Monday, March 31, 2014
I woke up early this morning and laid in bed perusing the interwebs. I started to hear the baby cry and got up to make some tea. Then there was nothing. A gift of more quiet time!
So I grabbed my Bible and turned to where I left off; 1 Kings 18.
Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal. He asks, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." (v21)
God shows up and shows them all whose Boss.
Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!" (v.39)
The vibrant colors of sun up are gone. Another day is here. This time is a gift, but not to be taken lightly. Join me in my mantra today, and for always;
The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!
Now, let's live like we believe this!
Friday, March 28, 2014
Oh you guys! I'm learning some great stuff this week.
God has really lined things up for me in a special way. I came across some great podcasts a couple weeks ago and have been listening to them when I get the chance. They are about an hour long so when Liam is awake it just doesn't work. Through one of those podcasts I learned of a book called Boys Adrift. I ordered it right away.
Then I was talking to my Mom and she told me of a book she was going through. I thought it was exactly what I needed so I ordered that one too. Gotta love Amazon Prime!
So, as I am going through these two books, the chapters lined up for me late last night and this morning.
Knowledge. There are different kinds of knowledge.
You can know of something and you can experience something to make you know it in a whole other dynamic.
In Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, he talks about boys memorizing facts while sitting in school. Yes, they may be learning some and gaining knowledge. It may or may not stick with them. It probably won't excite them to learn more, just hearing facts. This would be the wissenschaft. Important, yes.
Then there is the kenntnis. Gaining knowledge through experience. These are two ways of learning which are equally important and Mr. Sax emphasizes a good balance of the two. One can know of the water cycle and use the terms to explain it, but when we do a science experiment about the water cycle it really connects in our brains and makes it a known reality. Better yet, letting kids play in the puddles and see as the sun comes out those puddles being evaporated allows them to have kenntnis, a deep knowledge/experience of this thing in life.
So, getting to the other book I am going through and bringing it to a spiritual point.
You can know of Christ. You can read the Bible. You can sing songs about God. Wissenschaft.
Then you can kenntnis Christ. Experience Him personally. You can enter into a time of worship and feel His presence right there with you, in you.
There are different types of knowledge. I want to have both. I love reading books but I also want to get out and experience what this world is like. Get my hands in the dirt, seeing those tiny sprouts come up out of the dark soil. Go to church and experience a deep understanding of who Christ is and why He would reveal Himself to us humans, His most beloved creation. Not just reading of relationships in wonderful books, but going deep with the people I have in my life and really knowing what it means to love and to lose. To work through emotions that come with bumping into each other, however lovely or painful that can be.
Christ desires us to know Him. In both senses of the term. He wants to speak to us, revealing more of who His character is. We can't have a close relationship with someone just by knowing about them. We must spend time with them. Asking questions and really listening to their response. Seeing them over and over again, watching them closely. Seeing how they react or respond to life. The more time we spend with someone the more we kenntnis them. We know Christ by reading the scriptures and spending time with Him.
So here's to more knowledge. Both kinds! Read those books and blogs and articles but get out and experience life too for yourself!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I almost have no problem saying no if I don't want to do something. Or even if I do but am nervous about it. It seems for all the articles I have read and people's comments that most have the exact opposite problem. Saying yes to too much. Anyone else on board with my side of the problem?
One of my favorite verses is:
1 Thessalonians 4:11 ... that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands...
A lot has changed since having children. I am quite content to stay at home most days. Adding to that is the fact that taking four children out and about is fairly difficult, even when they are well behaved! Add in another factor of a husband's hectic work schedule and it just makes sense to stay home and not overcommit.
But the flip side.....
we miss out on beauty, fun, community, learning.
We have a full day planned today and not much time planned as a complete family, let alone some one on one time with my husband. There was a field trip planned to go to a local greenhouse. I almost said no. I'm so glad we went!
It was beautiful and fun and informative. I learned of another local business to support and how it is in the fourth generation of family owners!! The kids loved it.
We have been blessed with a fantastic group of families in our lives in the last few months who we really connect with and love. And we get to do life together! I love the time we spend together, getting to know each other and letting the kids be kids.
It was just the two oldest which made it so much easier on me and this is where I still feel like saying no is alright. I have young children. A baby that still wakes up in the middle of the night and has a hard time being still when he is awake. My mind just can't handle the chaos of 4 children by myself in a new place as well as some Moms can. I realize my limits and instead of stressing out about going we just usually stay home.
All this to say, I am trying to find a balance of yes and no. Stay and go. What is really good and worth while and what we could miss and be just fine about. It was lovely taking the older ones today and leaving the littles at home. A nice change of pace.
It was lovely saying yes.
Daughter doesn't so much like her photo taken as of late. She allowed this one. Love her in her brothers hat.
Oldest son is not so much into hard work. He helped anyways. Family unit baby!
Our middle son is very much into new things. Especially when those things mean he can use his hands. I love his hands. What I can say? He has my thumbs!
Little lovers very much LOVES blueberries. Every morning. I have to make sure he is not next to the wall so our walls are not "painted" blue.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
I cannot control the voice of God or how it comes. I can only control my "ears" - my readiness to listen and quickness to respond. - Philip Yancey
Oh, these words. They describe my heart. As I am going through this wonderful book on discerning Christ's voice in my life, I have realized that I do indeed hear God's voice. And I long to hear Him more! But what I struggle with is obeying what I hear.
So, as I started my new chapter this morning I felt like I needed to pray first.
I prayed and then I listened. God spoke and told me that it would be a hard chapter. I was like, "Ok. Well, here we go."
I open the book and the writer says that this will be a hard chapter. There will be responsibility on my behalf to respond to what Christ tells me. Basically what she was saying is obedience. Christ will speak and you will have the choice of obeying, or not.
