Raising Children During Chaos

Raising children in the midst of chaos can seem like a task of responsibility and accountability because our hearts are filled with thoughts of logistics, plans, & overwhelmed by circumstances. 
Pressing into Jesus while I admonish our children has made me the most aware and humbled by the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
While their behavior is filled with selfishness, tantrums, questions, and the need for training, it isn’t abnormal. It can feel like the greatest inconvenience, though, when my heart is reeling and my thoughts aren’t captive to Christ. 
I’m overwhelmed by the grace and wisdom the Spirit speaks into me and through me when I’m gently talking through life with my children. When a directive, a calm answer, or wise training comes from the depths of my innermost heart. I’m overwhelmed because Jesus speaks to me even more than whatever I’m speaking to my children. 
When I’m speaking hope and understanding to them (through the Spirit’s leadership), it’s actually me He’s speaking to…filling up my heart and mind to prompt me towards steadfastness. I’ll never stop growing, and the inconveniences of nurturing and training my children insure this and though I don’t always thank God for it, I am today. 
So today when my heart is very aware of the circumstances today holds, as we travel to another town to meet with an oncologist to hear pet scan results and chemo treatment plans, I’m asking the Lord to calm my anxious heart with moments of truth shared with my children that are ultimately for us all. 
Grace so free, washes over me. 

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How I Learned to be Content

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My Problem

In my haste to satisfy the pride of life, I have diligently fed my flesh by trying to be one step ahead of my season. What I found, instead of joy & contentment, was feelings of failure, frustration, unmet/unrealistic expectations, & a restless spirit that settled so deep in my heart I couldn’t see my way out for trying to fix the way I was approaching life.

The gentle nudge I started to hear echoed Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

I quickly clung to my abilities, meek as they are, and hoped to do better. I can be steadfast, I thought. I can work on a pure heart.



What I Didn’t Do

As I didn’t do much struggling or wrestling (that would have required actual effort, and unfortunately, I trying to just do better weren’t going to work for me), I settled with trying to rest on the areas of my life that seemed natural. Once I was working out of my strengths, and even comforts, I could hear the whispers that could only be heard in a stillness.

I cannot, after He has clearly spoken to me about how my outset is not working, continue to work so fervently to be a step ahead of where I am in my life as a woman, wife, mom, or any other aspect of my roles.

Then it presented itself like a blooming plant that is emerging from the blossom that has rested, filled with nutrients and all the perfect setting up for a beautiful, bountiful expression of nature. Contentment. I knew the minute my soul was filled with this, alluring to some, actual manifestation of the Spirit.

It’s not an emotion. It’s not a feeling. It is the culmination of hope, mercy, grace, and trust.

I began thinking “this is so good…I need to write this down.” That pride of life crept back in and then I exclaimed in my heart “this IS good, thank you LORD for getting my soul to a place of understanding, rest, movement, and finally the acquisition of contentment.

Finally, A Looking Glass

It began with anxiety and panic that I wanted so desperately to be ahead of my season, onto the next step, planned/prepared/ready, and without a shred of help from others. The deep sorrow I felt after not feeling prepared and ready when a new phase of discipline was necessary in the heart of one of my children, left me feeling the way I mentioned in the introduction. The trepidation was almost more than my person could handle.

With the newfound contentment, I could almost hear “this is the next step…look at this Scripture….look how God led His people here….look at Paul’s admonishment here….who are you right here…..what the goal for this season…..what is hard right now in your heart….” questions that I haven’t left lurking like I used to when I thought I could move forward and fix the questions with my approach instead of listening to His guidance.

Moving Forward in Understanding

The joy and contentment found in resting in His guidance for where I am now, ABSOLUTELY does prepare me for the NEXT season.

If I am not walking so closely with His guidance, direction, hope, and correction right now, then I will surely suffer more when His planned suffering/trials/chastisement enters because I haven’t absorbed the gentle preparation He was providing all along.

