my family. He has taken on my mother as his own and stepped in like a true son. I cannot even count the number of selfless acts of service done for her and his own family. He has a servant's heart!

I am thankful that I can call him brother and family.

Lord, as Adam approaches his birthday, I pray that he would be blessed.
I pray that you would continue to work in his life and that
You would strengthen him daily as he leads his family.
I pray that He would always rely on You through Your word for wisdom as he leads.
I pray that he would have a discerning heart as he disciples his boys and girls.
I pray that he would have an understanding heart as he leads my sister and builds her up.
I pray that their marriage would always preach the gospel to their children, that they would understand what Christ is to the church
because they see how their parents interact and love one another.
Thank you for bringing Adam into my family,
and for building such a lovely family through him and my sister.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Days 71 and 72: Two for One Deal

In light of what's going on globally, my life seems really really small. In Ethiopia there is an orphan crisis- well, not just there for that matter- but there adoptions are going to more limited, at least international ones. This makes me sad. In Japan the numbers are staggering. The devastation and destruction  are incomprehensible. In Iraq and Afghanistan so many Americans are in harm's way. People are hurt and hungry, and these last few days all I'm facing is the blessing of having my husband newly employed and trying to figure out how to adjust our schedules to accommodate that.

I think it's these times, when there's a lot to think about, that I think God looks His biggest. All the events, calamities and hardships are in His hands, and He's bigger.

And as big as God is, He cares about every single person that He has created, and He has a plan and purpose for everything under heaven. He knows the times. He knows the pain, and He knows all of what to do and how to do it and when to do it.

I'm glad for that.

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty! There's nothing my God cannot do!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 70: Japan

Disaster hit Japan today as there was an earthquake that created a tsunami. I really haven't heard or read much about it, but the little that I do know is that it's truly a disaster. People have lost their lives, and it's been a devastating scene.

Father, You know all the people that are affected by this event,
for You are the Author and Creator of each life and each event that occurs on earth.
I pray that this will all work to Your glory, that You would be magnified and
use this tragedy to draw many to You.

Day 69: When I Don't Sleep...

.... well for a few days, my body has a way of telling me to stop and sleep. I get a massive headache. And last night that's the message that I was getting from my body. So I went to bed and didn't take time to take stalk in the blessings of Christ yesterday, at least online.

But I went to bed knowing that we started a new normal with Casey having his first night at work. That is proof that God is providing and has provided for us.

So though it wasn't the best conditions to go to bed- you know with the headache and all- I was able to sleep knowing that God's taking care of everything.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 68: Hello Moses

I've started in Exodus. So, hello Moses. We're jumping right into it. It doesn't take long to get from Joseph's dead to the people of Israel being enslaved, to Moses being born, killing someone and fleeing. He quickly marries Zipporah, and has a couple kids and BOOM! Burning bush, back to Egypt, and so on.

I like reading these accounts right now. This week marks the beginning of Lent, leading to Easter Sunday. I'm not Catholic, and I don't practice Lent, so you know, but it is this time of year that I really love to read about Passover and in the Gospels.

So that's what I'm going to do. I love the richness of what God does in His big plan for salvation. I love that Christ is all over the Old Testament. I love that Christ is the fulfillment of all that God is showing His people in the Old Testament.

So, hello Moses...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 67: The Set Up

I have a dilemma. I'm made it to the end of Genesis, and it ends so beautifully that I'm just being drawn into wanting to continue with Exodus, even though that wasn't my plan. I mean, seriously, the set-up is perfect...

Joseph's brothers think that now that their father is dead, Joseph is going to take his revenge out on them for the way that they dealt with him years earlier. Joseph's response is one of the most amazing answers in all of Scripture.

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?
As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.”
Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Genesis 50:19-21

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Joseph gets it, and God is setting his whole family up for something amazing. God used the sinful actions of the sons of Israel to establish their presence in Egypt, saving them from death, but ultimately another key step in saving all mankind from sin.

So Genesis ends with a "..." really. Joseph dies, and he asks that his bones be taken out of Egypt one day. They will be, but many, many years later, and after God displays His power, might and glory in ways that establishes Israel as a nation and people of God Most High and the old covenant with them.

Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying,
“God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
So Joseph died, being 110 years old.
They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Yeah, I would say that God will surely visit His people!

Lord thank you so much for the mighty work that you have done to establish Your people Israel. Thank You that You are a covenant-keeping God and prove Yourself faithful through all generations.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.

He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!

Psalm 111:6 & 9

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 66: Piecing Together

Things are coming together. I'm slowly figuring out how to "take back" my house. You know, reclaim my territory. Tonight I just rearranged my cupboards (just switching things up), and I want to tackle my pantry next. But I'll get to it. I went through all our childrens' books and have two big bags full of them that we don't really read anymore or they are just for babies.

All of these things that I've wanted to get to for eight months are finally getting done, and it feels really good.

Also, the official job offer came in for my husband, and it's over a dollar more than what they estimated the top of the pay scale to be. Praise the Lord!

I feel very blessed to have been carried thus far by God's gracious hand. I am encouraged, and I know that things aren't going to be easy; but I go into this new phase knowing fully that the same Hand that carried me through the last storm will hold me through whatever comes next.

I can rest in the One who always puts all the pieces together.

To Him be all the glory!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 65: Thrice

I went to ESV online, and put, "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," into the search. I have been reading that and thinking about that a lot. Three results:

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
 all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

If in God's word, He tells us something three times, I think it's something most definitely worth noting. Now, I don't have the time just right now to do some additional research on the fear of the Lord, but to have the same phrase or similar phrase in scripture thrice, you had better pay attention. And we had better understand what the fear of the Lord is.