That made me excited because just moments ago God had told me almost the same thing! He was showing me that He is speaking and is near to me, showing me what to do. He was also showing me that I have an issue with being told what to do.
I have an idea of what my day will hold and when things don't go as planned
(in my head) I get frustrated. Little nuances can get me rolling my eyes and sighing loudly in annoyance. Pretty dang immature huh?
So my prayer is that when I hear His voice, I would obey. And that I would obey with JOY!
"The Holy Spirit's ability to see what we cannot, and then communicate information to us based on His knowledge, provides us with insight we could never obtain through onboard instruments alone. And yes, sometimes what He asks of us puts us in a place of discomfort that at the time seems unnecessary from our vantage point, but trusting Him and responding to Him is always in our best interest." - Priscilla Shirer
So you see, it comes down to trust. Do I trust that what the Lord tells me will be in my best interest and the best interest of someone else if He is telling me to bless someone or talk with them or pray for them or what have you?
Will I step out of my comfort zone and obey my God?
The more I practice this obeying of His voice, the more my faith will be built and the more trust I will have in my God. It's a moment by moment walk of faith. A constantly growing closer relationship with the God that created this body that depends on Him for every breath, let alone the grace to obey when He whispers in my heart.
God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13
That verse, my friends, encourages this soul!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Winter is officially over! Let us rejoice! It was the most common and beautiful spring day. Cold, windy and a bright blue sky. The kids jumped on the trampoline a ton and I made sure our seeds didn't go dry. We visited with cousins that we haven't seen in years and we worked on letters.
A bit of the mundane with a splash of newness and excited hope for a new season.
And I got one chapter into a new book. It is exactly what I need to read right now and I am looking forward to getting into the rest of it this week.
The more you know God, the more clearly you can hear God.
Cheers to a new season! I am looking forward to what God will do with His creation in the weeks and months to come!
P.S. Ranunculus are my new favorite flower. Gorgeous!
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Recently I have been learning through my own circumstances about sincerity for others. I tend to not only get over things quickly, but to not be able to really put myself in someone else's shoes to truly understand how they might be feeling. It is far easier though for me to feel as I watch a video about the issue or person's life. Videos can be so powerful and they can really transport you to that scene and circumstance, almost feeling like you are there experiencing it also.
This is when some might use the term..... I digress...... but can I just say that that term totally irritates me! So anyways, as I was saying......
everything we go through can and should be used to help us out in life. To teach us compassion or sincerity. To show us how someone else has felt in times past when they were going through the same thing and we just couldn't understand how they felt or why they made the decisions they did.
I was just putting the baby to sleep and enjoying a quiet moment and realized that I am dealing with something in a relationship and it is coming to light why. I had to laugh, quietly, as I could see Jesus with a slight grin on his face as He watched me have an awakening experience.
Awakening to that feeling of compassion and understanding. That slow exhale and prayer of "Aahhhhh, yes Lord. I get it. I'm so sorry for being so slow to understand, but I get it now. Help me to tuck this little bit of wisdom away and not forget. Help me to understand when this topic comes up again and to encourage another. Help me to be compassionate and loving."
I have a difficult time putting thoughts together and working through them to understand what it is that I am going through. I guess that can sound very shallow, but I just mean that maybe I don't stop and take the time to do what I need to when it comes to working on the issues of life. I just want to keep truckin' but sometimes that truck needs to park and give 'er a rest. Let the motor stop and just be silent and let the Lord speak.
Nursing my sweet boy tonight was just the time I needed to be quiet and let the Lord do the talking. He revealed a big thing to me tonight. I am thankful. There are tiny shoots growing up out of my heart. A deep life, with God right there in the middle, gently showing me the way.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
10 weeks in! It's still winter but spring is on its way!!
We have been sick this week but have enjoyed a laid back time at home. I introduced the kids, er I mean Captain America, to Reading Rainbow!
Liam loves hats. And taking all the books off the shelf. It's hard to be upset about it though because he is just so darn cute as he imitates what we all do by flipping through the pages! He also is obsessed with shoes. Mainly grabbing our shoes and handing them to us. He knows whose is whose and will give them to us at the most random times. Like when Zade was in the bath!
The kids made a lego village and had a volcano explode all over it. Then August played with the sopping wet play doh. He is so into the hands on. I forget he needs to get his hands dirty and touch everything. I am hoping to do more fun things with him. We will be starting our seeds this week and I know he will love it.
Cheers to week 10 and looking forward to another one!
Friday, March 7, 2014
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory; I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' name. Amen.
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Miss Grace: creative to the core. She enjoys cursive more than print, encouraged by her Daddy.
Why have plain writing when you can have loops and curves and put a little flair into all those letters!
Zader Maders: strong-willed and always funny. He has freckles that you can't see in these photos and new ones this week. He cut his own hair and refuses to let me trim it up. "I like it this way." Choose your battles huh?
August: teaching himself math. Counted far higher than I knew him to be able. Always building and loves My Singing Monsters on the ipad.
Liam lovers: the hurricane! He is everywhere! I don't sit for longer than 2 minutes at a time when he is awake. And when he sleeps, I cry as I hold him in my arms and realize just how sweet he is and how fast it goes with children. Such is life.
These pictures fill my heart. They remind me of how good I have it. They bring me back to gratitude and love. These are the days that I capture and think that it would be so nice to have a quiet moment, but know that I really will miss the crazy and chaotic when in the future Micheal and I look at each other and have all the time we need to discuss the events of the day without being disrupted. And we will hold hands and think back on our beautiful life.
And I'm sure I will take a picture of those hands clasped together so I can remember to be thankful for what is now- which will be then.
For now, I clasp my own hands and look up to the heavens to give thanks to God for all He has provided and all He has done.