The discipline of the Lord is love. An example from my life would be when He tells me to slow down. Before, I would have rebuked that thought that I don’t have time to slow down because I need to be ahead of my children’s needs (discipline, health, homeschool, etc) or that I need to be working diligently throughout the day to make sure we are ready for dad to get home to a peaceful place (which never happened when I was pushing out the Spirit’s prompting and pushing hard at home). The result of my efforts was stress, anxiety, discontment, and anger. Meeting the words “slow down” with obedience, speaking gently to those around me, opening my heart to the needs of others, always works in great motion towards whatever my future holds.

The sufferings and trials are not big and small in His divine wisdom. They are specific to the days ordained of OUR individual lives and He is faithful and just to give us all of Himself to walk through them.

I learned to be content, by recognizing His ability. That ties up so much in my heart that is lacking trust, faith, hope, and an acknowledgement that He’s in control.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

the one word that sums up all i’ve learned about myself when i became a mommy

 

it’s so painful to my flesh to say it.

selfish.

it’s painful to my flesh for 2 reasons.

1. because i’m embarrassed i didn’t learn how selfish i was when i got married…it took having a child for me to realize that i’m selfish.

2. because i have a root sin of pride and to realize, confess, & grow beyond this selfishness means i’m not perfect.

1 John 2:16

King James Version (KJV)

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

when i have on the filter of Truth, i can see my selfishness for what it is (sin) & press into Christ’s redeeming forgiveness. when my heart is bent towards asking God to produce based on the good intentions, motivations, & desires He has put within me to steward the lives of my children, i am outside of my flesh & directed towards the idea of redemption.

yes we are all selfish. but praise the Lord of all Heaven and Earth that He is in the great and glorious business of Redeeming.

Ephesians 5 Amplified Version

13 But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.

14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light.

15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),

16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

so there is no condemnation for the temptation to be selfish towards my husband or children. but an ever present reminder of what success really is in the realm of home. success in the Spirit is waking up each morning and asking of the Lord

Psalm 139 New Living Translation

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

so that when our children will not give us a break, they spill milk, have a potty accident, pull their clothes out of their drawers, wake up 3 times each in the middle of the night, scream and run away when discipline is knocking on the door of their hearts……….or when our spouse forgot to do something important for us, forgets something special, makes a decision we don’t agree with, or is having a rough day and their attitude effects us–we can confess we have selfish hearts that want to scream or pout, but then repent and remember Lord’s ability to lead us in the way everlasting.

He puts His Spirit within us to walk and guide us in the trenches. yes, even the trenches of our selfishness. our hearts are deceitful (Joshua 1:9), but He is grace. He forgives. He gives. He extends mercy and grace.

He knows our hearts. our very fragile, worn out, over-extended, but very very very full hearts. the heart that beats harder and faster during the hard days. the heart that explodes at night when our littles snuggle up on our chest while we read. the heart that grows more full as our children begin to speak Truth themselves and model all that we’ve spoken about Jesus. and as we hear and watch our sweet babes talk about Christ, He is sweetly beckoning us as we watch the little seeds we’ve planted begin to be harvested by Him.

it’s so hard during the drag of day and sometimes night to remember that we are living out a calling. a calling to love our husband and children well. it is weary sometimes when we don’t know what “well” is and we’ve lost track of our purpose. but He says we can call on Him. so my prayer for myself and other mommas is that we reevaluate what it means for us (as individuals, not as compared to other mommies) to love our husband and our children well. we are all gifted, interested, and experienced in different ways. press into Him with your deepest and grandest expectation that He will speak directly to your heart about how you can rest in who He has made you and love your family well with how He has equipped you. no more trying harder. no more being better. no more rules and regulations. just asking, exploring, and living out who you already are and loving with the tools and resources He has already provided.

just ask Him. and then abandon your own idea of what the pressure tells you it should look like for you to be a mom and wife and, instead, be the mom and wife He’s already equipped you to be with a whole heart full of expectation. sometimes your greatest equipping and resources come from your children and your spouse. be sensitive to the Spirit.