Lord, help me fear You that I may always be on a path of wisdom.
May I walk in wisdom and bring You glory.
Thank you that You provide truth and ultimate wisdom in Your word.
Draw me to Your wisdom and help me to apply the knowledge of You to all aspects of my life so that I may magnify Your name.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 64: Tomorrow is Another Day

At the risk of sounding like Scarlett O'Hara, that's what I had to tell myself last night as I went to bed. Tomorrow is indeed another day, with new mercies, and it will continue thus until Christ returns or I'm called home. And that grace is sufficient.

And with each new dawn, the Lord offers tidbits of hope, of grace to lift us up. This is what I found this morning in my e-mail box:

"I have only met you briefly but I like how "on top of it" you are as a parent. When I volunteer at school Norah is always polite and respectful. Norah is one of the only students that calls me Mrs. [P****] vs. Hey You when help is needed. Norah is a pleasure to be around and I am glad Stella has such a nice girl for a friend." [Just keeping anonymity, that's all.]
- Mother to one of Norah's classmates.

You see, I wrote to this mom letting her know that Norah's behavior last night warranted keeping her home from a much anticipated birthday party. After reading this, I burst into tears (of course) and hid myself so that my children didn't see and ask questions.

It's true though. I get compliments all the time on my girl's behavior and how kind and polite she is. I know that we're doing something right. Gosh darnit, if only we, as parents, could control everything our children do, think or say all the time!

Anyway, I was encouraged by this. And I know that in the big picture, God is in control and I am completely under His mercy and grace when it comes to the outcome of who my children will be. My job is to be faithful, giving God glory as I try to parent and disciple. If I do that, then I know that God will do His job to work all things for His glory.

And the beauty of it is, that whether or not I do my part, He always does His part. All things, with or without my help, will work for His glory. It is an honor that they might work for His glory through me.

Let me bring You glory, Father.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 63: Worst Night

Awful night.

Disobedient child.

Disappointed mother.

Worst start to a weekend ever.

Last normal weekend before everything changes.

Awful night.

I don't have the energy or the temperament to try and think of things that are positive right now. I am so completely broken in spirit when there is an episode like this with our oldest. She has such a rebellious streak. Sometimes the defiance against our authority and thus God's authority frightens me. Granted, for the most part she's a pretty good kiddo. But there are times when am brought to me knees in fear for the state of her heart. God hasn't saved her... yet. She doesn't belong to Jesus... yet. She refuses Him still. She believes, but there isn't repentance... yet.


God doesn't promise that the children of saved parents will be saved. He doesn't have grandchildren. My girl can't inherit Christ's covering of sins.

Whenever she acts out, when her sin is so apparent, I can't help but be fearful, fearful that she may not come to Christ. Just hitting the keys to type that out makes my heart grow faint within!

Oh Lord, please work in the heart of my little girl. Soften it and make it tender to Your Word.
May she be guilty of her sin and call out to Jesus, the ONLY way to salvation and the only way to life. Please, by the power of your Holy Spirit, move her towards You, draw her in.
May her greatest delight be in nothing compared to knowing You.
Pour Your grace out on my baby that she may be covered by Your righteousness.
This is my greatest heart's desire tonight.
Give me peace and trust in Your sovereignty over her life.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 62: Coincidence or Providence?

Sometimes we have a hard time determining what is just a coincidence or the hand of God. I think it depends on what you mean by each of those terms. When I think of coincidence, I think of luck or good fortune or some strange, uncanny circumstance. When I think of providence, I think of God's sovereignty over all things, little or small.

I would say that there isn't such a thing as a coincidence, as I have described it. We've all seen the person "led" to do something and then "led" to do another, back and forth, moving with how they are "moved". That's not providential. God doesn't contradict Himself or change like shifting shadows.

That is spiritualizing something unnecessarily.
I don't know what to call this incident, but I kind of lean towards an act of gracious providence.

I'll explain.

When we got the mail yesterday, my husband opened a letter from the unemployment department. His benefits were done. We had no warning. We didn't understand how the system worked and had no idea that it would "run out". In fact, we were quite dependant on that unemployment check that we got weekly. We needed that plus my income to make ends meet.

Tuesday we learned that Casey was offered a job.

Wednesday we learned that Casey wouldn't get any more unemployment money.

If those two events had switched, there would have been a stressful response in our home. Then there would be peace, knowing that the Lord will provide, but still, there would be a moment of distress. I think that's an act of gracious providence. I also think that the timing of employment coming is an act of gracious providence. God has consistently shown that He is actively caring and providing for our family.

What do you think?

Coincidence or Providence?

Day 61: So I Chose...

... to lay in bed and look at old pictures of our children with my husband instead of blogging yesterday.

I chose to dote over how cute and little my children were, and was reminded of a time that seems like it was a blur. Two children 15 months apart in age kind of does that- blurs the time. It's hard work and has a lot of its difficulties having little ones so close together. But I will be the first to tell you that having my children as I did, as close as I did was absolutely perfect, and has filled our lives with more joy than we could have ever asked the Lord for.

Lord thank you for giving me my children "hard and fast," as it's been described.
Thank You that You taught me all the things that You have and continue to teach me through motherhood. Thank You that You are the builder of families, homes and nations.
Thank You that You have a special plan for our family and that You have always been proven faithful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 60: In Like a Lion...

March is roaring in like a lion. Norah's kindergarten teacher has gone into labor, so she's got her new teacher for the remainder of the year now. It rained most of last night and a lot of today... and I mean RAIN. That's how we roll in the NW, thankyouverymuch. And the call that my husband was supposed to get on Friday came today.

He starts on Friday at midnight... or Saturday... whatever. When Friday turns into Saturday, he will be a working man. After a long eight months, a working man.

March is roaring in like a lion. The Lion of Judah is at work.

Praise the Lord!