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disappointment and loss. grief. grace.

i woke up desperate for relief today. ever need that? crave that? and the worst part about our flesh is that we can “FEEL” like we need something, go to the ends of the earth for it, and not even know what we’re searching for….we just KNOW “it” will make us “FEEL” better.

i know what i need. i need Jesus. at all moments and at all costs. so this morning my desperation for a relief was not only a cry for mercy and grace but a plea for something different. so much had piled up over the last two years that i admitted today i wanted, needed, craved a “break” and i have no idea what that looks like, but here is my reflection.

on december 23, 2013 i decided (after 4 days) it was time to call the doctor. i had attended a family christmas out of town, cared for my boys, gone out to eat, and done various other things with most of my left eye out of commission. the best way to describe it was that everything was shiny, fuzzy like watching the tv with no cable, and just blotchy. i wouldn’t drive because the peripheral vision was nonexistent. so i decide, it’s the day before Christmas Eve at 4 pm. if i’m going to look into this, no is the time. i start realizing it’s no aura with migraine because i’ve had that a few times and went it away in at least 30 minutes and sometimes with a headache. neither had happened here. my husband had been on vacation and he was using this time to take care of our boys while i lay in bed. not an ideal vacation in that his whole family wasn’t present.

when i talk to the doctor he says that is not normal and he’s calling an ophthalmologist. the one he contacted was so gracious to meet me at his office after hours. he does a complete eye exam and several tests (that i’ve never had because i’ve always had perfect vision) and said my optic nerve was swollen. he says i need steroid infusions to get the swelling down and that’s a pretty normal outpatient situation. however, all of the infusion therapy clinics are closed and will be until thursday. oh man. the dreaded words. you need to be admitted for iv steroids.

my husband had been driving around with the boys after he dropped me off. through dilated eyes i tried to text and then just called. we have to implore grandparents. my grandmother’s funeral was the next day (Christmas Eve) but my mom was so gracious to help and picked up the boys. one of my best friends spend the night at our house with our boys and then my in-laws stayed at our house the whole time with our boys with a few breaks from my husband and my parents. and my father-in-law was ill most of the time and i’m pretty sure my mother-in-law was too but all of our parents are so kind to us. we are loved well.

so disappointed. Christmas in the hospital. without my children. my sweet husband who suffers from chronic pain slept on those uncomfortable chair/recline/pull out beds they have in the rooms. we were visited, showered with flowers, gifts, sweet words, facebook messages, texts, etc. the redemption? my husband (who is the most gifted and sensitive to what redeeming means) brought Christmas decorations to the room and my gifts. i opened up a necklace that i have wanted since Drake was born. it had a pearl and a hand stamped initial for each of our boys and the sweet first child we lost through miscarriage. perfect and perspective and healing.

i missed my grandmother’s funeral. my eye waited until the 11th hour to start getting vision back. right before the last dose of steroid in the iv i started to see better. i went straight to the ophthalmologist after being released. my eye was doing better. i had to go to my regular doctor to get a blood sugar test kit (steroids can mess with blood sugar. a new low—-pricking my finger for blood. thankfully brady did that. and i never had to give myself a shot).

i was told to take oral steroids for several days. i was so messed up. brady and i will probably remember for the rest of our lives how i acted those days. i tore our house apart to clean and reorganize. i only slept from 330-6:30 am most days.

we will also never forget what happened when i quit them. cold turkey. i had flu like symptoms. i was “depressed”. i started crying so hard at one point i was weeping and convulsing. i looked at him to try to explain and probably laughed the hardest and loudest i ever have because i had no words. no idea why i was crying.

this condition i have now been diagnosed with is a precursor 40% of the time in women age 32 for Multiple Sclerosis. so, in the hospital the neurologist said when the steroids had cleared my system i had to have a lumbar puncture. i’m pretty laid back, but those words sent me into a frenzy of anxiety and fear. my husband has had two and assured me if i had endured labor i could handle this. we’ll see.

two weeks ago i had the lumbar puncture. it was terrible. i was dehydrated. it took way too long. and the next day i got a spinal headache that lasted five days. i text everyone i knew who had one and asked what “normal” was for these headaches because i didn’t want a blood patch.

last night we received word that my grandfather passed away. my dad’s father. my last living, blood related grandparent. i had not received closure from losing my grandmother, is my assumption, because i cried longer and harder than normal for myself when finding these things out. no matter who it is, how close you are, what your life is like, death of someone or something is sanctifying.

loss brings perspective if you’ll let it have it’s toll and work on your heart. i fessed up to myself that i had feared so many unknowns and so many possibilities that just aren’t reality right now. what if i experience this with my eye again? what if i lose my vision? what if i have MS? and i won’t list out allll of the history we have with my husband’s medical history recently…you can read that here.

there is so much grace for the loss, for the sin, for the hope, for the disappointment.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

today’s demands teach tomorrow’s grace

the day is nearing the end. the pressure to meet the demands is over. did you meet them? what is success?

define success for yourself so you know your own expectations for yourself. evaluate them. make yourself some benchmarks. no one hits their success of huge goals immediately. it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

in fact, that’s what usually keeps me from making goals. or making attempts at my own expectations. i have failed before. i have hit the evening (it seems every day) with a miserable gut check that i accomplished NOTHING i set out to complete that day.

the reality? i didn’t set out to complete anything. i had a mental to do list. and a child woke up too early. he demanded specific items for breakfast. said items ended up all over my sheets. youngest child wakes up screaming, too. they both have pungent diapers and soaked clothes. now to more food and bottles and cups full of milk. toys spread everywhere. fingers touching dangerous things. tiny bodies climbing to high places that cause immediate danger and panic. they’re quiet now……interrupt productivity to find the children. toys everywhere. one wants to paint. can i watch a show? let’s have a snack! momma we miss dadda. why are you screaming? snack? milk? diaper? align the cosmos?!?! oh it’s lunch. what are we having (that would have been on my mental to do list—meal planning, maybe at naptime). oh you don’t want to eat anything on your plate? out of the 7 options i put on there? hm. time for nap. no one wants to take a nap? momma does! can we trade?! WHEW. youngest is down without a hitch. spanking. screaming. gnashing of teeth. compromise. promise. spanking. screaming. gnashing of teeth. no sleep today. no nap=nothing accomplished for momma. every one up. snacks. milk. more milk. they drink milk all day. could i be a dairy farmer? nope. i’d never make it. thought detour. clean up kitchen. get ready to start dinner. MASS HYSTERIA AND EVERYONE LOSES THEIR MINDS. momma is going to cook dinner? act like a crazed maniac! because….she doesn’t cook dinner ALMOST every night??! i mean, what a shock! cooking to the music of screaming, yelling, fit throwing, ……. DADDA IS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we’re the happiest boys alive! oh? that screaming? we just wanted to see how many decibels she could take! and dinner. bath. clean up rooms. bed.

the end of the day. i survived. but i did i thrive? was there joy emitted? today’s demands have made me aware that it’s night’s end and i must accept the grace for the moments that were not beautiful and walk into tomorrow with grace for the moments that will be challenging.

for where i felt like a failure today, i can only make a goal for how to approach that situation again and what it would look like to be a success. i was never a failure. feelings are NOT Truth.

progress, not perfection is the strategy with which i’ll run this marathon.

i want my husband and children to see grace. lived and offered. not the cranky, i’m short tempered with the world because of my own shortcomings, attitude i’ve exhibited lately. they don’t need to be effected with emotions for where i THINK i’ve failed, they need to have me fully present in my calling as a wife and a mom and the TRUTH of what that calling is—that’s where i am seeking my identity. not the 10 absolute best aspects of 10 people that i expect myself to be all wrapped up in one individual.

marathon. not sprint.

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 2 preview

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We meet again tomorrow evening! Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 8 pm join us at our house!

We will discuss all the richness we can glean from the disobedience, rebellion, and lack of faithfulness of Isreal. God so compassionately walks with us through Isreal’s waywardness & uses a heart-wrenching comparison of the relationship between Hosea & Gomer to draw us closer to Himself. While drawing us into Scripture, we will be convicted & encouraged in our own relationships.

We will have a time to discuss & reflect the following so come with open and teachable spirits.

Unfailing love. Who freely gives? Who receives?

Acts of love vs. feeling. Compare your reactions to the reality of Hosea’s response. What is the difference between reacting & responding?

Redemption. God & Hosea both confront & love through rebelliousness & disobedience. How can you follow that lead in your relationships?

Idolatry. How are you idolatrous? How does it affect your relationships?

what we learned from a prostitute last night

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Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

September 5, 2013

Week 1

Read Joshua 2

Rahab is a prostitute.

The  New Testament references to Rahab indicate that she was an immoral woman. The Greek word used to describe Rahab is “porne” the word from which we get “pornography.”

  1. Rahab makes a choice.
  1. It involves a risk.
    1. Her family
    2. Her security
    3. Her life
  1. The spies make a covenant with Rahab.

What are the responsibilities of both parties? Rahab? The spies?

Rahab waits…..

  1. How God uses Rahab
  1. She is obedient.
  2. She believes God.
  3. She is an example of how God knows us.

She suffered some unknowns in her steps of faith.

Rahab stepped out on faith. She was not from a culture who believed God and trusted Him. God met her where she was and walked with her after, giving her a new future and a new hope.

The waiting is over. Rahab’s impact on believers.

  1. She saves her family.

Her first priority was acting what she knew of God. Her second priority was saving her family.

  1. She is a gentile.
  1. She is in the lineage of Christ.

Read Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:30-31, and James 2:25. Rahab and Salmon had a son, Boaz. Boaz was the father of Obed; Obed, the father of Jesse; Jesse, the father of King David. And from the line of King David of the tribe of Judah came the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.]

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Rahab (and our) response to the Lord – where she has been exchanging her body, now she is exchanging ownership of her body for righteous purposes.

How have you exchanged your body or self for a relationship?

Remember our discussion on boundaries?

I’m going to trust God can bring me better than what I can do by exchanging my body or by giving up what God has called me to hold fast to in this world.

when we can’t put it back together

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photo cred: DeEdra Folmar of Photo[E]motion Photography

desperate times call for desperate measures. i’ve heard that saying before.

now that others depend on me, i know what desperate feels like.

desperate to be better than good.

desperate to be one step ahead of their needs.

desperate to provide love, security, and comfort.

desperate to be a safe place, emotionally.

desperate to be entertaining and challenging.

all of those desires seem so noble. but they’re empty. they are my definition, fueled by my fleshly opinion of what the world is screaming at me to be and do. i get to this understanding of emptiness when i’m broken and weary. my two least favorite adjectives when i’m humbling myself before the Lord. and it usually comes when i would least expect it. i would expect broken and weary when i’m tired. i would expect them when i’m not intimately acquainted with sanctification. i would expect them when i’m busy. i would expect them when i just don’t want to do life anymore. and sometimes, these are all true moments that open the door for brokenness and weariness. but, not this time.

this time, broken and weary found me at the corner of “i’m being consistent with my children, trying to be consistent with my home, and i’m pushing through”. my marriage is a safe place for me so i’m “trying harder” there, just asking for grace from the Lord and my husband every day.

so why broken and weary if being consistent and gracious? because THOSE ARE SO HARD AND THEY TAKE A LOT OF SANCTIFICATION AND I CAN’T MAINTAIN THEM ON MY OWN.

when we’re hanging on by a thread during obedient and faithful times, it’s expected to experience weariness. and brokeness. because we are tired, selfless, and out of our own motivation. it’s spent. our obedience and discipline must come from Somewhere else. the Spirit intercedes. we need Him. that’s why Christ sent us a Helper. we cannot do good alone.

be encouraged. if you think to do good today, the indwelling of the Spirit is moving you. if you think to be disciplined today, the Holy Spirit is prompting you and putting it in you to move forward.

so when we’re ready to throw in the towel in an area where we’ve been plugging along, faithful and obedient, don’t. let’s press forward. he’s done such a work in us, let’s be an open vessel for that work to continue. ultimately, we’re seeking to look like Christ. that doesn’t happen with one small victory. we continue taking steps forward.

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a goodwork in you will carry it on to completion until the day ofChrist Jesus

Psalm 51:10

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

…walk humbly with your God

i love this. YOUR God. He’s personal. He works in tangible ways. His character doesn’t change, but He brings change around us and in us. and it’s our opportunity for relationship building to walk humbly with Him…through change.

people (especially women) say “i hate change”. of course we do. our insecurity loathes change. we just figured out “this” and we just figured out how package ourselves in “this” to look like we want to look and appear how we want others to see us. but, of course, the Lord is going to change that up because our “pretty package” is not what He intends out of our relationship with Him. He asks for righteousness and relationship. and He brings both by bringing change. that’s how we’re sifted. and when we’re sifted, the rough edges diminish (but only a little in various places of our hearts at one time which means it has to happen on a continual basis because our personalities and flesh are always evolving).

so. while i’m on the subject of change. we’re changing. students go back to school next week. wednesday night is our annual “on campus portico” and then portico tuesdays start up! wednesday nights at first start. tuesday morning women’s bible studies start. thursday night college girls bible study starts. a new facet of our ministry, the joshua project kicks off. thursday morning mops starts. homeschool preschool for drake starts. holt (those of you who know our sweet holt know there needs to be no more explanation. he’s a firecracker). sunday continues with our portico lunch and lifegroups! saturday tailgates start.

i’m usually counting down the days until september so i can decorate for fall! speaking of change. it’s amazing how quickly priorities and interests can change. i’m not so thoughtful on fall decorating as i am getting my family ready to maneuver this semester with as much grace and peace as possible.

so here are few of the many ways i have been pushing hard to have a manageable, yet busy schedule that will allow for all of the unplanned interruptions i’m confident we will experience!

Sarah Johnson and I did this crockpot freezer meal preparation which required a LOT of work. But, has already paid off! 20 meals including shopping and prep and they’re all in the freezer!

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i made this amazing menu board to go along with all the recipes i know and have already prepared. Image

I made a homemade planner to meet all of our needs. i used the following printables and blogs.

a perpetual calendar found here Imageand calendar prints from here

Imageand i got everything ready to start pre-k at home with Drake!

just a FEW of what we’ll be doing

PRESCHOOL FUN

we’ll start off with a calendar that resembles all mickey mouse fun found at live laugh love here

we will talk about ABC’s and start with some small reading curriculum found on confessions of a homeschooler here

and we’ll talk about the weather from teaching mama here

and there are TONS more of what we’ll be doing but those are just a little look.

we can’t plan for everything. but when we know change is coming we can prepare our hearts for change, set our spirit to be flexible, fix our eyes on opportunities, and our minds towards peace and grace.

i’m ready. fall, you’re welcome here. Lord, give me grace. and give me wisdom to lead my sweet little boys towards understanding and mercy.

Adventures in Healing::He speaks

I cried out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalms 77:1-20 NKJV)

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This is a picture of our monitor. I pleaded with The Lord for a nap time for both boys, at the same time. Although I FEEL as though He hasn’t answered any of my prayers lately, I won’t stop asking or believing. I will choose to acknowledge that He answers…but I have to be honest in my prayer. I’ve asked Him for His will. That’s what He’s doing. Just because my flesh seeks to determine and control His will, doesn’t mean His will is not being done. I love how honest Ps 77 is and how raw it is. Asaph is plagued with doubt-yet he still takes his all to The Lord. Sometimes the pain, physical or emotional, seems too much for us all. But not depending on Him & not trusting Him is so much more painful. In this passage, though…he moves. He doesn’t stay in this place of hopelessness & despair. Verse 11::he remembers. He made a choice to remember & meditate. His will followed. (“A Deeper Kind of Calm-Linda Dillow)

It may seem small. But my pleas with The Lord for a nap time was my desperation for time with Him. I needed a word. I needed quiet. I needed to release. He may not have healed my husband today, but He is healing & redeeming my heart from the disappointment and hurt of watching him hurt. I know if He can do that, He’s still in the business of healing….in all ways. I will continue to believe. So, he was in control of a successful nap time that I committed to Him. I could have been cleaning or on Pinterest or sleeping. But I desperately needed moments with Him. Have you spent moments talking to Him (its okay to be honest with Him, He knows your heart anyway).

If we have difficult conversations with our loved ones, don’t we also love on each other after the fact? The Lord wants that too.